FTW…. free to wander

I never imaged the 650 would turn out the way it did.

Reuben – Here is a little back story. I had been wanting a bike for some time. I was looking but nothing I could really afford, because I wanted a Triumph. Since they have become quite popular the price of them has rocketed. So I was just talking with a buddy, and bikes popped up. I said I want to build a Yamaha because Trumpets became pricey. I looked at me crazy like (Harley guy). Says to me oh yeah, “I know where a 150$  frame and motor that has been just rebuilt”.

We were on a boat, so all I could think about was getting ashore. The rest is history. Builder: Dana at ASC Speedmetal and I. The build: is my first. I have been building “rat rods” since forever. Pretty much Dana’s first build too. Seems like the build took a year. I was not in a hurry. I thought I would just make a ratty 650 that I would just turn around and sell to get a Harley. I was wrong, I never imaged the 650 would turn out the way it did. “It’s a real crowd pleaser”


After looking at bike after bike, trying to figure out how I wanted the hard tail to go we said F it lets jus weld the bike the height and wheel base you want it and go from there. Stripped the bike down to nothing got rid of all tabs, cut out the front part of the frame. (We reinforced somewhere else). Got lucky on rear gussets. Our friend teaches machine work at a local community collage. So he did it as a class project. The cost 0$. All the 4130 was scraps lying around the shop.


Almost everything I got was kick down shxt from my biker buddies. Or I traded, I am fortunate to live in long beach, ca where there is a motorcycle swap once a month. There’s also an old car one too. Can’t limit yerself to just bike parts. There is a lot of cool stuff at almost any swap meet.



Wheels: front 21” pizza cutter spool rear is 16”sporty (the gearing was kind of a pain but there always eBay) just went big on the front equals out.

Frame: Yamaha with custom built hard tail
Forks: cut down and shaved sporty with xs400 triple tree with new stem
Exhaust: custom “stainless” (you can get a pipe kit at www.biltwellinc.com
Electrical box: Triumph octagon, I cut a rectangle out the top. Put in single coil and the 2nd smallest battery I could find. I am not running the starter, so now starter switch.


Gas tank: Wassell painted by Sonny Boy at Road Dog Customs sonnyboypaint.blogspot.
Fender: ripped triumph
Seat: swap meet special that I aged, p-pad bates
Pegs: Anderson with custom peg mounts
Kicker: brass
Bars: custom
Sissy bar: custom (stainless)


Right side case: custom copper plate (these can be made as many different metals) Hit me on chopcult.com (rubysoho) it can be a service or not. But one is WAY cheaper than the other. Left side case: cut weird chain guard off.


Things learned on this build. Don’t run exhaust under seat (gets real hot a long rides) and don’t weld on kickstand. After riding it I learned it can be real scary going left sometime. Well, I hope my bike inspires someone.

Thanks, Reuben
Feel free to hit me up for additional info….


  1. Don says:

    Nice build, sounded like fun man. I really dig the bars.

  2. tadd442 says:

    Very well done.
    LOVE the bars!

  3. Franken Daddy says:

    Awsome job.

  4. theirie1 says:

    Phat!! Real Phat.

  5. Broman says:

    Love the super trad paint scheme – hats off to the artist. I really like the way the exhaust looks, though the mention of the heat does make me think twice.

    I wonder if maybe you should put some header wrap on that section and maybe some kind of reflective pan insert on the frame under the seat (or right under the seat itself) to knock down some of that heat. I will say though that I’m from Iowa and a little seat heat might let me ride that bitch deep into December, LOL. Maybe you could work on some way to run the exhaust through the handlebars so’s I could quit wearin’ mittens on my cold rides – hahahaha.

    You know there should be a built in form to fill out when posting bikes up – that way it makes people list out things that they might leave out when giving the stories of their bikes. We all love the stories buteveryone wants to know what parts you used!!!! Gas tank, forks, fenders, bars…..and so on. Once the parts are all listed – that leaves the bike owner free to write a good story.


  6. Grease Nipple says:

    That’s a good friend you’ve got there.

  7. Sean from boston says:

    Bitchen bike for sure!

  8. Rad Ventures says:

    Pretty awesome bike, it really took on the look of truimph. Big fan of the pipes and the bars. looks good nice job

  9. Dead Ed says:

    very sick build…love the style and those bars are spot on! lots of ideas going on here! Great job!

  10. bigpup says:

    Reuben, you have inspired me man, excellent job. i am working on my second build and you have me convinced to keep forks on it instead of a springer front-end. looks great, how many inches did you lower your front-end and how? thanks for posting your scoot!

