Despite the incredible numbers of custom builds hitting the streets daily, it’s surprisingly difficult to find anything new. Every genre has its accepted look and style, and envelopes are rarely pushed.
But David González of Ad Hoc Café Racers swims upstream. His bikes are often oddball, yet always awesome. Like this new Yamaha from his Barcelona workshop, complete with a vivid neon paint job.
David’s called it Otokomae—which loosely translates from Japanese as ‘handsome man.’ It’s based on a XSR700, and it’s the latest in a long line of Yamaha Yard Built projects.
“I really like this crazy style David has created,” says Yamaha’s Cristian Barelli. “The tough ‘street tracker’ feel fits well with the XSR700, and the paint job is something totally unique.”
That paint is the first thing that caught our eye: a mélange of bright blue and yellow that tips its hat to Yamaha’s racing colors. But Otokomae has a lot more going for it than just a striking livery.
David has drastically reworked the XSR’s proportions. Starting at the front, he retrofitted the forks and brake setup from a Yamaha YZF-R6, including the R6’s brake and clutch controls.
The handlebars and risers are borrowed from a MT09, while the bulbous headlight is from a MT01.
Next, he ditched the XSR700’s tank covers, along with a host of superfluous side panels.
The stock XSR700 ‘tank’ is actually two aluminum cover panels that conceal a steel reservoir. He’s replaced everything with a four-piece unit of his own design.
The bike’s muscular new front-end contrasts with the lithe rear. David ditched the airbox, replacing it with foam filters. As an extra touch, the left one bears a 3D ‘Ad Hoc’ logo.
Yamaha’s request to all Yard Built participants is that they don’t cut the bike’s frame: It’s a bid to prove how well their bikes can be tweaked without a grinder or welder.
The rear section of the XSR700’s frame is removable though, so David’s ditched it and fabricated his own.
It hosts the new LED taillight and turn signals, set up with internal wiring. Up top is a sleek cowhide saddle. The whole arrangement’s perched 15mm higher than stock—thanks to the addition of a longer shock from Gears Racing.
Other top-shelf parts include classy Borrani spoked wheels, Michelin Anakee 3 tires and a SC Project exhaust system that’s sure to have the XSR700 sounding significantly angrier.
Some nice hand-made bits are incorporated too. There are fork sleeves that hold tiny LED front turn signals, and the radiator’s been refinished in black with a pair of struts acting as a color accent.
David’s knocked it out the park again, and we’re already chalking this one up as one of our favorite Yard Built bikes.
It has all the offbeat charm of a typical Ad Hoc build, with an almost insect-like aesthetic that has us wondering…
Should more builders ditch the somber tones, and add a splash of bright color to liven up our otherwise grey world?