Eric Buchholz is the first lucky I was selected, responding to the new format Submit Your Bike ... the new system we have created to make it possible for readers to show their work on RocketGarage.
Where are you coming from?
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Who else worked with you?
I am a one man shop, working out of my garage.
How can you describe yourself (or your team)?
I can't have anything with wheels and an engine without trying to make it more interesting. I just look at things a little differently, so I get a lot of confused looks when I throw out ideas.
I've always built bikes for myself, but I'm treating it a bit more seriously now in an effort to chase the dream of doing it for a living.
It was just a clean Craigslist find. No cool story
What's the donor bike, make, model, year?
1983 Yamaha XV920 (Virago)
What was your vision/plan?
I wanted to use elements of the bikes I liked growing up, while not subscribing to one particular category or genre. Sticking to one just seems like it limits the build. I chose this platform because of how exposed the engine is, not being hidden by frame, oil cooler or radiator. I didn't want any parts on it that didn't absolutely need to be there.
What did you do to the bike?
I ditched the seat/subframe in favor of a sprung solo seat, and fabbed a mount from 304 stainless. Same material for the shock resivoir/battey mount and the exhaust. I finished the pipes off with cans from a Ducati 1098, that I cored and shortened. I just really liked the shape of the stainless endcaps. I built new rearset mounts, linkage and levers, but did borrow a couple pieces from an R6. I changed the mounting of the tank, but liked the shape, and after smoothing out the seams and transitions, skinned it with carbon fiber. Same with the V-rod headlight bucket.
If you've upgraded parts, what make did you choose and where from?
The front brake upgrades were courtesy of an R1 and a Ducati Monster after making the necessary brackets. I switched to an 18" rear wheel, kept the 19" front, and shod both in Shinko 705s. They look meaty, but they're actually pretty sticky. The Ballistic Lith-ion battery has so far been bulletproof. Instrument cluster replaced with a Danmoto unit. I used a Dynojet jet kit to accommodate the better flowing exhaust. The original rear shock was tossed in favor of a Triumph unit.
Any interesting challenges, unconfident, or mistakes?
This was my first venture into composites, which has a bit of a learning curve, but all the sanding was worth it. I re-did the rear brake linkage 3 times, just because I knew I could do better. The most challenging part from a design perspective, was the seat. I see a lot of XV builds, and a lot of different approaches, because that part of the frame is tricky to get something to look like it belongs. Some look better than others. I built 2 other mounts before I came up with one I was happy with.
Tell us about the finish/logos/design?
I like to ride bikes without worrying too much about scratches, chips and all the other stuff that happens, so I'm a bigger fan of textures and metallic tones than delicate paint work. Nothing against it, just doesn't suit me. I wanted to go with the bronze frame, because with black, it's easy to lose a lot of details.
Any unique features?
When I changed the stance, I had to modify the kickstand. While I was at it, I slightly enlarged the footprint so I don't have to worry about it sinking into asphalt in the summer. I also left a small gap between the seat and the upper mount to slip saddlebags in if so inspired.
How would you describe your bike?
It has elements of a lot of these, but I'm not sure any one fits the bill. I lovingly named it because it's true to its roots in parts and genres.
How does the bike ride?
I do some highway runs on it, but with the riding position, and the taller skinnier rear, if feels much more corner oriented. The upgraded brakes make me feel much better about carrying speed. The stock single piston/single disk carried a high pucker factor. I'm not riding to prove anything, but I never feel like I'm out-riding the bike.
I'm currently building a 2001 Ducati Monster. It's just a 600 Dark, so I don't feel bad cutting it up.