Yamaha XS650 flat tracker

Yamaha XS650
Drogo Michie wanted a bike for the streets of London, and chose a stock 1978 Yamaha XS650 as his starting point. “There’s no reinventing the wheel here, nor a huge amount of bespoke fabrication,” he says. “My three lovely children’s habit of eating most of my money ensured that!”

He took the bike to the Redmax Speed Shop, and got a chopped and rebuilt rear end, a Champion seat, a Trackmaster tank and an inverted Sparto rear light—plus a fork brace, powder coating, and Koni rear shocks. The lovely pipes are from Co-built, and have removable baffles. “My left thigh is currently in delicate negotiation with the rest of my body about whether the pipes need a heat shield,” says Drogo.

Yamaha XS650
The paint is inspired by a mid 70s BSA flat tracker, and was done by Kevin Hooper—who normally specializes in vintage Jaguars and Aston Martins. Despite the bike being designed for urban side streets, Drogo will be flat track racing in the UK novice class this year, under the wing of Redmax, Sideburn and Skootafarm Racing. “I have two clear goals,” he says. “One: not to crash; and two: not to come last every race!”

Yamaha XS650
Yamaha XS650
Yamaha XS650
Yamaha XS650