Yamaha Yard Built Dealer Contest Returns for 2016

Yamaha’s Yard Built series has shown off the talents of custom builders from all over Europe and elsewhere around the world and now after a successful competition last year, Yamaha is again opening the series up to its dealers to make the most amazing custom built bikes from its Sport Heritage Range

The competition actually pits both customisers and dealers against each other.and sees builds including the VMAX, XV950, SR400 and even the brand new XSR700. Yamaha Motor Europe is awarding special prizes to the best custom build in the following three engine categories; single-cylinder and parallel-twin, V-twin and V-four and finally inline-four.

There are some amazing bikes on display, including the German built Corniche d’Or, and the ‘sixtynine’ from Austrian dealer WS-Motorradtechnik OG. We’re actually quite suprised at how good most of the XSR700’s came out which will hopefully inspire some new entrants into customising with what is a comparatively affordable motorcycle.

You can find the Dealer Built entries online at www.yamaha-yardbuilt.com Take a moment to check out the entries in all their glory and read up on the modifications made then like to vote and share your favourites. Voting closes on the 31st March and the winning bikes will be shown at European Custom Motorcycle event later in the year.

Best of all, Yamaha will be opening up the competition to the public later in the year so start wrenching.

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There’s a VMAX Hiding Inside the CS_07 Gasoline

Portuguese duo, Alexandre Santos and Osvaldo Coutinho have set out to give the VMAX an entirely new image and the result is the CS_07 Gasoline – yet another killer entry in Yamaha’s Yard Built Series. Under their roCkS!bikes moniker, the pair have been creating bikes since 2013 and this would have to be one of their best yet.

The CS_07 ‘Gasoline’ rides on custom made spoke wheels, 3.5×18 front with 120/70×18 Dunlop rubber and a 6.0×18 rear for the drag strip tyre. The stock tacho is kept but comes in a custom aluminium housing and the standard fuel tank is replaced with a beautiful custom aluminium unit with it roCkS!bikes motif. A metal hand crafted fairing ensures slippery aerodynamics for the ¼ mile and LSL footpeg adapters and clip-ons put the rider in the correct position. A Rizoma fuel cap and K&N air filter add some extra bling and Brembo brake and clutch master cylinders take it to the next level.

A host of Motogadget parts including handlebar grips, an m-switch and m-blaze turn signals ensure the custom work really stands out, and the handmade leather seat with it roCkS!bikes logo sets the standard. The build was completed at the end of 2015, the last of the year to celebrate 30 years of the VMAX. To mark the milestone a classic paint job was used to finish the bike. Taken from the 70s, the white, black and yellow colour scheme is pure icon, celebrating not just 30 years of the VMAX, but also 60 years of Yamaha! The bike was airbrushed and then gloss varnished in house by the builders.



The XV950 Ultra is a Superhero Masquerading as a Motorcycle

This is a Yamaha XV950, although you’d be hard pressed to recognise it. Dubbed the XV950 Ultra, it’s the first Yamaha Yard Built creation of 2016 and if this is a sign of things to come, we’re in for another great year of amazing custom built bikes. Made by Swiss customer builders GS Mashin with Tom Mosimann taking the lead, the XV950 Ultra is unlike anything we’ve seen recently and we love it.

Sure, it’s not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but you can’t say the XV950 Ultra is playing it safe. Reminding us of a Marvel superhero more than a traditional machine,  the bike is inspired by Gothic architecture. Tom worked to create a low, racy looking machine with big narrow wheels and clip-ons in a stand out colour scheme.

The Yard Built XV950 ‘ULTRA’ fairing is handmade from 1.5mm steel sheet with the mounts cut from a stainless steel pipe. A small Bates floodlight sits inside the fairing with the two Highsider turn signals. The custom fuel tank is also hand crafted from 1.5mm steel with the upper edge made with a trimming press. The lower section is cut from the original XV950 fuel tank. One of the standout elements of the build has to be the super clean prototype rear suspension units built by K-Tech, based on their signature style Bullit units.

The hand crafted steel tail unit wraps around a Shin Yo rear light unit and the seat is again a hand made affair with leatherwork by Jose Rey Saddlery. The beautiful aluminium upper fork crown is machined by Asic Robotics and is super clean without the holes for the risers. The wheels are a work of art, the original hubs were used then 18inch back and 21inch front rims were added with new spokes, with ABS!

I love what Tom has created with the XV as his base,” stated Yamaha Motor Europe Product Manager, Shun Miyazawa. “I’m really happy that despite going for a really radical look, he shares our principles that a custom machine needs to retain the most important function; rideability. He’s kept the soul of the XV950 and wrapped it in a really original look without any cutting or welding to the frame. What is perhaps also very impressive is that 95% of the work he does is completed with just a few tools, an angle grinder, a bag of sand and a hammer!”



