Custom Yamaha R1
As part of its 100th Anniversary, Avon Motorcycle Tyres North America has built a one-of-a-kind custom motorcycle, a 2011 Yamaha YZF-R1.
The custom-built anniversary R1, which was unveiled at the 2011 Dealer Expo last month, showcases custom paint by renowned airbrush artist Carlos Avelar.
Yamaha Motorcycles just announced the new YFZ450X – the ultimate high performance tight trail sport ATV. Designed with the same power-packed engine, performance and technology of the YFZ450R, the new YFZ450X is designed to navigate tight trails with a 46-inch width, optimized suspension and other features specific to tight trail riding and racing.
The gene pool of custom motorcycle design bedazzles us. Builders are going beyond the bling to create works of art that range from minimalist to the Byzantine. In the case of Florida-based Sam Nehme, he has mixed equal parts H.R. Giger and Gianni Versace to serve up a two-wheeled cocktail that intoxicates on the first sip: Nehmesis is his most potent concoction yet.
"I’ve always been an extremist," Frenchman-turned-Floridian Christian Travert says as he swivels around in his chair and smiles. He displays 17 months of design work: 4,972 computer files with pre-production renderings of his V-Rex motorcycle. Clearly, he is extreme in his perfectionism.
With phrases such as "impending recession" and "credit crisis" in heavy rotation these days, you would be forgiven for expecting 2008 to be a year of conservative offerings in the luxury-touring market. Overall, the motorcycle industry saw sales flatten in 2007, after years of steady growth. Upon seeing the audaciously sculpted expanse of Big Bear Choppers’ new G.T.X.
"Life is a highway, I want to ride it all night long," declares Canadian rocker Tom Cochrane in his unapologetic, and timeless, anthem to windblown individualism. That spirit emanates from Windsor, Ontario’s Tough Customs, and its current contender, the succinctly christened "Tough Gun". Looking like Detroit muscle car morphed into motorbike, this one-off pro-street custom is equally unapologetic, as is the company’s founder, Rick Tomicic.
Gregg DesJardins’ life-long passion for the welder’s art was initially sparked out of frustration. As a 15-year-old boy building a hot rod with his father in the family’s garage, DesJardins’ vision for the project was thwarted by the duo’s lack of welding ability. That hindrance catalyzed within the teenager a profound determination to master the discipline. DesJardins received a wire-feed arc welder as his high school graduation present and embarked upon an autodidactic apprenticeship.
Tucked in behind the windscreen of the NCR Millona One Shot, rapidly reeling in blurring pavement on the steep banking of Fontana’s California Speedway, my peripheral vision caught the flashing red shift indicator light. Having not counted the shifts and traveling at this speed, I assumed all the available gears had been exhausted. Out of curiosity, I chopped the throttle for a millisecond and tapped the shifter. My inquisitiveness revealed that sixth gear was still virgin territory.
AFT Custom Bike
“Accomplishment is about believing in a concept and your ability to follow it through,” says Jim Giuffra, founding partner of world champion metric bike builders AFT Customs. “Credere”—its name purposely chosen from the Italian verb “to believe”—affirms that philosophy. AFT’s rendition of Honda’s respected VTX1300 cruiser embodies Giuffra’s sculptural vision and celebration of the female form.
Claudio Castiglioni’s 100
It has been said that 20 percent of all the art ever created is in Italy. The country overflows with legendary beauty. From the spellbinding Sistine Chapel to da Vinci’s The Last Supper; from Michelangelo’s David to the Leaning Tower of Pisa; Italy stirs the imagination with its timeless creations.
From an early age, Gregg DesJardins was inadvertently spoon-fed a unique customization and chrome awareness. He grew up around the creative environs of the family’s garage, in close proximity to his father’s passion for building hot rods. A wonderful metallurgical playground of rolling cut-and-chopped Detroit iron fueled young DesJardins’ fertile imagination and set the developmental gears in motion.
With Street Glide inspiration, details on this otherwise Full Dresser were changed to create an elegant bagger that belies its heft. Most obviously, the rear Tour Pak and plush Touring seat have been replaced by only a slim Badlander perch. The windshield is a minimized smoked affair, and whitewall tires are mounted on Harley-Davidson wire spoke wheels. Screamin’ Eagle pipes are throaty, without being obnoxious, and help the engine breathe more freely.
Road to Stardom
Yamaha-Star devotees are no doubt familiar with Jeff Palhegyi’s (pronounced pol-uh-jee) prolific imagination. Working with Yamaha’s product development team, Palhegyi was instrumental in the development of the Road Star, Warrior, Roadliner and Stratoliner motorcycles. In addition to his work crafting Star production bikes, Palhegyi builds customs, concept bikes, and is responsible for hundreds of the parts found in the Yamaha accessory catalog.