The Transformer Is a Heavily-Customized Yamaha Virago Clad in Aston Martin F1 Colors

The Transformer 9 photos
Photo: Bolt Motor Co.
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It might be hard to believe, but this futuristic cafe racer had once been a stock XV500 whose cruiser geometry was basically the antithesis of what you’re looking at here.
When a bike-modding shop operates under the same roof as an experienced motorsport team, you can be certain they’ll come up with some extraordinary projects. Sharing their workspace with Campos Racing, the folks over at Bolt Motor Co. (BMC) have been doing just that for several years, always striving to take full advantage of all the tools and precious know-how at their disposal.

Such attributes enable them to work miracles on just about any motorcycle that crosses their doorstep, and this futuristic Yamaha Virago was no exception. Once a boring cruiser with no characteristics to write home about, the bike became sporty, imposing, and downright seductive following BMC’s makeover. Let’s dive in and see how the transformation played out.

The donor arrived at their garage in pieces, so Adrián Campos and his team started by having it assembled to make sure no components were missing. After putting all the parts together and starting the XV500 for the first time in many years, they decided that everything was in order. Then, the customization process began in earnest.

At the front end, the pièce de résistance comes in the form of an outlandish fairing built in-house, flanking two vertically stacked projector headlights. This whole setup makes the motorcycle look like a nefarious cyborg, which is why Bolt Motor chose to nickname it The Transformer.

Right behind the front fairing, you’ll see a pair of aftermarket clip-ons bringing about a cafe racer-style posture. Furthermore, a Yamaha R6 donated its inverted forks, triple clamps, and front-end braking componentry, but the custom sorcery continues all the way back to the Virago’s southernmost tip.

Center-stage, the BMC crew installed the repurposed fuel tank of a Kawasaki KZ550, modifying it to properly fit atop The Transformer’s framework. Gone is the slouched factory subframe formerly mounted out back, making way for a much sportier bespoke unit manufactured from scratch. The steel skeleton is home to a flush-mounted LED taillight, and it supports a tailor-made saddle whose lines complement the gas tank’s silhouette.

Adrián’s moto doctors catered to the performance side of things by rebuilding the XV500’s V-twin powerplant inside out. Following the overhaul, they busied themselves with fabricating a superb two-into-one exhaust, which ends in a top-shelf aftermarket muffler underneath the seat. A thorough refresh took place in the electronics department, too, and along with it came a Motogadget control unit to run the whole show.

Since the new exhaust system terminates high up below the creature’s tail, its license plate attaches to swingarm via a custom bracket. Lastly, the paintwork employs the same beautiful colors as Aston Martin’s F1 livery, and it’s one hell of a sight to behold! Bolt Motor Co. wrapped this project up in February 2023, but they haven’t revealed any information regarding costs.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
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A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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