Jason Harrill’s XS650


Craigslist find for 500 bucks.

It was a stock 79 frame with an 81 motor. My original plan was to have the frame hardtailed and go from there. I learned how quickly plans change. Now is where my bike really got started.

Ran in to a guy from my area that I kinda knew but not really well. He had built a couple bikes for himself and I started telling him plans for my bike. He gave me my first cool piece of the bike-my Unity headlight that was brass under the chrome. Long story short, if it wasn’t for this guy, I would still be staring at my stock frame wondering where to start.

His name is Brian Blanton and he is one for the books.



Everybody needs a best friend like this. I owe him a lot for everything he did for me to get this bike built.  He did all the welding and most of the fab work on this bike and he is DAMN GOOD at it (especially not to do this type of thing for a living).  I cut out brackets, bent some round stock, drilled and tapped holes, and did what he told me to do but he did most of the hard work.


OK, OK, back to the build.  I fell in love with the Ardcore frame and took that route. Had to wait a while on the frame, but it was worth it.  I picked up an Indian Larry tank on Craigslist.  The front wheel is a 21″ Accel rim with a Flyrite spool hub.  Got me a rear 16″ Harley wheel at a swap meet.  Off to the powdercoaters. I laced and trued both wheels with stainless spokes from Buchanans.


Lacing and truing a wheel is something everybody should do at least once ( I hope I never have to do it again).  Front tire is an Avon Speedmaster and the rear is a Firestone Deluxe Champion.  Front end is from a Sporty and my buddy shaved the lowers for me.

About this time in my build is when I started thinking about the motor.  I knew I wanted a reliable heart so I got on the www and did a little research.

Come to find out, there is a dude that lives about an hour from me whose name comes up every time you mention an XS650.  Hugh Owings of Hugh’s Handbuilt. Did a little emailing back and forth with him and took the motor to him.



Went with a basic rebuild and—-wait for it—A REPHASE. I went with the permanent magnet alternator swap and got him to install everything during the teardown.  Hugh also installed the 5th gear overdrive.  I went with a capacitor and no battery.  Hugh is one cool dude and very knowledgeable about these motors.  This is another great friend I made while working with the bike.  He did a great job on my everything for me.


I know I am rambling so I will finish this up.  Here is a list of things we (mostly Brian) made for the bike—handlebars, brass grips, top motor mounts, struts, rear fender, mids, brass pegs, exhaust, exhaust brackets, seat mount, headlight mount, microphone taillight, taillight bracket, rear brake setup, rear axle, wheel spacers, coil mounts, made a new bung and neck for the gas cap, frisco style petcock bung, changed mounts on gas tank, and installed a sight glass on the gas tank.

I am probably forgetting some stuff but you get the point that this bike was built by hand.

The finishing touch was the pinstriping. Jeremy Kemp from Spartanburg, SC did the work for me. He did a great job and it gave my tins the look I wanted.

This bike turned out better than I ever imagined. Sites like xs650chopper.com are great for guys like me to look at cool rides and get great ideas.

Once again I want to thank my best friend Brian Blanton (Shot-Out & Son Cycles), Hugh Owings (Hugh’s Handbuilt of Asheville, NC) for all the help on the motor and a great friendship, and all the guys that answered tech questions throughout the build.  Now it is TIME TO RIDE!!!

Check out my video-

If you see a part on the bike you like, hit me up and maybe Shot-Out can work something out for you.

Jason Harrill


  1. Guy says:

    Man this thing is a fugg’in jaw dropper!!! there is just so much to take in on this bike, so many great ideas. I’m stunned man…you win…

  2. b says:

    this is a bike,clean smiple looking lines but get about 3 feet from hur and see all the work hard clean work that makes a bike a bike and a hack a hack. most deff a bike to be proud of and gain some quality freinds MAN U HIT GOLD ! OR RATHER BRASS I LIKE THE BRASS!

  3. Hugh says:

    Bring this to the House, I wanna take a spin!

  4. patrick says:

    One of the cleanest bikes on the site.. im really digging the bars… and as well all the custom brass… I totally agree that this site and the people on it are an endless help to rooks like myself and others to build such righteous rides and get out and truly enjoy the experience given by these awsome machines

  5. Barney says:

    This is a really cool bike. That is my second favorite tank next to the sporty. If I built a second one, that’s what I would go with. I’m pretty envious of your rear disc brake on wires even though i’m not feeling the placement of the master cylinder. I’m also going with the brass accents to give it that old school look. Great job man!

