Paris Muscle: Yamaha XJR1300 Custom by Modification Motorcycles

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

Paris-made Muscle: Air-cooled Big Block from the 15th Arrondissement

The Yamaha XJR1300 was a throwback, an air-cooled “big block” machine that recalled the naked superbikes of yesteryear. The massive 1251cc engine offered substantial thrust — 105 horsepower and 75 ft-lbs of torque — good for a quarter mile of around 12 seconds. But the XJR was about more than numbers. Says Motorcycle News of the machine:

“A proper man’s motorcycle with twin shocks, air-cooling, a beefy braced swingarm and colossal motor…”

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

Enter Raphael Bougeot and the team of Modification Motorcycles, located in Paris. Their client Bertrand wanted a practical, rugged custom bike capable of long-distance riding:

“The bike had to be used on a daily basis in Paris, accept an occasional passenger, be as simple and plain as possible, but include some details and gimmicks that Bertrand has on his other vehicles.”

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

The team immediately thought of the XJR, which they had worked with in the past. They rebuilt the subframe to accept a two-up-capable seat, fitted custom fenders on both ends, and redid the wiring harness from scratch, employing minimalist componentry from Motogadget. The Yamaha R1 forks give the front end a beefier look while improving damping and braking, and the paint is sleek and well-matched.

Below, we get the full story on the build, along with some beautiful photos from photographer Charles Seguy.

Custom Yamaha XJR: In the Builder’s Words

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

Raphael created Modification Motorcycles, Paris, in 2014, aiming to build bikes and sell aftermarket parts for vintage bikes. Along with Florian and Morgan, who joined us in the early days, we’ve built about 30 bikes in the last five years, and now concentrate on selling and fitting parts, by operating a generalist spare parts and accessories website (www.modification-motorcycles.com) and a dedicated website for the BMW R NineT (www.ninetstore.com).
Still, we plan one or two custom bike projects a year like this XJR, to keep the pleasure on and ensure we fully express our creativity. We now have a new workshop in Bordeaux for the 2019 bike projects (starting with a BMW K1100RS that will, I hope, be very good looking :), and a vintage parts, accessories and lifestyle equipment shop in Paris : LE BOX Drugstore Moto (IG @le_box_drugstore_moto).

Now we are glad to present our latest build, based on a good old-fashioned 2001 Yamaha XJR1300.

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

This is the second bike we built for our client Bertrand (first one was a Moto-Guzzi V65 that he still owns and rides), and he wanted a more useable, easy to ride and to maintain, long-distance friendly custom bike. The XJR was a bike we already worked on previously, and the many possibilities this bike offers in terms of frame, looks, and engine made it an obvious choice.

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

The bike had to be used on a daily basis in Paris, accept an occasional passenger, be as simple and plain as possible, but include some details and gimmicks that Bertrand has on his other vehicles.

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

Frame has been rebuilt in order to fit a tailor-made seat with nubuck leather on top, skinny but not uncomfortable.

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

Aluminium round fenders were fitted on both front and rear-ends, and the only visible lighting elements comes from a Bates taillight and a retro yellow-mirrored headlight.

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

The other accessories had to be minimalist, so we again used our beloved Motogadget parts, for the turnsignals, key lock, speedo, that are hidden but efficient.

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

As usual, a lot of work has been performed on the wiring harness, when suppressing the airbox and all the massive mess there was between the triangles by fitting everything in a tiny box underneath the seat.

 

Yamaha XJR1300 CustomAs the original fork looks too thin on such a big bike, we chose to fit a 2000 Yamaha R1 inverted fork, which balances the bike in terms of proportions, offers great handling and suspension quality, as well as a very effective braking system.

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

Eventually, a great care has been taken on matching the colors on the bike, with different black treatments, emphasizing the beautiful light green paint of the big original Yamaha tank, and our typical orange X.

Yamaha XJR1300 Custom

The beautiful pictures were made by talented photographer Charles Seguy (@charlesseguy).

More Detail Shots

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Website: www.modification-motorcycles.com
Instagram: @modificationmoto
Facebook: facebook.com/modification.motorcycles/

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