Motorcycle News - Space Explorer: Lucky Cat Garage’s sci-fi Yamaha XV950R
These days, Sonicon Rockets are hard to find, and a good one is worth up to a thousand dollars. They’re also icons of Japanese style, and caught the imagination of Frenchman Séb Lorentz and his partner Laurence, who run Lucky Cat Garage.
The bike is a Yard Built commission from Yamaha Motor Europe, it’s called Space Explorer, and it’s one of the most original customs we’ve seen for a long time.
Yamaha makes a little-known lowering kit for the XV950R, so that was the first change. A pair of short, adjustable preload shocks and progressive fork springs drops the ride height by an inch without compromising dynamics too much.
At the front, the lowered forks have been smoothed out with modified stainless covers originally designed for the Yamaha XVS. Lucky Cat have also machined a new upper triple tree and slotted in a new steel front fender from Custom Chrome to accentuate the vintage vibe.
So far, so good. But it’s at the back where the heavy lifting is going on. The tail of this XV950R is sporting sleek panniers and a long, slim fender, all mounted using custom brackets.
The ‘Bel Air’ cast and polished aluminum LED lights were supplied by Motone Customs and mounted in 1960s kustom car tradition.
RFID keys have been integrated into a matching Shoei JO Helmet and REV’IT! jacket for ultra convenient operation, but the ignition can also be switched on via the m.ride app on the rider’s smartphone.
The front master cylinder is cable operated, and placed under the fuel tank between the two cylinder heads. The chunky grips are new old stock Gran Turismos, in grey metalflake.
The one-off exhaust is a work of art, with polished stainless steel headers flowing beautifully into a pair of DNA mufflers tucked under the panniers.
Above is a vintage-style single seat—made with the help of Sellerie Harley Grove in Normandy. But the crowning glory is the paint and decal work, the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
The top of the panniers, the fuel tank and the bikini fairing are all decorated with neat 1960s sci-fi style touches—bold, graphic and strangely endearing.
It’s a fresh and super-creative approach to customising, and doesn’t even compromise the laid-back dynamics of Yamaha’s entry-level cruiser.
Hats off to Séb and Laurence for coming up with something truly original—and now please excuse us while we disappear down the rabbit hole of internet research into vintage Japanese toys.
Luck Cat Garage Facebook | Instagram | Yamaha Yard Built | Images by Yann Deret Photographe
via Bike EXIF http://www.bikeexif.com
June 11, 2018 at 12:06PM
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