There’s a new kid on the custom block. It’s an English outfit called Spirit of the Seventies, and it’s bucking the current European trend for all things raw and grungy. The company was started by Tim Rogers and graphic designer Kev Taggart, friends who share an obsession for motorcycles “and other beautifully designed things.” Their aim is simple: to build motorcycles that are “nostalgic, characterful, and sophisticated.” They’re up to build #3, but the machine you see here is Spirit II, the personal ride of managing director Tim. Constructed by mechanic Martin Taylor, it’s based on a 1979 Yamaha XS750 triple, a motorcycle originally geared for touring.
The frame has been de-lugged and powder coated, and the bodywork is custom-made. That includes the carbon fiber seat unit with leather seat pads—inspired by the 1997 Bimoto V Due—and a tail unit also in carbon fiber. The motor has replaced by Yamaha’s later XS850 unit and fitted with K&N filters, and a ceramic-coated exhaust fettled by Gibson. SOTS has changed the stance of the bike for the better, fitting an 18” wheel at the front and Hagon shocks at the back: these are longer than the stock shocks, pushing the nose of the bike down a little and putting more weight onto the front end. The tires are reasonably sticky Avon Roadriders, and the front brake system is a Yamaha hybrid of R6 and FZR400 components. Other parts come from LSL—a long-time Bike EXIF favorite—including the clip-ons, headlamp brackets and master cylinder. To tighten up responses even further, SOTS has fitted a Tomaselli quick-action throttle and grips.
The result is just the right side of slick, with a strong retro graphic style and the promise of very entertaining riding. Keep an eye out for the name—I think we’ll be hearing a lot more about Spirit of the Seventies in the coming years.
[Images courtesy of Grant Robinson.]
Canon EOS-1D Mk III | 1/200 sec | f/3.2 | ISO 100 | EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM