The Yamaha XSR700 was designed with the help of none other than Shinya Kimura of Chabott Engineering, one of the world’s most esteemed custom builders. Yamaha wished to build from the classic aesthetics of the beloved XS650, leveraging the technology from the MT-07. The result is a 74-hp “sport heritage” machine, combining retro lines and modern tech.
Just as with the original XS650, however, riders and builders are customizing the XSR to their individual riding habits, needs, and style. One such builder is Daniel Schuh, who left the fast-paced city life of Hamburg to open Espiat is his hometown of Mecklenburg, Germany. Here, he does design for a variety of clients and builds some pretty rad bikes, such as this XJR1300 we recently featured.
Now Daniel is back with this XSR700 “cafe tracker” — a completely reversible conversion that gives the modern machine an old-school flat track style, retaining the bike’s superb driving experience while harking back to the brand’s pedigree on the dirt tracks of America, where “King Kenny” Roberts cut his teeth and Yamaha twins can still be seen every weekend.
Below, we get the full story on this machine!
Yamaha XSR700 Tracker: In the Builder’s Words
Based on the XSR700, I designed a dynamic cafe tracker that not only looks great, but also delivers solid driving pleasure. The design is not only classic in old-school Flat Track style, but also timeless in this colour combination. The XSR700 series already offers plenty of power in the basement.
The very good chassis also makes the bike very handy. The modern in-line two-cylinder engine with 689 ccm displacement works with a special crossplane crankshaft, which contributes its part to the character-strong power development and impressive acceleration.
In combination with the compact, lightweight conversion, the XSR700 offers pure driving pleasure. A “simple” bike to get back the fun of riding. The XSR conversion is for people who like light, agile motorcycles. People who want to get from motocross or supermoto on the public roads and prefer a bike that combines cool old-school looks, perfect handling, and riding fun. The Yamaha XSR700 Cafe Tracker conversion is completely reversible.
I find the rear fender quite beautiful in its form, but the huge rear light and the rear light shot disturbed me — I found the fender a bit too long. So I made a shorter version. Due to the rear conversion, the XSR700 looks much sportier and more agile, but retains its original character. The rear fender fits easily to the original shots.
Rear conversion without taillight / brake light
The new LED technology makes it possible to implement very minimalist rear conversions by using combined turn signals. This eliminates the need for an additional rear/stop light and the look is beautifully reduced.
Highlights of the XSR700 conversion:
- MT-03 Headlight
- Number plates
- Mini LED indicator with rear and brake light
- Mini rear view mirror
- Custom air scoops
- Custom fenders front and rear
- MX Handlebar seat modification
- Lightweight carbon parts
Photos by Patrick Remfert
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