Engineers Osvaldo Coutinho and Alexandre Santos from Oporto in Portugal are it roCkS! bikes, and this build is the follow-up to their much acclaimed Gravedigger, which we featured on The Bike Shed a few months ago, and which was a big attraction at last May's BSMC Event in Shoreditch. The bike is almost unrecognisable from it's 1997 Yamaha XJR 1200 donor. It was commissioned while the guys were still building Gravedigger, but they already had designs on an XJR and were delighted when they proposed the idea to the customer and he agreed. With an ambitious high-end build in mind Osvaldo & Alexandre searched out the most pristine donor bike they could find and found one in superb condition. The guys set to work with a mission to reduce the bikes weight and size, throwing away pretty much every part of the bike except for the engine, a small part of the frame and the swingarm. By the time they'd rebuilt the bike they'd taken it from a lardy 233kg donor down to a svelte 200kg custom. Handling and performance is as important to the guys as are the looks, so while the XJR12 engine was already pretty healthy they added a custom filter and CNC velocity stacks to the intake, and a very loud handmade stainless steel exhaust, with wrapped header but no db-killers, leaving it to spit fire on the overrun. All this meddling, plus some rejetting of the carbs, added 12-15 bhp. To keep things frm getting heated, the replaced the OEM oil cooler with a high performance PWR item and Goodridge lines. The upgraded engine was then painted in matte black, while the left side cover was replaced by a lighter aluminium item with a glass inspection window. The right side stock cover was replaced by a similar one without the Yamaha logo, wearing instead “it roCkS!bikes” in varnish. Up front the guys fitted upside down forks and brake calipers from a Yamaha YZF. At the back the Yamaha's twin shocks were replaced with a monoshock, which meant cutting the rear of the frame out and reinforcing the upper sections above the engine to bear the damping loads - which had to be accommodated in the design of the one-off tank. The swingarm as also modified to a cantilever setup. The original wheels were replaced by a much lighter set of XJR 1300 “Kineo” tubeless rims, with black powder coated rims, gold nipples and hubs, in sizes 17x3,5” front and 17x6,0” rear. The lightweight rims wear a set of Michelin Pilot Road tyres in sizes 120/70 & 190/50. Front brakes are now 320mm floating wavy discs applied through ISR adjustable levers and master cylinder via Goodridge lines with gold fittings, and a 267mm disc on the rear. The slimline digital dash is a Motogadget Motoscope Pro which tells you everything from rpm & speed to acceleration, G-meter and all sorts, plus it makes the tea and phones the wife to let you know you'll be late home everytime you take the long and twisty route. The unit is mounted in a one-off recessed aluminium bracket made in CNC, with Sunburn painted-in. The warning lights are also supplied by a Motogadget's m-Blaze, as are the switches - AKA m-Switch. The it roCkS! trademark is the beautiful one-piece tank and seat unit, which can be removed from the bike by loosening a single screw. The seat padding is upholstered in black leather and the paint was done by airbrush with a this layer of gloss lacquer over the top and matte lacquer at the sides. To keep the pretty bodywork clear of ugly dangly bits the license plate is side mounted and the rear lights are two single LEDs bolted to the plate. Osvaldo and Alexandre say "The bike feels very light and the engine turned out a powerhouse, right as we wished for, a true cafe racer! Below 5000rpm, the engine seems a bit asleep but from here, it just shoots up to the red line... always pushing us to go faster!" We say "wow that is one stunning looking bike, can we have a go?" Seriously, this is one comprehensive and complex build with a huge amount of work put into it. Hats off to Osvaldo and Alexandre for their hard work and also for building something that is unique to them and really does have an it roCkS! bikes look to it. See more from it roCkS! bikes on The Bike Shed it roCkS! page and on their Facebook pages. Photography is by Rui Bandeira at Imagem & Marca
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