Yamaha XS850 Cafe Racer by Therapy Moto

Yamaha XS850 Cafe Racer

Few of us would argue that building and riding bikes is good therapy. Not free therapy, mind you–but good. Lars Engelsviken of Norway’s Therapy Moto has taken that notion to heart. He says:

“Therapy Moto is my private garage. It’s therapy for me to make these bikes.”

We first discovered Lars when he built possibly the finest Honda CX500 brat cafe we have ever seen. Now the Norseman is back with an ’81 Yamaha XS850 cafe build–dubbed the “XS900”–and she’s a doozy.

XS850 Cafe Racer

The XS850, a shaft-driven Triple introduced in 1980, was a larger displacement evolution of the XS750. The bike received larger pistons/barrels, a more robust crankshaft, larger Hitachi carbs, a wider Hi-Vo primary chain, and better oil ways. The overbored motor was up to 826cc, producing 79 horsepower–good for a quarter mile time of 13.3 seconds.


There is something inherently sexy about a Triple, and Lars has brought the hidden beauty of this three-throated machine to light.  She’s long, low, lean–built like a knife, with those tires giving her a serrated edge. We love that Lars went with an original XS750 tank–one of the prettiest OEM tanks every produced, in our opinion.


He punched out the motor to 900cc, and built the seat and seat pan from scratch.  The inverted forks are from a Ducati, with brakes supplied by Aprilia and Yamaha. Motogadget electronics keep the lines clean and tight. Lars was aiming for a minimalist aesthetic, which he certainly achieved. Build specs below.

“XS900” Cafe Racer:  Builder’s Specs

  • It is a XS 850 from 81.
  • Bought by me in original shape.
  • And teared down and build it to what it is today.
  • Now it is 900 ccm, 750 tank.
  • Seat and seatpan are oneoff.
  • Front from a Ducati, with brakes from Aprilia and Yamaha
  • Electric from Motogadget.
  • Small and minimalistic as possible.

Follow the Builder:  @engelsviken

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  1. May sound backward but how do you guys manage to eliminate the battery??

  2. Hello, i like you’re xs 850 verry much. I’m also busy with a 850 from 1981. Hell of a job?. I have a question for you. I like your seat, i don’t want a race seat. I like the seat you have. Now is my question for you.. where do you put your battery? I’m from Holland, so i hope you understand my question. Thank you so much. Greetings.

  3. Truly a special build – I am an XS fan ( have an XS 400, hoping to do a 500 next)- The overall cleanliness, simplicity and minimalismjust amazing. The tank and the exhaust are also great pieces. Congrats and thanks to you and Bikebound for sharing this!

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