“A tracker scrambler cruiser that’s only missing a surfboard rack for the ultimate summer’s day.”
It’s tough not to love the Yamaha XS650. The air-cooled parallel twin motor is simple and beautiful, with solid punch, and the lines of the bike lend themselves to customization. Whereas the SR series gets a lot of well-deserved attention, the extra power of the XS650 is hard to beat.
Enter “Sydney Motorcycle Architect” Joseph Savor of Simple Sycles, who works out of his backyard building bikes, enlisting help from some trusted local specialists along the way. Recently, Joseph’s Yamaha SR500 scrambler graced the pages of none other than Bike EXIF. Now we’re thrilled to feature Joseph’s Yamaha XS650 “tracker scrambler cruiser” — complete with an extended SR500 swingarm, monoshock, and one of the sexiest XS650 exhaust setups we’ve ever seen.
Below, we get the full story on this genre-bending XS, along with some gorgeous shots from @jimrobinsonphoto.
Yamaha XS650 Monoshock Build: Builder Interview
• Please tell us a bit about yourself, your history with motorcycles, and your workshop.
I’m located in Sydney as Simple Sycles. Based in my backyard with just an instagram: @simple_sycles. No garage, just tarps to cover up once I’m done & always praying for no rain so I can keep working. It’s some part-time fun that I do alone.
While I do what I can I’ve found that there are brilliant people out there that are much more talented & well equipped to do what’s required. Over the 7 yrs I’ve met the people that are right for all the jobs required. It’s understanding that no matter what one may say, no one person is great at everything. Spread the love. It’s what has made the the process so enjoyable.
As much as I hate saying it, the best way I can describe myself is an architect. I know what I want, what looks good/pleasing to the eye, but for it to be achieved I need the right people along the way. I did however find all this out after my first bike purchase & trying everything myself and or going to one-stop bike shops & paying through the roof. Never again.
• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?
Yamaha XS650, 1981
• Why was this bike built?
I just had plenty of leftover parts from other SR project bikes. Thankfully the XS is like the big brother to the SR & parts either fit or require very little change. At the time I also had an SR400, but knew if I used these parts & style had planned, the engine capacity wouldn’t do it justice. With that in mind & a touch more work, the XS become the base bike.
• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?
Really was to make use of the parts I had, but my influence simply comes down to giving each bike the right line & removing as much as possible. I’m also a sucker for a monoshock. Love the space it frees up.
• What custom work was done to the bike?
- Sr400 extended swingarm with Progressive monoshock.
- R1 front end. Both these fitted by Greg Ball Engineering.
- CB360 gas tank modified to fit. Painted by @colourfuel.
- Full custom stainless exhaust.
- Modified subframe.
- Custom seat by @streamlinetrimming.
- Full Engine work & awesome tune by Carl at Cafe Racer in Bathurst.
• How would you classify this bike?
To me it’s a tracker scrambler cruiser that’s only missing a surfboard rack for the ultimate summers day.
• Was there anything done during this build that you are particularly proud of?
I’ve said that I love the monoshock, but my fav is the simplest thing. The rear tail light. Just love how it works & completes that rear perfectly.
Photos by @jimrobinsonphoto.