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 XSR900 Racer Retro Triple: Yamaha “X-FZ900” Racer - FZ-Inspired XSR900 from Crazy Garage...   Chi-hyun Kim of South Korea’s Crazy Garage focuses on custom bikes that don’t just look good parked in the paddock or at the local cafe, but perform well on the… ...read more
Yamaha Virago 750 Cafe Racer “Bell” Yamaha Virago 750 Café Racer - Handbuilt at Skidmark Garage: Brandon Jackson's XV750 Cafe...  In recent years, we've seen a rise in the number of community DIY motorcycle garages across the nation and world. These garages are not only a great… ...read more
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… ...read more
YAMAHA XS650 CAFE RACER Ill-Fated Kustom: Yamaha XS650 Café Racer - Yamaha XS650 from Calgary's Ill-Fated Kustoms...  There are those dark moments in life when misfortune strikes and fate seems against us, fixed and irreversible. But such moments, if we're open to them, can also be… ...read more
Yamaha XS400 Custom Patent Pending: Yamaha XS400 “Roadster” - Innovative XS400 from Roman Juriš...   Introduced in 1976, the Yamaha XS400 came during a time when the major manufacturers were foreseeing the end of the two-stroke era and turning their attention to the development… ...read more
Yamaha XS650 Cafe Racer Cosmic Café: Yamaha XS650 Café Racer - Space-Gray Café from MacVittie Motorcycles...  Over the years, the Yamaha XS650 has earned a tongue-in-cheek nickname as "The Best British Bike Never Built." Introduced in 1969, this Japanese parallel-twin owed much to the style and… ...read more
Yamaha XSR900 Cafe Racer Café Racer Kit: Yamaha XSR900 C-S - Café-Sport: XSR900 C-S Kit from Hóo-Bué...  In 2016, Yamaha introduced the XSR900, which combined the highly-rated CP3 engine of the MT-09 with retro styling. Unlike most retros, however, the XSR didn't hark back to the… ...read more
Yamaha MT-07 Cafe Racer Stibnite Super7: Scratch-Built 700cc Café Racer - "I couldn’t own the name of being a bike-builder until I really did build one from scratch."  We're as guilty of it as anyone else. We often talk about bike "builds" and "builders," when the… ...read more
Yamaha TRX850 Cafe Racer The Meteor 850: Yamaha TRX850 Café Racer - The "Meteor 850" by Etto Motorcycles...  "A Ducati with Japanese reliability." That was the idea behind the Yamaha TRX850, introduced in 1996 to rival the Ducati 900SS, as well as Japanese V-twins like the Honda… ...read 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… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha XV750 Custom Fighter Big Bore Virago: 1050cc Yamaha XV750 Custom Fighter - Yamaha "XV1050" Virago from Purpose Built Moto...  There are certain donor bikes that turn up again and again in the custom world, and the Yamaha Virago (XV) is one such platform. Many years ago, builders… ...read 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,… ...read more
Yamaha XS650 Custom The Dark Horse: Yamaha XS650 Custom - Yasashii Garage's Yamaha XS650 Custom Roadster...  According to the Merriam Webster definition, a dark horse is "a usually little known contender (such as a racehorse) that makes an unexpectedly good showing." You could make a… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha SR500 Cafe Racer Omega Racer: Yamaha “SR534” Café Racer - Few bikes have provoked such a long-term love affair among riders as the Yamaha SR series. Born in the late 1970s from the XT500 enduro, the street-oriented SR400 and SR500 roadsters were Japanese versions of… ...read 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… ...read more
Yamaha MT07 Cafe Racer The W07 Project: Yamaha MT-07 Custom - For Sale: The W07 Project by Wayders...  Introduced in 2005, the Yamaha MT (Master of Torque) series of standard / naked bikes has been a highly-lauded hit among moto journalists and everyday riders, and the… ...read more
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