  6. Barney says:

    Also, you can’t go wrong with that Ardcore frame. It gives it a really nice stance. I wish I could send my motor to Hugh but shipping would be a fortune.

  7. sean from boston says:

    Wow man Great build!

  8. Bryan Davis says:

    Nice Jason….. nice to see this thing finally over here

  9. Fabbastard says:

    Awesome build!!! You deffinately picked the right guys to help ya, I especially like the half kick to start er up.

  10. Piute says:

    GREAT that Cox tank is nice,your doing great,here let me wipe off my screen lmao.

  11. mark says:

    all I can say is great looking bike

  12. Mr Kaos form Australia says:

    Love the bike and gotta agree with all the above comments.

    Questions – The Sporty frontend, do i see some spacers at the top and bottom of the headset? and if so, is that and presumably some different headset bearing configuration all that was needed to fit the frontend? Would Shot-out be able to supply these parts in a kit type form for and easy swap over?

    Thanks Man, Nice ride, enjoy the spray on your back.

    Mr Kaos

  13. The Flying Imp says:

    This bike is crazy unreal man i cant even explain my feelings towards this.

  14. Mikey G. says:

    Man, u hit a home run with this scooter! Love the unique details like the double sprung seat pan and the custom motor mounts. So many things to look at and spark new ideas. How much does a re-phase cost, cause I would love to do it to my current XS2 build or on my next one. You really hit paydirt with your bitchin’ chop, and it sounds great! Thanx for posting this one!

    Mikey G.

  15. JoeDog says:

    OMG…I need a clean pair of pants! You hit the nail right on the head. I love the whole bike. The brass parts kick ass!

  16. fanoboss says:

    FUDGE , HOW DID I MISS THIS? I freekin dig this one. The first thing I loved was the Mic Tail light, very cool and perfect for this bike, and for many others I’m sure. Not a fan of the bars, but ur twist is way cool. Can you tell us about the head lamp? Thanks for Hugh’s link, I’m in N.C. My personal disdain for yellow spark plug wires is only equal to my own laziness to replace mine, LOL. Really cool build, if this doesn’t get awards then the jury is rigged.

  17. Nate says:

    Jason and Brian killed it on this build for sure..
    @Mr.Kaos, if I recall correctly Jason’s frame is our standard rigid frame which come with an HD style neck so the frontend was a direct bolt on. What you are seeing is just the neck cups..although we do have an adapter kit for what your talking about.

    Wait til you guys see Brian’s bike..

  18. Jason Harrill says:

    Thanks for all the comments so far. I could have kept going on about the bike. I am really proud of how everything turned out on the bike. Thanks for the help on info about the frame for Mr.Kaos, Nate. The Ardcore frame is top notch and worth every penny. @Mikey G, Hugh Owings is the one to talk to about the rephase. You send him your crank and cam, then he will return them to you for reinstall. @fanoboss–the headlight is a Unity spotlight body that my buddy Brian gave me. He was gonna powdercoat it on an earlier build of his, but scuffed it and saw it was brass underneath and didnt want to cover it up.

  19. mark says:

    jason mark here how did your bud remove the chrome I have the same one on my bike and just wont to do the head light ring and do not wont to destroy it any help you could give

    would great thanks

  20. fanoboss says:

    …thanks Jason Harrill

  21. adam t peterson says:

    very awesome.love the bars and grips!

  22. Jason Harrill says:

    @mark–I just took a 3M wheel on a small angle grinder and sanded the chrome off. Takes no time at all.

  23. alain bissonnette says:

    very nice work cool bike

  24. Shane Ryans says:

    that is a sick find. I was watching a show and they came across one of these frames with a brand new engine. It was a steal for them as well.

  25. Unabonger says:

    Really nice work. I like that setup you have for the rear brake pedal.

  26. BigJimmyW13 says:

    Already told you man, but love it!

  27. Puker says:

    I’m… speechless. That’s beautiful.

  28. mark says:

    thanks jason info

  29. Guy says:

    I wanna see Brian’s bike!!!

  30. fanoboss says:

    ^^^ ditto guy ^^^

  31. tpearl says:


  32. Ted says:

    Yep- This bike is crazy cool. I really like how you guys want about doing the mid-controls. So many cool parts- the way you put together the seat hinge is pretty unique- I like the detail work in the top motor mount. I’d like to get one for my bike.
    How is that small capacitor holding up?

