70’s Survivor Resto or Go Green and Recycle It?


One of those fateful phone calls. ‘So and so has a bike or two you should buy, lets go look and I’ll help you load ’em’ Stored in 1974 with 9800 miles after a fender bender, is from what I can tell, is a real period built 1971 XS650 chopper.
Some of it is laughable until you remember that there probably weren’t catalogs of shiny parts, pages of new parts made to look old, and huge collections of images on the internet to copy ideas from. I also imagine that when this was new, only a real rebel would have ridden it, that is when it becomes much cooler.
The bike chain around the solid bar stock sissy bar. A sissy bar that looks like a middle school kids C- metal shop project, the layers of dirt, the left gas cap probably a stash spot because it is for looks only, and the crowbar kick stand are all details that make it special. But how special to someone else?

The tough part will be when it finally makes it to my work stand.

Functional restoration – new forks and make it stop and go, and ride it like it was meant to be? Period restoration – repaint, clean, and make perfect again while using the crowbar kick stand and amateur sissybar? Or do I stop, chop, sell, and run away from this as fast as possible.

Only time will tell.



  1. tadd442 says:

    If you don’t mind….what did you have to give for it?

  2. sean from boston says:

    I say get INTO it make it your own, chop it as well as the period resto just make it your own and enjoy… unless you have$$$ to be made back then well the second one

  3. HAPPY DAN says:

    put some soul in that thing …… or sell it,it needs it.

  4. theirie1 says:

    A few fixes here. A few fixes there., and you are back in motion. A real classic. Leave the dust on it!!

  5. Ted says:

    Chop It! It looks like the front end is pretty shot. The front wheel is a nice piece.

  6. XSJoel says:

    It really depends on what you want. If you already have an XS that is what you want or will one day be what you want, then just get this back to how it was in the 70’s with all the cool original mods it has now. I am sure you can restore it to what it was and get a few grand for it. But if you are keeping it, you tell us what you want.

  7. fanoboss says:

    I DIG IT !!!!

  8. bigpup says:

    Restore it!!

  9. Grease Nipples says:

    Good find. Barn fresh. Period correct filth. A thing of grimy beauty.

  10. J-C says:

    Fix it up don’t chop it. Everybody is on the chopped up wagon. Love this style!!! It’s already got lots of soul more than any other chopped up typical TC bros tail and all accessories that everybody else has on the block. Be different and keep it.

  11. Tebo says:

    Ultimate Rat-chop! Run the drum brake, Mike’s Xs for a couple straight fork tubes and pod filters, cut those mufflers off, and let that bike be the bad boy fate already determined. If it ever gets washed again, let it be by the rain and wind.

  12. Joshua Rasmussen says:

    Bring life back to that beast and I’m sure you won’t regret it.

  13. Jason says:

    I would ride that as is!!!!! Perfect Rat Bike!!!!!!!

  14. bobbie says:

    So Did you build or scrap?