A refreshing take on an unlikely sportbike.
Buell motorcycles weren't exactly known for their neck-breaking good looks or outright performance figures. In fact, bikes like the Buell Blast continue to be seen as beginner motorcycles which are cheap to buy and maintain. In 2007, however, Buell launched the 1125R. Although debatably not as beautiful as other sportbikes of its time, the 1125R was a step in the right direction for Buell, design-wise.
It's also interesting to note that the 1125R was the first Buell to come with an engine other than that of a Harley-Davidson. It in fact, set the stage for Erik Buell Racing's future motorcycles which made use of the Rotax Helicon V-twin engine. Apart from the engine, the 1125R featured rather unique design elements never before seen in the motorcycle world. For instance, it came equipped with inverted disc rotors mated to an eight-piston caliper. As opposed to standard disc rotors, this bike featured rotors which were mounted to the wheel's spokes, allowing for a massive disc brake—a feature commonly seen on Buell's bikes.
While not bearing as timeless a design as those of Italian and Japanese sportbikes, the Buell 1125R did have a few things going for it. In fact, French custom motorcycle shop LYS Motorcycles saw quite a bit of potential in this bike, and turned it into a one-of-a-kind custom sportbike that's more than worthy of a second glance. Inspired by race bikes of the 1980s, the LYS 1125R has a distinctly retro-modern, even steampunk aesthetic to it. Initially built as a just-for-fun project by the folks at LYS Motorcycles, the 1125R turned out to be quite a neck-breaker.
For starters, the LYS 1125R makes use of a 1987 Suzuki GSXR750 fairing. On the bottom half of the fairing sits a pair of air scoops which serve more than just an aesthetic purpose. These functional scoops duct air towards the massive twin radiators of the 1125 Rotax Helicon engine. The bike's fascia is adorned with a set of aftermarket twin-pod headlights, while a cropped windscreen provides a tiny bit of wind protection at full tuck. The bike's rear-end was also heavily customized by way of a hand-fabricated steel tail unit which screams '80s superbike styling.
Eagle-eyed viewers will definitely notice the LYS 1125R's unique fuel tank setup. The custom fuel tank features an exposed K&N air filter proudly sitting on top of the tank. This two-in-one design was meticulously handcrafted to optimize performance while making it accessible to refuel the bike and replace the air filter when necessary.
The folks at LYS Motorcycles have used a very innovative method of customizing this bike. In fact, should they wish to revert everything back to stock at some point, this would be completely doable, as the chassis remains completely original. Everything was fitted by way of custom brackets which bolt directly onto existing mounting points on the frame. This was done with the notion in mind that bikes like the Buell 1125R could one day be sought-after collectors items which hold their value best in stock form.