This is my 1976 XS650. I bought it on craigslist about a year ago while I was deployed in the middle east. My dad went to pick it up and it was at some hippies apartment in San Francisco. The guy was living on his couch and the bike was buried in his bedroom under 20 years of junk. It hadn’t been started since 1983 (or registered, a whole other story), at least it was inside!!



So I started ordering parts and figuring out what I wanted it to look like. I got a majority of the parts from mikesxs, lowbrow, licks, TC Bro’s, Debrix, and dime city cycles, all of which have GREAT customer service and where very helpful in dealing with my hard-ass. I had to do all the fabrication at my dads house since he has the welder and all the tools. He lives 8 hours north of me so I basically built the bike in a total of 3 jam packed weeks.


So that is the start of the tale of “Hard Luck”.

Here are the details, she is rockin a 3″ stretch TC Bros hardtail and a -2 under springer I picked up for $300 shipped!! I got the exhaust from Great Scott! He rocks, I picked the curved drags but wanted a few things changed and he hooked me up with a great price, fast shipping and everything I wanted, also the pipes sound great. I have the XS Performance Keihin Carb Kit and they work great, took a little fine tuning but these things rip. To get rid of the old points I went with the Pamco Pete electronic ignition and the 75k volt coil and iridium spark plugs.


I used the radio shack rectifier and the Chrysler regulator combo. I wired up the bike to include a safety circuit, blinkers, electric start, and even a good ol horn. The front end was a pain getting the stock XS wheel to pair up with the American front end.




I found the bearings that would do the job but spent some hours on the lathe making the spacers. the front brakes were a little different, these took some good ol red neck ingenuity to get all square but they work great now.

I just got Hard luck registered and a title is on the way.

Pete Baker

xs650 mug
xs650 tanktop
xs650 Bandana
xs650 long sleeve