1998 Yamaha Dragstar - Baer's Beachstar

The Best Custom V Star...Ever

Some of the best handbuilt customs in the world not based on a UAM (Universal American Motorcycle ) come out of Europe. The creativity and energy the average European builder puts into their creations is simply mind-boggling. New Motorcycle Cruiser contributor Sabine Welte is based in Germany and on the prowl for the hottest custom iron for the pages of our magazine. As always your feedback on anything in MC is always welcome at cruiser@sorc.com. -BB

Mario Baer has created a stunning bike. It's a conversion of a Yamaha XVS 650 Drag Star (Star V Star 650 in the US) he calls the Beachstar. The name isn't surprising, considering he works for a water-ski maker in Germany.

In 2007 he built his first Drag Star, adding a unique TTS wheel, built especially for his bike, and a wider swingarm to fit the 330mm tire. He won several bike shows with his first creation.

Nowadays, he uses the same basic bike, but puts 23-inch rubber on the one-off wheels (again, built by TTS). With a fancy bicycle-style saddle by Brooks, the rider sits nearly in front of the big rear wheel. Baer explains, "The saddle was an important styling issue, the whole bike and form follows this small place to sit down."

The reversed LSL handlebar gives the Beachstar an individual look; accented by the tiny 4.5 liter one-off stretched tank, handmade from sheetmetal by the owner himself. To add a little more fuel capacity, Baer mounted a Sigg aluminum bottle with an additional 1.5 liter capacity right between the frame rails.

Baer needed merely one summer to modify this old 1998 Yamaha Drag Star, working only in the evenings, and storing it under a sheet in the garden behind his house. He lives with his little family near Lippstadt, a small town in the middle of Germany.

At Cologne's world-renowned Intermot show in 2008, the bike brought down the house and Baer was constantly asked: "Is that bike rideable?" The 32-year-old is always amused by this question, because he places a high value on riding his custom bikes. He rides the Beachstar to work nearly every day and at the photo shoot we saw his nimble moves on this spectacular bike. Furthermore, the proud dad of three-year-old daughter, Joline, surprised us with a fairing he added later. The fairing created a completely different look on the same bike: Board Tracker or Ol' Skool Racing Bike? He can change the look and statement of this Yamaha XVS 650 in only three minutes.

Intermot isn't the only place Baer presented his marvelous artwork. Custombike (the largest and most famous bike fair in Europe, named after the German publication of the same name) came at the end of 2008 in Bad Salzuflen, Germany. He won second place in the Magazine's Reader's Challenge Trophy, wowing the crowds, yet again.

"What is your next project, Mario?"

"Hmmm...something exceptionally spectacular with a huge rear wheel and a small front wheel. Something completely crazy! Simply a 'Baer'", he answered with an impish wink.

1998 Yamaha Dragstar(Yamaha V-Star 650)
Fabrication and assembly:
Mario Baer, Lippstadt, Germany

Type: Rubber-mounted 4-valve OHC v-twin. 81mm bore 63mm stroke.
Exhaust: Baer (inspired by old WWII fighter planes)

Frame and swingarm modified to fit 23" TTS rim.

Forks: Stock
Shocks: Stock monoshock
Wheels, Tires and Brakes: 3.5"x23" TTS Wheels custom laced for the Beachstar, powdercoated black. 130/60-23 tires (brand?)stock brakes, front single disc, rear drum.
Claimed Specifications: 529 Lbs dry, 65 PS @ 7700rpm power & 60Nm @ 4400rpm torque, 65-inch wheelbase

Fuel Tank(S): One-off handmade 4.5 Liter (1.9 gallon) by Mario Baer. Additional tank (made from Sigg bottle) with 1.5 liter (.4 gallon) capacity under seat.
Handlebar: LSL (reversed)
Headlights: From bicycle.
Seat: Brooks Iron Cross Saddle (from bicycle)
Indicators: Custom mini LED.

Mario Baer
Phone: +49 (0) 1608971664
TTS Motorcycles Handels
Phone: +49 (0) 5404-6394
Website: www.wheelspoint.de

Flat stars on the satin fairing paint adds detail in a sea of blackness. It's loving touches like this that set the bike apart.
Believe it or not, the whole motorcycle was designed around this vintage leather Brooks bicycle seat.
The removable 60's-style fairing adds a little wind protection and makes a huge cosmetic change to the machine.
The German authorities are sticklers for proper lighting, so this tiny axle-mounted LED does the trick for Mario's bike.