There are many incredibly talented designers at Yamaha’s Iwata factory but sitting with a big smile at his desk is the man who first conceived the MT series of motorcycles. You have to go back to 1999 when the first concept appeared before a street-legal version was finally seen at INTERMOT in 2004 taking home a big trophy. Since then, it has been one great model after another, with simple naked styling, packed with a vast array of excellent engines. The range has also played a big part in Yamaha’s Yard Built program and who better to give the MT-09/XSR900 model a full makeover than Spain’s David Sanchez. From total custom transformations to Pikes Peak winning machines, his Bottpower outfit always delivers the goods and this stunning example featuring their XR9 Carbona kit is no exception.
For his latest build, David selected the XSR900, the bastard brother of the MT-09 with semi-retro aesthetics. But what makes both of these bikes so good is that tasty triple-cylinder 847cc engine that sits between the frame rails. The MT-07 is a brilliant bike, but it does lack power for an experienced rider, and the MT-10 is basically an R1 with its clothes off, so why not just get the real thing. Carrying only 10kg of extra weight, the 09’s screaming engine delivers 40bhp more than the 07 and has endless midrange torque to play with too.
David saw the potential and working with the Yard Built program has developed a kit to transform either the XSR or MT into an even more lightweight, fire-breathing beast. The first part of this build follows the exact same course as if you were building your own bike based on the XR9 Carbona Kit. First, you jump on the Bottpower website and place your order for the 4-piece kit, adding any of the endless other goodies on offer. Then it’s time to take your stock Yamaha and remove the front headlight, the tank cover and its side panels, the seat, and the radiator covers.
Then you start your assembly with a neatly styled front number board bolting on, which also comes with a pair of daytime LED running lights. Next, to be bolted on is the full carbon fibre tank cover that brilliantly moulds over the tank below and includes and pair of huge carbon ducts that help to ram fresh air into the air-box. The form and function of such high-quality parts come from years of testing, most famously with Bottpower winning its class at the 2017 Pikes Peak Hillclimb, using the exact same design of ram-air intact tubes, that help to increase horsepower and overcome altitude.
The radiator covers are the next to bolt-on and not only do they provide visual beef to the bike, but they also sport a pair of functional winglets that are all the rage on litre sports bikes and in MotoGP. Just above the winglets sit a pair of openings that allow the high and low beam lights to shine through, with an extra pair added below the front plate. The final piece of the kit is the tail unit, which gives the XR9 its signature flat track appearance. The twin sideboards are joined by a carbon fibre seat base that has been wrapped in Alcantara and given a paint matching red stitch.
At this point, you can choose to leave the bike as is or start to add many of the parts from the Bottpower catalogue and the owner of this build opted to tick the box for the carbon fibre front fender with integrated fork protectors. The owner is in fact also the photographer of the bike and he had an idea for the paint and graphics to cover much of the new bodywork. Taking inspiration from the iconic colour scheme of Grand Prix ace Barry Sheene, the white with red and yellow graphics look incredible and the famous font of the racers number 7 shines through in glossed carbon.
When you’ve come this far you may as well go all the way and the owner literally ticked every option that Bottpower offers. For that thunderous triple it includes a full exhaust system by the best in the business at Akrapovic. Before a full set of carbon fibre engine covers was added in case there is ever a spill, and a neat sprocket cover to trick things out. To bring the suspension up to scratch, David pulled the internals from the front forks and fitted a full Ohlins cartridge kit, and then replaced the rear shock with a slick piece also from the Swedish big O.
The steering duties fall to an all-new set of risers that grip Bottpower’s own carbon composite bars, that don’t look half bad too. These have been blessed with an array of the best bits in the business with machined race button housings, a Domino quick action throttle, and a radial master cylinder from Brembo with stainless lines to give the braking a boost. To keep the tail clean, a carbon hugger and carbon fender join the party, with the license plate held in place with a CNC machined arm.
The final piece to the puzzle is the Gilles Tooling rearsets allowing David to set the bike up for the owner. The kit is not only 100% street legal but comes with every nut and bolt you need, and the finished product of this big boy’s Lego is a bike that delivers about as much fun as you can have on two-wheels.
[ Bottpower ]