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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,…

XS650 Yamaha custom motorcycle


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…