The XSR125 ‘Free Spirits’ concept moves the story on from the many Yard Built projects by iconic custom builders on the world stage – ranging from very complicated builds to lighter adaptations. This new take on how you can modify a bike is not just for the sake of modifying, but with a greater purpose. It’s a method that serves a special goal, set by its owner. We call that the Yard Built for Free Spirits – where neither the build or builder is the centrepiece, instead the eventual owner and rider of the bike. Whatever his or her purpose, the motorcycle must be optimized for their needs.
XSR125 by Coté Escriva
The XSR125 by Coté Escriva is one such creation. Its Lowbrow, underground art-style references the 1980s pop culture of Coté’s childhood, adding a touch of contemporary freshness to the neoclassical XSR125 and paying homage to 80s cartoons that are so nostalgic for him.
As a globally recognised artist with works exhibited in some of the biggest cities in the world, Escriva’s style is immediately recognizable in his sculptures, paintings and illustrations. When Yamaha approached him to translate his art into a motorcycle, he relished the new challenge, “The motorcycle is part of my daily life, I use it to go to work and move around the city. It is a daily tool for me, but I had never considered that it could become a work of art”.
Embracing the message behind Yard Built for Free Spirits, Coté’s transformation of the XSR125 had a clear vision from the beginning. Seeing it as a perfect canvas for a unique style he set about understanding the bike from the inside, “When we started to disassemble the XSR125 I realized how easy it was to work on it and how by painting and adding some accessories I could easily transform it to my liking.”
Coté’s many eye-catching additions to the latest Sport Heritage model begin with a painted front mudguard that works in unison with the painted fuel tank and side bodywork panels, focused around a retro-styled headlight shroud. At the core of the bike is a stamped aluminium radiator cover, with additional left and right engine protection panels to harmonise Coté’s vision for what a motorcycle should be.
In the inspiring video Coté discusses what art is for him and how, from his point of view, art is everywhere. As an artist he finds inspiration in many places and in many moments where he is not thinking of creating, “Everyone can become an artist because art is everywhere. In the clothes we wear, in the buildings, in the food… But sometimes you need to break the rules and get out of the conventional to create something that really makes you feel alive and transmits to others the passion that you have dedicated”.
Just like his world-famous art, Coté Escriva’s unique story and contribution to the Yamaha Yard Built for Free Spirits concept is an undoubtedly inspirational version of the XSR125, a challenge thrown down to other bikers to be bold and brave in customising their machine. With a machine as versatile and accessible as the XSR125, other free spirits have a perfect platform to truly make their own.
Discover Coté Escriba's vision of art and how he captured all his talent in the Yamaha XSR125.