The cat-like reflexes of modern sportbikes provide a magnetic draw for riders who lust after the near-omnipotent speed and agility that characterizes the world's big cats: lions, tigers and, of course, the elegant jaguar. This cat amongst all others captures the imagination with its strength, speed and, most of all, its to-die-for jet-black look. Who cares if some other cat can kick its ass? A jaguar is just so cool, and as the total cat-package, zoologists agree it totally rocks.
That probably explains why the jaguar is the inspiration for the car company of the same name, and for the "Leaper," which has crouched majestically atop the hoods of disabled roadside Jags for decades. And it may explain why the fabled black cat inspired this striking custom ride.
Designed by Jaguar car fan Barend Massow Hemmes and built by Massow Concept Cycles out of an otherwise unloved '97 Buell S3 Thunderbolt, this British-Isles custom blends the silhouette of the fabled "Leaper" with decidedly un-British V-twin power. Well done and slickly executed, it's a pretty cool package.
Right up until somebody sits on it, and the alarming anthropomorphic juxtaposition sets off some kind of primeval warning claxon. It seems some bikes are best viewed without the rider. While the rider might wear a look of satisfaction on his face, is that a twinge of humiliation on the Leaper's face?