CURATING A PUBLICATION like Bike EXIF is a daunting task. Selecting the right motorcycles to feature is more art than science: it’s as much about gut feel as following a set of rules.This Yamaha XV920R from Moto Adonis, for example, won’t appeal to everyone. Part scrambler, part tracker, it’s a bit scrappier than our usual remit—designed to be roughed up rather than parked and stared at. Which is probably why it struck a deep chord when it landed in our inbox.
We’ve seen Moto Adonis founder Daan Borsje do some pretty slick work in the past, but this wasn’t that sort of project. It started out as a quick flip job, and ended up as a do-it-all ride and test bed for a new line of products.The build started when Daan and his friend Wouter van Egmond were brainstorming ways to expand the Moto Adonis brand, from their workshop in Roosendaal, Holland.
“We came up with a few ideas,” says Daan, “some very good, some less so. Roland Sandsis sort of an idol to us, so we wanted to produce parts, special parts for older bikes that are often used for customizing.”Daan and Wouter bought two Yamahas: this XV920R, to fix up and sell quickly, and a TR1, which they planned to build something truly epic with. But before their plans materialized, Wouter tragically passed away.
Suddenly Daan’s focus shifted: “I’d promised Wouter I’d make it all happen. I started to build the bike—not for money, but to honor him.”During the process Daan grew closer to Wouter’s father, Peter. And it was through their newfound relationship that Moto Adonis finally launched their first product line: MAD Exhausts.
The exhaust on this bike is a full stainless steel unit, developed in collaboration with ‘Indian’ Don de Vink. It’s mated to a BOS Performance muffler and topped off with a carbon fiber heat shield. Early dyno tests report a 10 to 15 percent performance improvement.Daan reckons the exhaust is the most expensive part on the bike. As for the rest, he’s picked and mixed parts to build a light, thrashable tracker.
“No, this isn’t my best build in detail, by far,” he admits. “But man, this bike is so much fun! I’ve got several rims with different tires, and I take it to the woods, I take it to the race track, and this Sunday I’m going on my first flat track experience.”The subframe’s been redesigned, and topped off with a leather saddle and a hand-bent cowl. A couple of teeny LEDs under the tail serve as a questionable taillight, and the tank’s been adapted from a Honda CM400, adorned with a leather strap and Leatherman pouch, “because you never know when you’ll need it.”
Up front there’s a repurposed old fender doing duty as a headlight shroud, equipped with a powerful LED. Behind it is a set of MX bars, complete with new grips and controls, and basic switches. There’s no speedo: just a smartphone mount with a GPS-enabled app running on Daan’s phone.Daan politely refers to the Yamaha’s stock brakes and forks as “shitty,” so he dug into his parts bin and produced a set of BMW K75 forks, plus a Nissin front brake. “Sometimes it’s pretty cool to get as many spare parts as you can find, to make your bike come to life,” he says.
The XV’s pictured here with both knobby and street tires, and a layer of dirt. (He’s even got a set of removable fenders.) There’s nothing precious here—just an angry V-twin with a wicked exhaust, made to be ridden into the ground.“This bike will never leave me, and it’s built to honor my mate,” says Daan. “It’s so cool to be able to use it for our new company, MAD Exhausts, until the big project is finished.”