Suzuki GT380 Cafe Racer

Two-Stroke Cafe Racers

There’s nothing quite like the banshee wail of a 2-stroke cafe racer, screaming through the pines, or the ghostly blue smoke left in the wake of such a machine. The manic powerband of legendary two-strokes like the Kawasaki triples earned them the nickname “Widowmakers.” For many, the very smell of two-stroke oil is as nostalgic as grandmother’s apple pie. Here at, we are big fans of two-stroke specials, and we’re proud of some of the incredible ones we’ve been able to showcase.


Yamaha RD400 Cafe Racer A-SPEC: Liquid-cooled Yamaha RD400 Café Racer - Armen Spec: Yamaha RD400(LC) from Armen Manougian...   One of the bikes that stood out most to us at the 2024 Handbuilt Show was this stunning Yamaha RD400 from our new friend Armen Manougian -- a… more
Suzuki RG500 Gamma Custom Naked Gamma: Custom Suzuki RG500 - "A screaming riot of two-stroke lunacy" from ETTO Motorcycles...  Introduced in 1985, the Suzuki RG500 Gamma was closely patterned after Suzuki's 500cc Grand Prix bikes, which had earned four world titles and 50 GP victories… more
Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer Race Bike, for the Street: Yamaha RD350 Café Racer - "A vintage race bike without fairings...but for the street."   This was the vision Jesse Crane (@crane_moto) had for the 1975 Yamaha RD350 café racer you see here. You might remember Jesse from his '71 Yamaha… more
Yamaha RD350 Custom For You, Old Fox: Yamaha RD350 Custom - Cus'Tom Motorcycles rebuilds his father's RD...  The Yamaha RD350 was one of the great giant-killers of the two-wheeled world, a two-stroke street machine with a race-bred bloodline. In AMA Class C racing, the RD racers… more
2023 Yamaha RZ350 40th Anniversary Edition: 2023 Yamaha RZ350! - What if Yamaha and Bimota teamed up to build a 40th anniversary RZ350?  That's the question San Francisco-based engineer and road racer Julian Farnam asked himself. Of course, that would entail combining the legendary liquid-cooled,… more
Yamaha R5 Cafe Racer Lightweight Giant-Killer: Yamaha R5 350 Café Racer - Crane Moto's 295-lb two-stroke giant-killer...  In 1970, Yamaha introduced the R5 350, featuring a steel duplex cradle frame derived from the company's Grand Prix chassis and a 36-hp two-stroke parallel-twin engine -- features that made… more
Ducati Banshee Ducati Banshee: 350cc Two-Stroke Monster - A Japanese-Italian Smoker from Moto Vera...   Yamaha's aptly-named Banshee 350 is one of the most legendary quads of all time. Introduced in 1987, it earned a cult following for the staggering pump-gas power potential… more
The Mutant The Mutant: 421cc Two-Stroke Skorpion! - Vic Shield's RZ421-Powered MZ Skorpion!  In 1994, former East German motorcycle maker MuZ -- aka MZ -- introduced the Skorpion, a single-cylinder sport bike with a race-style chassis and 660cc Yamaha engine.  This crossbred machine… more
Yamaha RD421 Cheetah Cub: Yamaha RD421LC Restomod / Hybrid - Colin White's 421cc Cheetah Cub LC...  In 1980, Yamaha introduced the RD350LC (Liquid Cooled) as the successor to the air-cooled RD400, along with a 250cc version aimed at the British learners' market. The "Elsie" quickly… more
Yamaha RD400 Cafe Racer Scary Fun: Yamaha RD400 Café Racer - Two-Stroke Smoker from Hawai’i's Speedychoppy Builds...  In 1976, the Yamaha RD400 appeared as the successor to the RD350, which had become a legend in its own time. Instead of simply overboring the 350, Yamaha created… more
Yamaha RD350 YPVS F2 Cafe Racer Gulf Special: Yamaha RD350 YPVS F2 Café Racer - Bolt Motor Co. builds a stunning two-stroker...  At its unveiling in 1982, the Yamaha RD350 YPVS -- known as the RZ350 in North America -- was called "the nearest thing to a road going racer… more
