Yamaha XS750 triple cafe racer build.


City Limit Moto:Parts-Service-Apparel (716)8038606
This is a project I've been silently working on for about 8 months.....I'm at a standstill while I get through some customer projects to save up money to buy a milling machine before I can get back into it so I figured I'd finally get a thread together.

Story time!

So a little over a year ago now, I found a craigslist ad that read something like this: "Three yamaha motorcycles. $800 for all three. No I will not sell one. No I will not sell parts. No I will not take less money. Call for details"

I liked this guy's style. Called him up for some info and an address, called up two of my motorcycle enthusiast buddies also looking for more bikes, and took a ride. Long story short, two bikes were complete, one was parked outside missing some major parts and had a locked up motor. All three had titles. Me and my two buddies worked out who got which bikes and for what portion of $800 and made the deal. Checko took a complete xs850 for his brother and made a chopper with it. Luke took the parts bike with plans to get a non-titled donor to bring it back to life, and I took the other xs750 complete.....now, you're probably thinking that's the bike for this build.....actually I did a quick bratstyle seat on that bike with a skateboard and rebuilt the carbs and have ridden it all year.....I ended up finding a parts bike for luke, and bought it....he found something else he wanted to I bought him out of the titled parts bike and that's how I got into this build. I loved the way the bratstyle rode but wanted to do something more involved with one, so I jumped at the opportunity to own two (three if you count the donor non-titled one I bought for $100)

anyways, ON TO THE BUILD!

so Checko and Luke split the shop with me, so whenever I say "We" it means they helped.

We started out by completely stripping the titled frame of all it's damaged and weathered parts. Then I started hooping the rear of the frame and mocked up a knee-dent xs750 tank I got at a swap meet for $25.


I realize now going through pics I've taken that I missed some steps....I'll do my best.

anyways, the three of us started swapping in the non-titled donor bike parts to this titled frame, and quickly realized the hoop would be too close to the tire. So I cut it and added an angle to it to kick it up. Then got some foam to begin forming a mold for the seat. I also started playing around with the stock exhaust parts trying to come up with a 3-1.....





I hated the way the exhaust was coming out, so I trashed it and called a buddy that works at an exhaust shop and had some tubes bent up so I could start from scratch.


I'll get to that a little later.

anyways, I started planning out rearsets....wanting to be able to retain kickstart made it a little tricky, but I made up some parts on the lathe and made use of my new tubing notcher for this part of the project

I sat on the bike and clamped vice grips around until I found a comfortable spot...this was it


I had the peg part from some old controls and made use of them with the mounts I made and welded to the frame....then I started trying to learn this knurling tool to make some stubs for the levers.


(Damn some of these pics were blurry! What was I on all those months ago!?)

I then used cardboard to design some levers and cut them out of some plate, used some solid steel rod to bend up a linkage, and stubbed the stock shift lever to complete the shifter setup.



I did a similar treatment for the brake side, but to clear the kickstart it had to be a short lever



OK, so at this point I started playing with the exhaust parts. I grabbed some plain 1.5" tube and started building a 3-1 collector. This is 7 pieces, with a lot of trimming/cutting/grinding/notching to make it.



Also scored some tires at the swap meet for $30 and refurbed the wheels while changing them out


Painted the frame


started mocking up some headers




finished up with my collector welded in, and a little kick-up extension to position this peashooter I scored for $20


MUCH happier with this exhaust that that first go-around using the stock crap.

At this point, I started envisioning this bike as a real serious cafe racer. So I sought out a modern front end. Landed a GSXR complete front for $225 and started playing around with it.



I bought some 1.25" solid bar to make axle adapters, and modified the stock XS750 axle to play nice....retained factory wheel, speedo drive, and bearings.




Welded an "L" tab to catch the notch in the speedo driver


I knew I'd be having some pretty fancy front brakes, so I wanted to update the rear. I made a template at work on AutoCAD and spent some time with a punch and drill press





Then I noticed a little oil on the forks and ordered up seals to refresh them


A buddy of mine dabbles in powdercoating and owed me a favor, so I gave him my rearsets to do in whatever color he had around




Finally made the correct mounts for the knee-dent tank and wanted to see where we're at


Stock rotors from the GSXR front end are 5-bolt mounting, XS750 wheels are 6-bolt....so I did some research and found some rotors that were the same diameter and thickness but with 6-bolt mounting....Some ebaying got me these RC51 rotors.



so now I have to figure out how to mount them....so I ordered some 2" thick pucks of aluminum from IndistrialMetalSales.com to machine some adapters....




Beauty. now at this point I've got a decent roller, and without getting too far ahead of myself wanted to take some measurements of this GSXR front end vs. the stock one (good thing I had another one of these bikes parked near by). After using a tape measure, angle finders, plumb-bob, chalkline, and marker....I determined that to correct the GSXR fork geometry to not ruin the steering/handling I needed another inch of offset in the triple clamps.....so I went back on InustrialMetalSales.com and ordered up some beefy aluminum plate. I found some free time at work again and designed some new clamps in AutoCAD to see about having them cut locally.


