FONG BROS out of Baltimore
What you’re looking at is a hardcore one of a kind, handbuilt Yamaha xs650. There is a huge cult following with these bikes because of their bulletproof reputation and availability of parts. This bike was built by the “internationally recognized”, legendary FONG BROS out of Baltimore, Maryland (See “The Horse Backstreet Choppers” May/June 2008 issue for more on the Fong Bros), and modeled slightly after the WCC Coors Dominator. This bike is like a one man parade. People will not stop bugging you about it while you ride.
Handbuilt Yamaha xs650
This bike has always been a dependable ride. It hasn’t been out much since completion, but it has ridden in numerous charity rides and been shown and placed (2nd) at the 2007 International Motorcycle show in Maryland.The bike that beat it was brand new and had two racing stripes painted on, so what does that tell you about shows? You may have seen the Fong Bros at the same show with different bikes in 2008 – they were the guys with the fireplace. They are stupid. It has also been seen at The Smokeout 2006 in NC. It’s probably logged about 350 miles since being finished and had run perfectly everytime.
1981 Heritage Special
Now onto the details of the bike. This bike started life as a 1981 Heritage Special with about 13,000 miles. It has since been converted into the most hardcore riding combination. It is a true suicide shift with no front brake. This bike should really only be ridden as it is by a skilled rider, as a novice will surely crash it. However, with that in mind it was built to be easily converted back so that a novice can buy it and ride safely. In order to be more user friendly, I will have available a front brake rotor and caliper, and an unshaved fork leg. To convert it back to the stock shift /brake set up, just add a foot shifter and clutch lever/cable, and hook up the front brake.
The frame is a custom hardtail with 3″ stretch in the rear. The controls were left mid control (because I think they look better than bolt on forwards). The foot clutch is a one of a kind setup that has never been done like this before. It is totally stock looking because it was made from all stock parts. I had to ruin an entire other frame just to make the clutch setup. I cut the foot brake section from a good frame, flipped it, put it on the left side, and used the foot brake controls (also flipped) to make the clutch setup. I guarantee you have not seen this done on one of these before, but you may start seeing them now that it’s out there. Wheels are 19 and 16 and are powder coated and have new spokes. Speedmaster on the front and whitewall on the back. Frame is House of Kolor gold metalflake (lots of sparkle) over a titanium silver base. Low tunnel Sportster tank (Kreemed and with new petcocks), Ford tractor tail light, 1929 Willys Overland Headlight and recipe/battery box, and shaved forks are all finished in genuine iron oxide rust finish.
For a while, I was really into the juxtaposition of materials – the over the top metalflake finished off with weatherd rusted looking tins. There is a vintage bottle opener up by the headtube and a cadillac trunk lock cover hides the ignition switch. New top end gaskets on the engine as well as top end and lower bolt kit. Super sixties metalflake grips, Hurst Indy hand shifter, shifts behind your leg and is topped of with a gold metalflake Peterbilt shift knob. Custom Chrome risers on 12″ Ape hanger bars (1″ diameter). I had LePera custom make the seat for this bike. 3 inch springs offer a surprisingly comfortable ride. Kicker converted to a pedal, and it’s kick only. A 4 amp battery supplies the power. The electric start is there and is hooked up so you can jump it from a bigger battery if that’s the way you roll.