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Yamaha Bolt RED Cafe Racer Modification

Yamaha BOLT

Yamaha has embraced the personalized culture of the new wave by giving its new Bolt to eight manufacturers in North America and giving them carte blanche to review the bike. We saw Bolt, inspired by Roland Sands' tracker, and now it's Chappell Customs' turn.

Rob Chappell is based in Ontario, Canada and Brother Chris in Los Angeles. When Yamaha learned that a motorcycle was waiting for him, Rob got on a plane, hooked up with his brother and went to Yamaha's office in Cypress, California, to retrieve the Bolt.  "In the literal sense, when we unloaded it from the truck, we took some pictures and tore it up to the frame," says Rob.


Yamaha Bolt RED Cafe Racer Modification

The first big decision was to choose a direction. "We have studied many factors and have decided that the market for this bike is the bobsleigh market, so we remain at that goal.  But instead of taking a brand new bike and giving it a rigid old-school back-end with a jump front, the Chappell brothers decided to give Bolt the appearance of a hard tail, but with better maneuverability. They only had four weeks to finish the job. 

Yamaha Bolt Cafe Racer

"We cut the back frame and made fun of a new hula hoop hoop," says Rob. It was necessary to hold the arm of the swing and the initial base shock rises. The tricky part is that the Bolt uses a belt drive, so the hop tires must be removable for the strap to change in the future.

Yamaha Bolt RED Cafe Racer Modification

Pierre Vaillancourt launched by Works Performance through the shop, has some measurements, and custom built a shock specially designed for the bike. The brothers now had a functional rear end that they could sell to Bolt's owners.




Then comes the bodywork. "We've spent more hours there than I want to admit," Rob grumbles. Chappell has a chin ball, a computer box and a seat. They also cut the gas filling of the Bolt gas tank and the rinse mounted a quarter turn cap. The first seat unit was abandoned because it was too cumbersome; a second design, using a metal seat plate, which created the bobber lines Rob and Chris wanted. "We then managed to screw the new rear design to the back of the seat, it's perfect. 

Yamaha Bolt RED Cafe Racer Modification

While all this has happened, hunting on a new front end has been to help improve the suspension and change the position. "They ended up using a 2007 YZF-R1 Yamaha, which was not a bolt shop. We didn't want to do a wheel exchange, so we needed a lot of measurement and CNC parts creation. A bespoke axis, offset rotor, Caliper spreads and a lot of work the triple shaft has done the right thing.

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Yamaha Bolt RED Cafe Racer Modification

The wheels, frame and chassis were wrapped in powder-free Viking steel, while the swinger's arm was made of flat black powder. The paint is a custom red deep metal and metallic black, with warm stripes by Bill Marygold Pinstriping. Other extras include the new Michelin rubber to give the Bolt a sporty feel, a personal LED headlight and a Cobra recording system.

The Speedo was moved to the left side of the engine, from the bars to one lane, and the storage box was abandoned in favor of a flat black powdered inverted megaphone.

Yamaha Bolt RED Cafe Racer Modification

There are many hidden details in this building that could almost be a factory bike. But look at a few more minutes, and the work becomes clear. "All the items we've developed for this bike, with the exception of the front end, are products that the end consumer could put in their own garage," Rob said, "and we think it's pretty cool.

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