Wednesday, October 21, 2015

DAILY INSPIRATION: El Solitario's "Big Bad Wolf" Yamaha XJR1300

Big Bad Wolf
Yamaha XJR1300

El Solitario is one of the very few custom build shops that succeeds in breaking new ground with each and every build. Whether an innate or conscious objective it's what's kept interest thick in the custom realm. Speaking from the lover's circle (typically eclipsed by the hater's circle that inhabits comment sections of BikeEXIF and Reddit) I can say their avant-garde approach to treating the motorcycle as a platform for artistic agenda has always kept my attention. Although El Sol has made a point of proclaiming their lust for your disdain, the BBW (big beautiful wolf?) breaks ground in the form of performance and functionality; ingredients typically at the heart of comment section disapproval. Some of the push can be attributed to Yamaha's involvement in the build, challenging El Sol to pair their progressive styling with boundary pushing performance. I'll let the Wolf trainers take it from here with their lengthy list of performance enhancing drills:

“El Solitario is not familiar with 4 cylinder bikes so at first we couldn’t understand the challenge. For months we tried to answer the same question: How could we take it further? Ground Zero would be to ask the correct question. Asking what scared us the most, seemed logic, and the answer was performance and technology! Both were unknown and expensive paths for us. Suddenly aversion turned into curiosity and we had our challenge. We are motorcycle poets not engineers, so countless hours of research, and the love of our friends, made it possible to find the best partners in the world of fast bikes, and with their help, we developed one of the gnarliest muscle bikes ever to be seen in recent years.”

Key to the success of the project was the collaboration with Mauro Abbadini, from Classic Co. as technical director of the build. The Big Bad Wolf has almost everything custom made with the exception of the frame, the tank, the handlebars and the rear light, reducing the wet weight to just 403 lbs. while boasting 148 hp at the rear wheel. This would put it somewhere in the ballpark of 165 crank hp (est. 10% drivetrain loss), 65hp over the stock model! So, how'd they get there? 
The Motor was blueprinted and the heads were ported and flowed. The intake port flow was increased by 50%. Compression was raised from 9.7-1 (Stock) to 10.7-1. The combustion chambers were reshaped & the squish areas increased. The rods were reinforced with titanium bolts and the crankshaft was rebalanced. All the electronics and were removed and state of the art Lectron 42 Carburetors were added, developed specifically for the BBW by Lectron Fuel Systems on their flow bench to be plug & play on delivery. A Dynatek Programmable Ignition was installed. All this power is transmitted to the tarmac through a Cordona Quick action gear change.

Classic Co. then fabricated a carbon fibre tail section, motor air rams and the belly pan, as well as all the aluminum brackets for the needed modifications. UK based Dymag developed the carbon fibre wheels especially to fit not just BBW but also the stock XJR1300. Acke Rising from ISR in Sweden did a lot of machining sing the El Solitario designs to make custom triple trees, disc rotors and the incredible rear brake caliper bracket. ISR hand controls were added along with ISR front 6 piston calipers and rear 4 pistons caliper.
K-Tech Suspension collaborated with Novatech to develop the impressive front forks and the rear shocks and the screaming custom titanium exhaust was made by Asahina Racing in Japan, designed to fit not just the BBW but the stock XJR1300 also. Moto GP oil cooler supplier, Taleo Racing in Madrid created the custom semi circular oil cooler and EMD in France, machined in aluminum the prototype motor covers which will be available to buy from El Solitario for the stock XJR1300 in the foundry version. 
A TWM custom gas cap sets off the tank and a stuning custom aluminum swing arm by Over Racing in Japan finishes the rear along with a set of their rearsets. The BBW was wired using the Motogadget M-Unit & uses the M-Lock for on/off. Cordona supplied the super cool quick shifter and PIAA supplied the intense headlights. 
The BBW stays stuck to the tarmac with Michelin street, slick and rain tyres to maximize the fun whatever the conditions. Last but by no means least the beautiful custom graphics and paint was the work of London artist Death Spray Custom.

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