Yamaha V-Star 650 Custom Motorcycle: Tequila Shooter

Smooth but potent middleweight custom motorcycle. From the October 1998 issue of Motorcycle Cruiser magazine. By Evans Brafield

Royal Star fans have seen Jeff Palhegyi's work before -- most will remember Yamaha's popular Speedstar show motorcycle -- but he hasn't focused his talents exclusively on the Royal end of the Star line. Dubbed Tequila, Palhegyi's latest custom started life as a V-Star Classic owned by Yamaha Sales Promotions Manager, Kim German.

When Palhegyi began the project, he decided to take the V-Star's big-bike look one step further. The fenders and tank were stretched, while maintaining a semblance of the Star's lines. For example, the rear fender's turned-out tip now drops a good three inches lower, and flips out to a narrower point. Still, put a stock Star next to Tequila and the family heritage is revealed in the curves. However, the flashy paint laid on by Taylor Design leaves the stately Classic paint scheme in the dust.

Residing under the more colorful, shapely fenders, a set of Buchanan's rims and spokes were laced by Lemon Grove Cycle Supply to the polished and chromed OE hubs. The oversize rims, when paired with lower-profile Dunlop tires, give the bike the California look (a rubber band on big wheels) and still maintain an approximation of stock diameter, thus avoiding potential handling problems. Palhegyi said he simply "wanted to see some more air through the wheels." Next, Palhegyi dropped Tequila's suspension a couple inches front and rear, but he utilized the stock components. The rear shock was reworked, while the stanchions received the hacksaw and spacer treatment. In fact, most of Tequila's bolt-ons (like the passing lamps and the fork slider caps) were dreamed up by the Yamaha accessory team for V-Star owners to lavish on their rides. The rest of the shiny stuff -- both polished and chromed varieties -- was produced at Quality Polishing. Finally, a set of BUB Enterprises pipes gives Tequila additional shine, as well as a throatier voice.

This summer, Tequila made the rounds with the Yamaha demo ride crew, giving cruisers nationwide an opportunity to view Palhegyi's work. After one taste, most viewers returned for another; just as with any top-shelf tequila.


BUB Enterprises

(530) 268-044

Dunlop of North America

Lemon Grove Cycle Supply 10:00

Quality Polishing
(760) 489-6347

Taylor Design
(619) 562-6510

White Brothers

Yamaha Accessories
Yamaha Cruiser Accessories
See your local dealership.

For more articles on custom bikes and articles about how to customize and modify your motorcycle, see the Custom section of MotorcycleCruiser.com.

Photography by Dean Groover