Tarmac Customs XS850
By Anthony van Someren - 09 Dec 12
Yamaha's xs850 Triple makes a lovely custom build. It's long stance and narrow engine makes a great looking cafe racer, with beautifully exposed pipework and a subframe triangle just begging to be cleared-out for that battery-less, lightweight look, but as a shaftie with decent cubic capacity it's practical and it shifts too. This beauty in green & gold is from new kids on the block, Tarmac Custom Motorcycles, in Vigo, Spain. Here's how she looked when she turned up to the shop, built in 1981 but destined for retro-modern greatness. Tarmac Custom Motorcycles are racing-addict and pro-mechanic, Jano Valiente, and parts specialist and classic aficionado, and Javi Pacheco, and this was their first bike and it took a year to build - although they managed to make nine more Bratstyle bikes before this one got finished. Their excuse is that this particular bike had a lot of work. Everything was dismantled, blasted and powder coated. The handmade wiring harness is tucked away and hidden inside the chassis. The front brakes are donated by a Yamaha R1 - for grown-up stopping power - with a rear brake master cylinder from a CBR600RR. The engine was completely rebuilt and overhauled. Foot controls are aluminium and rear-set, and there's a one-off complete stainless steel exhaust made by our neighbour Rober from GR Exhaust Systems. The top yoke was re-worked, front forks were lowered, with Betor Gas shocks at the rear. The handmade set is fibreglass upholstered in handmade leather. The guys are really pleased with their labour of love, and tell us that she handles really well, sounds like a WWII aeroplane and brakes like a modern bike... Check out more from Javi and Jano at Tarmac Custom Motorcycles on their own blog and Facebook pages. Thanks to Virxinia Villar for the photos.