I was just minding my own business when I heard a low rumble and felt the Earth begin to stir. Before I knew what was happening, it was upon me, the Monster Bike being driven by Val Schooley was coming down my street. Heads turn. Pulses race, and people stop in their tracks when the gothic art masterpiece he rides comes into view. Here’s a little tale of dark intrigue about a powerful machine that is a work of art on wheels.
The Bike :
Yamaha Raider 2009. 1300 cubic inch V-Twin engine, 109 horsepower, 140 mph top speed, 0-60 in less then 3 seconds, longest bike on the market at 109 inches. After market parts include Arland Ness mirrors and wrap around license plate, as well as other after market Yamaha parts.
Yamaha wanted to develop a bike that was different then the standard old school Harley and wanted a more “chopper” styling. They achieved an “old muscle” style with today’s technology with this bike, which makes it extremely powerful and gas efficient (in fact, Harley does not make a bike this powerful). The new caption Yamaha will be advertising for this bike is “Make It Your Way”.
Yahama has succeeded in changing cruiser styling with this bike and Honda, as well as Suzuki, are trying to catch up.
The style and unusually large rear wheel (fat tire) drew my interest to this bike. After purchasing the bike, friends and fans would often comment to me that the bike looked very “gothic” since the design of this bike gave that feeling (and it is a beautiful black). I agreed and started to envision a custom paint job that would have bats and perhaps wolves. While I have painted bikes in the past, this paint job would be beyond my limited talent of flames. After weeks of research for an affordable and talented artist, I found Zennon. I told
him of my vision and we collectively came up with the wolf bat idea, as well as the cool green color.
This project took 6 months to complete and the pearl and metalic painting in green is outstanding in the sunlight. I plan on entering the bike in upcoming car shows. Pictures have been taken by the artist and may appear in a future edition of Cruiser Magazine. Yamaha in Modesto (Calif) has also taken pictures to enter into the publicity contest for the “Make It Your Way” ad campaign.
At this time, we have taken the bike on only one long ride, along the California Coast and it performed beautifully. It is an amazing bike to ride and this June we will be taking a long Yellowstone Park ride with friends. I anticipate many long years of pleasing and comfortable riding on this bike.
The Artist’s Story:
My name is Zennon and I started airbrushing when I was seventeen years old. I started to airbrush mainly because I found it to be an instrument of precision if mastered it, and I wanted a challenge. In the beginning there were very limited amount of resources at the time I could count on for information and so I learned by the trial and error.
At first, I thought it was just going to be a phase I would end up going through in my life. Twenty years later I am still airbrushing. Since I wanted to keep doing art I decided to study art and in the process I earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from CSU Stanislaus, in Turlock, Ca. Five years after completed my undergraduate work I earned my certificate for automotive refinishing from Modesto Junior College. I evolved from simple t-shirt painting with acrylic paints to custom, detailed murals on helmets and motorcycles using automotive paint.
Val’s bike was a peculiar project from the outset. He called me one day and asked me if I would be interested in painting artwork on his bike, of course I responded by accepting the challenge. He wanted a bat theme on his motorcycle but was not to sure if he just wanted it in black and white. I suggested we add one other color besides having it just plain black and white. Val said he likes greens so I told him I would paint a mailbox to show him how I would go about painting his motorcycle pieces. When the mailbox was completed he gazed at it and ran off with it to show his wife, and within a couple of days he called me up and said I got the commission.