First Look: A Tale Of Two V-Rods - Up To Speed

V-Rex And V-Roehr: Twin Takes On A Theme

First Look:Harley-Davidson's V-Rod blew plenty of minds when it debuted in 2002. Its strong, quick-revving, Porsche-designed Revolution motor has about as much in common with past H-D Big Twins as the latest David Foster Wallace novel does with a Dickens classic.

Like The Motor Company's famed air-cooled, pushrod, 45-degree V-twins, which have been the go-to powerplant for custom chopper builders going on 50 years now, the V-Rod's liquid-cooled, DOHC 60-degree Revolution motor is now also attracting the attention of custom builders. Unlike the traditional chopperheads, however, the guys utilizing the Revolution powerplant operate in a decidedly more modern aesthetic, as evidenced by the two bikes shown here: the Travertson V-Rex future cruiser and the V-Roehr Superbike.

The V-Rex is the more radical of the two, a collaboration between noted Australian designer Tim Cameron and American bike builder Christian Travert-the latter best known for his outrageous Y2K jet turbine-powered sportbike made famous by Jay Leno. Cameron spent two months designing the V-Rex in 3-D detail on a computer screen using sophisticated computer-modeling software typically employed to create Hollywood special effects. And then, working from Cameron's computer designs, Travert spent almost a year hand-crafting the running prototype. Like it enough to buy it? Travertson (www.travertson.com) is gearing up for limited production at a target price of $39,990.

Do your tastes run more toward track days than toy rides? In that case, download the data on American innovator Walter Roehrich's latest creation, the V-Roehr (www.roehrmotorcycles.com). Roehr-whose previous creations include the Rv500 streetbike powered by a YZ250-based two-stroke V-twin and the Rv1000 powered by the Swedish-made Highland 950-has now set out to construct the street-legal VR1000 Superbike Harley was afraid to sell. Roehr plants the 1130cc Revolution motor in a composite frame created from steel main beams bonded and bolted to machined aluminum plates and outfitted with top-line chassis components from hlins, Brembo and Marchesini. The bodywork is all carbon-fiber, and overall the bike has something of a Frankenstein look with what appear to be reclaimed Ducati and Yamaha parts giving it shape. Roehr is planning a limited-production run of 50 units for 2008 priced at $39,995.

The Bike That Changed My Life1984 Yamaha RZ350

RIDER: JAMIE JAMES
NOW: PROPRIETOR, JAMIE JAMES PRODUCTIONS
THEN: BUDDING AMATEUR RACER AND FUTURE AMA SUPERBIKE CHAMPION

I had been riding motorcycles for a long time, racing motocross and flattrack, but the RZ350 was my first roadrace bike. I heard you could make good money from Yamaha racing in the RZ Cup. I raced mostly in Texas-at Texas World Speedway, Oak Hill Raceway and Green Valley-and occasionally at Road Atlanta and Little Talladega. There were some good guys riding in Texas at that time-Kevin Schwantz and John Kocinski to name two. I did real good right away, but I couldn't ever seem to catch Kevin. One weekend at Texas World I was chasing him down when I rode off the track, tore through this little ditch and crashed bad. I broke that RZ clean in half, got knocked out and wasn't right for a week! After that race, Kevin's uncle, Darryl Hurst, who sponsored him, came up and said, "Keep trying to race with Kevin and you're gonna keep getting hurt." Of course, that just made me want to beat him even worse!

I got better the next year, and faster, too. I've got a picture of me leading Kevin at Daytona in 1985-I showed Darryl! Unfortunately, I ended up dropping out of that race when the bike ran out of gas on the banking. We had fuel problems all season long; I rebuilt those carbs so many times and could never figure it out. A few months later we found the problem: My girlfriend's contact lens had somehow gotten sucked into the fuel line and was stopping it up!

Wild File
Alien Nation
Talk about a predatory Hayabusa...outh Carolina's C&S; Custom Cycles has easily placed itself at the top of the tuning food chain with this spectacular specimen. Not only does the 2005 Suzuki Hayabusa display some amazing fabrication and engineering ingenuity, it also manages to make the portrayed movie characters come to life with wild one-off parts.

The staggering swingarm is definitely a jaw-dropper, and though plenty of sportbike purists would scoff at the notion of a 9-foot-long bike with a 25-inch-over arm, we'd be happy to stomp it down the boulevard on its plentiful 360-section rear rubber.

One of the sharpest (literally) custom components is the dramatic exhaust connected to the Brock's Racing Sidewinder headers. C&S; created the piping and then cut out the patterned tips to maintain the edgy-yet-organic Alien-meets-Predator feel.

The four-bottle nitrous-oxide setup is admittedly a bit much, but on a bike like this it's certainly more for looks than feel. It wasn't merely a case of slapping on some laughing gas and calling it a day, though; C&S; had to plan the swingarm with the double-bottle display in mind, and the tailsection required a hefty amount of unhealthy chemicals to mold in the housing for the dual Sneaky Pete bottles.

Suzuki Celebrates 100 Years Of The TTA trio of GSX-Rs just made for Mad SundaySuzuki Great Britain has teamed up with the Isle of Man government to create a range of Centenary TT Edition GSX-R models. The limited-production GSX-R1000, 750 and 600 are offered in unique color combinations, and each bike will be individually certified and numbered with the identifying digits joining an Isle of Man TT logo on the top triple clamp. Specially designed graphics featuring the TT logo adorn both sides of the fairing and the seat cowl. The red/silver GSX-R1000 boasts twin Yoshimura GP Evo exhausts and a tinted windscreen. Only 150 units will be made available at a price of 9949 ($19,678). The blue/black GSX-R750 and 600 both feature black double-bubble screens. Just 200 examples of the 750 will be offered at 8199 ($16,217), while just 150 600s are up for grabs at 7199 ($14,239). The Centenary TT Edition GSX-Rs won't officially be offered for sale in the U.S., but we'll betcha a pint at Bushy's that a few will find their way here somehow.

After you build a turbine-powered jetbike, anything else is easy. Christian Travert's latest creation is the avant-garde V-Rex.
With his V-Roehr Superbike, Walter Roehrich is essentially offering the VR1000 Superbike that Harley built and raced but never sold.
"Who do you think you are, boy, Jamie James?"
GSX-R1000 at Creg ny BaaKate's Cottage
Alien Nation was featured in the March 2007 issue of Motorcyclist's sister publication, Super Streetbike.