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.
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 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 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 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 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 “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 “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 “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 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 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 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 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,… ...read more Yamaha Scorpio Cafe Racer by Jowo Kustom - The Yamaha SX225 -- aka the Scorpio Z -- is a 223cc thumper popular in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Australia, where it's often used as one of the country's Learner Approved Motorcycles (LAMS). The air-cooled,… ...read more 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… ...read more Yamaha XS750 Cafe Racer by Riko Loos - Silver Triple: 1979 Yamaha XS750 cafe racer! The Yamaha XS750 was a well-balanced, 67-hp Triple whose "exhaust note alone is worth the price of admission," said Cycle World. The bike is one of our favorite… ...read more 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… ...read more Yamaha XS400 Custom by Reier Motors - A lovely yellow lady from Austria... While its larger siblings get much of the attention, the Yamaha XS400 is quite the lovable machine. The 392cc air-cooled straight twin offered a punchy 32-36 horsepower, allowing the… ...read more Yamaha SX225 Cafe Racer by Jowo Kustom - Jowo Kustom has quickly become one of our favorite workshops operating out of Indonesia -- a custom culture hotbed. Founder Anes Marse credits many of the country's other talented craftsmen for influencing him to "build… ...read more Custom Yamaha TW125 “Tank” by Atelier Medusa - Today, we are thrilled to feature this 1999 Yamaha TW125 "Tank" -- a post-apocalyptic custom from Atelier Medusa, an up-and-coming workshop out of Northeast France. The engineering students behind Atelier Medusa share a love for… ...read more 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,… ...read more Yamaha XS850 Restomod by Brick House Builds - "Triple Trouble"...a three-cylinder Yamaha with modern upgrades... One of our favorite young builders in the country -- nay, the world -- is Bj English of Missouri's Brick House Builds. Bj has a penchant for building… ...read more Yamaha SR250 Restomod by Jadus - Jake Snowdon is a mechanical engineer living in Malmö, Sweden, who started his company, Jadus Motorcycle Parts, designing and producing a range of high-quality custom parts for specific models like the Yamaha SR250. Jake loves… ...read more Yamaha SR250 Brat by Greasers Garage - The Yamaha SR250 makes for a sweet little runabout -- particularly when it's touched by the hands of a gifted builder. This '83 SR250, nicknamed Diavoletta (Little She-Devil), was built as the city run-around machine… ...read more 5 Next-Level Yamaha SR250 Customs - (Written by Jake Snowdon of Jadus Motorcycle Parts. Our highlights.) There are many SR250 custom bikes. I could have made a top 50 list of my favourite SR250 customs actually, but these ones I present… ...read more Yamaha XS1100 Cafe Racer - "The XS is a Rolls Royce with a blown Chrysler Hemi motor..." So said Cycle Magazine of the Yamaha XS1100, aka the XS Eleven or XS11. When it was introduced in 1978, the XS1100 was… ...read more Yamaha XS850 Cafe Racer by Therapy Moto - 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… ...read more Yamaha XV750 Cafe Racer - Today we're thrilled to showcase a Yamaha XV750SE cafe racer by one of our favorite builders, Moto Adonis of The Netherlands. Daan and crew consistently turn out some of the most innovative and well-proportioned bikes… ...read more Yamaha XS750 Cafe Racer - Here at BikeBound, we're suckers for triples. There's something about the harmonics of three cylinders that rev the blood. Unfortunately, the Yamaha XS750 (and later XS850) never seem to get the same love as the… ...read more Yamaha RX King 135 Cafe Racer - Teguh Setiawan, an engineering student in Indonesia, built this beautiful two-stroke cafe racer in the garage of his boarding house with nothing but makeshift tools, Youtube videos, the help of a few close friends, and… ...read more Yamaha RD400 Custom by Keith Carlson - There is nothing quite like the blood-singing mania of screwing the throttle of a big two-stroke. Sadly, there are few of these blue-smoking screamers still around. Even at their height, the suspension and brakes of… ...read more Yamaha Virago 250 Cafe Racer - Some of our favorite builders started as racers, and Matt Fuller of Land O' Lakes, Florida, is such a one. A supermoto and flat-track veteran, he brings a purpose-driven focus to this '97 Yamaha XV250… ...read more