“Call it what you want” build…


Write about your XS650.: Hey one and all, long time listener, first time caller… I mean long time reader, first time poster, is that right?  Anyways, now that I’m done with my 1st ever bike build, I thought I would post some pics and get some feedback on it.  Right out of the gate I want to stress that this is my one and only build so far.


Visiting this website (which is so frigin cool) for the past year or so I have seen a lot of bikes very similar to mine: hardtail, sporty tank, etc…  So yes, I’m going to stand up for myself and the rest of the first time builders: The hardtail, sporty tank, etc… is simple, easy, and fun to do.  That is why I did it.  I had no clue what the hell I was doing when I was stripping the stock 82, and when it was stripped down to the bare frame, I still had no idea what I was doing.


My point I’m trying to make is that as a first timer, it’s very intimidating to build a simple hardtail XS.  To those that have done it a million times, yes, I give you all the credit in the world; I dig your custom frames, your custom tanks, springers and totally different looks.  But you are able to do that because of experience, not because of lack of imagination.  So for all of you that helped me out on my first build, I thank you.  And for all of you out there that are thinking about building an XS, here is my advice:


Have TC Bros weld on your hardtail, put a sporty tank on it, use TC’s controls and everything they have to offer. Get familiar with MikesXS as well. Get to know the XS from front to back, become familiar and comfortable with the bike.  Don’t think of building a show winner for your first time.  And if you do build a show winner for your first one; damn son keep going… And most of all have fun doing it.  I can’t count the amount of nights I spent in the garage trying to figure something out for hours when now it would take me a couple of minutes.  That makes me laugh when I look back at it.  It has been a dream of mine to do something like this and now that I have done it, I would not change anything about the bike.  The next build? That’s a different story!!!

So, one and all, keep building, experimenting, posting and sharing.  Your stories inspire the timid to become first time bike builders.  Signing off, first time bike builder!!!



  1. Puker says:

    Cheers! Wear the tires off that SOB! And congrats on your first build!

  2. toe. says:

    dude. its a great bike. any one that says otherwise can eat it!

  3. tadd442 says:

    Well said….& well done….looks similar to mine, sans the rear fender.

    Ride proud and congrats on getting it on the road!

  4. tadd442 says:

    Did you buy or make your “oil tank”?

  5. 62pyro says:

    Nice build.I’ll be starting mine this fall.Hope it turns out this nice.

  6. Rusty Nutz says:

    Perfect for a hot night like tonight.

  7. 18A_ODA_332 says:

    Nice ride

  8. shawn says:

    agree with the well said & nice bike bro! mine has the hardtail, sporty tank, etc as well and it’s going to be black. i’m sure there are many out there that look similar and personally i don’t care. i think they look sweet and i’m building it for me not anyone else 🙂 makes me think of pvt pile in full metal jacket (This is my rifle. There are many like it, but this one is mine.My rifle is my best friend) it’s funny how addictive these things get i’m not even finished with the first one and i’m already planning the next one…

  9. greg says:

    Looks like IL plates, where abouts are you at, Im doing my first chop also, im sure i could use some of that info you spent those long nights in the garage for… those warehouse building look familiar, Bolingbook-ish area?

  10. chevy53 says:

    good job bro, you cant go wrong with a hardtail and sporty tank.

  11. Ryszard says:

    Thanks guys, glad to hear that some of you agree with on the “first build” theory… Just to answer some of your questions: Oil tank is from TC, and yes greg, you will find me cruising around the bollingbrook/naperville area, any questions shoot me an e-mail: thegazeta@gmail.com And yes, I need a back fender, too many t-shirts ruined already. Later all…

  12. Sherwin says:

    Love the bike! I’m also on a first time build with many of the components coming from TC Bros. I’ll have a look similar to yours other than the color and mag wheels. Also plan to go with no rear fender but will have to see how practical it turns out to be. Anyway, great job, a true classic.

  13. REEB! says:

    Don’t worry I to fell in to the sporty tank and TC tail too. Its for sale on eBay now

  14. Sean from boston. says:

    Very nice bike! gotta love that 1st time builder excitement!! (i have it as well picking up the bike this week) loos great man

  15. chunny says:

    Nice build. I have the same forward controls from TC and still need to setup my rear brake. Would you mine posting a close up pic of how you have your rear brake setup, thanks.

