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Son of Time: Ironwood’s Yamaha XSR700 Cafe Racer

Son of Time: Ironwood's Yamaha XSR700 cafe racer, built for TW Steel
Ironwood Custom Motorcycles’ slogan is “Turning scrappy metal into gold.” And we saw the proof just last week—with a sharp-edged BMW cafe racer that almost fried our servers.

But while we were ogling the Beemer, Arjan van den Boom and his Amsterdam-based crew were already gearing up to unveil their next project. This time they started with a brand new donor—a mint fresh Yamaha XSR700.

Son of Time: Ironwood's Yamaha XSR700 cafe racer, built for TW Steel
The XSR700 landed in their laps via Dutch watchmaker TW Steel, as part of the Sons of Time project. Working in collaboration with Yamaha, TW Steel pairs a new bike with a builder and creates a limited edition watch to match.

We’ve already seen Diamond Atelier’s XSR900, and then Arjan got the call. There was no brief, but the bike’s livery needed to complement the watch. “Our aim was to get a low, fast and mean kinda cafe racer,” he says, “since the bike leaves the Yamaha factory as a street scrambler.”

Son of Time: Ironwood's Yamaha XSR700 cafe racer, built for TW Steel
Having a brand new donor to play with was a plus too. “It was nice to work on a new bike, with quality parts,” says Arjan. “All the bolts dismounted easier, and I got less dirty!”

Arjan wanted ‘Chronos’ Joyride’ to sit lower and beefed up in front, so he reached out to Yamaha Netherlands, who were supporting the project. In no time he had a new set of shorter MT-10 upside-down forks and dual front brakes.

Son of Time: Ironwood's Yamaha XSR700 cafe racer, built for TW Steel
He got the forks to fit using the MT-10’s lower triple, and a custom-machined aluminum top clamp. Other chassis upgrades include an Öhlins rear shock, and a pair of fiery red Kineo spoked tubeless wheels. They’re wrapped in Continental Race Attack rubber, with rear bumped from 160 to 180 wide.

Then it was time to massage the rest of the XSR into shape. Just like with Yamaha’s own Yard Built program, TW Steel had asked that the frame not be cut or modded in any way—but they said nothing about the bodywork.

Son of Time: Ironwood's Yamaha XSR700 cafe racer, built for TW Steel
The XSR’s tank is actually a pair of metal covers hiding a fuel cell, but Arjan wanted a radically different look. So he ditched the whole arrangement, before designing a new tank and tasking Marcel van der Stelt with fabricating it from aluminum.

Other one-off bits include the side covers, front fender, radiator guard, chain guard and headlight brackets. There’s a stout new seat up top, upholstered by Marcel Miller and equipped with small LED taillights in the rear. The end’s capped off with a pair of LED turn signals in the frame rails, and a Barracuda license plate holder.

Son of Time: Ironwood's Yamaha XSR700 cafe racer, built for TW Steel
Lower down, the airbox has been replaced by a set of DNA filters. A carbon SC Project muffler handles the aural side of the experience, connected to the headers via a custom-made section.

Ironwood have carried the XSR’s aggressive new stance through to the front end, with a gnarly dual projector headlight, and a Motogadget dash, recessed into the top clamp. The grips and bar-end turn signals are also from Motogadget, and the clip-ons are from Tarozzi.

Son of Time: Ironwood's Yamaha XSR700 cafe racer, built for TW Steel
Lithe and ready to pounce, all Chronos’ Joyride needed was the right livery. Arjan picked out Grigio Telesto 0098—a Lamborghini Aventador swatch—and capped it off with some red striping on the tank.

With that settled, it was time for a final test ride before handing the XSR over. “It handles sharp and rides aggressive,” says Arjan. “The steering, brakes and suspension are great!”

Son of Time: Ironwood's Yamaha XSR700 cafe racer, built for TW Steel
Chalk that up as another win for Ironwood—and another XSR700 that we’d love to park in the garage. Sigh.

Ironwood Custom Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by Paul van ML

Son of Time: Ironwood's Yamaha XSR700 cafe racer, built for TW Steel