The Dennis Kirk Blog
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To promote the release of Yamaha’s newest addition to their motorcycle lineup, stock Yamaha Bolts were sent to some of the best bike designers and builders in the world. The builders were given free rein to do whatever they wanted with the bikes. The styles ranged from café racers and bobbers, to drag racers and low bikes. Fans voted on their favorite and the results are in.
Playing on nostalgia and the fondness that people have for the Yamaha’s from the 60’s and 70’s, Greg Hageman’s Bolt is the champion out of the ten bikes that were built. Hageman built his Bolt into a bike that closely resembles the old Yamaha DT bikes, which have become so iconic of that era and remain a favorite for many riders. While it has the look of the vintage enduros, it still has the flair of modern bikes.
While some of the other contestants built immaculate show worthy customs, Hageman wanted to build a motorcycle that could still be ridden, and ridden hard like the old DTs. This bike is absolutely built to be ridden, and to be ridden everywhere. Well, almost anywhere; it is still a 950cc street bike, after all.
He did not do a ton of fabrication to the frame of the bike because he wanted to create a style that could lead to a bolt on kit in the future. His work on the custom Bolt wouldn’t void the factory warranty. Hageman built a subframe for the bike that he is now fabricating for customers so the average garage mechanic can build a Yamaha Bolt like his.
Before this project, Hageman was probably best known for his custom café racers. Two of his bikes were featured on Café Racer TV. He became good at taking old bikes and bringing their style into the modern era. What’s interesting about the Bolt competition for Hageman is that he took a brand new bike and made it look old.
Hageman has 11 years of experience as a Harley mechanic, but when he gets back to his own garage he is drawn to the old XS650s, CX500s, CB100s and others that he remembers so fondly from his childhood. Growing up on a farm in Iowa, he learned how to wrench with limited tools and resources at an early age and has used these skills to help him build these stunning, yet simple bikes.
To see the rest of the entries and more photos of Hageman’s Bolt, click here.
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