Tenacious XS


My 79 xs. After  months of searching and saving i finally picked one up.
In Alberta(Canada) they aren’t as easy or cheap to find.  Drove 2 hrs on a sun night to get her. And as soon as i got it i swear half a dozen popped up for sale.(One of which i bought, it’s almost too mint to touch ;))Then with my canadian tire grinder and tools i  started to take off  the items i didn’t want on like, passenger pegs, fenders , signal lights and most important, that sick ass seat.


I picked up some 10″ rebel shocks, made a make shift seat pan until i can cut, shorten and re-weld the seat loop. i kinda like the look just want it shorter. i also put on a set of bars from my 2004 z1000. working on getting some clip ons, hopefully an old  honda cl 175 tank (anyone have one?) other than that it should keep me busy for a few evenings. Then when all is good ,strip her down, rebuild the motor, (attempt to)rewire it  and put a cream coat on it.  i love this thing!And this site!  any suggestions for the bike???

chris newman


  1. REEB! says:

    Very solid start. For a suggestion you asked about I would run different controls such as a dirt bike mastercylinder and clutch perch. New throttle and grips. But then you would have to rewire it. And the list continues! Ha its never ending

  2. Stu says:

    Where in Alberta are you? I’m in Edmonton. I’ve got one daily rider and one bobber i’m working on. If your not to far we should go for a ride.

  3. chris says:

    REEB! i think you get what i’m going for. i actually am looking for some dirt bike stuff. and i have some cool old dirtbike pegs and shifter/brake levers. i also pounded some knee indents on the tank the other night. turned out really good. imo. i should post pics. And to Stu. i”m in Red Deer, so once i get this thing re jetted i’ll take you up on that ride.

  4. Mister says:

    Nice to see more canadians on the site(Kelowna/Whistler here). I’d like to know more details about different controls, I sure would like to have a smaller mastercylinder/brake leaver and clutch leaver. Nice start, to the bike! And your right about the bike search, took me about a year and I went to the states to pick mine up.

  5. PigsRiggs says:

    How did you mount the seat to the frame? Hope that doesnt sound too stupid.

  6. Russ says:

    Im not shure how much travel is in your shocks , just wondering if the tire will bottom out on your seat pan.(I recently scored a set or rebel shocks for a bike Im gathering parts for)

  7. Stu says:

    Let’s do it. I haven’t actually went out riding with another 650 yet, just a bunch of shiny Harleys that think i’m tweaked. I just picked up an amazing XS about half hour out of Red Deer.

    I would like to know about that travel on the rebel shocks though. It seems that you almost have to cut out the rear rail so your tire doesn’t rub.

  8. James K. Irmert says:

    Nice dude, very cool. It’s nice to see some people from Alberta who’re into these bikes too 🙂 I picked myself up a ’79 last fall. Need to do some work to it before its back on the road however.

  9. chris says:

    hey Russ. the shocks are stiff i haven’t put many miles(km’s canada;)) but i’m near 200 pounds and i bombed over some bumps to test it. there was i slight rub on the underside of the seat. i plan on reworking the seat area to a smaller length and that might give me more clearance by having the radius of the tire follow the curvature of the rear of the seat. hope that helps???
    PIGSRIGGS, i mounted the seat with self tapping screws to the seat rail. i moved the reserve lighting unit and fuse panel to behind the side cover for the time being. just unplugged some clips, found an existing mount hole from the air box, mounted it, and reran the wiring harness. took like 20 mins. that gives a flat area to mount to.

  10. chris says:

    Hey STU? between you and i, i think we are the ones buying them all up. Did you get a good price on the one near red deer? i found both of mine in calgary, there was a killer stock one there, but i used all my $ up. i plan on getting 1 more. then another. then 1 for parts, then one for decoration.

  11. Idaho chad says:

    bro if your stoked on that seat I would make it out of a old school alva skate deck… solid start, keep it up

  12. JesC says:

    looking good! Where did you pick up those exhaust tips?

  13. Earz says:

    Definately diggin it. I’d been wondering what 10″ shocks would look like on a mostly stock bike. I had some Suzuki savage 10″ers on my old 650 maxim and they were stiff as hell. I might have to try to steal a set of rebel shocks on eBay.

    Is there a baffle of any kind in those exhaust tips orbis it just a tip welded on?

    Post more pics as you progress. I’m curious to see how the indented tank turned out.

  14. chris says:

    no baffles, just exhaust pipe cut at a sharp angle. sounds wicked, runs bad. i’m trying to match the lines of the frame. i’m gonna post pics of my tank tonight. it’s not finished but it will help build confidence for others doing it. i think it looks better than the sporty tanks too.

  15. I went thru short-shocks question in my mind a lot, and finally wound up putting factory fender back on, but MOUNTED LOWER, so that underside of fender is about 3 1/2 ” above tire…I was afraid I wouldnt like it, – but found to my good surprize that I DO like it…- it looks good…(Altho I did not have rear frame loop)
    Of course you will have to shorten your seat, or as you say, – have seat follow fender radius…But that looks good too…
    I would also say lower your front shocks about another inch untill bike sets level, – But, – yeah you will have to wait untill your clip-ons arrive to do that…- of use risers to get the handlebars above the excess upper forks..lol…

  16. Hey Chris, glad to see people in Ab. now have some taste (meaning you)! It was hog-land 2yrs ago when I was there last. U know where the Reynolds Ab. museum is? Somewhere round there is a guy who has a whole field/garage/barn of old bikes & parts. Same idea as the Reynolds guy, he collects and sells parts, but don’t tell him your gonna chop anything. How did your build finish up? Maybe we can go for a spin this summer as I’m heading that way in june I think. Also “MISTER” of Kelowna hit me up too, I’m in Greenwood, a fun little ride up/down #33 (150k away).