Readers Rides: 9HUNGE Yamaha XJ900




Melbourne based builder Carlo converted his ’86 Yamaha XJ900 in to this 100hp Cafe Racer last year. Carlo sent me the story of how the "9Hunge" came to be which you can enjoy below.



"The Yamaha 86 XJ 900 is in many ways like your typical Aussie man. Simple, unfussy and gets the job done. It’s a bike that does what it does well, without complaining. With a bullet-proof motor that revs to 12,000rpm what better base could there be for a custom Cafe Racer?
9 Hunge… A hunge (pronounced hung-ee)  is a uniquely Australian term for one hundred.  "How much did that cost you?" "a hunge". We found that our pet name for the motorcycle was "the 900", which true to Australian form, quickly turned into "nine hungey". When I finished the bike and tried to choose a name, it turned out the name had already been chosen. The 9Hunge was born." 
"When building the 9Hunge, I got rid it of any unnecessary metal and plastics. Power to weight was the key and that boosted performance before even touching the engine. We undressed the 9Hunge of almost 30kg of fat. 
A tight backend was achieved by replacing the traditional rear shocks with two gas filled dirt bike shocks. We threw out the rule book; it’s just how we wanted the suspension to feel. We stripped back and then powder coated the frame, bars, steering and bits. 
We love the clean line the Benelli tank gave to the build. I think the introduction of an Italian tank to a Japanese bike gave it some extra street cred, or maybe it’s just that it looked right with the line of the seat? When you sit on the 9Hunge and you look down past the tank you see the brutish four cylinder engine jutting out from either side and you smile. 

It’s not a traditional CafĂ© Racer look, but I just love that I have 100bhp at the turn of the throttle."

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