The humble XS650 might be one of the most common donor bikes on the planet but we still never get tired of seeing them when they're done right. Like this stunning bobber by WSDMoto out of orange county CA. The bike recently got 2nd place at the 2011 LA Calendar MC Show which sounds impressive until you hear what the builder said: "This would be the first time I've gotten anything less than 'Best of' or 1st place since 2008. Kind of a tough pill to swallow, but still happy nonetheless." Who remembers 2nd place? We do... now.
Entries in Yamaha (78)
Believe it or not, the Ukraine is one of the few places on earth where you'll struggle to find an SR400, CB750, or even a XS650. Due to the Soviet regime before 1991, these older Japanese bikes simply weren't imported into the country. So when the 19 year old editor of MotoCafe.ru, Artem Terekhov was approached by motorcycle clothing brand Fast & Fashion to build a cafe racer in collaboration with them, he decided on a Yamaha XJR 400. It's probably also worth mentioning that Artem comes from the Autonomous Republic of Crimea in the Ukraine, where cafe racers are few and far between. "Café racers are entirely absent here, so this bike turns heads every time we take it out for a ride" he says. Artem and his Dad started the project way back in July 2010 and the bike was only finished in March 2011. This is the build story of the bike they call 'Fast & Fashion' as told by Artem.
Sometimes in life you have to be careful who you share your dreams with. They might be shattered, stolen or in this case, they might be bought. You see this 1975 Yamaha R5 was bought by Doug Devine a few months ago after seeing it sitting at his friend's place gathering dust. "This project started when a friend showed me a ’72 Yamaha R5 he had been storing in his shed for the past five years" recalls Doug. "Upon his move from Austin to Louisville, my friend had intentions of bringing her back to her former glory, but life happened. After a few months of sporadic conversations about the bike, the R5 was mine." Unlike his friend, Doug didn't mess around and jumped straight into planning this lil' smokers reincarnation. We thought we'd let Doug describes the project in his own words:
A while back we had our inaugural ride day north of Sydney and we spent quite a bit of time fielding questions from the punters regarding various aspects of the day's proceedings. There were the questions about the dirt sections. Questions about the meet points. Questions about the weather, and questions about the timings. Then there were the questions about the fuel stops. Most of them came from a single email address and we started to shoot the poop with this guy who seemed a little obsessed with exactly how far it would be between refills. "My tank only holds four litres," he told us. One single, lonesome gallon? What kind of bike has a four litre tank? "It's an SR with a Honda Monkey tank on it," replies Mr. Refills.
Woah. Wait just a single freaking minute here, talkative email dude who is surely trying to have a comical lend of our senses. Did you just say "an SR with a MONKEY TANK on it?"
If you know what the Bones Brigade, Animal Chin and Slime Balls are, then you'll probably appreciate this TW200 more than others. Built by Zack Taylor from Machine-13, who is a young builder from Phoenix, Arizona. Zack has managed to merge three of his passions into one business – skateboarding, art/tattoo's and motorsickles. You see, Machine-13 is a tattoo shop, custom shop and every bike goes out with his unique 'skate style'. Zack's trademark is using skateboard wheels as tail lights and he also loves chopping up skate decks to use as rear fenders – it might not be to everyones taste but you have to give him points for originality. Let's hear from the dude himself:
Another little video from our friends at Deus. This time featuring a freshly painted red 1978 XS650 cut to Al Barry & The Cimarons song 'Morning Sun'. The bike has been hiding out in the Deus 'Temple of Enthusiasm' since they opened their doors. Now it's off to a new home where she'll be enjoyed by some lucky bugger.
Doesn't look like the usual SR250's you see on the road, does it? No siree. This bad boy was recently built for the Metamorfosis Masiva — which is a SR250 build-off in Spain where you can't spend more than €1,000 on parts. Although, there was no limit on the amount of hours they could spend building, and that's what D.B from El Solitario MC did. Spending more than 500 hours creating this one-of-a-kind motorcycle. The bike, which D.B has named 'The Winning Loser' didn't win, but ironically it has probably gained the most attention, being posted on numerous motorcycle blogs around the world and therefore living up to its name.
Imagine being asked to build a custom bike for a hitman. That's what advertising creative John Ryland was commisioned to do by director Sunny Zhao. Although, the "hitman" in question was a fictional character starring in his new film called Reciprocity. It all sounded too good to be true for a 'part-time builder', so I asked John a few questions about the project:
This year has been no vacation for Jared Johnson at Holiday Customs. "We built some 13 bikes this year and didn't have time to build for myself" says Jared. After finding a rusty old 1976 Yamaha XS650 in Portland for $400, Jared knew exactly what he wanted to create. "I had been thinking of how I wanted this thing to look. I really like the lines on Schwinn cruiser bicycles, flowing with curves." The bike sat in his shop for a few months until he was ready to fully immerse himself in the project. "I made everything on the bike except for the seat. The frame alone took a week. I rolled the tube metal, welded it up, then put the tires on and realized it wasn't low enough, so I cut off the tail and started over." After the frame was complete, the idea for the curved pipes that follow the lines of the frame came to him. "The pipes took 4 long days, rolling the tube, notching out for the rear axle bolt, walking around looking at it for hours" he says.
The other features include an old Hap Jones tank which he found online with "some awesome rust on it". He also made the fork covers out of exhaust tube, the front wheel came off a SL175 and the beautiful seat was upholstered by the very talented Ginger at New Church Moto.
Not only have they been busy building motorcycles but Holiday Customs have a new blog up and running. Judging by their blog, it looks like this XS650 has been getting some well-deserved attention, recently being featured in a Nike shoot – maybe their new slogan should be 'Just build it'.
[Photos by Neil DaCosta]