Yamaha's XJR1300 Cafe Racer!

By Marc Potter
marcpotter Tested every new bike since 1994, loves anything on two wheels, Bike Social boss, Potski to his mates. Recently discovered elbow-down riding - likely to end in tears.

Yamaha's XJR1300 Cafe Racer built by Wrench Monkees
This XJR1300 Cafe Racer was commissioned by Yamaha to illustrate what’s possible for a bulky behometh, and Yamaha is keen to stress that kits to turn any XJR1300 into a similar bike will be available to buy very soon.
Standard Yamaha XJR1300 shows how different the Cafe Racer is
You can see from the pictures above that compared to the standard bike, the Junkyard project is incredibly different, even if the frames and engine are the same.

Built by renowned custom bike builders Wrenchmonkees, from Copenhagen in Denmark, the bike features a stripped-back Cafe Racer look and includes a frame that was set on fire and then lacquered over!

Every part on the bike is dulled down to give a matt finish. Wherever there was a shiny part (apart from the fork stanchions), the guys at Wrenchmonkees found a way to dull the finish. Even the clutch and brake levers are sanded down to achieve the look. Standing next to the bike at the Milan Show, you can’t help but get sucked in by the style. Even details like the headlight are incredible as it was milled out of a solid piece of aluminium.

The firm’s look and style comes from experimenting with different finishes of parts, and crazy guys at Wrenchmonkees have even been known to put metal parts in ovens, in washing machines, and set fire to stuff to see what new finishes they can create!
It's hard to believe this started off as an XJR1300

Per Nielsen, Crew Chief at Wrenchmonkees said: ““Our universe does not involve bright, shiny colours so we have used a matt, dark olive green with a slight twist of metallic flake – not too much. And we have done something very special to the frame. The XJR’s swingarm and engine have a similar black finish but we wanted to make the frame stand out so we sandblasted it clean of paint and then set fire to it to create a fantastic raw steel burnt effect!

“Generally we work on older bikes and have modified Yamaha SR500s and XS650s, but it has been really nice to show what we can do to a modern machine such as the XJR1300. However, working on a new bike raises its own unique set of challenges.

The bike presented plenty of problems for the team as it’s full of sensors and wires, but they managed to hide everything out of the way and create a clean area under the rider’s seat where all the wires, airbox and sensors have been stripped out.

Nielsen said: “The first job was to change the front end. We fitted a set of YZF-R1 forks and wheels but they didn’t look quite right so we changed the cast wheels for custom built spoked items. The front is a 19-inch wheel while the rear is an 18-inch to give it an old school look with a modern twist using the R1’s forks and six-piston radial calipers. We then fabricated some rearsets to increase the ground clearance and replaced the flat handlebars with clip-ons to give it a cafe racer riding position. The exhaust is a hand-built stainless steel system that goes back to the twin muffler megaphone look of the older XJR but brought up to date in a modern MotoGP style.”

Wrenchmonkees are now developing the kits for sale. We’ll bring you news of them as soon as they are available.

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