Ian Ketterer's BlackSilver Yamaha XJR 1300

This fantastic Handbuilt Homegrown came to us all the way from Cape Town, South Africa. Ian Ketterer, who is BlackSilver Customs, specializes in billet ally part manufacturing and front end conversions but dedicates some of his time to full custom builds. And we are glad he does.

This Yamaha XJR 1300 came to Ian "in a sorry state, begging for love." With really the only redeeming quality being a good solid motor. Starting in on the project around 2015, Ian spent about three years methodically working through the restoration, only farming out the water jetting of the triple clamps before performing the final machining himself. The motor was in such good shape that it really didn’t need any work itself and it’s fast enough on it’s own to not need any significant performance enhancements. The carbs did require a full rebuild and the electrical issues were exceptionally frustrating to track down.

Major modifications included a complete redesign and rebuild of the subframe in order to get a good line with the tank and seat, something that Ian spends significant time and focus with all his builds to achieve. The front mudguard is also an "out of the box" design, and Ian fabricated the triple clamps made from 50mm billet alloy. The front end is stock from an R1 and in order to to match it with the rear wheel and caliper it required weeks of work to machine a new axle, swingarm dropouts, a bracket for the R1 caliper and finally, higher shock mounts for the to account for the increased subframe height.

Additional components Ian installed include:
  • Aftermarket oil cooler.
  • Acewell Speedo embedded into top triple.
  • Scorch exhausts with custom billet end pieces.
  • Frame bracing.
  • Custom engine covers.
  • Custom front sprocket cover plate.

Setting out with no budget in mind can be daunting and leave one open for an endless project, but Ian managed to bring this in for around 85,000 ZAR (Don't freak out; that's just about $5,500 USD) and countless unpaid hours to achieve this amazing machine. Ian originally intended to sell this bike once complete, but after the first start up and ride, he decided it would be too heartbreaking to let it go. He was so satisfied with the end result that Ian has no plans to slow down on custom builds, and the bike serves as a beacon for BlackSilver Customs. It was also a finalist in the "Lightning Bolt" competition in Cape Town. One commenter on his Facebook page said, "Absolutely breathtaking! Love it!" and we couldn't have said it better.

Follow Ian @blacksilvercustom on Instagram to keep up with what he's working on.