Yamaha motorcycles

  • Yamaha SR500 by Blitz

    Yamaha SR500 by Blitz

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Blitz Motorcycles of France kicked up a storm when we featured their BMW R60/2 last month. It was raw and dark, and Blitz have continued the theme with their latest build—’Honda Tank‘. Despite that tank, it’s actually a 1993 Yamaha SR500. And the grungy looks… Read more »

  • Yamaha TX650 custom

    Yamaha TX650 custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Yamaha’s XS650 has become one of the ubiquitous custom platforms. With a production run of around 13 years from 1970 onwards, there are still plenty around. This custom is the second project from a new Australian outfit called the Modern Motor Cycle Company; it isn’t… Read more »

  • Yamaha XJR 1200 custom

    Yamaha XJR 1200 custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    In the mid 90s, the XJR 1200 was Yamaha’s foray into the increasingly popular ‘naked’ bike market. And it was no slouch, with a reported top speed of 220kph (136mph). Fast forward a decade, and here’s an even faster XJR 1200—built in 2006 by German… Read more »

  • LC Fabrications

    LC Fabrications

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    Jeremy Cupp of LC Fabrications is a true original when it comes to building bikes, renowned for his ‘antique’ customs such as TT Deluxe. So this ’79 XS650 custom, called ‘Chicken Salad’ is a departure from Cupp’s usual style. Cupp got the bike from a… Read more »

  • XS650 Eight Ball Boy

    XS650 Eight Ball Boy

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    You can always rely upon prolific Italian builder Filippo Barbacane to come up with something different. The latest creation from his Officine Rosso Puro stable is ‘Eight Ball Boy’ a high-ridin’ street tracker based on the Yamaha XS650. (The stance reminds me of House Rockers’… Read more »

  • Yamaha XS650 bobber

    Yamaha XS650 bobber

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    Motoshop Tonouchi has done it again. After grabbing attention with their retro BMW-inspired Sportster custom, they’ve created one of the tastiest XS650-based bikes we’ve seen for a while. The ‘Heritage Special’ reprises the monochromatic look, with sleek, perfectly judged bodywork—note the lovely curved panels under… Read more »

  • Yamaha DT-1

    Yamaha DT-1

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,

    The 1968 DT-1 is more than a contender for Yamaha’s most important motorcycle. It’s a bike that broke things wide open for the entire Japanese motorcycle industry. Words by Mitch Boehm, Editor & Publisher of Moto Retro Illustrated. Photos by Joe Bonnello and Ed Burke… Read more »

  • Yamaha Virago custom

    Yamaha Virago custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    One of the most underrated custom platforms has got to be Yamaha’s Virago. It first appeared as the XV750 in 1981, and made an immediate impact—to the point where it was one of the bikes that prompted a US tariff on imported motorcycles over 700… Read more »

  • Yamaha TX650

    Yamaha TX650

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    When is an XS650 not an XS650? When it’s a TX650. Owner Chad Goings posted his bike on our Facebook page, and after the comments lit up, I contacted him for more information. His Yamaha is a 1973 model, but it’s effectively just a name… Read more »

  • Yamaha RD350

    Yamaha RD350

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,,

    By guest writer Tom Stewart. Hard core café racers are generally built for show and go—there aren’t many built for daily commuting and long-distance touring. But this air-cooled Yamaha RD350B, purchased new in 1975 by the late British racer Howard Lees, didn’t stay in standard… Read more »

  • AN-BU XS650

    AN-BU XS650

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    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… Read more »

  • 1979 Yamaha HL500 Replica

    1979 Yamaha HL500 Replica

  • Chris Hunter Classic Motorcycles ,

    Down here in Australia, winter is starting to draw in. We don’t get bad winters—certainly not cold enough to warrant having a ‘riding season’—but when I saw these pictures, I immediately thought that a little snow’s a good thing. Especially if you have a supercool… Read more »

  • Yamaha XS650 cafe racer

    Yamaha XS650 cafe racer

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    A few months ago, one of the leading Australian motorcycling magazines was redesigned. (I shall avoid naming it to protect the guilty.) It was admittedly looking a little staid and nondescript, but now it’s worse—it’s virtually unreadable. Every page and every gaudy little detail is… Read more »

  • Yamaha V Star 650

    Yamaha V Star 650

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    What do you do if you’re saddled with a small metric cruiser you don’t particularly want? Sky Fleming, a reader from Utah, found himself in this situation recently. He got a Yamaha V Star 650 in trade for an ATV, and instantly developed a dislike… Read more »

