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Deus Ex Machina Italy strip the Yamaha XJR1300 down to its bare bones to create an inspirational custom machine

Last year Yamaha started the ball rolling on a whole new concept by asking talented motorcycle customisers to provide inspirational ideas on how to transform modern Yamaha motorcycles into what Yamaha has entitled ‘Yard Built Specials.’ Then, once they had accomplished the goal, each builder was given the opportunity to produce unique aftermarket kits and sell them to Yamaha customers - allowing those who once only dreamed of building their own special to fulfill their ambition. Having been inspired by the spirit of this challenge, for 2013 world famous custom motorcycle builder Deus Ex Machina has become the latest builder to create a Yard Built Yamaha – Project X.

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With the goal of celebrating a culture of creativity, Deus Ex Machina, which means God from the machine, is world-renowned for its hand-built motorcycles as well as its love of pure fun. The company’s workshop showrooms in America, Indonesia, Australia and Italy have quickly evolved into an epicenter for those wanting to celebrate the culture of creativity. Sharing the same passion as Yamaha for two-wheeled self-expression, it was only destined to be a matter of time until Deus and Yamaha collaborated to transform  a stock  motorcycle into something truly outstanding. This time has now come as Deus Ex Machina Italy unveil Project X… 

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“For Deus Ex Machina the Yamaha XJR1300 was an intriguing machine to work with. We looked at it and thought ‘what lies hidden under the skin of this muscle bike?’” explains Alessandro Rossi from Deus Ex Machina Italy. “We drew inspiration from the legendary endurance racing machines of the late 1970s and 1980s with their lean looks that were crafted for a single purpose – to win races. We decided we needed to liberate some of the XJR’s weight to create a stripped down motorcycle that proudly displayed its heart – the 1251cc air-cooled engine – and looked ready to fight!


“When we started to remove the XJR’s bodywork and road ancillaries we noticed that it had a very aggressive stance – like a bulldog with big shoulders. We decided to emphasize this impression by fitting wider bars and then hand fashioning our own bodywork out of sheet aluminium. Together with Luca Viglio, Filippo Bassoli and our team of motorcycle customisers we spent many hours perfecting the look of the bike, beating the tank, side covers and cowl into the perfect shape that best shows off the XJR’s new svelte physique. Then, when we were totally happy with its new attitude, we used a very special paint treatment on the metal. 

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“We call it ‘transparent dark’ as it is not black and is not brown but is actually both dark black and brown and appears amber when its transparent qualities allow the aluminium of the metal below to show through. The colour is never the same, it is a very strange paint and very beautiful when viewed in the sun light as it changes its hue depending on the angle the light hits it at.

“However we never lost focus of the fact that was a bike designed to pay homage to true endurance race bikes as well as be stylish, so we needed to be true to its inspiration by giving it performance-enhancing equipment. We fitted high quality Öhlins suspension, Brembo radial brake and clutch lever systems, a LeoVince titanium exhaust, Pirelli tyres and Marvic Streamline Magnesium wheels. While it might have been nice to keep the bright colours of the Öhlins suspension, this didn’t suit the attitude of our creation and so we anodized the forks and powder coated the shocks’ springs black to make them less visible. Our bike is an aggressive street fighter that likes to hide in the shadows, not stand in full view. 

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“With the look of the bike complete we had just a few finishing touches. The flat seat unit was covered in a mixture of leather on the side and suede on top, just like a race bike. This combination allows the rider to grip the seat better, so that they are more stable when the bike accelerates, while the narrowness of our seat unit also means they can also see the motor between their legs. We then removed the speedometer and left only the rev counter – just like a true race machine.


“And then finally there was the name. What could be call this new machine? Yamaha asked us to build the bike in total secrecy, so there was only one name to call it – Project X… 

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“While Project X is a  very extreme bike, we hope that it will inspire XJR owners who want to modify their machines into something equally special. To help them realize this dream, at the 2013 EICMA Show in November we will be unveiling a ‘kit’ version of Project X that, in the true Yard Built Yamaha spirit, will be made of components that anyone can buy from Deus. And that is not all we will have on display. Everyone at Deus Ex Machina enjoyed the challenge of creating Project X so much that we found ourselves inspired to create another bike, one that is as yet still a secret. I can not say too much about the new project but it is far more closely related to those legendary endurance racers than Project X…”

Deus Ex Machina can be contacted via their website http://it.deuscustoms.com/

XJR-X kit now available

Called the XJR-X kit, these beautifully crafted components give riders of the Yamaha XJR1300 or XJR1200 the chance to either build their very own Project X or simply create unique Yard Built specials using their own choice of parts in their home garage.

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Designed and built in-house by Deus Ex Machina’s motorcycle customizers in their Italian workshops, XJR owners have the opportunity to fit a hand-built aggressively styled aluminium petrol tank, headlight support, custom made saddle, number plate support or clip-on handlebars.

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Built to the very highest specification by Deus’ extremely experienced bike mechanics, these components will set any XJR aside from the crowd Deus Ex Machina Italy can be contacted at http://deuscustoms.com/bikes/xjrx-kit/ for a full list of prices and availability.

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