Cafe Cycles 1979 Yamaha XS650 Street Tracker
When Peter Chase, of Rhode Island's Cafe Cycles, was tasked with completing a project that had sat idle for the last decade, per the customer's initial requests, he thought he was in for a quick and easy street tracker build. However, after waxing nostalgic with his new customer, and learning of his love for a 1975 Suzuki RM 125 he rode as a teenager, the two decided to ditch the XS650 tank and retrofit an alloy tank from a '75 RM 125 to the Yamaha frame.
"One of the turning points of the build was after I hammered out the alloy tracker seat to go with the tank. I think from that point on, the customer had a vision and decided that he wanted the build to be a step above.”
After grafting the Suzuki tank to the Yamaha frame, Peter formed a custom seat pan that he had upholstered by Weston Boege of Counter Balance Cycles.
Impressed by the build so far, the customer decided that they should pay as much attention to the motor as they would to the rest of the build.
Instead of giving the motor a basic refresh, it was pulled from the frame and sent off to Daniel Donley at Pandemonium Custom Choppers for some work. The stock motor that Daniel received was returned to Peter in the form of a re-phased, high compression 750cc monster with a Shell 1 race cam, ported heads and a beefed-up transmission.
With a new charging system and motor mounts from Hugh's Handbuilt, fresh Mikuni carbs and a Pamco ignition, the rebuilt motor was bolted back into the frame, Peter crafted a race-worthy, and show-stopping, exhaust using a Delkevic stainless steel header pipe and a carbon fiber Delkevic muffler from a 750 Ducati.
All of the hardware was Nickel plated to better flow with the stainless steel and aluminum used throughout the bike. The Rear suspension was setup using Worx shocks, while the front utilizes shaved and polished stock tubes with progressive springs. Aluminum triple trees and a pair of pro taper flat track bars were also polished to go with the bike. A Trail Tech digital gauge and a headlight and ears combo from Motodemic keep the front end of the bike clean and bright.
Peter has built his customer an instant classic. It's a beautifully neat and clean tracker, with a well built and powerful motor, utilizing all of the right parts and none of the nonsense that could easily send a bike like this over the top.
Check out more of Peter's work at http://www.cafecyclesri.com
Story + photos by: Chris Lacour