Let me start off first, by saying that Bill is one the nicest and most helpful guys you will ever meet. He pours his heart and soul into projects, and that shows. His commitment to helping “internet” friends in need, would be second to none. I feel privileged to be able to present his finished bike in this very column. From top to bottom this bike oozes cool. The fabrication is top notch, along with execution of the overall package. Bill did what most only hope to achieve when starting off a project, by fabricating pretty much every single item on the bike. Pat this guy on the bike. He deserves every bit of it…. Bill Norton AKA “BlacksmithBilly”
Growing up, Dad gave me a lot of things preparing me for life. One that sticks out high in my mind was…. knowledge of all things mechanical.
I wanted to pass on something as well. So in 2007 I built this bike for my son, as part of the TCU 2007 build off competition. I didn’t get the bike finished for the end of the contest, but it was a rewarding thing just to participate. The bike was rode in the raw steel for almost 2 yrs before I decided to powdercoat and paint the bike.
The bike is a 1975 XS650 I acquired from Glenn (Animal) from the www.thechopperunderground.com board in trade for some repair work on a tweaked triumph rigid frame.
1” stretch rigid tail
First off, I made a 1” stretch rigid tail section first. In the process I extended the backbone approx 5” to get rid of some of the forwardish look to the bike. With the extended backbone it made a good platform to build off of for the solo seat setup. I used urethane inside the machined telescoping shock , and added a seat rail around seat to keep the boy on (no rear fender)!The next component proved to be the hardest and the most time consuming, the I-beam springer…
I had this in my mind for some time, using some rail channel welded back to back to give it a industrial look. This was bent using a HF bender (with some modifications) and the rear main leg were split and tapered.
I used 1 ½” 2 ½ radius combo bends from “The Chassis Shop” to make the 2 into exhaust.
The crank breather to the header was a thing we used to do in circle track racing to help evacuate crank pressure “back in the day”. I have fabbed several single intakes for 650’s in the past, each one is a little different, but this one looked good and works well. I had to do some rejetting(drilling) to get it dialed in. Another thing I always wanted to try was adding fins to covers. I first welded up the filter cover, and bypassed the oil return from the original filter cavity and adding a port from the oil pump. Then using 1/8” x 5/8” alum strips, I tigged each strip on the cover, then ground the fillet welds to give them a cast look.
My son loves the bike, and his skateboarding buddies.
I think it will be something that will always remind him of his ole’ man…..