Back in the 70’s the Yamaha XS750 was one of the first machines from Yamaha to debut with a shaft drive and European styling that appealed to the youth of the day, at a much lower price tag than a European machine. The formula was an instant hit, with Yamaha selling upwards of 150,000 XS750s in a 3-year period, between 1976-1979. Today, the motorcycle is more than 40-years old, and some blokes, specially the ones at Dapper Rat Motorcycles think that it’s still got the ooph, to take on another 40. Once tastefully upgraded and customised, the Yamaha XS750 cafe racer would appeal to a different set of motorcycling enthusiasts, and they were totally right.
Dapper Rat Motorcycles’ Matt Schindler is the man responsible for this very very sexy cafe racer. The original machine reached Matt in a distressed condition, missing a speedo, battered bodywork, all looking towards a complete de-commissioning. The cylinders were out of tolerance too, but Matt decided to soldier on, he has our gratefulness for that.
Since oversized pistons for the Yamaha 750 were not available, a decision was made to bore out the engine, which now houses the XS850 pistons. The front end was torn apart from the bike and replaced with the entire front end from a 1987 FZR1000, one of the best handling bikes of its era. The brakes were replaced by modern Brembo calipers with a master cylinder from a Ducati 996 and EBC brake discs.
The original Yamaha XS750 due to its demand and appreciation came with many gimmicky toys, such as self cancelling indicators. Matt took off all the extra electronic, bringing the bike back to its bare basics. The original overly large battery box was replaced by a custom made one, that now is housed discreetly under the seat. He didn’t bother sourcing the missing speedo unit and went ahead replacing it with a singe speedo and tacho Motogadget chronoclassic dial that would read out both. Motogadget units are pretty great in everything from their functionality to their fit and finish, and in most cases are the obvious choice for motorcycle builders who want a quality product. Going by the overall build quality of this Yamaha XS750 cafe racer, the Motogadget unit seems to be a perfect fit.
The seat gets a custom cafe racer treatment and a small rear cowl was put to replace the rear seat. Low profile turn signal indicators were installed which got their power from a custom made high temperature wiring harness. The engine is coated with VHT (Very High Temperature) paint and the wheels and frame are powder coated to continue the black theme.
The Yamaha XS750 cafe racer finally gets a coat of shiny paint on top with pin striping that resembles the retro cafe racers. To make sure that the bike’s looks are complimented by the sound it makes, Matt chose to go with a rumbly Mac 3-into-1 stainless steel exhaust with reverse megaphone.