Yamaha XV950 "Playa del Rey" by Matt Black Custom Designs

Sometimes it's fun to read an English Google translation of a Spanish or Italian bike review. Try this one and I bet you won't miss a thing...

The second stage of The Bike Shed , held in London last weekend, showed off a second special part of the project Yard Built Yamaha. After the XJR Dissident of "It rocks! bikes" , it was the turn of this quote the tracker board of the twenties of the twentieth century, built around the Yamaha XV950 from team customizer that are based in Malaga and that lie behind the signing Matt Black Custom Designs .

The reference to motorcycle racing on oval, wooden flooring, it is clear and, indeed, pointed out in every detail. Anthony Partridge has transferred his talents on the metal, building by hand the tank and other parts demanding; chief engineer Kurt Lohse used his genius to an electrical system beautiful and functional. The project manager Dom Kelly has used its skills in 3D design to create the idea on the screen before it was produced each component, and was responsible for the machining of parts. There's Yard Built without a memorable painting, and special Matt Black is no exception. The Wizard of liveries Ray Hill gave the final touch with a beautiful graphics, it features an intricate pattern of threads, and has contributed to the work of finalizing the bike.

"Inspired by the world bobber - says Shun Miyazawa , product manager Yamaha - the XV950 is a fun bike to ride through gritty twin V. The design is timeless and pays tribute to the most beautiful bobber, with the addition of components for advanced best performance and reliability of reference. The combination of old and new is a distinctive feature of the previous works of Matt Black. Therefore we thought they were the right people to deal with the last project Built Yard, and the result has proved fantastic. There's all the fun of the original model, but have managed to prove that, starting from the base, you can easily get something extraordinary, a perfect blend of vintage and modern, without compromising driveability. "

A Matt Black Custom Design have produced a number of parts billet billet. The list includes wheels 21 inches, the rear pulley with cush drive system, the structure of the lid in plexiglass for the tappets, engine cover on the left side and the battery cover on the right. Even the little cover on the left and the cover for the front pulley are derived from solid and was also made ​​an adapter to mount an air filter Crime Scene Choppers. The tank handmade, covers for electrical system and battery, and the rear wing are all made ​​in house. The collectors of series flow into a conduit made ​​to measure which terminates in a silencer MIVV Ghibli amended. The battery box is hidden inside the handle and also has been changed. The work of The Matt Black also includes adapters for the platforms, the paracorona and the electrical system modified.

Following the idea that the Yard Built may be made ​​in his garage, the project Playa del Rey is complemented by a range of accessories after market. The springer fork is a masterpiece of Rebuffini , slightly modified by Matt Black Custom, while the dampers are Ohlins . The fuel cap has been made ​​by Crafty B in the US, while the cover of the rocker was engraved by Tony The Engraver . The lighthouse and knobs Vitys add a touch of oomph, balanced by the minimalism of the mini controls and switches Rebuffini cases. Also participates Rhizome with arrows Bullet and platforms, while the speedometer dial with Motogadget is the focus of the scene. Brake horsepower increases with front calipers PM , and the riser set LA Choppers is in full West Coast.

To change your XV950 and find out what's available, simply click on the site Matt Black and take a look for yourself.

If you want to read more on this retro-modern-board-tracker, go to or click on any of these pics and check out all the amazing Matt Black Design builds!

Chris Tschiffely and DESIGNS IN COLD STEEL

Chris Tschiffely describes the creation he hopes will launch DESIGNS IN COLD STEEL into a succesful bobber/special motorcycle business. Heres' hoping Chris and partners succeed!

"The bike started out as a $300 1982 Yamaha Maxim 650, or XJ 650. We originally bought it with the intention of making it a mildly bobbed and chopped daily commuter bike for me, simply a different seat, handlebars and head and tail lights were planned. We never intended to invest too much time or money in it..

So, out came the tools to strip down the body pieces, seat, and electrics enough to chop the rear tail section. After I saw the back end shorter and lighter, I really began to dislike the looks of the stock, tear drop gas tank and after encountering a bird's nest of wires in the headlight, something had to be done to lighten the look of the front end.

We just happen to have picked up this really sweet Moto Guzzi gas tank at a local salvage yard for 60 bucks about a year before. It was rust and dent free but was with out a gas cap. I knew this tank would look awesome and would fit the mental sketch I had drawn, however due to the triple tube backbone of the stock frame, this awesome little cafe tank wouldn't work without some considerable frame work. So after converting the backbone to a larger diameter single tube, and connecting it to the front down tubes for reinforcement, the tank bolted up with its new mounting tabs."

"We just happen to have picked up this really sweet Moto Guzzi gas tank at a local salvage yard for 60 bucks about a year before. It was rust and dent free but was with out a gas cap. I knew this tank would look awesome and would fit the mental sketch I had drawn, however due to the triple tube backbone of the stock frame, this awesome little cafe tank wouldn't work without some considerable frame work. So after converting the backbone to a larger diameter single tube, and connecting it to the front down tubes for reinforcement, the tank bolted up with its new mounting tabs."