Yamaha’s new My Garage App Lets you Customise the Upcoming XSR700

Yamaha has been heavily promoting its customisation options of late, especially with its fantastic Yard Built series of custom bikes. Now they’re giving you the ability to create your dream bike with the My Garage App which has been released today for Android and IOS. Sorry Windows Phone users, you’ll just have to be content with your phone starring in the latest Mission Impossible movie.

The app allows you to choose a model from Yamaha’s Sport Heritage range, add options and also:

  • Compare prices for different models and configurations.
  • Take photos from any angle to share with friends and fellow riders for feedback/advice.
  • Fill your personal garage with your dream bikes.
  • Send your specs directly to your Yamaha dealer.

The app also gives us a chance to see the full range of options that will be coming out for the MT-07 based XSR700. For even more evidence that Yamaha is aiming to take on the Ducati Scrambler, there’s a range of very hipster inspired soft panniers and tank bags available, as well as scrambleresque seats, high slung exhausts and fork gaitors.

Source: Yamaha Europe

Yamaha Europe Dealers Try Their Hand at Yard Built

Yamaha’s Yard Built program has spawned some great creations, including a few motorcycles you can now buy or as in the case of the new XS700, in a few months time. Up until now the Yard Built series has had participation from a variety of dedicated custom bike builders, but now it’s the turn of dealers to show off their creative flair.

To prove this concept and show it’s not just the top custom builders who can do this, Yamaha’s official European dealers have taken up the challenge and are entered into the Yamaha ‘Dealer Built’ contest to see who can create the best custom from the Sport Heritage range.

The dealers have been busy over the last few months with some very simple rules; the bike needed to be from the current Sport Heritage range, no cutting or welding to the bike was allowed and a number of genuine aftermarket accessories had to be used. There’s some fantastic looking creations and it is a testament to how individual a motorcycle can be.

Yamaha is now asking for people to vote on their favourite dealer created machine which you can do here. Yamaha Motor Europe is going to award a special prize to the best custom build in each bike category, SR400, XV950, XJR1300 and VMAX. Voting closes on the 20th August the winning bikes will be shown at the Glemseck 101 show in Germany from 4th to 6th September. More exciting is that Yamaha will open up the competition to the public later in the year – so get thinking.



2016 Yamaha XS700 is an MT-07 Based Retro Motorcycle

We knew a retro styled motorcycle based on the Yamaha MT-07 (FZ-07) was coming after Yamaha Europe showed off a concept just last month. Now the official motorcycle has been unveiled and it’s a beauty and no doubt will compete directly with the Ducati Scrambler in the ‘new’ retro market – albeit it with a likely big price advantage.

Yamaha describes the bike as “a casual, retro styled street bike that pays tribute to the iconic Yamaha XS650”. It will join Yamaha’s ever expanding Sports Heritage range and given the dynamics and power of the donor MT-07, it will definitely succeed in the sport category.

What impresses us most is that Yamaha has gone to a good deal of effort to make this a proper standalone motorcycle. It would have been easy for them to just change the fairings and headlights and call it a retro styled machine, but they’ve done much more than that. In addition to the new front and rear lights, the aluminium fuel tank is totally new as is the seat. There’s also a brand new dash that takes obvious inspiration from the Ducati Scrambler

Less flattering however is the radiator. Obviously going air cooled was not an option but it does stick out like the proverbial. Perhaps making it black in color would have hidden it better. There’s also undoubtedly major parts of the MT-07 still visible which does at times make this appear to be an awkward combination of old and new but overall we feel it works – and it’s definitely great to get a retro styled bike with a modern engine and other parts.

The modern technology complementing the retro style continues with lightweight 10-spoke aluminium wheels and stopping power – ABS will be standard. Engine specifications remain unchanged from the MT-07. Again, just like Ducati there will be a plethora of aftermarket accessories and yes, a clothing range. Wet weight comes in at a fairly respectable 186kg. Full specifications are listed below.

The bike will be released in Europe in November this year. Australia will get it in the first quarter of 2016 and while we haven’t received confirmation on a specific release date in the USA, it has been confirmed it will be coming to North America in the near future.

