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Yamaha xs650 cafe racer £4950
Café Racer
No. Cylinders:
Build type:
Engine size:
Chelmsford, UK
Days listed:
8 days

Tell us about your bike

1975 XS650B Café Racer

I purchased this bike as standard example from the well know motorcycle importer DK motorcycles as a standard and complete example for restoration in January 2015 as the basis for a café racer build. It was then UK and classic vehicle registered

I chose the XS650 as the build was to be as close to the original “ton up boys” formula as possible (whilst avoiding some of the reliability issues), channelling the spirit of the Triumph’s, BSA’s and Norton’s of the 60’s so twin cylinders, chain drive, spoked wheels, air cooling and twin rear shocks were essentials, after all the XS650 was tagged the “Japanese Bonnie” in period

After a good deal of research I settled on the acclaimed Essex bike builders Robinsons Speed shop to undertake the work as I felt my skill set wasn’t quite up to what I wanted to achieve as this was to be a keeper!

Luke at Robinsons took the bike in March of the same year with the brief above and the instruction to only use the best parts and materials available

Over the following months and with my input he created a stunning café racer which was well built, reliable, handled well and stayed true to the original brief

 Some, but by no means all of the work undertaken and parts replaced are listed below; 



·         Rims and hubs aqua blasted and wheels re-built

·         Frame stripped, rust proofed and double powder coated

·         Bonneville T140 fuel tank sand blasted, sealed and presented for painting

·         Full engine strip and re-build with all necessary parts replaced

·         New chain and sprockets

·         New Boyer ignition

·         New cam chain tensioner cover

·         New front master cylinder

·         New Hagon shocks

·         New coils

·         New regulator

·         New petcocks

·         New twin Motogadget M Unit gauges

·         Motogadget push button controls

·         Newtronics ignition

·         Electric start removal (I did this for authenticity but all of the parts are available to reinstate if you so wish)

 The following year after having a chance to get used to the bike I decided that although good, it could be improved by better fuelling so it was passed to motorcycle race tuners Slipstream tuning of Sevenoaks. They fitted a new set of Mikuni carbs, completed some fettling work to the engine and set the bike up on the dyno. This work alone totalled £1,770 but afterwards the difference was startling


Due to various other projects and a lack of time, plus an unwillingness to ride it in anything less than perfect weather I’ve only done around 800 miles in total on the XS following the build therefore I’ve decided to sell, albeit at a fraction of the build cost. It’s been meticulously maintained including a service this week in readiness for the new owner and as such is ready for the coming season.

Please note the first few photos were taken upon completion of the build and the last few a couple of weeks back. Please be assured there is little to choose between them in terms of condition

I’m happy to answer any questions you may have 

Seller name:
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