Monday, October 24, 2011

Rogue at Fifteen

Fifteen years ago I got an itch to have a motorcycle custom built for me. Not one of the current crop of outrageously expensive, impractical, nearly undriveable cruisers that are little more than butt-jewelry. No, I wanted a light weight, single-cylinder, back-road pocket-rocket. A bike made for the tight, twisty, hilly roads of western Wisconsin. The fine staff at Motorcycle Performance had just the thing in mind. Based on one of their existing track bikes, they proposed something similar and suggested $5,000 as the build price. Sign me up!


And here it is! I badged it as "Rogue", as in, apart from the herd. (No Sarah Palin jokes, please.) For the most part it does everything it was designed to do. It is not all that fast, perhaps an honest 120 mph if I am all tucked in. But it surely unkinks those twisty roads, flicking lightly from side-to-side in the corners. Mmmm.


It is a 540 cc, single cylinder engine originally from a Yamaha SR500. Base horsepower was a paltry 28, and this one does 42 at the rear wheel. It weighs around 350 pounds. The chassis is mostly a Suzuki GS500, with upgraded suspension and breaks. Body work is either stock or from Airtech (the solo seat conversion) and the fairing is from a Yamaha YSR50, extensively modified.

I changed the oil today, and washed and waxed it. I was observing that it looks pretty darned good for 15 years old! I hope you agree.

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