The Fly…..My 1970 XS650 bobber I built in my backyard/bedroom.


I notice this nasty sounding exhaust coming north bound

Write about your XS650.:  I want to tell how I came to build my bobber. Ill make it short. I used to work this kill yourself, 9-5, desk job I disliked. Every day I would have to take the highway home from this snobby ass town at 5pm (rush hour). This particular highway would be jammed full of cars at this time, every day, heading south. One day, in the summer, I’m sitting on the highway south bound, surrounded by soccer mom minivans and tools in Volvos and what have you. I notice this nasty sounding exhaust coming north bound on the opposite side of the highway.


I look over and its this skinny biker dood with a long ass beard. Hes got his legs completely horizontal on his forward controls, hand on his jockey shifter, and his throttle cracked wide open with no one in his way. He seemed to just ooze with coolness and I wanted to be him at that moment.




Before then I had been interested in sport bikes but in the brief moments this guy whizzed by, free as a bird, he sold me on chopper style bikes. From there I did some research, talked to some people in my town, and decided I wanted to build a bobber. I traded my 86 Buick La Sabre for my 70 xs650 and the rest, as they say, is history.

Thanks Keith Allibone


  1. scheffers says:

    cool story, cool bike!

  2. Ted says:

    @ Keith
    Is that the original xs headline on the front? Looks good..

  3. Keith Allibone says:

    Yep. It came with the bike. I just painted it flat black and got some mounting brackets online. Its kinda big but I wasn’t ready to coff up 100 bucks for some little one. thank you.

  4. Hesh says:

    Its got a good flat tracker style stance to it! love it!
    Why the fly..swarm and destroy? ha ha

  5. Keith Allibone says:

    The fly seemed like a cool name for a bike like this. I think its good practice to name your vehicles. thanks.

  6. Kent says:

    Awesome Ride!!!!! I am wanting to do one of these so badly once I finish a 84′ Honda Sabre Project I am working on. Is there some sort instruction manual on how to do these? What was your best source of information for this project?


  7. Keith Allibone says:

    Well this site is a good start. There is a lot of postings that gave me some ideas for my next build. Check out as well. Theres a butt load of tech forums on that site.

  8. Greg says:

    A glorious tale

  9. chris says:

    what up dude, did you do any engine work and if so what and where did you get the parts. my brother has a 72 and is having a hard time finding performance parts. o hey cool bike man. thanks chris

  10. Keith Allibone says:

    Chris, i havnt done any internal engine work just jetted the carbs and bolt ons. I think theres 750 bore kits on ebay but I dunno if they have one for an xs1. Check that out. Good luck dude.

  11. don says:

    i def. feel your story. how much did you spend total? i’m looking to build one myself. is that a harley tank? what year? did you do a suicide shift as well? would love to see more pics and info. i love the bike!

  12. Keith Allibone says:

    LOL,yea man i got this tank from this way cool dude Nick who is a harley maniac. He owns this cycle salvage shop/junk yard. I think its from a 60 something but im not too sure. No jockey shift on this monster, although I want to do one on my next build. I want to post better pics, better email the site hosts to see if I can. I spent $900 on the buick then traded it for the bike then put $600-$700 into it so all in all I have $1500 or so in it.

  13. Scott says:

    Hell yeah man! Just got my 1982 xs 650 Heratige special yesterday and can’t wait to crack into it!! Cool bike!!!

  14. Emery says:

    How’d you get the fly on the tank? Is that a decal?

  15. Rusty Nutz says:

    It’s probably the lighting in the first pic, but it looks like you went for a totally blacked out, bare bones look. Looks great.

  16. Patrix says:

    Lovely job on “the fly” Keith, I particularly like the original fork, hub and pot from your xs1b .The boots certainly support the old brit flavour …..and those pipes are beautifully racy, creating movement in the bike even as it sits. My kind of bike!

  17. norm younger says:

    Great bedroom build.

  18. DannyP says:

    is that the original frame? I am compleatly new to building and working on bikes and i wana make one of these with my dad how much do you think it costs to build one of these bad boys 🙂

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