The Disruptive: Bad Winners’ Yard Built Yamaha XSR700

Yard Built Yamaha XSR700 by Bad Winners
Yamaha’s annual ‘Yard Built’ competition was one of the first and most highly publicized custom competitions, delivering a steady stream of killer bikes. This year, the event has been a little more muted due to COVID, but the quality of builds remains high.

We love this XSR700 from EXIF regulars Bad Winners, the Paris workshop that includes Formula 1 driver Charles Leclerc amongst its clients. Builders Walid and Benoit worked off a 2D concept called The Disruptive, produced by the Photoshop design specialist Barbara Motorcycles.

Yard Built Yamaha XSR700 render by Barbara Motorcycles
The project had an unusual gestation: Walid was one of the judges for a Yamaha promotion called ‘Back to the Drawing Board,’ and Yamaha asked him to turn the 2D Barbara concept (above) into a 3D reality. Bad Winners have now gone one step further and made this custom available as a kit.

The striking design is inspired by the Yamahas that raced on American flat tracks in the 1970s, hence the gold and black colors. And the XSR700 is a terrific starting point: it’s light, reliable, huge fun to ride, and loved by owners and journos alike. If there’s a fly in the proverbial ointment, it’s the styling—and Bad Winners have fixed it.

Yard Built Yamaha XSR700 by Bad Winners
The XSR700’s stock setup includes a fuel cell covered by plastic panels—but this has been ditched in favor of a one-piece carbon fiber fuel tank. The tail piece is finished off with a slim leather seat, and everything bolts to the Yamaha’s stock mounting points.

Like an increasing number of pro builders these days, the French workshop handles its own carbon fiber work. The new body parts were first modeled and printed out in 3D, and then turned into molds for the final shaping process. (Fiberglass is used for the commercial kit.)

Yard Built Yamaha XSR700 by Bad Winners
The upper and lower triple trees are custom-made, and clamp onto MT-09/YZF-R1 forks. On the kit, the front wheel and brakes will be carried over from the MT-09 too, but this prototype uses Beringer brakes and an ultralight Dymag UP7X forged aluminum front wheel—as seen on many WSBK machines. The stock back wheel has a lightweight disc cover for added visual impact.

The rims are shod with Dunlop’s unusual new Mutant rubber. It uses compounds more commonly seen on ‘hypersport’ tires, and matches them to a tread pattern taking elements from racing wets and dirt track tires.

Yard Built Yamaha XSR700 by Bad Winners
A Renthal Fatbar on Gilles Tooling flat track risers adds to the circuit vibe; it’s home to Renthal grips, Motone switchgear, Motogadget bar end indicators and a Magura radial master cylinder.

The increasingly popular Koso Thunderbolt LED headlight leads the way, attached via a custom bracket, and there’s an LED taillight molded into the rear frame loop.

Yard Built Yamaha XSR700 by Bad Winners
There’s a new digital dash too, but it’s no off-the shelf unit. Bad Winners have an in-house electronics guru, and have developed their own plug-and-play dash, that’ll also be available for various other motorcycles in the near future.

The engine has been left alone, but since it’s one of the XSR700’s best points, that’s just fine. An Akrapovič titanium exhaust brings some extra noise to the party, unlocking a little extra power and dropping almost two kilos of weight over the stock item. At the intake end are free-flowing K&N filters.

Yard Built Yamaha XSR700 by Bad Winners
Even though no cutting or welding was allowed on this build, it still feels like a full custom. We can’t quite pin down the style—Walid says he aims to ‘decompartmentalize’ the genres of motorcycling—but it looks like a million euros.

If you’re smitten too, Bad Winners can build you an XSR700 very similar to this, for €16,990 including the donor bike. And if you already have an XSR but want to amp up its style, drop them a line for pricing.

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