Russell’s 1981 XS650


I was winging it.

Well here she is finally done. The project started out strong with no real hang ups other than a few things being put in the wrong place. It was my first build and I was winging it. Then I got to the point that I farmed a few things out and it all went to hell from there. First the wheels, they went off to the powder coater (heard nothing but good things about him) well I have nothing good to say about him first he sand blasted every thing including my bearing chases, well when we went to push the bearings in they just fell right into the damn wheels. I was pissed but wound up grooving the sides of the chase with a chisel and that closed it up enough to push the bearings in. Next he powder coated every thing on my caliber it took 3 hrs of sanding and chipping through 3 coats of powder to get the thing together and working. All done ya right.


The last was the biggest kick in the ass I had a local pro shop rebuild my motor I did not thing it
was to big a deal new seals, gaskets, pistons and rings. Well first the JERK broke a fin off the top of my motor enough to get my blood going, then I start looking over the motor at home I gave him all the seals needed for the motor he replaced not one of them getting a little madder, now the kicker I had a day off work and spent it putting the bike together running all my wires nice and neat and all the things that going along with final assembly. Now the moment of truth I fill her with gas and I am ready to go I start kicking kick kick kick nothing.


I pull the plugs to see if I can find anything. The plugs has no fuel on them, so now I got a carb problem. So, I pull, then go through every thing I know and put new mains, air, and pilots. Put them back on the bike and kick kick kick again, check the plugs still not getting anything now I am done I have a 3000 dollar boat anchor. I say the hell with it and take it to some local in town to take a look at it. The next day I get the call good news bad news, good my wiring is correct and no problems there, bad news the a$$ hole put the timing in 180 degrees off so I had to take the bike home and pull the motor yet again. Ryan at the motor cycle ware house in town got the thing up and going when he was done with it she started on the 4th kick and now first or second every time.



All in all it was a fun project and I am happy with the end results colors are what I wanted and it all seemed to fit. Also wanted to say thank you to Gordon Scott for making my pipe they look and sound great and also Roger Hearing at for helping me the first time around with getting the wiring figured out could not have done it with out his help.

Hope you all enjoy the bike as much as I do.



  1. JOSE says:


  2. Mitch says:

    Awesome job man! Glad it turned out so good after all the trouble. Those wheels really pop! I am doin my wheels in matte white and i was just curious is brake dust any problem on the light colored wheels?

  3. Russell S Zadlock says:

    Thank you brake dust not a problem it wipes off pretty easily with a cotton cloth and some spray and wax, the major pain in the ass is the chain lube, I got about 200 miles on her now and it is just starting to dry out once it is all dry I will put some silcoline on it the stuff gets real sticky and does not really come off all to much.

  4. Puker says:

    Something has just got to be so damn fun about wading through all that crap, and coming out the other end with your own bike. Enjoy the ride.

  5. nick says:

    where can I get a kicker like that, and what bars are those

  6. Bryan says:

    What possessed you to chose that color for the wheels? Also, is the primer the finished look or are you going to go with a color.

  7. Russ says:

    Bryan I wanted some thing loud and stupid for the wheels and the frame is hot rod black ( flat black ) and the skins are Ford Oxford White and nick bars are TCBROS mini apes and the kicker is the stock kicker with a brass pedal I bought off ebay

  8. Gig III says:

    day-glo wheels. great.

  9. My heart really went out to you over those guys who did the powder coating and the “Rebuild”…- Good to see you made a full recovery…
    I would like to know, – where did you get those Pipes…- I would really like some like those…- but I havent been able to find any…

  10. 3OZRA2EL says:

    coolest wheels ever man…….. i cant stop looking at bike… everyday since u posted… love it man..

  11. Don says:

    Good looking build, I like flat black like everyone else but those wheels are cool dont let anyone knock them. Sucks about all the trouble you had def looks the worth of no giving up.

    Harry C check out gordon scott’s site great pipes and service.

  12. Russ says:

    Harry just click on Gordon Scott it will take you right to his site.

  13. J dog says:

    Nice like the wheels.

  14. rob says:

    those pipes are disgusting…hook a brother up. Did you make them yourself? How did you clean/polish the motor?

  15. Rusty Nutz says:

    The cagers ought to be able to avoid you with those wheels.

    Nice job.

  16. anthony says:

    If you ever become a shop-owner you will one day discover that things don’t always go as planned. From the sounds of it the fellas you had do your work really did a number on you stuff. this however is one side of the story. i’d be willing to bet if we had a chance to talk to one opf those guys there may be a slightly different story. Things happen. If something was done poorly any reputable shop would repair it if it was indeed their mistake. If they refuse then i would perhaps at least be tempted to ram them into the ground. Maybe you should do a little more homework on them before you take it to them or at least give them a chance to make it right. You bike however does look fairly cool for someone who either doesn’t really know what they are doing or some one who is terrible at spelling. i.e.. its bearing RACE, brake CALIPER, and SILICONE. Except for those wheels man. What were you thinking?

  17. Thanx, – I love those pipes…perfect!

  18. Dominic says:

    awesome bike,i’m currently building a similar bike and would like to know who makes the forward controls you have,they look like the kit tc bros sells but out forward more,does tc bros have an other kit i missed? let me know thanks in advance!

  19. Russ says:

    thank you Dominic the controls are TCBROS I thought about welding them down a little lower, but took the easy way and bolted them to the motor mounts.

  20. ranken says:

    what wiring diagram did u use i have a 81 special go n bare bones can u help a brotha out

  21. Russ says:

    shoot me an email and I will send it to you

  22. chris says:

    great job! some people suck.they have no pride ! nice bike.

  23. Blackwidow says:

    Damn those wheels scream look at me and you know what?I love it

  24. ranken says:

    do i still need to get nylon screws for this diagram?

  25. shawn says:

    how did you attatch the brass kicker i got one and trying to firgure out the best way to do it? if i email u can you send a close up pic of the kicker. bike looks awesome btw

  26. Russ says:

    shawn shoot me a email if you want, all i did was cut the stock kicker half lapped a bolt on the end and welded it up real easy to do you’ll just have a little grinding to do when your done cause the stock kicker peg is a little big for the brass pedal

  27. hooversama says:

    The color of those wheels really is an abomination: I had a pair of shoe laces that color once… the 80’s when that color was cool.
    To each his own, I dig the bike. It looks like it would probably glow in the dark. Spellin has nevr ben a strng poinnt on this siite.

  28. Roger says:

    GEEZ Russ…what a friggin’ nightmare you went through on this one.
    I’m glad that the little help I could provide was put to good use.

    I’m still wrenchin’ away up here in Washington

  29. Jørgen says:

    Got any videos? amazing bike!