Bloodhound 650


This was my first bike build.  I had no motorized mechanical experience prior.  The bike was a 40th birthday present to myself. The top end of the engine was rebuild.  I had iffy rings and a bad valve.  New gaskets would help insure it would not leak.  Most importantly I want to know how the engine worked so I would be able to fix it myself.  Frame is stock 1981 with a 3 inch stretch hard tail.  Forks were shortened an one inch and a half and I added some preload and fork oil to stiffen them up.  Ignition is Boyer Brandsen and new Mikini VM 34’s.


I made the all mounts, electric box, battery box and struts.  It has a TC Bros chain tensioner, new head light, tail light, and rear blinkers to please PA.  Both wheels have new bearings and seals.  New taper fork bearings.  Mini apes with mini buttons for turn signals.


Stock throttle and switch.  Starter button was reused as horn once again to please PA.  Seat and shocks were from Chopper Shox.  I covered the pan myself.  Tank is a caswell sealed peanut.  Wiring was the worst part but I am very happy with the build. Oh, thanks to Jeremy a local friend who painted the frame, tank, fender and all the little parts. Build two is underway. Thank for all the help from anyone who helped.

john whitehead

Bloodhound 650


  1. ajs_1971 says:

    Great lookin’ xs…it’s a credit to you.

  2. toe. says:

    looks good.
    i’m on my first build also. home mine turns out half as well.

  3. Brewer says:

    Nice first build. What hard tail did you decide to go with?

  4. chuck says:

    Awesome bike! What kind of tank is that and where did you order it? Did you have to make any modifications to get it to fit?


  5. neoman says:

    Freekin beautiful you have a real eye for photography and the bike kicks ass! Ardcore photag guy should take notes.

  6. Jason says:

    John, looks great up on the site! Way to go. . . .I’m going to be able to get back to mine here soon hopefully – I’ll try to get a hold of you to see if I need some help when I do!


  7. bloodhound says:

    Thanks everyone. Hardtail was done in Philly. I think his name is Troy. His fiend has a really cool shop in Philly they mostly work on Triumphs. G&L, Tanks by Tigman, Ardcore and TC Bros all make nice hardtails. Tank is a swap meet sporty. I made new front mounts and welded a mount for the back stock tabs. I had to fix a few items for the original mock-up. I welded angle to mount the plate and light and it broke above the weld. Gussets are needed! I am working on my second xs now. I am taking my time with this one. It will be a racy brat style.
    I am a photographer and these were just quick shots. I threw a camera over my shoulder one lens and that was it. I really had no interest in taking photos of my bike. I just wanted to ride since it took half the riding season to get finished. Thanks everyone.

  8. Cretinxs81 says:

    Looking good, where you from in PA? I am in PA and am considering doing a hardtail for my XS650. I got a price from a guy in Philly area that is very reasonable. Looking to pick your brain about you build so I can make my build a bit easier.

  9. Blackwidow says:


  10. bloodhound says:

    Camp Hill, PA Click on my green bloodhound name it will take you to my website. My contact info is on there.

  11. Chris says:

    Nice job, cant wait to see your next bike…Im working on my first bike and Im about half way…But like you have some Ideas for bike #2

  12. Chris says:

    How do you find the chopper shox, I was thinking about using them

  13. Ted says:

    @ bloodhound Your bike turned out great man. I’ve been following your build thread. “real eye for photography” That first picture is super cool. Was it done with a 35mm SLR? Thanks for sending in the pics.

  14. Tebo says:

    Hey Bloodhound, I like the way you tucked the speedo between the tank and forks. Your lens work is magazine quality. Like “National Geographic”. And I dig the way you cross-drilled the brake rotor. Hard to believe it’s your first build. Sick, classic scooter. Looks dangerous with no chainguard. What did you use for an electrical box with the round ends?

  15. bloodhound says:

    You learn so much during your first build everyone should build a second. The chopper shox I bought strictly for looks. I am not a fan of springs. Springs also sway left to right and I am 220lbs. The shox I have are pretty stiff but they do take some road vibration. Any big hole still shoots up your spine. It is very comfortable even without a pad.
    Yes, the photos were take with a Canon 1d Mark III and an 85mm F1.8. I hate Canon camera and lenes but they are free. I will take some cool photos next year when I repaint some parts I am going to alter.
    The speedo is great. I am going to shorten the cable over the winter, it is about 8 inches to long. Strangely the brake rotor was really easy to drill. The electric box I got on ebay from a guy in Texas. 4″ tube and caps would have cost more that the $20 I paid.

  16. Mr Mike says:

    I often thoght of a chain tensioner. Even bought one once. Never installed it.
    Does it work ok for you??

  17. bloodhound says:

    Since I never ran the bike without one I can’t tell you the difference. What I can say is I have absolutely no chain slap.

  18. mattx2 says:

    i dig the turn signals,
    nice work

  19. bloodhound says:

    I have a connection for fronts to pass inspection. I just do a lazy wire up the frame.

  20. kenb says:

    The fotos are fffff crazy sweet, chain slap cool mine is always chewin at me fender paint leg and what ever eles.

    Nice looking, like the drilled disk…YEA some cool scoot

  21. mike says:

    awesome build! i am in the middle of my build and im close to your area. i was wondering if you could email me the contact info for the guy who welded up your hardtail?

  22. norm younger says:

    Great bike. Awesome job.