  • Yamaha YZR500 OW35K

    Yamaha YZR500 OW35K

  • Chris Hunter Racing Motorcycles ,

    By guest writer Richard Fowler of Motorsport Retro. When a young Kenny Roberts first ventured to Europe in 1978 to ride in the 500cc World Championship, no one was expecting him to be a title contender. But he was armed with the brutal Yamaha YZR500… Read more »

  • Yamaha Maxam CP250

    Yamaha Maxam CP250

  • Chris Hunter Production Motorcycles ,

    When I first stumbled across this odd scooter, I thought it was one of those concepts that would never see the light of day. And yes, the Maxam CP250 did start life as a concept—way back in 2005. But then Yamaha put it into production.… Read more »

  • Yamaha Seca custom

    Yamaha Seca custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    I guess you could call this motorcycle a ‘real world’ custom. It’s Jon Fife’s Yamaha XJ650/900 Turbo Seca prototype, and it comes from a desire to create the perfect sport tourer. It’s a story of painstaking upgrades and modifications over the years, and the quality… Read more »

  • Carefully Considered Mac

    Carefully Considered Mac

  • Chris Hunter Concept Motorcycles ,,

    Mac is a startup motorcycle manufacturer based in rural England. You might remember that the company caused a flurry of excitement a few months ago, when it released images of four café racer bikes designed by Xenophya. Production plans seemed to be in place, with… Read more »

  • AFT Customs Er Hed

    AFT Customs Er Hed

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    This isn’t a vintage Harley custom: it’s a cleverly-crafted 21st century Yamaha that took first prize in the ‘metric’ class at last year’s World Championship of Custom Bike Building. Er Hed was designed by Jim Giuffra of California-based AFT Customs, which bills itself as ‘the… Read more »

  • Yamaha XT600Z Ténéré

    Yamaha XT600Z Ténéré

  • Chris Hunter Production Motorcycles ,

    In the late 70s, ‘dual sport’ or ‘enduro’ style bikes with long-range fuel tanks were starting to attract attention in Europe. In Japan, Yamaha took notice. In 1981, they started work on a production version of the motorcycles racing in events such as the Paris… Read more »

  • Yamaha RD350 custom

    Yamaha RD350 custom

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    In the early 70s, the Yamaha RD350 set the motorcycling world on fire. It was light, rapid and unforgiving: in the right hands, it could comfortably see off a 750. In the wrong hands, it was a one-way ticket to the hospital. This restored and… Read more »

  • M/C Upper Yamaha XS650

    M/C Upper Yamaha XS650

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    Yamaha’s XS650 is one of those bulletproof, long-running Japanese motorcycles that have insinuated themselves into popular—and custom—culture. It appeared in 1968 and was produced for almost twenty years with only minor changes, and today, it’s second only to the SR400/500 in popularity with Japanese custom… Read more »

  • Yamaha SR500 tracker

    Yamaha SR500 tracker

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles

    Giannis of Speed Junkies bought this 1981 SR500 from an owner who thought the bike had a transmission problem—but it just needed a clutch adjustment. After fixing that, he decided to convert the bike into a tracker, doing most of the work himself. “I didn’t… Read more »

  • Vicente Design

    Vicente Design

  • Chris Hunter Custom MotorcyclesRacing Motorcycles ,

    You may know Jean-François Vicente. He used to run a French retro custom outfit, VD Classic, that we’ve featured before. J-F has a new company now, called Vicente Design—and he’s pursuing a more eclectic style of bike building. “One day I woke up thinking twenty… Read more »

  • Death Spray Custom

    Death Spray Custom

  • Chris Hunter ArtistsCustom Motorcycles ,,

    We first noticed David Gwyther of Death Spray Custom a year or so ago, when he was painting motorcycle helmets and skateboards better than anyone else. The London-based artist is now aiming for the big time, with a raft of cool collaborations to his name—including… Read more »

  • Yamaha XS650 tracker

    Yamaha XS650 tracker

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,,

    The king of street tracker style in the US is Mule Motorcycles‘ Richard Pollock. Right now he’s working on a Yamaha for a customer in Vancouver, Canada—and here’s a sneak preview. The project began as a request for a frame, but soon turned into an… Read more »

  • Yamaha SR400 by Luxe Motorcycle

    Yamaha SR400 by Luxe Motorcycle

  • Chris Hunter Custom Motorcycles ,

    Luxe is one of the smaller Japanese custom builders. They’re based in a little white-painted wooden workshop at the foot of Mount Akagi, and like most of their ilk, stick to the four staple ingredients of the Eastern scene: the Yamaha SR400, SR500 and XS650,… Read more »