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Return of the Cafe Racers - Yamaha XJR 1300 Cafe Racer

Yamaha XJR 1300 Cafe Racer

The Yamaha XJR 1300, baptized the “Retro Rocket” by Yamaha, is a potent mix of style and power. The Wrenchmonkees showed us just how good the latest iteration of the XJR bloodline could look with their Yard Built “Monkeefist” but what about older examples? The 1300cc version of the XJR has been on the scene since 1999, fine-tuned and improved with each new model so there’s a decade worth of them out there. This custom XJR is a 2007 bike built by Andrius who knew exactly what he wanted from Yamaha’s 98hp, naked, in-line four.

“I guess, it’s a modern take on a Cafe Racer, but I was born around 20 years too late to be able to appreciate the Cafe culture in full extent. I chose a modern bike in “old man’s clothes”. I like XJR1300 for its engine and chassis. This one I bought from a friend. It was an excellent bike, clean and well looked after, with just one problem…it was blue.”

“For me, the most important things are ergonomics and looks. I wanted to have a roadster/grand tourer… an Aston Martin of the bike world: not the fastest, but good looking, comfortable and steers sharply. Good in the city, countryside twists and excellent for long trips.”

“A few weeks after I brought the bike home it was in bits. The original seat and tail were cut up and used to make a mold which I used to make the new parts out of fiberglass. All of the tail lights were integrated into the rear cowl and frame and I covered the seat in suede. I changed the headlight for a smaller one and added fork gators. The stock speedo was swapped for a digital unit and I machined some aluminum racing rear sets. I also modified the tank to work with a pair of Tarozzi clip ons so they didn’t knock against the tank at full lock.”

He may have “been born 20 years too late” but if Yamaha thinks their XJR1300 is a “retro rocket” now wait till they get a load of this.

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