Huge tires, tons of chrome and outrageous themes are one way to build a machine that screams. But some bikes purposely swim a bit under the radar and require a second or even third look to fully appreciate all of the work and attention to detail that make them special.
One such pearl belongs to Los Angeles Ruff Ryder "Big Rock," and his is an example of a bike that from 50 feet can blend into a crowd, while on closer inspection it seems to almost have a pulse. Big Rock worked closely with Josh Villepigue of Integrated Innovations Inc. on his 2004 R1. From a distance, the flat black Yamaha's understated appearance could easily be mistaken for a stock Yamaha Raven paint scheme. But once it comes within range, there are hundreds of unique and innovative modifications that bubble up.
Big Rock's R1 has been named Aqua Boogie because of the maritime custom paint that airbrusher Renee at No Mercy Air laid over the body. Hundreds of detailed aquatic creatures are subtly scattered about, including a rather interesting interpretation of a mermaid. The most prominent is the stingray that's sprawled across the tank and flows over the top of the bike. The custom seat was upholstered in actual stingray skin (unfortunately not from the Croc Hunter's incident) with the spine and tail running from the front seat onto the rear tailsection.
A giant sunken ship bears the bike's name, along with the distinctive Ruff Ryder "R" painted with Hypercolor heat-reactive paint.
The headlights have been replaced with a pair of 3 11/42-inch Kicker speakers behind the painted covers, and a 100-watt amplifier powers the system. The headlights were replaced with a single PIAA unit tucked away under the front fairing, while an Archos multimedia player that's been hidden in the tailsection plays the tunes and movies. The Archos system also serves as a digital video recorder for the Sony camera molded into the nose of the bike.
To make Aqua Boogie really float, Integrated Innovations looked to Yamaha specialist Graves Motorsports for goodies. A full titanium Graves exhaust was installed after getting powdercoated black to match the factory frame. Graves rearsets and bar ends were also given the same black treatment.
An hlins rear shock and steering damper were also added to spruce up performance and control while adding the bragging ability that only comes with an hlins kit.
Aluminum wheels from American Metal Works add to the performance package and were also powdercoated black before being airbrushed. The attached Galfer rotors and steel-braided brake lines stop all the action.
The passenger pegs were converted to six-shooter pistols, and the rear brackets were drilled out and equipped with LEDs for the parking, braking and turn signals. The pistol theme was carried over to all the levers, bar ends and front suspension adjusters with revolver-style pieces emulating bullet shells.
Aqua Boogie has its own custom port that is nearly as impressive as the bike. The custom-made bike stand by If Customs features the same black airbrushed custom paint by Renee, and thanks to a portable airbag system built into the base of the stand, the bike can be displayed as if it's floating in its own aqueous environment.
Original Make/Model: 2004 Yamaha R1
Front end: AMW wheel, Galfer special-edition custom rotor set, Galfer steel braided lines and pads, hlins steering damper
Rear end: hlins rear shock, AMW wheel
Motor: Graves full titanium exhaust, Graves fuel management system
Paint: Renee at No Mercy Air, AISA Paint
Accessories: Graves rearsets, Grip Ace handgrips six-shooter rear pegs and frame sliders
Other: Rear peg brackets drilled out and equipped with LEDs for parking, braking and turn signals, Sony camera in upper fairing and tailsection, 7-inch monitor molded into gas tank, headlight converted into speaker enclosures for Kicker speakers,100-watt amplifier, Archos multimedia unit, stingray skin seat
Owner: "Big Rock," Los Angeles, CA