The next step was to get rid of the ridiculous stock turn back handlebars, so we chopped them up and made our own clubman style bars to fit the factory top mounts. We ended up using a brake lever/master cylinder and clutch lever off of a mid 90's GSXR, and the new twist throttle from a Honda CR 125 MX bike. This gave us the clean, bare bones look we were after.

As each my ideas were slowly coming to form exactly what I had envisioned, I could see that the project was really straying from the original quick chop idea.. I didn't want to hold back anymore.. So mock-up and fabrication of the rear fender, seat and tail light followed..

This is when the bike really began to take shape and many new parts including rear shocks, front fork seals, engine gaskets, exhaust system, tires, air filters and jets were ordered.. At the time, my brother Josh was working at a machine shop, and off the clock he was working on many one-off pieces such as the very unique billet gas cap, starter button, frame tube plug, foot peg mounts and bolts, a really slick license plate bracket.

I created a custom wiring harness to slim down the look, and hid the battery, starter relay, and fuse panel inside our own custom oil tank look alike. This was definitely the least enjoyable part of the entire project.

"I knew from the beginning I wanted a paint job that mixed styles, era's and emotions. I really wanted a Hot Rod on 2 wheels, so I chose a Porsche red as the primary color, with a pearl white and my dads custom mixed gold/titanium color as an accent..

After assembly the bike fired up on the first try (with rebuilt carbs), and after some basic hand carb tuning (no vacuum sync guage for me) it ran like a bat outta hell. The sound coming out of the 650cc 4 cylinder was absolutely heavenly..

We couldn't have been more pleased with the way the bike turned out, and after a few car shows with it, we now have 1 customer bike in the works with high aspirations for more.."

Wow! Greg Prouty has created a visual feast here. Nothing has been left to chance. Really, the only thing left of the 650 Yamaha looks to be the motor, maybe the forks, and ummmm...well, that looks to be it! That's all I got.

This seriously pro Yamaha XS650 bobber has it all! Huge tires front and back, old English Brooklands Speedway style pipes, classic lightweight headlight and bobbed back fender, velocity stacks, and on and on.


The dominant feature of this Yamaha SR400 bobber is the focus on the front and back wheel/tire combo. It's a nice visual balance as the same sizes are used at each end. Cafe Yamaha 400's and 650's often use this set-up but the blacked out wheels and big heavily grooved tires are a stand-out.

Nicely done back-end and classic tiny headlight round out this solid bobber.

A talented fellow named Lang has created this 1977 Yamaha xs650 bobber he's given the moniker "Emma".

I found this brawny beauty on, a great place to check out bobbers and choppers and the stories behind them.

Lang describes Emma and the build;

"Funded by firearms This is Emma, my ‘77 XS650. I bought her a year ago after about two years of planning out what I would do with an XS and searching for the right donor. Fortunately, she’s turned out pretty much exactly as I envisioned.

She was funded almost entirely by me selling crap that I wanted less than I wanted her; the bulk of the money coming from firearms, bike parts, and vintage skate and punk t’s. I’m Lang and I’ve owned and ridden bikes all my life; got my first dirt bike at six and my first street bike at twelve. In fact, I never did own a bicycle.

This is my first ground up build (well really assembly) and as you’ll see, I had a lot of help from some very talented folks at The Chopper Underground.

My friend Dirtnap did the +2″ hardtail and 36* neck rake. He also turned the brass rods for the brake arm and stay and made the fender struts. The bike wouldn’t exist without his help and friendship.

CCgirl (Brianne) of Cycle Cosmetics covered my seat and did a fantastic job of tooling in my design – yes, there’s a meaning behind each element on the seat, but I won’t bore you with them.

Southernmenace (Kevin) of Bartertown Bikes made the brass risers for me and they fit better than any set of risers I’ve ever held. Scrapmetalart (Craig) from Front Street Cycle made the peaked fender and bent the bars to my specs. Craig’s work is top notch.

G&L Choppers did the brass pegs and mid-controls; really great folks to deal with and they were happy to accommodate my suggestions. And finally, Blacksmithbilly made my 1.75″ pipes, which contrary to their appearance, were a real bitch to get bent – the guy is an artist.

Now if you’re still with me, I’ll give some more details.

When I got her, her compression was low and the poor girl had been sucking in the remnants of her air filter for the last decade or so, so I had Thomas Racing Service in Indiana bore out the engine to 750cc’s w/ Wiseco pistons and install a #1 Shell cam.

Then I popped on a set of 34mm Mikuni round slides. She also had a cooked rectifier, but rather than just fix what needed fixin’ I went a little overboard and threw on a Sparx three phase alternator and a Pamco ignition. She’s got decent pep now. The front end is a hodgepodge of Yami enduro parts: stock 34mm XS trees, DT400 forks, an XT500 hub and some Yami 21″ shouldered rim (to match the rear 18″ stocker).

The headlight is a 105mm CEV moped bucket that I fitted with a mini speedo, push button dimmer, and a tractor headlight.

The gas cap is an old diesel truck cap that I cut and mated to a vented Harley cap.

The electrics bags under the seat are French sniper scope cases I found at the local Army Navy – one’s got my battery and the other has my fuses and ignition switch – I rewired her from scratch.

Well, that’s about it so thanks for listening and honk if ya see me on the road!"

1979 Yamaha XS650 Bobber