Michael Amatore (@jack9moto), living in Historic Easton, Pennsylvania, grew up watching his father race enduros and sport bikes. He got his first dirtbike when he was fourteen years old and thirty years later, he’s still riding and wrenching to this day.
Michael builds all of his bikes himself in his basement workshop where his great dane, Leo (#sidecarleo) is always by his side, patiently waiting for a ride in the sidecar that Michael has attached to a Suzuki GS550.
Packed into all corners of the shop, Michael has collected a number of bikes. There’s the sidecar rig that Leo loves so much, a Yamaha XJ550 Cafe Racer (one of his first builds), a Yamaha XJ650 tribute build that he’s finishing up for his late friend Bob, a Suzuki GSX600F Katana Cafe/Streetfighter hybrid project, a Ducati that belonged to his father and, of course, the custom 1986 Yamaha Radian YX600 we see here.
He picked up the Radian about four years ago after seeing it brought in to a local shop for service. Seeing the potential for a pretty cool build, he contacted the owner about selling the bike. A few months and $800 later, the Radian was added to his collection.
With an inline four-cylinder engine and such sportbike-like features as the smaller front wheel with dual discs, mixed with a Sportster tank and an overall tall-chop style, this bike really turns heads.
Michael prides himself on his budget builds. One of the ways he’s able to keep costs down is by capitalizing on his talent for utilizing found items in his his builds. For example, that’s a mini Heineken keg under the seat that houses the battery and electronics.
“Do a Google search for a 1986 Yamaha Radian YX600.” Michael loves seeing people compare pictures of the stock bike to his build and having to convince them that it’s the same bike.
Even though he’s made plenty of changes to the bike, he’s the first one to admit that there’s always something else that can be modified, improved upon or fixed. He says the bike won’t necessarily see any further major changes but since he plans on keeping it around until it’s dead, there may still be a few minor tweaks in the works.
Story + Photos by Chris Lacour