Yamaha XS650 custom motorcycle

Yamaha XS650 custom by An-Bu

Where to next for the custom motorcycle scene? Over the past ten years, raked-out choppers have faded away and ‘Brat Style’ bikes have dominated. The genre is named after the Tokyo-based workshop run by ‘Go’ Takamine, one of a handful of Japanese builders who took cheap commuter bikes and stripped them back to the basics,…

Yamaha cafe racer

An-Bu’s edgy, low-slung Yamaha cafe racer

In the port city of Nagoya, An-Bu builds stripped-back, edgy customs that manage to look both raw and slick at the same time. The small company is like a Japanese version of the Wrenchmonkees, with a similar knack of using stark color contrast to create high-impact bikes. This is one of An-Bu’s latest creations, a…

XS650 Yamaha custom motorcycle

AN-BU XS650

The Yamaha XS650 just will not die. The parallel twin appeared in 1968—like me—and thanks to cutting-edge unit construction and SOHC design, continued in production until 1985. That’s an extraordinary run for a motorcycle. And along with its SR400 stablemate and Honda’s CB series, the XS650 has become one of the most popular platforms for…