What the @#*& have I stepped into ?!?!


Serious amount of rake

I thought I’d share some pictures of an unfinished project bike I recently obtained in a trade. I had purchased a Buell on Ebay and had it shipped to me. I could tell before it even came off the trailer it was not even close to what was represented in the ad. The bike was a mess. I was getting ready to start buying a bunch of parts to get the Buell back in shape when I checked Craigslist to see if anything I needed was available locally. As fate would have it the guy who I got the XS from had his bike listed for sale and it happened to be on the top of the column the moment I looked.


click pic to enlarge

I called the number listed in the ad on a whim and went to see the bike that night. I’d pretty much talked myself out of getting the XS until I saw the bike. The XS looked to me like a cross between a chopper and something you see on the salt at Bonneville. Even though my Buell was ugly it did run and that interested the guy who owned the XS. A trade was made and the XS is with me and awaiting some finishing touches.



The bike is based on a ’72 XS,(Yes,it does have the compression release!). The guy I got if from said the bike was put together by Dutch Trash Choppers in Portland OR. I’ve found some contact info for the builder on Myspace but have been unable to contact him to confirm this.


The highlights of the build are a custom single down tube hardtail frame with a serious amount of rake, drilled HD Fatboy wheels with Avon Speedmaster tires, a tail section that appears to be made out of a couple halves of a fuel tank, a headlight that started life as a desk lamp, and a cool center stand that has skateboard wheels so you can roll the bike around when its on the stand.

xs650-chop-Copy of 100_0497

The big things to finish are the hand & foot controls, plumbing the brakes, wiring, and waking the motor up from it’s long slumber. I’m torn between doing a full wiring harness or keeping it simple. I like keeping both my hands on the bars so I’d at least need turn signals.

I think I’m going to reuse the stock risers and add some narrowed drag bars instead of the clip-on’s. There is some nice work on the bike along with some funky stuff. The fuel shut-off valve on the R side of the tank is a water valve from a toilet!


My current plan is to get the bike up and running in the state it’s in and then fix some of the little thing I don’t like later. I haven’t measured the rake/trail on this thing yet but am hoping,(Praying!), that the bike is at least road worthy w/o too many bad habits.


I’m looking forward to riding the bike but am dreading a verdict that it handles like a nightmare and that I’ve ended up with a cool garage sculpture.


This one will just be a short distance commuter for me. Please feel free to give me some suggestions or opinions, good, bad, or otherwise.

Thanks for looking!


  1. Brauchi says:

    Keep the Clip-ons! 🙂

  2. Rozz says:

    Bike looks cool man. I going with a fatboy rear wheel myself but I’m having trouble finding a spockit with 34-38 teeth that will fit. I’m planning on just having the stock one drilled or machined. I’d rather just buy one that’ll work. If you or anyone has any suggestions please let me know. Thanks.

  3. JET36 says:

    Rebelgears.com can make make you a xs gearing for a harley wheel. its cheap too

  4. fanoboss says:

    I LOVE IT, and if you re-do the rake it’ll still look great. I’d love to have it.

  5. Rozz says:

    @JET36- I checked out rebelgears and I may go that route. Thanks for the help.

  6. anthony says:

    fatboy wheels look dope.

  7. theirie1 says:


  8. Hans from Holland says:

    Like it for many reasons!!!
    Saw the bike a few month ago, can’t remember on on which blog. DTC is run by Nol who’s from origin Dutch. Like the fatboy wheels, especially the holes.

  9. cooter says:

    Hey Blake, I take it your from PDX, saw that bike on craigslist!! Looks like a slick machine!!


  10. Tech7 says:

    Wild ride. I’d be worried about that rake too. Maybe it would work better with a springer? I’d lose the toilet valve myself, but obviously that’s up to you. Otherwise I love the look! That pipe makes it look mean.

  11. Sean from boston says:

    This bikeis soo sick!

  12. cooter says:

    That rake looks really sketchy to me, If I was you I’d put another front end on that bike!! Or if you decide to ride it just make sure your health insurance is paid up!!

    Cat Daddy

  13. Blake says:

    Thanks for the feedback. I am a little intimidated by the rake but am hoping to try and ride it around the block as-is before I fly off the handle with changes. Changing trees might be a good way to tame this thing.
    Hey Cooter,
    I am a native Stump-town boy but am living in Salem these days.

  14. fanoboss says:


  15. Mario says:

    Hey, sweet ass ride man, Love the long and low stance! I totally agree with fanoboss, get your self a good steering stabilizer, should help it from becoming a tank slapper lol. The wheels are boss, love the two into one megaphone, I’d say get her runnin and then drive her hard 😛 Peace

  16. Idaho chad says:

    damn thats a sick looking ride. hope it doesnt handle like a brick..

