This is a Yamaha XV950, although you’d be hard pressed to recognise it. Dubbed the XV950 Ultra, it’s the first Yamaha Yard Built creation of 2016 and if this is a sign of things to come, we’re in for another great year of amazing custom built bikes. Made by Swiss customer builders GS Mashin with Tom Mosimann taking the lead, the XV950 Ultra is unlike anything we’ve seen recently and we love it.
Sure, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t say the XV950 Ultra is playing it safe. Reminding us of a Marvel superhero more than a traditional machine, the bike is inspired by Gothic architecture. Tom worked to create a low, racy looking machine with big narrow wheels and clip-ons in a stand out colour scheme.
The Yard Built XV950 ‘ULTRA’ fairing is handmade from 1.5mm steel sheet with the mounts cut from a stainless steel pipe. A small Bates floodlight sits inside the fairing with the two Highsider turn signals. The custom fuel tank is also hand crafted from 1.5mm steel with the upper edge made with a trimming press. The lower section is cut from the original XV950 fuel tank. One of the standout elements of the build has to be the super clean prototype rear suspension units built by K-Tech, based on their signature style Bullit units.
The hand crafted steel tail unit wraps around a Shin Yo rear light unit and the seat is again a hand made affair with leatherwork by Jose Rey Saddlery. The beautiful aluminium upper fork crown is machined by Asic Robotics and is super clean without the holes for the risers. The wheels are a work of art, the original hubs were used then 18inch back and 21inch front rims were added with new spokes, with ABS!
I love what Tom has created with the XV as his base,” stated Yamaha Motor Europe Product Manager, Shun Miyazawa. “I’m really happy that despite going for a really radical look, he shares our principles that a custom machine needs to retain the most important function; rideability. He’s kept the soul of the XV950 and wrapped it in a really original look without any cutting or welding to the frame. What is perhaps also very impressive is that 95% of the work he does is completed with just a few tools, an angle grinder, a bag of sand and a hammer!”