XS 1972 Brat bike I’m building


The Outcast Bikes….

Describe Your XS650: Here is my latest project. At first I was going to build another xs650 bobber out of it adding a hardtail to it. Well I found out the 72 frame is a little different than the 76 I built. So I messed around with the frame and came up with this set up for the moment. Still debating the hardtail and springer front end. I need to mount my little battery and do the wiring and she will be ready to start. When I bought her she ran strong no noises or smoke, but was dumping gas out the carbs BADDD.3275581474_046df00b04_b


I bought this bike last fall after selling one of the bikes I chopped up. I drove 6 hours to get to the bike. It is a 1972xs. The bike started right up sounded strong and didn’t smoke. She was dumping more gas out of the carbs then she was using so didn’t get to ride it. That night when I got home she got tore apart. My original plan was to hardtail it and make a bobber out of it like the other xs650 I built. I talked to Kansas kustoms the next day and found out there stock hardtail wouldn’t work on this year because the frame is a little different. He could make me one to fit but I would have to send the bike to him and he would hardtail it for me. I really didn’t want to do that, cause I wanted to do it all myself. That is the best part about building a bike doing it yourself. I had been on the bratstyle site many times and was digging what they were doing with the xs’s, so I decided to give it a shot. I picked up a set of Honda rebel shocks they to use. Then I cut and moved the frame rails foreword to give it a low stance. I also cut 3″ out of the springs in the front end. You also have to add a spacer when you cut the springs down to make up the difference.

When I put her all back together I loved the stance she had. I wanted to clean up the neck area so I chopped out the extra brace she had in there and welded in my own little gusset. I also removed the top motor mount. Not sure if this will work or not, worst case I will add a smaller mount after the shake down ride.I had a hard time picking out the tank and I am still not sure I have the right one yet. I tried a sporty tank first. I mounted it high and low and didn’t really care for it. She looked like what everyone else was doing. A buddy had this wassle tank in his attic and sold it to me for $40.


It gave it a little different look and I loved the dual petcocks in the rear of the tank. I wanted to make the bike a little more dependable so I upgraded to a boyer ignition. I used one of these in the past and they are great. I also wanted to keep it old style and mechanical looking as possible, so I removed the starter too. After looking at the bratstyle site I seen they were cutting the rear of the stator cover and decided to give that a try. I think that is one of my favorite parts. I talked to the guy at Ardcore choppers about batteries. He gave me the heads up if you are running kick only you can run a super small battery. I bought a small 5″ long by 1″ tall battery that I will mount to the bottom of the swing arm. I have about 5 hours of work left to do before I can start her and ride her. My plans for the finished bike include using some black paint with a sand like finish on the motor. I will take the left and right motor covers along with the valve covers sand and grind swirls in them and paint them candy gold like the rest of the bike.


That will really make the motor pop. The rims have the high shoulders which I am really digging on. I plan on cutting the spokes out of them painting the hubs and rims black. I will leave the outside part of the rim around the tire raw like the exile bikes and respoke them. I also plan on using the old straight tread tires. The seat should be the finale trick piece. I am going to grind it and paint the pan gold. I plan on tooling a piece of leather with a set of praying hands. I will attach it with brass leather rivets.


It will be about a half inch smaller than the pan so the gold will show all the way around it. This will be the 5th bike I have chopped up and put my style to. I paint a lot of bikes every year. Here is my photo page if you are interested in some of the stuff I do or want to see the other bikes I have chopped up. http://www.flickr.com/photos/roofer429/

Thanks for looking and I love the site. It’s great to see what everyone is doing with the outcast bikes. There is nothing better than taking an old thrown away bike and making it cool again!

Thanks Joel

  • Check out this xs 650 bobber and this German XS650.
  • Asked questions and made comments below!
  • Comments

    1. Jonathon D says:

      wow really impressive work! I love this bike so far!!

    2. mike says:

      Hey joel i like the bars you put on there where did you pick those up at?

    3. Weed says:

      I love the tank very nice

    4. Joel Mekolites says:

      The apes are just some 12″ tall 7/8 old apes. There is another low set of bars in some of the pics they are the european bars off ebay.

    5. Ted says:

      I like it with the ape hangers on. They look to be about the same as the apes I have on my ride.. The paint is beautiful man..

