xs650 chopper with a dropseat

xs650 chopper 2009

The bike was given to me by my sister after the death of her husband. I had originally painted it for him as his budget did not allow for a Harley. He knew that I had not much interest in HD’s (basically; seen one seen them all) and had built several alternatives over the years BSA’ s Honda’s and Yamaha’s. We had talked about what could be done with this bike but he died before we could start the project. Once I took possession of the bike I determined that I wanted to build it using the stock suspension, stretching the swing-arm 3″ and relocating the upper shock mount forward and lower, then using Progressive 10-1/2″ shocks.

xs 650 2009

The engine cradle is stock from the neck to the rear motor mounts but everything else has been modified or built from scratch. The tank has the tunnel lowered and the bottom has been flushed and mounted Frisco style. Motor remains stock with the exception of a Boyer ignition, Mac headers and K&N filters. Headlight is Sportster style and handlebars are 1″ drag with HD controls. All unused frame tabs/mounts have either been removed and remaining have been re-welded and smoothed.

xs 650 2009

Paint was done by me using PPG base-coat/clear-coat urethane. Also built the seat pan but let a pro do the upholstery as I do not have a commercial sewing machine. The wheels are Excel 4.25 x 18 rear and 2.25 x 18 front which came anodized gold for motard use, which I stripped and polished. All of the fabrication and assembly was done in my home shop by myself and 2 sons with the exception of the above noted upholstery.


Thanks again;
John Ferguson


  1. Steve says:

    Very nice …

  2. John Ferguson says:

    The build has alot of little details that are not noticable on the photos. It is a little to traditional for my tastes now but I still enjoyed the overall build and I am happy with the results. My sons and I have since built an XJ650 4cyl. that is very unusual and also are working on a Big-Bore Buell Blast a 750 twin Kawi and another XS650 with a hardtail. Have owned several BSA’s, Yamahas and a Triumph in past years but the availability and low cost of the XS’s along with its great engine design and aftermarket parts availability make the XS best of all the twins in my estimation.

  3. norm younger says:

    Very very cool bike.

  4. mike lytle says:

    nice bike, this is the very first example of a chop with shocks still on that is making me think twice about a hardtail ( 63 years young,) i am planning a xs build this winter and will be looking very close at your bike. i’ve almost ordered a tc bro hardtail several times but haven’t sent my nickles their way yet, then you post this extemely well designed bike WITH shocks, man your messin with me!!!!!! again job well done. thanks for sharing