Few things in this world exemplify precision and razor sharp attention to detail as that of a finely crafted timepiece. The fact that the machinery that makes up a fine watch is so small, undeniably makes the margin of error close to non-existent, and the quality superb and of the highest caliber. An elegant wristwatch, particularly the Rolex Daytona 16523 Zenith Phase Two, is precisely the inspiration of this custom motorcycle by French builder, Panache Customs.
Panache Customs prides itself with producing beautiful yet functional bespoke machines that exude precision and subtle intricacy. All hand made in France, their creations are oftentimes so well put together, that they could be mistaken for new models released fresh from the showroom. Their latest project, dubbed the Smaug, started life as a 1977 Yamaha XS360. The finished product is a sleek all-black cafe racer with an extensive modification list that akins itself to both form and function.
The 43 year old motorcycle proved to be a good platform to work on, as the XS360’s chassis and overall design remain attuned to UJMs, even of today. A nice middle-grounder in terms of displacement, the XS360, in stock form, weighs 388 lbs—friendly, even for today's standards. The Smaug, however, lost a total of 57 lbs in its transformation, bringing its weight down to 331 lbs, allowing the little 358cc twin to shine a little brighter.
Of course, the weight reduction was paired with performance modifications to further enhance the bike’s overall performance. A set of dual disc brakes were retrofitted, along with an updated set of progressive YSS fork springs. Taking care of electricals is a Motogadget M-Unit assisted by an Elektronik Sachse MHP Regulator for the lightweight lithium battery. To top of the performance mods, as well as add a stylish and classy look to the bike, a custom exhaust with ceramic coated headers was fabricated. A pair of Spark slip-on mufflers were installed to give the bike a very retro-racer vibe.
Gallery: This Custom Yamaha XS360 Looks Like A Factory Fresh Beauty
As far as aesthetics go, the XS360’s entire bodywork was forgone in favor of bespoke body parts—from the fuel tank, to the seat assembly, to all the components in the cockpit. All this was finished in a stunning deep black, powder coated to perfection with subtle white and orange design cues. Overall, Panache Customs’ Smaug indeed recognizes a savage, savvy and outwardly eye-catching character, which remains well composed and elegant.