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2002 Yamaha Warrior 280 Wide Tire Build
Nate Brower has been rebuilding sport bikes for over 10 years and riding for over 20. A year and a half ago, while looking at other damaged bikes to rebuild, a crashed 2002 Yamaha Warrior caught his eye. He had not owned a cruiser before and thought it would be an interesting task to take on. When he initially rebuilt it, he restored the bike back to stock with a few minor modifications including a dual chrome exhaust, integrated rear tail light and custom paint job.
The initial build took place in the winter so he had to wait three months to ride the bike once it was complete. The first nice day of spring 2010, he took it out and loved the way it handled and rode. He and his wife Jessie had a great summer cruising on the bike attending many local motor sports gatherings including Saturday nights at Zkota on Minnesota Avenue in Sioux Falls.
While the bike was great in nearly every aspect, Nate had a difficult time leaving the project as is. He started looking at options to customize the bike. After searching many internet sites and motorcycle forums, Nate felt that one of the biggest modifications would be to add a 280 wide tire kit. After deciding to order the big wheel kit, he sent in his rear wheel and swing arm to Performance Edge Incorporated in Ohio to be widened and also had them modify the rear brake caliper to be hidden. While waiting for this process to be completed, he decided to add a custom six inch stretch to the stock gas tank and started thinking of ideas for a custom paint job. After the parts were modified, they were sent back in mid December of 2010 and he was able to start mocking everything up. This included a custom 12.5 inch rear fender and modified fender stays. He also wanted the bike to sit as low as possible, so he installed a lowering link and Tricky Air adjustable suspension. After getting everything lined up perfectly, he modified the stock seat to fit the new rear fender and stretched gas tank. After all of the modifications were complete, it was time to paint the bike.
Nate has been rebuilding and painting cars at Iverson’s Car Sales and Body Shop in Canton for the past 17 years so deciding on a paint job was more difficult than you would think. Figuring this would be a custom bike in almost every other aspect, the paint job needed to be equally unique. Nate drafted a design with his air brush on a scrap piece of fender he had left over and liked the design. When you look at the bike, it looks like individual pieces of metal riveted together to form the gas tank and fenders. This was a very time intensive process and took nearly 25 of the 125 project hours to complete the bike. The paint, like the rest of the bike, turned out great.
While the bike is done for now, Nate will always be on the look out for other modifications he can make to the Warrior. He plans to drive and show the bike this spring and summer at many local car shows.