Moto Guzzi, Yamaha and Indian all unveil new bikes at Wheels & Waves

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Hand-built, one-off, specially-commissioned, custom bikes from Yamaha and Indian along with a brand new, limited edition version of Moto Guzzi’s V7 retro roadster were among the highlights at the recent Wheels & Waves in Biarritz, south-western France. 

Although the weather was unseasonably poor, with the rain lashing the event forcing some of the stalls and exhibits indoors, it didn’t dampen the creativity on show, in what has become one of the world’s leading custom bike events, reknown for its surfing vibe, street culture and hipster fashion.

Aside from the bikes motorcycle sprints took place in the hills overlooking the Atlantic; ride-outs took in the local scenery, custom shows and bands attracted the crowds and tattooists and clothing stalls made their marks.

But it was the new bikes which were probably the stars of the show. Yamaha used the event to unveil its latest, one-off ‘Yard Built’ custom project – a heavily modded XSR900 built by locally-based Dab Motors’ which was largely built using cutting edge 3D printers.

"Yard Built is often seen as the place where we honour the past, and maybe rightly so," said Antoine Clémot, Yamaha Motor Europe Motorcycle Product Manager. “But we also use it as a laboratory of sorts. Dab Motors is embracing technology that is light years ahead of so many other builders and that's thrilling to see."

Indian, meanwhile, unveiled a stunning new, one-off flat-tracker called ‘Shrimp’, based on its Scout Sixty and built by San Marco and Phonz of Anvil Motociclette. The name comes from it being inspired one of Indian’s earliest heroes, Albert ‘Shrimp’ Burns, who began racing at just 14 in 1912 before he was tragically killed at the age of just 23.

While Moto Guzzi went even further still be using the event, and the backdrop of its own custom show, to unveil a a brand new, limited edition version of its popular retro roadster, the V7.

The new V7 III Limited is the most luxurious and exclusive version of the 750cc V-twin yet and will be limited to just 500 units. It’s distinguished by its chrome-finished tank complete with black leather, vintage look strap, carbon fibre side panels complete with unique badging, saddle with old school style stitching, billet aluminium fuel cap, carbon fibre front and rear mudguards and more. The price for the new Limited is pegged at £8999.

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Phil West

By Phil West

MCN Contributor and bike tester.