Archive for the ‘yamaha’ Tag
Now this is a custom that I can really love. Not for its looks but for its soul and the guy that built it. Take a slow, overweight, ill handling motorcycle and make it something cool.
The Yamaha Virago line of bikes have never been all that great in any category, but they have always sold relatively well for the tuning fork company. I have, and still do, lust after an early ’80’s XV920RH model. It is the Euro styled Virago based ride that just works for me. The Yamaha V-Twins are good solid motors, no issues (for the most part) and have a good feel to them. Yamaha was the first of the Japanese companies to go after the factory cruiser market and were pretty successful at it. The tuning fork company made a lot of different versions of the Virago all the way down to a little 250cc model. To this day the Star brand still has a lot of the old Virago in it’s DNA.
So, back to this Virago I found on ebay today. This is a very unique custom…it truly is a hack build, and I mean that in a good way.
The owner worked on the frame, took it back to a twin shock design, popped in a Honda CBR900RR front fork and added some Kawasaki EX500 rear sets. All to make the bike handle better. Then comes the custom work. A handmade steel tank, and here’s the part I really dig… The guy made some headers himself and then went to the best supplier of cheap parts…JC Whitney for the mufflers. Man, I love this build. Take a pound mutt, don’t make it into a throughbred, just make it mean. Oh and I really love the tail light!!
Click on the pics below for more info and more pictures.
Yeah, I know that most of you (me too) like bigger bore bikes to convert to the style we like, Cafe’. But…smaller bikes are so much fun to ride, and…embarassing riders on modern 1000cc bikes through tight twisty roads, well, that just makes the ride all that much more fun.
Building small, 100cc-400cc bikes is a lot of fun. Parts are generally easily acquired, they don’t require high levels of mechanical skills, and like I said before, riding small bikes is a sh*tload of fun.
I found an almost done little Yamaha XS400 on ebay this morning that would make a great weekend canyon blaster or as it is, a good daily commuter. The XS400 is as reliable as the sun coming up each morning, loves to rev to the limit (and then some), has a chassis that is very capable of embarrassing bigger bikes in the twisties (with just a couple of easy suspension mods) and, they are cheap and easy to maintain…unlike your ex-girlfriend.
This XS I found has only 2700 miles on the clock, it is a kickstart only model, which is actually a good thing, has a nice set of wire wheels instead of the mags that came with most XS models and a nice paint job. Two things I would do here…get rid of the ugly tail light, put something that fits into the seat cowling, and change the exhaust. The straight exhaust doesn’t help the motor and a little 400cc twin sounds terrible with straight pipes. A nice reverse megaphone muffler would look great, sound better and make the motor run happier. This is a nice bike and the price doesn’t seem all that unreasonable for how few miles it has on it. I would still go through the carbs, do some suspension upgrades, put a proper set of clip-ons or clubman bars, and then go have a lot of fun.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and info.
This is a kind of interesting auction. While neither bike is a specifically a built cafe racer, a guy in Ohio is auctioning off this pair of RD400 Daytona Specials. The one that’s a runner appears to be in good shape with a number of new parts, while the fixer/parts-bike has a bunch of included parts that need to be installed (or it needs to be parted out). It seems to me that a good end for this auction would be if the winner rode the bike that’s running, and converted the rough fixer into a cafe. And then they sent some pics to the blog. 🙂
Here’s a very cool and very built 1981 Yamaha XS650 cafe racer. It’s actually a 750cc due to the big bore pistons that have apparently been dropped into it. Other cool features are the 17″ motard rims wrapped with sticky Michelins. Definitely a little bit different than your usual 18″ wheels. The front brake setup is a mixture of GSXR master cylinder, Ducati 900SS rotor, and old school caliper. Overall, this is a really cool build that mixes old with new and appears to be one stonkin’ cafe racer…
Sometimes, bikes on eBay seem to come in waves. Yesterday, it was the guy dumping Moto Guzzi’s on the auction world. Today is apparently XS650 day. This Yamaha is a very clean example of a cafe racer build that has just about everything done right. Clubman bars, rear-sets, a cafe seat, an exhaust, and classic paint all complete an overall look that is just right. Is the fairing too much for you? You can always take it off the bike if you win the auction.
From the listing, the following items are new on the bike: WHEEL BEARINGS, STEERING HEAD BEARINGS, TIRES, TUBES, SPOKES AND BRAKES, PROGRESSIVE SHOCKS, SWING ARM BEARINGS, REGINA CHAIN, SUNSTAR SPROCKETS, 2.9 GALLON FUEL TANK, CAFE STYLE SEAT, REAR SETS, MINI FAIRING, FRONT AND REAR TURN SIGNALS, HEADLIGHT, CLUBMAN BARS. It also has XS750 dual discs, rebuilt carbs, and a partially rebuilt motor (gaskets and valves).
Currently, the auction is at $2,500 with only 1 bidder and about a day and a half left. However, reserve hasn’t been met yet, so the price will have to go a bit higher before there is a winner. This is a nice example of the Yamaha XS650, so it should go higher and hopefully the seller doesn’t lower reserve.
Ignore the angled, artsy photos for a moment, and what you have here is a good starting point to complete a really nice cafe racer. While it has a clear title (lots of eBay bikes don’t), it is missing a few doo-dads that will make it street legal when you try to register it, including the tail light. That being said, this is a beautiful, well executed bike that has a IMHO a very cool paint job. Add an exhaust, some rear-sets and maybe a tach and you’re good to go. Could even more be done to this bike? Yes, but then you wouldn’t be riding it now, would you…
There are not a lot of photos of this XS650 being auctioned on eBay right now, so what you see is what you get. But the guy’s email address and phone is in the listing if you’re interested in finding out more before bidding/buying. The sum total info in the listing is as follows: “1981 XS 650 Yamaha cafe racer. Not sure of milage, but starts right up and runs great. New rear shocks. New club man handle bars, new bar-end mirrors.” There’s one bid of $1,500 with 2.5 days left.
Is this a cafe racer? Not really.
Is it ultra-cool? Absolutely!!!
This is a really well-done Kenny Roberts replica that has been made street legal to boot. The look is there, and the seller’s description claims that the bike is fully mechanically sound (“IT RUNS PERFECTLY WITH A ONE KICK START”). Overall, this is one great bike up on the eBay auction block.
Bidding is currently at $4K on the nose with the next bid supposedly breaking the reserve. There are almost 4 days left in the auction with 14 bidders. If you’ve got +$5K burning a hole in your pocket, this bike could be yours…