Lining up to kick-off 2017 in true custom style, Yamaha’s Yard Built programme returns to the workshops of master Taiwanese builder Winston Yeh of Rough Crafts fame. Having set a high level of expectation following his impressive build of the XJR1300, The Guerilla Four, in 2015, Yamaha chose Rough Crafts for the first custom build of this year with the Sport Heritage range middleweight champion XSR700 as a base.
With no cutting or welding to the frame Winston was free to work his signature style magic on the punchy, mid-range XSR700. The result is not one, but two masterpieces. The simple-to-change kits transform the XSR700 in under an hour between a café racer style street machine, ‘The Corsa Scorcher’ and a dirt track ready scrambler style bike, ‘The Soil Scorpion’.
“This is our first ‘double-style’ custom build from one machine,” commented Yamaha Motor Europe Marketing Coordinator, Cristian Barelli. “The build really proves for me the versatility of the XSR700 as a base for customization. Whether you want to create a café racer, or a scrambler, this proves that you can do both, without losing the core soul and rideability of the original machine.”
“The XSR was an amazing base to start with,” commented Winston. “I love the tubular frame of the 700, and the power to weight ratio is perfect for a motorcycle. With the newly designed shorter frame and detachable rear frame loop you really don’t need to cut the frame to make a proper custom shape.”
“I found myself having a hard time deciding should I go with clip-ons and make it a cafe racer, or with flat bars and make it a tracker, that’s where the idea came in: why not make the shaping as a body kit, and customers can use their own idea to mix and match suspension, wheels, brakes, handlebars, to build the bike they want?”
Wanting the kit to be as versatile as possible, he designed a set of triple trees that can run a set of YZF-R1 forks along with R1 axle, brakes and wheels designed for the R1 front end. He then used the same design rear wheel made for the 700 to get a direct bolt on front and rear custom wheel with inverted forks.
To achieve the one bike, two builds concept, he went to the Shark Factory for their X2E fully adjustable remote control digital suspension, making the set up adjustable on the fly for tarmac riding or dirt fun.
The cafe racer version of the build features ultra lightweight carbon fibre wheels from Rotobox and clip-ons from Gilles Tooling, an Akrapovič titanium tail pipe for the YZF-R1 wraps up the performance side.
The scrambler version features lightweight forged wheels from Wukawa Industry Co., a handmade flat bar, and an Akrapovič titanium XSR700 high pipe modified to be tracker style. Whilst the cafe racer makes its statement with velocity stacks, the scrambler runs Sprint Filter waterproof filters to make it safe to play in the dirt. Both builds share trusted custom brake set ups from Beringer.
The ‘Faster XSR’ body kit itself was made with a full carbon fibre mono body with a smaller aluminium tank underneath, fully bolt-on without any modification, fabricated by MS Pro.
The detail on the Corsa Scorcher café racer is outstanding, with a Rough Crafts custom header on the exhaust. The rear brake caliper is standard XSR with a Beringer disc set up.. A Wukawa Industry sprocket runs the rear, with Gilles Tooling rear sets and MS Pro foot pegs. MS Pro controls keep everything on point on the bars, next to Rough Crafts custom grips and Rough Crafts custom Fin Style Risers. There’s more signature in-house work with the Rough Crafts Grill type headlight, fuel cap and of course the carbon body unit. Last but not least Rough Crafts velocity stacks set off the motor itself.
The Soil Scorpion transformation sees the Beringer brake set up retained on the Wukawa Industry forged wheels. The new riding position is helped by Rough Crafts signature Fighter Bars and MS Pro controls.
The build is finished with two subtly different paint jobs by long time Rough Crafts collaborator Air Runner Custom Paint.