  33. Jim says:

    This is by far the coolest XS on this site. (In my opinion)
    GOODWORK!! Im so pumped on this bike!

  34. Jason Harrill says:

    The capacitor is working great so far. It is a 12000uf/20V i got off Ebay. I really appreciate all the great comments. Rode it last weekend for about 120 miles or so. Everything went pretty well. Had a guy come up to me at a gas station and said “That’s an old Harley right there.”. I am pretty sure I laughed out loud.

  35. Barney says:

    LOL, nice!

  36. fanoboss says:

    @Jason Harrill , nah sir, THAT’S A RE-PURPOSED XS650 !!!!!! very nice to hear that about your bike. the only reason I’d want a harley, would be to sell it to buy more xs650s lmbo.

  37. Guy says:

    HA HA HA…”what fanoboss said”

  38. Colocation says:

    LOL I’d ride a junkyard dog compared to a Harley any day. Sounds tight. Great ride.

  39. fanoboss says:

    @ Colocation, DITTO THAT SIHT !!! Thanks Guy !

  40. Piute says:

    If you can’t afford a 25,000 $ bike you don’t put them down,learn to be cool and go buy 10 XS’s.I woulded buy another new one,Compering an H.D. and an XS is sorry dumb! just as someone thinking it is one, unless it’s a Sporty witch is a 1/2 a Harley,to many of us ole guys,XS to me is a fun bike for local stuff,ride to Sturgis 7-9 hundred miles a day taking three days THEN say ?

  41. fanoboss says:

    I can afford any Harley I want, not braggin’ jus sayn. I grew up riding Yamahas and have enjoyed them a lot. I just feel everything you can do to a harley has already been done. I don’t hate Harley-Ds, I love the history of the company, I just find as of late the Harley new buyers are more of the Jazz Bistro and not so much the average Joe who always has a little grease under his nails. I just had my bike in a show and got a lot of compliments, MOST OF THOSE CAME FROM HARLEY RIDERS. The one guy who wants mine most has several H-D’s and made sure I knew where he lived at in case I changed my mind. My point is this, if I was in high school and wanted to build a xs650 bobber, they are cheap and plentiful enough it would be very possible. I don’t see H-Ds being that accessible.

  42. Piute says:

    Your right,Most of us with H.D.like these X.S.,After all the bull with Twin Cams,new chain tensioner(30-40K) parts and labor awawa 400,smacks right in the a$$,O.K. do it yourself special tools same $ but have to take to shop to down load(m.p.) 165 smacks in the a$$ pushed mine to 55K not a good filling when two states away from home,For these roads I hear about in Ark. N around I’m going to have my fun on a X.S.You guys with these one off customs have my respect ..Piute.

  43. fanoboss says:

    Much RESPECT to you Plute.

  44. Michael says:

    Beautiful bike! I love what you guys have done with it. I am starting my own build this year (when I get home from deployment) and have been inspired by your work. I have been looking into rephasing and now know who to go to for parts and help. I followed Hugh’s blog and am happy to see that he has opened a shop. He’s got real talent. I love the brass parts, too. That’s something I’ve always liked. Every time I see a cool build here, I get excited to get mine started. And this is one of the coolest builds in my opinion. The engine sounds sweet!

  45. Kalill says:

    Hi Ted, I am using the same spring seat that you have, mine dosent move much, their are very hard when I drive, yours are soft when drive? Can you show me how you install them? I ask in other bike as well… Thanks… Good looking bike…

  46. Sean from boston says:

    You sir built a bitchin bike nicely done

  47. Tucker king says:

    Awesome bike

  48. Barney says:

    One thing is that I’ve never heard a Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki, or any other rider tell a Harley owner that they should get a real bike and buy whatever they are riding.

    Then you go buy a sweet Harley clock that was made in China to match your Harley blanket that was made in Korea while these 650’s on here are 75% American made.

    You can pretty much find any custom part you want for a HD but try finding any part for a metric and it’s so impossible that people have to machine parts themselves.

    Then you get a Harley rider with a stock bike saying how his boring machine off the assembly line is a real bike and better than yours that you took nearly a year to build with your own blood and sweat to get it exactly the way you want that looks like no other on the road and you think, whatever.

  49. Guy says:


  50. Piute says:

    Some forgot what it’s like to be free,Others think that it’s not COOL,What is KOOL?Lots of 1% like that.

