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Yard Built Gears Up for Summer with Eight Flavours of Europe at wheels & Waves
Yamaha's Yard Built programme heads to the 2017 Wheels & Waves event this summer with no less than eight new custom builds, all focused on the Sport Heritage Range's Yamaha XSR700 and XSR900 machines. This new generation of Yard Built creations will each have a strong national flavor, having been built in collaboration with a national Yamaha distributor, their local custom builder and a national custom magazine.
Continuing the core values of the Yard Built programme, the eight projects come from Italy, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, United Kingdom and France. The Yard Built philosophy of customization without any major modification to frame and engine was upheld, and made easy for all involved with the XSRs strength as a machine that welcomes personalization without losing any of its ability to deliver an involving, emotional ride.
"This really is a fascinating project for us," comments Yamaha Motor Europe Marketing Coordinator, Cristian Barelli. "As the Yard Built platform continues to evolve and find roots across Europe in each country, we see more and more unique flavours coming through in the builds. Pulling them all together like this is a great opportunity to see in one place the unifying strength and fun element of the XSR machines, combined with the very different approaches and visions of the countries builders. Each build also makes one simple, yet strong statement. That is, the XSR is a very simple bike to customize, yet offers almost limitless possibilities for something really personal and unique, whilst still offering the unrivalled riding experience of the standard motorcycle."
Yamaha Motor Italy chose to collaborate with custom builders OMT GARAGE, and media partners Ferro Magazine on the XSR900. They decided to transform their XSR into a 'hi-performance scrambler', showcasing the versatility of the machine for dual-purpose use.
"The XSR is a great base for customization," comments OMT. "It's a classic style bike with an aggressive soul, so there's a lot to play around with. We love the engine block, so compact and muscular and the frame design, it only needs a classy polishing treatment and it will be perfect. Our philosophy, in a few words, is 'Less is more'".
Ferro Magazine added to this; "Our XSR900 scrambler is really a brand new concept. As Ferro magazine, our opinion is that a special bike should be charming, amazing and rebellious. Working with OMT garage is unique experience; the Troiano Brothers are able to put together strong manuality and vision. They are fully committed to reaching the goal, and setting new limits: This is the right mindset to face the challenge, that both Yamaha Italy and ourselves proposed to them, to realize an ambitious Yard Built for the super qualified audience of Wheels & Waves."
Yamaha Motor Germany turned to a trusted name that needs no introduction in Yamaha's Yard Built world, iconic builder Marcus Walz of WalzWerk Motorcycles. Having already delivered his stunning take on the Yamaha XV950 for the programme two years ago, 'El Raton Asesino', Marcus is tuned in to the Yard Built philosophy. Partnering with CustomBike Magazine, the collaborators turned to the XSR700, choosing to build a Tracker style machine.
"For me the XSR700 is the perfect funbike," stated Marcus Walz. "It is superlight, super handy and well balanced. All this makes it an ideal base for a supercool Custombike!"
"It's amazing to see how far the Yamaha Yard Built platform has come and how many stunning customized motorcycles on Yamaha basis we have seen since the beginning," continued CustomBike. As Europe's oldest magazine for custom motorcycles we are looking forward to accompanying this year's Yard Built with Marcus Walz and can't wait to see the final result. So we decided to make a story about the build of WalzWerk's Yard Built Yamaha XSR 700 which can be followed for the next three issues of our magazine."
Cafe Racer SSpirit were the builders chosen to collaborate with by Yamaha Motor Spain, confident that their Spanish master craftsmen would be able to deliver something truly unique. They opted to take the XSR700 and work their signature magic to build a modern icon that pays tribute tot he race bikes oft he 70s and 80s, a true cafe racer.
"The project was clear," they confirmed. "We wanted to build something totally different. Not just slight modifications, but a complete customization. Our aim was to build a "racing" bike inspired on the bikes from the 70-80s; with a single seat, lowered handlebars, racing exhaust, and taking into account the requisites of building an street legal motorcycle."
"Paying higher emphasis on the "racing" aspect, we decided to name the build as 'XS700-R'.