Yamaha RD350 YPVS Cafe Racer The Cosmic Rider: Yamaha RD350 YPVS - For Sale: Blechmann's Two-Stroke Stunner!  Bernhard "Blechmann" Naumann is one of Europe's most highly regarded builders, known especially for his metal-shaping skills. Hence his nickname, "Blechmann" -- The Tin Man.  Bernhard grew up in a… more
Yamaha RZ350 Hybrid Restomod Yellow Hornet: Yamaha RZ350 Hybrid / Restomod - For Sale: 1983 Hybrid RZ350... The Yamaha RZ350 was one of the last, most advanced two-stroke street bikes of all time, incorporating decades of two-stroke research and development. Known as the RD350 YPVS in the… more
Yamaha RD443LC Two-Stroke Giant-Killer: Yamaha RD443LC Hybrid - Mark Goulding builds one wicked "Elsie"...  In 1980, the Yamaha RD250LC arrived, a liquid-cooled 247cc / 35-bhp two-stroke street machine destined to become one of motorcycling's great hooligan machines. In the UK, the "Elsie" satisfied… more
Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer Two-Stroke Gold: Yamaha RD350 Café Racer - For Sale: "Goldhead" RD350 by Twin Line Motorcycles... The Yamaha RD350 remains one of the sweetest, most well-balanced two-strokes of the 1970s -- and one of motorcycling's great giant-killers, both on the track and the… more
Langen Two Stroke The Langen: A Modern Street-Legal Two-Stroke Sports Bike! - The Langen Two Stroke: 250cc, 265 pounds, 76 bhp...  Here at BikeBound, we have a soft spot for two-stroke street bikes. There's just something about the size, scent, and sensations of a two-stroke that call… more
Two-Stroke Corner Carver: KTM 300 SALT Café Racer - SALT Motorcycles introduces a 52-hp, 245-pound two-stroke café racer...  The KTM 300 EXC TPI is one of the world's most accomplished enduro machines, a lightweight modern two-stroke with Transfer Port Injection and a dry weight… more
Yamaha RD350B Cafe Racer Café Mod: Yamaha RD350B by Marthijn Kip - A 70s Café Smoker from the Netherlands...  For many of us, at some point in our lives, motorcycles have been more than just a hobby,  adventure, or even a profession -- they've been a lifeline.… more
Suzuki T500 Cafe Racer Two-Stroke Titan: Suzuki T500 by Spencer Motoworks -  A Tracked Combat Vehicle engineer builds himself a two-stroke custom...  During the mid-1960s to 70s, when other manufacturers were touting the straight-line dragstrip performance of their two-stroke screamers -- bikes with whisker-wide powerbands and widowmaker… more
Kawasaki S3 Restomod Cafe Racer El Citron: Kawasaki S3 Two-Stroke Triple by Motobrix - “El Citron? This thing should have been called El Diablo...”  In 1974, Kawasaki unveiled the S3 Mach II, a 400cc two-stroke street triple with 42 hp and a dry weight of 339 pounds. The bike… more
Yamaha RD350LC Restomod Orange Crush: Yamaha RD350LC Hybrid - Dusty Miller builds an electric orange giant-killer... The Yamaha RD350LC was the first liquid-cooled evolution of the RD series, which appeared in 1980 to succeed the air-cooled RD400. It had the same bore and stroke… more
Yamaha RD400 Hybrid White Heat: Yamaha RD400 Hybrid - Retired firefighter Dusty Miller builds one hot RD! In 1975, the Yamaha RD400 appeared as the evolution of the RD350, featuring 51cc more displacement, new cases/barrels/head, a new airbox design, and a rubber-mounted engine. "The… more
Yamaha 350 YPVS Cafe Racer Two-Stroke Hybritza: Yamaha 350 YPVS Cafe Racer - A project dream for 30+ years! At the Cologne Motorcycle Show in late 1982, Yamaha unveiled their new RD350 YPVS, featuring the breakthrough Yamaha Power Valve System, which utilized a servo motor to change the… more
Kawasaki H2 Restomod Triple Black: Kawasaki H2 by Vinny Borbone - A vintage racer builds one bad two-stroke street bike... The Kawasaki H2 was one of the most uncompromising motorcycles ever produced, a 750cc two-stroke "Widowmaker" triple that was loud, smoky, crude, and scarily fast, cutting… more
