Danish XS650 Caferacer

Kenneth – The project actually started in 2008 with me buying an old Honda CB200 tank on ebay. I loved the shape of it and figured that it some day would be perfect for a project. Later the same year i came across some modified XS650´s on some web pages and felt that this was the perfect bike to modify. The looks of an old English bike, but with metric bolts allover 🙂

I bought the 1976 XS650 in Germany and rebuilt and modified it in Denmark in 2009. I bought it as a really nice and original bike. Unfortunately, when i got it home and started it up, I found out that it had an annoying sound from the engine. Maybe that was why the german bloke could only start it up shortly on Aerosol “Starter fluid”….Crap 🙂 But then again it would be taken apart and rebuilt anyways. The fault was the bottom “bearing” in one of the conrods.

My aim was to build a euro style Streettracker with 17″ wheels, USD forks and great brakes. I wanted it to handle like a “modern” bike, but with the oldschool/modern twist look. As the project progressed, it started moving more and more towards the Caferacer style. At first i wasn’t sure if that was the way to go, but as i had never built a cafe-racer, i figured i should give it a chance.

I took the engine apart and fully rebuilt it with welded performance crank, optimized oilpump and starter-drive. The stock carbs actually looked fine, but i had read so much about faults on them that i decided to scrap them and install a pair of RS34´s instead. I had a NOS unit laying on the shelf and decided that if i could find room for it, it was going on. A friend of mine that had built a Duc´ streetfighter previous that year, had a pair of scrapped mufflers laying on the shelf. I cut them down in length and fitted them to the bike (Amazing sound that could set off car alarms). I had an RSV Mille R Front end laying on the shelf and decided to fit that as well. The original 320mm Aprilia discs fitted the hubs perfectly, and with a pair of spacers, i could fit the 6-pot calibers as well. I added a couple of PT Radial masters, both for the brake and the homemade Hydraulic clutch which was made from an old kawasaki unit that was laying on the shelf. The wheels are Excell 17″ with stainless spokes from Walmotec.

I had never worked with fibreglass before and thought that it would be the perfect time to test my skills 🙂 I handmade a mould of the seat-unit from Cibatool and put on the fibreglass – It worked out perfectly.

I have previously made some parts for the Wrenchmonkees Gorilla project and knew that they used a local upholstery guy that was pretty good. I fabricated a seat pan from aluminum and added some drawings of what i wanted it to look like. It turned out really great. Besides the seat, i got a tank protector thingy which is not on pics.

I made a mould for the side panels and vacuum casted them in plastic – I really liked the look of the airfilters showing.

I painted the bike myself with a spraygun and the cheapest rustprimer i could find. I cut out some stickers on our Roland and painted some “ghost” yamaha logos and the cream stripes. It got a couple of layers of matt clearcoat and that was it. It was ready to roll.

I drove it for maybe 5000km and decided to sell it. It got sold and me and the miss got kids instead…. Dumb deal 🙂 I found out that those devils take up most of my time :-).

I have actually started to do some CAD drawings on a “Hulster 8” inspired rigid i want to do next. Maybe this will be the year i start a new project – look out for updates :-).

Regards, Kenneth


  1. mike lytle says:

    once bitten…………….no cure!!!! hurry and find the new project, you’ll start itching real soon……..

  2. Geezerman says:

    Man, Kenneth!
    That’s a great looking build !!
    Nice work.

  3. Claudio says:

    Grat grat bike ride very proud my friend

  4. misfitskinny says:

    Very nice build, love the fiberglass work, plastic panels, and the seat !!

  5. fanoboss says:

    Awesome freeking build. If you build it, they will come. “They” will be many bikers to check it out.

  6. Barney says:

    What’s the NOS all about?

  7. davethewrench says:

    WOW !!! SO COOL !!!
    Also strange….I am helping a friend build a XS tracker and he has the same tank
    Small World
    great looking bike, I hope this inspires him

  8. DENNI$ says:

    VERY nice work. Cafe racer is not my style, but you’ve done a great job here. the forks, the tank, the fiberglass, the side panels… the overall attention to detail. one smooth cafe! That’s gotta be one helluva set of “shelves” you got there!

  9. DENNI$ says:

    oh, yeah, the TIRES! Man, they look good!!

  10. Kenneth says:

    Thanks for the nice comments guys 🙂

  11. David says:

    What kind of air filters are on those carbs?

  12. Kenneth says:

    It´s a K&N replica called Stylepro. They cost me approx. 15€ each.
    The danish website i bought it from: http://www.kgi.dk/catalog-631.php

  13. Chuck Jones says:

    Those totally reminds me of the bikes I used to ride all over the place in Europe.

  14. El Gaucho says:

    Love the tank. I built Wabi Sabi around a cb200 tank. I just loved the look of it enough to make it a reason to build a bike. I had considered doing it up cafe style, but the bike decided against it. Very nice bike yours turned out to be!

  15. David says:

    Thanks for the info on the filters. Beautiful bike.

  16. Chuck Jones says:

    I can’t get over how much I really this bike.

  17. DENNI$ says:

    Kenneth, what does it say on the tank badge?

  18. Danish xs650 is the most imporatnt and the most fine bike .This one is the most popular and containing the most significant and also containing the more feature in it.

  19. DENNI$ says:

    Ken, just caught yer answer to my question *grinning*

  20. copper wire says:

    When i look at the frames they look very similar at the gas tank part. I want to make a cafe racer and was wondering if i could switch the gas tanks out on different years. Also how so you go about making the metal molding for the back of the cafe racers at the back of the seats.. Thanks for you time..

  21. Chuck Jones says:

    This is awesome just the bike I have wanted for awhile.

  22. Ed says:

    I love the proportions of this bike. Very nicely done. The wheels really look awesome!

  23. Chuck Jones says:

    Nice this reminds me of the old BMW bikes in Europe during the Vietnam war.

  24. xsblue says:

    wiring on front end ugly

  25. Kenneth says:

    @xsblue – If that´s all you can complain about, i´m happy!