"Blue Hot" aptly describes the licks laid along the sides of James Phillips' rad R1. The flames, the inky black basecoat and the hand-striped accents are the work of Extreme Motorsports in Stowe, Pennsylvania. CB Custom Sport Bike in Reading handled the custom work and fabrication on Phillips' flyer, including polishing the frame and chroming nearly every piece of metal visible to the naked eye.
The rear shock is stock, but the spring has been powdercoated translucent green for added flash.
The underseat exhaust is off-the-rack from Wolf and tightly hugs the chromed swingarm.
Polished wheels are Performance Machine pieces, and the stock Yamaha rotor centers have been treated with the same green powdercoat as the shock spring.
Be careful what you wish for, the old saying goes, because you just might get it. The idea being that, once you get exactly what you wished for, you usually find out it wasn't what you wanted at all. At least this seems to be the case with James Phillips of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, the owner of the tasty 2000 Yamaha YZF-R1 pictured here. But more about that later.
First things first. Phillips loves Yamaha's R1, and this is actually his second example of the breed. The first was a '99 model, a mild custom with an aftermarket exhaust, chromed wheels and a few other cosmetic upgrades. Phillips rode the wheels off the bike for the two years he owned it. It was during this same time that Phillips befriended the owner of CB Custom Sport Bike in nearby Reading, Pennsylvania, forging a relationship that regularly brought Phillips face to face with all manner of insane CB Custom sportbikes. Exposure to all this high-buck hardware got Phillips all hot and bothered for a similarly trick ride for himself.
The problem was, his much-loved R1 had since racked up major mileage due to all of his hard riding, making it a less-than-stellar candidate for serious cosmetic surgery. So Phillips did what any right-minded sportbike junkie would do: He traded his ragged-out '99 for a newer, faster '00 model--this one with only 200 miles on the clock--and drove it directly to Reading, where the CB crew immediately stripped it down to the bare frame and began to build up the show-stopper Phillips thought he always wanted.
CB got things started by polishing the main frame to a mirror finish, then dipping the swingarm and fork--as well as the footpeg brackets, engine side covers, triple clamps, levers and just about every other visible piece of metal--in show chrome for a proper skin-searing shine. The boys at CB also routed the wild underseat exhaust by Wolf, fabricating a custom billet battery box to clear the midpipes, and fitted polished aluminum wheels from Performance Machine.
After all the heavy lifting was finished up at CB Custom, Phillips trucked his shiny bauble down to the folks at Extreme Motorsports in Stowe, Pennsylvania, who cleaned up the bodywork a bit (adding flush-mount turn signals, an aftermarket windscreen from Powerbronze and carbon-fiber frame sliders) before laying down the mile-deep black paint offset with four-color tribal flames.
The paint scheme was designed by Phillips and applied at Extreme, which also hand-pinstriped the licks for added impact. Extreme also handled the translucent green powdercoating on the few pieces that weren't already chromed (the rotor centers, battery box and shock spring). Extreme's artistry isn't cheap--Phillips' bill was around $4000 by the time he walked out the door--but the end results suggest that it was money well spent.
Some $18,000 later, Phillips has one of the most gorgeous R1s in the country--as the armload of trophies he has collected at recent bike shows attests. So what could Phillips possibly have to complain about? How is this R1--one that he designed and commissioned himself--not everything he ever wished for? What's this guy's problem?
"Here's the thing," Phillips says by way of explanation. "I love to ride sportbikes, but this one is just way too nice to even ride! It only had 200 miles on it when I bought it, and now, a few years later, it still has just 2000 miles. I'm afraid to damage it, so I hardly ever take it out anymore." A conundrum, indeed.
Don't worry about Phillips, though--he's got a plan to straighten this all out. He says he's currently trying to sell the R1 to raise the funds to build up a kick-ass chopper--"something just for cruising around town and taking to shows." He plans to spend what's leftover on another R1, this one only mildly modified just like his first one, which he will then ride the ever-lovin' wheels off of.
That sounds like a wish Phillips can finally live with.