Fong Bros Basic Black Bike


Basic Black Bike from THE FONG BROS!

Denis – Like the title says, it’s pretty much a basic black bike. I do want to thank T.C. Bros for giving me a good deal on the hardtail. I just had an idea where I wanted an all black and chrome/polished bike with white grips, so that’s what I went with. It has 18 inch wheels front and back with 4.5 Firestones. Also, there are drum brakes front and rear (xs1 front and Heritage Special 48 spoke rear).


It has a Pamco ignition and outside of that, I can’t really say there is a great deal of really custom stuff. I built it in about 3 weeks from start to finish excluding the wiring.


It’s just been sitting in my garage since February and since I finally wired it up this weekend, I figured I’d post some pics before it goes to the new owner in New York.



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  1. Barney says:

    3wks to do the bike and 8 months to wire it? Ouch. I’d be wanting to ride that.

  2. BykerBrad says:

    Cleeeeeaaaaannnnn. Perfect example of “Less is More”. Love it.

  3. tadd442 says:


    I’m completely lying.

  4. ewan says:

    Pretty perfect!

  5. Johnny says:

    Cool..very very cool..

  6. Dennis says:

    Man. That all-black, same-size-rims, just a few polished pieces sure looks good. I also like the hard-tail combined with the rear section of the original frame. Gives it a more ‘filled in’ appearance. Very nice job, Denis.

  7. fanoboss says:

    I love the bike and color !!!

  8. Guy says:


  9. Falcon says:

    God really? what a POS… Enough with the crap frame using all the stock (HEAVY) parts. Get a clue on design already. These bikes are just basic novice builds and obviously there is not any thought of function going into them. That seat fits like crap, totally kills all the lines, tank blows too, and clubman’s really? no style at all here people…

  10. mike lytle says:

    funny frank, you forgot to take your meds again didn’t you?

  11. Dennis says:

    ” no style at all here “, Falcon? “POS”? “Get a clue “? ” not any thought of function”???? I guess maybe we’re all idiots here, then. Personally, I’d rather read the next installment from Funny Frank Farkle.

  12. fanoboss says:


  13. Billy Joe Fong (fongbros) says:

    To start, I would like to thank everyone who has posted a comment, whether it was positive or negative. One thing we can all remember is that you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time. I think for most of us, we build what WE like without concern for the thoughts of others – or so we say.
    With that said, I will now address Falcon’s comments which read “God really? what a POS… Enough with the crap frame using all the stock (HEAVY) parts. Get a clue on design already. These bikes are just basic novice builds and obviously there is not any thought of function going into them. That seat fits like crap, totally kills all the lines, tank blows too, and clubman’s really? no style at all here people…”

    REPLY:I do respect the fact that you don’t like this bike, so I will not try to persuade you to think differently. However, I will respond objectively to your comments. To start, in my opinion, this bike is not a POS, but you were right to start your post by calling me GOD. Second, I happen to like the look of the frame with the stock heavy parts i.e. footpegs/mounts because they eliminate the negative space left in front of the wheel when a hardtail is added. Beyond that, I guarantee my frames, with all the extra pieces are WAY stronger than those without (so there is some thought of function). As for it being a basic novice build, did you read the title BASIC BLACK BIKE? Basic is in the title. As for novice, I’m still satisfied with my skill level. My bikes are built for putting around town and barhopping, not for winning the next drag race, stunt competition, or Isle of Mann TT. So therefore, I think they function just fine considering their intended purpose. The seat is positioned to keep one from sliding into the back tire (function), and I do not feel it detracts from the line of the bike. I like the tank. It’s a Wassell and I’ve been using them for years. I know you think they blow, and yet somehow they command a fortune and 2 major companies DETROIT BROS and LOWBROW are re-making them. Those companies must have very little forethought to spend the money to market and make a part that blows. Just think how much money they and other builders could save if only they had taken the time to hire you as a design consultant – with your eagle eye. It’s keen vision like yours that sees clubman bars where there are none. This bike has Daytona which are nothing like Clubmans. Finally, as to my getting a clue about design, I have degrees and certification in both Art and Engineering, so I think I might know a little about design – well, as much as anyother novice. This bike has style in spades, but maybe not the style you like. I respect that.

  14. Carl says:

    Beautiful bike, and awesome wheels. Did you have to modify the stock forks to run the larger front wheel?

