Yamaha XJR Café Racer Yard Built
Yamaha has requested several companies to design kits adaptable to change its motorcycles. Called “Yard Built”, this initiative began with the roadster XJR 1300 revisited by Danish Cafe Racer builders Wrenchmonkees.
Installed since 2008 in Copenhagen, Per Nielson et Nicholas Bech (the founders of Wrenchmonkees) have instead used their talents on older models: their preparations are usually based on Yamaha SR500 and XS500. For both designers, to deal with a bike as “modern” as the XJR 1300 therefore represented a challenge, especially on the technical level.
On older bikes, you can work more freely in the design, because the bike is very basic: an engine, wheels and frame, essentially.
Nielson and his team tackled the task with a simple goal: to transform the XJR 1300 without altering its original spirit, or replace these key elements such as the frame, the air-cooled four-cylinder or the gas tank.
Convinced that the Café racer style would fit like a glove, Wrenchmonkees started by replacing the original wheels with spokes models 19-inch front and 18 inch rear to give it a vintage look. The flat handlebar has been replaced with handlebars that are grafted on top of a YZF-R1 fork. The six-piston radial calipers are also from the Yamaha Super-bike, and the footrests are homemade and a little higher.
A dual exhaust “megaphone” style, an old school yellow headlight and a lightened seat complete this successful transformation.
Finally, the XJR 1300 Yard Built was repainted in a slightly metallic, matte olive green color.