Yamaha XS750 Cafe Racer

Yamaha Cafe Racers

Yamaha has produced some of the most popular platforms for cafe racer builds, including the XS, SR, and two-stroke RD series of bikes. More recently, the company has sponsored the Yamaha Yard Built series, asking pro builders and dealers to build cafe racers and other custom specials based on their contemporary platforms, including the XSR700, XSR900, SCR950, V-Max, Bolt, and more. Below, you will find a wide selection of such Yamaha cafe racers, built in yards, sheds, garages, shops, and even in some living rooms.


Yamaha SR400 Race Bike Muscle Thumper: Yamaha SR400 Race Bike - Prama Motorworks builds a race-winning custom...in just four weeks!  Introduced back in 1978, the Yamaha SR400 would remain in production all the way until 2021, earning a cult following for its simplicity, ruggedness, and quick-revving… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha XS650 Cafe Racer Racer Reborn: Yamaha XS650 Café Racer - Purpose Built Moto builds a 700cc vintage twin café...  Tom Gilroy of Australia's Purpose Built Moto has climbed into the elite echelons of the custom bike world over the past several years, and his Signature… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha XJ600 Diversion Cafe Racer World’s Cheapest Café Racer? Yamaha XJ600 Diversion - Elcancro Motors builds a 1000€ Café Racer...and Scrambler!  The Yamaha XJ600S Diversion, better known as the Seca II here in the States, appeared in 1992 as a no-frills middleweight commuter with a 61-bhp air/oil-cooled eight-valve… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha Fazer 600 Cafe Racer Wreck to Racetrack: Yamaha Fazer 600 Café Racer - El Cancro Motors resurrects an FZS600...  Introduced in 1998, the Yamaha Fazer 600 (FZS600) would become one of the most popular, most capable middleweight all-rounders ever produced. The bike sported a 599cc 16-valve inline four… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha XJ600 Cafe Racer Fast & Furious: Yamaha XJ600 Café Racer - A Brotherly Bullet from Red Hot Chili Customs (RHCC)...  In 1984, Yamaha introduced the XJ600 (designated the FJ600 in the US), which featured a 72-bhp air-cooled DOHC inline four engine. For the first nine months… ...read more
Yamaha XJR1300 Cafe Racer Yamaha XJR1300 Café Racer: “Kojirō” - Dezmembrez Moto builds a high-tech XJR -- and it's for sale!  If we had to choose one model of the modern era that we wished we received here in North America, the Yamaha XJR1300 would… ...read more
Yamaha XJ650 Custom Built from Zero: Yamaha XJ750 “Bathara” - "Low, Burly, Roaring" -- Jowo Kustom's scratch-built custom...  Usually, when we ask a builder what bike served as the donor of a particular project, it's clear that some major part of the original frame remains… ...read more
Yamaha FJ600 XJ600 Cafe Racer Budget-Built: Yamaha XJ600 Café Racer - Rascal Motorcycles builds an XJ / FJ600 shop bike...  Introduced in 1984, the Yamaha XJ600 -- sold in North America as the FJ600 -- was a middleweight four-cylinder sports bike with a 72-bhp air-cooled engine.… ...read more
Yamaha XJR1300 Cafe Racer Beast Café: Yamaha XJR1300 - Hedgehog Motorcycles builds a beastly XJR...   The Yamaha XJR1300 was a proper old-school muscle bike. The air-cooled inline four powerplant began life in the 1984 FJ1100. By the time it reached the XJR1300 in… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha Virago Steampunk Ratbike Steampunk Virago: Yamaha XV1000 Rat Rod - Black Cycles Australia builds a "Steampunk Rat Bike"...  The rat bike has a long and storied tradition in the motorcycle world. Rat bikes are generally hard-ridden, uncleaned machines with plenty of rust, patina, road grime,… ...read 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… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha TR1 Cafe Racer Turbofan V-Twin: Yamaha XV1000 “TR1-R” - Ortolani Customs builds a race-inspired TR1...  Introduced in 1981, the Yamaha XV1000 TR1 was the biggest V-twin to roll out of Japan at the time, sporting a 980cc / 69-hp 75° V-twin. With the motor… ...read 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… ...read more
