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‘Dirty Smoke’ Yamaha XSR700 – Motomax Metz


Posted on January 10, 2017 by Andrew in Scrambler, Tracker. 14 comments

Being on the receiving end of many custom bike submissions, you tend to get a pretty good idea of just how prolific a bike shop really is. Some we hear from once a year. Some twice. And then there’s France’s Motomax Metz. Believe it or not, this here bike hit our inboxes little more than two weeks after their previous build. At this rate, we’ll be featuring another 26 of their bikes in 2017, and by 2020 France will be nothing but an army of cool Yamaha trackers and a load of fresh mud. But before that happens, please meet the rad-to-the-bone ‘Dirty Smoke’ XSR700 that will have caused it all.

For their very latest build, Thomas (a.k.a ‘Quakers’), Christophe (a.k.a ‘Pépère’) and Michael (a.k.a. ‘Portuguese’), collectively known as the go-to custom builders at France’s Yamaha dealer Motomax Metz, brushed off the swarf and downed tools to give us the skinny on their latest build.

Even The Stig wants a ride

“It’s called Dirty Smoke,” says Thomas, “And it’s based on the same Yamaha XSR700 model we used for our last build. It’s clearly related to that bike, but this time we aimed for a much more aggressive, fighter-esque look. To this end, we have mounted two very large diameter motocross tires on the bike to ‘play the combine harvester’ when the bike hits the dirt.” Playing the combine harvester! I think I’ve just found my favourite new off-roading terminology for 2017.

As with the previous bike, the Smoke’s body kit comes from Germany’s legendary JvB-moto. The Zard exhaust’s guard has been treated to a nice new matt black finish, giving it and the bike itself a decidedly Darth Vader vibe. And speaking of evil empires, the leather the boys used to cover the custom saddle with was sourced from an old leather Chesterfield armchair made during France’s Nazi occupation. Let’s hope it was beyond repair before the boys cut it up, then.

With even more darkness in mind, the boys took to the tracker’s radiator and guards, treating them to their own fair share of matt blackness. The handlebars keep things looking clean by allowing the cables to be routed internally, and the Biltwell grips were chosen especially due to their specific shade of rubbery brown-ness proving to be a perfect match for the antique brown leather. The headlight’s lens was tinted yellow to add a little retro vibe to proceedings; the fact that the paint job was inspired by the colours of the John Player Special racers of the ‘70s and ‘80s didn’t hurt, either.

“We also rebuilt the rear frame loop and dropped the bike’s front forks,” says Thomas. “It’s been lowered by around 5cm for a more aggressive look, and we also added some black fork gaiters to stop the chrome underneath from catching the eye too much.”

The final steps included the “le bands thermique noir” that were placed on the exhaust manifolds (no prizes for guessing what that means in English) and the installation of the Motogadget flashers. Yamaha frame plugs were added to some unsightly orifices, and the bike was complete after some tasty new motocross pegs were bolted in place.

Once you start seeing purple lights, its best to stop riding

Clearly the boys are pretty proud of the tracker they’ve managed to create in little more than a few short weeks So why not let them have the final word? “The Motomax Metz shop is a collection of real bike enthusiasts and lovers of great engineering. To say we go above and beyond when we create our bikes is an understatement. For us, it’s vitally important that customers leave our dealership with their hearts beating hard and a severe case of goose bumps.” Sounds like the sort of place any biker worth his salt would kill to work at. Now please excuse me while I just fill out this job application…

All kids love log!

[Motomax Metz: Web – Facebook | Photos by Mika]








  • mtnsicl

    It needs a front fender to match the back one, really bad. Other than that, it’s really nice!

    • Interesting. They had one on their last bike, but must have excluded it on this build. Mind you, it was silly small…

  • Solid build with some very classy modern trimmings. Would love to smash this around town.

  • Marlon

    Ah man, it’s about time someone modified the XSR700. Looks miles better than standard without killing the rideability of it.

  • An alluring mix of badass, brutal and classic styling. One of the best custom XSR700s I’ve seen. Great proportions and tasteful build execution. The Zard exhaust is a nice touch. From the tank to the wheels, the paint and pin-striping unifies the whole look. Loving the aggressive stance, meaty tires and low-slung bars. Sexy as fuck.

    • I have to admit, I wasn’t familiar with the Zard brand until I saw them on the Motomax bikes. They have a really interesting shape…

  • martin hodgson

    These bikers are brilliant from the factory, but this build just takes it to a whole new level. Perfect as a tracker too, that engine is just begging to be taken into some lose gravel or down the back ally ways and now you can. It’s never easy building a brand new bike, manufacturers cover so much messy work with plastic but this bike retains a high level factory finish with all the fun of a killer custom. Great work lads!

  • Any thoughts on using antique leather for the seat? I’m no leather expert, but I would have thought that upholstery leather would have to be treated with something before it could handle the rain. And would it last or just disintegrate after a few months?

    • guvnor67

      Not quite the same, but when I made my seat using an old one, I put a waterproof liner between the leather and the foam. I treat the leather once a week (I’m fussy) with some Leder Balsom that I get from the local HorseLand and is normally used for saddles, riding boots etc. It keeps it supple, is fairly waterproof and smells delicious!

  • 1957 Panhead

    In case you didn’t get the “log” reference in the last photo:

  • Does the bike have something to hide on the left side? Right side looks nice though.

  • Nick Roa

    I desperately want to know what headlight housing they are using. Fits the forks so nice

    • Marlon

      It looks like a JVB Moto headlight. Have a google and see if that matches what you’re after.