CUSTOMISED YAMAHA XSR700 MOTORBIKE: ‘THE PINION SON’
By Piers Berry (Founder, Pinion Watch Company)
We’re pleased to introduce our customised Yamaha XSR700 motorcycle – ‘The Pinion Son’.
About the bike
The XSR700 is a new bike that was released last year by Yamaha as part of their ‘Sport Heritage’ range and aligns very much with their philosophy of ‘Faster Sons’ – Using modern technology mixed with timeless designs and looks.
Yamaha Motor Europe product manager, Shun Miyazawa however states the bike is not a ‘modern classic’ – but more a universal Japanese motorcycle (UJM) and is inspired by iconic UJMs such as the timeless Yamaha XS650 and therefore has many exposed parts referencing bikes of old.
Under its dynamic shape, the XSR700 utilises parts from Yamaha’s other recent bestselling motorcycle, the MT07 – such as the 689cc inline twin engine and 6 speed gear box, but looks a completely different bike from the more modern MT07.
The “Faster Sons” Philosophy of taking modern Yamahas and providing them with a classic spin is very much at the heart of the XSR700 – With the booming interest in custom motorcycles, Yamaha built a bike that is very easy to take apart and customise using parts developed for Yamaha and other “Yard Built” motorcycle builders.
‘The Pinion son’
Having ridden motorcycles for over twenty years, I was keen to create a PINION bike that references our graphic language and styling of the company and having already worked with Shun and Yamaha back in 2015 on a small series of watches with Japanese denim manufacturer Iron Heart, we contacted Yamaha UK directly to see what bikes they had that would be suitable for this – the XSR700 was a clear winner in both specifications but also provided a perfect base for our customisations to work on.
After purchasing the yellow ‘60th Anniversary’ model from Yamaha, in early 2016, I started the task of designing the bike but with the limitation that I would do the majority of the customisations with help from people who could provide more complicated customisation like the tank decoration and seat.
The exterior of the bike was stripped, taking any parts off (like the pillion footrests) that wouldn’t be needed. Having never customised a bike before (but quite handy with a spanner!) I was impressed at how easy the bike was to take apart. Primary to this was the tank, which is actually three panels that bolt onto the working bare tank underneath. The simplicity of this meant the panels could be designed in isolation and for practical purposes the bike was still fully rideable minus the tank covers.
Using mostly Yamaha approved parts, I begin assembling these to transform the look:
– High-mounted exhaust (Akrapovic / Yamaha)
– Mesh covers for the side panels (Yamaha)
– Billet frame tube ends (Gilles tooling / Yamaha)
– Font and back axel covers (Gilles tooling / Yamaha)
– Black radiator cover (Yamaha)
– Black radiator side panels (Yamaha)
– Billet passenger footrest covers (Gilles tooling / Yamaha)
– Aluminium Chain guard (Yamaha)
– Brake oil side panels ( Baracuda Moto)
– LSL T6 ‘fat’ handlebars (Lower than the OEM ones)
– Domino grips (imported from the states)
– Rizoma mirrors (not pictured)
– Yellowed headlamp (tinted yellow spray)
– Single saddle (Yamaha – then re-made).
For the tank, seat and side panels, I wanted a look that referenced our colours: dark blue, radium and green – Using revolution customs in Reading, the tank design (part metallic blue, black and white) was sprayed along the crisp white Pinion and Yamaha logos on each side.
The original longer saddle was replaced with a single Yamaha one that I designed based on a retro ribbed design in tan (radium) leather – this was stitched by Saddle Craft UK and matched the imported tan Domino grips perfectly.
Finally, the original plastic black side panels were replaced with aluminium ones that were wrapped using a design showing a mechanical watch movement set against a dark military styled green, by my local sign company, Henley Sign People.
The result is a bike that looks unique with our designs but feels very much still like the XSR700.
For more information on the XSR700 visit:
Please contact Piers, if you want any more details on the parts used.