capone xs650

Matt – The “CAPONE” project started roughly a year ago after browsing the xs650 site. I immediately hit up Jon Ard from Ardcore Choppers for a hardtail and some fab work.  I originally wanted just a badass low budget bobber to ride to work, but after stumbling on Angry Monkey Motorcyles. They specialize in bare bones badass Triumph bikes. I contacted Dan Patterson at Angry Monkey to pick his brain a little.  He was more than willing to offer advice and suggestions.  He was kind enough to sell me the Cole Foster tank.


I met with Jon Ard again and turned him loose. He is a master fabricator and welder. He fabricated the bars and welded them to the top clamp of the 4 under DNA springer.  He also built the “one-off” bitchin’ pipes.  We wanted them high and down the right side without going around the downtubes.  He nailed it.  Everything was beautifully TIG welded and exactly how I wanted it.



Indy Extreme Offroad freshened up the motor with rings, gaskets, seals, filters, and all new chrome and stainless steel hardware.  The carbs were sent to Old Skool Carbs in South Carolina for some ultrasonic cleaning and a complete rebuild. To top off the new looking carbs, I went with Steel Dragon polished velocity stacks. A brass kicker gave it a little more vintage feel. The oil tank has a fake “sight glass” on the right side with real oil and polished brass fittings. The feed and return oil lines hide all the wiring.



Inside the tank is the reg/rect combo, fuse block, and an 8 cell a123 battery.  The candy lace paint was laid down by Jeff Savage @ Savage Auto Refinishing.  The silver is micro flaked and the lace was sprayed candy purple with candy red  on top.  All the aluminum on the bike was sent to Sure Shine Polishing in Decatur, IL for a freshen up.  There are tons of odds and ends that I’m leaving out, but I think the pics speak for themselves.

I’m sure the buyer in Australia will enjoy it. The insperation behind this build came from Dan Patterson @ Angry Monkey Motorcycles and his Triumph builds.


A few that were involved in the build.

  • Fabrication – Ardcore Choppers
  • Paint – Savage Auto Refinishing
  • Powdercoat – Pro-Kote Indy
  • Motor – Indy Extreme Offroad
  • Carburetors – Old Skool Carbs
  • Tuning – Del’s Performance Cycles
  • Photography – Duncan Photography
  • The Model’s name is Antoinette Tellez.

Thanks, Matt Graves – Brownsburg, IN


  1. Buster says:

    One of the best Ive ever seen.As close to a perfect balance as you could hope to get.Dont scratch it !

  2. Nice Matt!!!!!
    That Cole Foster tank is perfect on this XS. Good color choice, whitewalls are matching with the grips. Job well done.

  3. SenatorX says:

    wow!!! Beautiful!!! Can I ask if you had any fitment issues with the cole foster tank?

  4. fanoboss says:

    why would anyone NOT ride a XS650 ? The tank is awesomeness.

  5. Lance Boyle says:

    What’s her number?

  6. Matt Graves says:

    No issues. I shaved all the stock tabs and coil mounts and then the tank was mounted with our brackets. The foster has a deep tunnel, so its easy to get it down low on the bike.

  7. Matt Graves says:

    Thanks for the kind words guys. We poured blood, sweat, and tears into this….along with my wallet!!

  8. ed says:

    the springer and bars with the white grips is a good look

  9. crackerjack611 says:

    this is the best hardtail I’ve seen in quite some time.

  10. El Gaucho says:

    Top ten, period. Awesome bike, great lines, great paint, great details. Kudos.

  11. Tebo says:

    Looks fast standing still…so does the bike! What’s it like to ride? Uhhh, the bike that is… According to some other posts, it may not pass “Inspection” in Australia without some of their ‘required’ equipment (like turn signals, chain guard, front fender, etc.). They sound even more strict there than here in New York State. Top shelf build!

  12. hellbent1 says:

    Best 650 build Ive seen. Great lines. Very cool Old School paint job. An amazing example of what can be done to an ordinary bike

  13. Steve Stephenson says:

    Great looking bike! Pretty much what I am building right now. I would like to know what tires are on your bike. Thanks!


  14. Matt Graves says:

    The bike is a blast to ride. Pulls good, sounds good, and is straight as an arrow. It’s barebones…but fun!! I’m not familiar with the laws there.

  15. Matt Graves says:


    They are Avon Venoms 120/70-21 up front and a MT90-16 in the rear. 

  16. SenatorX says:

    are you running the top motor mount?

  17. Matt Graves says:

    Thank you sir!!

  18. Matt Graves says:

    No top motor mount.

  19. Matt Graves says:

    I don’t think she would want it out on the net. LOL

  20. R J from the ole school says:

    the BEST show bike Ive ever seen,,,,you have the gift of build,,,,whats next?

