The Fat Jap!
East meets West in this Asian American Pro Streeter!
On first glance you may be forgiven for thinking John Nuttall’s Pro Street inspired Yamaha is a Harley Davidson, why even the a few judges have been fooled with the Fat Jap taking out several Haley Davidson categories.
John recaps on the time the Fat Jap took out best Harley Davidson EVO at one Sydney meet. John said he made sure he had trophy in hand before he pronounced the breed of the Fat Jap and by the time he was half way down the stage stairs there were at least 18 to 20 punters looking over the bike for any sign of its pedigree. Then there was the time at Gold Coast Bike Week when John was chased down by one of the shows organizers of the Broad Beach Show and Shine. Contestants were told Jap bikes to the left and Harleys to the right. John headed the Fat Jap left as directed and was grabbed on the shoulder by a judge and told Harleys were to the right! John made the point the bike was a Yamaha and proceeded to the Jap section only to be beat by a Suzuki Hyabusa.
John says it wasn’t sour grapes and doesn’t want to take away from the Hyabusa’s win but all the Suzuki brought to the table was a set of chrome rims, extended swing arm and flame mirrors and hardly what many would think was custom. This left many of the supporters stunned! John puts the result down to the fact the judges may have thought the Fat Jap was actually a Harley – he has since got a spec sign made up to avoid any confusion in the bike’s heritage.
A long time fan of the metric, in particular Yamaha’s 1600cc XVS Roadstar, John owned one prior to purchasing the Fat Jap. John was weighing up customizing his existing Roadstar or buying one already customized and came to the conclusion the cost of customizing his bike to the standard he wanted far out weighed buying a bike already done. He scoured Aussie websites for twelve months before trying his luck internationally. John’s frame of mind was he could spend $20,000 on the bike he owned not knowing how it would turn out, it may come to $30,000 at the end of the build. Twelve months of searching and almost at the brink of giving up John found the classybikes.com website. “There were a shit load of bikes” John says but there wasn’t anything, until the Fat Jap caught his eye. With its long rake and 300 wide arse the Fat Jap had that Pro Street Chopper look he was looking for. The Fat Jap was owned by Doctor Carlos Velasco in Florida and had been advertised on the site for about six months. John rang the Doc and asked if he’d have any problem with shipping it to Aus in which the good doctor replied “You get all your shipping organized and I will hold it for you!”
Dealing with someone in another country would make anyone nervous and it was a fair bit of money to put into someone’s account John rightly points out but he decided to do so anyway.
When John first started negotiations for the bike one of his first questions was “What are you selling it for?” meaning why are you selling it? But there was something lost in the translation with John and the good Doctor, the Doc’s immediate reply “$26,000 U.S. but I’ll give it to you for $21,000” and that was the negotiations done with. John instantly jumped on the deal. John said “No way could I have spent $21,000 on my bike and make it to that standard!”. It took a further month to month and a half for the bike to get approvals and shipping organized to Aus.
Built by Arnie Gonzalez at a mob called Tricky Air and Billet U.S.A, the Fat Jap
is just under 3m long thanks mainly to a Pro 1 front end with a 54 inch rake. The flowing lines on the bike and stance give that real custom Pro Streeter credibility. The fuel tank is off a XVS 650 altered and stretched to a tear drop. The seat is custom made and covered in Alligator skin. From the point of the tank to the tip of the rear guard are all one piece giving the bike that smooth flow. The rear guard is ¼ of an inch thick and strong enough for a pillion passenger with the aid of a pad and has rear pegs. Frame and tins are coated in a black paint with blue flakes named Night Hawk. The rear end on the bike consists of a custom German Billet swing-arm, Recluse rims and Tricky Air air-ride suspension. The air ride gives 4 inches of road clearance when fully deflated and just 2 inches when deflated. With all that gleaming Billet which makes up the rear end it would be easy to miss one of the many stand out touches, the belt drive sprocket lends itself as the disc rotor for the rear 6 piston caliper. Hand and forward controls are BDL and handle bars custom made. The Yamaha 1600cc motor is mainly stock besides the Spike air filter, custom exhaust and Dyna 3000 Ignition. Standard, the 1600 donk revs at 4,000 rpm with the Dyna ignition 5,000, like every thing on this bike - a good point for future Judges to look out for is the engines two inch wide lifter covers, thus with the tank and 300 rear end the Fat Jap label.
Special thanks to Lawless’s own Dangerous Dave and Australia’s premier drag way WSID (Western Suburbs International Dragway).