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‘60/40’ Yamaha MT-07 Scrambler – Origin8or Cycles

Posted on January 25, 2017 by Andrew in Scrambler. 23 comments

Written by Martin Hodgson.

When Yamaha released the bonkers street-naked MT-09 with its lush torquey triple, the promise from the Japanese firm was that a baby brother was soon to follow. It seemed an odd move and out of step with most model line-up launches, where the most exciting stuff is saved for last lest the “lesser” bikes be overshadowed. But as soon as the first journalist cracked the throttle of the twin cylinder MT-07, any fears were quickly allayed. This was one hell of a fun machine! Now entering its fourth year of production, Yamaha Canada decided it was time to show the world that the little street weapon had more than one trick up its sleeve. So having seen the work of Rob Chappell of Origin8or Custom Cycles in Ontario, they brought him in to create another Yard Built beauty. Eagerly ready to take on the mission, Rob promised he’d deliver a bike that anyone at Yamaha would love to own. It was no empty threat, and the result is this go anywhere fun machine known as ‘60/40’.

With the paperwork signed the bike delivered to Rob was a bone stock 2016 MT-07, known as an FZ-07 in North America, in the purple/blue with silver combination. “After some discussion with the Yamaha rep they wanted to show that the bike could be more than just street, it’s got a cool twin motor, it’s light and a good price point to modify and so we settled on a build with an off-road twist trying hard not to call it a ‘scrambler.’ I wanted to build a bike that a city dweller would enjoy on the street, maybe as a bit of a hooligan, but could also head up to the cottage on the weekend and hit some of the fire roads along the way,” explains Rob about how the design of the bike came to be.

But if the pressure of building a custom creation for one of the largest manufacturers in the business wasn’t enough, there was one more thing hanging over Rob’s shoulder. Quite literally, as a camera crew from the TV program Motorcycle Experience would film twelve segments on the bike for TSN to be aired in June 2017. This added a new complication as Chappell had to build the bike always making sure each step was documented when the crew was filming and never getting too far ahead. Unfazed by it all, Rob asked Yamaha to provide a few extra pieces from their parts catalogue and got underway immediately.

Wanting to raise the ride height of the bike a Yamaha XSR900 front-end with its gold inverted 41mm forks slots in. “Surprisingly the bearings and stem length are the same so it slid right in,” enthuses Rob. Who only had to machine some custom steering stops to make the new forks fully operational.

At the rear a standard silver shock was fitted purely for aesthetic purposes while an Extreme Creations linkage was added to give an inch more height to match the XSR front end. The stock purple wheels were sent back to Yamaha and swapped for black items; both models use the same size and style. While the all-important tyre choice is handed over to a set of Pirelli MT60 tyres, that give the bike its 60/40 name.

With the cameras again rolling Rob tackled the scrambler’s body work, not an easy task on a modern bike covered in plastic. The fuel tank remains stock but the cover has been replaced with an all new item fabricated in-house from fibreglass. The factory piece features more aggressive angular lines than were to his taste so Rob’s interpretation is far more flowing, with smooth shapely curves and classically styled knee dents.

The front fender remains factory Yamaha, also taken from the XSR900. But should any rocks or debris get past, a stainless CNC laser-cut radiator cover was designed and built-in house leaving no doubt as to the sort of roads 60/40 is designed tackle.

The new utilitarian styled tail section is once again Rob’s own handy work made from stainless laser cut pieces. To fill the new void a seat base was crafted and then sent out to Tuffside where it was upholstered by head honcho Chris Chappell, Rob’s equally talented brother.

While at it, Chris also stitched together a small carry bag that can double as a passenger pad. “The end user can easily remove it with the Velcro straps and add a bungee net or a hard bag – whatever they like,” adds Rob about his go anywhere design. That rugged look also gets improved functionality with a set of pegs from a Yamaha Super Ténéré for improved grip.

The go anywhere design continues to the lighting that makes up an important part of changing the MT’s appearance. Having crafted a set of custom brackets Rob added a KC driving light as the low beam and two KC Daylighters for the high beam all wired into the stock switch.

