Dezmembrez Moto builds a high-tech XJR — and it’s for sale!
If we had to choose one model of the modern era that we wished we received here in North America, the Yamaha XJR1300 would be high on the list — possibly number one. The XJR was a big-block throwback to the air-cooled four-cylinder superbikes of the early ’80s, featuring old-school style and a stout 1251cc air/oil-cooled engine descended straight from the FJ1100 of 1984:
“Over two decades later it’s still making bags of thrust, still runs nice and smoothly, and still posts a 0-60 time that’s effortlessly faster than a Porsche Turbo. Not bad, eh? For 2007 it finally gained Euro 3 satisfying fuel injection plus a catalyser exhaust without any noticeable change in performance.” –Motorcycle News
Enter our new friend Cătălin of Romania’s Dezmembrez Moto, who runs a garage selling parts from wrecked or totaled donor bikes. Being around so many parts gave Cătălin the idea of building a high-tech modern custom, and when faced with naysaying, he forged right on ahead, jumping to work:
“On a Saturday evening during a couple of beers with the guys, I said I would like to build a custom with the details of a factory bike.
‘You’ll never do it,’ said one of them.
I was so afraid the project would be one of life’s unfulfilled dreams that the next morning, I bought the XJR.”
Good on you, Cătălin! He says the build took two years and over 1000 hours — yes, 1000! Nearly everything component of the bike had been swapped out or modified, and Cătălin says they swapped out hundreds of parts — literally — until they got the bike just the way they wanted.
“I tried to combine the classic lines of the initial bike with my ideas of sharp edges and bold shapes and bring it to the modern era.”
Highlights include Ducati Diavel front suspension with World Superbike yokes from CNC Racing, a Ducati Hypermotard swingarm with Öhlins TTX rear suspension, modified Ducati Scrambler headlight, Brembo brakes, special-order Kineo wheels, full titanium exhaust with SC Project silencer, and much more. There isn’t one Chinese part on the bike.
Appropriately enough, the bike is nicknamed “Kojirō” after the famed Japanese swordsman of the Edo period, known as a master of the straight-edged nodachi and the most formidable opponent of the mighty Miyamoto Musashi. The bike is some 55 pounds lighter than stock, which makes it a true weapon on the tarmac:
“The bike accelerates faster than a Supersport. It is 25 kg lighter than the original XJR. Fully adjustable suspension, lowered handlebars, reversed shifter, Brembo brakes — if you are near to a track, the bike will roar to get on it.”
Below, we talk to Cătălin for the full details on this mighty XJR cafe racer.
Yamaha XJR1300 Café Racer: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
My name is Cătălin, I am from Romania and have been around motorcycles since I was 16. I transformed my passion into a business. I run a garage and sell motorcycle parts that come from donor bikes. Being around so many parts, it occurred to me to build an outstanding unique high-tech modern custom.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Yamaha XJR1300, 2014.
• Why was this bike built?
On a Saturday evening during a couple of beers with the guys, I said I would like to build a custom with the details of a factory bike.
“You’ll never do it,” said one of them. I was so afraid the project would be one of life’s unfulfilled dreams that the next morning, I bought the XJR.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
I wanted something that would inspire legacy, tradition, and tons of power, and that is why I chose this Yamaha. I tried to combine the classic lines of the initial bike with my ideas of sharp edges and bold shapes and bring it to the modern era.
• Please list what custom work was done to the bike.
Almost every part of the bike has been modified.
From the front: The headlight came from a Ducati Scrambler and it’s slightly modified. The adjustable triple clamps are straight from WSBK, made by CNC Racing for the Ducati Panigale. For this I had to modify and enlarge the bearing housing to fit these. The forks are from a Ducati Diavel, and the fender is 100% custom made. The wheels are special order from Kineo, the fuel tank and fuel pump are changed from the newer model, the airbox was completely removed, and individual aluminum filter cups were fitted straight on the throttle body.
The swingarm came from a Ducati Hypermotard, modified to fit inside the frame. The rear frame is custom made to accommodate the center Öhlins shock that was fitted, and the fairings from the tail came from four different motorcycles. Adjustable RobbyMoto rearsets, some Rizoma / Barracuda and Motogadget accessories were fitted. The exhaust is custom-made from titanium, while the silencer is a loud Titanium SC-Project. All these were made in a calm two-year time.
• Does the bike have a nickname?
“Kojiro,” the famous swordsman from Japan.
• Can you tell us what this bike is like to ride?
The bike accelerates faster than a Supersport. It is 25 kg lighter than the original XJR. Fully adjustable suspension, lowered handlebars, reversed shifter, Brembo brakes — if you are near to a track, the bike will roar to get on it.
The sound is incredible: no airbox or catalyzer, perfect recipe for one-meter flames on full throttle.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I must say I am really proud of the whole bike, but enlarging the front fork bearing frame housing was something challenging. I wanted to fit the large triple clamps from CNC Racing as they are a masterpiece in design. While riding the bike, this is the part you cannot take your eyes from. So for doing this, I had to redesign the front frame to fit the bearings.
The only remaining parts from the original motorcycle is the engine and half of the frame. I will only mention the major parts changes :
- Kineo Italia special order spoked wheels
- Ohlins TTX rear suspension
- Ducati Diavel front suspension
- WSBK triple clamps from CNC Racing
- Brembo M4 calipers
- Hypermotard Mono swingarm with Brembo rear disc/master cylinder/caliper.
- Rizoma and Motogadget accesories (not a single China part on the motorcycle)
- Antigravity ultra-lightweight LiPo battery
- Changed fuel tank and fuel pump
- SC Project full titanium custom exhaust
- Modified Ducati Scrambler Headlight
- Motogadget Tachometer
- Robymoto rearsets
- The bike is filled with top of the line Rizoma, Brembo, Baracuda accessories.
- The paint is Pyrite Brown — a very rare combination of shadows are released in the direct light.
It can also be used as a double seater (rear footrests and seat can be fitted).
It took over 1000 hours to finished it. Yes, 1000. We built it during the pandemic, took two years, and we changed hundreds of parts until we got it the way we wanted.