Yamaha Motorcycles

Yamaha’s first motorcycle appeared in 1955. The 125cc two-stroke YA-1 went straight to the racetrack and started winning titles. Yamaha has built on those race credentials over the years, winning at the IOM TT and the Paris Dakar. Yamaha continues to run a successful factory race team in Moto GP. Yamaha’s contribution to the custom motorcycle world includes the highly successful and long loved SR400 and SR500 singles we see in so many café racer builds. Other Yamaha custom favourites include the seventies XS650 twins and more recently their XSR700 and XSR900 Sport Heritage range.
Return of the Cafe Racers - Lessons Learned – Peter’s Yamaha XV1100

Lessons Learned – Peter’s Yamaha XV1100

The saying ‘to bite off more than you can chew’ is one that many budding bike builders can relate to. It’s a common tale that you may have experienced yourself. A man browses online, finds incomplete project bike for sale, checks bank account, daydreams for hours or days and then buys project…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Engine engine 25 – Yamaha DT250

Engine engine 25 – Yamaha DT250

If you’ve been following Enginethusiast for a while, you’ve probably noticed that Anthony Scott has a soft spot for vintage racing motorcycles. Between photographing them, orchestrating events to use them and working on his own race bike inspired builds, they’re always playing on his mind. He’s the first to admit that others…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Years in the Making – Yamaha TRX850 Café Racer

Years in the Making – Yamaha TRX850 Café Racer

Nothing makes me happier than featuring custom motorcycles that have been built in my hometown. Today’s café racer is the work of Jonny Taylor who’s based in Victoria, Australia, like yours truly, and works as a maintenance fitter in the gas industry. Jonny’s 1996 Yamaha TRX850 was 4 years in the making,…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Virile Virago – KSC Yamaha XV750

Virile Virago – KSC Yamaha XV750

Rapid prototyping, CNC machining, 3d printing! Whatever happened to good old hammers, spanners, and the occasional grinder? I get a bit nostalgic when it comes to custom motorcycle building. It’s clear that a lot of the ‘hand-made’ techniques that helped to create the custom scene are losing out to high tech methods.…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Timing is Everything – Partridge x TW Steel MT-10

Timing is Everything – Partridge x TW Steel MT-10

I’ve worked on my fair share of custom builds to know that things can get a little stressful. When I read the story of Ant Partridge’s Yamaha MT-10 build for TW Steel though, everything I’d experienced felt like a walk in the park! The story begins with his moving to the UK,…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Evolutionary Design – Auto Fabrica Yamaha XSR900

Evolutionary Design – Auto Fabrica Yamaha XSR900

A couple of years ago I had the pleasure of meeting the Muharremi brothers, the duo behind the United Kingdom’s ‘Auto Fabrica’. At the time of visiting their workshop, Yamaha was just about to released the XSR900 and to my surprise, Bujar and Gaz had one sitting in their garage. They divulged…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Big in Japan – Yamaha SR400 Cafe Racer

Big in Japan – Yamaha SR400 Cafe Racer

Sadly it looks like Yamaha’s venerable SR400s time is coming to an end. Like so many other motorcycles falling victim to strict emissions rules, Yamaha is set to cease production of their iconic thumper very soon. The mightly little SR has had a great run. Since its release in 1978 Yamaha has enjoyed…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Tokyo Trash – Yamaha SR400 Dustbin Racer

Tokyo Trash – Yamaha SR400 Dustbin Racer

In motorsport, race teams are always looking for new ways to improve lap times. Back in the fifties when motorcycles were almost all naked teams began experimenting with aerodynamics. Inspired by the nose cones of aircraft they built fairings that cocooned almost two-thirds of the motorcycle and its rider. These outlandish fairings…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Top 10 Cafe Racers of 2017

Top 10 Cafe Racers of 2017

2017 was a great year. The custom motorcycle scene has continued to produce some truly incredible builds and we were honored to feature many of them here on Return of the Cafe Racers. So this year we’ve pulled together a list of our favorites from 2017. Top 10 lists have never really…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Unexpected Places – Defined Yamaha XS250

Unexpected Places – Defined Yamaha XS250

For most people, a small capacity Japanese bike probably doesn’t sound like an ideal trade-off for a classic Triumph TR6, but for ‘Defined Motorcycles’ owner Mick Scott it was a means to an end. While his TR6 sat in pieces he needed a runabout to keep him on the road. Wanting to…

Continue Reading
Return of the Cafe Racers - Cafe Contenders – Yamaha SR400 and SR500

Cafe Contenders – Yamaha SR400 and SR500

At some stage, the tide turned against Yamaha’s SR400 and SR500. It might just be that I’m in Australia and we’ve been saturated with years of Deus-built specials. But there’s been a rising level of snark towards cafe racers built around Yamaha’s evergreen classic. It seems that these days it takes a…

Continue Reading