Joel Guerra ” Solo Custom Cycles”

I built this bike last year and road the crap out of it, then started to notice that the frame would crack. So about every two weeks I would weld it up and get back on the road.  I love these bikes but the vibration can be a little annoying the first 30 mins or so.

So I put her back on the lift and chopped off the drop seat and rebuild more of a standard hard tail.  After about 2 weeks of cutting, welding, and some banging she was back on the road with a new frame and paint job.

My buddy James whipped out a leather strap for my riding jacket, this guy does awesome work.  Hope you guys like the bike. Now I’m back on the road and life is good. If you want to see more pix of the bike and the before and after vist


  1. Time Traveling Pocket Change says:

    Can you give us any more on how/why/where the frame cracked?

  2. Fabbastard says:

    Ya what TTPC said, but did you figure out why . Thats a cool lookin bike, it has the right amount of rustic but cracks are just a bit tooo rustic… IMO.

  3. Smithy says:

    Hot ride there Joel, thanks for sending them in….can you post some pictures of the cracked areas for others to check their rides?
    If not, could you please indicated the areas of concern verbally.
    Cheers man…..Smithy

  4. Solo says:

    I started noticing the crack about 2 inches from the back motor mounts “just below the carbs. I welded her up, and the next ride I noticed on the hard tail under the seat, crack in two on both sides, that was sketch because I had to ride it home. The reason it was cracking was a combination of a lot of factors.
    • The factory down tube is not very strong, this is the reason there are gusset all over the place, the Fong bro have a good design.
    • My drop seat was way to low. Every time I hit a bump the force had no where to go it would slam into the frame causing it to crack at the weakest point.
    I hope this helps I will post some pix this week on my site if you need some pix. The rule of the road is when you are riding your xs650 and it STOPS vibrating you have a crack. Lol. I just want to add that I ride the crap out of these bikes, and love the look of xs650 motors even if the bike vibrates your nuts to the point of insanity.

  5. Heavy Burtation says:

    I was behind a big V-twin that blasted out of the lights one time. The frame flexed and twisted in what looked like a dangerous way. So yeah, it is an issue.

  6. Will says:

    If you slug your frame with soild stock, you will get cracks. If you use black pipe, your frame will crack. If you welded it up with Gassless Fluxcore, your frame will crack.

  7. Smithy says:

    hmmm… interesting thanks for sharing, i’m designing a new hardtail frame, it will have a rubber insulated engine mount (unseen) and a few tricks using a jaguar front end rubber mount ( hidden ) to take the road – outta the ride and reduce the stress on the frame, especially near the down tube. Im using Chrome moly and mild steel for each example.
    When welding mild steel try and use oxy or tig and make sure the filler wire is about the same tensile strength as the frame (general purpose mild steel). Most mig wire is high tensile more suitable for low alloy steel. when you weld it A: it gets hot and cools quick,(problem) B:using this wire tends to make the weld brittle= crack zone at the weld root. C: it is a dissimilar metal…..
    using oxy or tig you can control heat and use a good grade filler wire. Post (After) weld treatment, just slowly heat the weld area up to a dull cherry red then let it cool down in a non draft environment. Don’t quech it with cold water! just let it cool naturally.
    You can stay in touch or send me your thoughts @ no prob’s.

    cheerz to all…Smithy

  8. stinkfinger says:

    My bet is, a hollow slug is better most of the time on bike frames because they have to flex. I wouldn’t trust myself to be able to intuitively know how much flex I have at any particular place on a frame, just by looking at it. A hollow slug will bend better. To be sure, spend the money on some DOM and test practice joints to failure.

  9. Fabbastard says:

    @RatChop (great an expert wieghs in) Why not use flux core ?

    I’ve used fluxcore for years with no problems on lots of stuff. I’ve never seen or heard back there was a problem. My “garage welding” may not always be as pretty as yours but they work! I’m sure I not the only one that wants to hear why.

  10. solo says:

    Ratchop are you saying im not a “real builder”? the garage guys keep this business going, and i rather BS with a guy that is grinding and cutting late at night in his garage. and also thanks for the business becasue “real builders” sometimes sound like a dick. it always seems to amaze me that poeple love to talk crap about everything they see, the bikes on this site are real. They may not be everyone style but they are someones ride that they are proud of, thats why they post them on this site. so you “real builders”, garage builders, first timers, and you scooter riders keep on building.

  11. The Duke says:

    I’m with ratchop welds just don’t brake from vibration coming off a little 650 motor or road pounding. Learn to weld. Like the gas tank.

  12. Solo says:

    Who said my welds broke, my weld ever broke. You guys.

  13. Uncle Bear says:

    You build cool “Ratbikes”, never stop building.

  14. big Dan says:

    I had solo build me a bike last year and im not sure where everyone got that he dosent know how to build or weld. He helped me with a lot of stuff that were beyound my skill and he tig welded almost everything. Ratchop I see a lot of your posting and I have not seen one of your bikes. hmmmm. There is a saying if you can’t play REF. Everyone start somewhere.

  15. The duke says:

    I’m pretty sure under the first picture he told everyone that the frame started to crack. So he rebuilt it. That’s why he was being criticized on the welding/materials part. He said it not us.

  16. hooversama says:

    This is the part that I love……”you shouldnt be riding a motorcycle if your that stupid.”

    It’s (you’re) not (your). It’s a 3rd grade spelling word.

  17. mookie says:

    this thread was getting interesting…