1989 Yamaha XT600
The “K Smith Bike” began as a Yamaha XT600 commissioned by a local Atlanta machinist and now Bedlam friend, Kevin Smith. With the front and rear ends already mated to the frame (ZX-10R front and Hawk GT rear) Travis worked with Kevin on creating a unique look and feel for the now street-oriented thumper. Kevin wanted to retain the look and ruggedness of the bikes history but still include modern elements which required bringing the dash up to speed, LED lighting, and smooth, beautiful body work.
The build features hand crafted aluminum body work throughout the entire bike. The gas tank, headlight bucket and bracket, oil reservoir/cooler, air box, seatpan, and exhaust shield were all built by Bedlam hands. No bondo. No filler. Just raw, handcrafted aluminum. Each piece was hand-cut, hand-rolled, and shaped to bring the body lines to life. Once complete, we began to flesh out the other bits of the build.
Scrapping the traditional dash design, Travis decided to keep with the bikes minimalist tone. By building the headlight bucket from scratch, this allowed for all of the important dash elements found on a motorcycle to be implemented directly into the back of the bucket. Speedometer, RPM, neutral light, indicator lights, and mileage were all brought together into one custom package from SpeedHut gauges.
From there we move to the back side of the bike. Carrying the same rugged, distressed looks, we went with upholstering the seat with leather from an old-school bomber jacket. Not only did this provide the patina Kevin was looking for but it also provides an easy solution to an otherwise expensive leather upholstery bill - DIY guys take note. Under the seat, Travis deleted the old subframe in place of a new hoop design for more strength and support of the rider.
Beyond the construction of the bodywork, exhaust, and upholstery, there wasn’t much left to do. With the original wiring harness swapped for a MotoGadget system, we plumbed and prepped the bike to accept all its modern bits. X-Arc signals covered the front markers and rear tail lights while a Burns Stainless muffler brings down the exhaust notes to a not-so-dull roar.
Editor's note: We STRONGLY suggest anyone who is going the same route of modernizing an older bike to look into picking up an M-Unit system. Get rid of your fuse boxes, relays, and confusing schematics and create your own harness wired exactly to how YOU need it, and with minimal wires!
After wiring the bike, all there was left to do was paint, re-install, and enjoy. Feel free to browse the gallery down below and jump on over to one of our older blog posts and view the build process from start to finish, here. You’re also welcome to drop by the shop during business hours and drool over the bike in person as the bike is on display looking for it's next owner.