Yellowood’s ’98 Suzuki DR650
And now for a game of ‘spot the skateboard’ – that’s right, there are quite a few skateboard decks dotted around this motorcycle, full marks to whoever can find them all. No prizes though. This beautifully skate themed DR650, made by Yellowood – a skateboard and fingerboard workshop based in Matoshinhos, . It’s not unusual to see a motorcycle, or the occasional build that features a truck or a wheel from a skateboard but to see one with quite so many skateboard decks on one machine, it just doesn’t happen.
The man behind Yollowood goes by the name of Phillipe de Goyri, an artist and skateboarder with a passion for motorcycles. After seeing Bali’s DR650 job, he was inspired to take on his first bike build. The idea was simple: to create a machine that fused three of his favorite things, a love of skateboards, a love of motorcycles and a love for crafting things. “It was simple,” Phillipe said, “I’d make a bike using skateboard decks.” And he did.
Phillipe’s company, Yellowood, specializes in producing and creating skateboards and fingerboards; this may not sound like the usual beginnings of your average bike builder but a love for boards and bikes pushed him into building this masterpiece. All he needed was a donor.
After locating a suitable DR650, Phillipe started designing his dream bike but instead of using pen, paper or photoshop, he crafted a scale model, using fingerboards to replicate skateboards, to see how it could all fit together. As soon as he could see that the idea would work, he began transforming his fingerboard plans into full sized, skateboard counterparts – which were specially made for the job. As a diehard skater, Phillipe was loathed to use fully functioning boards and avoided that where possible – in total, he made three special boards for the job but used old, broken decks for the templates.
Rather than just sticking a few bits of well-shaped wood on a bike and calling it a custom, Phillipe also got his hands dirty by hand fabricating a few bits and pieces and swapping this for that. The original tank was scrapped in favor of an old Maico number that needed a bit of restoration. Next, he chopped the frame to accommodate the new skateboard features and keep things lined up, and finally, he added a few finishing touches to the hardware, such as the specially adapted radiator and the classic Hella rally headlight. My favorite piece is the tail light, which is fashioned from an old skateboard truck. (Sure, it’s been done before but it always looks the business!)
As for the finish…well, you might have guessed that a company called ‘Yellowood’ might have a penchant for adding a splash of yellow on all of their projects and you’d be correct. To contrast the black and grey of the tanks, frame and seat, Phillipe added some yellow stripes on to the tank with matching yellow piping on the seat. But you might not have noticed the nuts and bolts. The fixings have all been anodized in yellow too, all done by the man himself – which is no mean feat for the first time builder.
According to Phillipe: “In the end, the bike turned out exactly the way I envisioned it. It was a good technical challenge and I had a blast doing it. I’m already planning to make more bikes using skateboards, that’s for sure.” – I certainly hope he does continue making a few more skate slash custom crossovers. His brand of artistry is understated and not over the top at all. More in future please!