Firstly a design was rendered in conjunction with Oberdan Bezzi Design which took styling cues from the Yamaha FZ750, a legend in its day for both its unique engine/chassis design and its engine performance. This design is vastly different to the cruiser styling of the standard XV950, giving it the look of a sports bike but special attention was used to ensure comfort and ride-ability were not compromised. Mechanically the 950cc engine remains untouched as does the bikes electrics and it's frame. What did change though care 5 main components consisting of the fairing, tail section, handlebars, exhaust and the intake manifold.
While the XV950 'Pure Sports' fairing may lack the sharp angular lines of its influencer (the FZ750) it still oozes retro cool. Hand formed out of aluminium the single piece fairing is the most dramatic of all the custom components on this bike, complimenting the Bolts stock tank perfectly. Sitting high on the front forks the fairing transforms the XV950 from cruiser to sports bike and has been attached using all pre-existing mounting points. Tucked in behind the fairing are a set of low slung clip on bars to further add to the sports bike look and to position the rider for a much more aggressive riding style.
The aluminium tail end is again designed to reposition the rider for a sportier ride without sacrificing comfort. Remembering that the footpegs are still the stock factory items it was important to not create an awkward seating position. All up the new rear section and leather wrapped saddle add another 120mm of seating position height. Amazingly again the whole tail section uses existing mounting points to secure it in place.
The bulky, plastic, stock air cleaner was stripped away to expose more of the XV950's sexy v-twin engine. In it's place a cast alloy velocity style cover has been added increasing airflow (although I'd probably like a bit more filtering) into the fuel injection system. This addition combined with the exhaust would have necessitated remapping the ECU, unfortunately there's no mention on the press release of how this was done or what performance improvements it has yielded.
The entire approach to the build of the 'Pure Sports' XV950 would suggest to me that Yamaha gave LowRide a similar brief to the other Yardbuilt builders; which I suspect is to create a bike using parts that could be reproduced for resale and easily attached by budding home builders. Yamaha has shown that it wants to give its customers the option of customising their bikes (check out the SR400 Gibbonslap website) and it is in my opinion a breath of fresh air. While Yamaha do sell bolt on parts for their Bolt (allow myself to introduce myself?) they lack the level of creativity that most custom builders apply. If Yamaha continue to partner with builders like LowRide, the Wrenchmonkees and Roland Sands Yamaha owners are going to be spoilt for options when the time comes to add a bit of custom flair to their new ride.
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Head over to 100mph.com.au