Yamaha has partnered with UK custom bike builder Auto Fabrica on an all-new retro-futuristic Yard Built Project.
As a cornerstone of the brand’s Sports Heritage range, the XSR900 café racer, with its its 847cc three cylinder power plant, was chosen as the base – and the end result is not one but three bikes.
Auto Fabrica co-founders Bujar and Gaz Muharremi linked up with designer and friend Toby Mellor to lay down the blueprints for what was initially meant to be just one bike – now known as the “Type 11 Prototype One”.
The bike’s design focused on blurring the lines between “classic style and modern surface language”, and the team decided this would be a track-only machine so they wouldn’t be held back by the regulations for day-to-day road use.
The blacked-out Prototype One featured carbon-nylon 3D-printed, CAD-designed elements that were combined with a traditionally made, handmade wrap-over aluminium body, while custom Öhlins suspension, Brembo calipers, specialist PFM brake discs and BST carbon-fibre wheels aiding handling. A flush fitting dial, contrasting seat unit, quick-fill race tank and handmade sand-bent, 3-into-3 exhaust topped things off.
Upon completion, the team then decided they wanted another machine that would not only carry the same DNA as the Prototype One, but which could also be taken out on the road.
The result was the “Prototype Three” that was built on an XS750 base and which featured 70s style flowing lines, created using traditional panel beating techniques and hand forming. It also incorporated 3D-printed velocity stacks and bespoke headlight structures, as well as a sand-bent exhaust – an Auto Fabrica trademark.
After the Prototype One and Prototype Three, there was only one place to go, namely, the “Type 11 Prototype Two”, which took everything from the first two builds and combined it into a road-going machine.
The Prototype Two was built on the XSR900 base and takes its performance direction from the Prototype One, while the Prototype Three comes through in the aesthetics department. A round headlight, conventional fuelling, trimmed seats, indicators, road tyres and matching metallic silver paint finish tie the Prototype Two to the retro style of the Prototype Three.
“Seeing this project evolve has been something really special for all of us,” says Antoin Clémot, product manager for Yamaha in Europe. “This went from a beautiful idea with a great bike to three incredible creations that speak to everything Yamaha’s Yard Built platform represents.”
The Japanese manufacturer says the Prototype Two will be supplied in a strictly limited edition run, sold as the “Auto Fabrica Type 11” and tailored to order with the first deliveries expected before the autumn of 2018.