Maria Riding Company - The Yamaha XSR Orbiter Bike Build

Maria Riding Company - The Yamaha XSR Orbiter Bike Build

The Invitation
In May of last year, at the Portuguese Art & Moto festival, Maria Riding Co asked Yamaha if they could get a quick burn up on the all new XSR700. It was agreed that a 50km test run would be enough to get to grips with the awesome new parallel twin so the perfect route was chosen with many technical sections and beautiful curves. It was instantly for Luis, founder of Maria Riding Co, how agile and fast it was for a entry level bike. However, as good as it was, he instantly set his thoughts to how to best modify one! Moving on to January of this year and MRC was surprised with a knock at the door from Yamaha Portugal and an invitation to participate on Yard Built, with a XSR700 as base bike. The invitation was proudly accepted, even with the knowledge that it would be very difficult task to manage with only 4 months to complete the build and 10 other projects already on the bench!

Maria bike riding on the beach Maria bike riding on the beach

The Project
“Our idea since the beginning was to make something very different from the original concept. It should be a race bike, or a off road bike very aggressive for one pilot only. The last option was the path Yamaha liked the most, so we started designing it” Luis says as he grins.
“Our idea was heading to a concept bike mainly to have fun on off road tracks like a moon bike or something to ride unexplored fields and territories.
The name orbiter was something that came from there. Kind of a space vehicle mixed with a flat track race bike! The colors were inspired on the race tracks, but also mixed with a monochrome look like a spaceship.”

Yamaha XSR Orbiter on the beach Yamaha XSR Orbiter on the beach

The Bike
The in-house build brief was to aim to get rid of almost everything that connects people to the original XSR looks. It was decided that the tank and rear frame were the two main parts had to be changed to achieve this. There was a stumbling block here, however, as Yamaha had requested that the project was to be completed without cutting any part of the bike. All of the modifications were supposed to be plug and play.

Maria Yamaha headlight Maria Yamaha headlight

So, on they marched, and set upon starting the most difficult part of the project - building the tank and new rear section. “Since we didn’t have much time, we thought that making this into a single piece would gives us more flexibility with the rest of the project and it would make it easier to fit on the bike. We build it in aluminum with the tank and seat and rear merged in the same part. We fit the fuel pump and that was it”, states Luis, simple if you know how, right?

The front headlight is a small, simple unit with the thinking that it should look like the bike almost has no headlight at all in order to give a pure and aggressive aesthetic. The same aggressive look was required of the front mudguard, “For us it would make all sense to have a very unique design on it, since this part would get many attention on the overall design”.

“All of the front went to trash too, and we changed it all to the running gear from the Yamaha MT-09. Inverted forks, with a slightly longer course and much better radial braking system, new triple trees and discs”.
A pair of Kineo wheels were swapped in to replace the original alloy wheels with spokes and the front wheel was upgraded to a 19” rim for better off road performance. This was also the reason that the ABS system was thrown away, this is a bike designed to do it’s job a perfectly as possible, as well as look good. The handlebars are a Twinwall model from Renthal, which match the grips, and the levers are from LSL. The indicators were replaced with almost undetectable Motogadget units to smooth the lines of the bike.
The exhaust was hand made in stainless steel, and the straps were installed to protect the driver legs. Other final touches were the number plates and the radiator side panels with vivid colors. Finally, the seat is made in leather and alcantara to create a non-slip base for when you’re pushing it hard on the dusty trails.

Wheelspinning on the beach Wheelspinning on the beach
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