1979 Yamaha XS1100 “Eleven” Goes Steampunk – Seoz Bikes

Check Out This Unusual 1979 Yamaha XS1100 Custom!

Updated August 19, 2018

To some people, the 1979 Yamaha XS1100 was a bit plain. Sure, it was Yamaha’s first four-cylinder, four-stroke engine, it had a respectable power output of 94 hp, and a fierce top speed at the 129.4 mph marker. Rocksteady and reliable. Though, it was somewhat lacking in the “interest” department. Given the choice of the XS1100 or a Kawasaki KZ1000, we know which one you’d choose. But even if we gave you the choice, you could still argue that the old Japanese fours were a bit…vanilla. Luis Noe Arredondo, from the Mexican outfit Seoz Bikes, had the same thought. But when came up for sale at a decent price, he decided to get his hands dirty and turn the boring Japanese machine into something quite wonderful. You could call this build many things, but “vanilla” certainly isn’t one them.

1979 Yamaha XS1100 Custom 1

Based out of Zaponan in Mexico and with a lifetime of experience behind him, his company Seoz Bikes has been restoring cars and building dream machines for years. Only recently trading under the “Seoz” banner (three years in fact) this is one of our favorite builds from them that we’ve seen. Despite having a team of fully fledged professional mechanics and fabricators on the books, the majority of this build was done by the man himself.

1979 Yamaha XS1100 Custom 2

As soon as the donor 1979 Yamaha XS1100 rolled into the shop, Luis decided that the goal was to inject some sex appeal into the bike, conceal the engine, and give it some vintage GP stylings. As the build progressed though, he decided to opt against the vibrant colors of the golden of racing, in favor of a more industrial finish. The result leans towards the steampunk subculture, without playing to any conventional stereotypes.

1979 Yamaha XS1100 Custom 3

The engine was given a new lease of life, but Luis decided to retain the bikes naturally aged patina and left it looking a little disheveled. Luis used the same trick on the suspension, though he decided to lower the suspension for a more aggressive stance. The brakes were also given an overhaul. With the necessary issues addressed, it was time for the all-important bodywork and shaping to begin.

1979 Yamaha XS1100 Custom 4

The tank was scrapped and replaced with a modified Yamaha Triplex unit, but the rest of the bodywork and accoutrements are pure hand built originals. The rear cowl, side covers and guards were all expertly fabricated by Luis himself but it’s the front fairing that is probably the most eye-catching element of the build. Designed to be a proper racing fairing, it’s a svelte one piece thing that’s held in place with the side fairings with a cool leather strap arrangement. However, despite wanting a full on racer aesthetic, Luis knew that it had to be a practical road bike too. Rather than cut holes in the gorgeous fairings and embed lights, Luis decided to stick them on the front instead. Thanks to some exquisite metal work and a handful rivets, the problem was solved.

1979 Yamaha XS1100 Custom 5

Another headlight – rather, a vintage fog lamp from the 1940s – was attached thanks to the clever use of a piston rod from a small car, giving the build quite an interesting steampunk dynamic. On top of that, Luis also added a new exhaust system. A handmade 4-into-1 rig was attached and tipped with megaphone mufflers. Other cool details include a subtle use of more leather, across the top of the front fairing and along the top of the tank, minimalist instruments, and the coolest set of grips we’ve seen.

1979 Yamaha XS1100 Custom 6

1979 Yamaha XS1100 Custom 7

Awesome, huh?

(Photo Credit: Oscar Escobedo)


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Joe Appleton
About Joe Appleton

I’ve done a bit of work here and there in the industry – I’ve even ridden a few bikes for actual money but what it comes down to is this: I ride bikes, build bikes and occasionally crash ‘em too. I like what I like but that certainly doesn’t make my opinion any more valid than yours…

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