Return of the Cafe Racers - XJR1300 Rhapsody in Blue

XJR1300 Rhapsody in Blue

The next instalment of Yamaha's awesome 'Yardbuilt' series of custom motorcycles using models from their current range is here! This time they've collaborated with Japanese born, Brooklyn based builder Keinosuke Sasaki and his workshop Keino Cycles. Based on another Yamaha XJR1300  Keino's 'Rhapsody in Blue' now joins the ranks of the Wrenchmonkees…

 

The next instalment of Yamaha’s awesome ‘Yardbuilt‘ series of custom motorcycles using models from their current range is here! This time they’ve collaborated with Japanese born, Brooklyn based builder Keinosuke Sasaki and his workshop Keino Cycles. Based on another Yamaha XJR1300  Keino’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ now joins the ranks of the Wrenchmonkees ‘Monkeefist’ and the Deus ex Machina ‘Eau Rouge’ as some of the coolest modern XJR custom conversions around.

The Blue Rhapsody takes its main inspiration from the 90’s race bikes Keinosuke saw on the streets of Japan in his youth, but also incorporates some of his trademark, chopper inspired touches. These include the rather unexpected use of one of his springer style front-ends anda beehive style brake light taken from a vintage MG which been incorporated into the tail section. A custom made diamond stitched saddle with matching grips from Biltwell complete the old school styling touches.

Three modern race shocks with gold details make up the bikes suspension with one of the three incorporated into the springer style front end in a kind of mono-shock set up. The XJR rolls on gold, 3 spoke rims that sport a custom mounted Brembo brake system paired with Brembo levers mounted to the bikes custom bars.

Keinosuke hand made all of the aluminium panels and covers that replace the XJRs factory units. He also custom made the low mounted, slim line tank, shapely tail end and the fake oil tank that houses electrical components and the battery. The stock air box has also been replaced by a set of 4 hi-flowing pod filters and the EFI remapped to suit the changes in airflow.

My favourite feature of the build is the bikes custom exhaust system. A set of 2-into-1 headers wrap around each side of the bike expelling exhaust gases via a pair of short reverse megaphones. A beautifully hand rolled heatshield on each side protects the rider from the skin searing exhaust temperatures and the system has been finished in hi-temp satin black paint. To complete the build Keinosuke took Yamaha’s classic blue paint scheme and added a metallic finish. Kenny Roberts racing style white and black panels run the length of the lower half of the tank and tail and to show off some of his alloy work he’s left some sections visible under a clear coat.

Read more like this

Return of the Cafe Racers - Engine engine 25 – Yamaha DT250

Engine engine 25 – Yamaha DT250

If you’ve been following Enginethusiast for a while, you’ve probably noticed that Anthony Scott has a soft spot for vintage racing motorcycles. Between photographing them, orchestrating events to use them and working…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Years in the Making – Yamaha TRX850 Café Racer

Years in the Making – Yamaha TRX850 Café Racer

Nothing makes me happier than featuring custom motorcycles that have been built in my hometown. Today’s café racer is the work of Jonny Taylor who’s based in Victoria, Australia, like yours truly,…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Virile Virago – KSC Yamaha XV750

Virile Virago – KSC Yamaha XV750

Rapid prototyping, CNC machining, 3d printing! Whatever happened to good old hammers, spanners, and the occasional grinder? I get a bit nostalgic when it comes to custom motorcycle building. It’s clear that…

Continue Reading