Old Faithfull………….bare bones.


Heres a Brat from the uk, she was purchased in stock form early this year.  I couldn’t make up my mind what to do with her I’ve always been a Hardtail fan then I found this site…………..:o)    The first time I saw Joe Mekolites Style I knew that was the road i would be taking.


She is a 1980 Model and i started to strip it down I put some shorter shocks on her and started cutting and welding.   I got all the frame work done then It was the same old story I needed certain things making etc and the months were just flying by and nothing was getting done so I got Mal from Metal Malarkey to finish off all the things that I was struggling with.


He made a new battery box and we stuck to the stock cdi ignition sysyem. I looked into the PM route but here in the UK its a nightmare getting custom bits for these.

Anyway I hope you like her the only thing I might change this winter is the handle bars, might go with some small apes and I might put some padding on the seat.


Thanks for looking Let me know what you think. Lee Ferguson


  1. reynoldburton says:

    Well done – it was the right decision not to hardtail it. I like it much better this way (most times)

    Looks real good!

  2. Guy says:


  3. norm younger says:

    very nice.

  4. Barney says:

    The photos make it look really tall and short.

  5. Morgan says:

    Nice one. I’ve been loving the Brat stuff being posted lately.

  6. mario says:

    Nice bike men,nice background also…he-he-he…

  7. fanoboss says:

    U CAN HAVE ANY COLOR U LIKE, AS LONG AS IT’S BLACK ! Henry Ford. Also my creed, LOL. Looks very classy. Great Job.

  8. pretty wicked looking bike. just struggling w/ the tank way up in the air vs. being dropped down on the backbone closer to the motor. just my preference, but i think the bike looks way cool.

  9. fanoboss says:

    @ lee, you are so right. Nice escape indeed.

  10. lee says:

    Hey cooter,
    I was the same as you a hardtail fan through and through then I got hold of this xs so I started to look on the net for some ideas thats when I got on this site still love the hardails but I wanted to do something else for a change.
    I have to say its a blast to ride I’ll try and get a video on here at some point and maybe a few other pics from some other angles.
    Xs650chopper is taking over………………………….YEAH

  11. fanoboss says:

    Hardtails are like bucking broncos, they are for young fools, LOL. I am a old fool.

  12. Yale says:

    Lee – Bike looks amazing. I did not think you could achieve that look without a hard tail. How did you get that drop seat look with the stock rear end? I am getting ready to start my first bike and am now thinking i don’t need to chop of the rear end to achieve the look I want. Whats the secret?

  13. lee says:

    Hey Yale,
    The rear swingarm etc is all stock I used some shocks that are 1″1/4 shorter then i left them unconnected at the top, I dropped the bike down on a bit of 4″ wood to get my ground clearance. Then I got myself some tubing and had it bent up like the brat kits from visual impact. Then I made a seat myself out of some 4mm plate bent it then I put them all together untill it looked right.
    I like the lines from the handle bars over the tank all the way to the fender it seems to flow real nice. I might take the forks off this winter and take 3″ off them to balance out the front end.

  14. Mike says:

    Lee, I am going to try to build almost a replica of your bike. I just sold my Harley and have been contemplating a new build. Then I saw your bike and I then new exactly what I wanted to build and what I wanted it to look like.

    Did you stretch your backbone and lowers? If so how much? What is the length of the forks now?


  15. Lee says:

    Hey Mike,
    Glad you like it. The backbone and lowers are all standard as is the swingarm
    The shocks are aftermarket items and were 1″1/4 shorter then i dropped the bike 4″ off the floor then welded it up. The forks are still standard but I might take them off this winter and take 3″ off them I think it will balance the bike a bit. It does ride fantastic as it is though I love it. Once I get some spare time I will try and get a video on here. Sometimes its nice to see how the bike looks with someone sat on it.
    Good luck Mike Its just as much fun building it as riding it.

  16. shad says:

    how does it ride with no top motor mount ? I just cut and flapped wheeled the gusset and tabs off my bike and my buddy did my seat rails ,but my question is do you feel like the top motor mount is needed….ive heard you dont need the top mount …i think its going to get cut tomorrow but was wondering if you noticed ant difference with it gone

  17. shad says:

    oh are those the progressive 11 inch shocks thats what i got ,,does it have any suspension or is it a cool looking hardtail ,cause me and my buddy were pushing down on mine and feels kinda like a hardtail that looks cool……….but mine is not on the road yet so I dont actually know how well they work

  18. lee says:

    The top motor mount is still there i just cut out the bit that the coils bolt too, I wanted to cut the whole thing out but an engineer I know said this shouldn’t be done. The motor vibrates like hell so I’m glad I left it on.
    It rides really nice nowhere near like a hard tail and I have just a steel seat.
    Cheers Lee

  19. Mike says:

    More pics man, more pics!! Maybe with you riding it and a chase vehicle taking the pics. Like you said it would be nice to see it with you riding itl Have you had any problems with the 4″ ground clearance that you originally built it with?


  20. Mike says:

    By the way, this is my favorite bike on this site so far.


  21. Dennis says:

    Lee – when I see how many times you mention that the bike already rides great, I wonder if it’s a good idea to chop the front down only for the flow. I guess if you have a spare set of tubes to try, that’s ok, but you might wanna think twice if you don’t. I personally think (along with many here) that the bike already LOOKS great. And being a proponent of function over/as well as form, it seems to me that you’ve built a real winner. Just my 2 pennies.

  22. Pat Nice says:

    Im having the same electric probs, what did u do?