Shaydaddy’s Vintage Style Bobber

This project started several years ago as a nearly stock ’82 Heritage Special, that I found on Craigslist for $400. After a tune-up, the bike was running great and I was happy. However, after about two weeks the gremlins started to appear. Plagued by electrical problems and no money to fix them the project was born. I started researching everything I could about the XS650. The plan was to build a subtle looking, super reliable, vintage style bobber for next to nothing. Being an Industrial Designer/Metal Fabricator by trade, I designed and built almost every custom part with basic hand tools. The bike has been lowered 2 inches and the seat konged another 2 inches. The swing arm has also been stretched 4 inches and under braced.

The seat, exhaust, and kicker pedal are all one off pieces, as well as the forward controls, battery box, and electrical box. The rear fender is a spare tire ring from an Astro minivan with custom struts. The tank is a king sporty with a custom petcock built from hardware store parts. The Tail light/License Plate bracket is a universal piece that I designed and sell through several forums online. Everything on the bike was then covered with powder-coat. The only paint on the entire bike is on the cylinder jugs.

To fix all of the electrical issues, it was converted to kick only, then given a Hugh’s PMA, Pamco ignition with monster coil, irridium plugs, new reg./rec., and a complete rewire. Now she’s a one kicker warm, two kicker cold. I love what it’s become and to pass it on to my son one day.

Response from this bike has been great and has turned my hobby into a business. I have to say a special thank you to my wife and my stepfather George. Without their help and support none of this would be possible. Also thanks to Zac Fisher for the great pics. To follow this and my other custom build, check out the Shaydaddy Custom Designs facebook page. Thanks for reading and God Bless.

Shane Kouns aka Shaydaddy


  1. Marco says:

    Perfect, love it!! Very good inspiration for my own build, well done man.

  2. shaydaddy says:

    Thanks Marco glad you like it!

  3. Americanbarber82 says:

    Always amazes me how easily you can a customize one XS and instantly become a “bike builder” with a booming business. There’s a lot of no brainer details you missed but overall good effort put into it, especially the pipes.

  4. Barney says:

    Nice job. The exhaust is a bit much for me but it is definately unique.

  5. SJ says:

    Beautifully put together man. The exhausts remind me of the pipe work on Mike Britten’s (RIP) racers in the 90s. She looks like she’d handle well too.

  6. mookie says:

    i think he meant JOHN Britten.

  7. SJ says:

    I did Mookie, I really did. Thanks.

  8. fanoboss says:

    From the gas tank down looks like 2 different bikes. It’s clean.

  9. shaydaddy says:

    Thanks for the compliments guys, it was alot of fun to build and even more to ride.

    American—not sure what you mean about missed no brainer details. I do get what your saying about the “bike builder” thing though. I, however, have been customizing cars and bikes for the last 16 years. This just happens to be my first XS. Oh and my business is definitely not booming but it does make me a little extra on the side. Don’t take it the wrong way, I’m not offended by your comments just wanted to clarify a bit.

  10. shaydaddy says:

    If you like this check out my facebook page to see the Kawasaki 440ltd that I’m turning into a cafe racer.

  11. misfitskinny says:

    Cool Bike build!! Like the exhaust!

  12. RJ from the ole school says:

    Shane,,,I like vintage because I am VINTAGE,,,,old bikes with white walls and painted rims an spokes are just my kind of ride.,,,,,,,the red,,,white,,,black combo is a real eye catcher on this web site and I’ll bet you’ve turned a few heads while crankin down the boulivard,,,,,,the low stretched out rear end with wide bars and sporty tank give the bike that old time down and dirty look like Marlin Brando would ride ,,,,you get a thumbs up and a cold beer if ever your down my way,,,,great build,,,,,RJ