Yamaha RD350LC restomod Box of Dynamite: Yamaha RD465LC Restomod - A modernized "Elsie" with a dyno-proven 103.7 bhp! The Yamaha RD350LC was the successor of the RD400, featuring the same bore and stroke as the original air-cooled RD350 (64x54mm) but with liquid cooling and a… more
Kawasaki KR800 Green Meanie: Kawasaki “KR800” Triple - Triple Trouble: 800cc, 130-hp Kawasaki two-stroke triple from Ralf Kraemer... The Kawasaki H1 Mach III hit showroom floors in 1968, a 500cc two-stroke triple that cost less than $1000 and could outrun nearly any muscle… more
MZ 250 Bobber Old East Metal: MZ ETZ 250 (350cc) Bobber - A two-stroke bobber from the founding city of MZ... MZ, which stands for Motorenwerke Zschopau (Zschopau Engine Works), began building motorcycles in 1922, making them one of the world's oldest motorcycle manufacturers, and the factory… more
Suzuki GT185 Cafe Racer Two-Stroke Café Racer: Suzuki GT185 Adventurer - Milwaukee's Steve Baugrud builds one sweet smoker... In 1973, Suzuki unveiled the GT185 Adventurer, a 21-hp air-cooled two-stroke parallel twin with Ram Air, crank case oil injection, electric start, and a front disc brake.  The… more
Yamaha RD400 Cafe Racer Lightweight Monster: Yamaha RD400 Café Racer - "Like riding a lightweight monster..." --Derek Molinski, Bikeshop DM In late 1975, Yamaha introduced the RD400 -- a stroked and updated evolution of the 350, featuring a rubber-dampened engine, disc brakes, longer reach spark plug,… more
Kawasaki S2 Cafe Racer Two-Stroke Triple: Kawasaki S2 “V2.0” by Brian Cox - In 1972, Kawasaki introduced the S2 Mach II, a 350cc two-stroke triple that made 45 horsepower at 8000 rpm and weighed 330 pounds. Unlike its legendary big sibling, the widow-making 500cc H1 Mach III, the… more
Aprilia RS125 Custom La Mama: Aprilia “RS154” by AG Custom - "La Mama" -- a GP-inspired two-stroke, created in tribute to the builder's mother... Built from 1994 to 2012, the Aprilia RS125 was a street-legal two-stroke GP replica, derived from the company's racing success in the… more
Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer Race Derived: Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer by MotoExotica - A 1984 (!) Yamaha RD350 from the Himalayan foothills... The Yamaha RD350 is one of our favorite two-stroke street bikes, a parallel-twin standard that boasted 39 horsepower, Autolube oil injection, best-in-class brakes, and lovely colors… more
Suzuki GT750S Vallelunga 2-Stroke Racing Special: Suzuki GT750S Vallelunga - Introduced in 1971, the Suzuki GT750 Le Mans -- affectionately known as the "Water Buffalo" or "Kettle"-- was the first liquid-cooled production motorcycle from Japan, a 739cc, three-cylinder two-stroke street machine that boasted 67 horsepower… more
Kawasaki H1 Cafe Racer Triple Trouble: Framecrafters / Kawasaki H1 Cafe Racer - "I put a tricked out H1 engine with the left and right cylinders reversed into a Framecrafters road race frame and put lights on it." This was the cryptic message we recently from Mike McSween… more
Yamaha R5 Cafe Racer Yamaha R5 Cafe Racer by Zanutto Engineering - The Yamaha R5, introduced in 1970, was the first of Yamaha's new generation of two-stroke parallel twin "giant-killers" -- a design architecture which would evolve into the RD350, RD400, and even the liquid-cooled RZ350/RD350LC. Lee… more
Suzuki T500 Titan Cafe Racer “Alpina” Suzuki T500M Cafe Racer by Paul Courbot - Paul Courbot of Titan Performance rebuilds the T500 he's owned since age 19! The Suzuki T500 Titan, introduced in 1969, quickly earned a reputation as one of the best big two-strokes of the era, proving… more
Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer Sick RD: Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer - Yamaha RD350 Giant Killer from California... The Yamaha RD350 is one of our favorite two-stroke street machines of the 1970s. The 39-horsepower parallel twin could compete with larger bikes due to its excellent power-to-weight ratio,… more
Yamaha RD350 Cafe Racer Ideal RD: Yamaha “RD380” YPVS Café Racer - The ideal RD, built by the man who wrote the book on Yamaha Two-Strokes... The Yamaha RD350 YPVS type 31 -- sold in the US as the Yamaha RZ350 -- was one of the most… more
Yamaha RZ350 Restomod Yamaha RZ350 Restomod - "When you downshift, people look around like the antichrist just landed..." The Yamaha RZ350 was one of the most modern two-stroke street bikes ever sold in North America.  It had triple disc brakes, 18-inch wheels, oil… more
Kawasaki KX500 Cafe Racer “Street Lethal” Kawasaki KX500 Cafe Racer - Meet the ultimate lightweight, big bore 2-stroke street weapon... The Kawasaki KX500 is one of the most notorious motorcycles ever built -- a fire-breathing 2-stroke legend of motocross and desert racing whose power delivery has… more
Yamaha RZ350 Custom Restomod Yamaha RZ350 Restomod by Keith Carlson - Dragon Slayer: 2-stroke weapon built for the Tail of the Dragon... Indiana's Keith Carlson, who specializes in two-stroke builds, is one of our very favorite builders. Each year, Keith and his friend Steve Hoy of… more
Yamaha RD350 Brat Cafe Yamaha RD350 Custom by Moto Exotica - Two-stroke cafe racer from the foot of the Himalayas! Arjun Raina of India's Moto Exotica, set in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains, has made a name for himself building Yamaha RD350 customs. In fact,… more
Suzuki GT380 Cafe Racer Suzuki GT380 Café Racer by Café Cycles - The Suzuki GT380 was a two-stroke triple with ram air cooling and 38 horsepower on tap. The lighter weight sibling of the GT500 and GT750, this bantamweight smoker makes for one nifty cafe racer candidate.… more
Handbuilt Show 2018: Two-Strokes - The 2018 Handbuilt Motorcycle Show, which took place during Austin's MotoGP weekend last month, proved to be the biggest and best yet. Hosted by Revival Cycles and BMW Motorrad USA, the Handbuilt Show aims at… more
Yamaha RZ350 Custom Cafe Racer Yamaha RZ350 “Lab Rat” by Swinndustries - The Lab Rat - a modern two-stroke screamer... The RZ350 was the final evolution of Yamaha's two-stroke RD series street bikes -- a liquid-cooled, dual-carb street weapon with 60 horsepower on tap, a wild powerband,… more
Yamaha RX 115 Cafe Racer Yamaha RX 115 Cafe Racer by Yohansuper - The Yamaha RX 115 is a lightweight 2-stroke naked bike had enjoyed a production run of more than 25 years, from 1981 to 2008. With a 15-hp engine and top speed of 99 mph, the… more
Suzuki A100 Cafe Racer Suzuki A100 Cafe Racer: “Halimun” - GP-inspired, 2-stroke tribute to Barry Sheene! The Suzuki A100 was a small displacement 2-stroke that the company called a "sportcycle" built for "sprinting around town." The 98cc engine was good for 10-hp, pushing the 183-lb… more
Suzuki T500 Titan Road Racer Suzuki T500 Road Race Tribute by Weberwerks - A street-legal, 2-stroke vintage road racer... In the early 60s, East Germany's MZ team rider Ernst Degner escaped the Iron Curtain to work for Suzuki, using the knowledge he gained from 2-stroke genius Walter Kaaden… more
Suzuki TS400 Cafe Racer Suzuki TS400 Cafe Racer by Metal Works Utah - From two-stroke enduro to smokin' cafe racer... The Suzuki TS400 Apache was the largest of the Suzuki TS series of two-stroke dual sports -- a 277-lb, 34-hp enduro "built to take on the country." Cycle… more
Suzuki GT550 Cafe Racer Suzuki GT550 Cafe Racer by Macdonald Hastings Design (MHD) -   Two-Stroke Street Weapon...with Patina If you've been following us for any length of time, you know we love the smell of two-stroke oil in the morning. Smells like...victory. Enter Ewen Macdonald and his 1974… more