Virago 750 Cafe Racer Know Thyself: Yamaha XV750 Cafe Racer - Polish engineer builds one unique Virago 750...  In Latin, the phrase nosce te ipsum means to "know thyself."  This maxim was inscribed on the ancient Temple of Apollo, and writers, philosophers, poets, and luminaries over… ...read more
Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer Mean Green: Yamaha Virago 750 Café Racer - Jerem Motorcycles builds a mean, green XV750...  In the early 1980s, Yamaha introduced the XV750 Virago, their first V-twin "custom"-style cruiser. Though the air-cooled V-twin seemed like a completely novel design, it was actually well-rooted… ...read 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.… ...read more
Yamaha TR1 Cafe Racer Green V: Yamaha XV1000 TR1 Cafe Racer - Lys Motorcycles builds a sporty V-twin Yamaha...  In 1981, the Yamaha XV1000 TR1 appeared in European showrooms. Though it bore close semblance to the shaft-drive Virago series, the 980cc V-twin TR1 featured a fully enclosed… ...read 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… ...read 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… ...read 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… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha XV950 Street Tracker Speed Iron: Yamaha XV950 by Moto di Ferro - A tracker-inspired Yard-Built Special from Italy... The Yamaha XV950, better known as the Star Bolt on US shores, is a Japanese cruiser with a 942cc air-cooled, fuel-injected 60° V-twin producing 51 horsepower and 59 foot-pounds… ...read more
Yamaah XJR1300 Cafe Racer Samurai Style: Yamaha XJR1300 “Kintarō” by Sculpt Moto - A big bore café inspired by Japanese folklore... The Yamaha XJR1300 was a modern incarnation of the air/oil-cooled muscle bikes of the 70s and 80s, a 1251cc brute that boasted twin shocks, a braced swingarm,… ...read more
Yamaha SR500 Cafe Racer Super Single: Yamaha SR500 Cafe Racer by Spero Floro - Truck mechanic Spero Floro builds one hot thumper... The Yamaha SR500 remains one of the world's most beloved singles, a street version of the iconic XT500 enduro. When a street bike begins life as a… ...read more
Yamaha XS400 Cafe Racer Wild Horse: Yamaha XS400 by A.G. Custom Motorcycles - "Everything you need to ride on the roads of the Basque country." The Yamaha XS400 was the company's middleweight four-stroke, offered from 1977-1982. The SOHC parallel-twin made 36 horsepower, good for a top speed of… ...read more
Yamaha XJR1300 Custom Japanese Muscle: Yamaha XJR1300 “Geisha” by Unik Edition - The Yamaha XJR1300 was a fire-breathing brute of a machine, a two-wheeled muscle car whose air-cooled engine could be traced back to the 1980s. By the time the 1251cc powerplant found its way into the… ...read 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,… ...read more
Yamaha Virago 1100 Cafe Racer “Iron Man” Virago 1100 Cafe Racer by LV Custom - The Virago was Yamaha's first series of V-twin machines, and the XV1100 was the king cruiser of the line, featuring a 62-hp engine and some of the best handling and brakes in all of cruiser… ...read more
Yamaha Virago 920 Cafe Racer Virago 920 “YamaDuci” by Augment Motorworks - A Japanese-Italian love story... The Virago series was Yamaha's first entrée into world of V-twin cruisers, and one of the first motorcycle mass-produced with a monoshock rear suspension. It was a bold move for Yamaha… ...read more
