There has long been a trend in the motorcycling community that prays at the altar that is the cafe racer. Cafe-style bikes are aggressive, naked, and, in the immortal words of The Seige, “[They] gon’ take it fast, you can take it slow!”
However, until very recently, the cafe style hasn’t evolved — we’ve seen the same stylistic endeavors for six decades. Nowadays we’re finally seeing what a modern cafe racer would look like. Case in point: Yamaha and Velomacchi’s new Rural Racer Project.
The Rural Racer is based on Yamaha’s new XSR700 motorcycle. From the factory, the XSR700 dips a toe in the new-age cafe style, but still features many of the same exterior cues from history. Powered by a 689 cc liquid-cooled twin cylinder engine, the XSR700 generates around 67 horsepower and 47 lb-ft of torque. That said, the Rural Racer has a few aftermarket pieces, such as a new catalytic converter and Yoshimura R&D exhaust that likely boost horsepower and torque slightly.
The most radical differences, however, can be found on the Rural Racer’s exterior.
Both Velomacchi, which makes some of the best motorcycle gear available, and Yamaha wanted to give the Rural Racer a feel that would inspire riders to take risks and go out and explore. For those reasons, the bike has a few technical adaptations that allow it to carry extra gas, tools, and “overnight gear into remote environments.”
The brands also gave the Rural Racer a ton of technology, including facial recognition instead of a standard keyed ignition, and a gimbal-stabilized drone mount from noted drone makers DJI on the motorcycle’s fuel tank.
“We wanted to build a bike that spoke to the modern urban dweller who uses their bike to both commute to work and escape on the weekends. That’s why the Rural Racer XSR700 is as beautiful and heritage-inspired as it is modernized with technology solutions like drone carry, facial recognition, and precision engineered parts from some of the top component brands in the world.” said Kevin Murray, Velomacchi’s founder and chief designer, as well as this motorcycle’s lead builder,
While the Rural Racer remains a one-off machine, we’re hoping that enough people go to Yamaha clamoring to put this motorcycle into production as we’d absolutely love to hop behind the bars and go for an adventure.