Back in 2016, Yamaha bit itself off a decent-sized chunk of the modern retro market with the release of the XSR neo-retro models. By leveraging their already well-established Yard Built Series, which invited custom workshops to modify bikes from their range, they attracted potential buyers by showing them how well the XSR responded to customisation.
Over in Taiwan, one workshop by the name of HooBue saw the XSR’s success as an opportunity to develop its own custom kit. Designed to make the task of modifying an XSR even easier the result was a bike coined the XSR Tyrant. Based on a 2016 XSR700 and shod in carbon fibre bodywork the kit transforms a stock XSR700 from a roadster into this aggressively styled street tracker.
HooBue founder Jurmol is an accomplished industrial designer. Merging his love for vintage flat track motorcycles with his design-focused skill set, he conceptualised, prototyped and built the Tyrant street tracker. In his home country, Jurmol is known for pushing boundaries so when it came to modifying his first large-displacement motorcycle (by Taiwanese standards) he pulled out all the stops.
When Yamaha created the XSR700 they used the highly respected MT07 as a starting point. That bike, along with the other models in the MT range are marketed under the slogan “Dark Side of Japan”, and this is where Jurmol found his inspiration for the bike’s sinister motif. His love of motorcycle design also saw the integration of elements from one of his favourite modern bikes, the Husqvarna Svartpilen 701. The similarities between Jurmol’s design and the 701 are undeniable, but the Tyrant’s beefier proportions have resulted in a much more aggressive, muscular-looking ride.
A stand-out feature of the HooBue XSR700 Tyrant is the extensive use of carbon fibre. Designed and crafted by Jurmol himself it replaces many of the XSR’s standard body panels. At the pointy end of the bike, he’s added a carbon headlight surround. The number plate styled fairing includes an aftermarket LED headlight which sits closer to the forks and tightens the bike’s proportions. Sitting beneath the front of the tank are ram air styled carbon inlets which replace the stock mesh and plastic units. Then, running down the spine of the tank is a carbon cover which sits atop the 2 halves of the stock tank covers.
The rear end of the XSR700 has been completely transformed with the fitment of more carbon parts. Rather than replacing the seat, Jurmol has created a monoposto carbon tailpiece that hides the rear half of the seat. This removes the need, and additional cost, of a new seat and also means the cover can be removed to accommodate a passenger when required. Completing the tail unit are 2 more carbon pieces that run along the frame rails and finish at the side covers. A set of integrated racing number plates add a touch a flat track style and help to fill the void above the rear wheel. The side covers themselves are a restyled version of the stock items and as you’d expect, they too are carbon fibre. A set of carbon radiator shrouds, a wheel hugger license plate bracket and a new LED tail light assembly complete the package.
HooBue offers the Tyrant kit as a complete solution or as individual components. The complete kit includes all of the hardware required to fit it to your XSR700 and the parts are handmade to order. Pricing for the complete kit is around $1800 USD plus shipping which considering it’s all carbon fibre is very reasonable. Best of all along with the visual benefits this kit offers its fitment will also help to reduce the bike’s weight.
If you’re as infatuated with this bike as I am and want to make an exact, carbon copy of Jurmol’s XSR700 Tyrant there are a few additional parts you’ll need. These include a set of lower Renthal Fatbars with aftermarket grips and a bar end mirror. Discrete LED turn signals, a rear shock upgrade from Ohlins and a suitably throaty Akrapovic slip-on muffler. Additionally, since Yamaha has never offered the XSR700 in Nardo grey, you’ll need to splash out on some new paint for the tank covers, but we think it’d be well worth the effort (and expense).
Jurmol’s XSR700 Tyrant is a testament to the fusion of vintage aesthetics and cutting-edge design. Through his Hoo-Bue brand, he’s demonstrated his ability to create extraordinary machines and we hope he’ll soon extend this talent to other modern retro motorcycles. But until then, I’ll be looking for a well-priced secondhand XSR700 to start my own transition to the dark side.