Big twins, if you love ‘em and want a classically finned air cooled one without blowing your beans on muscle from Milwaukee the options are fairly limited.
Handy then that Yamaha’s XV1000 packs a decent punch for not a lot of loot. There are plenty of donors around, plus the supply of parts is positively abundant.
Pacific Motor Co. have a few customs XVs under their belt but with this one they upped their game a bit further. The customer supplied the bike, and most of it went in the recycling pile – the engine was kept, as was the frame but that was pretty much it.
A new stem was turned and a top clamp machined to raise the ride height a whisker and accept the R1 USD fork, which has been black annodised and fully rebuilt. Decent Tokico 4-pot calipers and new Metal Gear discs are a definite improvement on the floppy-hosed 2-pots of the original Virago. The R1 three-spokers were powder coated black and had Michelin Pilot Powers fitted for real world performance.
Rear suspension needed to match the front so an R6 swingarm has been shortened 100mm and modified to fit the stock mounts. A slightly shorter YSS shock picks-up the top mount on the swingarm and is narrow enough to fit inside the XV’s hollow pressed steel spine courtesy of new mounts.
The cruiser tank obviously needed to go, in its place is a vessel from the Pacific store cupboard – one from a Honda CX 500 Custom now complete with flush Monza style filler cap and Accel fuel taps. The sleeker shape befits the XV’s stance and makes for a racier silhouette. A crisp white paint job and subtle Yamaha branding compliment the satin black powder coat of the mechanicals. Matt carbon mudguards were made especially for the project, the weave adding another texture and finish.
The subframe wasn’t a simple swap. Roy wanted the battery and electrics to be housed invisibly beneath seat (Pacific made) but not encroach on comfort and dig into the foam. The 981cc twin needs a fair few cranking amps to get it going and most Shorai or AntiGravity options that matched the specs were nowhere near the packaging parameters so 3 Ultra Batts were wired in parallel to save space and provide full reliability for the new wiring harness.
When trying to hide wires the obvious choice is Motogadget’s M-unit which is able on a low voltage Can-Bus type system and therefore requires only the thinest strands of copper to function. At the dry-build stage holes were drilled in the frame and a dummy run of wires fed through to ensure pretty much all the leccy spaghetti is completely out of sight. A particularly neat installation of the M-Lock RFID receiver on the left side of the frame’s spine allows the rider to reach down and fire up the system with the wave of a transponder sewn into a glove if he so wished – keys are so 2013.
The futuristic looking Motoscope Pro dash is a classy and decadent solution to an all-in-one speedo, and it not only works really well but suits this build. The switchgear is an amalgam of M-buttons and Pacific’s own machined alloy housing, with wires running inside the Tomaselli clip ons.
The engine was fully stripped and the crank, barrels, pistons, valves, guides and a plethora of other parts found to be totally worn out. New parts had to be sourced including a new set of NOS pistons from Australia! While the engine was in pieces the output shaft was lightened to achieve the correct drive line for the chain, which meant a new cover and outrigger bearing mount had to be made which came in handy for the right hand side rearset mount. The cleaner-than-new, rebuilt and detailed engine was fitted into the rolling chassis before being dressed with a pair of Mikuni VM carbs and Fram air filters, actuated by a fresh Domino throttle. The exhaust was made in house with the mufflers supplied by Cone Engineering in the USA.
PMC’s bikes are on the other side of the world from us and we’ve never met the guys behind the bench, but all of their builds have followed the same unwavering fastidiousness and exemplary finishing so it’s no wonder that they’ve built a reputation amongst those wanting their dream customs to look like they’ve just rolled out a manufacturer’s showroom. This XV is a far cry from the worn out faux chopper that arrived at Pacific’s Richmond, New Zealand HQ. If you find yourself in that part of the world make a b-line… the scenery is breathtaking and the roads stunning.
This article first appeared on The Bike Shed; It’s republished here with permission.