Based in a country where sub-250cc bikes rule, it’s no surprise that K-Speed has a serious knack for transforming small-displacement models into mean, menacing-looking machines.
Despite the Thai shop’s proclivity for pint-sized projects, K-Speed has worked with all manner of donors, including full-size models—which again, shouldn’t come as a surprise considering it completed almost five dozen builds in 2018 alone.
This latest build was commissioned by Yamaha Thailand to be released in conjunction with the new XSR155 model. Currently limited to just the Thai market, the XSR155 is the latest addition to the tuning fork company’s ‘Sport Heritage’ lineup.
Offering the same modern-vintage aesthetic as its 700 and 900cc siblings in a small-displacement package, the baby XSR uses a 19hp, 155cc SOHC single with variable valve actuation—the same motor employed by the MT-15 and YZF-R15.
This isn’t the first time a manufacturer has given K-Speed a new model to customize and promote upon its release. Back when the 2018 Super Cub was launched, Honda Thailand laced the shop up with an example to restyle.
In addition to garnering an enormous amount of media attention and spawning several additional K-Speed Super Cub projects, it was also Bike EXIF’s most popular (in terms of views) build in all of 2018.
Just like with the Super Cub, the manufacturer only gave K-Speed 30 days to complete the build from start to finish.
The build began with removing the stock subframe and replacing it with a custom flat unit with a built-in luggage rack. A sliver of a custom leather saddle adorns the new subframe, definitely adding more style than comfort points.
Known as ‘Trail Breaker,’ the design of this Yamaha was inspired by adventure and off-road style elements. Right out of the gate, K-Speed head honcho Eak wanted to give the small-displacement retro a more muscular and rugged appearance—so a robust crash cage was fabricated to envelop the engine, frame, and forks.
Below it there’s a military-esque bash guard that shields the front and bottom of the 155cc single, providing ample protection and giving the powertrain a burlier look.
A custom one-into-two full exhaust winds through the Delta Box frame and under the new subframe, ending in a pair of black conical mufflers with contrast-cut tips. The taped exhaust routing also fills in would-be-negative space in the small engine’s profile.
Though it’s been slightly modified and painted, the Trail Breaker retains the donor’s stock tank and tank covers, making it much more readily identifiable as an XSR, despite the radical transformation from its factory spec.
For more leverage in the dirt, the baby XSR’s been given a new set of tracker-style bars, fitted with custom vintage-style switchgear and grips.
The stock instrumentation has also been moved back from behind the headlight to the top of a set of one-off risers. In place of the factory foot controls is a more off-road-friendly MX-style setup with toothed pegs.
The budget stock calipers have been changed out for Brembo units fore and aft, while the clutch and brake master cylinders were binned in favor of new Takegawa pieces.
The now-fortified USD factory forks remain in play, though the rear shock’s been upgraded to a unit from K-Speed’s go-to suspension supplier (and fellow Thai outfit), YSS.
To further the off-road theme, Eak has ditched the stock 17-inch alloy rims for a set of spoked aluminum hoops wrapped in oversized dual-sport rubber.
The entirety of the stock lighting is no more, with headlight duties now performed by a pair of twin side-by-side circular LED headlights fixed to the crash cage in front of the fork, along with some help from a set of auxiliary LED spotlights mounted on either side of the SOHC mill.
Out back, sandwiched in-between the under-seat exhaust and luggage rack is a single round taillight. A flask resting in a bespoke leather case is attached to a traditional front number plate. K-Speed calls it “a gimmick for a thirsty rider.”
The custom livery was handled by K-Speed’s paint partner ‘Artroom24,’ who gave the crash bars, skid-plate, and tank a coat of primer grey with a distressed, weathered finish.
The top tank-cover, subframe, and other small pieces were painted in a matte black, and Yamaha’s seldom-seen vintage script logo has been emblazoned on the sides of the tank.
K-Speed has delivered an off-road-capable build without simply churning out another run of the mill scrambler. No figure was given, but we reckon the crew have also shaved a considerable amount off of the stock Yamaha’s already svelte sub-300lb wet weight.
The possibilities afforded by the little XSR155 are on full display with this build. Trail Breaker doesn’t just look the part—it’s a rugged little runner, built to thrash, crash, and repeat.
Unlike its (slightly more expensive) 155cc siblings, the XSR155 welcomes customization. It has the potential to turn legions of young riders in SE Asia onto the custom bike scene, and that’s something I think we can all agree is a good thing.
Published at Mon, 09 Sep 2019 17:01:40 +0000