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 'Workhorse' by Workhorse Speed Shop
Custom bike builder extraordinaire Brice Hennebert puts the Workhorse Speed Shop on the task of taking top honours at Sultans of Sprint Factory class with their custom-built Yamaha XSR700.
Yard Built custom bikes are usually made to inspire our customers; to make their XSR900, XSR700, XV950R or SCR950 unique. For this project, Yamaha is breaking the rules. This XSR isn’t a bike built for standing still, this is a bike Brice built to be a sprint dominator. Low, long and fast as hell, the Workhorse Speed Shop have taken their Yamaha and pulled out all the stops. The engine to the chassis and every point in between has been tweaked, tuned, pulled to pieces and put back together to squeeze every bit of performance from one of custom buildings most versatile models.
As a competition bike, there are obvious restrictions laid down about what can be changed and what lines a builder needs to work within. Brice still had room to manoeuvre. The fully handcrafted aluminium body cuts a mean silhouette in classic Yamaha blue and yellow, a tribute to the 1985 FZR 750 Bol d’Or Sonauto ridden by Christian Sarron. The frame dropped a full 150mm and the footpegs were shifted back. The custom-built Workhorse swingarm extends an extra 100mm and turns this beast into a low-down dragster dream.
The XSR700 will have the smallest engine of all the bikes in the Factory Class. But, we start the competition with a strong advantage, a very low weight and an impressive torque. The crankshaft has been balanced, the oil circuit modified and the counterweights supressed. With a Suter antihopping clutch and a modified injection body; this is a whole new powerhouse.
Amongst the high-end parts putting this build into the stratosphere are a carbon battery, a full racing brake system, clutch control, a front and rear master cylinder as well as a NOS system with Max Extreme Nitrous Controller. The paintjob was supplied by Matthias Van Brussel and the seat and jacket mods are straight from the mind of Jeroen Bouwmeester from Silver Machine.
“What can I say about this bike?” commented Antoine Clémot, Yamaha Motor Europe Motorcycle Product Manager. “It’s fast, it’s low, it’s mean, it’s a lot of fun and we think it’s a winner. Events like the Sultans of Sprint really bring new vibes to the Sport Heritage segment with a subtle mix of fun and performance. We love to see these amazing bikes getting outside of static shows to race full throttle. They’re all about individual expression and making crazy designs and then getting together and sharing them. The Workhorse bike, it’s got that old-school Yamaha feel with the FZR750 Suzuka style body, it has bespoke everything and it just looks really unique. I’m excited to see what it does, but I’m already proud to be a part of the build.”
All that deliciousness is aimed directly at the Sultans of Sprint events running this year. Anyone with petrol in their veins should be aware of Sultans of Sprint but in case you need to get caught up, here it is. Each year hundreds of like-minded madmen and madwomen get together to race real fast in a straight line. They are events revolving around fine design, speed and above all else, fun! The Sultans of Sprint will be held at The Reunion in Italy from May 19th to the 20th, then Biker’s Classics in Belgium from June 29th to July 1st, Glemseck, Germany from August 29th to September 2nd and finally the Dandy Riders Festival in France from the 23rd to the 24th of September. If you’re lucky enough to attend an event you’ll see some outrageous designs put forward by passionate people.
The Workhorse XSR700 custom dragster will be piloted by a different guest rider for each event, with the first round featuring the legendary Niccolò Canepa, the first Italian rider to win an FIM Endurance World Championship title after lifting the 2016/2017 title in just his second season with the GMT94 Yamaha Official EWC Team. If you want to join the adventure and find out the riders for each of the other rounds, make sure you’re following the team on https://www.facebook.com/YamahaMotorEU/.