There's a definite post-apocalyptic vibe coming from this attention-getting Yamaha V-Max 1700. In stock trim it's already a motorcycle festooned with attitude, due in no small part to the massive quad scoops flanking the fuel tank that feeds a 1700cc, DOHC V4 engine. Carlex – a Poland-based company best known in the motoring world for producing exceptional automotive interiors – turned its sewing machines to Japan's Harley fighter to create this Carlex Handcrafted edition.
The obvious difference versus a standard V-Max is leather – lots of leather. Carlex added thick black leather to the seat, grips, and handlebar levers. The leather appears to encompass the fuel tank as well, with "Carlex Handcrafted" embossed on both sides. The front fender is leather wrapped as well, and all the leather features rough stitching which, according to Carlex, "resembles the skin of a wild beast and perfectly corresponds with the character of the motorcycle."
To simulate the patina effect on the air vents, covers, and rear section, Carlex turned to artists from its jewelry atelier. The company doesn’t detail the specific process aside from using silver flakes, and we don’t blame them for the secrecy. Accurately recreating a natural patina is a process worth guarding, and the effect looks great on this V-Max.
“We took great care working on the V-Max 1700, as it is a true legend that has been conquering hearts of motorcycle fans for years,” said the company in a press release. “In Carlex Design, there is no space for half measures, so we went for jewelry solutions with a hint of pertness.”
There's no question this is one of those love-it-or-hate-it designs. The whole dark-industrial, steampunk theme is certainly nothing new to the motorcycle realm, and there's room to argue that Carlex goes too far with the leather. On the other hand, going too far gives this bike a certain over-the-top appeal that feels wrong to us, but for all the right reasons.