I’ve considered buying a big naked bike as a personal ride so naturally I looked at Suzuki’s GSX1400, Honda’s CB1300, Kawasaki’s ZRX1200 and Yamaha’s XJR1300 (which can still be bought new here in Australia). After our latest client Jordan V informed us he was buying an XJR 400 and was after some work, I got a little excited as I wanted to check out their modability.
We were happy to discover a friendly frame under the skin, so along with the reliable and powerful air / oil-cooled 4, good brakes, decent width rear tyre and a solid muscular stance I thought he’d made a good choice. As Jordan is currently on a restricted license and isn’t legally able to dip his toe in the bigger bike pond just yet, Yamaha’s cradled 400 made even more sense when compared to some of the other possible choices.
Whilst his budget didn’t stretch to an all-out mod build we worked together to come up with a design that made the most of those funds.
Like most best-laid-plans, things can change as you work through them. The original idea was to have a more tractor-styled seat and bobber look but this gave way to more of a cafe styled outcome during the process.
A single-seat conversion was part of the deal, so with that mod plate in hand along with a fresh roadworthy certificate and registration, the fun began.
Jordan wanted a simplified front-end, so the original gauges were replaced with an Acewell digital unit along with clip-ons, lowered original headlight, bar-end mirrors, Daytona indicators and trimmed front guard.
The rear was treated to an adjusted frame with repositioned helmet / seat lock, cut-down rear pillion peg mounts, custom vinyl covered seat, custom guard and number plate / reflector frame and polished side covers. Modded tail light and again, Daytona indicators round out the list.
Given our experience with this XJR I’d definitely consider its bigger cousin as a personal ride. We usually have a number of builds on at a time but it surprised us how much interest this little XJR created with visitors to our workshop.
Albums we listened to during the build of this bike
1. Interpol – Our Love to Admire
2. Muse – The 2nd Law
3. Daft Punk – Musique Vol.1