Erick Runyon of Choppershotz is one of the hardest-working photographers on the custom motorcycle scene, so he gets to see a lot of bikes. And after working on the Cafe Racer TV show, he’s got to know many of the builders too.
Erick’s now built a bike of his own: ‘Buzz Saw,’ a 1982 Yamaha Virago XV750. “I picked up ideas and inspiration from all the bikes I’ve shot,” he says. “There’s no rhyme or reason behind the design of the bike—I just did what appeals to me.”
Erick built his Virago with the help of Greg Hageman of Doc’s Chops. “The bike was inspired by Greg’s own Virago builds,” says Erick, “and the great builds from Classified Moto.” Dime City Cycles supplied most of the parts Erick needed, with Alain Bernard of Santiago Chopper helping out too.
Erick upgraded the engine with a carb from a Harley-Davidson Sportster 1200. “We also did a rear tire conversion to the front wheel,” says Erick, “so we’re running 16-inchers front and back.” The factory wheels have been powder coated satin black. “I love the look of the fat dual sport tires. Granted, I won’t be taking any knee dragging corners on this, but it rides great, and is very solid.”
The most thought went into the seat. “We tried many different combinations that looked good, but didn’t look ‘right’. We finally took a Dime City tracker-style seat, cut about 4” off it, and mounted it on one of Greg’s custom subframes.” The seat subframe was cut and reshaped to match the curve of the LED light mounted under the seat. The license plate now screws directly into the back of the battery box under the seat.
It’s a great example of a style that’s becoming more and more popular—stocky and purposeful, showcasing the engine to good effect. Erick won’t be touring the length of Route 66 on this one, but for weekend blasts and trips around town, it’s just perfect.