Each time Maarten Poodt completes one other undertaking, we really feel like we’re taking a look at some obscure, traditional Yamaha that we’ve by no means heard of. Which is strictly how the Dutch builder likes it.
Maarten has a penchant for Yamahas, and notably the fashions which are onerous to come back by within the Netherlands. He principally goes for a retro sportbike look, and nails the manufacturing unit really feel amazingly nicely. By the point he’s completed, you’re questioning your information of Yamaha’s again catalog.
Maarten used to construct a motorbike a 12 months, however obtained sidetracked for 2 years, making elements for different customizers and upholstering seats. Itching for a undertaking of his personal once more, he picked up a 1983 XZ 550 and tore into it.
Also called the Imaginative and prescient, the XZ 550 was solely manufactured for 2 years. It was powered by a 552 cc, 70-degree V-twin motor, and was the primary Yamaha with downdraft carbs. Sadly, these carbs additionally had an annoying off-idle stutter.
Maarten’s rebuilt the XZ 550 utilizing a outstanding variety of Yamaha manufacturing unit elements from a bevy of various fashions. And that makes this one of many slickest elements bin specials we’ve ever seen.
Up entrance are the forks, yokes and clip-ons from an R6. The wheels are off an XS850, measuring 19 inches in entrance, and 18 inches out again. The rear shocks are from Hyperpro, and the brakes are a mixture of recent MT-07 calipers and YZF600 discs.
Getting all these elements to play good wasn’t simple. Maarten tells us the most important job was manufacturing a brand new hub, in order that he may run the XS850 rear wheel on the XZ 550’s shaft drive. Modifying the pinnacle angle for sharper steering was apparently a chore too.
The entrance forks wanted enhancing to accommodate the brand new entrance wheel, and brackets needed to be made up for the brakes. However every part seems to be prefer it belongs, and even the entrance fender seems to be OEM.
Maarten used the identical pick-n-mix method to piece collectively the XZ’s new bodywork, making a silhouette that feels acquainted.
The tank is inventory, however Maarten hammered in indents for the clip-ons, after which added a bulge within the stomach to keep up a capability of 17 liters.
The fiberglass fairing comes from Dutch racer Jack Middelburg, and echoes Kenny Roberts’ RG500 race bike. (Maarten obtained it to suit by means of custom-built aluminum framework.) Simply behind it are the inventory clocks, repositioned in a one-off fiberglass housing.
Acknowledge that chunky tail part? It’s been borrowed from a Yamaha TZ, and completed off with a slim seat and a pair of embedded taillights. And if that license plate association seems to be far too inventory, that’s as a result of it’s—Maarten grabbed it from an R1, full with crimson reflector and switch indicators (plus the foot controls).
Lurking beneath the bodywork is a completely rebuilt motor, freshly tuned carbs that don’t stutter, and revised wiring with a smaller battery. The exhaust system consists of a pair of tightly tucked, custom-made stainless headers, terminating in a pair of Laser mufflers.
Selecting a livery for the XZ550 was a no brainer—it’s wrapped in King Kenny’s iconic yellow ‘pace block’ design. The wheels have even been redone in gold to match, and there are recent finishes on every part from the body to the engine casings.
It’s one other flawless execution by Maarten. Hopefully, he’s put the elements and seats enterprise on maintain, and is already engaged on his subsequent on the spot traditional.
Maarten Poodt Instagram | Photos by Mark Meisner.