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Yamaha XV750 – Hageman Motorcycles


Posted on August 27, 2015 by Andrew in Board Tracker, Café Racer. 37 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson.

The artist and engineer usually come at their work from completely different ends of the creative continuum and often go together about as well as a bull in a china shop. But on the rare occasion they do mix well, the results are truly spectacular – and this Custom Yamaha Virago known as “GoGo” just happens to be one such example.

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The artist and owner is photographer extraordinaire Erick Runyon and the engineer is the king of custom Yamaha’s, the one and only, Greg Hageman. Erick photographs Greg’s spectacular creations and it was at one of their get-togethers that they discussed seeing how nice a job they could do on a XV750 with a limited budget.

The bike was built and that might have been the end of the story until as Erick explains “I was shooting another build for Greg that fell on me in the studio and broke my knee in two places”. Out of action for six months the budget XV750 would look at the crippled Erick and whisper ideas into his creative brain, ideas that Erick would suggest to Greg over the phone. Given that they live in the same Neighbourhood Greg had the bike brought over to his place and with the budget now “extended” GoGo was about to go from budget build to one of Hageman’s XV masterpieces!

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What makes GoGo so special is not just that it was built by Hageman but that there were also contributions from some of the best in the business. The front end is the work of Alain Bernard of Santiago Choppers who put the GSXR 1000 forks on the Yamaha frame. The wheel and tyre combination take chunky to a whole new level, wheels are 16 inches front and rear with incredible custom inserts from Sean Skinner of MotoRelic. While the tyres themselves are one-off Dunlop American Elites normally reserved for Harley’s fleet of touring bikes, measuring a giant 130 in the front and 150 in the rear with raised yellow Dunlop lettering.

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Power for the XV750 now comes from its big brother the XV1100 a conversion Greg did himself and one that makes great sense given the 1063cc donk punches out a considerable improvement in torque over the stock 750 and does it much lower in the rev range. Fuelling the V-twin is now a single carburettor from the kings of V muscle, Harley Davidson, this particular item being from a Sportster model complete with a grilled cone filter. As mentioned earlier there were contributions to this build from some big names and the shorty stainless steel muffler finishing off the growling exhaust comes from Florida’s kings of café racer cool, Dime City Cycles who also provided many of the other bolt on mods.

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Greg Hageman has pioneered one of the most enduring looks of the café racer Renaissance, the fitting of Benelli’s Mojave tank to the Virago series of bikes and it is simply a match made in heaven. With artistic input from Erick and guns swung by two of his friends Moe from Moe Colors and Craig Skiver of Craig Paints Bikes the mix of raw metal and deep red find their homes in all the right places creating an industrial feel that works perfectly with the aggressive stance of the rest of the build. While many would paint the swingarm black or the same colour as the frame Erick had Joe from ProFab Powder coating finish the metal in a clear powder that not only further enhances the size of the rear tyre it further accentuates the negative space offered up by the new seat arrangement. Which comes the way of a totally redesigned and custom fabricated subframe that supports a beautifully stitched single seat.

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Everywhere you look on GoGo, whether it be form or function, it is clear that Greg and Erick were speaking the same language, even if Erick admits his constant changes of mind may have gone close to driving Greg up the wall. It can often be that a great build falls down in the final details, but not here, the purposeful custom rearsets aren’t just added for cool factor they are exactly what is needed when converting a cruiser to a café racer. The headlight also plays its role with a raw metal finish and aggressive grill expanding on the tough industrial look.

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While just below the Yamaha logo on the seat sits a neat LED strip that takes care of taillight and turn signal duties. More of the meshing between artist and engineer comes in the little touches you could easily over look. Hiding parts behind rattle can black paint is an easy way out but Erick and Greg have left items like the forward engine mount and shaft drive in their raw state and it’s these little touches that are as equally as important as the major changes in creating a machine that is truly world-class.

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With such an incredible team assembled and Erick’s artistic vision recreated into an automotive masterpiece there is just one part of the story left to tell. The nickname “GoGo” comes from a sexy little assassin GoGo Yubari – a character from the Kill Bill movie. And if a severely disturbed 17-year-old schoolgirl is on her way to disembowel you in a horrific style only Quentin Tarantino could dream up she may as well be aboard her namesake, a Greg Hageman special shot to fame by the Superfoto himself, Erick Runyon!

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[Photos by–you guessed it—Erick Runyon]








  • Hardley T Whipsnade III

    Brutal . vicious and another example of making a very fine silk purse out of a sows ear . And speaking of silk purses or at least those who’d use them ( photos 7 & 9 )

  • DLShow

    she’s purdy…..oh and the bike too. 🙂

  • build a nice bike, hours of work fitting modern suspension, then you go and ruin it by fitting ridiculous tires, am confused

    • Ride and handles as smoothly as any other bike Ive owned. We wanted one of a kind, over the top tires, and Dunlop helped us out. The bike was built with Japanese anima styling in mind…which would be described as bold, stylish and over the top.

      • Brandon Bruschke

        I love the fat tire look, this is a bike I would ride every day. Gorgeous!

