Three years ago, Yamaha Europe kicked off its Yard Built program with the Wrenchmonkees’ stunning ‘Monkeefist’ XJR1300. Since then, we’ve seen a steady stream of killer customs from some of Europe’s best builders, including Deus, Benders, Marcus Walz and JvB-moto.
And now we have ‘Dissident,’ a super-streamlined XJR1300 from the Portuguese builders with the weird name, it roCkS!bikes. Osvaldo and Alexandre are familiar with the XJR series, and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the iconic street bruiser, they’ve delivered one of the best custom XJRs yet.
Choosing the Porto-based workshop was a gamble on the part of Yamaha’s product manager Shun Miyazawa. But it’s paid off. “It roCkS!bikes were high on the list of builders we wanted to work with,” he says.
“Their experience working on the 1200 and 1300 models shows: they can build stunning customs without losing the heart of the original.”
As with all Yard Built bikes, the brief was to modify the machine without cutting or welding: showing how far a ‘plug and play’ solution can transform the look of the XJR1300.
Osvaldo and Alexandre are civil engineers by day, and their engineering skills are plain to see. Their bikes all have ‘monocoque’ one-piece tank and seat/tail units, requiring precision and attention to detail.
On Dissident, the handcrafted metal flows in one unit—stretching from behind the triple clamps all the way to the tail, which conceals recessed LED lighting.
Suspension dynamics have been upgraded with YZF-R1 forks, modified to fit the XJR1300 steering column. Motogadget supplied the bar-end turn signals, plus a hi-tech Motoscope dashboard—which is mounted on a custom CNC-machined aluminum bracket, and protected by a hand-fabricated bikini fairing. The clip-on bars, grips, rearsets and pegs are all from LSL.
There’s also a complete new braking system from the Swedish masters ISR, connected with Hel Performance hoses. That includes new master cylinders and monster 340mm dual discs up front, with six-piston calipers to apply extreme force. The wheels are 17-inch tubeless Kineo spoked rims, shod with Pirelli Angel GT sport touring rubber.
On top of the tank is an aluminum Monza-style gas cap, and just behind it is an unusual ‘medallion’ featuring Yamaha’s tuning fork symbol. The hand-made leather seat is a masterpiece of craftsmanship, and clips into the one-piece monocoque in true café racer style.
On both sides of the engine, the covers are lightweight aluminium items with glass windows to reveal the engine internals. There’s a compact oil cooler to keep temperatures down, and a seamless custom 4-into-2 stainless exhaust system to raise the blood pressure.
The paint job bucks the current trend for minimalism, and we’re all for it. It’s a sublime reinterpretation of the classic Yamaha colours of the 70s and 80s, with pearl white, black and gold—and of course, the legendary speed blocks.
It roCkS!bikes are making small production runs of all the pieces used on this machine, which is good news for XJR1300 owners. (Check them out in the high-res gallery on our Google+ page.) Contact It roCkS!bikes via their Facebook page for pricing.