  15. Idiota says:

    Wow Falcon!!! We usually wait till the end of it all to hear God speak to us individually. Special treatment for a special guy I ‘spose? I somehow get the feeling that the Fong Bros are not Oriental but I can see the rice influence in the grips. Keep me heavy 😉

  16. fanoboss says:

    I got ADD and y’all killing me…I still love the bike and color, LOL

  17. Mad Marvin says:

    I like the Basic Black Bike and it’s beauty of simplicity.

    Some people don’t get it and possibly never will get it…I got it and it rocks!

  18. Billy Joe fong says:

    @Carl – no, forks are not modified other than shaved the fender and brake mounts

  19. mike lytle says:

    WOW!!! the Fongmeister not only builds nice bike, he also engineers searing rebuttals!! Novice??? I think not!!

  20. Ison says:

    Love the symmetry of this bike everything flows. Do you sell frames? Can I hire you to duplicate a frame like this one??

  21. Billy Joe Fong (fongbros) says:

    Ison, contact me using

  22. Jake says:

    What’s the deal with no rear fender on some of your bikes?

    Don’t understand the trend of no rear fender on any bike frankly.

    Otherwise, nice basic bike.

  23. baskabar says:

    The bros have done it again! Sweet bike!

  24. mike lytle says:

    Jake, you didn’t just say “frankly” did you??? lol

  25. Blacksmithbilly says:

    These 650’s can be built so many ways. I enjoy seeing what guys can do with them here….
    This one , looks simply solid …
    the black, the polished alum , and big tire stance gives it that firm grip on the planet.
    and I like it

  26. Pedro says:

    Billy Joe Fong…Awesome bike once again! I have a 1979 XS…she’s a work in progress (they are never done unless you are selling them!) My Chop is on this web site under 79 Chop…I just have couple questions about your basic black bike. What head light, and exhaust are you using???

  27. fong says:

    Thanks Pedro. The exhaust is a Mac 2n1. As for the headlight, no idea. I was collecting old fog lights for a while and it’s one I had in the pile. I wish I had a few more.

  28. Sherwin Haas says:

    There is only one other bike I love as much as this one and it’s also a Fong Bros. Super nice bikes!!!!!

  29. hotdog says:

    Fong bros bikes are way cool – I am copying their style from this & the cream “62” bike for my own ride. If only someone would reproduce those xs1 drum front ends as well…or maybe they blow too..??…. rock on Denis keep building those sweet rides.

  30. xsslinger says:

    frong bros ! seen one well… you’ve seen them all!!

  31. fong says:

    Now that the secret is out, you can stop looking.

  32. Idiota says:

    I heard that one can be seen in NY, that true?

  33. Pills and Women says:

    I really don’t see why anyone would find fault with this bike. Fong is one of the small number of guys who discovered XS650’s bobber potential over 6 years ago. What Fong has done is find a way to make a reasonable facsimile of a 50’s or 60’s custom bobber for short money. In the mid-late 2000’s, guys were getting these donors for free, $75, $300 etc. You do some welding, scrounge some parts, buy some other stuff, paint with rattle cans, and voila, you have a wrenching and riding project for small money. You save time and fabrication expense by using the stock peg, rear MC, and exhaust mounts. Perhaps the stanchion is too ugly for some people, and leaving it is a corner you wouldn’t want to cut. Okay, point taken. But you can nitpick every single detail if you want. In fact, some builders will tell you they are never done, it never looks right, where they thought something looked right, after a while looks all wrong. There’s no way to be 100% perfect. It’s way less money to hardtail a frame than to start from scratch. One could argue all day.

    Fong is among a small handful of guys who have done the work to show the rest of us how it’s done. Now that these guys have done the work, all one needs to do is look the bikes over and decide which one you want to emulate. Now we know how each different kind of tank looks, how different wheelbases look, girder vs springer vs stock forks look, handlebars, ground clearance etc. There was a time when none of this had been done for the XS yet. The evolution has been going on for years now, and criticizing this bike is to find fault with the time and work spent on bringing the XS bobber to its present point. Sometimes people even say, “How boring, this has been done before.” Yeah, you’re right. By Fong!

    Or, perhaps they aren’t “real deal bikes,” ie, V-Twins or Triumphs. Maybe that’s what the problem is.

  34. xsslinger says:

    I think you guy’s do really awesome work,i just would like to see something else from you guys,if this was your 1st bike it would be simply killer,i think the look has just got watered down a bit, the same hardtails,peanut tank, clubmanbars,seat no disrespect,they look like an assembly line build now with very slight differencnot taking anything away from this bike it’s really cool

  35. fong says:

    Totally agree with you xsslinger, but there is a look I am trying to get and I feel I haven’t gotten there yet. I’m gonna keep tweaking and fine tuning until I get there. So the bad news is the one I’m building now will be similar to this, but with some minor changes. Eventually, I will say yes, that’s the one and it will be perfect to me and I will move on. I have other ideas, just not putting them together until I get this one right.

