It’s just over three years since Yamaha launched the XSR700, and sales have been slow. That’s almost certainly down to the awkward styling, because the XSR700 is a good bike to ride—and the 689cc inline twin (with crossplane crank) is an absolute peach of a motor.
The obvious visual flaws have prompted many builders to have a crack at the XSR700, with varying degrees of success. The latest to attempt the silk purse treatment is Arjan van den Boom of the Dutch shop Ironwood, and he’s hit a home run.

“The customer asked me for something cool,” says Arjan. “Different, high-end, drivable either in Amsterdam or Ibiza, and inspired by the Yamaha TW.”
Arjan is a fan of the XSR700. “It’s a fun bike: compact, enough power, playful handling and just made for aesthetic adjustment.”

The customer wanted a bike that looked ‘brutal’ but was also great to ride. “He was inspired by our XSR700 TW Steel café racer, and wanted something similar—but with an upright riding position and better handling.”
‘The Enforcer’ has similar DNA—on the general lines, the tank and the ‘Brat’ seat—but with different bars and bulky wheels it has a more of a scrambler/tracker vibe.

Amazingly, no welding or cutting was involved. Instead, the Ironwood crew have grafted on an entire Yamaha YZF-R1 front end, including the brakes, which should elevate the handling to a whole new level.
The setup is finished with a custom brace holding an integrated Motogadget Motoscope Pro digital speedometer. Motogadget also supplied the grips, bar end mirrors and ‘m.blaze pin’ front indicators, and just ahead of the carbon LSL bars is a Koso ‘Thunderbolt’ LED headlight.

The 17-inch wheels are featherweight carbon Rotobox RBX2 rims, which are around half the weight of typical OEM sportbike wheels. They’re shod with Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa tires, with a size boost at the rear—going up from 160 to 180 section.
The XSR700 has a small rear hoop that can be bolted off, so Ironwood removed it and installed a replacement with a custom seat pan. (It’s the same approach that Hookie took with their XSR700 recently.) LED lighting is integrated with the new hoop.

The new seat was built by Miller Kustom Upholstery and right below are aluminum side panels from the British supplier Barracuda—who also supplied the license plate holder.
Yamaha’s parallel twin pumps out a solid 74 horses, which is plenty enough for a bike that weighs just 186 kilos (410 pounds) wet. So Arjan has left the internals alone, and improved the breathing with DNA pod filters (with red leather tops).

He’s also plumbed in MT-07 headers hooked up to a stubby Ixil SX1 stainless steel exhaust system, which weighs a mere 3.9 kilos.
The biggest visual transformation is the new tank—which is a full unit, not just a set of replacement covers. It’s a masterpiece of shaping from aluminum specialist Marcel van der Stelt, who also created the new front fender.

The stunning grey and vermillion paint was shot by Jacco at Royal Jack, one of Holland’s top custom painters.
It’s a brilliant transformation and one of the best XSRs we’ve seen. So is this a new direction for Ironwood? Not quite: Arjan is not yet ready to abandon the custom BMWs that made him famous. “We would like to do a wider range of bikes—a healthy mix of vintage and ‘modern vintage,’ if you will,” he says.

“The majority of our production is still oldtimer airheads, due to our Deathstar series. We make 10-12 per year on commission now, and there are always three or more R80s and R100s in the shop.”
“Vintage bikes have their charm, but box-fresh bikes (or even electrics) are something we want to explore and learn about. It’s about challenging our team as well as keeping on with older boxer transformations.”

Arjan is already a brand ambassador for Husqvarna, and he’s open to collaborations with manufacturers too. And much as we love his BMWs, we’re hoping this XSR700 is an exciting taste of things to come.
Ironwood Custom Motorcycles | Facebook | Instagram | Photos by Paul van ML