Custom Yamaha MT-09 Crosses Over to the Dual-Sport Side, Keeps Things Simple

A competent 114-hp brute good for city commutes, extended rides, and the occasional session of mild off-roading? Sign me up.
Custom Yamaha MT-09 14 photos
Photo: AJ Moller Photography via Ellaspede
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Upon purchasing a well-kept Yamaha MT-09 from the model-year 2014, Andrew intended to use it as an urban commuter that would be capable of delivering some sporty thrills when prompted. With 114 hp and just under 65 pound-feet (88 Nm) of torque on tap, the Japanese titan was an excellent fit for this purpose, but it didn’t take very long for its owner to have a change of heart.

Although his garage already hosted a bike suited to long-distance rides, Andrew saw the MT-09's potential as a dual-sport machine. He commissioned the project to Ellaspede of Brisbane, Australia, and the guys really went to town in order to transform his vision into reality! After a few brief chats with the client and some conceptual sketches, the customization process got underway.

Instead of giving the triple-cylinder Yamaha an entirely new look, Ellaspede’s artisans retained its fuel tank covers, subframe, and even the seat. Working around these factory items, they focused mostly on the motorcycle’s flanks and front end, which is where we’ll begin our analysis. The original (and somewhat ugly) headlight arrangement was replaced with a custom setup – one that’s been fashioned using two different aftermarket parts.

Lower down, you’ll see a bespoke front fender made of steel, wearing a stealthy coat of satin-black paint. The work performed in the cockpit is pretty straightforward, allegedly consisting of fresh mirrors, stylish grips, and repositioned instrumentation. Bolt-on radiator covers replace the OEM modules, but the real party takes place a little further back on the right-hand side.

First, there’s that seamless one-off exhaust system, which was built in a three-one-two configuration out of stainless-steel tubing. It comes with enough baffling to keep neighbors and pedestrians happy, as well as aluminum end caps at the tips of its mufflers. Now, Andrew probably wouldn’t have liked to see his thigh cooked, so the high-mounted pipework spawned the need for appropriate heat protection.

Aluminum was once again the material of choice, and Ellaspede used it to craft a lengthy side cover that complements the lines of the factory fuel tank. It got cloaked in the same orange hue, on top of which we notice silver graphics echoing the finish on the frame and exhaust. The bike's underside is encased in a custom-made skid plate to protect the engine and exhaust when taken off the asphalt.

Speaking of venturing off-road, the MT-09's wheels were wrapped in TKC 70 rubber from Continental’s catalog. Moreover, its suspension got beefed up with premium Ohlins hardware at both ends, while the final touches came in the form of an inconspicuous license plate holder, a Rizoma taillight, and LED turn signals all-round. The end result looks mean and prepared to handle some off-road abuse, but we don't know how much Andrew paid for Ellaspede’s makeover.
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About the author: Silvian Secara
Silvian Secara profile photo

A bit of an artist himself, Silvian sees two- and four-wheeled machines as a form of art, especially restomods and custom rides. Oh, and if you come across a cafe racer article on our website, it’s most likely his doing.
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