  36. xsslinger says:

    fong,i got an idea for this style bike,it would take a little frame mod but, fabricate a single carb manifold,and run a amal 930 carb like the old tr6, the single carb would really clean the bike’s up. this is something i’ve been wanting to do, i build my bike’s with a similar look. i think this would really seal the deal on this style, not talking about a wizeguy manifold,a tight to the motor setup just like a tr6, just my though what do you think ?

  37. fong says:

    I think that would be a very good idea.

  38. fanoboss says:

    ditto fong…

  39. reynoldburton says:

    Basic black nice !

  40. fong says:

    HANDLEBARS QUESTION.. someone emailed me about the handlebars. Please email back. I responded, but somehow deleted it.

  41. Esteban says:

    Hi! congratulations on the bike! I´m from Argentina. Do I want to know that ring is the one for the HUB 48spokes? I can not get a wheel rim width to 18.

  42. Steveair2 says:

    Falcon……are you gay?

  43. wayne braun says:

    Could you help me? I would like to set up my wheels and brakes the same way you have yours. a rear wheel look on my front end. how do you do it?
    I have now a 18/4.50/36 hole rear. and a 19/ 36 hole with disk brake front. do you just put a rear wheel and brake from rear to front? Your bike is a great looking bike!

  44. fong says:

    Wayne. Please email me directly.

  45. reynoldburton says:

    Obviously not falcons cup of tea! I think a billet barge will suit his needs fine 🙂

  46. Chuck Jones says:

    Its a nice clean build I am not sure why that Falcon guy is so aggressive with his comments.

  47. Doctorstupid says:

    I notice that you guys always seem to keep the stock rear frame braces incorporated into the hardtail. Can you give me a short explanation of how you are doing that and why?

  48. fong says:

    Doctor, I leave them in for 2 basic reasons. One, I like a bike to look full from front to back. With the side supports gone, there is just too much open space for my taste. Second, the side supports and the triangulation to the seat post make a stronger frame. On a regular hardtail, they are pretty much only connected to the front frame in four places. Mine are connected in 8 places,(10 if you want to get technical) so if a break occurs, there are 7 other places to hold it together, not 3. As to how it’s done, the funny thing is I have been accused over the years of making amateur frames because in the old days only rookies left in the side supports. It is actually much harder to weld the frame and add these pieces back on. So how???, cut them off, add the hardtail, weld them back in, and make all the plates, gussets, tubing to connect it all up.

  49. leebo says:

    every time I hit this site up I gotta have a look at this bike.

  50. Michel says:

    So Nice

  51. Matt says:

    What did you do to get the wassell tank to clear the top motor mount? i love the bike

  52. Denis says:

    You have to cut it off.

  53. bluejeans says:

    who is the manufacturer of the rims

  54. Denis says:


  55. bluejeans says:

    What size 2.15 x 18, or 1.85×18 36 hole shouldered or nonshouldered
    and the rear ?

  56. Denis says:

    They ae both the same 18″x36 xsperformance rims sold by mikes. From my recollection,he only sells one size, but they are both back wheels, so it would be the wider one non shouldered.

  57. bluejeans says:

    Thank You! Awesome build!

  58. Denis says:

    Thank you

  59. bluejeans says:

    one more question the x1 front wheel, did you have to use a x1 front end or did you use a xs front end (forks, triple trees)?

  60. Denis says:

    Any xs650 front end will work. I did not use an xs1 frontend. However you will need to make some wheel spacers to center the wheel (I use an old handlebar) and a brake stay to keep the drum from turning when you apply the brake.

  61. Tyrant66 says:

    I’ve no doubt that this here is the hands down most beautiful XS650 ever chopped, bobbed, bullied or whatever else ya’ll do to them.

  62. Carl says:

    Interested in your kickstand. Did you use the stock lug/mount with a modified arm assembly?

  63. Denis says:

    It’s the stock kickstand from a 74 frame. The correct part was broken on that frame and when I got it, someone had already added the piece that welds on from a 1974. I had to find the kickstand, which is kind of a rare piece and shorten it because the bike is lowered.

  64. Tyrant 66 says:

    This bike is officially for sale