French bike builder Brice Hennebert has unveiled a stunning Yamaha XSR700 based dragster, designed to compete at the Sultans of Sprint race series that will take place at four custom bike events across Europe this summer.
Hennebert’s Workshop Speed Shop company has turned the humble 700cc parallel twin into a Bol d’Or tribute bike, with a blue, white and yellow livery inspired by the 1985 endurance racer entered by Yamaha’s French importers, under the Sonauto banner, in the legendary 24 hour event.
The long and low sprint bike features a handcrafted aluminium chassis that’s been dropped 15cm from standard and stretched out thanks to a bespoke rear swingarm that’s 10cm longer than that on the stocker. Going around corners hasn’t really been a consideration for Hennebert, as the competitions are literally all straight line sprints, but there’s loads of cool stuff on the chassis, including a full racing brake system and slick racing tyres from Michelin.
Under the skin, the little engine has undergone serious surgery to cope with the power generated by the nitrous oxide kit, while a Suter clutch should help the Yamaha get a sharp getaway off the line.
But despite all of that, it’s the looks that steal the show. To anyone of a certain age, the Gauloises liveried Yamaha Grand Prix and endurance racers evoke memories of legendary French rider Christian Sarron, the 1984 250cc world champion. The front fairing design screams FZ750, Yamaha’s flagship sportsbike from the 1980s, with the front cut out housing a cooling radiator rather than the FZ’s distinctive rectangular headlight.
The bike will make its debut at this weekend’s ‘Reunion’ event, which is held in the grounds of Italy’s legendary Monza race circuit, where it will be piloted by Niccolo Canepa, one of Yamaha’s world endurance championship winning riders. The unnamed bike will also be raced at the Biker’s Classics in Belgium, Glemseck in Germany and finally the Dandy Riders Festival, which is held in the south of France on the weekend of 23-24 September.