  21. DENNI$ says:

    Nothing else to add, comment-wise. very very nice!

  22. Andy says:

    Yes this would be very hard to import and register here in Australia. We have regulations that only allow stock bikes to be imported if they are intended for road use. There are legal and illegal ways around this of course.

    This encourages modifications to meet specific Australian standards

    Our hard tails require engineer inspections & reports in some cases structural welds need to be xrayed, brake tests carried out and yes full fendered as per the rule book db ratings on exhaust note need to comply. headlight, turn signals, no side mounted licence plates, stoplights in correct position, chainguard… the list goes on and on its not easy over here.

  23. Doc M says:

    Great pictorial and photos. Nice to see an original design!

  24. John Hughes says:

    That springer (4″-under?) looks like it was lowered. Did you use one of the kits available? And are the pipes ceramic coated?

  25. pickles says:

    What else can I say that hasn’t been covered? Congrats on a stunning bike!

  26. SenatorX says:

    thank you and Beautiful bike!!!

  27. CruzBoos says:

    Its the same here in Trinidad. We follow similar outdated British laws with our MOT and they require lights, signals, horn and fenders etc. Thankfully and most regretfully the hamsters here don’t go all out and xray welds. After inspection though everything comes off and she can be ridden around as you wish. Just make sure you’ve got valid insurance when rollin up to a roadblock or they’ll cart your baby away.

  28. Matt Graves says:

    It is a 4″ under DNA with flipped rockers. The pipes are cermachrome. It is a heat resistant ceramic coating.

  29. Matt Graves says:

    Thanks!! I’m building a ’29 Model A sedan now…but already have another XS frame and motor waiting. I’m not sure what direction I’m going next time around.

  30. Matt Graves says:


  31. Nate says:

    Right side high pipes! awesome look. great looking bike

  32. Matt Graves says:

    Thanks…..Jon Ard @ Ardcore did an unbelievable job. They exceeded all expectations!!

  33. R says:

    I totally had this in my watch list when it was on eBay!! I’m in Australia too, wish I was the buyer! 🙁

  34. R says:

    I totally had this in my watch list when it was on eBay!! I’m in Australia too, wish I was the buyer! 🙁 And I’ve been thinking for a while that Dan used the Cole foster on his builds, probably the slickest most proportioned tank for the 50’s look bobber IMO

  35. Kenny says:

    what stretch/drop is the hardtail? perfect stance imo

  36. Matt Graves says:

    Thank you. It is an Ardtail from Ardcore Choppers. I believe it is around a 1 1/2″ drop and a 4″ stretch. Keep in mind, the springer is a 4 under with flipped rockers….to help with the stance.

  37. antoinette tellez says:

    lol thanks guys check me out on model mayhem antoinette1313. fan page on fb coming soon. 🙂 thanks for putting these pics of me with this beautiful bike. <3

  38. KENNY M says:

    When you flipped the rockers did you notice any change in steering? It appears the geometry changes causing less travel to the springs per same amount of wheel travel, therefore it would seem like the ride would seem softer up front. Also did the trail affect the steering at all? thanks

  39. Boon UK says:

    It`s an art to get the overall height length and lines just wright and you got the job done. The line from the headstock through the tank and seat, the curve of the seat support over the strutless rear fender bang on! The width of the whitewall is not interrupted by the width of the said fender, the frame brace follows the curve of the tank. I think there is a lot of thought and time gone into Capone. I bet those pipes were a bitch, speaking of which even her shoes match.AL would approve.

  40. misfitskinny says:

    That bike turned out awesome Mat. One of the best ive seen

  41. Matt Graves says:

    I just saw this…thanks man. Good work on the “Capone” seat.

  42. Matt Graves says:

    Thank you for the kind words!!

  43. misfitskinny says:

    Thanks Matt. What u building on now? I just built a 29 ford coupe model A and another xs that I will b post in on here soon. You can see pcs on my website

  44. DAVE RUSSELL says:

    By far the nicest XS ever built IMO , I’ve never seen a better build .
    this is the bike that inspired me to start an XS build of my own .

  45. Matt Graves says:

    Thanks man…that’s quite a compliment!!

  46. Matt Graves says:

    I have a ’62 Galaxie on air…white walls and a flaked roof. It’s a cool ride. I never finished my ’29 A Sedan. I traded it a few monthes ago. I’m thinking about building another bike this winter, but I’m not sure what I want to build. XS, Triumph, Ironhead, ect.

  47. robert says:

    Kick start only?how’s does the a123 battery set-up work with a pamco/PMA?any issues?sick bike…thanks!!!!!

  48. Gerard says:

    Beautiful bike! Who makes the wheels?