Yamaha Yard Built – Back to the Drawing Board
Yamaha’s Yard Built project works with custom specialists to transform Sport Heritage models into a unique Yard Built Special, and since 2014 the project has unleashed the imagination of the biking world’s creative minds with amazing results. Each Yard Built creation showcases the engineering and artistic skills of today’s custom builders; alongside the adaptability of a stock Yamaha.
In January Yamaha Motor Europe announced Yard Built: Back to the Drawing Board, using the Yamaha XSR700 as a platform. XSR700 Yard Built projects include Back to the Dirt, which explored ’70s and ’80s rally inspired bikes, and Back to the Future, which produced a range of retro-futuristic machines envisaging a new concept of the motorcycle.
Four designs from France, Italy, Portugal and Spain were selected by an open casting and sought to understand and showcase future motorcycle trends. One design from each participating country was chosen by a jury composed of a local Yamaha distributor, a local customiser and a motorcycle journalist, and then brought to life by a customiser.
From France, drawer Barbara Motorcycles produced a design for the XSR700 ‘Disruptive’, an aggressive machine that paid tribute to Yamaha’s American Flat Track days of the 1970s. Tasked with creating the bike in the flesh was Paris-based builders Bad Winners, founded in 2011 and with a strong pedigree in Yamaha custom builds.
From an overhauled cockpit to a beefy tank and slim seat unit, Disruptive is a brooding bike with a racing attitude and looks to match. Featuring striking gold Yamaha lettering on its matte black body panels, a solid black rear wheel and belly pan, Disruptive is a classic example of taking the retro XSR700 to the next level.
Italian entrant Ugo Coppola drew the striking ‘RD250 Tribute’, an orange and black adaptation of the classic 1970s Yamaha RD350 that utilised parts from a range of modern Yamahas. Romebased builders Garage221, passionate about customising bikes, realised Ugo’s design.
Making use of parts such as the MT-07 steering assembly, XJR1300 seat unit and XSR700 fork bellows, they produced an innovative Yard Built that mixes scrambler and street bike aesthetics. In overhauling the XSR700 to resemble the RD350, they captured the look and feel of a retro ‘70s Yamaha in a 21st century skin.
From Portugal, builder RUAMACHINES created the 700GT from the designs of their customer Tony Manuel Oliveira Querios, who was inspired by his father’s XJ400. RUAMACHINES, exploring Yamaha’s history and finding inspiration in the 1960s Yamaha YR-2 and YR-3 scramblers. With most of its exterior parts swapped out for new custom additions, the 700GT mixes modern touches with classical motorcycling looks, from its solid black front wheel, under-the-seat pipes and unique black and white livery.
Spanish entrants Alex and Claudio Monge designed the eye-catching XSR700 ‘Red Tail’, a blend of motorcycle racing and track aesthetics that was then built by Café Racer SSpirit (CRSS) of the Bay of Biscay. Going for a stripped-down, naked look, the Red Tail features avantgarde lines mixed with classical bike details, from its custom headlight mask, twin pipes and number plate.