The first successful naked bikes were launched in the 70s. There was a real battle between the four big Japanese (or big four if you like 😉 brands in the naked bike market. Honda had their CB-series, Kawasaki the Z-series, Suzuki the GT-series and Yamaha was pretty successful with their RD-series. In these times this were all pretty fast machines, but that changed dramatically when Honda introduced the CB1000 in 1992. Yamaha’s RD successor was the XJR400 (1994) but this was no match for the big ass CB1000, so Yamaha had an answer in 1995: the powerful XJR1200.
In fact, the XJR was the naked version of the FJ1200 with a comfortable upright riding position. But where the air-cooled 1188cc four inline engine of the FJ had around 130ph, the XJR was tuned down to 98hp. Yamaha aimed to make the bike fast and sporty, but it must be easy to handle as a daily commuter. The new tuning setup resulted in an extremely wide powerband. Most owners knew that so with a little effort it was possible to plus over the 100hp barrier.
The bike right here is built by Lab Motorcycle from Portugal. Or maybe it’s better to call it “saved”, since the bike was in a pretty bad shape when it touched base in the workshop. The previous owner attempted to turn it into a cafe racer without a plan, budget or any idea. The bike was “hacked” apart, chopped and covered with cheap Chinese parts. The team of Lab decided to bring back the old muscle bike with some modern technology and less complexity.
Let touch some of the main modifications: the front end comes from a 2010 GSXR with custom machined clamps, the wheels are from a Ducati 999 and the gas tank is from a Benelli Mojave. The subframe is customized to fit the beautiful bratstyle leather seat. The engine was refreshed and some K&N pod filters, a Dynojet stage 3 carburetor kit, new headers and an Akrapovic exhaust system gave the machine some FJ power. And because the bike lost around 40kg’s of weight, this beauty is quicker than you should expect.