An unfortunate fact of life in U.S. motorsports is that even if a particular form of racing is interesting and exciting, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee it will be popular with the public at large. Indycar and sports car fans and participants know this all too well (though the civil wars those two disciplines have gone through can shoulder most of the blame), but so do fans of flat-track speedway motorcycle racing. The sight of riders flicking their mounts into the turns of dirt ovals, powersliding inches apart, left boots dragging is truly awe-inspiring.
Of course, serious motorcycle buffs are aware of the sport. Some are so into speedway racing, in fact, that they ride motorcycles styled to look like flat-track racing bikes. It is for folks like this that world-renown customizer Roland Sands and his company, Roland Sands Design, have created the muscular beast seen here.
It’s based on a Star Bolt, Star being Yamaha’s sub-brand of American style cruisers. But it has managed to lose all of its cruiser looks, without any cutting or welding being done by Roland Sands Design. The stock headlight, seat and fenders were all removed, and there’s now a number plate on the front, along with a new racing style seat and stubby fiberglass tail section. The new tail section and stock gas tank were then striped in three shades of green which, coupled with the white base, reminds us more than a little bit of the Jaguars and Triumphs prepared by Bob Tullius’ Group 44 shops. Not a bad thing, that.
Mechanically, this altered Yamaha rolls on gold anodized 19” wheels wearing yellow-lettered Dunlop flat-track tires. The 942cc air-cooled V-twin now inhales through an intake and exhaust from Roland Sands Design’s Slant line, and RSD also supplies a set of bolt-on pegs and handlebars to further the motorsports theme. Collectively, these custom parts transform a run-of-the mill Bolt into a convincing flat-track racer homage.
Yes, it’s almost too nice to actually take on a dirt oval and slide around. On the other hand, since all parts except the seat and tail section are off-the-shelf items, repairs wouldn’t be that hard to make if it (and you) wound up taking a tumble through the dirt and into the hay bales. That said, we’d probably stick to the street.
Source: Roland Sands Design