“With Nehmesis, I saw myself as making the Frankenstein monster of motorcycles,” he told Ultimate Motorcycling in an interview the following year. “I wanted to be different. And do all that it was possible to do in one bike; to push myself further than ever – as if this was my last build.”
Nehmesis is just that: a ferocious, superbly crafted and truly outrageous build that remains, to this day, Nehme’s most daring project. It is named after him and, unlike his other custom builds, this one was a gift to himself.
Nehme is the owner of Ford Lauderdale’s Broward Motorsports, and he set up the creative division BMS Choppers in 2003. They do tons of stuff for regular folks, from custom bikes and choppers, to cars and trucks, but they also count on a celebrity clientele that includes the likes of Flo Rida, Diddy and Ice T.
The bike hardly cost that much: Nehme himself would estimate they put in some $250,000 in man-hours alone (6 full months of 18-hour working days), some $25,000 in 24-karat gold plating, and another $25,000 for the custom deep 3D rims. Depending on who you believe, the total cost of the bike would go up to $500,000 but, ultimately, how much it costs doesn’t even matter. The bike is not for sale.
Nehmesis started out as a Yamaha Road Star 1700, of which only the 1.7-liter V-twin engine, engine cradle and steering head (for the original VIN) were kept. It was built from the ground up by Nehme himself, head machinist Ron Tilson and fabricator Jonesy, from Nehme’s sketches.
Best described as the point of collision of two contrasting worlds, that of H.R. Giger and of flamboyant fashion designer Gianni Versace, Nehmesis is a lot to take in, even without considering the fact that it’s literally dripping in gold. The single-sided front “fork” is crafted from aluminum billet and stretches over three feet (91.4 cm). The rear arm is also single-sided, with running lights incorporated into the fenders and the body, to illuminate the mismatched Vee Rubber wheels at night.
Everything on the bike, aside from the elements kept from the Road Star, was built in-house at BMS Choppers. Nehme’s goal was to achieve fluidity while packing the design with over-engineered parts – a task that, at times, proved daunting even for him.
The rider sits on a saddle of red velvet with gold studs, not unlike a king’s throne. Look away from the technical specs and all that gold, and you will be amazed at the detailed airbrush work on the bike, which includes a skeleton motif and a strange creature’s head on the front fender.
"I’ve never been a ‘skull-and-bones’ builder. I wanted something inspired by the Alien theme, and the bike does have that same quality – sexy, and at the same time, a little scary,” Nehme says in the same interview.
Of course, Nehmesis is not a bike for long rides. It’s been tested duly at the time it was introduced to the world, but Nehme himself compares it to women’s preference for sky-high stilettos. They look amazing, but no one wants to run marathons in them.
“Like most choppers, it does redefine your riding style,” he says. “This is a bike for someone who wants to look good rather than look fast.”