1972 xs650 brat bike is done


Well after about 16 months I have finished my brat bike build. I am really happy with the end results. I thought I would show you the finished product. I still have to tool the leather for the seat and mount the taillight. I hid all the electronics under the motor.



The only wire you see is the ones running to the coil. I added a boyer ignition and she is a one kicker. I am still messing with adjusting the carbs to get the most out of them but she runs good and doesn’t leak. I took 3″ out of the front end and she still handles great.



I didn’t want to make her too pretty so I left all the welds show on the tank swirled the metal with an sos pad on a drill and candied wright over the bare metal. Looks like a brass finish. Anyways here she is.




Joel Mekolites


  1. visimpact says:

    I love it!! The tank turned out great. The stance is perfect Well done!

  2. reynoldburton says:

    Congrats! Like it soooo much!

  3. shawn says:

    good job. how’d you lower the front end?

  4. Ben says:

    I love the fact you took the time hiding all of your wiring. Its seems, no matter how sick the build, that’s the first thing to get over looked. Every body claims to hide eveything in the oil tank, but still ends up zip tied all over the bike. Mad props…looks great. Can’t wait to see the next one.

  5. Limpe Iven says:

    That skinny tank is great ! Nice work !

  6. R.C says:

    Looks killer!.. top of my list of fav brats….. question: You pretty confident with the bolt on the kicker holding up? I want to do mine similar

  7. Joel Mekolites says:

    Im glad you guys like it. I got to ride her yesterday on some open road, WOW what a blast it is like riding a kids bmx bike with a motor. LOL I cut the springs down 3″ and added a 3″ spacer to the dampner rod to make up for what I cut off. There is a how too somewhere here on this site. Make sure there is enough room between your spacer and the dampner shaft to let the fluid travel. The first spacer I used was too tight on the shaft and wouldnt let the front end work right. I ended up using conduit pipe. The little electric box turned out great she is mounted to the frame under the swingarm. I really love how the tank turned out, it really makes the look of the bike. I think the kicker will be fine heck I kicked here over 100 times when I first tried to start her. The way I look at it they are $10 on ebay if it doesn’t work.

  8. Matt says:

    Awesome. Nothing else to say. This is what people should strive to build…original, lot of thought put into it…

  9. Justin says:

    Nice Work. How in the world did you do the motor fins? Great Job!

  10. Joel Mekolites says:

    the motor fins were a 10 minute job I took my grinder with a 1/4 inch metal blade eyeballed it straight and started cutting. just kept going side by side

  11. tadd442 says:

    Another masterpiece from Joel Mekolites…very nicely done!

  12. Steve says:

    Good looking Brat !!

  13. Hesh says:

    This is what its all about!

  14. JET36 says:

    AW Man Flippen Sweet! This has been one of my favorites since you started posting this one. Made me go in the Brat direction for the new build. Question on the tank. Is it a pain in the ass to cut and weld? Been wanting to do the same but im worried about that thin metal. Got a old school pedal and i was going to drill and tap. sounds like it will hold up. Thanks for posting!

  15. hoosierduckman says:

    Hey man the bike looks great. What kind of battery did you use? What size? Keep up the great work.

  16. Joel Mekolites says:

    The tank is a pain in the ass. That is why I built the red one as a mock up just to see how bad it was. I have a buddy who is a master welder he did the welding on the real one. It had some leaks so we had to go back and pressurize it and chase them for a little while. The cutting it and shaping it was no big deal. But you need a good weld person. We migged this you could get it all ready and have someone tig it would be ideal. I’m poor so I did with what I had. There is a guy that makes them and does awesome but they are $500 I don’t have that kinda scratch and hate to let someone else do my stuff. Here is a how too I did as I was doing it. http://www.flickr.com/photos/roofer429/sets/72157621290637534/
    The battery is a interstate 12 volt camera battery i got off line. it is about 6″ long 1.5″ wide and 2″ tall. I am running kick only so you can get away with smaller battery. Seems too be working. Here is a pic it is mounted under the motor. I made a bracket to attach it to the lower rear motor mount. There are more pics of the bike here. http://www.flickr.com/photos/roofer429/sets/72157606462593243/

  17. shaydaddy says:

    love the bike! How did you etch your tappet covers? got any pics of the electrical box and wiring. I am wanting to do something similar and am looking for ideas.

  18. Joel Mekolites says:

    look on my post above there are pics on my photo page of electronics. I used a dremel to do the covers.

  19. Blackwidow says:

    Nice bike looks great

  20. HoeyUno says:

    Turned out great bus!!!

  21. lil bastard says:

    Awsome build dude!

  22. Spun says:

    One of my favorites, I would love take possession for a weekend.

  23. Billybobba says:

    Refreshing to see a bike with shocks!
    Merry Chrissy to all, hope you all don’t freeze your butts off while we here in the southern hemisphere drink beer while sitting in our pools!
    Pass me another cold one will ya thanks luv! While your up crank up the Barbie and chuck on a few more prawns. ( shrimp )
    HA HA HA Enjoy the sound of your snow ploughs.

  24. Spun says:

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  25. Nick says:

    Are those one inch bars? Where did you find the throttle housing and cables long enough to reach?

  26. joel mekolites says:

    they are 7/8 I got the high bar cablebb kit and had mike from 650 central cut them down

  27. Nick says:

    The rebel shocks on ebay measure 11.5″ hole to hole and the stock shocks are 12.5″ hole to hole. So that would be only 1″ lower. Is this how yours is set up? Thanks

  28. joel mekolites says:

    I think the true honda rebel shocks are shorter

  29. breahn riley says:

    I have some trouble shooting questions for you. Please feel free to email me so we don’t have to communicte through the comment posts. Thanks

  30. breahn riley says:

    Breahn_riley@hotmail.com I have some trouble shooting questions for you. Please feel free to email me so we don’t have to communicte through the comment posts. Thanks

  31. joel mekolites says:

    just seen your post email sent jmekolites1@woh.rr.com

  32. rM says:

    Always been a fan of hardtail bobbers, but this bike has got me quickly changing my mind on what I would like to do for my first build! I am hoping to be able to get one going sometime soon and might have to use this as a reference. I really like how you treated the back-end.

  33. Ted says:

    @ RM This bike is one of my favorites. I think it’s actually for sale right now by the builder joel mekolites. You should check out the link below you’ll find a bunch more bikes with similar styling.


  34. Ryan says:

    What shocks do you have on the rear?

  35. joel mekolites says:

    They are honda rebel shocks

  36. dusty says:

    could u give some more info on that battery (brand,where i could find one) thanks and great job on the bike the details are awesome!

  37. dusty says:

    nevermind turns out u already put that info on here next time i’ll read before i ask

  38. REEB! says:

    Love it next build right there!

  39. Sean from boston says:

    It’s soo nice!

  40. pastorchris says:

    Awesome bike! How well does it stop without front brakes, I like the clean look but I am leary to remove them. Akso where did you get the controls and cables? Did you scrap the factory wire harness to get it so clean? I have a lot of questions, shoot me an e-mail if you don’t mind.

  41. UnholyAres says:

    Yes just as (pastorchris) ask did you srap the factory wire harness and use
    -mikesxs, lowbrowcustoms or a tcbroschoppers-?
    thanks for all the help

  42. Barney says:

    Nice motor work, i like the tappet covers.