Happy with the changes, the entire bike was pulled apart with the frame sent out for powder coat in a bronze burst metallic. The remainder of the paint work is laid down brilliantly by Jensen Custom Paint in Whitby, Ontario. A striking colour combination of platinum, root-beer and mocha, executed to perfection.

“I played with all kinds of lines and layouts before handing it off. The final decision just followed the bikes lines and the curves of the new tank perfectly,” explains Rob. To match the colour palette the stock chain has been replaced with a stronger gold DID set of links. The same thinking was behind the now smoked braided lines by Core Moto with the added benefit of improved feel at the lever.

Up on the bars, much of the stock equipment remains but Rob did add a set of Gilles Tooling levers. While he also milled off the key location from the top triple clamp to make room for the newly designed CNC cut adjustable gauge mount that utilizes the stock set of instruments.

The final port of call was to pull some extra ponies from the deceptively brilliant 689cc twin. With its 270° crank delivering that brilliant rush of torque it also creates a sound track that was begging to be unleashed. Lucky for Rob his shop is just 30 minutes from Hindle Exhaust who also work with Yamaha, receiving their bikes for R&D.

Working with Scott Cartier, Rob utilised the vast array of parts and skills on offer at Hindle to create the perfect Scrambler exhaust. “We selected a canister and literally held it up where I wanted it to end and worked our way forward. Stainless front to back. All the mounts are hidden behind the pipe, it even keeps the O2 sensor and I built the heat shield so your leg doesn’t get roasted,” says Rob with relief in his voice, all finished just two days before delivery.

Rob sitting on ‘60/40’. We’ll just take the whole thing, thanks

The final modification was the fitment of a Power Commander unit and the scrambler was put on the dyno for tuning. But the final tune will be done when the Canadian spring arrives with current temperatures around -10 degrees outside not a reflection of regular riding conditions. With filming wrapped up the Yamaha has spent the last month doing the Canadian show circuit. Rob’s been on hand to chat with spectators and fans, many of whom were keen to know Rob will be selling a line of parts for the MT-07 developed on this build.

Reflecting on the process its clear Chappell delivered on his promise, “It was a super fun build, especially since Yamaha’s only stipulation was that the bike be street legal and delivered back in saleable condition. Funny, the marketing rep I worked with has already placed dibs on it.” Job done, promise kept!

[Origin8or Cycles: WebFacebook – Instagram | Photos by Benn Quinn]

  • The Ogre

    Wow. That is one stupendously ugly bike. It doesn’t work visually for me at all.

    • John in Pollock

      I have to agree. The quality of work looks good, but its too metro looking for me.

      • Manesh Karunakaran

        Well, the bike is not my cup of tea. Got to give credit for the build quality. But the jarring nature of the aesthetics is even more accentuated because I am sure all of us are still drooling over the last Mule build!

        • guvnor67

          Nicely put!

    • Mike Learn

      I am on the same boat.

    • Ogre by name, ogre by nature. ‘Stupendously ugly’? Seriously?

      • The Ogre

        Why are you upset by my opinion, Andrew? *To me* this is an ugly as hell bike. The proportions, front-to-back look squished to me, and the forks look long and ungainly. The colors don’t work for me, nor do I like the shapes of the components, and I don’t think they work well together at all. The colors don’t work for me either. While I don’t doubt it’s a great bike to ride, the looks flat-out don’t cut it for me.
        Do we all need to agree with your choices about the bikes you feature here?
        And I also notice that you’ve not capped on anyone else’s negative comments here…

        • jlgace

          I think perhaps it was the ‘stupendously ugly’ that struck a chord. But I appreciate that you elaborated. I believe the pictures are playing around with the perspective of the bike. First pic, slight angle, looks a little stubby. Second pic, straight on profile, looks spot on to my eye and I can’t help but wonder if the forks improved the look over the original bike as far as ‘squished’. But then look at the last pic, looks like the rake is way out there. Anyway, I will give you that part under the seat is a drawback and all that I can think is perhaps the intent was the bike could be turned completely back to stock by the ultimate owner. Loving the tank though, especially top view.

