The Yamaha XSR900 is a nimble little motorcycle that knows how to make you fall in love with these types of bikes all over again. Add to it a special build from Rough Crafts, and it takes on an entirely new dimension, one that is hard to ignore under any circumstances. It is part of the company’s Yard Built series, a dynamic partnership between Rough Crafts and Yamaha that has ultimately produced this lovely little example of a bike. You won't believe it until you try it out for yourself.
A Custom Build That Can Be Duplicated
All of this is the brainchild of custom motorcycle designer and Builder Winston Yeh. While he typically builds motorcycles that are indeed custom designs, intended to remain completely unique in the world of motorcycles, he built this one with a different idea in mind. It was all about creating something that could be duplicated by any individual out there if they so desired. As such, everything that he uses to customize this bike can be found through specialized kits that are designed to be put on as aftermarket parts. The thing is, the overwhelming majority of them are very easy to install, even for someone that doesn't have a lot of experience doing these types of projects.
Take the seat, for example. It too is an after-market part, but it can be fastened to the frame of the motorcycle with just two bolts. There is nothing complicated about removing the old seat and adding the new one. Rough Crafts even made it possible to utilize the original seat with the rest of the kits so that the larger seat, capable of carrying a passenger, could remain in place if the owner needed to have that option available to them. The good news is that the rest of the aftermarket part kits can be attached just as easily as the seat, making this a good candidate for a customizable project that almost any motorcycle owner can do successfully.
The Total Package
Yamaha's little workhorse of a motorcycle is quite impressive, in and of itself. Designed to provide a retro appearance with its modern-day, triple cylinder engine, you can have a small, agile motorcycle that performs well for less than $10,000. The thing is, you have the opportunity to enjoy riding this bike that gets roughly 44 miles to the gallon without giving up a lot in the way of performance, and that is before you install any of the aftermarket parts. When you start adding in things like a powder-coated, black carbon-fiber body, you know that you are going to end up with something very special. The best part about it all is that the carbon fiber body is just the beginning. There are plenty of additional aftermarket parts that you can buy in kit form, allowing you to transform your bike into something that is truly special.
As previously mentioned, there are a number of additional kits that you can purchase for your bike in order to give it that fully customized feel. For starters, there is a kit designed for the front suspension. Manufactured by Öhlins, it’s designed to take the place of the standard fork on the front wheel. It can be installed without much fanfare and while it doesn’t completely change the way the bike handles, it definitely gives it a bit more responsiveness. Thanks to the integrated suspension, it also smooths out the ride a bit, something that almost any motorcycle rider would be happy to experience. For those who want to spend a little more money, there is also a kit from the same manufacturer, this time for the rear wheel. Riders can choose to upgrade one or both. The beauty of this project is that you have the option to customize the bike as much as you want, through the kits that are provided.
In short, you decide what to customize and what to leave as a factory build. If you’re worried that the only kits available are those for the body and the suspension, there is no need to be concerned. There is also one for the exhaust system, this time from Project SC. You can marry that with a tuner from Rapid Bike and an air filter from Sprint. Together, the combination adds just a touch of extra power. The most noticeable result from the installation is a change in the way the bike sounds. If you’re looking for something that will give your bike that powerful growl that resonates in your chest like the music from a rock concert, this is the way to go.
Too Much Bike for Your Money?
Granted, it is exceedingly difficult to find fault with this little motorcycle that has such a big personality. The truth is, most people that have been riding for years can't find fault with it, either. If they do, it usually ends up being that they feel like the triple cylinder engine is a bit too much for the money being spent, meaning that they might be wishing for an engine that doesn't have quite as much power. If that is the worst crime that Yamaha commits with this bike, then they're probably exactly where they want to be.
It's true, this is a bike that's capable of leaving everything, including the rider, in it's dust in short order. That's before you install any aftermarket parts. As a result, you have to know what you're riding and have respect for that in order to truly enjoy it. For those who are capable of doing that, the tricked-out bike with all of the aftermarket kits is a sight to behold. It looks like a stealthy, stripped-down sportbike that could outperform just about anything in its class. As it turns out, that is exactly what it is. More importantly, it is capable of doing precisely that, outperforming practically everything else that comes its way.
Written by Benjamin Smith
Read more posts by Benjamin Smith