Mac Motorcycles considers switch to Yamaha power

Dailies -


Mac_Spud_660.jpgJust months after announcing it intended to offer a range of cafe racers based around the Buell Blast’s single-cylinder engine, Mac Motorcycles was blindsided by Harley’s declaration that large-scale production of the Blast would cease. Left without a cheap supply of air-cooled singles, Mac is considering the liquid-cooled engine from the Yamaha XT660Z. That would mean more power if less pure looks. Good idea?
The Blast’s carbureted 492cc engine makes 34bhp at 6,500rpm and 30lb/ft
of torque at 3,200rpm. In comparison, the 660cc fuel-injected Yamaha
engine makes 48bhp at 6,000rpm and 43lb/ft of torque. Like the Harley
unit, reliability is almost a given, upgrades are plenty, repair is
cheap and sources for parts are widespread. Mac says the swap wouldn’t
have a noticeable impact on the end price and we wouldn’t expect much
of a weigh difference, despite the addition of a radiator.

A more significant concern of Mac’s appears to be the looks. These
details and this image were emailed out to potential customers to gauge
their reaction to the change. While purists will undoubtedly bemoan the
lack of fins and the addition of all sorts of pipes and other addenda,
we actually prefer the way the Yamaha engine looks in the frame. It
adds a welcome dose of the contemporary to this Mac Spud’s classic
looks, something that could give it added appeal to buyers in their
twenties and thirties. That could be a very good thing. As
Harley-Davidson is finding out, Baby Boomers stopped floating the
motorcycling industry about this time last year.

Head on over to the Mac Motorcycles website and tell them what you think.


  • J Winters

    I like it, it’s kinda hot. Although I would be just as happy if Yamaha brought back the SRX600.

  • Jammer97

    Good looking bike but for that price?????? No thank You!

  • Trapezoid

    The Buell motor was always a bit of a mutt…waaay large crankcases, underwhelming performance.

    My major criticism is that now the (normal-sized) Yamaha cases look like they’re lost in that big, curved chassis. Tighten up the radius on the frame, and I think you’d have a winner.

    So, you’ve seen that Deus is coming to the US? Check

  • RD350

    With the exception of the Buell engine, I really like the concept and the look of the Mac concept.

    So yes .. drop the Blast motor. People dont respect it.

    What about an air cooled motor like the SR500, XR650, DR650 etc.??

    They could all be modified rather easily to make similar HP (or close enough).

    • AadmanZ`

      Yamaha have an engines factory (Minarelli) who supply engines to third parties. (Derbi, Aprilia etc.) Getting Honda or Suzuki to restart production of an old engine end then selling it to a potential competitor would be much harder. Besides, the old aircooled engines (SR,DR,XR) would probably not make it past emissions homologation over here in Europe..(or most of the US probably nowadays)

  • Anders

    Derbi makes it the engine look alright in the Mulhacen and so does Aprilia in their Pegaso. Mac shows the engine in a much more unforgiving way, very exposed. I mostly like it though, it looks much tougher and meaner with the Yamaha engine. I think maybe this feel should be reflected in the design, which now is quite sculpted and sophisticated. Maybe needs more edge. And they need to figure out how to resolve the airy, negative space behind the engine.

  • hoyt

    Keep the airy negative space as it emphasizes minimalism & simplicity (single cylinder).

    If anything, change the exhaust, wheels, and hellcat-like seat. How about a nice seat cowl that serves as a small compartment for lunch or whatever instead of a rear seat?

    For the premium, all hoses should be braided for aesthetics.

    As a big fan of air-cooled engines, I would miss the fins, but the little radiator should be fine.

  • will

    It already looks like the punkass little kid of a Hellcat. Bring it on.

    • Ray

      Is Rotax still making the 600/ 650 single motors? AIr-cooled?

      • John van Houten

        Yes. In fact this is the engine used in the CR&S Vun

        • John van Houten

          I forgot to mention. The Rotax engine is Water cooled. In the VUN it makes 54hp in standard trim and 68hp with a go-fast kit.

  • nickr

    Aw, I am so happy to see that bike again.
    I love this design, its graceful.

  • DoctorNine

    I wonder what it would look like with that new reversed single from the YZ450F? I’ll bet that the breathe-from-the-front intake, and the spiral exhaust pipe at the rear would look absolutely fabulous in this frame….

  • tony

    If you really like this type of look, check out the range of Deus motorcycles this is not a ad l just know they work and you can buy them, rather then a nice picture

  • Tonup

    Due to Buell putting an end to the Blast, Mac now have to find a different motor for their line of custom motorcycles. At present they are thinking about using a Water cooled Yamaha XT660 motor but personally I’m not liking the look as much as the Blast.

    Hopefully they manage to solve this little issue and get on with producing a few of these bikes for sale to the public.