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.
As a card-carrying member of the XV750 owner’s club, I’m always on the lookout for sweet examples of the species to share with you, our beloved readers. And if there’s one place on this planet that I’m almost certainly going to find the best examples of these fine creatures, it’s the sunny wetlands of Tampa, Florida. Specifically, they seem to congregate in large numbers around the workshop of one Greg Hageman, a.k.a ‘Doc’s Chops’. This breeder of beautiful bikes has just landed 1st place in the Yamaha Bolt build-off, but never one to stay in a place for long, he’s now back in his Florida nest. And just look at what he’s hatched up now…
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Doc’s Chops is a household name in some parts, especially if the parts you are talking about are located within the borders of the glorious Custom Yamaha Land. There he’s pretty much the undisputed ruler, save for the odd incursion by John Ryland and his band of merry metal men. DC’s army of work on Yamaha‘s XV750 has been victorious to say the least and now Greg Hageman, the man behind the brand, has turned his golden hands to something decidedly non-XV. In a build-off organised by Yamaha America, Greg’s now in battle with nine other shops to see who can take a 2014 Star Bolt and make her the fairest in the land.
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