There’s always an anxious excitement when the official manufacturer motorcycle shows roll into town — brand new bikes, cutting-edge technology — it’s a great peek into the year ahead. But, when the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show pops up on the calendar, salivary glands go into overdrive. Artistic visions are made real and the level of creativity and craftsmanship on display is second to none. This year is no different and based solely on the Yamahas from Auto Fabrica and collaboration with Velomacchi, this is going to be a legendary year.

Auto Fabrica, a visionary custom bike builder, based in the UK, stripped down the new Yamaha XSR900 and built it back up into the Type 11 Prototype 1 (P1), which can only be described as cafe racer from a Blade Runner-themed fever dream. Auto Fabrica then built the Prototype 2 — a road legal version of the track-only P1. To top it all off, the UK builder then took to the original XS750 bike that inspired the new XSR900 with the same less-is-more approach Auto Fabrica is known for. All three bikes are hand-formed works of art, created using both modern and classic design and build techniques.

The ‘Rural Racer’ built by Velomacchi is on the more toned-down side of the spectrum, but no less easy to love. The single bike was more of a collaboration between Velomacchi and Yamaha, but it’s obvious Velomacchi’s rough, rugged and industrial design rising to the surface. Half city street racer, half backwoods scrambler, the Rural Racer is based on the XSR700 and gets a specialized Yoshimura R&D exhaust and a drone mount. It also has a detachable subframe for additional cargo space for an extra fuel cell, tool roll or duffle bag when you’re hoofing it out to the woods or heading into the city for the daily commute.

Yamaha, Auto Fabrica and Velomacchi brought the heat to this year’s Handbuilt Motorcycle Show and set an extraordinarily high bar, right out of the gate. We’ll have a full round-up of the entire show next week.

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