A Custom Yamaha in a Retro Packaging

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For their fifth Yamaha collaborative custom build, the team at Roland Sands Design has instilled Yamaha’s heritage into an innovative new bike. Dubbed the ‘Faster Wasp,’ the build stands out immediately with its bright black and yellow color palette, a nod to Kenny Roberts classic TZ750 racing bike. But while that precedent set the tone for this update, the builders at Roland Sands have made the design their own, taking advantage of the latest technology to put a more powerful system in this retro packaging. The whole assemblage revolves around Yamaha’s new 850 cc in-line three-cylinder engine, which is housed in a lightweight aluminum frame that cuts some of the fat off the bike’s heft. This frame is paired alongside forged aluminum wheels, which feature Dunlop street racing tires. The profile of the bike presents an air of confidence, with the bulk of the bike sitting high off the ground and a more condensed and efficient build dynamic making for a relatively short length overall. Many of the parts were hand-fabricated by Roland Sands, including the aluminum gas tank, tail section, intake scoops, radiator covers and the front fender, which implant a strong sense of pride into the finished product. The iconic paneling (displaying racing numbers) are also all custom molded to the bikes curvatures and recall the racing bikes that inspired Sands to get into custom builds in the first place. All of this comes together to create a motorcycle that brings the advantages of a dirt bike to the practicalities of riding on the open road. The attention to detail and integration of new technologies help the bike perform at top speeds while also maintaining a lightweight figure. All in all the Faster Wasp lives up to its name, and lives up to the standards Yamaha has set since its founding over 60 years ago.










Nathaniel Barlam


Amid the unrest of earning his Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from RISD, Nathaniel manages to find the time to read, write, hang out with friends, play drums, and listen to music. Nathaniel has learned a lot about architecture firsthand thanks to opportunities to live and work in Rome and Brooklyn during the past year. Coming from a family with strong roots in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Nathaniel has always maintained a strong love for NYC especially, and after his studies finish up in Providence he may move there for a while. He hasn't decided yet. You can connect with him via Linkedin or by visiting his Portfolio page.

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