"Ever since we decided to build the XSR700 using the MT-07 as the base platform, we tried to find areas where buyers could easily add personal touches to their own bikes," says Yamaha Motorcycle Project Manager Shun Miyazawa. "Of course, performance is always important, but a lot of energy was used in making the XSR very customizable."

Miyazawa’s point was made clear by the custom-built, scrambler-style XSR700 displayed at the technical presentation for the 2018 production model. Actually, several modified XSRs were scattered around the room, most created by popular builders. According to Miyazawa, however, the beauty of the XSR is that a consumer can easily add his or her own style to the bike without having to re-engineer structural components.

custom Yamaha XSR
This is one of the several custom-built XSR700s that were displayed at Yamaha’s technical presentation. The bike has been repainted and hosts several other upgrades, including an Akrapovič exhaust, a flat seat, and fork gaiters.Courtesy of Yamaha

The tank-cover panels, for example, are removable and the front fender is readily detachable, which makes custom paint an easy process. The subframe loop can also be removed and lends itself to reconfiguring the tail end of the bike. Flip open Yamaha’s accessories catalog and you’ll find different seat options, as well as windscreens, billet parts, exhaust pipes, saddlebags, and radiator guards.

The fact that Yamaha essentially created the XSR700 as a platform for customization is bitchin'—at least to me. Not many people that I know have the skill or vision to create masterpieces like the ones in these photos, but maybe these bikes could serve as inspiration for a build. I'd love to try my hand at making my own custom XSR700. How does a street tracker sound to you?

Jigsaw customs XSR
My personal favorite is “The Slider” built by Jigsaw Customs.Courtesy of Yamaha
Custom Yamaha XSR
The “Apex Rules” created by Walz Werk gets its inspiration from old-school racebikes and dirt trackers, and is fitted with high-performance parts like the Rotobox carbon-fiber wheels and SC-Project exhaust.Courtesy of Yamaha
Custom Yamaha XSR700
JvB-Moto created the retro-style Super 7 without cutting or welding any part of the stock frame. The German shop offers several of its parts to the public, including the redesigned headlight, bodywork, and gauges.Courtesy of Yamaha