Written by Ian Lee.
Sometimes a bike appears in our inbox that is hard to write a post on. It’s not so much the bike is built in bad taste, or lacks description from the builder, it’s because the damn thing has so many features it can be hard to know where to start. Today’s bike falls into this category, it is a cacophony of build aspects, all vying for attention at the same time. Coming out of the Rusty Bolt Garage in Santa Fe, this Yamaha RD400 has been built with everything “either upgraded, replaced, or repaired on this baby.” And what a beautiful baby it is.
In the cuisine game they call it a fusion. In music it’s known as a mash-up. And in biology it’s a hybrid. Put simply, it’s when you take two different things and make something new, unexpected and original. Now take that thought and consider today’s builder, one Sasaki-san of Brooklyn’s Keino Cycles. He’s bringing the Japanese obsession with craft and dedication to America, the birthplace of cool. So let’s meet the latest result of this grand cultural collision – it’s an unexpected take on a Yamaha XJR1300 created for the company’s “Yard Built Specials” project, entitled ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.
Written by Ian Lee.
Crocker motorcycles are something else. The styling is amazing, while still having an air of functionality about them. The main problem you will find with these bikes is the rarity, which in turn boosts the price beyond the reach of mere mortals. Those lines though, that is the look you want, so how do you get it? Utopian Customs have come up with an answer, producing their own homage to the Crocker marque, using a 1979 Yamaha and their ingenuity to bring this speedway bike to life. Which in turn is something else in itself.
Written Ian Lee.
As I sit here in the feeble warmth of the sun in this southern hemispheric winter, I sometimes drift away and like to imagine I am somewhere exotic. Rio maybe, where the closer you get to being naked the better. I’m talking about the local custom bikes though. Today’s feature bike comes from São Paulo, stripped bare and proud of it. Built by Motorscompany, this Yamaha RD350LC was raised from the dead, and given numerous transplants in order to gain life again. From dead stock to sports custom, the little oil burner has had mucho work done, and the results speak for themselves.
Written by Martin Hodgson.
As the 2-stroke era of road bikes began to come to an end as the 1970’s excess collided with the red tape of the 80’s, most manufacturers let the smoke filled air slowly disappear. Honda had long since had the CB range, the triples of Kawasaki and GT Suzuki’s it had been confirmed would be no more. But Yamaha wanted one final shot at refining its wild RD range and the 400 model would be the perfect salute to reed valve filled delirium. So when decades on, the owner of this ride saw what MotoHangar of Virginia had created with their “Best in Show” 2-stroke, The Honduki, he knew exactly where to turn.
Once in a while, the eyes of even the hardest of hardcore custom bikers wander. Sure, old custom bikes are the duck’s nuts – but what if one were to loose all sense of rhyme and/or reason and buy a brand new Japanese bike? Maybe one to keep in the garage next to the antique Far East classics you currently have. Have you ever felt the urge? We have. And guess what? There’s actually isn’t that much on offer. With the notable exception of the just re-released Yamaha SRs and the Honda CB1100, you’re pretty much up Soichiro Creek if you actually want something that looks half decent without a heap of work. Until now, that is. Japanophiles – meet your factory custom bike saviour. His name is Greg Hageman, and this is his rather masterful tilt at a 2014 Yamaha Bolt, factory warranty and all.
It’s a fantasy that every road bike owner must have had at some time in their lives. ‘What if I could build a bike that was invisible to radar?’ The thought of those charming boys in ‘law enforcement’ totally unable to get a reading on you as you glide through your favourite set of corners. And not at a speed calculated to be ‘safe’ for everyone from the tanker truck full of petrol to the little old lady with failing eyesight, but instead at speed that perfectly suits your skills, the bike’s performance and the conditions of the day. It’s what the afterlife must be like. The afterlife and whatever inspired the owner of this beautiful Yamaha to brief her builders, Portugal’s It roCkS!bikes, to turn his stock XJR into the two-wheeled equivalent of a Stealth Fighter you see here.
In nature, metamorphosis is a process where by a creature will undergo an abrupt and rather startling transformation. During this process, it expends a whole bunch of energy in a rather short period of time. Tadpoles become frogs. Caterpillars become butterflies. And nymph cicadas become, erm, bigger cicadas. Now you could argue that in the custom bike world, just about any restoration is a metamorphosis of sorts. But you’d be wrong. Because if you think that your new seat and fresh rubber has transformed your bike, think again. There is nothing in the bike world that matches the frog-to-prince change you see when an old Virago sheds its faux-Harley skin and becomes a bike like this. And no-one does Viragos like Greg Hageman Motorcycles, aka Docs Chops.
God, I have always thought, probably rides a motorcycle. Whatever the ‘G’ word may mean to you, you’ve got to admit that it’s not a hard thing to imagine your higher being of choice tearing across the sky with a celestial version of your dream bike. And for us mortals, it’s not that hard to imagine that what you experience while on a motorbike at speed is probably a more than fair approximation of life as a deity. Which brings us to Moto Adonis from the Netherlands and their purpose in life; summoning fresh spirits from bikes that have long since gone to their greater reward. Here’s their latest build, a resurrected Yamaha XV1100.
Written by Martin Hodgson
The phrase second time lucky tends to suggest that the first time around didn’t go as planned. For Sander Ziugov of Volure Cycles and his Yamaha XS400 all was looking perfect when he converted his stock red Yamaha into a stunning grey on black café racer. So good in fact it was featured on Pipeburn, until a misadventure saw the bike tumbling down the road.