Tevan’s 1972 XS2 Resto-Mod Cafe


Hugh of HHB – Tevan Morgan came to Hugh’s HandBuilt when we were just a lowly shop working out of my 300Sq Ft basement. He was young, motivated and wanted to work. Luckily I needed some help as well, as the shop was a total wreck, so I handed him a broom! Wait what?? You heard me right, this young buck actually got a job sweeping the floors and ended up being Hugh’s HandBuilt’s most valuable employee. And what good HHB employee doesn’t want to build a cool custom bike right?


One day Tevan and I were shooting the bull, talking about bike, and he mentioned he wanted to build a Cafe’ project. I knew of a 72 XS2 laying in the kudzu at a friends house.  It was in terrible shape, but the price was right and it a good start to a project. Being that Tevan was 17 years old at the time, he mostly spent his time disassembling, cleaning, and sketching out ideas on how he wanted the bike to look. He finished this thing this year, and it’s just about ready to rip and shred on the North Carolina mountain roads. Tevan built his own Rephased 277 Degree engine, using all the stock internals and giving the engine a solid freshening up at the same time. A Hugh’s HandBuilt PMA system was installed for a batteryless and reliable charging system.  Top it off with with a 277 Pamcopete ignition and Fueled with a set of High Velocity Lectron Carbs – and the engine was solid!


All of the aluminum on the engine cases were polished to a perfect shine of course, and the crank cases were aquablasted along with the cylinders and head.  The engine is kick-only – Now for the chassis, Tevan built his own custom rearsets.  No Bolt-On stuff here, keeping the chassis nice and narrow, and with the proper ergonomics to really make this build fit the rider.  Lots of time on the lathe, mill and some hand grinding and blending was done to create the rearsets.  We sent them out to be Nickel plated.


The rear OEM swingarm was beefed up with a custom brace, that Tevan bent in one shot.  Not too bad for his first time ever bending tube.  It did take about 3 days for him to learn how to notch the tube though, but once he had it down, it fit like a glove.  I did all the TIG welding for him, as he hasn’t quite got the hang of that yet.  We installed bronze bushings in the swingarm and called it good. The frame itself received several mods to stiffen it up while we were at it.  We wanted to keep the soul of the original XS2 alive, but create a totally 1-off Cafe’ that would be timeless…  In order to do that, no fiberglass or plastics were used to create the tailsection.  The Tail is a pair of old HD tanks, cut down and fitted together with a flat steel bottom.  Tevan went to the mill, and started to build a taillight mount that we would eventually french mount into the tail.  It turned out killer.  A custom seatpan was covered by a local feller who redoes car interiors.


The tank itself was in rough shape.  We cleaned out all the rust, found some NOS badges and a filler cap.  Then we cut out the old junky style petcocks and installed 1/4 NPT bungs and universal petcocks on each side of the tank.  The fresh paint was laid down my John over at Dills Paintworks – he actually was the dude we bought the donor bike from, so it was fitting that he sprayed the bike back to glory.

The paint colors are similar to the OEM, but just a tad brighter in the red, and a bit mellower in the white.  The original paint scheme was kept, as a tribute to the style and character the original bike had from the factory. The wheels are custom 18″ Italian drop center rims from and rear, laced up with Buchanan’s Stainless spokes to a set of modified late model XS650 hubs.  Tevan laced and trued the wheels himself.  The tires are Pirelli’s – to keep the power down and hook up through the curves.


The front forks are late model 35mm XS650 forks, but we machined the triple trees and steering stem to keep the XS2 Steering Damper Assembly – a nice touch that really harkens back to when this bike left the factory.  Tevan of course couldn’t leave that ugly plastic knob on the damper, so he spun up the 7075 Knob on the lathe.  For that just right stance, we lowered the forks 2″ using our Hugh’s HandBuilt lowering kit. We upgraded the front brakes using a Brembo brake swap kit from Pandemonium Customs.  You might notice we stuck the brakes on the left side of the forks, something that always bugged me was the brakes being on the right side, so Tevan machined some more mounts and made the original rotor from a 73 model fit the late model hub and Brembo brake caliper.  We decided on a very subtle drill pattern for the front rotor.  The idea was to keep it classic, not overly done…

As for the exhaust, Tevan found a set of NOS Bub pipes at a swap meet for an HD of some sort, he cut the mufflers off the HD pipes, cut and welded up his own headpipes and welded the mufflers on for a nice tight fit to the rearsets.  The pipes sound great with the 256 Long Rod engine rephased… The XS2 Side Covers were modded to clear the huge K&N Filters that hide behind them, and NOS trim was found and put into place on the freshly painted covers.


