Yamaha Yard Built XJR1300

Ken's Factory and Iron Heart's Two-Wheeled Love Child

Ever since Yamaha Europe's Yard Built program began, we've been carefully watching what can happen when two worlds collide: OEMs and custom culture. As an homage to the 20th anniversary of the XJR, Yamaha collaborated with Iron Heart, a Japanese selvedge denim company, to put a fashion spin on Yamaha's XJR1300.

Founded by Shinichi Haraki in 2003, the Iron Heart vision is to make beautiful clothing, blending the utmost in function and fashion. Haraki san was joined by Giles Padmore in 2005 and the partnership continues to grow the Iron Heart brand to today, cherishing craftsmanship and quality combined with innovative design for a global fanbase.

Yamaha Motor Europe Product Manager Shun Miyazawa is the driving force behind the Yard Built program, working continuously to find external creative forces to collaborate with to keep innovating. “Haraki-san and I have been friends for some years, primarily based on our mutual respect for the other’s belief in the importance of craftsmanship in the construction of our products. Iron Heart and Yamaha share a respect for traditional, timeless design where appropriate, blended with innovative, cutting edge technologies to create products that combine the best of both worlds. We wanted to work with Haraki- san for some time, and finally this year we have had the opportunity.”

“What I wanted to achieve was a beautiful café racer that fits perfectly into the Iron Heart universe,” commented Shinichi Haraki. “The bike is designed to be for a mature rider, not a kid. My inspiration came from 70s and 80s Japanese and European bikes that look like real bikes. Nothing has been modified or added that makes it shout more than it should, there is no design influence without function, it’s a real bike for grown ups.”

What I wanted to achieve was a beautiful café racer that fits perfectly into the Iron Heart universe.

"Iron Heart has a huge respect for hand craftsmanship mixed with modern technology so we wanted to show that on the bike. We worked closely with Japanese customhouse Ken's Factory to blend the two and bring the concept to life. The timeless craftsmanship is seen in the handmade parts such as the beaten aluminium front fender, fuel tank, seat base and tail and side covers."

“The final bike respects the technical side of the XJR,” concludes Haraki-san, “so all the functional engineering aspects are preserved so people can enjoy both fast riding while still being to have a relaxed cruise down to an Iron Heart store to get some attention and look good!”

Expertly realized by Ken’s Factory in Japan, the Yard Built XJR1300 by Iron Heart features a CNC machined aluminium clock case, front and rear indicators, grips, headlight bracket, front fender and foot pegs. Lightweight Kineo wheels allow a different size tubeless tyre to be added and handle bars from Magura change the riding position. As you would expect from an expert in denim, the seat is hand made from 21oz selvedge denim and set with pure silver rivets.

A beautiful titanium manifold feeds into custom twin stainless steel mufflers to provide a suitable soundtrack and the bike is finished in a deep indigo blue paint job with Yamaha Speedblock and pin striping. The Yamaha and Iron Heart logos and motifs are cleverly represented in gold leaf and the Speed block design and stitching on the denim seat are in the Iron Heart brand signature orange.

Ken’s Factory realised all the modifications to the XJR without any cutting or welding to the frame. They will release a full set of aftermarket parts for this build so that those that wish to recreate this über cool machine can do so.

To step into the selvedge denim world of Iron Heart click HERE. Parts from this build will be available soon from Kens Factory HERE .