It ain’t easy raising the dead


Rich Thomas – Its a 74 xs650 that I got out of a barn a few summers back.

The motor was locked up as were the breaks, steering etc…. At some point I asked my Dad if i could use his garage (lots of tools i didn’t have to go buy). He got involved in the project and it ended up being some of the most fun i have had. We ended up doing a complete rebuild of the motor and tranny.


While it was apart i decided i wanted powder coat gloss black and i liked the gloss  so well i figured to keep going with it. Then we polished all the covers , forks , wheels , and while i had the breaks apart for rebuilding i figured – what the hell I’ll  polish them as well.


After that we did all the fab work and rounded up all the parts from Tcbros, Biltwell Inc, Mikes XS ( i think i helped him retire…), Road 6, and Lowbrow Customs.


Then it was on to the paint.

I picked the colors ( Kustom Shop Paint)  we figured out how we wanted it to look and dad did his thing in the paint booth. And finally we started putting it together for the last time we realized the carbs , ignition and charging system were all toast so that all got rebuilt and replaced as well.  With lots of fun , late nights, weekends, and some banging our heads off the wall….. We ended up with what you see.


Oh yea, I cant wait to do it all over again whit the next one!

Rich Thomas
Photo’s – Scully


  1. Vito says:

    Hope the next one is gonna be great like this, i really like the colors. Great job.

  2. erik says:

    sick ride i like the paint job

  3. mike lytle says:

    very nice job, well thought out and exicuted thanks for sharing

  4. Sinbin says:

    Another sporty tank and tcbros hard tail… Well too fing bad I dig it. I like the colors and nice attn to detail. F and r whitewalls and you even have legal lighting to keep Johnny law in his car. Nice work.

  5. vincestagechopper says:

    …jizz in my pants !

  6. Darryl says:

    Very nice, very clean and great attention to detail! I look forward to your next build! Thanks for sharing!

  7. fanoboss says:

    Yamaha should make more bikes based on the xs650 power plant. Awesome build R.T.

  8. Barney says:

    Glossy glossy, this thing is a gem. It’s nice to know there is one that was in worse condition than mine and it turned out this great!

  9. Dennis says:

    I echo the previous comments, a super nice job, and very shiny!

  10. Scoobydoo says:

    I polish something every day myself but it’s not a motrocycle

  11. El Gaucho says:

    Loving the paint.

  12. Russ Archer says:

    It,s truly an amazing build ! A beautiful chopper with blinkers and all – it all fits and looks goog WOW !

  13. fanoboss says:

    I agree with Russ Archer it looks GROOT !

  14. Kaveeks says:

    Sweet ass bike man! I’m loving the paint job!!

  15. Dennis says:

    laffin at typos and counter-typos…

  16. fanoboss says:

    wut tipe-oos !

  17. Jeroen says:

    What the hell, you can come polish my bike to!
    Love that you build the bike with you`re dad man.

    Looks great!!

    Jeroen from Holland

  18. Pauly64 says:

    Awesome bike mate, my 11 yo son and I are about to build one this summer, I only hope it looks as cool as yours when we get it done, and to boot it’ll bring us even closer together as father and son, thanks for sharing your bike and story.


  19. Chuck Jones says:

    Sweet Ride. I love the paint job.

  20. mike lytle says:

    Rich, nice job! once again we have someone with an eye for flow, no not the waitress down at the diner, the flow of the bike. everything just works together, grat job man. thanks for sharing

  21. mike lytle says:

    Rich, nice job! once again we have someone with an eye for flow, no not the waitress down at the diner, the flow of the bike. everything just works together, great job man. thanks for sharing

  22. Sherwin Haas says:

    Love the bike, very inspiring! What exhaust are you running?

  23. rich says:

    just wanted to say thanks for everyone diggin what we built, it was a lot of work but its cool that ya’ll like it. Oh im using 1 1/2 mikes xs replacement pipes w/ brass tips from lowbrowcustoms. Also to pauly64 my dad and i grew alot closer together doing this! So much so that i am already layin out the next bike i’m thinkin 650 cafe racer…. ill post picks of whatever we build next

  24. Brian says:

    NICE. Just picked one up Y-day. cant wait to get going on i!!