stripping it down


I picked up what the previous owner says “finished bike” in Pennsylvania during the fall season. Right when I got home I started stripping it down and began to put my own ideas into it.  When the summer season started I rode it for a year,raw to see what would break and what I would have to build to make it stronger.


A friend of mine, Kyle ( Leadfist Cycles ) built my tank; teardropped, flush gas cap, and mid-controls out of old handle bars laying around. Once winter season came around again, I stripped it down to bare frame and had everything sand blasted. I cut the gusets, shaved the forks, and made a seat pan.


picked up some huge threaded rod and made some foot pegs out of it, hockey tape grips, flour can from target for all my wires and such, made license plate braket, ordered a 2 into 1 exhaust from mikes xs, went over the whole bike, I spent long days and nights, drank a lot of beers and pissed off my girlfriend for spending more time with the bike and not her.



Seat was tooled by Brandy,out of Saugerties, NY. Paint work done by Quality Auto Body in Cairo, NY. This is my first bike that I have built and will not be the last. I am looking to build a cafe racer next.

dave koemm


  1. Brendon says:

    Hot damn! That is one sweeeeeet looking bike! Im in love!
    What did you use for your front wheel? Is that a rear wheel? Sorry if thats a dumb question, im building my first bike and wouldnt mind going with something similar as you as far as the front wheel goes.
    Again….. awesome bike man!

  2. toe. says:

    thats a thing of beauty, right there!

  3. tadd442 says:

    Is that wheel/fork combo from an XS400?

  4. Tebo says:

    Dave, you are one sick pup! The bike rocks. Rocks! I share a couple design details with you. The hockey tape grips, and that Tank is so f***ing COOL! I’m wondering if something like that can be done on a stock tank with parallel cuts from a band saw, then welding the pieces back on opposite sides.Then the insides become the outsides. Oh, yeah, and there’s a Xs650 or two North of Syracuse. P.S. Where did you get those TIRES!

  5. DANNY says:

    Great bike

  6. chevy53 says:

    cool bike man, every thind works well together especially the colors.

  7. Russ says:

    Looks good, really dig that tank.Can you send in some pictures of the other bikes also?

  8. Alex says:

    That tank is really nice. Good choice of colors also. Do any of your buddies in the first pic have their bike on here?

  9. REEB! says:

    Very nice build. I have the same problem with being in the garage and not “spending time with the ball n chain” I don’t know why but drinking beer and hacking up bike is more fun!

  10. dave says:

    thanks everyone, the front wheel is off an xs400 the forks are stock just shaved

  11. Earz says:

    Wicked looking bike man. Love the tank. I’ve been thinking abbout that flour can for hiding the wires, but I just haven’t made it to the store.

    On a side note, when I go to the homepage – it shows 9 older posts before finally getting to the newly posted rides. Is it like that for everyone? Or am I doing something wrong. No matter when I visit – I have to scroll 9 posts down before viewing the freshest pics. I’m using an iPhone if it matters.

  12. Bover says:

    Sweet photos

  13. hell yeah man, love that dished tank. Don’t worry about pissin off the ladies they’ll soon realize they’re better off without ya and you’ll have all the time in the world to build that cafe. will keep you warm at night.

  14. Donnie says:

    Nice chop, good details…cool photography.

  15. tadd442 says:

    Please describe how/what you used as a stop-block for the drum brake being the forks are stock! (please?) Did you weld/bolt something the lowers?


  16. reynoldburton says:


    Don´t know if this brake is a yamaha one, but
    if you´re using a stock xs or sr drumbrake it would be attached with an aluminium piece bolted to the original caliper mounts. Its no special construction – just a Yamaha part of the drumbrake (maybe hard to find).

  17. dave says:

    the pics where taken by a good friend jason bover, (above photography) as for the forks, i welded a small piece of aluminum for the drum stop, and just found 2 more 650s so that cafe is coming sooner then later

  18. dave says:

    tires i got off of

  19. tadd442 says:

    Thanks Dave!

  20. tadd442 says:

    Oh….AND Thanks, @reynoldburton!

  21. Rachel says:

    nice chopper ! Your girlfriend can’t wait to be rulingggggggg with you.

  22. MorrisK says:

    That is one sweet ride. I have been in the process of building a bike similar to yours as we speak. I have tried looking everywhere for a gas tank just like that. even posted in other forums in search of one. could you please email me with info on the tank.

    Awsome bike!!!!!!!!

  23. Jason says:

    Nice build….sick! What’s the rake on that?

  24. armand says:

    cmon guy footcontrol foward . its funier

  25. BLACKWIDOW says:

    Nice chop Your not worried about getting your ass caught in that bike tire??LOL

  26. Sean from boston. says:

    bike looks sweet…. that tank is well Sex on the beach raw doging it good

    for all those who don’t like that language “please excuse my foul mouth”

  27. Brad says:

    What size are your front and rear tires and wheels where did you get them? Also, where did you get your hardtail from?

  28. Mellow yellow says:

    Dude great bike but your tank has a huge dent in it hahaha.

  29. Zander says:

    sweet ride man, just wondering how much strech does the hardtail have

  30. dave says:

    yes xs400 fork and front wheel