black.. the new black


Pulling the trigger

I had been scouring the internet for months before finally pulling the trigger on this project, i had never “built” a bike before even though i have been riding motorcycles since i was 4 years old (now 38), i had built up some other cool little projects from scratch like a Radio Flyer wagon with a 3.5hp B&S engine, indipendant front suspension, rear swing axle, fat shifter cart wheels, and also i built a Bar Stool Racer with a 6.5hp electric start honda clone engine, so it was only fitting to up it a notch and dive into a chopper that i have always wanted.


This started out as a clapped out 1980 xs650 with 27k + miles on it, i purchased a XS TC Bros hardtail section and welded that up, removed all the unwanted brackets and tabs, fabed up a hidden seat hinge and shock mount, made from scratch the grips, pegs, peg mounts and rear brake lever and used a GSXR rear brake master cylinder, fabed up a one off battery tray/hold down that is rubber mounted.


Add a after market sporty tank that is also rubber mounted with a re-fabed rear mount, and also machined and soldered in the bungs for the fuel sight tube, nothing has been done to the motor except for the black paint and new hardware, also i machined up some axle adjuster blocks, the frame, wheels and faux oil bag(houses all of the electronics) were the only parts i had powder coated everything ellse is rattle can, and the pinstriping i did myself with my little decal cutting machine. That all i can think of for now hope you guys and gals like it. i sure do.

Thanks for checking it out.


  1. Mike Finney says:

    Great job on the bike! Are the axle adjusters and footpegs plated ?

  2. Brett says:

    thanks, foot pegs, shift/brake pedal tips and grips i machined from brass, the axle adjusters are actualy aluminum painted brass….yes i said painted lol.

  3. random_guy says:

    Where did you get the forward controls? Are they custom? If so . . . . . interested in making more . . .? 😉

  4. kenb says:

    sure likin your detail work, I for one would like more photos, and whats a decal cutting machine? razor blade? nice work!!!!

  5. Dane Bogaard says:

    Did you find that the TC Bros hard tail with the standard front forks caused the bottom of the frame to slope forward and not level?

  6. Nightster says:

    Nice job on the bike, I like the little details (axle adjusters, pegs and kicker). You should start selling the axle adjusters its a nice touch.

  7. Ted says:

    @Nightster At first glance you don’t really notice the “little details” on this bike. It takes a minute to see the detail work.

  8. Primitive says:


  9. bikerfreedom says:

    Good-looking scooter. I second primitive, lose the mirrors or put smaller ones that go in the end of the bars. just my opinion, very nicely done bike.

  10. Brett says:

    thanks for all comments guys and yeah im not diggin the mirrors too much as well, but i’m just tryin to keep johnny law off my back.

    and yes i made the mid controls and not really wanting to make another set, but glad you like ’em.

  11. mike says:

    nice job lots of excellent details & pin work also

  12. Ryan Villetard says:

    How do you like the chopper shox shock on your seat? is it a fairly comfy ride? I’m trying to decide whether i should ge shocks or just the old springs.. the shox look like they would be very stiff…?

  13. Brett says:

    hey ryan the shock for the seat is way too stiff, i just went with a cheepy scooter shock for the looks and the spring is crazy stiff but my 240lbs of man flab moves it a little, but any normal sized guy will think it’s solid mounted, i’d go with the “chopper shox” they seem to have the right spring rates.

  14. bloodhound says:

    I love those axle adjusters.

  15. brett says:

    thanks guys, and by the way those are my pipes i made from scratch. i have seen the Ardcore ones and that is what i went for, i have those little 3″ baffles from jcwhitney in each one and it really made the tone of the exhaust alot more tollerable.

  16. Nightster says:

    @Ted why are u commenting on my comment, trying to be a smart a$$

  17. Nightster says:

    Hey has any body used the dual seat shocks that LaRosa sells on ebay, I just bought them for my chopper build. I hope I don’t have the same problem as Brett and Bodhi

  18. Ted says:

    @ Nightster – What are you talking about. I was simply commenting that it takes a moment to notice the detail work. Like YOU said! No need to act like a little girl.. but re-reading it I could see how you would think I was belittling your comment. That’s not how I meant it to be taken. Simple misunderstanding I suppose.

    How is your bike coming along

  19. Nightster says:

    @ Ted…I hate email its so easy to mistake what people write…As for the bike its coming along I may have it done by the end of summer in time for one ride. I will post some more pics soon.

  20. Blackwidow says:

    nice bike really clean

  21. Brett says:

    thanks for all the possitive comments guys 🙂 i can’t wait to start my next xs chop…….after my cb cafe project i got goin on right now.

  22. Luke4554 says:

    Hey looks good man. Curious what are you using for a turn signal switch for your indicators? Are you just using the factory one or an aftermarket one?

  23. Brett says:

    hey Luke
    the handle bar switches are little tiny toggle switches and pushbuttons and i made some really small aluminum housings that bolt directly to the bars and all of the wiring is inside the bars.

  24. Justin says:

    love all the little brass accents, what kind of mirrors are those?

  25. Brett says:

    thanks Justin
    i got those mirrors off of ebay here:

  26. DanJ says:

    @Brett kind of awkward question but any chance you would post a pic of you sitting on it? I’m 5’11” 250lbs and want to see if I should get the tail you got or something with more than a 3″ stretch.

    Also, as Dane asked, does the TC Bros tail with stock rake make the frame sit un-level?

  27. chevy53 says:

    black always looks good

  28. Ryan says:

    is that a 650 front brake rotor that you used on the rear? Did you use a stock disk brake hub and rear axle bolt off a 650 or did you have to fab one?

  29. brett says:

    stock wheels and stock brakes

  30. brett says:

    hey danj
    i’m 5’8″ and 210lbs, the whole package is just a hair small-ish but that is what i wanted, something quick and nimble to scoot around town, and the TC hard tail is designed with the stock length forks in mind and keeps it really level.

  31. mark max pain says:

    killer looking bike great job

  32. Nooovie says:

    Hey Brett!

    Sweet XS man. I love these blacked out rides, and you definitely rocked this one out. I’m doing things a little opposite of you… I have a 76 Honda CB550F Cafe, which is a blast, and now I’m building and XS bobber from an 81. Black frame with flat black tins. It’s gonna be a tough choice which one to roll out on a sunny day.

    I was wondering if you would be willing to share more pics and info on your build. Am curious which rear master cylinder you used (from which bike) and how you set up your rear caliper stay. Looks like you fabbed a slotted tab? How’s that working out vs. a heim joint linkage? Any info would be appreciated. I can reciprocate with Honda knowledge. You can hit me up at mikethejeepguy*at*