Yamaha Xs1100 Special Cafe

On a perfectly clear, and beautiful Friday in early September of 2012, only weeks after having ridden the bike from its former Chicago home, I skidded on some gravel in a corner and wrecked the bike. I wrote a detailed account of the crash, but this page is dedicated to the bike's rebirth.

Over the next nearly 12 months, I painstakingly tore down the motorcycle to the bare metal, and rebuilt it anew. Each component became its own story, and great attention was paid to even the most minute details. The result is an aggressive revival:

The bike sits slightly lower in the front as the fork tubes protrude above the triple-tree where the clip-on handle bars attach. A single red and white racing stripe embellish the near black navy paint.

A single Acewell gauge serves all the instrumentation purposes. It is mounted to a triple-tree clamp I CNC machined from aluminum.

The spark plug wires are of a retro cloth covered design with exposed screw on connectors. Get your knee too close and you will know about it.

I assembled the exhaust from portions of mandrel bends, shaping it to follow the rear set. You will notice the hand knurled aluminum foot pegs just above the muffler.

The battery is held in a custom made battery box with a leather strap of the same make as the seat. I relocated the "on" switch to just under the front of the seat to further clean up the dash.

Trimmed to the essentials, this bike is little more than a motor and wheels. Two people can go wherever they want.

A full set of pictures can be found in this album.

I maintained a lengthy forum post on the build during the customization process. The highlights include:

Taking an aging and broken motorcycle and transforming it into the image I held in my mind was a truly awesome and rewarding experience. Something I hope to do again soon.

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A full list of projects can be found on the Projects page.