Custom Yamaha XT660R Looks and Feels Right at Home in Adventure Bike Territory

Custom Yamaha XT660R 14 photos
Photo: AJ Moller Photography via Ellaspede
Custom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660RCustom Yamaha XT660R
Ellaspede of Brisbane, Australia is a workshop operating at the highest level, and they’re fully aware of how important post-customization testing can be. A proper run-in will shed light on any potential issues and areas needing improvement, so it’s helpful to get it done when time allows. However, a road trip totaling 2,000 kilometers (over 1,200 miles) and 22 hours of riding is far beyond your regular field test.
Albeit unplanned, that’s the sort of adventure this restyled Yamaha XT660R had embarked on upon the project’s completion. The commission came from a returning client by the name of Rick, who sought a competent adventure bike based on a 2014 variant of Yamaha’s dual-sport lineup. Aspects related to the transformation process itself were all fine and dandy, but the way this rugged XT would return to its owner when finished presented a few challenges.

We’ll get to those a bit later on, though, because you’re probably aching to learn about the intricate mods performed by Ellaspede’s gurus. The dual-purpose Yamaha was virtually brand-new when it arrived at their shop in Queensland, so a large chunk of their makeover had to do with the motorcycle’s appearance and anatomy. Let’s take a second to talk about the donor itself before we dive in.

Its power source is a liquid-cooled 659cc single-cylinder mill hosting four valves, 10:1 compression, and EFI hardware with a 44 mm (1.7-inch) throttle body. The thumper has 48 hp and around 44 pound-feet (60 Nm) of torque at its disposal – respectable figures for a machine weight 181 kilograms (399 pounds) with all the necessary fluids. Combined with the XT’s dual-sport DNA, these characteristics made it a great candidate for Rick’s ideas.

As soon as the stock bike crossed Ellaspede’s doorstep, it was stripped of all the factory bodywork and lighting hardware, among many other items. This left them with the blank canvas awaiting the custom ADV treatment, which started with the fabrication of some new overalls from scratch. Aluminum was the firm’s material of choice, first used to craft a much sexier fuel tank with enough capacity for long-distance rides.

Custom Yamaha XT660R
Photo: AJ Moller Photography via Ellaspede
An angular pair of vented side covers came next, along with two additional units mounted right behind them. Moving northward, we come across a sturdy skid plate installed to keep the engine out of harm’s way during off-road outings. It works its way upward to also form a radiator shroud, seamlessly merged with the sump guard into a single unit.

The stock XT660R came with two separate fenders at the front, one fitted up high and the other hovering right above the tire down low. This setup was kept on Ellaspede’s build, but the upper mudguard is now a bespoke item fashioned in-house like the rest of the bodywork. Custom-made headlight shrouds are present in that area, as well, flanking a six-inch headlamp with retro looks.

Other tailor-made bits include the swingarm covers and a compact license plate bracket, as well as the new saddle placed on the subframe. The seat features high-density padding to keep Rick comfy on extended rides, with UV-resistant vinyl upholstery on the sides and yellow kangaroo leather up top. Moreover, Ellaspede fashioned a set of sizeable luggage racks to go on each side of the saddle.

Custom Yamaha XT660R
Photo: AJ Moller Photography via Ellaspede
They’re able to hold two Kriega bags and just as many Rotopax cans – one for fuel and the other for water. An LED taillight and Posh turn signals round out the equipment at the back, surrounding a billet aluminum muffler tip along with the license plate bracket. The rest of the exhaust system is made of stainless-steel, employing twin headers and a single silencer.

Ellaspede retained the XT660R’s standard suspension on both ends, but they had it lowered a tad to better suit Rick’s height. The front 21-inch rim got swapped with a 19-incher for improved handling on the tarmac, while keeping the rear 17-inch hoop in play and cloaking both of them in beefy dual-purpose knobbies. Lastly, the one-off ADV received a tasty color scheme combining yellow, black, and white.

Even though the customization process was complete once the paintwork had been applied, getting the bike to its owner was a different story. Rick was taking care of some work-related matters in Adelaide at the time, and he wanted to embark on a long trip across the Nullarbor Plain when it was done. Taking the Yamaha from Brisbane to Adelaide involved an arduous 1,200-mile journey in its saddle, as any other delivery method would’ve taken too long.

Luckily, a lad named Bruce offered to complete this inaugural ride, which took him no less than 36 hours in total. That sounds pretty tiring, for sure, but he reports being thrilled with the way Ellaspede’s gem behaved itself throughout the trip. Unsurprisingly, Rick was over the moon when he first saw the completed machine, and his excitement only grew after setting off on his Nullarbor adventure.
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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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