XS650 Deam Build

Like a dream!

Kevin – My XS650 dream Build got its breath from a winning ebay bid. After the winning bid on a 1977 XS650 Engine, A custom rigid frame with a 42 degree rake was built to hold it all together. It wasn’t a easy task either. Getting the chain stretched from the XS sprocket all the way to the sprocket mounted on the side of a 300 Venom mounted on a Mammoth Spoke 18″ x 10″ wheel took some thought, planning and design. But “Houston Hal” at Metal Craft Racing pulled it off. Hal fab’d a jackshaft that could get the job done. Custom pipes were bent and ceramic coated titanium. Custom Handlebars, tank and fender complete the package. A special thanks to Houston Hal for his expert craftsmanship!

This build started with the dream of doing something different and unusual. I always admired the appearance of the Yamaha XS motors and decided to build around this motor. I watched ebay until I ran across a deal on a 1977 Yamaha XS650 motor that I couldn’t refuse, or at least that’s what my mind told me. Before I knew it, the motor arrived at my door step, and the dream build started to unfold. The motor sat on the bench in my garage until I located a local builder to fabricate and build me a fat tire, drop seat chopper frame to my specs.

Click to enlarge

The frame quickly took its form, but after several month of sitting idle, it became apparent that the builder could not follow through on my vision. So I took it home, where I tinkered and played with my basket of parts until I quickly discovered that my vision raced well above my capabilities. That’s when I loaded my basket of parts into the back of my truck and drove over to see “Houston” Hal over at Metal Craft Racing. He had helped me out in the past when my Fatboy was in need of some TLC, and I knew he was more than capable of bringing my project to life.

I walked in to Metal Craft Racing and asked Hal to come out to my truck and take a look at my project. He took one look at my crude project, and said, “OK, but we will have to start with the mechanical aspect of this, because if it isn’t functional, it isn’t any good to you.  We unloaded all of my parts, and his mind went to work on strategy for the project. He first attacked the obstacle of getting the chain from the Yamaha transmission over to the sprocket mounted on the hub of the DNA Mammoth Spoke Wheel and 300 Venom tire combination out back. He went to work on fabricating a custom jackshaft like he uses on his Top Fuel.

Now that the obstacle of the back of the rigid had been overcome, he turned his attention to the front end. My vision had always been a rigid chopper with a springer front end, so a DNA Springer was fit to the frame along with the DNA Mammoth Spoke and 21 inch Venom tire up front. And knowing it all had to come to a stop, Hawg Halters brakes were used on both ends. Hand fabricated handlebars were then bent and welded to custom risers to give the desired look and feel.

When it came time for a choice of air cleaners, I quickly discovered there was not much of a choice out there for this type of motor. Custom velocity stacks were bent, cut, fitted, flanged and attached via set-screws to give it that unique look. Now that we got the air coming in, it was time to tackle the gases going out. Again, Hal went to work on bending and forming a unique snake-like exhaust system that was ceramic coated “titanium” by PolyDyne.

With the fabrication complete, it was time to break everything down so all the parts could receive their complimentary aesthetics. The tins went out to Fast Lane to get sprayed and cleared. The frame and parts were sent over to Bernard at Innovative Coatings to be powder coated. The box containing the handlebars , velocity stacks and other custom parts were dropped off at Atlas Plating Chrome Shop. A handful of rough aluminum engine covers were polished to a showroom shine by my son, Mark. In no time at all, the parts were back at Metal Craft Racing where Hal began the assembly. Before you know it, 3 months had passed and my dream XS had been brought to life with the help of “Houston Hal” and with the motivation and support of my wife Maria, my sons Mark and Kevin Jr. and my daughter-in-law Abby. It rides like a dream!

I Have to give all the credit to Houston Hal at Metal Craft Racing here in Houston. I would come up with a idea or a part and run it over to his shop and he made it happen. A true craftsman in all aspects of fabrication. 3 Months to build. A Great riding rigid chopper. Motor is 100% stock, for now. Plenty of get up and go. Maybe punch it to 750cc in the future. After I wear the 650 version out. Most of the pics were taken before the pinstipping was done. A fun build. It was something that I wanted to do before I retire. The bike was finished March 1, 2012.