  51. fanoboss says:

    @ Guy, here in the states they all wave. At least that’s been what I’ve observed so far. ride safe. : )>

  52. Guy says:


  53. fanoboss says:

    ruin my bung? LOL Piute

  54. Jangus says:

    Is that a stock Indian Larry tank like I’d find at lowbrow customs cause I want to have a tank just like that but I’m worried bout the size of the tank on a 650.

  55. Jason Harrill says:

    Yes it is the 3 gal. Indian Larry tank. It has been modified in a couple ways but the size is still stock.

  56. Piute says:

    Ya-no seen a whole lot of Bobbers on the net last night 100’s I’d say and looking back at this peace of art ,I see wires,cables,I believe clean it up and this will be the best functional BOBBER I’ve seen in “pictures”.My KZ750B dreams of having that much attention.TO ME..Harleys-Gold Wings-Virago-Ect..miss what it is that a BOBBER is intended to be,VERSATILE((Webster);embracing a variety of subjects, fields, or skills; also : turning with ease from one thing to another.)You/We all do according to are time N dealings ($).”Don’t junk’em Chop’em……….Piute

  57. fanoboss says:

    @ Piute…very nice words bro. I like.

  58. fanoboss says:

    @ Jason Harrill, I believe you know your bike better than I, but it looks like it would barely hold 2 gallons. Are you sure it’s a 3 gallon tank?

  59. Piute says:

    Cox..”Indian Larry” has 3 and 3.5 was going to get one at one tyme but beat the he!! out of a ole 305 scabbler tank instead.

  60. romeo says:

    i am try to post my bike no luck so far,ted need help

  61. Shane Ryans says:

    That is a sweet find for 500 on craigslist.

  62. Hugh says:

    I took this bike for a spin the other day before the SmokeOut… This bike handles VERY well, and has the power to get a move on… Apparently I gave his wife a heart attack when she saw Jason’s bike being flogged, drifted and hitting high speeds. She thought it was him riding, and he got an earful on the phone… Needless to say, I enjoyed riding it 🙂

  63. fanoboss says:

    @ Hugh , that sounds fun…when do i get to ride, LOL

  64. Piute says:

    Where’s this line starting,Me next,Well crew decided to go with CB 750F,Got a “barn find and title”77″thats all stock,this has been a very great sight,but guess I’ll be on the other S.O.H.V..Lets Keep thoughs tires spining,Rubber Down N Sobber ………Piute N Judose…….God Bless….

  65. fanoboss says:

    @ Piute have a great holiday ay !!!!

  66. fish says:

    I still think this is the best bobber on the site

  67. Jason Harrill says:

    Thanks for these great comments. And yes, my wife told me if I ever rode my bike like she saw Hugh riding it she would kick my ass. I rode the bike to the Smokeout and back. It ran like a champ with no problems. I love this bike more every time i look at it and ride it. It is a true compliment when you have a guy like Hugh ride it and tell you how he really feels about it. Believe me, he wouldn’t sugar coat it either-lol. You guys are great and I love checking out the new stuff every day.

  68. Kent says:

    Hey Jason, so are you running an internal throttle? If so, what kind? Please tell us more about your throttle setup.


  69. Jason Harrill says:

    Yes it is an internal throttle. It is a CHEEP one. It operates so-so, but it sticks sometimes (especially when you really throttle it up). One of the few things i will probably change out at some point.

  70. norm younger says:

    Wow nice bike. its looks to me like indian larry and roland sands had a head on and this was what was left.

  71. chris says:

    hey jason i was going to ask what kind of internal throttle you were using also you said cheap. Is it a honda mini bike set-up???
    Looks great also. I got my crank and cam at hugh’s right now getting rephased, but for a stock internal motor that thing sounds great.

  72. Jason Harrill says:

    The internal throttle was one from Ebay (i think). It is for 1″ bars. I am pretty sure my buddy got it for like $30.

  73. David says:

    i love the all around look of the bike, and would love information on your bars, what specs and where i could get them made.

  74. Phill Kenoyer says:

    I look at this bike every day. It’s so awesome. I want it!

  75. mat says:

    hi Jason harrill i wannt! to buy one of those custom top engine motor mounts! maybe your! frend brian blanton at shot out & son cycLes can buiLd me one?? you can e maill me at zoowuu@gmail.com thanks and thats a nice! job on geten the bike! put togeather!