Walz Hyper Modified TMAX
Yamaha Europe sets the challenge for three top custom bike builders. First up we have the result from Marcus Walz, Germany.
Yamaha Motor Europe
Last year Yamaha challenged three of the world’s best custom bike builders to transform the VMAX into something unique that reflects their own individual style – this year the task is even harder. After enjoying the challenge so much last year, these three visionaries of motorcycle customisation have each approached Yamaha and asked for the chance to break new ground in 2012. This year will see them Hyper Modify the Yamaha TMAX and push the boundaries of what riders expect from a maxi-scooter, in the process shaping history and becoming the first to radically customise a scooter into something truly ground breaking – just like the TMAX.
Since its launch in 2001, the TMAX has revolutionised the maxi-scooter world, introducing a new element of sporting ability as well as an aggressive and angular look to the class. It is a scooter like no other, and this year the new 2012 TMAX’s dynamic look will be taken to the Max…and beyond.
As with the Hyper Modified VMAX, the custom builders who get to put their own unique stamp on the TMAX are Californian wild man Roland Sands, French creative genius Ludovic Lazareth and hardcore German customiser Marcus Walz. With Sands and Lazareth still hard at work stripping down the standard TMAX and shaping their new creations from its bare bones, Marcus Walz is now ready to unveil his vision of the TMAX. Lazareth and Sands, who will be presenting their creations in the summer and autumn months respectively, have now discovered just how hard their task will be to match Walz’s TMAX…
Known for his aggressively styled machines with lowered suspension and radical lines, Walz’s focus was to create a bike that looks powerful and intimidating without losing its ability to perform on the road. More accustomed to creating hardcore cruisers, Walz relished the task of Hyper Modifying the VMAX so much he was the first to approach Yamaha with the concept of building a TMAX using his unique design and fabrication skills to create scooter customisation history. The results speak for themselves as he reveals his radical Hyper Modified TMAX.
“With the Hyper Modified TMAX I have tried to keep the bike very clear and recognisable as a TMAX, I didn’t want to create a spaceship out of it!” said Walz.
“I concentrated on keeping the stock lines and optimising every detail while reducing the bike’s weight. I have removed close to 14 Kg from the TMAX, mainly by changing the exhaust, fitting a lightweight lithium racing battery and removing the pillion grab handle and as many plastic panels as possible.”
“Modifying the look of the TMAX was very hard as there is no custom scooter market so I had to create the parts for the bike myself. The high gloss carbon fibre panels on the TMAX’s bodywork are all unique to this machine and took a long time to perfect, but they give it a far more aggressive and sporty look without losing the essence of the TMAX. I have also modified the handlebar area of the bike to give it a radical naked bike image and mounted the mirrors on the end of the bars to give it the impression of a café racer when in town. Taking inspiration from the Hyper Modified VMAX I created last year I have given the TMAX a sporty-styled seat unit. The seat is constructed of three different styles of black imitation leather with blue stitching – "I don’t believe in using real leather, I only use imitation leather on my creations."
“To make the TMAX stand out in a crowded city the paint is a very special blue – the same blue that a Formula 1 team use. I built a bike for World Champion Sebastian Vettel and I looked at the colour I was using and thought ‘that is perfect’. I had planned to paint the TMAX gold to match the Hyper Modified VMAX but this colour didn’t feel right. I took a panel from Vettel’s bike, held it against the TMAX and the contrast between the gloss carbon with high gloss blue paint and the matt plastic original body panels of the TMAX was stunning. It had to be painted that colour.”
“To be honest I hope to keep this bike for myself once I have finished the project, it is a perfect bike for the city and is totally cool because it is so different. I love riding it and find it much easier in town than a bike with gears – but it also draws a crowd. Some of my customers saw me modifying the TMAX and asked if I had gone crazy – now they have seen the results a lot of them have ordered TMAXs from Yamaha!”
As the TMAX revolutionised its world, these three far-sighted leaders of the customisation world are changing the way people perceive maxi-scooters. They have proven there are no boundaries when it comes to individualisation and taken scooters to the Max…and beyond.
For full details on TMAX Hyper Modified, please go to: www.yamaha-motor.eu
For information on Marcus Walz, please go to: www.marcus-walz.com