Yamaha XS1100 Cafe Racer The Raven: Yamaha XS1100 “Il Corvino” by Licari Co. - At its introduction in 1978, the 95-hp Yamaha XS1100 -- aka the XS Eleven -- was the world's fastest production motorcycle, clocking off the quarter mile in 11.78 seconds -- a time unmatched by any… ...read more
Virago 750 Cafe Racer WKND Virago: Yamaha XV750 by De Stijl Moto - A JDM-inspired Virago from Portland... Introduced in 1981, the Yamaha XV750 Virago was the company's first foray into the market for V-twin cruisers, featuring mono-shock rear suspension, shaft-drive, and an air-cooled 75° V-twin producing 55… ...read more
Yamaha XS400 Cafe No XS: Yamaha XS400 Twin(s) - Introduced in 1976, the Yamaha XS400 was highly anticipated in the industry. After all, its two-stroke sibling, the RD400, had been the fastest of the 400s, and everyone was curious what Yamaha could do with… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha XV920 Cafe Racer Art of the Possible: Virago XV920 “Alpha” by ASE Custom motorcycles - The Yamaha Virago was the company's first series of V-twin cruisers, featuring 75° air-cooled engines with shaft drive and mono-shock chassis. From 1981-1983, the Virago XV920 was the top of the line, offering a 920cc,… ...read more
Yamaha Virago Cafe Bobber Handbuilt in Texas: Jackson 5AM V2.0 - "We don’t build custom Yamahas, Hondas, etc. We build Jacksons." The XV750 Virago, launched in 1981, was Yamaha's first entry into the V-twin cruiser arena. It was a slightly funky machine, with an air-cooled 75°… ...read more
Yamaha SR400 Cafe racer Yamaha “SR534” Cafe Racer by Yuya Ueda - "Mechanical vibes like an old piston engine fighter..." Few motorcycles have garnered the cult following of the air-cooled, single-cylinder Yamaha SR series. Part of the appeal must be the straightforward, no-frills nature of the SR's… ...read more
Yamaha SR500 Cafe Fighter Yamaha “SR534” Cafe Fighter by Hilt’s Chopper’z -   The Yamaha SR500, introduced in 1978, was an air-cooled, big-single street bike powered by a 32-hp version of the XT500 engine. In order to make the SR as easy to use as possible, the… ...read more
Yamaha XS400 Custom “La Gypsy”: Yamaha XS400 by Kacerwagen - The Yamaha XS400 was built from 1976 to 1982, offering a 36-hp parallel twin engine and 6-speed gearbox, along with some nice features like an automatic petcock and self-canceling turn signals. The bike came in… ...read more
Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer Yamaha Virago 750 “GTS” by 074 Customs - When Yamaha engineers were designing the XV750 -- aka the Virago 750 -- they surely didn't realize that this funky V-twin cruiser -- Yamaha's first! -- would be resurrected as a cafe racer some forty… ...read more
Yamaha XSR700 Cafe Racer Yamaha XSR700 “Cafe Tracker” by Espiat - The Yamaha XSR700 was designed with the help of none other than Shinya Kimura of Chabott Engineering, one of the world's most esteemed custom builders. Yamaha wished to build from the classic aesthetics of the… ...read more
Yamaha RD350 Track Bike Track Racer: Yamaha RD350 by Moto Exotica - The Yamaha RD350 is one of our favorite two-stroke street bikes, a 39-horsepower parallel twin that featured Autolube oil injection and a similar frame to the Yamaha TZ350 racer. In most countries, the bike was… ...read more
Yamaha XV750 Virago Cafe Racer Yamaha XV750 Virago Custom by De Stijl Moto - The Yamaha XV750 -- aka the Virago 750 -- was a V-twin cruiser with an air-cooled, 55-hp engine and shaft drive. Introduced in 1981, the middleweight Virago would remain in production until 1998 -- one… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha XJ650 Cafe Racer “Cafe Sleeper” Yamaha XJ650/900 by Eastern Spirit - For Sale: 900cc "Cafe Sleeper" from the Polish Master... The shaft-driven Yamaha XJ650, introduced in 1980, is an often-overlooked machine. The bike boasted an air-cooled, twin-cam, 650cc inline four good for 73 horsepower. With a… ...read more