Picking the right donor for your custom project can be a daunting task. And if you’ve got the cash or the credit history, there are good reasons to spring for a new-ish machine—one with modern suspension that starts every time.
Yamaha’s XSR900 comes to mind. We rode it and loved its brutish nature—and the modern amenities like ABS and switchable power maps. The looks were near perfect too in our book, short of a few gripes.
The Danish duo of Per Nielsen and Nicholas Bech recently adopted the slogan ‘Wrenched from Black’—a mantra that the XSR900 proclaims proudly. But there’s more going on here than a murdered-out paint job.
The guys have massaged every angle of the XSR900 into place, creating a mash-up of minimalism and menace.
The tank covers are stock, but the seat is a one-off. And the unsightly boxes that normally adorn the sides of the frame have been binned—with the electronics originally housed inside them relocated.
Gone too are the XSR900’s ultra-modern cast wheels. In their place is a pair of Borrani rims, laced to blacked-out hubs with 9mm stainless steel spokes. Continental’s chunky-but-road-friendly TKC80 tires take the scrambler motif further.
Even though the XSR900 handles and brakes well out of the box, the Wrenchmonkees couldn’t resist a few enhancements. There’s a K-Tech shock out back, along with a TRW brake disc and Gilles Tooling chain adjusters.
The front brakes have been upgraded with a Nissin master cylinder, and the whole system is now hooked up to braided hoses.
‘Monkeebeast’ is an exercise in restraint rather than excess. A byproduct of what happens when a shop with years of experience considers each mod carefully, to create a subtlety that’s hard to emulate.
The Yard Built ethos dictates that the chassis is left untouched as much as possible. And the Wrenchmonkees did just that—reworking the bike without cutting anything.