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Sol Invictus Nemesis XY400 – café racer makeover | Gassit Garage | How To

We are only partway through stage one of our Nemesis Sol Invictus  XY400 café racer makeover, and the bike has already gone from a little bit geek to quite chic.

Step 1 Strip Off

The rear mudguard and rack were the first to go. As the intention of this makeover is to obtain maximum visual impact for minimal effort – and do all the work myself in a standard home garage – I will not be cutting the subframe or any other part of the bike.

Step 2. Look good as is

Once I had all the lights, guards and tank off I could see a multitude of custom possibilities for this bike.

Step 3. Look Ma, no ’bar

The dirtbike-style handlebar was next to go, set to be replaced with the Clubman ’bar. Care needed to be taken to make sure I drilled the holes in the correct places for the switchblock locating lugs. The lugs on the Nemesis switchblocks can also be removed.

Step 4.  Getting a grip

The Bitwell Inc. grips are a nice snug fit and a quick blast of hairspray made sure they slipped on and stayed on

Step 5.  Slight mod

The throttle tube was longer than the grip so we cut the tube – very carefully, of course.

Step 6. All the important bits back on

Fitting the Clubman handlebar was pretty straightforward, requiring just a little fiddling with the wiring, throttle cable and brake lines. Take care when removing the switchblocks as important things like springs can fall out. Also make sure you mount the brake master cylinder as level as possible.

Step 7. Rear vision

The EMGO ’bar-end mirrors didn’t do much for me when they arrived, but once fitted I liked the look. Tip: when fitting ’bar-end mirrors that slide inside the ’bar tube, there’s no need to cut off the end of the left hand grip – a small incision with a Stanley knife will do.

Step 8. Looking good

Once the tank was back on you could have sworn the dials had also been replaced. The big fat tank is now screaming for some striping.


I still need to apply the DEI Header wrap, and she needs some lights before I can take her on a maiden cruise down to the local café hotspot. The big standard tail light and indicators have gone and will be replaced with a small LED tail light and these gorgeous Club L indicators from Italian company Rizoma. Machined from billet aluminium, they are the perfect minimalist touch for any café racer. A custom seat and some classic whitewall tyres are also on the way.