For many of you guys that know my work will know of my love for the Harley Davidson. Why I even own a bike named “The Willy G” named after its former owner the one and only Willy G Davidson, but my love is for all motorcycles. Both Garry Byers and myself have dabbled with what is regarded as Jappa’s or cruisers or even metrics for a better word. Garry owned a Suzuki Boulevard and I owned a Honda VTX 1800 and it is still one of my all-time favourite rides. I had heard of a Yamaha Warrior but had not seen one but when I saw this particular bike in my mate Steve Vece’s (from Vecey Moto Service) shop I had to grab it for a feature. I got Steve to ask the owner if he would be interested and in a matter of days the owner Warren ‘’Wazza’’ Bowers got back to me and we arranged the shoot.
Wazza is a member of Kobbers Kruiser Club. Kruiser refers to Japanese and European cruisers and was established in 1996 and now has members in NSW and Queensland. Wazza’s bike is a 2004 XVS 1700 Yamaha Warrior. The first thing that drew me to the bike was the 260 arse end. The wheels are 18’’ 260n rear and 19’’ 120 on the front mounted on the custom made swing arm. Wazza brought all the chrome and accessories, swing arm and wheels from the USA not only due to the savings and being able to have the parts delivered to his door for half the price he would here in Aus but also because it is very hard to find parts here. That isn’t to say everything on the bike was imported, the seat as with many of the seats in the club were made by a local Garry Unger from Met Cruz Seats in Dubbo. Happy with his seat Wazza makes the point the seat might not have been as cheap as he might have brought it from overseas but it’s a better quality seat and the down fall with buying parts from overseas is its very hard to take them back and say to them “this is wrong”! Adding ‘’You can walk into a Harley shop and buy anything there and then and walk out with it under your arm’’. The seat isn’t the only Aussie accessory, the 16’’ Ape Bars are from Burley Bars Queensland and cables were also done locally. All that can be chromed has been chromed on the bike and a set of Bubs pipes give it its note.
Wazza is wrapped with the Warrior and says he has had very little problem with it ‘’I like the look of them and they have fantastic amount of torque (80 bhp) and are a very nice and sporty bike to ride, I had a Kawasaki Mean streak but I love the Warriors’’
Yamaha stopped importing the Warrior back in 2005 and Wazza’s Warrior is one of only 200 registered in Aus (five are actually in the Kobbers) and whilst the bike is still being built in Spain (Bilgardo Spain) and still available in the USA being so scarce have made them a collectable and has meant the bike has held its value with a 2004 model still fetching $17,000-$18,000 in the market place.
It’s not until you delve in the history of the bike that you realise how much has actually gone into it. Originally the bike came out in a maroon colour with flames. All the tins were replaced by a set Wazza imported from the USA that were already sprayed and ready to mount. He then decided to donate the original tins to his mate and as parts were replaced with aftermarket accessories they also went to his friend. ‘’The bike was an absolute mess’’ says Wazza ‘’His bike was silver and an absolute mess and once we started swapping things it came together.” There were brand new wheels, all the tins and even pegs, it’s a lot cheaper that way than doing it himself. That’s what a lot of us (Kobbers) are like “if someone needs something we give it to them and help each other out!’’
The Kobbers’ ride every Sunday and have four different meeting points, each week one person coordinates that ride and once a month they go away. The club also has a once a year AGM for four days on the north coast of NSW at Sawtell and a charity ride to Randwick Childrens Hospital every Easter.
Which brings us to the gorgeous Kitty Karisma - too shy to talk so we will let the pics speak for themselves!