American Chopper may be axed, but Australian Bobber has taken over. Yamaha Motors Australia has developed a bobber kit for its top-selling cruiser, the XVS650.
The kit was developed in relation with Cisco Race Tuning in Melbourne and features custom wing mirrors, a lower rear shock, bobbed tail, LED taillights, small and clear indicators, a solo seat (therefore cheaper rego in some states) and ultra-wide handlebars.
The look is exactly what some custom bike shops have been doing. It’s a bike that opens itself up to such chopping with its attractive engine and that horny grooved rear tyre.
Yamaha Motors Australia national communications manager Sean Goldhawk says it is also available as a retro kit and they hope the parent company might pick it up and develop it as a future model.
Kits start at $1700 and are available from dealers.
There is also a Vance & Hines slash twin exhaust system available as a no-brainer option. Cost is expected to be from about $380 from Cassons. Americans have long had a love for the big Jap cruisers although over there they refer to them as Star cruisers, rather than Yamahas.
The Star brand has been around since 1994, but hasn’t been promoted heavily outside of the States.
Now Yamaha wants to encourage that sort of branding around the world with its 2013 cruiser models boldly stating “Star” on their tanks, not Yamaha.
Keep an eye on this blog for news on a very interesting new addition to the Star family.
Details available at 9am on August 5.
Yamaha has also added an industry leading five-year warranty with unlimited kilometres.
It covers all nine Yammie cruisers from the entry level 250cc ($6499) to the 1900cc Roadliner ($24,099).
Better still, the warranty carries over to subsequent owners which boosts resale value.
Providing an even bigger incentive to throw a leg over a Yammie cruiser are free on-road costs and the new Yamaha Motorcycle Insurance underwritten by Swann that has attractive offers if bundled with Yamaha Motorcycle Finance.
While YMF data shows most of their customers choose 60-month terms and a majority turn over their bikes between 19-24 months, Sean says cruiser owners hold on to their ride for longer than any other type of bike.
That’s probably because cruisers have longer model lives with fewer changes for technology along the way, so there’s little need to update to the latest and greatest.
Have a look back at the XVS650 over the past decade or more and you will notice few changes. In fact, it’s still carby fed!
Long model life and few changes in design also add to the resale value.
Yamaha was the first to create a “metric V-twin cruiser” in 1981 with the XV750.
“We’re not trying to compete with Harley, but of the metric cruisers we’re the original,” Sean says.
He points out that while their cruisers are not built in the US, they are all designed there and that the heavy models have little plastic and a lot of metal.
Legendary California custom bike builder Roland Sands also notes that the chrome on Yammie cruisers is dipped up to 13 times.