Keino and Yamaha Collaborate on ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ Concept
Deep in the heart of New York City, Japanese custom motorcycle builder Keinosuke “Keino” Sasaki has unveiled his take on the Yamaha XJR1300, entitled ‘Rhapsody in Blue’.
The stunning Rhapsody in Blue XJR is a concept born from the search for inspiration by Yamaha for future Sports Heritage Range motorcycles. The collaboration between Yamaha and Keino is one of many the Japanese manufacturer’s recent and ongoing projects with some of the world’s most talented custom builders, including the Wrenchmonkees, Deus Ex Machina, Marcus Walz and Roland Sands.
Keino’s work on the XJR is truly inspiring with hand a crafted lower and slimmer fuel tank with a unique cap and a hand crafted tailpiece demonstrating his workmanship. In an unusual twist for a modern motorcycle the Rhapsody in Blue also features Keino’s signature springer front-end designed suspension.
The work doesn’t stop there with custom brake mounts, a new headlight assembly and custom handlebars. The XJR also gets a Brembo brake upgrade, exposed air filters and a single seat on top of a unique rear frame and custom tail section to add to the sporty look and feel. The special rear shocks match the front springer system and eagle eyed classic car lovers will recognize the rear light is now an original piece from a vintage British MG sports car.
Yamaha Motor Europe N.V. / Press Information 2014/ Yard Built / XJR1300 RIB by Keino Cycles (10 September 2014 Page 3 of 3
A beautiful blue vintage Yamaha inspired paint job and gold wheels set the bike off and a throaty custom side exhaust and muffler completes the build.
Keino’s inspiration for the XJR build comes from the 90s, fueled by the Japanese classic street performance machine’s powerful inline four air-cooled engine. The stripped back, raw iconic design proved the perfect base for Rhapsody in Blue.
New York based custom builder Keino was destined to work with Yamaha on a custom bike project at some point, especially considering the bike builder’s first motorcycle influences as a child were all Yamaha. Born and raised in Fukuoka, Japan, Keino’s first motorcycle memories were of his father’s Yamaha 650 machine.