Once the whole fairing, seat, lights and accessories were removed, we started to analyze how the 3D printed bodykit would fit within the frame. Then we started working on the fairing, bending and adapting metal pieces, simulating the final look of the gas-tank and the monocoque seat. Once the simulation was approved, instead of continuing the process with the conventional "fiberglass", we contacted a local 3D Printing Company (Tumaker 3D) for the bodykit scanning and printing. Everything but the seat base, because of the rigidness needed, will be elaborated in 3D. Having the complete bodykit already scanned and print-ready, our intention is to offer the kit to the public, accompanied with its assembling instructions (easy to install; plug-and-play)."
Yamaha Motor Portugal also chose to focus on the ease with which the XSR700 can be transformed into a fun, versatile tracker machine, and teamed up with local builders the Maria Riding Company to make the project a reality and give it some Yard Built flavour with a suitably adventurous name, 'The Orbiter'.
"The Orbiter is a new approach to a dirt bike," they said. "A bike developed to search and explore fields with freedom and fun. The combination between the vivid 689cc engine and the light chassis combined with the new front with more responsive suspension will make it an easy and reactive vehicle to drive around uncharted fields and tracks."
"Striped from the unessential and revamped to reach all of the XSRs agility potential, the Orbiter is perfectly suited for reconnaissance missions in rough and inhospitable terrain.
The look gets something from space rovers and military tech, mixed with a vintage motocross vibe, resulting in an original and sporty overall visual."
In Greece, Yamaha distributor Motodynamics turned to one of the winner's of last year's Yard Built competitions, Jigsaw Customs. Having already made waves with their transformation of the XJR1300 last summer, Motodynamics knew they were in good hands for this new build. Working with the XSR700, Jigsaw Customs have gone down a new road, taking inspiration from the American flat trackers of the 1970s for their build.
"Based on the 1975 TZ750, the concept is to adjust the lightweight chassis, the powerful engine and the compact dimensions of an XSR700 to the American flat tracker standards. The XSR gets a full strip down, 19'' wheels, special flat track tires, a compact handmade costume based on the 70's bright colours and low center of weight that almost touches the ground."
Swiss Yamaha distributor Hoestettler has teamed up with a name that is instantly recognizable to anyone that has ventured near a quarter mile strip at any of the major custom shows in the last two years, the Young Guns Speed Shop. The talented young builders have also decided to focus their efforts on creating their vision of a modern-day tracker using the XSR700 as a base.
"Our thought was to build something that really fits the DNA which Yamaha has given to the XSR700, a simple, light and useful daily drive," they announced. "As Yamaha has developed a very cool and technically simple base, we wanted to keep it and go on like this. We do not want to interrupt the thoughts that the Yamaha engineers have put in, we just want to add the best aftermarket parts, such as Borani wheels, a Nissin braking system and for sure the great Akrapovič exhaust which was made especially for the XSR700."
"Mostly we want to build a great working, good looking and stylish street tracker, with some beautiful aftermarket parts, a relocated ECU & ABS system, an aluminum tank, seat and number plate including the light."
Yamaha Motor UK had no doubt on their choice for the custom build, joining forces with highly respected custom builders, Down & Out Motorcycles. They also opted to bring Bike Magazine into the mix, working together on the XSR700 as a base to create the ultimate utilitarian, urban adventure machine.
Media partner Bike Magazine has a strong history of custom projects so were delighted to be back building on such a fun project, and fully intent on putting some serious miles on the finished machine.
"The XSR is such a modern bike," commented Down & Out Motorcycles. "Yamaha got it right from the start which makes it a challenge to customize. But it's worked out really well, and it's something people can easily copy, or cherry pick ideas from."
Finally to France, where Yamaha Motor France have signed up the creative vision of custom builder George Woodman to work his magic on the XSR700 to create a modern race machine.
"The mood board set by Yamaha was inspiring and highlighted a great match between music and motorcycles," states George. "The lines and finish of the Revstar guitars are a perfect match for a cafe racer and inspiring for me. The subtle differences we have explored between gloss, brushed surfaces and wood come directly from the spirit of two of the Revstar line up. We see the guitars as a piece of high performance art and wanted the XSR to have the same feeling, mixing new technology with vintage style as we mix modern material with wood. The concept is one driven by underlying performance, garnished with elegant and thought provoking features. Not hiding the machine under a cloak but exposing and celebrating its finer features."
All eight finished builds will be unveiled in all their respective national glories at the 2017 Wheels & Waves event at the Ocean City, Biarritz, France from 14th to 18th June.
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