Busch Brothers – Far East XS650


Danny – I was hoping for better sun, but Lanceman was after a Japanese vibe with the pics, kind of misty Mount Fuji stuff, and I trust his eye.  Think he did good 🙂  The bike details, a 1979 XS650 SF.  Started chopping it on Christmas Eve, 2009 in Seattle. (Almost) finished it in fallof 2012 in Reno.  I’ve said it a million times, but if it weren’t for Shinya Kimura, I wouldn’t be into choppers.  Before I saw his work, all I cared about were cars.


We goosenecked it, designed our own hardtail to fit the 5.00-16 Harley wheels.

Also made the chain adjusters.  Modified HD rotor to fit the modified SR500 caliper.  Sprocket Specialists’ Sportster sprocket with the stock number of XS teeth, modified to fit the big twin wheel.  Made the aluminum fender in one piece, found out later that people usually make two pieces and weld them together. Whoops!


The tail light and head light are pieces from a big box home decor store, given a lot of love by us.  We rebuilt the motor, did all the wiring.  Ditched the starter, put a little battery where it used to go (still figuring out if that was wise or not).  Put on VM36 carbs, which are really too big, but we live up here where there isn’t as much air, so they only foul plugs every other ride, haha!  Lance made the awesome tank.  I told him to copy a TY175 tank that we used for mockup, but he came up with something that I think is way cooler.  He also did the exhaust and the art deco style heat shield.

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Made the seat, from the pan to the leather, and my hands are still cramped from all that hand sewing!  Did the grips to match.  Made throttle cables and adapters to match the HD throttle to the Mikunis.  Made the board track style bars.  Did a bunch of experimenting and fiddling to match the DNA springer to the stock XS neck (numbers are very important!).




Made the rearsets using the rear framehorns we took off of my Suzuki Titan.  Made the brake pedal and master cylinder linkage also.  To finish things up, made a stator cover with our logo machined on it (and didn’t pocket enough off of the back, which shorted my brushes out, heheh!  Spacers fixed things for now)


Thanks to Lance for the photos, and all the welding!  And thanks for sharing our bike, Ted, and keep up the great work!

Danny and Lance Busch


  1. dex82 says:

    beautiful lines, probably the nicest i’ve seen in a long time. yeah, and shinya is the king, fell in love with a couple of his bikes years ago. gas tank seems to be a bit bigger than what he’d usually use, but it’s all in picking out and using the things you like best, and adding your own touches……….tank does look cool. again, beautiful lines, possibly the best looking xs frame i’ve ever seen, makes me want to hack mine apart and do her again.

  2. Geezerman says:

    NICE !!!!!!!

  3. Zero engineering has had a big influence on the 650 builders, down to the choice of tires. Their bikes look great parked/studio pictures, but (to me) less impressive on the road. Do a image or You Tube search and some, not all appear small and awkward to ride. Stooped over the gas tank to reach the handle bars when using forward controls is not comfortable. They are building more for the appearance of the bike alone than bike and rider. Your build has proper ergonomics and proportions that are more suited for riding. Beautiful shaping on the frame tubes. Gas tank connects well with the seat.

  4. reynoldburton says:

    Well, that´s outstanding beautiful. I very much like the Ironhead you did, too – you guys have a real own style. Would like to have these both bikes in my garage – masterpieces!

  5. Lance Boyle says:

    Speedy looking!

  6. turdherder says:

    Nice build with a rugged stance. I’ve always liked the look of matching front and rear vintage Firestone balonies. The rear tail light looks like it’s positioned a little dangerous. I’d be afraid of getting stemmed in the ass especially at night. I’d like to see a few more close ups. Great job!

  7. turdherder says:

    I’ve always loved the look of matching front & rear Firestone vintage fat balonies. It gives it a rugged looking stance. Nice clean build!

  8. Sears says:

    Just my opinion but there is nothing about this scouter that isn’t BadAss ! It is in my Top10 or Top5 of all time on this site. Thanks for making my day ! Keep it up.

  9. CruzBoos says:

    OK!! These boys certainly know how to build a toy that will curl any girls’ toes.
    Hell, you’ve even got me wanting to turn that bitch on, get her carbs wet and ride her till I drop. She looks like a supermodel on the catwalk, tempting us to reach out and touch.
    Great job guys, have fun with her and don’t fight over who gets to be on top the next time the sun shines. just remember she’ll be under you and your control after your bro’ is spent.

