Taking first place in a custom bike show no longer requires a wide rear tire, full chrome and spikes galore, as proven by Ramsey Ackad’s 2009 Yamaha R6. It toured the country with the SSB Yamaha Custom Showdown bike show during 2011 and was a fan favorite at each of the three venues. The unique R6 is fully ridable and features more performance upgrades than aesthetic mods, so how did it outshine the flashier competition?“Once I decided to actually start building for the showdown versus just myself, my goal was to create something unique I could use on the street and more aggressively on the track. While I do respect a full-on show bike, I love Yamaha and GP racing way too much and it was a must that I could track my bike. Those that have been to the track know track days are extremely addicting and besides, why build something amazing if you’re never going to fully use it? Almost every part I installed on my bike needed to enhance the overall look of the bike while adding functional performance value. I grouped my part purchases in stages that made sense both from an aesthetic and performance point of view.”
That’s the beauty of a smart build—parts that make your bike faster can also greatly improve style, it just requires good taste and a clever plan.
The R6 (named Pharaoh) was a winner because of its clean lines and race-inspired stance. But not every component is exactly what it appears at first glance, lending to Ramsey’s clever way around some of the paths more traditionally taken. A full set of carbon fiber bodywork with custom paint laid over the top could end up costing more than the price of the bike in the first place, but this R6 is wrapped in vinyl that mimics the look but costs a fraction of the price of the real thing. And the best part about a vinyl wrap job is that it’s done to the customer’s specs and can be applied in the garage.
Not every upgrade could be performed on the cheap however. Braking system mods rang the register up, but the exotic Brembo master cylinder and classy EBC rotors not only improved looks but also proved the bike is built to ride—not haul around in a trailer. Holding consistent with the gold accent theme and racebike look are trick looking, fully-adjustable gold rearsets from the lesser-known firm, Bohemian Racing. Not only are they designed for performance and practicality but they also look like a piece of art.
The R6 proves that you don’t...
The R6 proves that you don’t need a big bike and a huge budget to earn respect and win shows.
A pieced together full aftermarket exhaust system also avoided the sticker shock that could come after sourcing it from a single brand. An Akrapovic silencer is attached to Arrow headers for a bit of DIY-ingenuity that saved money but produced a tidy result. Fueling wasn’t ignored though, and after swapping the stock air filter for a freer-flowing K&N unit, a Power Commander V was installed to get the air/fuel ratio in check.
From extra motor muscle to overall allure, the R6 shows that the gold standard in custom bike building has taken a twist. Throwing massive amounts of money and creating wild one-offs isn’t always as critical as careful planning and execution, and this bike has a trophy to prove it.
The vinyl wrap offered a lightweight...
The vinyl wrap offered a lightweight look without a carbon fiber cost. Applying the wrap can be as tricky as laying down a paint job, so a steady hand is required for clean results.
Gold accents helped carry...
Gold accents helped carry the performance-focused theme from front to rear. Note that nearly every mod serves a purpose beyond simple styling.
Front end: Brembo 19x18 master cylinder, EBC Contour XC rotors, Galfer brake lines, Scotts Performance steering stabilizer, Evotech axle nut
Rear end: Galfer brake line, Supersprox-Stealth sprockets (-1/+1), EK MVXZ 520 chain
Motor: Arrow headers, Akrapovic slip-on, Dynojet Power Commander V, K&N air filter
Accessories: Bohemian Racing rearsets, Bohemian Racing keyless gas cap, Pazzo Racing clutch lever, Puig Racing windscreen, Greggs Customs flushmounts, Hotbodies Racing undertail, HT Moto seat covers, Rascal Grafik tank grips, PIAA Xtreme bulbs
Builder: Ramsey Ackad, Vinyl Styles