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"XSR700 Red Tail"

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.

“XSR700 Red Tail” designed by Alex & Claudio Monge, built by Café Racer SSpirit

Channelling flat track aesthetics into the XSR700’s retro styling, Spanish drawers Alex & Claudio Monge designed the eye-catching Red Tail design for Back to the Drawing Board. With the bike’s stock lightweight steel ‘backbone’ frame and chassis intact, the Monge’s were passionate about the simple brief of being able to make big modifications to the iconic Sport Heritage XSR700 without cuts or welds.

Working in the picturesque resort town of San Sebastián in Spain’s Bay of Biscay, Café Racer SSpirit (CRSS) is a small team of dedicated and deeply passionate custom builders. Founded by Juan Carlos López Chinchurreta, lover of all things motorcycle, CRSS seeks to discover the unique beauty of every motorcycle they work with, respecting the uniqueness and style of every machine and its rider.

The XSR700 Red Tail features a very much stripped-down look, achieved by removing the side covers of the tank and engine to expose the components and give a simple-but-cool custom look. The bike’s bodywork was also redesigned to fit CRSS’ vision of contrasting avant-garde lines with classic details, featuring a prominent side number holder. The headlight was swapped out for a retro custom mask in white, with a small rear light installed under the tail to make the bike functional both for the street and competition.

The new leather seat unit was housed in a new custom fairing that slims down the lines of the bike and captures the look and feel of flat track and dirt bikes. CRSS also reduced the size of the front and rear fenders for a more naked appearance. A straight handlebar complements the dirt track-style double exhausts that were added to give the powerful 689cc engine a new, aggressive growl. Café Racer SSpirit’s other modifications to the XSR700 Red Tail include:

  • Spoked wheels
  • Vintage number plate
  • Flat track-style filler cap
  • Suspension forks and clamps
  • Innovative front brake lever

The bike’s incredible livery utilised the iconic colours of Yamaha Racing in the 1970s, the trademark red speed blocks on a white background.

Painter Javier Peña was given free creative reign by CRSS, something he described as an artist’s dream, and adopted Yamaha’s ‘Revs Your Heart’ concept as a basis for the novel colour scheme. Using only freehand painting methods and a brush, Javier replicated a heartbeat effect on the bike with vivid splashes and drops of red paint on the tank, frame and components, producing an organic effect that reflects the thrill of riding and a roaring engine. Put together the XSR700 Red Tail from Café Racer SSpirit delivers stunning retro vibes that capture perfectly what the Sport Heritage range is about, melding classic and new Yamaha elements to create future visions and celebrate what truly Revs Your Heart.

XSR700 by Café Racer SSpirit