Getting carried away is part and parcel of working on bikes. Whether it be replacing a bearing that’s perfectly fine because “while it’s in bits, I might as well” or upgrading something that works perfectly OK just because there’s a deal to be had on eBay, man maths can usually be relied upon to justify pretty much anything. The owner of this Yamaha XV1000 popped into Ortolani Customs, just outside Nice in the south of France, for a simple paintjob…. and rolled out this tasty full-on custom instead. Bossman Olivier Ortolani must be as good at talking as he is at bike building.
Ortolani Customs’ usually works on classic car restorations, with the occasional motorcycle paint job in between. Pressure from customers pushed Olivier to take the leap into upping his two-wheeled game. After all, the roads around the hills above Nice are ripe for riding and the narrower ones are far more enjoyable on a bike.
Olivier wanted to flex the workshop’s fabricating arm by making as many parts for this XV as possible, rather than relying on the postman to deliver a bike in bits. The frame was looped and a rear light/indicator strip integrated. Space below the seat now houses the lithium battery and Motogadget wiring harness, very neatly encapsulated by hand rolled aluminium panels. Local upholstered NMB Designs made a saddle to suit the new subframe.
Suspension manufacturer Fournales from a bit further down the road near Toulouse provided a sturdy looking air shock, bolted straight to the stock swingarm. Upfront a GSXR fork and converted 16″ XV rear wheel make for a properly burly stance.
Fuel tank pop quiz…. anyone? Yup, Benelli Mojave, but an aluminium version, not steel. Thankfully this has been left raw, with a gloss black edge accent which ties it in visually with the subframe. The clutch and brake levers were machined and finished in-house, as was the fluid reservoir.
The litre twin didn’t need opening up, just a good service but it would have been a crime not to have shared the XV’s booming soundtrack so Olivier fabbed a stainless full system with stumpy reverse megaphone silencer. This should sound epic through the tunnels along the Corniches.