Every Estate Agent has heard it, a request for a large beach front property in a high value suburb for the price of a small car but when confronted with the motorcycle equivalent, Japan’s Speedtractor Industries proved they’re one builder who can give their customer their cake and eat it too with this knock out 2001 Yamaha XJR400. The exact request was for a machine that was more “Kraftwerk than café racer” light but with the brawn of a 4 cylinder, low maintenance and air-cooled and it had to be capable of riding two up, would you like fries with that? But one of the reasons clients go to masters of their craft like the designers, mechanics and technicians at a workshop like Speedtractor is because they can deliver the type of “the client is always right” requests that not every shop can achieve.
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.
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