Hedgehog Motorcycles builds a beastly XJR…
The Yamaha XJR1300 was a proper old-school muscle bike. The air-cooled inline four powerplant began life in the 1984 FJ1100. By the time it reached the XJR1300 in the 1990s, the 1254cc engine was cranking out 105 bhp and 80 ft-lbs. of torque in a bike with the DNA of a vintage superbike:
“Ah, the Yamaha XJR1300 is a proper motorcycle, with twin shocks, air-cooling, a beefy braced swingarm and a colossal motor.” —Motorcycle News
Enter our friends at Hedgehog Motorcycles, who’ve been in the custom business for nearly a decade now. For the last two years, they’ve been concentrating on the development of CNC / laser-cut parts and plug-n-play kits, but they have deep roots in custom bike building:
“This is the very essence of our work, before being a brand and an entity we were a garage of enthusiasts and we built more than 150 motorcycles in 8 years!”
Recently, one of their customers gave them the opportunity to build a balanced yet striking custom XJR that could serve as a daily rider:
“Making an iconic motorcycle that can be ridden everyday without problems was the challenge!”
The modifications were extensive, leveraging HDGH’s expertise in parts development. Highlights include 3D-printed storage compartments and 3-in-1 rear light, laser-cut chain guard, 2019 MT-09 front fork mounted via a custom-machined 7075 aluminum fork crown with integrated tacho, Brembo brakes, custom-laced spoked wheels, Dynojet Stage 3 carb kit, stainless exhaust, and a custom paint job inspired by the iconic Yamaha Speed Block pattern.
This daily rider combines power, style, and function into a big-block package we’d love to ride. Below, we talk to the Hedgehog Motorcycles team for the full details on their “Beast Café.”
Yamaha XJR1300 Café Racer: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
We have been in the French custom business for 8 years now. We’ve won several competitions and made several press releases. Since last year, we’ve developed another activity: building custom parts (CNC machining / laser cutting, etc.).
We offer custom plug and ride solutions — everything is flexible according to your desires — and we are a close partner of the Royal Enfield brand.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the donor bike?
This model is a 2000 Yamaha XJR1300.
• Why was this bike built?
We built this bike at the request of a very good customer; he went far in the preparation and asked us to push our limits while maintaining a simple and effective balance.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
We did not necessarily have any influence for this bike — the search for balance in the general lines of this one was very important. Making an iconic motorcycle that can be ridden everyday without problems was the challenge!
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- We created a rear loop with a steel battery compartment for storing the electrical harness.
- We made 3D printed compartments to optimize storage.
- We redesigned the saddle by giving it a café racer shape!
- We created our own 3D-printed rear light; it’s a 3-in-1 unit.
- We laser cut the aluminum chain cover.
- Plexiglass carburetor protections with a very original orange
- We made custom spoked rims for the XJR; they didn’t exist, we had to make them on demand!
- We equipped the Beast with a complete brake set (caliper / controls) from Brembo
- We mounted a 2019 MT-09 fork, which we have of course adapted using our digital lathe.
- We designed and machined a 7075 aluminum fork crown with the integrated rev counter.
- The painting is 100% handmade, no stickers — it’s unique!
- The engine has been completely rebuilt and the carburetors have been given a stage 3 to optimize performance, combined with a stainless steel exhaust 100% made in our workshops!
- It’s a unique and iconic motorcycle that doesn’t lack character but can be ridden everyday!
• Does the bike have a nickname?
• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride this bike?
The XJR1300 is a motorcycle with incredible engine behavior, and we’ve optimized the performance via the carburetion and exhaust, so it doesn’t lack torque and power.
What’s more, it puts us at ease and we feel safe with this very efficient braking system and the complete Öhlins damping system.
It’s a real beast to tame but it can also be calm and pleasant.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
We have been working for two years on the development of parts (machining / CNC…) and we have not built such a motorcycle for a very long time.
This is the very essence of our work, before being a brand and an entity we were a garage of enthusiasts and we built more than 150 motorcycles in 8 years!
It feels good to go back to basics — we are proud of our team and our work on this machine.