We love customs that have that ‘well sorted’ look—where you get the impression that everything is in the right place, it all works well, and it’ll be a hoot to ride.
These bikes are usually the work of pro workshops, racers, or folks who have a garage packed to the rafters with specialist tools. But this striking Yamaha MT-07, to our surprise, comes from one-man band Andrew Stagg.
Andrew lives in subtropical Queensland, in the northeast of Australia. He’s a metal fabricator by trade, and toying with the idea of setting up his own custom shop.
As a donor bike, the MT-07 needs no introduction here. Previously known as the FZ-07 in the States, it’s won a shedload of ‘best bike’ awards, it’s Yamaha’s bestseller in Europe, and it has a legion of fans amongst beginner and experienced riders alike.
If there’s a weak point, it’s the MT-07’s looks—and Andrew has corrected that aspect superbly.
“This is a 2017 MT-07,” he tells us. “I didn’t have anywhere to build it, so I went to Black Cycles in Coopers Plains, Brisbane. It’s just around the corner from my home, and I asked the owner Noel if I could build my bike there. He gave me a stand and left me to it.”
Andrew started by stripping the Yamaha down to the frame and discarding the plastic bodywork. “Once there, I decided to cut off the rear subframe and fabricate an aluminum seat pan—to get the right angle, and to work out exactly where the seat would sit.”
The new aluminum subframe also holds the new fuel cell, allowing Andrew to get a flatter line across the top of the bike. It instantaneously fixes the main problem with the MT-07’s looks—the ‘humped’ aspect of the conventional tank.
The filler cap is now at the back of the new seat, and Andrew estimates that the tank holds about nine liters (2.4 gallons).
With the top of the bike exposed, Andrew then crafted the top line. Using aluminum sheet, he fabricated the tail unit, new side panels, the ‘fake’ tank, radiator shrouds, and the front number board and fender. The result is terrific, with a sleek supermoto vibe.
“No fancy tools, by the way,” he notes. “Just a welder, bandsaw and a bench with G-clamps for a folder. Everything is hand built and hand formed.”
All the wiring is now under the fake tank, and Andrew built an aluminum battery box that fits between the front of the fuel tank and the main frame. “There’s just enough room from an eight-cell lithium Antigravity battery.”
Andrew also had to make a smaller ABS mount, moving it a little lower and forward—so the new bodywork fits properly without needing to be cut, or bulged out.
Up front is a Rizoma handlebar, which is home to uprated brake and clutch levers from Gilles Tooling (plus new brake lines). The turn signals are from Motogadget and the high- and low-beam lights are from Highsider.
Andrew also fabricated a new speedo mount, to pull the instruments backwards and lower down, and fitted a set of Kuryakyn micro 3-in-1 lights onto a new number plate bracket, to keep the rear clean.
The occasionally spongy ride of the stock MT-07 is tightened up by a custom rear shock built by Gazi Suspension, which is 20mm longer than the stock unit.
To give the 689 cc parallel twin a little more pep, Andrew’s also installed a set of K&N filters, and a low-level, de-catted exhaust system from Black Widow that weighs just 4.3 kilos (less than ten pounds).
The angular bodywork is an excellent foil for Yamaha’s classic ‘speed block’ paint scheme, which was applied by Noel from Black Cycles.
“The only things I haven’t done yet are re-spring the forks, and flash the engine ECU to suit the new setup,” says Andrew. “I’ve run out of money!”
The good news is that the MT-07 is for sale. We’re hoping a buyer will supply the dollars for Andrew to apply the finishing touches—and also convince him to start up his own shop. Because we’re seeing a lot of promise here.
Published at Wed, 11 Dec 2019 17:01:40 +0000