“The project took 5 years from start to finish.” Let that statement sink in. Now, we’ve all heard of custom motorcycle or even custom car projects that take ages to go from the drawing board to the finished article, but 5 years? That’s a whole lot of time and Angel Valkov and his team at Galaxy Custom are hoping that the results are well worth it.
We reckon it was because the Vratsa-based garage have pulled the covers off their latest project – a restored 1982 Yamaha XS650 dubbed ‘Duke’. The opening statement was actually coined by Ivailo Trendafilov, Galaxy Custom’s conceptual thinker and lead designer. The team comprises of the aforementioned Mr. Valkov, who is the creator and lead engineer, and Evgeni Veselinov, who is in charge of engine and electronic works.
To begin, the donor motorcycle was imported into Bulgaria from the United States. “Right from the beginning, we had been planning something like this bobber for a Yamaha XS. The reason is simple; the bike has an exceptionally beautiful engine that owes much to the timeless British classics,” commented Ivailo.
So while everyone was clearly in love with the stock bike, the brief was to do something completely unique – so much so that only the engine, gearbox and wheels were retained throughout the entire build. “All the parts were made entirely in the workshop, using brass, aluminium, stainless steel and sheet metal, of course.” The front fork was developed in-house while the brake and clutch lever were reversed with their workings hidden in the handlebars.
Up front, a large perimeter disc brake was added while the rear suspension set-up is comprised of a set of shock absorbers from a Harley-Davidson Soft Tail. As one can already tell, while the outlook of the motorcycle is decidedly retro, the electronics were kept up to 21st century standards with the fitment of electronic ignition and a lithium-ion battery. Elsewhere, a Motogadget gauge and electronic control unit is featured.