Yamaha’s Yard Built project hasn’t got the publicity it deserves. Collaborating with some of Europe’s finest custom bike builders over the past year, we’ve seen some strikingly sexual retro café racers based on budget Yamahas, transformed into prototype art that truly justify making production.
Of course, these raw prototypes would never pass a VOSA-related test or other shitty laws across Europe with naughty reg plates and other anti-MOT paraphernalia, hence the one-off teasers we’ve seen in recent months – our favourite being the Boltage.
But Yamaha has just released the XV950 Racer, which takes inspiration from the ‘El Ratón Asesino’ produced by German custom builder Marcus Walz and based on the very cheap XV950. Although the mass-produced Racer doesn’t share the same trinkets and individuality as the El Ratón Asesino, it’s the closest thing we’ve seen to a Yard Built gem for public consumption.
With a 942cc air-cooled v-twin motor making 51bhp, the Racer is hardly going to tear the Tarmac from beneath but makes up for it via aesthetical pleasuring. Yamaha has developed suspension to suit the slightly sportier outlook, with revised 41mm forks and twin rear piggyback gas shocks. Other features include forged aluminium clip-ons (156mm further forward and 78mm lower than the stock XVs) and proper rearsets.
We’ll get a price soon – beard and other hipster-derived tat not included