  • and forgot to say, nice arse

  • Darrick B

    FINALLY! Someone used modern USD forks on a bike with a single front brake and took the time to remove the unused mounts from the other fork.

    • JorisJ

      Amen! Exactly what i didn’t like About the classified bike..this one is almost perfect

  • Mel MacKinnon

    It is beautiful , but I keep seeing the front tire jammed into the engine on hard braking or when hitting a pothole. Unless the front suspension is very limited rendering the thing a sculpture.

    • docschops

      Travel was reduced by 20mm from stock. I made internal shims to limit travel.

  • I have never seen a bike that was built from Greg which isn’t stellar in every way. This one is no exception either!

  • guvnor67

    Greg Hageman does it again! This thing looks tough, and also classy. Wasn’t sure about the tyres at first either, but they definately look the part and if they can handle 1/2 tonne of Harley then why not?! Really nice bike!

  • Michael Carroll Hawkins

    Love the design, but this style looks very close to what Classified Moto. from Richmond Virginia is known for. I’m not saying who is copying who as I don’t know who started this style first. Although it could just be the modern forks on an old bike thing.

    • Darrick B

      Greg’s been around a lot longer than Classified has, especially when we’re talking about modified Viragos.

    • This bike has been around for over three years. Other than it having a raw/silver tank etc and its a Virago. The similarities end there.

  • Neil Armstrong

    Not impressed, my series C Vincent 1000cc was much better looking.

    • Hardley Y Whipsnade III

      Nothing can compare to a classic Vincent except of course the custom Vincents built by Jeff Decker , Simon Mills , Big Sid Biberman etc etc . None of which takes a single iota away from the fact that this is one well done custom talking a genuinely mundane and unattractive bike and making a head turner out of it

    • is the moon made of cheese

  • Plasticadam

    Looks really good but calling it an XV750 is a bit of a misnomer – the swing arm, footrest hangers and frame spine look the same as my bike, but the rest……And this is a budget build?! My budget extends to about £1500 – don’t think we are talking the same perception of budget here!

    • Originally started out as a budget build. We did suprisingly well. Once I got bored, we turned it up a notch.

  • Artstrada Magazine

    NOICE!

  • BoxerFanatic

    Love Hageman’s work, and this is yet another great one. Even with the stock wheels and rear swing arm, it is a great custom XV. Fantastic to look at, and probably a great ride, too. The bike, I am only talking about the bike.

    • will never even be a good ride with those tires, just a posing machine

      • BoxerFanatic

        It isn’t going to win any races on them, of course, but tooling around town, or on some gentle country sweepers, at a modest pace to enjoy the sights and sounds… it is likely just fine. Tires can be changed, even if the front wheel may also need to be swapped, but for the enjoyment of a relaxing and enjoyable ride, I am sure this bike is well capable of that, even on those tires.

      • Actually rides pretty smooth and handles well. Just as smooth as any other of 50/60 bikes Ive owned…except for the Road King I once owned.Hageman isnt known for putting together trailor queens.

  • Fast2Furious

    I was just thinking the other day what takes more courage as a builder presenting your work for this lot to tear into with there unrelenting commentary or letting the Bostrom Bros take your creations out for a sound trashing on a race track. I’m still pondering that question and Doc is still creating machines that go as good as they look.

  • TH_Stokes

    Mo-jave…….

  • Jeffrey Wallis Bell-Zekas

    nice mix of classic and custom elements

  • M Usami

    Is this bike the same of this video?

    https://youtu.be/DrjrCrKwJp8

    • BoxerFanatic

      Similar, but not the same.

      The bike in the Video doesn’t have the 1100’s round case covers on the engine, doesn’t have USD forks or cast wheels, not the same seat, not the same exhaust.

      I’ve always wondered if the XV1100 style covers (on the article bike above, not on the bike in the video you posted) would make for a better looking engine, and it absolutely does. Powder coating the case and the case covers, and the cam sprocket and valve covers in an antique matte gold, with thermal emmissive black coating on both the cylinders (as shown) and the head castings and some black decor on the round case cover insets, and some CNC milled Yamaha triple-tuning-fork logos into the stator cover, the oil filter cover, and the cam pulley covers, might make for a really cool looking XV engine. Followed up by a nice long-radius curved Vincent-like exhaust system.

      • JorisJ

        I think this guy build this one himself, inspired by Hageman. they do look great!

  • Greg, Have you ever taken one of these Virago builds onto the racetrack and given it a good push? Yes, I know it’s not a superbike. Just wondering how the different stance and suspension works when turning up the volume. Looks great, just curious on the handling. Nice work as always!

    • Fast2Furious

      82 XV750 Virago the Bostrom Bros rode it like it was stolen on the race track and said it was solid. There only issue: they were able to get the rear muffler of the staggered shortys to touch.

  • Luke

    Love the brutish designs of Hageman’s bikes. This one takes that up another notch. Well done folks. I also like that he does bikes at the lower end of the custom spectrum as well so that maybe us mere mortals can acquire something with the same general stance/aesthetic. Someday…

  • Good Bikers
  • Georg Trilety

    hey, which Gastank do you use?

  • Georg Trilety

    Hey, which Gastank do you use?