  10. Fatbob says:

    Why’s it matter what anyone else thinks… Hell! You built it, do you like it?!

  11. oscar says:


  12. mookie says:

    great build guys-clean, uncluttered with do-dads or gimmicks.

  13. Danny Busch says:

    Thanks, all, for the very positive comments 🙂 They really stoked me and Lance big time! I didn’t mention it in the article, but I absolutely love how this bike fits me. We got lucky, to be honest, because we designed the frame a bit more for looks, and I was worried that I would be way too tall to fit on it. But when I first got on it, I was relieved to find that this is one of the most comfortable bikes I’ve ridden (so glad that I didn’t let Lance talk me into rearsets, though!). Thanks again, everybody, it was an honor to get to share our baby with you all!

  14. SJ says:

    That bike is so well made and so beautiful, it makes me angry.
    The tank and headlamp pieces are smooth well-crafted originals.
    I see your influences but there’s some art-deco revival in there too (the tank contours, the springer front end)…
    -this machine could make it into Architectural Digest.
    Hats off to you.
    Nice build.

  15. El Gaucho says:

    I’m with Turdherder on this one. Gotta love matching firestones! The Zero influence definitely shows.

  16. h3llb3nt1 says:

    Really like the 16″/16″ tire setup. Very Cool

  17. Ben says:

    Love everything about this bike. The tank is extra special being that it is so far away from normal options and still looks great.

  18. Bill Hegyessy says:

    Great JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Now for the 64$ question, anything left of your Suzuki Titan, like the engine maybe?

  19. Danny says:

    Bill, I certainly hope the Titan is still around! It was sold to a gentleman locally, but that’s the last we ever saw of it. I still miss that one!
    Thanks again, all, for the totally cool comments (the Architectural Digest one really spun me, because when I was a little kid, I actually had a subscription to that one!) 🙂

  20. ken says:

    I got to see the bike up close and the work that went into the machine and very well machined top shelf work!!!! Hats of to the two brothers they are two of the nicest guys you could meet at a bike event {The One Show in Portland Oregon } Hope to see ya again fellas..Ken

  21. Nate says:

    WOW. you got some skills.

  22. Danny says:

    Hey Ken, was great chatting with you at the show, man! Drop us a line, we should definitely stay in touch. I talked with several people who had seen our bike on xs650chopper.com, and it was nice talking with them as well, all really nice peeps.
    Update on the bike: with the new PMA charging system keeping the battery topped off, the ignition is getting all the juice it needs, and is running like a champ! Now I can start leaning out the carb, since it’s still blackening the plugs a bit with the 36’s.
    Thanks again, all, for the positive input! We’ll see you on the road 😉

  23. Uncle Bear says:

    Very nice bike! Love the gooseneck, 16s front and rear and the chrome springer. I would love to know what the bearing and race numbers are that you used to mate the springer to the xs650 neck? I have an AEE Choppers xs650 knockoff frame I would like to add a springer to. Later

  24. Danny says:

    Hey Uncle B, thanks, man. As far as bearings and such go, it’s a stock yammer neck. We picked up a 1″ Timken bearing for Harley stems. We also got an All Balls neck bearing kit for XS650’s. We used the races from that. We had to grind a bit off the bottom of the neck to clear the springer triple. Then we took the DNA steering stem, and used the 1″ Timken on the bottom, and the All Balls bearing up top (the 1″ Harley one stuck up too much past the race). Had to machine a tich off the threads of the stem up top to work with the All Balls XS650 bearing. Pain in the ass, can’t believe no one makes a kit for this! If I ever become a machinist, I’ll start making stems, hahaha! No idea what kind of neck your AEE frame is, so that will probably affect what you end up doing. If it’s a Harley style neck, you’re better off than I was!

  25. Uncle Bear says:

    Thanks Danny, Your info helps me out a lot. I checked out your website and you guys have built some killer vehicles/etc.! Keep on building. Later, Uncle Bear

  26. misfitskinny says:

    Love the firestones, framework, lines. You guys do some very nice work. Very artistic!