Yamaha is on a roll these days. The FZ range has redefined the middleweight sector and sells by the container load. The XJR1300 and SR400 are getting their second winds, attracting buyers looking for simple, old school thrills. And if you fancy customizing an XS650 … well, good luck finding one.
You can spend thousands of dollars on aftermarket tanks and wheels designed to fit an XS650. But the lads from Nozem Amsterdam managed to grab a whole bike—and they’ve done it justice with a custom that’s unusually hard to categorize.
The design might be quirky, but the levels of finish are superlative. Behind the engine, the frame is completely new—and considerably lower than stock.
“The engine required a bit of a tune up,” says Lorenzo, “more than the ordinary paint, polish and shine.” The worn out BS38 carbs were replaced by Keihin 32s, and Nozem have built an intricate stainless exhaust system to match. It’s hooked up to Laser X-Treme mufflers, a Nozem favorite.
The star of the show is the bodywork, though—painted by Airbrushlab LifeCreations in a lustrous green metalflake with yellow pinstriping. It’s as old school as it gets, and a style that still has masses of appeal.
The tank has been scavenged from an old motocrosser, but the tail unit and front fairing are hand-fabricated. The rear is low and the front is high, which Lorenzo describes as “a dubious but perfect mix.”
Just like Amsterdam itself.