    6. Billy says:

      Man ,
      thats got cool dripping off of it

    7. shrug says:

      hey where did you get that batery? who makes it? Im doin kick only on my bobber and nee a small battery i could fit in my fake oil bag

    8. Joel Mekolites says:

      It is an interstate battery call ardcore choppers and talk to the main man he can explain what you need.

    9. shrug says:

      thanks, i will give them a call. Compliments on the bike, it is lookin awesome!

    10. nasty nate says:

      Are you running a top motor mount? that is alsmost the same tank i am using, and I am having top motor mount issues. The bike looks super good!!!

    11. skr00zloose says:

      I think I’m in love…..heheh

      Im about to build a Bratstyle bike for my girl, I showed her this and she freaked.

      beautiful bike man, seriously.

    12. bike looks better without the apes, but that is just being picky. you spent some time getting things “right” and it shows. can’t wait to see the finished product.

    13. Joel Mekolites says:

      No top motor mount yet if it needs it will make one later.

    14. Dan says:

      “I cut and moved the frame rails foreword to give it a low stance.”

      You lost me on this one…did you extend the swing arm? I am not sure I can see where you cut the frame rails. Forgive me as I am a xs650 newb coming from old Suzukis and modern sport bikes.

      I really like the look of this bike and would like to emulate the look with a project I am working on.


    15. John Ferguson says:

      Where did you scavenge the shocks. I used 10 1/2″ progressives for a Hog but the springs are a little on the stiff side. I can have new springs wound but it would sure be faster if they are readily available at a salvage yard or as replacements from a dealer! Also what is the length from eye to eye?

    16. SCOTT43000 says:

      AWSOME- & I’am on my way,raked up 2 xs650’s,1-78,1-80 & like the older better !! after a knukle head sold a 72 out from under me in Bartlsville,okla. those R all I could get on low budget. ?! I -2 missed U on cutting 3″ out of frame rails, was counting on getting same stance from lowering F-Forks only. 1-must keep low & level. can U elaberate & help 1 on DU-IT UR-SELF BLD?

    17. yamatude says:

      that sick…. can you tell me the technique you used on your tins very nice…

    18. Doug says:

      great build… I like the bars and white grips. did you mod the seat portion of the frame or is that a stock stance….?

      do you have any stock parts you’re interested in selling?

    19. Eric says:

      You can run a small 12v radio shack battery if you are doing kick only. Mine cost around $20 or so.

    20. PHIL AUSTIN says:

      you have done a great job on the stance of your bike, is there any chance i can get the measurements of the rear frame section so i can get my frame guy to copy it. the seat is in the perfect spot, and could you tell me the lengths and make of the shocks… and also how do you prevent the rear wheel from scrubbing the rear guard or is that part of the deal.
      thanks, phil from sydney , australia.

    21. steve french says:

      sick ass bike please email me with a finished product photo thanx

    22. Joel Mekolites says:

      I cut the 2 rails that come up below the seat and attach to the shocks. This let the shocks lay down at a little more angle and drop the bike

      The shocks are honda rebel shocks from ebay I think 10.5″ $90

      I cut 3″ out of the springs in the front to lower the front. Look at the angle and where the shocks are mounted to the frame you can see what I did

      I took a grinder t othe tins and swirled them then candied over that and cleared it.

      Yes I moded the seat portion after one of the bratstyle bikes. Then decided against it and changed it.

      Sorry I allready cut the frame up and threw away the seat area.

    23. locO leoN says:

      absolutely gorgeous!!..

      Have a Girder frontend for that bike if you are interested:

    24. Mr.Dirtbikes says:

      Really impressive job, you are professional.

    25. Rich says:

      Ted I’m doing a 72 restore if you have any stuff left in the shop you want to sell.

    26. MotoCasa says:

      Looks great. I am building a few now but I don’t like the brat name. Gotta come up with a new one for the style. I wonder how the paint works out. I read some on this and heard about rust forming under the clear? Any experience with this long term?

    27. shelly says:

      i would love some more info on how you acheived that rear stance. its perfect! it appears you hacked off the vertical rails just above the horizontal rails that the side cover pivots used to be on, and then you welded a piece of tubing about 4 inches long at almost 90 degrees and brought the orginal seat rails down to mate with that? then simply attatched the spring mounts and threw on rebel shocks?

    28. Ben says:

      Throw some D’s on it and call it a day!

    29. Fabbastard says:

      Love what you did with the ground flames & paint!

    30. norm younger says:

      Awesome color on the tins.