79′ xs650 the “Midori Bomb”


Jesse forbes – The Midori Bomb (green in Japanese)… 8 years ago an idea came to mind while having a conversation with a fellow Airmen 6,000 miles away from home in a desert know as QATAR.  We shared a passion for wrench spinning and spent long days in the hot desert (140 degrees on the flightline) of maintaining aircraft talking about motorcycles and cars where our real interest lies back at home.  This cool kid knew about the Japanese style bobbers and choppers and began to enlighten me of other cool two wheeled machines that existed other than the v-twin Harley..


As he was speaking, the ideas were already in motion and once returning home I found myself completing a 800 dollar purchase of a 1979 xs 650 special with 9,000 miles on it that was taken very good care of….only if that individual knew I was about to take a saws all to it within 24 hours I probably wouldn’t be owning such a nice untouched piece of Japanese machinery.


Shortly arriving in the mail was a hard tail from what was once in existence black widows choppers and numerous tanks ordered until I found the right one….the salinas boys specialty “Cole Foster”.  It just fit in every way shape and form. Once the frame was welded up and raked at 40 degrees, the foundation help generate the next idea.  The influence for this bike came between hotrods and the shovelhead my father had built many years ago he called the “Green machine.”  It seems like there was so much character in motorcycles back in the 70’s and 80’s time frame that new motorcycles manufactured today are solely made to profit rather than focus on individuality, it was hard to ignore the originality.   I knew this was not going to be a run of the mill “Me too bike” so I made it out in every way capable to be different.


That’s when thoughts of whitewalls, velocity stacks, stick shifter, diagonal pipes, and some 20 mm aircraft rounds for grips come to mind.  It’s easy to throw parts on a bike but to make those parts flow homogenously, it is where the cut, weld, fit, re-cut, re-weld, re-fit process became very time consuming (I could have probably built 3 bikes now in the same time but this was my first). And thanks to Hughs handbuilt for offering the pma kit to run without battery just helps achieve the simple and sleek look.  Then what better than to highlight everything with candy paint over ground steel to give it a light reflecting marble effect trimmed in some gold scroll….these were my thoughts anyways.  So after 8 years of life priorities getting in the way, I am at the final stages of this build all I needs now is a grood scrub down and some polish anyways.


  1. reynoldburton says:

    Very nice – just some minor details I would change if it would be mine. As there are these bar spikes, headlight & the upswept velocity stacks.
    Other than that it suits my taste.

  2. CruzBoos says:

    Got here early to oogle this babe.
    Jesse… your green eyed babe is certainly a fine piece of work and to me, I would let this bitch blow me away anytime with those stacks. In fact I wonder what she would do between my thighs at 70mph – besides getting me off… with a big grin!

  3. Mack Williams says:

    Very nice scoot but needs some apes, I mean it’s beggin’ for some apes.

  4. Sean from Boston. says:

    Hey are you still in? What duty station are you at? I’m security forces gotta say love the bike

  5. fanoboss says:

    Great Bike

  6. Hey man, this has been one of the coolest bikes I’ve seen lately… You can tell a lot of thought was put into it….Looks Great….

  7. tadd442 says:

    Great write up.
    Great bike.
    The peg placement is crazy!

  8. jesse says:

    Thanks for the kind words. Yes, I am still in at the reserve unit located at the 911th ARS Pittsburgh. Are you full time?

  9. jesse says:

    Yeah the peg placement kinda came from my street bike ridding habbits. Its actually not to bad for comfort but its all what your used to I suppose.

  10. jesse says:

    Haha, that’s too funny. just hope it doesn’t backfire through the stacks!!

  11. jesse says:

    Thanks, I appreciate the good word.

  12. turdherder says:

    I’m not a fan of clip-ons but other than that it’s a great looking build!

  13. Al says:

    If it is what you wanted to build I would say you have a good eye for proportions, and nailed it. good on ya !

  14. Bryan Perry says:

    I second that motion…

  15. El Gaucho says:

    Clip ons, check. Jockey shift, check. Bad assed air intake tubes, check. Well done candy paint over ground metal, check. Looks like you’ve got everything there, bud, very sick bike indeed.

  16. jesse says:

    Yeah think you guys are right. The more I’m looking at apes the more I’m digging the Frisco styles that would fit this bike better than the clip ons.. Like I mentioned in the article this bike has had multiple versions that I was never 100% satisfied with and never gave the bars a second thought until now. Thanks for the constructive criticism, revisions will be made soon!

  17. dex82 says:

    may be a little ergonomics issue if you put on apes with the location of the pegs…………..that being said, the frisco bars, if you choose to go with them, are really cool; got them on my six-fiddy and just made a set of one- inchers for a shovelhead i’m hardtailling. comfy and extremely cool looking. at least one thing you didn’t do with the clip-ons is you didn’t frisco the tank. guys who do that usually end up with a bike that looks hunchbacked and sorta awkward, so at least the clip-ons work with the tank. overall she looks good.

  18. Boon says:

    Look at her slender frame, her beautifully proportioned tank, her turned and polished lower legs. The finger throttle, the stick shift, the rear struts cradling the sexy rear fender, the strut bolts mimic the angle of those stacks.The lines, the proportions, the stance , the balance, the sleekness, the lightness and then the paint!! well I`m gonna start sniffing aircraft fuel yes I am! The very best I have seen in along time, I want more photo`s please.Man you smashed it out the park.Cool! it`s colder than a witches tit.

  19. Jesse says:

    Yeah I’ll snap some photos this weekend incorporating the newest and final changes with the polished forkshrouds and frisco bars. Hopefully the weather holds out. Ill post em on the website with a video of it running.

  20. Sean from Boston says:

    Ya still in and active I’m security forces

  21. Boon UK says:

    Jesse, fork shrouds and frisco bars and video it on the move. Yeah baby!

  22. Jesse says:

    heres a raw video of tuning the carbs after changin the jets. sorry didnt edit video but finally got it to idle good. checked th air fuel ration with my exhaust gas analyzer and its right at 14 to 1 which is perfect.


  23. Boon UK says:

    I had my gas analysed once but we`ll leave that one there. Sounds as good as she looks, nice jeans by the way, she looks even more slender on the video, very light and low. If your name is Jesse James you would be the king of cool. I have a bros called James Bond, no seriously I do.