Icon 1000 Axys Collection

M/C Upper Yamaha XS650

Yamaha XS650 chopper by M/C Upper
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 shops.

The pictured XS650 is owned by a guy called Numa, and there’s an excellent profile on the XS650 Chopper site. The exhaust routing is inspired, and if the fairing looks vaguely familiar, it’s because it looks like it’s from a Ducati. This bike was commissioned from a lesser-known Japan custom builder called M/C Upper, and they’ve done a good job. They’re based in Kanazawa, a city famed for its smooth, sweet sake—and for producing huge quantities of gold leaf. I guess that might explain the glitter paintjob.