      • It’s definitely not a ‘pretty’ bike. But I don’t think it was meant to be. Brutal and badass. Which probably translates to ‘ugly’ to most.

  • John_Tangeraas

    No. No. No

  • Neil_TonUp

    This works like a sharp stick in the eye, and I mean that as a large scale compliment. It grabs the viewer’s lapels. Whether it is liked or not is irrelevant. Variety always improves the breed. Rob Chappell has shoved the custom envelope way.over.there. Like it or not this creates volume in the aesthetic envelope and multiplies possibilities. I would not put my money here, but I am glad that Mr. Chappell has.

    • Agreed, except I WOULD put my money there. I mean, look at that last shot! Badass!

    • The Ogre

      “Whether it is liked or not is irrelevant.” Yep. That is 100% correct; the same as any other work of art. If you notice it, it’s done it’s job. As I said above, I *don’t* like it at all, but I’m just some random frood on the ‘net. My opinion is mine, not anyone else’s.

  • 66saint

    Have looked and looked but can’t find anything I like about this bike. Not a thing.

    • Marlon

      I dunno mate, that exhaust is hot!

  • jlgace

    This is one of those bikes I like better the more I look at it. And whether I like it or not, it’s inspired me to get/build an MT-07 just like this with my own little tweaks. I love the functional approach taken: little extra suspension travel, correct tires, additional lighting, all perfect for your all-road bike. The only thing I don’t like is the forks. Too yellow. Had they matched the gold in the frame I think it would crank it up another notch in my books. New/liquid cooled bikes and their ugly engines are hard to customize but I think he’s done a pretty good job. One more suggestion? A tough-looking bash plate to cover up that oil filter, etc along the lines of what was done for the rad. Just looks a wee bit too vulnerable down there.

  • W Hinrichsen

    Hey guys—- there’s lots to love /. Hate about this bike. I really like the rad cover as well as the exhaust. The view from the rear is just pretty as hell.
    One thing I’d like to mention is the comment about the bike being “squished”. This is an upright scrambler. When I go out on the street on a bike like this,I always scoot in close to the tank. That brings the bars closer to me and shifts my weight up forward. Rough road? Stand on the pegs.
    Totally different body position than a cafe! See what I mean? So while a lot of people might think it’s “squished”
    I bet it rides just fine. On that note remember all those custom cruisers from years ago? Very pretty– but we all knew that nobody ever actually operated one— they were just to look at.

  • martin hodgson

    Personally I love it! The standard bike is seriously good and belies the fact it’s “just” a cheap twin. Now strip a bunch of weight, add more horsepower and give it the suspension and rubber to go anywhere and you’ve got a bike that’s fun in any environment! There’s a lot of bikes that look “amazing” that you have to ride at no more than 50, strictly on a nice sealed road and definitely not in the wet. This thing will literally wheelie past them, shoot down a back lane for some sideways action and beat them to a cafe and still draw a crowd. Sure looks are subjective, but to me the aesthetic of this bike represents what it is… A modern, raw, utilitarian, road warrior that wears its attitude on its sleeve

  • Polarizing is the term, the further you push the envelope the stronger the response in the viewer. Guessing that this Yam is not as easy to sort as some might imagine and others have noted here, to us this build hasn’t achieved the same level of cohesion and degree of measure (which made them so special) displayed in some of his other builds. That smokin’ hot CB from a while back for example would probably sit higher on our shopping list. But as the closing para says, it knocked it out of the park in relation to the client brief and that’s what counts.

    • the watcher

      Wise words. I take issue only with the final sentence. I agree that a happy customer is justification in a business arrangement (natch) but it’s a kind of trump card, a rhetorical device used to refute perfectly good aesthetic, qualitative, financial or practical misgivings. BTW, I think it looks odd with rider in situ.

  • AB

    It’s kind of cool – I think it’s my fondness to the early Honda Monkey bike that does it – it’s like a modern one on steroids. I say, supersize that Monkey Bike sir?

  • Ow! My eyes! My eyes!

  • Kenny

    It will run better if you fix the Intake temperature sensor failure – SD-22. 😉