Cyberpunk inspired From the Honda scooter to the mind-blowing Yamaha R1 cafe racer, we have a little something for everyone this week. In other news: A Yamaha RZ350 goes up for auction, a late Jessi Combs launches documentary and a few bike enthusiasts unbox a 40-year-old Yamaha for the first time.
Honda Spacy 110 by Rainbow Moto Builder It’s no secret that we have a thing for custom scooters, which is why you’ll see them regularly on these pages. But as much as we like to cast a wide net, we’ve never seen anything like it.
It’s true: beneath the body of this sci-fi-inspired machine is a scooter. Specifically, a modest 2012 model Honda Spacy 110.
In stock form, it’s just another commuter scooter with generic looks, designed to do little more than just get from A to B. But Rainbow Moto Builder in Indonesia saw the potential for more.
Taking inspiration from the Cyberpunk video game series, the crew wrapped the Spacy in a full set of hand-crafted sheet metal body panels. It’s covered head-to-toe with neat little touches, including a plethora of vents and an array of fasteners that, from a distance, mimic the rivets on aircraft bodies.
Up front are two ultra-bright LED headlights, inspired by the titular character from the animated movie WALL-E. Just behind these, the cutouts give way to a set of clips, outfitted with goodies from RCB and Rizoma. The ignition is to the left of the main fairing, with an improved speedometer integrated above the tank cover.
There’s a surprising amount of detail for such a lowly donor bike. The rear section features an integrated LED taillight, as well as a hood that can be removed to accommodate a passenger. Further down are the rear assemblies and upgraded passenger footpegs.
Rainbow Moto Builder also increased the engine capacity to 135cc and installed an aftermarket exhaust. The Spacy also rolls on new wheels, but they are wider than stock, so the team had to work their magic on the forks and swingarm.
It’s a wild version of a scooter, but we’re all for it. And it’s not the first time Rainbow Moto Builder has done something this over the top – scroll through their Instagram feed and you’ll spot a few more motorcycles that look like they’ve come straight out of an animated sci-fi movie. [Rainbow Moto Builder Instagram]
Yamaha R1 by Robert Catanese and FrameCrafters Some guys are happy to stick a tail bump and clips on an old Honda CB and call it a cafe racer. But not Robert Catanese. His idea of a cafe racer is something that combines modern performance with vintage panache, like a reconditioned Yamaha R1 in a completely bespoke chassis.
Based in Chicago, Rob is a huge fan of motorcycle racing and custom motorcycle culture. He also has some pretty nasty contacts, like the father and son team at FrameCrafters in Union, Illinois. This project therefore never went to anything other than the extreme.
Rob’s project started completely analog; a sketch on a napkin done over a beer with a friend. Armed with this sketch and a near-perfect 2012 Yamaha R1 donor, Rob headed over to FrameCrafters to spec out the rest of the build. In the end, the engine, ECU and a few key “geopoints” from the R1 were all that was left.
The 182hp four-cylinder engine now sits (as a stressed member) in a bespoke chromoly frame. It’s not just gorgeous, either – Rob has an aggressive riding style, so the chassis was designed to deal with that. The swingarm is also a hand-built chromoly unit, and everything has been nickel-plated in a nod to older Rickman frames.
FrameCrafters then adapted a replica Ducati 750SS fairing and tail to fit the bike, matched with a hand-built aluminum fuel tank. An alloy air intake hides underneath.
Continuing the performance theme, Rob threw a long list of exotic parts at the build. It rolls on carbon fiber wheels from BST and stops thanks to Beringer brake calipers and Brake Tech rotors. Other upgrades include Attack Performance inserts, an Öhlins rear shock, Vortex GP-style foot controls and a bunch of Lightech and Motogadget end caps.
Rob also installed a custom titanium exhaust and had the bike chipped and tuned. It now weighs 50 pounds less than a stock R1 and produces around 200 hp.
Even better, he rode the whole time. [Source]
For sale: 1985 Yamaha RZ350 If you prefer classic performance motorcycles to cafe racers, the folks at Iconic Motorbike Auctions have a treat for you. They are currently auctioning off a 1985 Yamaha RZ350.
Sure, the RZ350 is the most iconic two-stroke Yamaha has ever made, but it’s still special in its own right. For starters, it was one of the last two-strokes built by Yamaha, before tighter emissions requirements started to choke the market. The RZ350 did it by the skin of its teeth, thanks in part to the fact that it featured one of the industry’s first catalytic converter-equipped exhaust systems.
It was also a looker, according to Cycle World, which put it on its cover in July 1984 and rated it a “perfect 10 on the fun scale”.
Yamaha marketed the motorcycle in the United States based on the reliable “win Sunday, sell Monday” sales model. Thus, the US-market RZ350 wore a yellow “speedblock” livery, with Kenny Roberts’ signature on the fairing.
The example for sale here has 7,859 miles on the odometer and is mostly in stock. The only obvious changes are an Allspeed exhaust, braided pipes and new grips.
The Iconic team did review the bike and note that although the tires are fine, the fluids are fresh and the electrics are working, there is a carburetor leak that will need to be sorted. The bike also comes with a handful of spares and a new battery has been installed.
Judging by the close-up photos on their listing, the Yamaha could use a solid cosmetic cleaning as well. But if you have some cash to burn and can jump on it before the auction ends in three days, this might just be the perfect little winter project. [More]
The fastest woman in the world Known as ‘the fastest woman on four wheels’, Jessi Combs tragically died in 2019 while attempting to set the women’s land speed record in a jet car. Prior to the fatal accident, she recorded a speed of 522.783 mph [841.338 km/h]— breaking a record that has stood since 1976.
Airing now on HBO Max, “The World’s Fastest Woman” is a documentary that chronicles Jessi’s seven-year quest to break that record and reflects on her extraordinary life. And his life was truly extraordinary.
Born in South Dakota and obsessed with speed from a young age, there’s almost nothing Jessi hasn’t done while here. She was an accomplished runner, fabricator, artist, photographer and television personality. And although most of her accomplishments happened on four wheels, she was deeply rooted – and hugely beloved – in the motorcycle scene.
She lived her life at full speed and even now still inspires others to do the same. [Image source: The Jessi Combs Foundation]
Unboxing a new 40 year old Yamaha SR500 Not too long ago our friends at Silodrome reported a brand new crated Yamaha SR500 that was up for sale. This bike was actually one of two, originally bought by a gentleman back when a manufacturer still let you assemble your own bike. His intention was for him and his son to ride motorcycles together on matching bikes, but they never did and the bikes held their own.
One of them was recently bought by the guys behind the YouTube channel, Beards and Bikes. Once they got it in their hands, they did what many of us would secretly love to do, but might not have the guts to do: they unboxed it, assembled it, and started it. In the process, they had to deal with everything from mouse droppings to a missing set of keys.
Pour yourself a drink, relax and have fun below.
#Quick #Read #October