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MEEN STREAK. Fernando Cruz’s Hard-Edge Yamaha XS750 Neo Racer

Posted on June 15, 2017 by Andrew in Café Racer, Classic. 14 comments

Motorcycles have an amazing way of getting under your skin. It seems that no matter how hard you try to forget about them, they’ll always bubble to the surface one way or another. For California’s Fernando Cruz, college and his own business took over from his love of bikes, but sure enough fate stepped in and the result was a slow and steady re-entry in motoland that finished with a racing job, an award from the Quail Motorcycle Gathering and this amazing Yardbuilt Yamaha XS750, built with his employer Meen Motorsports.

“After college and my business, motorcycling unfortunately took a back seat to my adulthood,” says Fernando. “But in 2009 I became involved in local motorcycle club racing as a manager and engineer. Shortly after I was hired by Meen Motorsports and I found myself again surrounded by bikes. This filled a void in my life and I found myself wanting a road bike for my own use. I decided that it was going to be built, not bought.”

“For inspiration, I focused on building a motorcycle that had a clear late ’70s or early ’80s influence. I wanted it to have sharp lines that could compliment the original XS750 tank, which many moto enthusiast have dubbed the perfect café shape.”

“I also wanted it to be different. I love the classic minimalist café look, but I wanted people to question what the bike was; I wanted to make people stare.”

“Once I had the XS750 back at my shop in Sacramento, I began disassembly and categorizing what was going to remain on the bike and what would be replaced or discarded. First to go was anything that wouldn’t be reinstalled such as blinkers, mirrors and seat. The remaining OEM parts were evaluated, serviced or replaced. These included the rear brake assembly, throttle cables and wire harness. Once I had it stripped to a basic rolling chassis, I began to see the true lines of the bike.”

“I knew I wanted to upgrade the suspension, so I went with some 2015 Yamaha R6 front forks with some MEEN Motorsports internals. I kept the factory 19″ XS750 wheel by machining up some wheel spacers that aligned everything and kept the R6 front brake assembly.  The new solo seat and pan was hand fabricated and all electronics along with battery cell were relocated underneath. The exhaust was left untouched and was just scuffed with s course sanding pad to achieve the weathered look you see.”

“The headlight choice was probably the hardest to make. The fairing was designed with no intention of even running a headlamp. It would not be ’till almost the end of the build that the light bar addition was even considered. The fairing was plasma cut and then folded by hand with only a few small welds at the corners to hold the shape. The windscreen is completely hand fabricated. The LED light bar was then boxed in and it is a fully functioning light. The matte silver color was to mimic the look of raw steel. Ultimately I think the fairing is the centerpiece of the entire build.”

“I spent many hours, even days, contemplating the next cut or the next weld. Often I was second guessing myself just to go back to my original plan. The execution of the design and in what order I would build it was a real challenge. In the end, I really tried to think outside of the box and come up with something different that is put together well and has real balance. That was the goal of my design.”

“I am probably most pleased with the bike’s lines and geometric flow. I did not want to take anything from the original design. My goal was to exaggerate the vague details one may have overlooked at first and remove the obvious outlines of a motorcycle. It should be something that makes you look twice. My ultimate goal is to get a reaction from the viewer, good or bad.”

Fernando Cruz – Cruz Moto – Meen Motorsports | Photos by  Jack Edwards ]

  • William Hinrichsen


  • Nice looking Bike indeed. I used to have one and the sound of the big triple on song was what evrey bike wanted to sound like!

  • the watcher

    Nice enough except the love it or hate it nose cowl. I hate it. Incongruous or what?

  • AB

    The boring old XS never looked so good. A superb rendition.

  • Ian

    Like where the front fairing is going (if you happen to like 70’s science-fi like me) but why didn’t the geometry and angles extend to the tank and seat? The two languages make each seem out of place. Otherwise, a great machine!

  • martin hodgson

    Absolutely love this, the triple was always a great engine but it was let down by a sloppy front end and bland styling. This just gives it all the attitude a triple deserves, quirky and full of fun. The colour works a treat and I dig the cowl, a rev happy engine, shaft drive and modern USD forks is hardly conventional… so why go off script with the styling. Brilliant! Love a bike where conforming to the norm is tossed a side!

  • Andy Rappold

    No offense but without the cowl it would look 1000times better me thnks.

  • revdub

    Metal work is off the charts awesome. Love the tail/seat. So clean.

  • MotoTrooper

    Beautiful work, the sound of the triple must be music. Very nice metal origami with the fairing. Did you blow mold the windscreen? Fun times doing that! I’m wondering what the headlight illuminates -just the road or the everything ahead? Regardless a cool build and good on you for fitting air filters.

  • Jester the Clown

    I owned one of these back in the nineties and the engine was brilliant. Less so, the rest of it!
    I think he’s done a great job here, given that the original canvas was somewhat erm, lacking.
    I too, think though, that it would look far better with a straightforward headlamp (or two?)

  • Dave Coetzee

    First thing that stuck me was the wonderfully clear photos! I love this build and would really like to hear the sound of this triple.
    Personally, I’d save the original looking fairing for a “future” build as methinks it’s wedgey shape doesn’t suit the well rounded lines of this XS’s tank and tail-piece.
    I’d also relocate the top mountings of the rear shocks to be parrallel with the angles of the 2 sections of the frame and exhaust but that’s just OCD me!

  • AMDcb500

    evil space shark! I can dig it.
    Great details, and the origami approach to the fairing is exceptionally well executed.

  • I always liked the I love it.

  • Darrick B

    Overall a very beautifully executed bike. But the fairing does nothing for me and looks like an afterthought, it simply doesn’t match any of the lines of the bike. And the COB LED “headlight” is utterly useless.