Yamaha's Yard Built projects have led the way in the revival of the cool custom world. Developing relationships with the rock stars of motorcycle customising, the project has delivered an incredible line up of unique and breath-taking one-off Yard Builts based on the Sport Heritage range of motorcycles. Legendary customizers from across the globe have turned their skilled hands to proving how easy it is to customize one of Yamaha's very flexible retro machines. The exercise provides inspiration and has set new trends in the motorcycle world, making it a reality for everyone to make their Yamaha their own.
XSR700 Fior Café Racer
For the 1980 Bol d'Or, specialist alloy fabricator and engineer Claude Fior created and rode, alongside team-mate Pierre Guy, one of the most advanced prototype machines ever seen at the time; the Yamaha XS1100 Fior. The bike was an officially supported entry with a Yamaha factory prepared four-cylinder engine and unique, fabricated frame with special front fork. The shaft drive engine had been converted to a chain drive and produced 130bhp with the help of special, twin choke carburettors.
It was a bike that once seen, wasn't easily forgotten. BUILT Magazine editor Gary Pinchin certainly hadn't forgotten when he remarked that the lines of the Yamaha XSR700 reminded him of the XS1100 Fior tank shape. After collecting an archive of imagery on the original machine, BUILT commissioned famed designer Kar Lee to create a tribute to the engineering of Claude Fior using the XSR700 as the base.
Gary joined forces with legendary custom bike builders Down & Out Motorcycles to create the XSR700 Fior Café Racer. Just one meeting at their Rotherham headquarters was enough to get Shaun Walker and Carl Portlock hooked on the idea and the creative juices began to flow.
With all the talent in order, the pieces began to fall into place. Using Kar Lee's stunning designs the bike took on a form which echoed the original bike with a purposeful and unique look. In line with the original machine, their build features a half fairing and belly pan with graphics and paintwork by Arne Pro Customs Paintwork that do total justice to the 1980 icon.
The XSR Tank that originally inspired the custom build is finished with a Monza style filler cap, offset to allow quick refuelling. The exhaust solution is twin Akrapovič header pipes mated to a US stainless steel cone. Öhlins suspension units were added and the swing arm and fork sliders were vapour blasted to add a period feel.
The fairing, seat unit and front mudguard are moulded from TZ750 items of the period while the headlights are twin ‘endurance’ style 5” mini-spot halogen lights which are angled ‘up and down’ as the riders used to set them to give light under braking and on the straights. Everything from the electronics up has been repositioned to echo a time where wiring was simple and ease of replacement was a priority in the Endurance world.
The detailing on the XSR700 Fior is to a standard that would have made even Claude Fior proud and stands as a fitting tribute to the French pioneer.