What in the Blue Hell is This Thing That Yamaha’s Made?

Workhorse XSR700 to compete in this summer's Sultans of Sprint race series

When the European “Sultans of Sprint” racing series unveiled its Factory Class, Indian Motorcycle saw it as an opportunity to showcase a bike that it is probably, maybe, totally going to unveil as a production model. Yamaha, however, seems to have taken an entirely different tack: choosing to put forward a batshit crazy drag bike.

READ MORE: Indian Continues to Build FTR1200 Hype Through ‘Sultans of Sprint’ Racing

Born of Yamaha’s Yard Built custom program, the Workhorse XSR700 is ostensibly built around an XSR700, though I suspect the only thing that actually remains from the affordable modern classic here is its 689cc parallel-twin engine.

In stock form, the XSR’s powerplant puts out roughly 74 hp. So how is it supposed to compete against the likes of Indian’s Scout FTR1200 Custom? A NOS system with a Max Extreme Nitrous Controller, obvs.

The bike is the brainchild of Brice Hennebert from Workhorse Speedshop in Belgium. Described by Yamaha as “low, long, and fast as hell,” it features a handcrafted aluminum body, dropped frame, and extended swingarm. Dripping with high-end bits and bobs that I don’t really feel like listing, the Workhorse will have the smallest engine of all the bikes in the Factory Class.


Yamaha says it’s not too concerned, however, because the bike is lightweight and the engine delivers “impressive torque.” Oh, and there’s that NOS system…

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“It’s a lot of fun and we think it’s a winner,” said Antoine Clémot, Yamaha Motor Europe’s motorcycle product manager. “We love to see these amazing bikes getting outside of static shows to race full throttle. They’re all about individual expression and making crazy designs and then getting together and sharing them… I’m excited to see what it does, but I’m already proud to be a part of the build.”


The Sultans of Sprint Factory Class designates that motorcycles must be four-stroke (air or water cooled) but there is no limit regarding engine capacity, providing that the tuned bike does not exceed a specific power-to-weight ratio. Bikes in the Factory Class can either be customized by private workshops or entered by a manufacturer as an “in house” custom built racer.

The races will take place in the following locations on the following days:
– 19-20 May: The Reunion, Monza, Italy
– 30 June – 1 July: Bikers Classic, Spa, Belgium
– 30 August – 2 September: Glemseck, Germany
– 22-24 September: Dandy Rider’s Festival, France


The Workhorse XSR700 custom dragster will be piloted by a different guest rider for each event, all of whom are people I’ve never heard of. If you really care, you can check out Yamaha’s European Facebook page. Meanwhile, you can find out more about the Sultans of Sprint series by visiting