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 intuitive 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 Drawing Board
Every rider dreams of their own custom bike. Featuring the iconic Yamaha Sport Heritage XSR700 model as a platform, for the first time in Yard Built history Back to the Drawing Board gave consumers the opportunity to design their dream XSR700 which would then have the chance to be produced by a custom specialist to make their vision real. With an extensive back catalogue of boundary-pushing Yard Built designs to draw on, the 2020 Back to the Drawing Board project united the inspiration of consumer designers with the creative brilliance of customisers and the excellence of Yamaha machinery to discover future trends and inspirations together.
“700GT” designed by Tony Queiros, built by Rua Machines
Portuguese winner Rua Machines’ stripped-back scrambler style 700 GT was born from the designs of their customer Tony Manuel Oliveira Queiros, whose dreams of customising his father’s XJ400 could finally be realised in Back to the Drawing Board. Tony opted for the reliability and versatility of the iconic Sport Heritage XSR700, the platform for so many famed Yard Built projects.
Operating out of Esmoriz, Portugal, custom bike builder Rua Machines take inspiration from childhood memories, and how they change from generation to generation. Founded by fashion designer Armando Fontes and commercial director Victor Rocha, the essence of Rua Machines is a shared deep passion for motorcycles and the drive to create something different, to infuse motorcycles with a new lifestyle in the world of customising.
Rua Machines dove into Yamaha’s history for inspiration, finding images of the YR-2 and YR-3 scramblers from the 1960s. Keeping the vintage bikes in mind and embracing Yamaha’s ‘Dark Side of Japan’ concept, they produced the retro futuristic 700GT. To create the bike, Rua Machines stripped away a majority of the XSR700’s exterior parts, swapping them out for parts of the builders’ own creation. At the front the suspension was lowered, with shock covers inspired by the YR-2. Referencing Yamaha’s ‘dark side’, the front wheel was covered in solid black while the rear was given a new spoked wheel for a classical touch.
With the XSR700’s powerful 689cc engine left as stock, two high performance K&N filters were installed for an extra edge. Two new right-hand exhaust pipes exit aggressively under the seat, in keeping with the retro scrambler style and Rua Machines’ iconic fusion of modern art with retro aesthetics. Aiming for a simpler layout the bike’s electronic controls were stripped back, allowing for smaller handlebar buttons for a minimalistic look. The indicators were replaced by LEDs, while the tail light was integrated into the rear fender and a new headlight emphasises the bike’s robust look.
New side covers enhance the bike’s slimline appearance, Rua Machines capturing new and eye-catching curves for the 700GT. Capping off the ensemble was a striking black, white and red livery on the fuel tank, showing off the retro inspiration from 60s Yamahas wrapped with state-of-the-art modern motorcycle technology. Rua Machines’ 700GT also carries the following modifications:
- Motogadget M dashboard
- Stainless steel heatsink
- Rear view mirror
- Bespoke registration plate and holder
- Custom steel fuel tank
- Leather seat unit
Striking in its predominantly black livery and aggressive scrambler looks, the 700GT is a testament to the passion for Yamaha that is felt through the decades to this day. It is built for roads, for dirt, and for sheer riding pleasure. Harnessing the spirit and aesthetic of Yamaha in the 1960, combined with the XSR700’s iconic style, Rua Machines’ 700GT is a Yard Built to be remembered.