Tech sheet

  • Owner: Kevin Hoover
  • Fabrication: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Year and Make: 2011 Custom
  • Model: Hotrod XS
  • Assembly by: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • www.metalcraftracing.com
  • Chroming: Atlas Plating
  • Build Time: 3 Months
  • Year: 1977
  • Model: XS650
  • Ignition: Points
  • Displacement: 650cc
  • Lower end: Stock
  • Top End: Stock
  • Cases: Stock
  • Velocity Stacks: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Exhaust: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Shifting: 5 Speed
  • Engine Sprocket: 17 Tooth
  • Wheel sprocket: 35 Tooth
  • Painter: Fast Lane
  • Color: Gloss Black with Clear Coat
  • Year: 2011
  • Builder: CTC
  • Type: Custom Rigid
  • Rake: 42 Degrees
  • Jackshaft Fabrication: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Bars and Risers: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Fender: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Headlight: 5 æ Inch
  • Taillight and Tag Bracket: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Speedo: Not Needed
  • Forward Controls: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Electrics: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Gas Tank: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Seat Stitching: Thunderhead Designs
  • Type: Springer
  • Extension: +2 Inches
  • Builder: DNA
  • Size:21 Inch
  • Tire: Avon Venom
  • Rim: DNA Mammoth
  • Brake: Hawg Halters
  • Size:18 Inch
  • Tire: 300mm Avon Venom
  • Rim: DNA Mammoth
  • Brake: Hawg Halters
  • Photography
  • Photography: Luis Orellana Photography
  • Model: Shailey Boaz
Click to enlarge pic



  1. Evil says:

    Looks like someone opened up their wallet and a chopper fell out!

  2. Ron says:

    Nice looking big wish I could give more credit bike looks amazing but you missed out on enjoying getting your hands dirty an building a chopper you put the time an sweat in saying that tho the bike is great enjoy your new ride

  3. Andy says:


  4. Kevin says:

    Wish I had the time to get my hands dirty. Tried building a chopper twice, but never could get time to finish what I started. Didn’t want this to become one of those projects that never get completed. Had to put my sweat into earning $ to getter-done!

  5. Nameles says:

    Ron and Evil
    Well who cares if he paid someone to help him build it. That’s how bike builders make a living. What are you a communist. That’s just stupid to talk trash about.

    The bike is 100 times cooler than a stock Harley and its his dream bike out of his own head. Sure nothing compares to riding something that you built completely on your own but really how many guys out there are building every single part by themselves. Most people end up buying parts and hiring people to help them with areas they can not do on their own. This bike is badass and I appreciate it. The drive train setup is amazing work.

  6. Griz says:

    I’ve never been (or will be) a fan of fat-tire bikes but Hal obviously excels at fabrication. Credit to Hal for all of his hard work.

  7. mike lytle says:


  8. turdherder says:

    WOW! This bike would turn heads anywhere it goes. As far as building it yourself, I didn’t realize it was a requirement to post on this site. Great looking build and a work of art!!

  9. El Gaucho says:

    I think it’s nice to see a pro built bike on here every once in a while. Keeps things fresh.

  10. DENNI$ says:

    Kevin, that is one helluva sweet bike. Almost overwhelming in design, fabrication, and execution. The bars, the jackshaft, the exhaust… wow…..

    As far as ‘owner-built’, I agree with above comments, yet also disagree. You make a very valid point about getting the job DONE…. the job YOU wanted. I have no doubts that there is much of your own blood, sweat, and tears in this ‘dream build’. Much can be said for having the balls and guts to get it done before it’s too late.

    In all honesty, this isn’t really my type of bike. One reason is that I could never afford to pay for it. However, that doesn’t mean I don’t admire the skills and ingenuity that it takes to put this together. Great writeup too.

    Helluva “dream”!!!

    PS: no one’s even mentioned the hot model yet! HAHA!

  11. Barney says:

    HOLY $#!T

  12. mookie says:

    what a mess.

  13. usp222 says:

    That Bike is sick WOW!!!

  14. usp222 says:

    When you put a bike this nice on here your bound to get some jealousy. Congrats on the Dream fulfilled!

  15. cruzboos says:

    Oooh soooo Sweeeet!!!!

    The model and the bike!

    Would love to twist those throttles and see how much torque comes out from the back ends, since each have groovy hips.

    No matter your vision, money always plays a part in fulfilling a dream and in this case, the XS genre is better for it. Another HD guy gets an epiphany and knocks it out of the park.

