DIRT DRIFTER: Yamaha TR1
Tekst by Pipeburn.
Bike owner: Daan of MAD Exhaust
An exhaust and its corresponding muffler are perhaps the most fundamental part of any custom car or bike that will come in for some sort of modification or change. In all of these years, I doubt we’ve ever featured a motorcycle on these pages that hadn’t seen some sort of modification to its exhaust system. And when it comes to a high-quality product, few in the world do it better than Daan Borsje and Wouter Buningh of MAD Exhaust. The pair also share a deep love of the Yamaha XV and TR1 platform and if you want to put an exhaust system to the ultimate test, take it off-road and beat it up. To do just that, the Roosendaal based workshop has built this stunning scrambler, a TR1 to tear up the terrain.
When it comes to the TR1/XV platform, few know them as well as Daan, having built a ton of the v-twin torque machines throughout his career; one that includes over 200 complete custom builds. But this bike would also serve as a platform to develop a new scrambler style exhaust for the MAD web store and to offer their clients who visit the workshop; a place that is both business and play, a mancave of epic proportions, and a hangout for fans of custom bikes. But time to get serious, “For our custom TR1 we reached out to our friends at Moto Adonis and together we designed another great looking refined Scrambler,” Daan explains.
Starting from the bare frame, that awkward pressed steel unit, the guys had to create a roller that had all of the best pieces to allow it to work in the dirt and off-road environments. The skinny front forks that come as standard would fold like a deck of cards under such torment, so a set of Suzuki GSXR front forks were extended 50mm and rebuilt to suit the task, their beefy gold anodised legs allowing for plenty of spring to fit inside. A bearing change allows for the conversion, and the lower legs are fitted up with a set of Nissin calipers that now clamp huge 320mm wave pattern discs by MotoMaster.
To get that front end rolling the guys had to find a suitable set of wheels and a Gixxer wheel is not designed for off-road work. So, a set of KTM hubs and rims was sourced that could then be re-laced to suit the demands they had in mind. With an axle conversion to suit and a speed sensor added, the new spoked rims could go on. At the rear, the KTM hub has been expertly modified to slide into the TR1 swingarm, and the Brembo brake caliper sits on a supporting bracket, to allow it to clamp a single KTM disc. The guys at YSS built a completely custom shock for the build and a set of TKC80 tyres wrap up the roller.
Now the MAD men could start to add some style and Daan drew inspiration from his favourite bikes of the ’70s and ’80s, and some of the cool colour schemes that were used at the time. This led him to have Moto Adonis modify a CB750 Bol d’Or gas tank to fit over the Yamaha frame. Over this is flowed a beautiful gloss paint job that is then topped with a modern burnt orange through to yellow tricolour that really catches the eye. Behind this, the factory subframe with all of its bulk has been placed in the bin and a new hooped, tubular item, fabricated which supports a diamond-stitched seat from the team at Miller Upholstery.
Behind that seat the lighting is kept simple, with a single LED strip used to provide the combination of the taillight, brake light, and indicators. For the front, the demands of the tight and dim deep forest roads called for a full-sized headlight that is lit up with some powerful LEDs and internal projectors. More fabrication work was required to create a box that sits below the seat and hides the bulk of the battery and electrical wiring before the signals are controlled by modern switch blocks that clamp to high-rise enduro bars.
To complete the look and practicality of a bike that would be flinging rocks and rooster tails, the boys went unapologetically for some serious off-road fenders for the front and rear. Now the short block could be prepared before going back in the frame, with the side covers polished up and the rest of the engine given a coat of black paint.
Time for the team to do what they do best, and they shimmied up to the engine and started to offer up stainless pipe, to begin to envision a high-rise exhaust design. Given this system would be built again and again for customers, every step was triple-checked to ensure it was perfect.
Then with the best quality stainless money can buy, they lay down the welds one by one, keeping the system running tight to the engine. With as near to equal length as possible, the twin pipes merge at a collector before running rearward to a barking MAD muffler that is hand-built, with a carbon shield for the leg at the join and a punched steel shield over that end can.
“Like every exhaust, this MAD creation was made with the greatest care for quality, and aesthetics, and will last a lifetime,” Daan smiles. Before they hit trails, the team at REV’IT kitted them out in the best rider safety gear and apparel, and all that was left to do was dump the throttle and drift in the dirt.