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‘The Missing Piece’ Yamaha XJR 1300 – Jigsaw Customs


Posted on May 24, 2016 by Andrew in Racer. 20 comments

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Written by Nick D.

The deafening chorus of engines scream by. The crowd collectively gasp, as legendary Grand Prix World Champion, Barry Sheene dangerously cuts up his opponent’s inside but somehow manages to slip back in, just ahead of them into the corner. Sheene cheekily flips his opponent his signature two finger “up yours!” from the hip, then roars on to take the checkered flag. Crossing the finish line, he holds up the same two fingers, this time in a victory sign – men, women and children (not to mention several supermodels) fell in love with the ballsy little “Cockney Rebel”. A rebel who continues to inspire the world of motorcycling today. Petros Chatzirodelis of Jigsaw Customs in Greece is clearly one of the inspired. With the vision of creating a modern-day retro inspired tribute to the legendary rider, Petros took styling cues from Sheene’s iconic 1980 “AKAI” Yamaha YZR 500 to create ‘The Missing Piece’ – a Yamaha XJR Heritage Racer worthy of the great man himself.

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Petros explains, “The Missing Piece bridges the gap between the past and the future. Our goal from conception was to build a classic, vintage inspired bike using the Yamaha XJR platform. We chose not to go with reverse front shocks or a single swingarm and decided on 18″ custom spoked rims for an old school feel.” Sheen’s notorious number 7 graces both front and side fairing panels.

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‘The Missing Link’ was built as a track-to-street conversion bike. The front fairing is easily removed in 3 simple steps, as is the rear cowl. And the naked ‘street’ version equally holds it’s own as a brawny looking brat cafe – see below.

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The bike in her birthday suit

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Petros describes the build process as being almost like a pilgrimage, “It took me forty days and forty nights.” Not surprising when you consider he hand fabricated both the front and rear fairing in-house. The fuel tank was also extended, with longer knee inserts.

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‘And the God is seven’

A new seat pan was fabricated to transform the undressed bike into a brat cafe. The battery was repositioned below the swing arm. A four into two exhaust system with large cones was fabricated to help bring the retro ‘70s Grand Prix feel to life.

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As part of the Yamaha Yard Built program, several custom bolt-on XJR factory parts were used, such as clip-ons, foot pegs and a front sprocket cover. But don’t think that this saved Petros any time. “It was all I was doing or thinking about for forty days. I think my family and friends are glad to have me back,” he laughs.

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Petros likes a clean workspace

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Well, all the work seems to have paid off. And how. Petros was just notified that the bike had won the Pan-European Yamaha Yard Built build off. A well deserved honor for such a well executed tribute to one of the world’s most legendary motorcycle racing icons.

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Petros races his own shadow… and probably wins

[Photos by Mike Lazaridis for caferacercult.gr]








  • John Wanninger

    Sleek and mean. What a beast. I love it.

    A welcome sight after a glut of “comedy bikes”.

    I would like to see the pics of the unfaired bike too though… Am i missing something, or did the pics not make it to the final edit?

    • Hardley T Whipsnade III

      Amen on all counts Mr Wanniger .Its a race replica for the street which is not exactly my favorite thing but damn its a mighty fine race replica for the street not to mention a welcome relief from the recent offerings . My only criticism is with some of the rhetoric in the article seeing as how this is anything but a ‘ Brat ‘ bike of any kind due to the high level of craftsmanship and engineering : and the ” 40 days and 40 nights ” phrase should of been referred to as ‘ Biblical ‘ not ” like a pilgrimage ”

      PS; Good to see the W&W Express is back on track 😉

      • Nick D

        1. Thank you for considering yourself entitled enough to consider yourself the editor of this blog… That said, pilgrimage = a spiritual journey… I think building a bike over 40 days and 40 nights in tribute to Barry Sheene fits the the description more than adequately. Biblical, however, is vague… like it rained for 40 days and 40 nights or take your pick of all the other verses that use that expression…

        On your Brat comment… The builder describes the naked bike as a brat. Yamaha Yard Built describe the naked bike as a brat. And I call it a “brat cafe” because “brat” by itself is a little vague / easily confused with the style of bikes coming out of the shop, Bratstyle which don’t look anything like brat cafe racers. Your comment about craftsmanship just seems deliberately provocative and insulting so I think I’m better off researching the meaning of troll.

    • Pic added. My bad. There were 500 odd shots & I didn’t connect the dots…

    • Nick D

      Love lo see your bike, John. Please post a recent photo…

  • guvnor67

    Barry Sheene was my absolute hero as a young fella, and Mike “The Bike” Hailwood. I have a great poster of Barry at Spa Francorchamp in 1977 (I was 10), where he AVERAGED 220.72 KMH!! Outstanding. I remember his terrifying crash at at Daytona when he hit a downed bike at 180 MPH and his battered body back on 2 wheels beating the odds some reasonably short time later. I like this tribute bike a lot, probably because of those memories as a young bloke, and that magic number 7! Needs a helmet with THAT duck on it tho!!! Oh, and I don’t see the brat version?

    • Jester the Clown

      Sheene crashed at Daytona, supposedly, because his rear tyre failed.
      It was a couple of years later, at Silverstone, that he hit the downed bike.

      • guvnor67

        Oooops, was too.

  • 1957 Panhead

    It has such a brutal look … and that tank is gorgeous!

  • MotoTrooper

    Missing photo…

  • Soapy Loofah

    I’ll probably get shot for mentioning it but…if you’re going to carry a stripe from the front fairing to the tail-piece, then they should carry the same line. The front-view shows an alignment issue as well. Otherwise the bike looks tough and purposeful and very cleanly executed.

    • axcoping

      yes! i thought that was just my eyesight. those lines do not match up at all. so off-putting.

  • Δώσε πόνο Πέτρο!!!
    I saw this bike in the flesh a few weeks ago, and believe me in the real world looks even better than the photos. It’s stance is perfect and its sound is out of this world!
    Peter (aka Petros) has more aces in his sleeve though. Take a look at this hornet for example.

  • Astounded

    Superb, Bravo!

  • Artem Terekhov

    I dunno why you guys refuse to put high-res photos into your articles. You always make great read out of every story, but I often need to look up detailed pictures somewhere else 🙁

  • the red block stripes , lack continuity from the fairing through tail and look a bit wonky

    • 66saint

      Don’t mind the stripe as much as the number 7. Numbers on bikes look so gay unless they on the race track

  • Roy

    Love the bike. I have a cbr900rr 95′. I would like to know who did or does the spoked wheels? I’m in Australia, no one can help.