The Pontiac Trans-Am  inspired Yamaha XJ650

He said you build it and I’ll pay for it. Go your hardest.

Liam’s Yamaha XJ650 was dropped off at the shop to originally be painted matte black with a brown seat but luckily Liam was open to some suggestions. As the Yamaha was the typical boxy 1980s shape bike and didn’t have the greatest lines it leaned towards the perfect donor bike to build the ultimate Pontiac Trans Am Fire Bird themed bike, a bike that if Pontiac brought out a bike to go with the 80s Fire Bird this would do it justice. Liam was all for it he said you build it and I’ll pay for it. Go your hardest.

The first thing was to design the bike to replicate the Fire Bird as tastefully as possible without it looking tacky. So I started with the colour by finding out the paint code for the black used on the Trans Am which worked out to be a deep gloss black, the next step was go find an actual Trans Am and measure the exact size of the gold pin stripes used all over the edges of the car, at this point the exact colour of the gold in stripe was tracked down and the Fire Bird was designed to fit the top of the tank. Being a two colour gold Fire Bird the bird was laid down in two pieces over laying each other to get it exactly on the money like the cars bonnet.

Photos were taken of the cars interior and the seat was trimmed to emulate the back section of the cars seat and the same vinyl was used also. Next step was to find a rectangle headlight that would match the front end of the 80s cars rectangle lights. The exhaust was removed and ceramic coated black and a new chrome muffler was ordered and fitted. The wheels were removed and stripped and powder coated the same gold as the Trans Ams wheels and an old school shinko tyre was fitted for that retro look. The bike was now fitted with new led blinkers and rewired to suit. Dismantling the speedometer and tachometer to powder coat the housings was the next step along with the rear pillion foot rest brackets and other small parts. New bars and grips were also fitted to give it more of a sleek look. Being an old bike the switch blocks had faded so to save money at this stage of the build the old housings were sanded back and painted along with the frame as the engine was not to come out again to build the bike to suit Liam’s budget.

The bike was now ready for a new battery and a test ride. Keep an eye out for Liam cruising the streets on his bad ass Yamaha Fire Bird.