Nostalgia is a powerful thing. For seasoned motorcyclists, nostalgia can quickly become an obsession. A chance sighting of a beloved motorcycle from your past, or perhaps something as innocent as a conversation with another rider can quickly result in you trawling the classifieds for a new project.
Marcel Galuszka of Blackout Customs in the Czech Republic saw first-hand how quickly this can happen. After an offhand conversation one night at his workshop, a good friend soon had him building a bike that neither of them expected to turn out quite so special.
“About 20 years ago, my friend Patrik owned a Yamaha Fazer 600. Last year he came to my workshop and we somehow started talking quite a bit about that bike and the possibility of building a custom one,” Marcel recalls. “Within a few days we found, bought and delivered a 2000 Yamaha Fazer to the workshop.”
With the bike sitting in Blackout Customs HQ Marcel and Patrick sat down once again to discuss the direction they’d take. Marcel’s vision was to convert the Fazer into a stripped-back modern cafe racer with a riding position suitable for longer hauls. As for Patrik, his only request was to keep it within the constraints of his budget – a request all custom bike builders are used to hearing. Unfazed by Patrik’s request Marcel accepted the challenge.
At a touch over two decades old, Patrik’s Fazer project was looking a little worse for wear. To make matters worse the bike had been left out in the elements for some time and denied a proper service for just as long. Thankfully the bike fired up and ran smooth, but it was clear the Yamaha would need some special care to bring it up to spec.
As it turned, out this project kicked off during the time Marcel was finishing up his Marc Ellus BMW K100RT project. So naturally, he applied some of the same approach and his learnings from that build to the Fazer. In terms of styling, the biggest similarities between the 2 bikes can be seen in the Fazer’s front end and subframe.
After removing the Fazer’s angular half fairing Marcel installed the same classically styled LED headlamp he utilised on his BMW K100RT. He took the same approach with the Fazer’s handlebar setup. The wide TRW Tracker style bars ensure a comfortable riding position while the underslung bar end mirrors keep the bike’s profile low. As for the subframe, that took a little more finessing.
“The most important thing for me was to lighten the entire rear. This required a bit of playing because I wanted to preserve the integrity of the original frame as much as possible,” says Marcel. His redesign necessitated the removal of the frame rails that support the Fazer’s stock tail unit. After smoothing the remaining tubes he added a round tail hoop with the tail light integrated into it. To keep things looking clean he then relocated the license plate to the swingarm and installed a set of inconspicuous hi-intensity LED indicators.
Happy with how the bikes new look was shaping up Marcel diverted his attention to its performance. High on his list of priorities was dealing with the Yamaha’s lack of servicing starting with the brakes.
“The brakes and discs were really in a catastrophic and dangerous condition,” he says. “So by the owner’s decision, a whole new set of floating discs, including new pads, was installed.”
Other essential repairs and service duties included replacing all of the seals on the cooling system, cleaning out the gummed up carbs, installing new plugs and filling the engine with all fresh fluids. He also paid attention to the appearance of the engine by repairing the cracked covers and rejuvenating the paintwork.
While the wheels were off getting fresh rubber Marcel also treated the forks to a rebuild.
With the bike starting to take shape again a handful of accessories were picked out to complete its transformation. For a cleaner cockpit, Marcel relocated the ignition to sit beneath the right side of the tank. A white-faced Acewell tacho was then given pride of place atop the yoke and retro Biltwell grips fitted to the bars. The wasp tail style saddle is a custom made item finished in black leather and Marcel opted for a blacked-out muffler and black pipe wrap to finish off the exhaust.
As for the colour scheme, Patrik wanted clean and classic. Marcel has obliged with a timeless black and white combination. To add a personal touch the white paint is a special pearlescent mix which needs to be seen in the flesh to be truly appreciated.
Marcel reports that Patrik is very happy with the result. The bike rides great and is very easy to control thanks to the revised riding position and capable brake assembly. Best of all Patrik says every ride of his custom Yamaha Fazer 600 results in a big smile on his face.
After seeing his latest build it appears Marcel is developing a style for his Blackout Customs workshop and it’s a look we wholeheartedly approve of.