PHeller Reader
3/2/09 5:54 p.m.

Rather then spending hours of searching, I thought I'd help the masses by starting a thread.

I was interested in the Yamaha XS series as possible cafe' conversions.

The mid-70's models appear to be favorable, and there does seem to be a few aftermarket companies make new parts of them.

I'm interested in:

  • Best years

  • Best engines

  • Models that require the least amount of work to convert.

  • Prices you should be paying


stuart in mn
stuart in mn Dork
3/2/09 7:39 p.m.

Do you mean the XS650? They used XS in the names of more than one Yamaha (XS1100, for one example.)

If I remember correctly, 1975 or later were considered to have the best chassis. I'd stay away from the 650 Specials, as they had a fake chopper styling (high handlebars, big rear tire, funky body panels) that don't lend themselves to cafe racer conversions well. For aftermarket cafe racer parts, check out Omar's: The simplest thing is just stick a set of clubman handlebars on a stock bike and call it done - I used to have a '74 650 and that was what I did. Looked great and was fun to ride. As far as pricing, $1/cc is a doable price for older bikes, if you keep your eyes open (although deals like that can be hard to find.) I bought my 650 for $300, which was a fluke - the guy just wanted to get it out of his garage and I was lucky enough to be the first person to respond to the classified ad. I just checked my local Craigslist and found two 650s, a Special listed for $1200 and a regular one a few weeks ago listed for $650.

Gonzo_Bmod New Reader
3/2/09 7:51 p.m.

Check these out:

XS Cafe Link

PHeller Reader
3/2/09 8:21 p.m.

They made an XS400 or something didn't they?

Were the "non-Specials" made up into the 80's?

grinch77 New Reader
3/2/09 8:32 p.m.

Do not just stick clubmans on and call it done.It totally screws up your riding position unless your some knuckle dragger with long gorilla like appendages.If your going to do it right get clipons and rear sets to get the correct riding position.Everything you'll need pretty much for a XS you can get at as for body work Omar's is ok but alot of his stuff you have to make work try here's a good place for clipons and rear sets .Also check out there forum is great lots of knowledge on the and quite a few XS guys.

914Driver Dork
3/3/09 5:55 a.m.

Not limited to the XS-650, but lots of eye candy and inspiration here.

Jensenman SuperDork
3/4/09 7:05 a.m.

I happen to have a 1980 650 Special that will be getting the 'street tracker' treatment once some of my other stuff is rolling. I am currently searching for an 18" alloy rear wheel with disc brakes if anyone in GRM land has one. They were used on some 78-79 Specials and on the RD400. They look like this:

Or I'll take a set of spoke wheels, 18" rear 19" front, preferably with single disc on each.

xci_ed6 New Reader
3/4/09 4:24 p.m.

With time and creativity you can do anything you want to. I have Ninja 600 rear-sets and a YSR50 shift lever on my CB360.

Spinout007 New Reader
3/4/09 6:58 p.m.
xci_ed6 wrote: With time and creativity you can do anything you want to. I have Ninja 600 rear-sets and a YSR50 shift lever on my CB360.

What generation ninja? and how did u get the shift lever to work? routing how much fabbing did u have to do? reason I'm asking is, I was thinking of doing a cafe coversion on a cb200 I was given for some work on a buddies beemer.

Our Preferred Partners