German custom builder Diamond Atelier decided to go as wild as possible when they built their Yamaha XSR900 in association with TW Steel. The XSR900 was stripped until just the frame and engine were left standing, then DA set to work on the design, taking inspiration from Japanese custom car builders and using clearly-defined panels and exposed bolts and rivets. The aim was maximum minimalism. That radically reshaped tank which exposes the K&N filters and frame spars is extraordinary.
TW Steel wanted DA to push the limits so practicality wasn’t overly important – the tank has been reduced to just three litres, giving a range of about 30 miles. The aluminium tank and bodywork was made in aluminum by KRT and provides a lightweight, strong structure. Combined with the XSR900’s reasonably light chassis and stonking 847cc engine it means the bike is properly quick.
The urban look is continued with black ABM multiclip handlebars with lowered, black anodised forks. Gilles rearsets sit proud with a colour-matched Wilbers Blackline shock. The electrics had to be supplied by a specially-designed wiring harness that fitted under the new bodywork, which led to 100m of wiring being thrown out. Despite this, everything except the ABS still works. The original battery is replaced by a pair of lithium ion units, indicators are Kellerman and there’s LED lighting front and back. There’s also an SC-Project exhaust which helps bring the total weight down to 165kg (compared to the standard bike’s none-too-shabby 195kg).
While Diamond Atelier worked hard in their Munich workshop, the designers at TW Steel created the Son of Time ‘Æon’ special edition, based on their 48mm Maverick watch and featuring the 6S21 movement from Miyota. The face is a sunray dial with black numbers and indexes as well as the black Son of Time logo. It’s available from both Yamaha dealers and jewellery stores for £449. “We couldn’t be more excited about this collaboration,” said Diamond Atelier’s Tom Konecny. “We saw what TW Steel and Numbnuts put together last year and when the call came in, we jumped at the opportunity. On this project we could go super wild during the creative process. Nobody buys a TW Steel watch just to tell the time and nobody buys a Diamond Atelier bike just to ride from A to B. Our brand attitude focuses on creating your own path.”
Karlheinz Vetter from Yamaha Motor Germany added: “TW Steel and Yamaha are obviously firm friends by now, but Diamond Atelier were new to us. Seeing what they managed to do with the XSR900 has been incredibly impressive. It’s so different to what we’ve experienced, but draws on so much of what makes us smile at Yamaha that we couldn’t help but fall in love with it”