Motorcycle manufacturer Yamaha has been setting up challenges to explore the best of the custom worlds offering with its products. It’s quite obvious to see why the custom scene is attracting motorcycle manufacturers.

Motorcycle owners across the globe have a desire to customize their own motorcycle but not every one can build one easily. Yamaha is trying to make this easy by asking talented custom motorbike builders, to provide inspiring ideas on how to transform modern Yamaha models into ‘yard built specials.’

Once the custom motorbike builder has accomplished the goal, each builder is given the opportunity to produce a unique aftermarket kit, which they can sell to Yamaha’s customer. A great plan for the manufacturer and it’s owners; on one hand it will boost Yamaha’s new motorbike sales and on the other hand it will get their customers to reach out for Yamaha’s aftermarket parts for their stock bike modification.

Yamaha XJR1300 WrenchmonkeesThe first custom builder to take up Yamaha’s challenge is Danish Bespoke specialist the Wrenchmonkees. According to Per Nielsen, crew chief at Wrenchmonkees “We have watched with interest Yamaha’s other projects such as the Hyper Modified VMAX and TMAX. Generally we work on older bikes and have modified Yamaha SR500s and XS650s, but it has been really nice to show what we can do to a modern machine such as the Yamaha XJR1300.

With the Yamaha XJR1300 we were determined to showcase what you could do with the bike, how cool it could look with a café racer style. We really wanted to push the boat out and make something inspirational for XJR fans.”

To begin with the build the WM crew decided to keep the character of the bike so it can easily recognized as a Yamaha XJR1300. They decided to leave the tank, engine and other major parts of the frame unmodified.

The first set of transformation started by changing the front end. A set of YZF-R1 forks and wheels were fitted which didn’t look right so the Wrenchmonkees changed the cast wheels for custom built spoked items. The front wheel is 19-inch and the rear is 18-inch, adding the old school look with modern twist is the R1’s forks and six-piston radial calipers. Other fabrication work includes the rearsets to increase the ground clearance. The flat stock handlebars were replaced with clip-ons, which brings the café racer riding position.

The MotoGP style stainless steel exhaust system is hand crafted by the Wrenchmonkees, which goes back to the twin megaphone muffler. Wrenchmonkees also built a new seat unit that sits on the existing sub-frame adding another café racer impression to the stock Yamaha XJR1300. The stock XJR battery box was removed and the wiring moved up into the custom-built tail unit. A small lithium battery was also fitted below the swingarm.

The finished Yamaha XJR1300 aka Monkeefist is painted in matt, dark olive green with a slight twist of metallic flakes. WM have also added an interesting touch to the frame, they sandblasted it clean of paint and then set it on fire to create a raw steel burnt effect. Since the WM have competed a successful prototype, they are now looking to see how they can offer unique aftermarket Yamaha XJR1300 kits to home garage builders.

Minimalism is not something every once possesses it’s an art and Wrenchmonkees have nailed it. I am glad to see that Wrenchmonkees have taken this challenge and built something inspiring for the stock Yamaha XJR1300 owners!

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Manu Dubey
Founder and Chief Editor at Moto Rivista. When he isn’t editing articles for Moto Rivista he is working as a User Experience Strategist. Passionate about two wheels since childhood, plans on building his own motorcycle soon!