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Yamaha


CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’: Yamaha TW125 by ND Motociclette

Posted on March 9, 2020 by Scott in Desert Sled. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

If you hang around a custom bike shop long enough to sit through a morning tea break or after hours for a beer, then you’ll hear all sorts of crazy ideas get thrown around. Most are mere fantasies about things nobody within a stone’s throw has the budget to pull off, but every now and then a little slice of genius or something that would be a hoot enters the conversation. A regular customer of Italy’s Nico Dragoni Motociclette was in the workshop when the topic of his little beach basher, a Yamaha TW125, came up. The idea was to turn it into a tribute to the Californian custom culture, and the light-hearted banter turned into one hell of a cool little build.

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EDGE OF YOUR SEAT: Yamaha XV920 Virago by 485 Designs

Posted on February 26, 2020 by Scott in Bobber, Brat, Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Tim Huber.

Over the last few years Yamaha’s venerable Virago has become an increasingly popular platform for customization, trumped by the likes of the CX500, CB750, and Dominator. And while it’s difficult to pin-down the first shop to treat the Japanese V-Twin to a bob-job, Colorado’s 485 Designs has undeniably played a pivotal role in demonstrating the merits of the XV. In fact, to say 485 specializes in Virago builds would be one hell of an understatement, with the two-man operation’s portfolio brimming with all manner of stellar bobbed Virago builds including turbocharged examples and specimens sporting single-sided swing-arms, just to name a few. 

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STROKE OF GENIUS: Yamaha RD350 by Jake Shellito

Posted on February 19, 2020 by Scott in Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Tim Huber.

While it’s not his first custom two-wheeler, Jake Shellito’s entire bike building career had been leading up to this candy red Yamaha project. The result of a mild fascination and curiosity that later became a near-obsession, this two-stroke build can be traced back to Jake’s first-ever build — more specifically; an RD tank. 

“I first learned about Yamaha’s RD line after I bought a ’75 RD250 gas tank with an awesome paint scheme at a salvage yard. While researching that paint scheme, I started learning about the RD350 — or ‘Giant Killer’ — and I just had to have one. And about a year later in 2015, I found one,” explains the Colorado-based builder.

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FIGHTING SPIRIT: Yamaha XV750 by Beekhof Motorcycle Builds

Posted on February 14, 2020 by Scott in Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Tim Huber.

Building custom motorcycles allows for an immense amount of creativity and self-expression, though with so many new builds appearing each week, it’s become increasingly difficult to produce something that’s truly unique, thereby greatly mitigating the individuality aspect. When a concept has been employed by countless customs shops, the style becomes less representative of the builder and their tastes and preferences, and is hard to view as anything other than just more of the same. And it was this desire to create something thoroughly different that served as the core ethos behind the latest two-wheeled work from the Netherland’s Beekhof Motorcycle Builds.

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CLASSICALLY TRAINED: ‘The Deuce’ Yamaha RD350 by James Berreau

Posted on February 6, 2020 by Scott in Café Racer, Classic. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

It’s easy to look at big workshops full of the latest tools and be envious, imagining if only you had them at your disposal. But as MacGyver showed us on TV, if you really know what you’re doing you can save the world a thousand times over with just a Swiss Army knife and some miscellaneous objects. Working out of his garage in Minneapolis, James Berreau brings that sort of attitude to the custom bike building game. With just his second build he’s whipped up this stunning 1974 Yamaha RD350 nicknamed ‘The Deuce’ that is oozing classic cool.

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CREAM OF THE CROP: Yamaha XT550 by Zombie Gelato

Posted on January 18, 2020 by Scott in Adventure, Classic, Tracker. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

Wherever in the world you go, it’s not long before you find a kindred spirit who shares a love for motorcycles; it’s a truly universal language. But while that passion burns deep across the globe, nowhere is it so heavily ingrained in the national psyche than in the home of road racing, Northern Ireland. So it should come as no surprise that Chris Martin of Belfast got his first bike from his Granny when he was just a wee boy, went to the races with his Dad and now has turned his attention to hand shaping metal and building custom creations. His latest, a Yamaha XT550 will hoon up any hill, haul along on any highway and looks mega doing it.

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DEVIL IS IN THE DETAIL: Yamaha XV750 by Purpose Built Moto

Posted on November 28, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

They say the devil is in the detail, and it is this aspect that separates the best from the rest amongst the thousands of custom bikes built every year. The ability to incorporate form and function into every aspect of a bike and yet still stay true to a cohesive design is rare. It’s here that Tom Gilroy shines and combined with his customer friendly approach has lifted him to the upper echelons of Australian bike building. Now the Purpose Built Moto head honcho is leaving 2019 the way he started, with a flurry of exceptional builds rolling out of his workshop, and his latest is this stunning Yamaha XV750.

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TURKISH DELIGHT: Yamaha Yard Built XSR900 ‘Chimera’ by Bunker Customs

Posted on October 10, 2019 by Scott in Tracker. No Comments

Written by Tim Huber.

Created by Bruce Lee in the mid-to-late 1960s, Jeet Kune Do is a philosophy and form of martial arts that places immense importance on the development of one’s spirit and skills, while the combat aspect puts a major emphasis on adaptability, fluidity, and inflicting maximum damage through minimal effort. Mert and Can Uzer, the brothers behind Istanbul’s Bunker Customs, have very much applied Lee’s teachings and philosophy to their latest Yamaha Yard Built build — entitled “Chimera” – honing their skills in order to painstakingly develop a motorcycle design that offers a hugely transformative impact through minimal modification.

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THE ULTIMATE TRIBUTE: Yamaha TR1 by Alec Birkbeck

Posted on October 3, 2019 by Scott in Café Racer. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson.

Tributes can take on many forms, the words offered at a funeral or a photo that lives on the wall. But there are others whose lives demand so much more, having lived the maxim, ‘Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.’ Having walked in his older brother’s influential shadow, often just making the tea that fuelled both stories and bike builds, Alec Birkbeck knew his ultimate eulogy had to be forged in steel. With guidance from above and a desire to live up to his brother’s natural gift, it’s a stunning Yamaha TR1 just for Kevin.

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DOUBLE DUTCH: Yamaha XT600 by Pancake Customs

Posted on September 26, 2019 by Scott in Desert Sled. No Comments

Written by Martin Hodgson

It’s long been said that travel broadens the mind and there is nothing like a trip to the Sahara desert to teach a great many lessons. It was there a few years ago amongst the enormous and unforgiving sand dunes that custom bike builder Boy Janssen found a new respect for the humble Yamaha XT. But back home in the Netherlands, he discovered they could be tuned to be just as good on the street and he’s been turning them out for clients ever since. Now the head honcho of Pancake Customs serves up a two-piece combo with matching Yamaha XT600e Desert Sleds that make the perfect pigeon pair.

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