Friday, January 06, 2006

Chrome Trash, or Engineering Marvel?

I don't usually buy into the whole "Chopper" phenomenon, to me most of it is little more than motorcycle-by-numbers with some gratuitous chrome thrown in for good measure. Not to mention that most of the superstar chopper builders that are on TV these days seem to have the combined intellect of a wingnut.

All the more reason why French motorcycle and car tuning company Lazareth continues to get my interest every time they come out with something new. These guys aren't only about the "look", but they push the engineering envelope also - which makes it more interesting than all the other custom bike makers. Their creations aren't all about S&S V-Twins and hardtail frames, most of the time they'll start off with a Yamaha V-Max or even a Suzuki Hayabusa - are you starting to get the picture?

One of their latest incarnations is the Roadster V6... yes, as in V6 engine! What's cool about it is that it's a naked sport bike that doesn't come out looking like the lovechild of Chevy and Harley-Davidson (i.e. Boss Hoss). They've managed to create a naked roadster à-la-Ducati that hides it's innards and weight remarkably well.

Although it may not be easy to see on the picture, it has a transversely-mounted 1800cc V6 engine from a Mazda MX3 coupled to a HD 5-speed tranny. Rear suspension is a single-sided swingarm with single shock, while the front is a single-sided fork with an ingenious shock within the pivot. Brakes are rim-mounted with two 3-pot calipers in front and one in back.

For more info, check out

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