Maybe it was Denver's reduced oxygen levels that got to Jose Zamora's head when he was brainstorming his 2008 Yamaha R1 project. It certainly looks different than most stretched and slammed sportbikes thanks to its cartoonishly low stance. And if you're wondering the same thing we were, yes, it sits on the exhaust when it's at rest. Weird? A little, but unique and oddly attractive nevertheless.
While the bike sometimes looks a little broken from certain angles it's just the stance Jose was after: "I wanted the bike to be low, real low. In fact, it sits on the pipe. It's actually a real conversation piece. Everyone gets down on the ground to see if it's really on the floor."
A whole new type of northern...
A whole new type of northern lights hits the mile high city when this R1 rolls out.
While the bike's peculiar stature is certainly an ice-breaker, there are other details that pull just as much attention, particularly the shortened and tightened tail. Not impressed with the R1's stock lines, Jose chipped away at an aftermarket race tail until he scored just the right fit: "I never liked the stock R1 taillight. Since I was only going with a 250 rear I wanted to add to the illusion of an oversized tire, and I figured that chopping the light would help create that. To keep it clean I used a one-piece race tail, then frosted in the lights (with help from Josh at True Kustom) to match up with the wheels."
Considering the attention to detail on the tail section it was initially unclear to us why the exhaust seemed so unrefined, but there is a logical explanation (at least to Jose, anyways). He felt that because everything else on the bike was so clean and precise that there should be some discord to help break it all up. He opted to let the pipe take one for the team...and so it was uglified:
"The bike was so clean that I thought it needed one ugly part, and that ended up being the pipe. I wanted it nasty, and that's why I had it made big and black."
Jose didn't have slippery leprechauns dancing in his head when he started tinkering with potential color combinations to finish off the build. He simply knew he desired some shade of green for the frame, swingarm and wheels. Once the chassis was treated to the slick lime the bodywork was sprayed, and somehow it all tied together perfectly. Except for that pipe, of course. But we admire the idea of intentionally creating dissonance in an otherwise perfect world.
2008 Yamaha R1
Front end: RC Components "Holeshot" wheel, shaved fork lower
C&S Custom 15-over swingarm, RC Components "Holeshot" wheel, Black Iron Choppers subframe, Biker Brackets "Big Boar" air ride
Black Iron Choppers exhaust
True Kustom (truekustom.com
Mile High Metal Polishing and Finishing
Roaring Toyz lowering links, ST Machine levers, stingray seat, custom Sharkskin tail section, Custom Dynamics light kit
Mile High Metal Polishing and Finishing (milehighpolishing.com