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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. 

XJR1300 ‘Project X’ by Deus Ex Machina

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.

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…

“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.

“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…

“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/

2014 Yard Built XJR1300 ‘Project X’ by Deus