Perfection is not so much something we achieve but a dream that we chase. For the automotive designer that pursuit means creating in the customer a deep desire, an emotional aesthetic, that grabs you and draws you in. For Tom Moose of Poland’s Moose Motodesign it has become an obsession and one that centres around the Yamaha XV920. Having previously created a pair of incredible custom cafe racers he thought he’d reached the mountain top. But obsessions simply never let you go and once again he’s crafted another perfect pigeon pair, they are ‘The Other World’s’.
“When a year ago my last Viragos “Good and Evil” project turned out to be a huge success, I knew that it cannot end like that. Me and my Friend and Master Mechanic Adam “Groch”, have decided to try and build another pair of Viragos. Believe it or not, it turned out that it was harder than earlier because we have to improve something that we called “perfect” for a long time, but yes, we did it!” Tom explains. A man who loves the XV for its boxed frame, slimline V-Twin engine, centred mono-shock and the reliability of a shaft drive.
But having exhausted Poland’s supplies of his favourite Yamaha model, he had a friend in the Netherlands track down two 1983 US versions in relatively good condition. They were rough on the outside, but low miles and strong mechanicals meant they were perfect for the task. With both bikes in the workshop and stripped down, the challenge of working in pairs means having to find two of every part if continuity is to be maintained. The frames were first stripped down and then painted with the chrome finish that was imported into the country just for the task.
Over the top the rear raised tanks are a dominate feature and as well as subtle re-designs the paintwork applied to them both is incredible. First galvanic chrome plating is laid down, one in a golden hue. Then to create the carbon look on the front half of each tank, a hydrographic was applied, pinstripe added and then the whole thing is finished out in clear to protect. Each tank also receives a stylish new filler in raw metal and the underside of the tank is used to conceal as much of the electronics package as possible for an ultra clean look.
“The icing on the cake is always our seats, this time we have re-designed the “tail” of the saddle and the “logo ring”. The most important was the line, the saddle had to correspond perfectly with the raised tank, creating a dynamic, slightly aggressive body,” Tom states proudly. A fan of the ‘drag’ look that companies like MV Agusta have so successfully mastered of late, the minimal subframe is crafted from steel before being coated in chrome. The recessed LED light underneath adds a nice party trick to a functional part, illuminating the shiny surface.
Having worked extensively with the XV platform in the past means Tom has a head start on the competition and knows what works best with the bike. One of his discoveries is how well the front suspension from a ZX6R works with the Yamaha. To make the forks fit a stunning billet machined upper clamp is used and new bearings to match the neck. While the Kawasaki also supplies its big front brake setup that’s completed with carbon look HEL lines. The all important rear shock is a Sachs item from an MV Agusta and like the front is fully adjustable.
The 75° V-twin engine is one of the things Tom loves most about the XV and they don’t go back into the frame until they’ve been given a new coat of paint and every raw metal surface thoroughly polished. The exhaust is a key part of his builds and the high quality stainless wraps around the engine left to right before finishing with twin tips under the seat. “When you look at the right profile of the motorcycles the exhaust tips look like they’re suspended in the air,” he smiles. To match the carbs have been rebuilt with bigger jets and a K&N air filter lets it all breathe.
The drag style calls for a beefy rear tire, but while this is somewhat limited with the shaft drive, the wheel covers and big bold lettering help to achieve the effect. But more than just a visual statement, these are machines of quality. From the Motogadget dash and switchblocks on the bars, to the painstakingly positioned custom rearsets for the perfect riding position.
As Tom likes to say, the devil is in the detail and he demands his bikes look just as good under the microscope as they do rolling down the road. The only question left now is, how long until he has a new idea that once again sends him on the pursuit of perfection… until then, this pair go damn close.