Now, this bike isn't my only build....and also isn't the only bike I've been working on inverted front swap.....I got pricing locally, and the cheapest I was able to find was $90 per clamp....$180 for a pair....and I'm doing 4 bikes this way. That's with me providing the drawings AND the material. At this point, I decided I'm just going to buy a milling machine....so the front end is on hold until then.

So I went on to other things. I ordered up a cateye tail light from DimeCity, and some really cool LED's from SuperBrightLEDS.com to use as rear turn signals....then made up a bracket for them






Then Luke wired up all the GSXR controls into the stock harness for me, and I ordered up some lines and fitting from Summitracing to build some steel braided brake lines. Also used a goodridge double-banjo pressure switch bolt to get a brake light signal.






Well, that's where I'm at now. Once I get my milling machine (have one saved in my cart on Grizzly.com just waiting on funds) I can then get into making the triple trees. Aside from that, I have only a few things left. I have to make the fiberglass seat cowl, upholster and paint, and make headlight ears/mounts. Looking forward to riding this spring.

Oh, I almost forgot.....here's a link to a video of the exhaust.....I tossed it on my other triple after we made it to see how it sounded.....HEAVEN.



City Limit Moto:Parts-Service-Apparel (716)8038606
The one on it was damaged....I needed a double banjo bolt anyways so I bought the switch style one instead of a plain one and replacing an otherwise working brake master.


City Limit Moto:Parts-Service-Apparel (716)8038606
decided my patience has failed me and ordered the milling machine today using BillMeLater so I have 6 months to actually pay for it interest free. Don't even feel buyers remorse.... I really need this machine in my arsenal and I'm dying to finish this bike before the weather breaks here for spring time riding. Thanks for all the kind words!


Been Around the Block
anddddd I'll still pull ya light to light! :)

I love how this thing is coming, I've seen it in person a bunch and I can honestly say this is such an improvement from how Nick was building bikes from when I first met him. Super stoked for this summer, keep at it mang.


City Limit Moto:Parts-Service-Apparel (716)8038606
Thanks guys! Still waiting on delivery of the milling machine :( I really wish I could run my triple trees so I could finish this thing up. I'm itching bad. Just need to make the seat and one more rotor adapter, then paint tins and wrap exhaust!


Coast to Coast
I have a 650, a lathe, a milling machine, an unfinished triple for another bike, a gsxr front end coming, and a thing for Yamahas. So I can relate to this!

Some inspiration thank yous coming your way on the rc51 disc idea. I think I can see how I will mount the gixxer tubes to Yamaha wheels now.


City Limit Moto:Parts-Service-Apparel (716)8038606
cosworth said:
I have a 650, a lathe, a milling machine, an unfinished triple for another bike, a gsxr front end coming, and a thing for Yamahas. So I can relate to this!

Some inspiration thank yous coming your way on the rc51 disc idea. I think I can see how I will mount the gixxer tubes to Yamaha wheels now.

np! glad I could help....though if I did this swap again there's a few things I would do just a touch differently (I may still re-do just because)....

firstly, Instead of turning a new axle from scratch, I think it would be better, easier, and faster to start with the stock xs750 axle instead. To do this, instead of sleeving a new axle with 1.25" bar for the fork clamps, I'd simply bore a piece of the 1.25" bar to press-fit onto the larger(non-threaded) end of the xs750 stock axle until it's flush with the the end of the larger portion where it rests against the wheel bearing. then, for the other side I would calculate how much of a spacer I need to get the wheel centered and figure out how far into another piece of 1.25" bar I have to bore before stepping down to bore/tap threads the rest of the way for the stock axle's threads. This will be safer as well having the axle thread together rather than all pinch fit all the way around....which is also closer to the construction of the GSXR's stock axle. If this makes sense great, if not....PM me and I'll make a shop drawing in CAD with dimensions based off my front end.


City Limit Moto:Parts-Service-Apparel (716)8038606
So, Still waiting on the milling machine :(

BUT! I did do as I mentioned last post about re-making the front axle......and I'm much happier with it. There isn't much more to do besides the triple trees which requires that dang milling machine, aside from the seat construction and paint now.....My g/f and I have been tinkering on a cx500 I bought for her (it appears in the background of my pics a lot lol),and now that she's happy with her foam concept seat, we laid out the fiberglass on both the other night....





^ His Hers \/



Sometime over the next couple days we'll have both trimmed and begin shaping, I'll get more pics up when that happens!


City Limit Moto:Parts-Service-Apparel (716)8038606
My g/f set up her phone and shot a time lapse laying up my seat.....pretty cool to see it condensed to under 2min lol. Wish it was that fast in real life!


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