I’ve been passionate about motorcycles for many years, and I like to sketch designs in my free time. A couple of my 3D designs are viewable in earlier posts.
The Yamaha XS650 (originally made from 1970-1985) is a popular base for cafe racer and bobber conversions. The main appeal is the 650cc parallel-twin engine, which has the seemingly contradictory properties of being both tall and narrow while still looking bulky, with a unique, curvy, cylinder head cover.
Little remains of the original in my design, though I have preserved much of the original tank. The frame is largely unchanged, though with a new subframe welded on, and a front end borrowed from a BMW R nineT, giving the bike a front-heavy look. I’m always conscious of keeping a low seat height, so the seat swoops down lower than you’d find in a typical cafe racer conversion.
The new Honda Rebel is marketed as a beginner bike, which appeals to me (as I’m a beginner myself), and it also has a very low 69cm seat height (good for short riders like me). It’s not an expensive bike, one of the reasons it’s so popular in southeast Asia, but consequently some elements look a bit cheap and it’s generally pretty wimpy looking. My custom design fixes these issues and makes the bike look more modern and mature. It’s more or less a full redesign, with very few original components carried over. Changes include:
New swingarm with monoshock conversion
Upside down fork and decreased rake
New rear fender which amplifies the bobber aspect
Reupholstered seat with slightly increased seat height
Moto Guzzi V9
Moto Guzzi motorcycles have always been known for their transversely mounted V-twin engines, as well as their Italian styling. Their recent V9 is a bit of a disappointment, though, with awkward proportions and an odd lopsided stance. The Eldorado, on the other hand, is a beautiful machine which harks back to the early 70’s original. The problem is that it’s huge, weighing over 300kg. I wanted to design a bike combining the modest size of the V9 with the styling of the Eldorado, something that would appeal to older Guzzi fans such as my father.