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Yamaha XS400 – Volure Cycles


Posted on March 1st, by Andrew in Café Racer. 18 comments

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Written by Martin Hodgson

The phrase second time lucky tends to suggest that the first time around didn’t go as planned. For Sander Ziugov of Volure Cycles and his Yamaha XS400 all was looking perfect when he converted his stock red Yamaha into a stunning grey on black café racer. So good in fact it was featured right here on Pipeburn, until a misadventure saw the bike tumbling down the road.

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With the original forks now consigned to the scrap bin the decision was made to convert the bike to a USD setup. Aprilia RS125 forks were adapted to fit the bike using heavily modified triple clamps to work with the standard Yamaha frame. Turning duties were handed over to a set of custom clip-ons, while GSX-R switch blocks continue with the modern look of the front end. Ensuring continuity in the theme, bar end turn signals were fitted and replacing the now damaged gauges is an all-in-one instrument unit by KOSO mounted to a custom-made bracket.

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No modern front end is complete without a quality brake master cylinder and when only the best will do Sander chose Brembo.  A radial design was fitted to send hydraulic pressure to the original caliper now relocated to the left side of the front wheel using a custom-made bracket crafted from 15mm aluminium. Rounding out the stunning front end Sander fitted a single dominator headlight and moved the ignition switch to the rear engine mount.

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With the Aprilia forks changing the stance of the bike Sander turned his attention to the rear end. To achieve the aggressive stance he was after new shock mounts were welded 60mm down the sub frame and YSS shocks with progressive rate springs fitted. Rather than cut off the now empty standard shock mounts they were repurposed and now house the rear turn signals.

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The striking difference from the first incarnation of this bike is the paint, gone is the classic grey with speed stripe and in its place distinctive red Yamaha “Speed Blocks” laid over a solid white. While many of the black detailing work remains the frame has been painted silver to further enhance the colour matched Yamaha respray. Staying true to the race theme undamaged GSX-R rearsets from the first build have been kept in place and a wire held fuel filler clip added.

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With 6 months additional labour now complete since the bike’s misadventure Sander’s decision to give the bike a facelift rather than simply rebuild it has been rewarded with an immaculate result and racer finish that Mr Speed Blocks himself, Kenny Roberts, would surely be proud!

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[Pictures by Kevin Amon]





  • lennard schuurmans

    Sweet! Great comeback. This paint job and the new USD setup is taking the bike to a next level.

  • Antal Szilagyi

    Nice job! I’ve just started my XS400 project ;)

  • sbaugz

    I never get tired of the classic Yamaha Kenny Roberts blocked stripes paint scheme.

  • revdub

    I loved it the first time around, and it looks even better in its second life! Well done.

  • http://www.mulemotorcycles.net/ Mule

    This is nice. Front brake set-up is uber-weird though. Tuck the header pipes in a few inches please.

  • arnold

    Yup, despite the photographs presented.

  • Fast2Furious

    That’s a beautiful machine. I’ve never heard the late artist Molly Sanders’ iconic creation referred to as speed blocks we also called them Molly Stripes. Regardless his design works well on this build.

  • Lewn

    Love this bike very tastefully done, although I’d have mounted the front brake caliper in a conventional way and run twin headlights.

  • Rycodiawan

    pretty bike… nice work…

  • Joey’s Garage

    Really well executed. But I can’t get over the garage shots in the background. The lighting is perfect. There’s the right amount of tool to dirt quotient. Whoever works in this shop knows where his stuff is and how to use what’s there. Evident by the ride sitting in the foreground.

    • http://www.pipeburn.com Andrew@Pipeburn

      Often we’ll darken up the background a little so that it’s the bike that grabs yr eye and not the other bits in the photo. Needless to say we didn’t do it this time.

      • Rob R.

        They are nice shots, but does every one of them have to be from 5 feet away? Lets see some detail shots!

        • Sander Ziugov

          Hey, Rob.

          Here’s a few close up pictures that didn’t make it into the article:

          http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=57604.0

          • Rob R.

            Thanks Sander. As someone who works with photographers a lot I can appreciate the beautiful photos and can see them hanging in a gallery. However, when they are accompanying a story they need to support the words — and while they are beautiful in their own right, the detail shots are still too dark to make any sense of what’s going on there. If you look at the next post — the Bonnie — those pics are spot on for this venue. Nice balance of wide and tight shots as well as contrast all shot against a white background. I don’t know who edits the pics on this sight which could explain the absence of tight shots here and that could be the problem. Also, I would guess the copy is written after the photos have been submitted, so there is a disconnect between what detail photos are needed to go with the text. It would’ve been nice to see a detail shot of the custom caliper bracket or the rear shocks to go with the text. That’s why people come to this site — to get ideas and to see what others are designing. Maybe this is something Andrew could look into. Anyway, your photos are beautifully lit and cropped and you just can’t go wrong with a background like that. Well done.

  • JuaKaliMotorArt

    Looking good. I would probably change that heavy looking rear cowl, chrystal rear lamp and the front lamp looks a little bit to small. I like the front end. Keep up the good work.

  • dmpeters

    nice job