  16. Andy Larmouth says:

    nicely said Ryszard…..and when all is said and done, a hardtail and sporty tank, no matter how many times it is done, still looks cool as f@*k!!!!!

  17. AJ says:

    well said man! the best thing that I’m noticing with the bike is once you know the bike (and have some mechanical knowledge) you can build your bike change your mind on it and redo it in a weekend or a few weeks. So glad that my friend got me hooked and that there are others out there hook too.

  18. JonathonD says:

    Nice bike mang looks good, mine has a sporty tank with a custom hard tail but it still looks like a hundred other bikes on this site but around my home town where I ride it’s the only one like it and it’s fun as hell to burn around on!! Enjoy your bike looks awesome!!

  19. Tebo says:

    Ryszard, The Xs650 is one of those rare, few, nearly perfect, timeless machines. They’re in the same class as the ’98 Mauser, the DC-3, and the Brannock device (you know, that thing they use to measure your feet for shoes?). And there are many other examples. Add or subtract anything from them, but the essence cannot be improved. Same goes for the Xs650. Tanks, frames, forks, whatever, the nucleus is the 650’s unit motor, a blank canvas of unlimited potential. Whatever you build, whether it’s a trailer queen or a rat, one-off or “kit bike”, it’s yours alone. By the way, that’s a great bike. Looks like the quintessential badass, bad-boy scoot. The only sad thing is, sooner or later they’ll all be gone. Chopped up, bobbed, built, wrecked, or driven into the ground. Yamaha won’t make any more, so we’ll have to love the ones we have. I’ve been working here and there for a year trying to get my ’75 P.O.S. basketcase out of the basket. Unfortunately, getting there is half the fun only when it’s running!

  20. BLACKWIDOW says:

    Looks like a clean build

  21. Bodhi says:

    Yea, I like the bike , but I like the attitude even more. Harry’s rant is icing on the cake. And the photo shoot is an absolute one-off. great effects.

    I noticed you ‘ve got the 64/48 spoke wheels, makes for a nice extra to the standard build. It would also seem that the TC foward controls tend to mount a bit high on the frame. I custom bracketed mine to sit lower but able to still bolt on to the front motor mounts. Of course I had a bridgeport and some plate steel handy.

    I don’t know if I would argue that the complexities of modern engineering were by design done to thwart the efforts of the home builder. Even the xs platform has a myriad of bogus wiring included for reasons other than ease of modification for anyone with a 6 pack and a hacksaw. But that is the benefit, that these things can be done despite said obstacles. If you reduce it to its basic form, a better understanding and thus the ability to build on that becomes more readily attainable.

    xs philosophy 101

    I’m glad I stumbled onto this thread despite the “standard build” on the cover. I tend to look to the more exotic bikes to get my blood pumping. Its a pattern we all fall into. It shows whats possible.

  22. Bodhi says:

    side note…………. the seat looks like a larosa . they had a bunch listed for about $80 much earlier this year or maybe last year … an almost impossible price if you’re looking for leather, even from larosa.
    When i got mine it had a pronounced bend in the pan. Much more than most any other I’ve seen. I figured they were factory seconds hence the low price. As it turns out, the extra bend made for a much more comfortable ride. occassionally luck rolls in your favor.

  23. Chase Hove says:

    I love the style of your bike. Very simple yet complex. I am trying to get a project started which follows some of the same vision you have. I live in the Kankakee area and nobody has an xs where I live, mind if I check it out sometime before summer ends?

    Cheers, Chase.

  24. pauly says:

    If I had to call it anything….I would say “Cookie cutter”…I know that’s a hard concept to grasp with choppers, true choppers…but yes, everybody and their “Bro” (holy jesus, really) has a bike that looks like this. Give me a break guys, its bad enough we have all the cookie cutter bikes off the showroom floor, but now this? You would be much better off cutting it up and actually doing some of the work yourself and adding at least some style to it. Another ugly build for a proud “First timer”, or wait, it is your first build right? Couldn’t guess by you “telling” us….:-/

  25. vern sowers says:

    hey great frist build i am now shoping for a xs650 to build up i just hope when i find one and start building it that the trun out looks haf as good as yours great job and keep building

  26. Yale says:

    Pauly – dont be such a hater. The bike looks great. The photo shoot is what really grabbed me. What type of effects are did you use?