There are a ton of small parts that Tevan made for this bike, he had a hand in every aspect of the build and it truly is Tevan’s bike.  He spent 2 years of his time and worked really hard to make this happen.  It’s a might fine machine if you ask me.  From floor sweeper 2 years ago, to a 19 year old with a super sweet Cafe’ build – just goes to show a little hard work and a good attitude go a long way sometimes.

The photographer is Frank Bott


  1. Desmo864 says:

    What a thing of great Beauty. Congrats. Tevan on a beautiful build. Those pipes look like Conti megaphones-surely the most gorgeous pipes ever on a bike. Thanks for the pics.-very inspiring.

  2. roger says:

    Great custom, I have the exact 72 XS2 too in my garage, work in progress. I might definitely take some ideas and some parts of yours.

  3. Boon says:

    Clean and lean red machine.Sits nice,balanced job done.

  4. mookie says:

    outstanding-in every sense of the word.
    both of you found and made gold.

  5. Al says:

    Very nice proportions and I like the retro paint amalgamation. another masterpiece!

  6. tadd442 says:

    The tail section alone is worth a write up!
    Now for a video of him ripping the roads on that bad-boy?

  7. eat_HEALTHY_beans says:

    I loves me a rusty XS in the back of a pickup truck.

  8. El Gaucho says:

    classy, clean, and cafe!

  9. russ says:


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  12. RJ from the ole school says:

    I’m glad to see more cafe racer mind set ,,,,nothing against rigid frame bikes but performance and handling is really where its at ,,,this bike is outstanding,,,so many cafes are built on smaller bore bikes,,,and the 920’s start adding too much weight to throw into the curves,,,GREAT reincarnation,,,,like all the machine work,,,nice trick fork brace,,,,HHB products are tops and well thought out,,,,nothing wrong with robbin old HD parts,,,just adds a little more soul ,,,,what”s next?

  13. Jeff says:

    Refreshing to c something so well built and different than the norm.Im sure its a rocket 2 ride.Well done.Where did your front master cylinder come from?Very few options it seems since no ones runnin them anymore.Thanks for postin and again well done!

  14. Ed says:

    Very nice and well done I like the Cafe Look

  15. RJ from the ole school says:

    I had to comment on photo #6,,,,,there is no side stand down so you two are actually balancing the bike with your fingers,,,,this could also represent a BALANCE between old and new,,,craftsman and apprentice,,,,hardtail and cafe,,,,the photo also represents the fact that you are both legally blind and need glasses,,,HA

  16. ken says:

    Very nice I really like the homage to the stock colors this is a gorgeous transformation. Thanks for sharing your vision it is inspiring..Ken

  17. Vigo The Carpathian says:

    Wow, this is just absolutely terrific work. ‘Nuff said.

  18. Dee says:

    cool bike, i enjoy cafe’s, looks like some premium work into it as well, i have the utmost respect for hughs handbuilt too, although this is not

  19. Matt says:

    ^ Xs’ are xs’ chuckle head. If you frequent this site, you prolly dig the xs as a platform for anything.

  20. Christopher says:


    Now chop it

  21. Reuben says:

    Nice work. A very handsome machine indeed, beautifully considered and executed. The lack of glib advice on how to do it differently is telling. Oh, except for this: don’t waste time chopping it, ride it.

  22. tadd442 says:

    With the resources this kid now has, it wouldn’t surprise me if his NEXT build was a chopper…..and that build will be as top-notch as anything else posted here as well. I can’t express enough how green with envy I am of Tevan, regardless of what he builds.I think we can ALL agree that Hugh wouldn’t let him build a P.O.S. of any sort.

    I’m looking forward to his next build, whatever it is, but a chop would be cool to see.

  23. Reuben says:

    Let’s hope Tevan turns out to be a serial bike builder, I’de love to see what results he could achieve in other styles.

  24. CruzBoos says:

    Oh so clean and beautiful. Shes just like the girl next door that you want to meet.

  25. Curt says:

    Hugh, what a great way to welcome a youngster in the world of moto. Great job to both of you.

  26. Juan Rosal says:

    Great looking build!! Congratulations!! One question, are those RFY Shocks on the rear?? If so, was there any trouble with fitment?

  27. Jack Gilbert says:

    What I like about this bike is the obvious effort that was expended to make it look as if it rolled out of the Yamaha factory. If you’re gonna build a custom, do it right and make it look like a pro-built unit. Don’t cut corners and just slap together some parts. Take pride in your work. This bike is really impressive.