2014 Yamaha Bolt

What was your intended objective when you started the build?

After riding a few 2-3 hours stints I realized a huge pinch between my shoulders, and my lower back was aching severely every time. I realized that this riding position must have become prohibitive, just like a cruiser rider has trouble on a sport bike.

What motivated you to start your project?

My kids liked it. Really, if they didn’t like it I never would have looked at it twice. Though I had no intention of buying a bike that day and I had never even considered buying a cruiser, my oldest was with me, and was gushing over it. I was very confused, but in jest sent a picture to the other kids and they got all excited. So I figured what the heck, it’s the price of a used sportbike, and I’m gettin’ older.

What was the most unique and creative thing you did to the bike?

In the first mod, I cleaned up the tail, altered the geometry, and changed ergonomics & only spent $54 for a test pair of shocks.

What are you most proud of?

I suppose I’m most proud of maintaining a sort of “factory” appearance. I feel I have altered the appearance and handling dramatically without making it look too “worked over.” Also the departure of escaping my decades long focus on super sport styling for a more conventional outcome. The cafe version of this bike had not come out before I was committed to the changes. I did choose to use as many factory parts as I found attractive which is also quite different from my usual approach. Making a modern cruiser into a retro-cafe while manufacturers were doing the same made me feel in competition with the manufacturers and not other garage monkeys. This build was way different than I had done since I was a broke kid in the eighties making cafe bikes out of CL and CB350s.

What do other people say about your motorcycle?

I’ve spent $30,000 building an insane RC51, and only super-enthusiasts (and a couple police) gave any love. But this one, I can go anywhere on it, people love it. Only my gracefully but radically altered ZX-7r drew as much attention until this bike. Not sure what they say, just a lot of “wow”, “nice” and “I don’t usually like this kind of bike.”

 

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