    Just a warning “Project 3” WILL be a mind blower, if “Project 1” doesn’t kill me first.

  16. Vigo The Carpathian says:

    Well then. That’s pretty ugly. No thank you.

  17. Ron says:

    To nameles I wasn’t trash talking all I was saying is to bad he dident get to do the work him self but I also said the bike is amazing an to enjoy his new ride

  18. lynn says:

    Dream bike, can anyone put some rough costs of wot it takes to build these great mc.

  19. Spades says:

    Very slick ride!!! I appreciate and respect every build. I’d ride the wheels off of it.

  20. Jeff says:

    Does the girl come with …. if she does, EXCELLENT DEAL.

  21. Sears says:

    What a nice set of lower legs! Also nice stacks too boot.

  22. Evil says:

    Kevin, i meant absolutely no disrespect by the wallet compliment.though I can appreciate the custom work that has went into your build though just not my style.i have built about a half dozens xs’s In the last 3 years and yes it is very hard to make time to build bikes when you work 40+ hours a week and raise 2 children but it’s a passion I just have for these machines.Anyways congratulations on your dream bike and your soon to be retirement!Enjoy and ride safe see you in the wind.

  23. fanoboss says:

    My Opinion: You had a very cool vision for this project. If it were just the bars alone in a picture I’d be confounded, same could be said about the pipes. Put them together and you have a real looker. This is a hell of a build my friend and kudos to you. You thought, bought it and built it and it ain’t another one like it either.

  24. buster says:

    That looks sooooo amazing,all the stuff in all the right places,great front and rear ends,almost too good!!!! oh yeah that bike looks ok too !

  25. Shane says:

    to much occ looking. not a fan. the jack shaft fab is respectable thou

  26. ken says:

    wow those bars are cool and the bike is very well executed craftsmanship, how does it ride and if you dig it, ftw and just roll..Ken

  27. Kellan says:

    Hows she go with the big end?

    Respect the fit and finish, but not my style.

    Kudos anyhow!

  28. Geezerman says:

    Bautiful creation in all of it’s details.
    Love the bottom edge of the tank !

  29. Atv de vanzare says:

    How not to love beutifull girls on great motorcycle’s

  30. davethewrench says:

    Great looking GURL !!!!

  31. IOCWA says:

    Well done mate… :0)

  32. Mini Danzig says:

    the builder really captured the ability to make this thing look douchey even when it’s standing still. woof.

  33. misfitskinny says:

    Wow!! amazing creative craftsmanship. Pipes, breathers, bars, jackshaft, frame all very cool!!

  34. Stephanie says:

    Stylewise it Looks like its about 15 years out of date.
    The trend now is skinny, skinny, skinny with vintage tires and pipewrap.

    Most old folks are a little behind the times so it’s completely reasonable on the account.
    Thanks for posting.

    Pros: Well crafted, good engineering, pro build, great model
    Cons: dated design, stock engine/electrics, dull paint scheme, contracted build

  35. DENNI$ says:

    old folks???? dated design?? TRENDY?????????????

    fer Gawd’s sake…………..

  36. ol' fart says:

    Drool, Pay To Have Built, Ride.

  37. mike lytle says:

    OOOOOOOOOOO!! Steph’s got those vintage lines, with her pipes wraped!!……but watch out for that razor sharp tongue boys…….she’ll cut ya bad……..

  38. Matt says:

    That girl needs to lay off the buttered noodles and hit up the gym

  39. Qball says:

    the same steph that said she wasnt visiting this site anymore because too many starters, and now knocking a finisher?!

  40. Shane says:

    Nice build and as another commenter stated, If the guy can’t build one himself whats the problem with getting one built, otherwise many people who love to build bikes would be out of the job.

  41. thatkidintheback says:

    went to school with her XD

  42. supergino says:

    c-chop, i hate the pure in heart. this choppa is a nice choppa. Too much luxurious for you? Go to live in India and bought a royal enfield of third hand…

  43. supergino says:

    c-chop, i hate the pure in heart. this choppa is a nice choppa. Too much luxurious for you? Go to live in India and bought a royal enfield of third hand…

  44. Boon UK says:

    My Dad said if you haven`t anything nice to say then keep it to yourself ,that’s was bollocks and so is this.