2016 Yamaha XS700 Specifications

EngineLiquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valves, 2-cylinder
Capacity689 cm³
Power55.0 kW (74.8PS) @ 9,000 rpm
Torque68.0 Nm (6.9 kg-m) @ 6,500 rpm
Gear Box6 gears
Front BrakesHydraulic dual disc, Ø 282 mm, ABS
Rear BrakesHydraulic single disc, Ø 245 mm, ABS
Front SuspensionTelescopic forks, 130 mm travel
Rear SuspensionSwingarm, (Link type suspension), 130mm travel
Front Tire120/70 ZR 17M/C(58V) (Tubeless)
Rear Tire180/55 ZR 17M/C(73V) (Tubeless)
Wet Weight186 kg
Tank Capacity14 L

Yamaha Yard Built MT-07 Retro Bike To Be Unveiled Tomorrow, Built By Years’ End

Rumors have been floating around for a few weeks now that the latest in Yamaha’s Yard Built series will use Yamaha’s brilliant MT-07 (or FZ-07 in the USA) as a base. But best of all, this ‘concept’ bike will be the inspiration for an actual model that will  go on sale by the end of this year. The bike is to be unveiled tomorrow at the Wheels & Waves custom show in Biarritz, France but a video uploaded yesterday shows it off already.

You’d be hard pressed to see from the images that this is an MT-07 in new clothes, but the giveaway is in the shot of the dash. The bike has been designed by famous Japanese customizer Shinya Kimura and certainly builds upon elements of the Yamaha XJR1300 Racer released late last year. It’s a bold move by Yamaha, as the hooligan nature of the MT-07 seems pretty far removed from the retro scene. But on the other hand, it’s wonderful to get a retro styled bike that hasn’t been shoehorned into a cruiser for a change.

As you can see from the pictures, there will be a lot of changes from the appearance of the concept bike to the final product, but our understanding is that the basic shape of what you see here is what we’ll get come final release.

Given the massive success of the Ducati Scrambler, we have no doubt that an even cheaper yet stylish motorcycle will become a smash hit. Yamaha is continuing to absolutely storm ahead in recent years and this latest move is no exception.


Yamaha XV950 ‘Playa del Ray’ and XJR1300 ‘Dissident’ Continue The Yard Build Concept

One of our favorite promotional series at the moment is the Yamaha Yard Built Specials, which sees a wide variety of bike customizers sought out by Yamaha to provide inspirational ideas on how to transform modern Yamaha models for the general public who perhaps aren’t as confident in their ability to modify their pride and joy. The best thing is that once debuted, the parts from each Yard Built Special are available direct from the customizers, allowing interested ones to recreate the bike in full or in part.

The latest builds are the Yamaha XV950 ‘Playa del Ray’ by Matt Black Custom Designs and the roCkS!bike XJR1300 ‘CS-06 Dissident’.

The XV950 build was a labor of love for nearly the entire Matt Black Custom Designs team. Anthony Partridge worked his magic with metal, making the beautiful tank by hand as well as several other trick parts; master technician Kurt Lohse used his electrical genius to ensure ‘Playa del Ray’s’ stunning switch gear is function as well as form; project manager Dom Kelly used his 3D design skills to bring the concept alive on screen before a single part was made as well as machining several of the parts for the build. No Yard Built is complete without a memorable paint job and the Matt Black build is no exception. Paint wizard Ray Hill added the finishing touch with a beautiful co lour scheme and intricate pin striping as well as contributing to the bodywork and finalizing of the build.

Matt Black Customs have made it easy for XV950 owners who want to add some of the Board Tracker style to their rides by providing a selection of bolt-on parts available directly from their website. The Spanish custom team plan to go further and develop an even wider range so the options look set to grow and grow – you can check out what’s available at the moment on www.mattblack.eu.

The second new addition, the XJR1300 ‘CS-06 Dissident’, the team works in a small workshop just outside Porto in Portugal since 2013. Osvaldo Coutinho and Alexandre Santos are civil engineers by day and it roCkS!bikes by night. Their engineering skills are plain to see in their builds with precision and attention to detail focused on creating their signature ‘monocoque’ one piece tank, seat and tail units in all their creations.

The Yard Built XJR 1300 ‘CS-06 Dissident’ is no exception, with a single handcrafted metal flowing unit stretching from just behind the triple clamps all the way back to the end of the tail. The build is a masterclass in clean, simple, elegant design with a staggering attention to detail. The rear hides recessed LED taillights in its form.

YZF-R1 upside down forks take the pressure at the front, modified to fit the XJR1300 steering column. A host of Motogadget pieces make an appearance on the LSL clip-on café racer bars, including aluminium grips, M-Blaze turn signals and a hi-tech Motoscope pro dashboard mounted on a custom CNC machined aluminium bracket designed in-house. The stock engine covers have been replaced on both sides of the block by lighter aluminium pieces with glass windows, revealing the heart of the machine.

XJR owners can take any or all of the CS-06 Dissident pieces directly from it roCkS!bikes to personalize their own machines. Contact them here to make the first step: www.itrocksbikes.com.