Yamaha V Star 650

2001 Yamaha V Star 650 Classic custom motorcycle
What do you do if you’re saddled with a small metric cruiser you don’t particularly want? Sky Fleming, a reader from Utah, found himself in this situation recently. He got a Yamaha V Star 650 in trade for an ATV, and instantly developed a dislike for his new acquisition. “I ripped into the bike that night. It lost about 60 pounds of chrome,” he says. Sky cut the shiny covers off the aftermarket pipes, revealing the (much cooler) raw steel underneath. He dismantled the front end, repainted it, and moved the forks up in the trees to lower it. Then he relocated the rear shock mount to drop the back end too. The sides of the tank were dished using ball peen hammers, smooth enough to to be repainted without filler. It’s now matt black with almond in the dished section, plus subtle gold leaf to add highlight details. A friend hammered the seat out of aluminium, and Sky himself beat a salvage yard fender until it fit snugly with the back tire. The result is slick, but the transformation of this V Star was quick: “Me and my friend have about 30 hours each in it,” Sky reckons, “minus the paint dry time.” Just goes to show what you can do with the humblest of raw materials. [More on the current V Star 650 on the Star Motorcycles site.]