  17. mxrcr222 says:

    I saw this on craigslist, its cool someone that appreciates it got it and will make it their own. Good luck with the build!

  18. Blake says:

    Thanks for the positive vibes, advice, and warnings. Adding a steering stabilizer is a good idea. Maybe I should start with, like, a rear shock from a truck!

  19. willi says:

    Steering stabilizer would probably save you from death on the maiden voyage. Big fan, looks brilliant.

  20. Tebo says:

    Blake, it looks like there’s plenty of material on that gooseneck to shorten the rake angle, if desired, to something more practical. It almost looks like an experiment that went a little too far. There may be too much stress there for 30+ year old triple clamps to handle for very long. And if you keep the clip-ons, maybe go with rear sets. Or put drag bars on and keep the mids so you’re not folded in half when you ride. Just random babbling, dude, it’s a kickin’, sick ass bike!

  21. skr00zloose says:

    Rozz: get a 34t sprocket blank with a 2″ center bore, you can get them online for about $15. You want a #50 sprocket. The center bore of a harley sprocket is 2″, just line up the center bores of an old harley sprocket and the blank, and us the old sprocket holes as a guide to drill your pattern. I’ve used harley wheels on 3 of my XS’s and done it for all 3, never had a problem.

  22. Jonathond says:

    Such a sick looking bike man. That beast is awesome I like wheels on the kick stand. How does it feel to sit on with the foot controls and clip ons where they sit

  23. trent reker says:

    yes, the steering dampener will help. had to do that to the ForD machine because the rake was a tad farther out than i hoped it would be and it helps keep it up at slow turning speeds.

  24. Blake says:

    The seating position will work for me. I’m 6’2″ and have arms so long they’d look at home on an ape so this position dosen’t feel weird to me. I’ve always prefered a crouched riding position anyway. I’m hoping to make some mid-mount controls work on this thing.

  25. theFATman says:

    diagnosis: “risk for bent fork tubes” i totally dig the bike otherwise

  26. I assume that with what looks like an insane trail (due to the extreme rake) that it’s gonna go like snot in a straight line (handling better the faster you go), but when you’re going slow and wanting to turn it’s gonna want to take a dive to one side or the other. Different front ends won’t help unless you bring the stem back down and get the rake back by raking your triples or running a girder. That said, you can get used to almost anything. Sk8 wheels on the centre stand? Awesome!! I’d love to take it for a spin, good or bad. Good luck!! Let us know what the verdict is.

  27. fanoboss says:

    It’s ART !

  28. Blake says:

    I was thinking a set of custom trees might be the ticket to take some rake out and tighten up the trail a bit. It would probably be cheaper to have the neck adjusted. I’d to see a steering stabilizer mounted sideways like some of the Stortz models do.
    Fanoboss is right. The bike is pretty to look at. The question I’d like to put to the builder is wether he intended the bike to be ridden or parked on display somewhere. I guess I’ll figure this out in the first couple blocks on the madien voyage. I can’t see any distance riding on this thing and 45/50 mph is as fast as I’d dare to ride around town.

  29. Grease Nipples says:

    It’s not a motorcycle. It’s a projectile.

  30. rob says:

    So i spent several minutes looking at all the detail, or lack thereof… I LOVE IT. like most xs builders my first (and only at this point) includes the customary weld-on hardtail and peanut tank. But now that it’s about done, i want to “create” something with the next bike. This bike looks like something the average xs shat out…very nice. I would def check that rake, besides that, i wouldn’t change a thing

  31. Ted says:

    It is definitely art, the tire and rim combo really look badass. I am really into the light blue and rear section. I_am_10_ninjas and everybody else are right on with the front end. You’ll probably have to redo it a little but it shouldn’t be that big a deal.

    Check out some of the bikes from http://www.zero-eng.com/gallery01.php

  32. Tim crash81 says:

    Are you Frikin crazzy??? I love it! Never seen one like it and it is so on the edge of doing something different than everyone else. Way cool dude,, keep up the good work.

  33. tadd442 says:

    All of that originality and STILL the presence of a sporty tank….just goes to show that those tanks look better on an XS than a sportster.

  34. Bodhi says:

    Just by slapping a protractor against the screen, it looks to have about 50 deg rake .
    no tree rake and about 2.2 inches offset. maybe roughly a 28-30 fork length with a 25.5 dia tire. puts your trail at 12 inches.

    this kinda prooves out if you draw a line the length of your forks to the ground. that point is about half the width of your tire. Throw in 5 deg raked trees and it reduces your trail to maybe 7.5. stock is usually about 4-6.

    real sketchy


    a little gusseting in the neck would go a long ways too.

    but you’ve got a real good starting point.

