Ceci n'est pas une moto.
So, here's a thing. Back in 2014, an Italian design firm called JoeVelluto Design & Communication Studio (that's a mouthful) partnered with a Northern Italian bike builder called North East Customs to build a custom Yamaha XS500. They called it the JVLT014, and it's gorgeous. One caveat, though. This partnership wasn't forged to build a bike for a custom show or a race or a wealthy motorcycle collector. No, the two firms got together to turn the old Yamaha into a piece of home furniture.
I... what? Furniture? Yep, these dudes took a perfectly good old-school Yamaha off the street—a member of my beloved XS family at that!—and turned it into an expensive living room lamp.
Like most things that are equal parts wondrous and terrible, I learned about this thing after I fell down an internet rabbit hole. It started out innocently enough. All I was doing was looking at XS-series parts bikes, one thing led to another and, well, you know how it is. I got down to the XS500 and, as I poked around to see if any ever made it here to The Colonies, I ran across the JVLT014. At first, I was like, "Oh man, that's a handsome bike. Tell me more!" then I was all, "FURNITURE!" It's a travesty, man.
Apparently, the "bike" was built back in 2014 for a furniture design exhibition called the Salone del Mobile Milano. The team at NEC stripped the old XS down, sprayed the frame a gorgeous sky blue color that reminds me both of Gulf livery and that weird color the Russians paint their aircraft cockpits, then made new bodywork for it out of furniture-grade wood. Here's what kills me: it's lovely and stylish and I want to ride it but I can't. Like, I can't fault the design at all. Were it a real bike and not a very expensive reading lamp I'd ride the wheels off of it. As it is, it just kind of feels like a waste.
What do you think, would you have this in your living room? I sure would, but I'd always stare at it longingly and wonder, "What if?"