  11. reuben says:

    thank you everyone!!!!
    about the forks. set forks in triple tree how you want your bike sit. mark and cut off with chop saw, or grinder with cutting disk. always wear eye protection. (cut just above the length you want) the machinest will clean up. then go to a local machinest or community collage with the part you cut off, and say make this like this…. haaa… naw, but really it is very important to take cut off piece. make sure yer forks are completly dismantled. put forks back together. pull up the upper tube mark spring and cut there. i went a little lower because i could not get the top on. i put just over 4 ounces of fork oil….. shoot can’t remember… i wanna say 20… but it is up to you. i cant really say how much i cut off, because they were longer then stock… but i can tell you it is -2 under stock harley (shovelhead)…
    hope this helps…..-R
    oh, and sorry bout my grammer.. i miss some words every once in awhile

  12. Joel says:

    Killer scooter! I really dig the crank case cover!

  13. Josh says:

    Great bike love the look it has, great job on a 1st build

  14. Joel says:

    Love the bars and the low mounted peanut. You definitely got the vintage triumph chopper look, really nice. Does the sporty drum suck just as bad as the yamaha one?? ha

  15. ROODIS says:

    I love it man it looks great and every thing goes with everything very nice job

  16. Mason says:

    Very nice. Love the sissybar, bars and paint. Classy

  17. Capt_Zoom says:

    Sweet ride. Like the right side cover. Your bars are badAzz and your sissybar rocks.

  18. Bob says:

    Love the paint, nice work on hiding the battery, I’m going to steal that idea. If you have a better picture of the battery set up it would help. Thanks

  19. wierd. now my previous comment is back. gremlins. well at least I know no one got their panties in a knot. Great bike. Hahah

  20. nonic says:

    Sweet paint job and copper plate on the right case is cool…..

  21. Em says:

    Hi, great bike! Where is the coil mounted?

  22. Missal says:

    Well done. Bet its a last to ride.

  23. Broman says:

    I_am_10_ninjas = it’s called refresh. Try it. LOL.
    Just ribbing you, but seriously if you can’t see your last post you just need to at least try to refresh. I did the same thing a week or so back….


  24. Mick says:

    Dose the copper plate leak? It looks like its screwed on. Is it glued,screwed, riveted??? Love the way it looks.

  25. hooversama says:

    sweet bike…. awesome bars and paint…..

    i hope english is your second language. ha ha.

  26. tommy guns says:

    way cool bro, way to keep the traditional scheme going, bike looks great, sissy bar just needs a sleeping bag and your set for a good ole biker trip.

  27. Reeb! says:

    Like the bike wish you kept the pipes level tho!

  28. Ted says:

    @ Mick- I wonder if it is riveted on. The side cover is pretty thick.

    @ Broman having a longer form to fill out that lists all the parts used is a good idea. If You make it too much work to send in pic the less bikes get sent in, and that’s no good. (I did just clean up the comments section here a little bit if anybody noticed 🙂

  29. mick says:

    I appreciate you responding to me, I guess what I really want to know is did you drill holes through the cover and if you did,are they leaking or not????

  30. @Broman – rreeee…ffresh? you techy guys and your technical mumbo jumbo… 😉 thanks for the tip, smart-ass.

    @Ted – feel free to continue the clean up by deleting my retardedness

  31. reuben says:

    sorry i have not responded about the side cover… no, it does not leak. it took hours of drilling and tapping. (with a mill)all srcews have loctite… been on long rides, and has been on since may.. it can be done in many different metals…..

  32. Grease Nipples says:

    This lady walks up to me at closing time. She said, “I’d like a big dick.” I said, “I’ll bet you do, you already have a mustache.”

  33. Taylor Pilote says:

    hey man,

    Great Build. I have been messing around with some (3) xs400’s and in the middle of a deal to score my first xs650. Its refreshing to see new contemporary bike builds that really take the personality of the machine to another level. Like your friend, I grew up around my father and his plethora of Harleys. I too fell in love with those machines but being a graduate student the funds are just not there. It is rewarding to put together aesthetic and utilitarian choices to create truly one off bikes that will turn any bike owner’s head (especially Harley guys!) no matter the make or model. After all thats the true goal, establishing the desired outcome of a build no matter the budget, to use all your resources (friends like your machinist friend and forums like this) and to stray far from the cookie cutter machines the Discovery channel has led into Fad-land. Congrats on the build, its another testament to what this site and the contemporary low brow bike building culture have to offer, cheers, T

  34. Billybobba says:

    Nice ride mate, what the rear tyre?

  35. Broman says:

    @Ted, I suppose you’r eright – what do I know, I just use the internet – I don’t work on it….hhahahahahaa….

    I just like to see what parts people use – and it seems like the stories that come with the build are an extra bonus.


  36. Philthy78 says:

    Pretty inspiring. You’ve incorporated a lot of ideas I’ve had. nice to see them in fruitation.