Lucky Cat Garage's Sci-Fi Yamaha XV950R: A Tribute to Japanese Nostalgia
Lucky Cat Garage's Sci-Fi Yamaha XV950R: A Tribute to Japanese Nostalgia
1w ago Custom
Sponsored by Moto Animals

If you grew up in Japan during the 1950s or 1960s, chances are you coveted the "Sonicon Rocket." This little battery-powered spaceship on wheels, crafted by Modern Toys, possessed a unique feature: it changed direction in response to a whistle, gracefully navigating across the floor.

In today's world, Sonicon Rockets are rare finds, fetching up to a thousand dollars for a well-preserved specimen. They've become icons of Japanese design, capturing the imaginations of Séb Lorentz, a Frenchman, and his partner Laurence, the minds behind Lucky Cat Garage.

Séb and Laurence were so captivated by the toy that they embarked on a remarkable project – the transformation of a Yamaha XV950R, known as the Bolt R-Spec in the USA, inspired by the Sonicon Rocket.

This motorcycle, commissioned by Yamaha Motor Europe and dubbed "Space Explorer," stands as one of the most original custom creations we've seen in a while.

Lucky Cat Garage aimed to preserve the Japanese cruiser essence and the soul of the XV950R while imbuing it with a Japanese flavor and a small bagger stance.

The first modification involved the installation of a Yamaha-provided lowering kit for the XV950R. A pair of short, adjustable preload shocks and progressive fork springs reduced the ride height by an inch without sacrificing handling.

Lucky Cat then exchanged the original tank for an SCR950 unit, characterized by a smoother design and a generous 13-liter fuel capacity.

At the front, the lowered forks were enhanced with custom stainless covers, initially designed for the Yamaha XVS. A new upper triple tree and a steel front fender from Custom Chrome were incorporated to accentuate the vintage aesthetic.

The compact bikini fairing is an altered TT&co unit from Japan, featuring a clear glass halogen H4 headlight. Behind it, a smartphone bracket with a charging plug adds a modern touch.

However, the real transformation takes place at the rear. This XV950R boasts sleek panniers and an elongated, slender fender, all expertly mounted using custom brackets. Though slim and stylish, the panniers offer ample storage space for extended road trips. Séb discovered them at a swap meet, with new lids and rear sections designed to accommodate new taillights.

The 'Bel Air' cast and polished aluminum LED lights from Motone Customs were inspired by 1960s custom car tradition.

Completing the bodywork, revised side panels now sport XS650-style Yamaha badges, discreetly concealing the antenna for a keyless RFID m.lock from Motogadget.

RFID keys have been seamlessly integrated into a matching Shoei JO Helmet and REV'IT! jacket for the utmost convenience. However, the ignition can also be activated via the m.ride app on the rider's smartphone.

The visionary concept was conceived by Lucky Cat Garage and brought to life by London-based designer Machine 17, with Venom Design delivering the mesmerizing paintwork. It pays homage to one of the Sonicon Rocket's color schemes while enhancing the effect with graphics reminiscent of tin toy decals.

The panniers, fuel tank, and bikini fairing are adorned with tasteful 1960s sci-fi style elements – bold, graphic, and strangely endearing.

This is a refreshingly creative approach to customization that doesn't compromise the laid-back charm of Yamaha's entry-level cruiser.

Kudos to Séb and Laurence for crafting something genuinely unique. Now, please excuse us as we delve into the captivating world of vintage Japanese toys through the wonders of internet research.

Photo: BikeExif

#Bike #Moto #Custom #Yamaha #XV950

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