Such a weird but surprisingly fascinating Bobber isn’t something you stumble across every day. Bikes like this need balance. If a builder gets carried away by his creativity he might end up with a bunch of metal pieces stuck together hardly resembling a motorcycle. On the other hand, if there are not enough changes the build can easily seem kind of incomplete or look like there’s something missing. Luckily, it’s not the case with this Yamaha XV250.
Although the owner and the builder – Tony Wong says the bobber isn’t the most comfortable and “soft” to ride due to some compromises he and his friend Brendon Anthony had to make to achieve the desired design, it doesn’t really matter to him. Tony doesn’t travel far on that bike, plus it was all about an unconventional approach for him.
The idea to build a bike based on Virago XV250 crossed his mind while traveling throughout Japan and seeing a few custom motorcycles based on this particular model. This bike is cheap and runs forever, as he says, so after some research, the donor was found and the whole thing started.
From the very beginning, Tony wanted to build a Bobber that wouldn’t be just different, but something “…it’s not supposed to be”. “The point of this build was to consciously make it what you’re not supposed to do”, he says. In his mind, the bike looked a lot like a messed up project from 1920s and 30s: asymmetrical and wacky. It can be a risky business to exercise, though!
The guys got rid of the shocks replacing them with two solid bars. The fork was cut down and adjusted for the lowest front end possible leaving a minimal amount of travel. All of this was done to get that classic and aesthetic Bobber base.
This bike is all about compromises, even the tank is unbelievably small as for XV250. They got it custom-made especially for this build by a guy from the US who makes parts for motorcycles and hot rods. It’s a 4.5-litre extinguisher reminding item – really nice looking and quite sufficient for short distance travels.
The handlebars were also made in the USA. Tony found the guys that make steel bars for beach cruiser bicycles. They fabricated nice bobber style bars which look great on the bike and additionally hide the wires. The exhaust is modified and adapted Moto Guzzi piece.
The guys had difficulties finding a good fit for the rear wheel (15-inch rims aren’t very popular among brandy cool-looking tires). The only tire they could get was from some sort of farm machinery or tractor.
The essential goal for Tony was to explore his creativity making untypical, one-off Bobber on a low budget (obviously the price of the XV250 donor helped a lot with that). So, it’s not a surprise the bike’s a little rough to ride: the springs don’t do much and you feel every bump, but it’s still enjoyable and the build was worth it, Tony admits.