In the world of custom motorcycle builders, there are few who truly capture the adversarial feeling of the medium’s most “rebellious” bikes. But for France’s Atelier Medusa, it’s become something of a common practice. The shop’s latest project, the 1984 Yamaha XJ 750, strikes a perfect balance between “tasteful two-wheeled ride” and “hellish steed,” bringing with it a shadowy, secretive presence.
The ‘84 XJ 750 might not seem like the perfect transitionary platform for an aftermarket build, but once the plastic, fairings, and peripherals are stripped, it becomes a superb chassis that can stand up to all sorts of modification. This was the first step for France’s premier bike customizer. After peeling away the 750’s unattractive outer shell, the shop devised an entirely new subframe to achieve a linear, cafe-inspired look, while also removing the bulky battery from the midsection of the bike and replacing it with a Solise lithium variant. Next, Medusa reevaluated the placement of the bike’s various wires and electronics, giving the XJ a clean, established look. A dark 18-inch wheelset and Metzeler Lasertec rubber adorn the front and rear of the moto, complimenting its various shadow-struck peripherals. A tank requisitioned from a donor XJ 400 sits atop the frame, providing near-seamless companionship with an upholstered leatherette seat, courtesy of the renowned synthetic supplier, Yves Ménard.