  35. Bodhi says:

    oh yea, personally I’d paint it canary yellow with a few black racing stripes but thats just me.

    and just imagine, zero engineering is getting $25k for their builds.but really radical stuff

  36. Geezerman says:

    Man !! That is seriously cool !! I can’t see it handling all that bad at slo speed, but like Ninjs said, if you like to go balls out, your gold !!!

  37. Gerry says:

    Oh man! Do what ya need to do to make her ride sweet for you. There’s so much there to work with, so much beautiful custom work all ready done. Fat score for sure.
    I agree with Teebo, draw in the rake. Slide the fork tubes up in the trees and you could put the clipons above the top triple clamp to keep some of that Boniville look. That baby is a keeper. Keep us posted for sure!

  38. max says:

    *mimicking voice* It’s not a motorcycle. It’s a projectile.

  39. Blackwidow says:

    rake seems like it would be hard to ride but I like that low chopper look instead of the hi raked out chops

  40. Ron says:

    Those wheels look better on this then the Harley. I would get it running asap with minimal work and take it for a lap. It looks awsome but might not ride worth a damn? Better to find out sooner. Hotwire that motor and fire it up NOW.

  41. fanoboss says:

    I agree with Ron, the wheels do look better on yours.

  42. krlts1212 says:

    pt on some baby ape’s

  43. Looks unreal!
    It’s more art then a bike, very cool.

  44. harold s. says:

    2 under dna springer. id find a local shop that could make the rake stock. thatwould be a sick bike. it is sick but make it yours. im just down the road if you decide it is just art

  45. S1CK Von Scheisse says:

    Cool XS! I saw it before on the Dutch Trash Choppers site.Nol did it again!

  46. Blake says:

    Thanks for feedback!
    I’m hoping to be posting a full update with pics soon. The bike is running & now has a single flat-slide carb, fabbed flat-track style bars, and late model triumph calipers. We’re waiting for a break in the weather to give it an initial shake-down ride. I’m still thinking it will need the head angle tightened up a bit to be ridable but time will tell. Will advise when I know more. Hopfully the update won’t come from me in the hospital in traction!

  47. fanoboss says:

    this bike has generated so much talk and speculation, I know that I’m not alone in waiting anxiously for the update. Video would be cool, too !!! : )>

  48. Fabbastard says:

    Well it stopped raining here after 3 days so it must have stopped there so hurry up and taker out and lets see!

  49. Blake says:

    Yes mother!
    I hear you. I’m anxious to see if the bike’s worth all the attention its recieved. Unfortunately the bike has to conform to my schedule not the other way around. Still, at this point I’d like to get something back for the $ I’m out on this so far. A ride around the block would be nice.The motor’s fired up & running good. The brakes are getting close. The HD rear master cylinder that came on the bike wasn’t up to the challenge so that’s getting changed out. The front rotor wasn’t fitting anywhere close to right so we’re working on a substitute that will fit the wheel but still line up with the new caliper. With the wider bars and a new steering stabilizer I’m hoping to gain the upper hand on the steering. I spotted another pic of the bike online that shows it with some cast, spoked wheels (Sportster?) that I think look even better the the Fatboy wheels.

  50. john says:

    be verrrry careful, brother. maybe some training wheels til you get the hang of it. no posts since may. you still alive?

  51. Blake says:

    Hey John,
    I’m not dead yet,(I’m trying!), and the bike can now be officially be counted among the living. I’m just waiting for a clear day to clean it up a bit then snap some new pic’s for a full update. The highlights are:

    New custom bars (An attempt to control steering)
    Brakes off a late model Triumph
    Single flat-slide Mikuni carb
    Baffle in the pipe
    Rudimentary wiring
    Electric starter added back in

    I found a photo of the bike online from a previous owner (?) where it had a set of cast spoked 19/16 wheels off a sporty (?) mounted on the bike. I think it looks better with these wheels then the Fatboy wheels. I found a set of these on CL cheap and they’re standing by. The bike seem to run well but I’ve yet to have a leg over it. I’m not sure where I’m headed from here on this thing at this point. Stay tuned.

  52. fanoboss says:

    Thanks Blake for the update. This is one of my “top10” bikes of all times.

  53. Bart says:

    You are corect that bike was built by us at Dutch Trash Choppers in Portland Ore. The bike was sold as none running.Need help call DTC at 360 281 3660