Cookie Monster: Yamaha MT-01 Custom

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

Got Torque? 1.7L V-twin from Francesco Paura… 

Yamaha’s popular MT series is said to stand for “Master of Torque.” However, one bike in the MT lineage has stood above the rest in that department, the mighty MT-01.

“At 111 shoulder-socket-poppin’ foot-pounds exists the MT-01.” –Revzilla

The MT-01 V-twin

Introduced in 2005, the Yamaha MT-01 boasted a 1670cc, 90-hp pushrod V-twin from the Road Warrior, stuffed into a sportbike frame with multi-adjustable suspension and R1 brakes. Simon Bradley of Motorbikes Today wrote one of the most entertaining reviews of the MT-01, in which he detailed the madness-invoking power of the machine.

“The bike has a slightly disturbing tendency to make the rider produce bizarre whooping noises while going for the most dubious overtaking opportunities available in the certain knowledge that, regardless of the gear the machine is in, it will make the gap with time to spare.” –Motorbikes Today

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

And then there’s the sound of the near-as-not 1.7-liter V-twin, which has been compared to everything from a giant, burbling outboard boat motor to a monstrous Rottweiler.

“Small children point and stare when you coast by, and start crying if you accelerate. If you roll off the throttle they get blown over by the back-blast.” –Motorbikes Today

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

Enter our friend Francesco Paura of Italy, who had a customer in the Salento region interested in a V-Max 1200…until Francesco suggested the beastly MT-01.

“He agreed, so we found the bike in Sicily. Very battered but at a good price.”

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

Francesco, whose Honda Hornet 600 we previously featured, is a fan of manga and anime who regularly draws inspiration from the design of Japanese mechs — the human-piloted robot warriors of science fiction and film. This MT-01 was no exception, especially when it came to the design of the laser-cut headlight housing. 

Perhaps, for those born in the second half of the 70’s, like me, it was inevitable. Our toys were Gundam, Getta Robot, and Voltron models. Today motorcycles are like adult toys to me.“ -Francesco

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

Francesco works with his long-time partner Angelo “Low” Caliendo to make his visions a reality, and with this build, he was sure to thank his friends Fabio Zoppo and Salvatore Mattiello for their help with welding, machining, and exhaust work.

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

Nicknamed the “Cookie Monster” thanks to the monster engine and bronze color (“it reminded me of biscuits,” says Francesco), this MT-01 features a hand-built subframe and saddle, custom fiberglass vents and front fender, digital instrumentation, LED lighting, custom exhaust with LeoVince silencer, and more.

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

Francesco says the customer also owns a Ducati Panigale and Kawasaki KX500, so he’s well capable of handling the power of this monster muscle bike. Below, we talk to Francesco for the full story on the build.

Yamaha MT-01 Custom: Builder Interview

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

The motorbike is a Yamaha MT-01. With a 1670cc engine, V-twin, 5-speed gearbox. From 2005.

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

• Why was this bike built?

This bike was built for a customer from Lecce in the beautiful Italian region of Salento. The customer wanted to buy a Yamaha V-Max America. I suggested the MT-01 to him, because I had always wanted to work on it. He agreed, so we found the bike in Sicily. Very battered but at a good price.

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

As with my other projects, when I make these headlights, in laser-cut metal, I take inspiration from Japanese Mecha Design. I am a fan of manga and anime. Then I looked for a color palette that could match the particular blue frame of the MT-01. I tried to make it both elegant and aggressive.

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

• What custom work was done to the bike?

In addition to the headlight, we made the rear subframe and the saddle, all by hand. Mounted digital instruments and LED lights. We created the front mudguard and the final part of the collectors, where we mounted a LeoVince double silencer. Variable section handlebar and rear license plate holder. The vents are made of fiberglass.

We kept the rear footrests, which open like a seagull, because they are a very particular solution that I like.

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

• Does the bike have a nickname?

Obviously yes. The bike is called “Cookie Monster.” Like the imaginary character belonging to the world of Sesame Street. Because it has a monster engine, and that bronze color reminded me of biscuits. I always put stupid names on my creations, because I’m a joker. 😛

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride the completed bike?

I think it’s really fun. Although the weight of the motorbike is 250 kg, when you get on it and take it out on the road it becomes easy to handle and smooth. I’m not an expert rider, but with the power at low rpm, you could rider on one wheel up to fifth gear. Luckily the owner has a Ducati Panigale and a Kawasaki KX500. He’s definitely more capable than me.

Yamaha MT-01 Custom

• Is there anyone you’d like to thank?

I absolutely want to thank my historic partner, Angelo “Low” Caliendo, because he makes what I think and plan become real. My friend Fabio Zoppo who works on exhausts, welding, and parts on the lathe. And my friend Salvatore Mattiello who created the extrusion of the lighthouse for me. Obviously all my supporters and readers of this fantastic blog. Follow me on Instagram!

Follow @Francesco_Paura

More Francesco Paura Builds

Yamaha BT1100 Bulldog Custom Bulldog to Bull Terrier: Yamaha BT1100 Custom - Francesco Paura and friends transform a V-Twin Bulldog…  In 2001, Yamaha introduced the BT1100 Bulldog, a naked V-twin designed and produced in Italy. Italian style and Japanese build quality is one solid combination, and the […]
Yamaha MT-01 Custom Cookie Monster: Yamaha MT-01 Custom - Got Torque? 1.7L V-twin from Francesco Paura…  Yamaha’s popular MT series is said to stand for “Master of Torque.” However, one bike in the MT lineage has stood above the rest in that department, the […]
Honda Hornet Street Tracker El Calcolante: Honda Hornet 600 - Italy’s Francesco Paura builds one bad black Hornet…  Introduced in 1998, the Honda CB600F Hornet — known as the 599 here in the States — quickly earned a strong reputation among racers, couriers, and commuters […]

One Comment

  1. Looks like a badass machine.1677cc but it looks like it’s very top heavy. A friend of mine bought the V max kind of like the same design radical motor and it was top heavy he found out the hard way he got high-sided at 70 miles an hour he got rid of it after that he was nervous.Rock

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *