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Yamaha's Yard Built projects have led the way in the revival of the custom motorcycle world. Developing relationships with the rock stars of bike building, the project has delivered an incredible line up of unique and breath-taking one-off Yard Builts based on the Yamaha Sport Heritage line. Legendary builders from across the globe have brought their skills and expertise to show how easy it is to customize Yamaha's modern and adaptable retro-style bikes. The project has given inspiration and set new trends in the motorcycle world, making it a reality for everyone to make their Yamaha their own.

Back to the Dirt

2019 sees the Yamaha custom world explore new 70s and 80s rally-inspired creations in Back to the Dirt. Yamaha challenged the best motorcycle builders to customise the XSR700, with emphasis on changes that harness and enhance the stock bike’s off-road performance while retaining its character and demonstrating the ease of modifying it. 2019 has been the year of Yamaha XT and off-road-inspired projects which have laid the foundation for the exciting range of Back to the Dirt bikes.

XSR700 “Grasshopper” by Hookie Co.

Founded by trained designers Nico and Sylvia Müller, the Dresden-based builder Hookie Co. are known for delivering high-concept custom bikes that preserve the character of the stock model. Hookie Co. took on the Back to the Dirt challenge and projected their unique neo-vintage vision onto the popular Yamaha XSR700. The concept of the Hookie Co. engineers was to present a stripped-back version of the bike with a distinctly retro-futuristic aesthetic. They reduced its weight and enhanced the balanced and enjoyable handling of the stock bike for comfort off-road, taking inspiration from MX and flat track bikes to produce the “Grasshopper”.

The bike’s lightweight steel ‘backbone’ frame and chassis have been left as standard. Hookie Co. were able to utilise original mounting points and a number of Yamaha’s in-house customised parts to bring out the best of the stock bike and demonstrate the level and ease of customisation available, ensuring that the Grasshopper was as reliable and user-friendly as the original XSR700. The stock radiator remains and is housed in sturdy Yamaha side covers affording great protection from the elements. The XSR700’s torquey 689cc engine was also unchanged, with the gases now going through a new stainless steel 2-1 SC-Project exhaust system featuring a 70s conical muffler that amplifies the raw and heart-pounding notes of the Yamaha engine.

The front of the Grasshopper sports a distinctive handmade aluminium lamp mask carrying a 7” LED headlight, essential for strong illumination in all riding conditions. Moving down the bike, the new handmade aluminium tank sports bold, black retro Yamaha lettering, complimenting the strong aluminium seat assembly and tipping its hat to the chunky rally bikes of the 80s. To ensure the new tank and seat fit safely and stably, Hookie Co. designed a new mounting plate that can be easily fitted to stock XSR700 frames and allows for future frame developments. The Grasshopper also features 17” wheels on new Pirelli MT60 tyres, the enlarged treads giving the bike excellent grip and handling on- and off-road.

The Grasshopper’s eye-catching 3D-printed panels are a new creation by Hookie Co., using yellow-stained acrylic panels that are matted on the inside to create a translucent cover for the electronics package, lending the bike a futuristic look that gives new life to its original retro styling.

Other Hookie Co. additions to the XSR700 include:

  • Alcantara waterproof seat cover
  • Gilles brake and clutch levers
  • Drop-down Motogadget glassless M.View mirrors
  • LED indicators integrated with the bodywork
  • Rear lighting made of three orange acrylic ‘fins’, housing indicators, tail light and brake light

This incredible range of modifications and styles are married with the stock XSR700’s intuitive design to bring the truly unique Hookie Co. ‘Grasshopper’ XSR700 to life, a salutation to beloved rally greats of the 1970s and 1980s in a cutting-edge and modern interpretation of the bike’s popular design that demands attention.

XSR700 “Grasshopper” by Hookie Co.