The paint is still wet on the walls of Deus’ new Italian workshop, but the Italian boys have been dropped in the deep end already. They were commissioned by Yamaha Europe to revamp an XJR1300 as part of the ‘Yard Built Specials’ project—which you may remember from our coverage of the Wrenchmonkees build a few months ago.
This is the result, which has just been revealed on the Yamaha website. And pretty good it looks, too. “The Yamaha XJR1300 was an intriguing machine to work with,” says Deus Italy’s Alessandro Rossi. “We drew inspiration from the legendary endurance racing machines of the late 1970s and 1980s, with their lean looks crafted for a single purpose—to win races.”
Deus concentrated on stripping the XJR1300 back to basics, reducing weight and shifting the visual focus on to the 1251cc air-cooled engine. “When we started to remove the XJR1300’s bodywork and road ancillaries, we noticed that it had a very aggressive stance—like a bulldog with big shoulders,” says Alessandro.
Deus emphasized that stance by fitting wider bars and hand-fabricated aluminum bodywork. The tank, side covers and cowl were reshaped to create a svelte new physique, and then finished with a distinctive paint treatment. “We call it ‘transparent dark,’ because it’s not black and it’s not brown.” The finish even appears amber from certain angles, when its transparent qualities allow the aluminum to show through.
The dynamics of the XJR1300 have been boosted too, with a complete Öhlins suspension transplant, front and back. Other components include Brembo radial brake and clutch lever systems, a Leo Vince titanium exhaust and Marvic Streamline magnesium wheels.
The traditional colors of the Öhlins parts have been toned down, though—Deus anodized the forks and powder coated the shocks’ springs black to make them less visible. “Our bike is an aggressive street fighter that likes to hide in the shadows, not stand in full view,” says Alessandro.
The seat unit is new, covered in a mixture of leather on the side and suede on top—just like a race bike. And the speedometer has gone, leaving the rider with just a rev counter to focus on.
It looks like XJR1300 owners will soon be able to emulate this look. At the Italian EICMA motorcycle show in November, Deus will launch a ‘kit’ version of their modifications.
But if you want to see the XJR1300 in the metal before it appears at EICMA, head over to the Deus Venice outpost in L.A. It’s on display there right now. But if you can’t make it to California, the next best thing is the full image gallery on our Google+ page.