Tidy Whitey


I drove three hours to see a “decent” bike only to find the PO’s had gutted the wiring trying to fix the TCI, had left it outdoors for likely 5 years resulting in lots of rust, had removed the carbs and exhaust which explains the seized engine, and had read far too many web sites concerning bobbers and thought they were sitting on a gold mine. I gave them a pissed off attitude for dragging me all that way and offered them $100 for what was basically a title and a frame. They took it. xs650-chop-noid-10_vacation-bikes_167

When I got home, I soaked the engine with WD and after 15 minutes , she was spinning freely with 150 compression on both cylinders. Having aquired a few necessary parts to get it running  , a can of starter fluid, and a few adjustments, I had the beast purring like a kitten.



Next came the tear down.

I thought a soft tail would be easier than a rigid but as it turns out there was alot of work  getting this thing right. Aside from bending the seat rails, there is alot of engineering involved to get everything to fit. They’re just not as wide open as the hardtails.


This was my wifes project from the start and as she loves to shop , I gave her the task of combing flea-bay for all the required stuff. She also footed the bill for everything.
Her bike right…

I shaved and lowered the forks, and extended the swingarm by 2″. The shocks are from a Harley Bagger. I wanted to limit swingarm travel as the steeper pitch from the shock mounts  caused for more arm  travel to achieve the same  compression. The ride is  comfortable although tight, still  smother  than a rigid.

The cam chain is too noisey and I’ll have to do a top end tear down this winter as its already been adjusted but other than that she rides and runs great and corners like a dream.

The wife is happy as well although I push the curves alot more.

I included a pic of “Old Crow” along with “Tidy Whitey”   as the Crow is now for sale on E-Bay. I’ve got to make room for another project
Have a look.



  1. theirie1 says:

    you can’t beat that deal. Looks good. Did you just spray WD on the pistons to jar them loose?

  2. sean from boston says:

    the bike looks awesome! great “brat style” bike also the other bike looks great

  3. Bodhi says:

    The seized engine, I pulled the plugs and hosed down the inside of the compression chamber. The pistons were likely stuck from the lack of exhaust pipes on the bike when I found it. mostly a little surface rust and crud. The problem is that without doing a compression check on a non running engine, you’re really taking your chances. I was just going to use the titled frame and purchase one of the many non titled bikes on the CL as a donor for the engine and other assorted parts.
    It really wasn’t all that cheap as it cost me around $300 to get this one running.

    As far as Brat-style goes, I’ve still got shocks. Thats probably the only Brat element on this bike. You could argue that the word is overused and purists will tell you that. I was just shooting for rigid lines that handled a little better than a rigid.

    Calling it an extended swingarm bike doesn’t really sound zippy enough.

  4. Tebo says:

    Zippy or not, “Brat style” is old school bad-ass, and the Visual Impact kits are going to influence alot of builds. Too many rigids out there, (not that they’re a bad thing), but we love different. And a custom with a rear suspension, might become a trend. Please give more details on the ‘extended swingarm’. Inquiring minds want to know. How much extension? What shocks to use? How do you control over-travel? I have as many questions as there are variables in suspension geometry. And I almost flunked geometry…..

  5. Sean from boston says:

    So how does the extended swingarm handle? I love the look and was wondering if you thought stock length shocks would still look good and preform well

  6. jamanus says:

    wat da crap

  7. norm younger says:

    cool bikes. nicely done.

  8. tom says:

    tidy air cleaners, what are they and where do ya find em

  9. Tebo says:

    More questions… how did you bend the seat loop? Your (wife’s) bike is exactly what I want do with a ’75 I have. I plan to do the whole PMA/Pamco/Sparx thing, and get Joe Wiseguy to build me an underbraced swingarm (with a 3-1/2″ stretch, to give me and my fat ass more room for the full-length fender). More design elements to follow, but your frame mods are the nuts!