BT1100 Radical Bulldogs




Radical Bulldogs

This Informations are from the Yamaha Design Cafe

Source of inspiration

Selected parts may be available as ‘limited edition’

Two great-looking show-machines based on a standard BT1100 Bulldog had their debut at the International motorcycle exhibition in Munich.

What is the background of their development? Have a look behind the scenes!

Oliver Grill likes the Bulldog. He is Product Line Manager at Yamaha Motor Europe, and was involved in the development: 

Product line manager Oliver Grill


With the special tail kit, handcrafted in Italy, the Bulldog gets more compact and powerful looks and exposes the rear tyre

“I love this bike. The Bulldog is great in the conditions and speed range where I ride 90% of my time, escape-ways from crowed roads and ultimately twisty country lanes. This bike is made for those conditions, when the rider prefers a relaxed style and keeps common sense in traffic. I ride often different motorcycles and many of them are very specialised, they are extreme in certain directions but usually more far from my core usage. The Bulldog is different, it is a purist machine, symbolised by it’s the typical Tank-Engine-Wheels design. It has enough power for an easy ride and that’s exactly what I need to enjoy.”

He explains why Yamaha shows special accessorized models: “Because the Bulldog is such a pure bike, it offers a great opportunity for the customer to make it his own special bike, and to build up a personal relationship. When you own a bike yourself you develop a relation with this machine. Many people customize their bike to make it truly a piece of them.”

“Why 2 different special models? Wasn’t one enough?” Oliver: “We wanted to show a range of possibilities, how outstanding you can be and there is more then one dimension. The metal direction for example is a logic way to customize: great looking parts, shiny, expensive quality. You need to pay attention to the bike, polish it, to make it look beautiful.

Compact head, thick neck as a real ‘Bulldog’: The aluminium screen and aluminium head stock kit create radical style

The leather direction is a different way of thinking: Leather gets only more beautiful through time because you can see where it’s been used and scratched. In that sense it emphasizes the relationship between the bike and rider in a very different way: you can recognise all the experiences they lived through together. And of course leather is a pure material, not artificial nor too modern or fashionable. It is what it is. It feels less cold and technical than metal, not only the ‘looks’ but also ‘feel’ and ‘touch’ gives the bike something alive – like an animal!”

Real leather tank cover and Storage belt for wallet and mobile

He adds “We know that this leather style show machine is probably unexpected, unconventional, maybe not to everybody’s taste, but it is expressing a unique and very individual style.”

Roland Snel, Accessory manager at Yamaha Motor Europe, was very enthusiastic about the project and made a variety of parts available as Yamaha Genuine Accessories.

Accessory manager Roland Snel

 Roland: “This is not a project where we make money. We wanted to inspire the customer how to customize his bike in many different ways. For example, several parts we are developing are handcrafted in Italy and only available in small quantities. This stuff will remain very special and exclusive!”

Designer Olivier Béboux from Global Design

Olivier Béboux from Global Design in Amsterdam, the designer in this project explains:

“Metal and Muscle feeling were the main themes we developed. It’s a fundamental for motorbikes: metal and macho. The original Bulldog carried this theme, and we emphasized it even more by removing all the plastic parts, the front fender, the side covers, even the handle grips, replacing them by pure metal, aluminium. The riding position is much ‘macho’ and dominant with the new flat and wide handlebars. And there is even the spirit of the American Muscle cars from the 60s and 70s: look at the exposed air filters and the more dominant presence of the engine.”

Laser exhaust system by Jama engineering

Olivier refers to last year’s show model, the ‘Mastino Napoletano’: “The Mastino last year was very successful and everybody was asking for parts. So we managed to fit a short tail kit on the actual frame, to create more dynamism. We really tried to shift the mass forward to make the bike as short as possible.”

Mastino Napoletano

Project consultant Sven Ermstrang sums it all up: “People at Yamaha have a deep passion for bikes and this project shows it very well. We had lots of fun developing it and I am sure that riders will appreciate these dream bikes.”

Project consultant Sven Ermstrang

Passionate attention to every detail Ohlins suspension components: Quality and Passion go hand in hand

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