1975 XS650 Old School Rigid Frame


I don’t know much about this…in fact have never touched it. I bought it off E Bay while here in Afghanistan…and won’t be home until December. A neighbor kid runs it around the meadow every couple of weeks to keep things charged up.



There are a few things I want to change, but not much. The tank and fender paint definitely stay!  I want to remove the sissy bar, and install a solo spring seat to keep my kidneys and cojones permanently attached. I want to do something about the battery box, as well as cover the wiring. The triangular plate that extends past the battery box has to go, and the entire frame has to be touched up paintwise.



I will have it taken to Twisted Spoke in Clarksburg West Virginia just before I get home, have it gone over safety wise, change the oil, inspect it, etc. Any suggestions on what it may need would be greatly appreciated. I will listen and consider all. Thought I was over my bike phase…and then this caught.

Eugene Botting


  1. Sean from boston. says:

    well first off I wanted to say Thanks for serving in the armed forces, and second the bike looks pretty nice and with the changes mentioned i think it will look “baller” also know as cool, I would also like to say the paint work looks nice and was wondering what tank that was.

  2. Colin says:

    Cool find brother. Good luck with all when you get back. I assume that you are serving in the military there, so with that I thank you for your hard work and sacrifice. God bless.

  3. Jake says:

    Thanks for your service

  4. Rusty Nutz says:

    IMHO it’s a period piece and maybe you should not change anything about it; 30 yrs from now you’ll kick yourself if you change it. At least photograph it really good for posterity. Maybe just change the seat like you said to help preserve your spine.

  5. shawn says:

    nice classic chop, looks like its right outa the 70’s…

  6. Bodhi says:

    Because you asked, Those are harley foward controls and not vintage from the 60’s. the sissy bar is right out of the catologue too.
    Whoever built this took a lot of time and attention to details trying to duplicate that 60’s look . The front end might be an era piece as I see a few of them around every now and then.

    However, i have to wonder how well these stretched,raked choppers handle. I personally would drop the front down a bit until the frame is level. Get rid of the exhaust collector as it takes up alot of space. and definitely get a seat with springs under it. But thats just one mans opinion.

    Do you want to ride it or look at it with your long haired hippie friends.

  7. Bodhi says:

    one other note, those drum brakes are notoriously bad especially when you use a modified pivot lever w/ the forward controls rather than a stock lever. the stock lever allows for much more pressure as the arm is 9 inches long. plan ahead

  8. David O'Toole says:

    That back brake is not going to work well. For maximum effect the rod need to be at as close to 90 degrees to lever arm (on the brake) as possible. The rod will probably need to be replaced with a longer one. (especially as you don’t appear to have a front brake at all). Of course, in America, I believe, the roads are long and straight. Plenty of time to slow down for junctions. 🙂

  9. David O'Toole says:

    Nice bike BTW. Hope you enjoy it.

  10. JungleBiker says:

    IMHO, and this is just the way I would do it and is in no way a suggestion of how anybody else should do it; I’d either rake it out more or shorten the front end to bring the front of the engine down so that the cylinders aren’t sloping backwards. Pretty sure you’d end up with something loooooooooong, loooow and mean looking. Oh yeah, I agree with you that you should lose the sissy bar. And Bodhi may be right on the exhaust comment–there are a lot of nice exhaust systems out there that will give you a lot more ground clearance should you choose to lower your frame at all. I forget the guy’s name who makes all those custom XS exhaust systems, spend some time on the XS sites and you’ll find him.

    David O’Toole has apparently never been to the TN/NC border….

  11. Bodhi says:

    I was just up at the Dragon last month. They had a rockslide back in march so there is now only one way in and one way out. no thru traffic, no tourists, no trucks , few cops , and alot of fun

    they may have it cleared out by now

  12. Mason says:

    Just one bro, take care of yourself and watch your back. Right now its all about the dreams of riding the bike and what you’re going to do to it. As The Dude says, Abide.

  13. David O'Toole says:

    Junglebiker – Is that Tennesee / North Carolina? No I haven’t, mate. You have bends there then? I HAVE been to America a few years ago. I was blown away and can’t wait to go back again. All the best Dave.

  14. Billybobba says:

    Hey Davo! Be sure to get heated gloves if ya plan to go ridin over there mate, the’ve got this white stuff they call snow , it looks bloody nasty!!
    Mate thats a cool 70’s look only one prob they handle like crap, but they have the head tuning effect, enjoy.

  15. Gene Botting says:

    Sean – no idea who made the tank.
    Colin and Jake- I’m retired, not in the military. I am teaching at the Afghan National Customs Academy.
    Rusty – Other than removing the sissy bar, adding a saddle bag and a more comfortable seat, I am not really changing much. Just finishing some things off.
    Bodhi – I have been wondering that myself. However, I live WAY back in the hills of West Virginia, and will have lots of freedom to practice. I’ll also have Twisted Spoke look at the brakes and see what they recommend.
    David – I live in West Virginia. Straight roads are an abstract concept at best.
    JungleBiker – I like the look so will probably leave it alone. I’m of an age where I’m just a day tripper now anyway.
    Billybobba – I’m going home in December, ergo I WILL dress warm!

    To all – thanks for the comments and suggestions. The one about the pipes I am very probably going to take. I was thinking of wrapping them but it just wouldn’t suit the style. I am absolutely dying to get my hands on this…almost as much to tear it down and put it back together all spiffied up as I am to ride it.

  16. sly-sy says:

    Sick sled man!!! Make it back safe, so you can enjoy it!!!!!

  17. norm younger says:

    Love the old school 60’s look.