1980 Ode To a Bratstyle


Tala – This is my first Yamaha XS650 build, I bought it in stock form, barely running trucked it home, cleaned the carbs (BS34s) changed the oil to some really thick diesel weight and rode it over to the Alberta registries to make it legal. Next step was tear down and cut off the rear end. Because I live in Alberta Canada the roads are shit so I wanted to make a Bobber that I can ride without destroying my back, thus the Japanese Bratstyle.


I went with a Visual Impact brat kit and learned to weld in my buddies shop, added some 11″ progressive shocks, drilled out the wheels with some speed holes, set them off to powder coating. Then came the rebuild of the carbs and ordered a bunch of parts from Mikes XS, Tc Bros, Lowbro Customs, Motorcyle Superstore. It took me about three months to complete to this point and the only things I didn’t do are; painting the tins, and upholstering the seat.


I put about 1200km on it this summer and still have quirkes to work out with the carbs, clean up some of the wiring and I plan to put a 750cc kit in this winter, however this thing is a blast to ride. I kept all the wiring so it has electric and kick start, high/low beam, horn, signal lights etc. because here in Alberta the law can be real sticklers.

I’m sure I’ve forgot alot of the build, but it’s an ongoing project and I fricken love these Yamaha XS650.
Hope you all like it, Cheers!

Tala Crossley


  1. jim says:

    What color blue is that?

  2. El Gaucho says:

    Ooooooo, that is some sparkly pain! I like it!

  3. Tala Crossley says:

    Jim, it’s a custom heavy metal flake done by these great guys at Screamin Paint Works in Calgary. I was going for a seventies diner look with a metal flake vinyl seat to match.

  4. Rene says:

    Hey nice bike! Are you in Calgary? I’m in Edmonton just starting my xs650 bobber build as well! Would love to pick your brain about so e stuff!

  5. Kyle says:

    Tala, Very nice work dude lovin the colour sceme, I have a question as I’m half way through a simlar build and stuck on how/where to locate the battery? give me a clue mate.

    Liverpool, England….

  6. Tala Crossley says:

    Hey Kyle, Thanks for the praise, I did it by trial and error! The framed-in area under the seat I fabbed up with sheet metal and cut down the original battery box, welded it in lower and bought a Ballistic gel battery (much smaller 12 cell battery so I could fit all the wiring/fuses around it) If you are building a brat style with rear suspension you will probably have to do some of your own fabbing, if your building a hard tail you can get a fake oil tank to hold the battery and wiring as you may of seen. Enjoy your build, take some pics and post them. If you want some pics of how I did it send me your email address. Cheers!

  7. Tala Crossley says:

    Hi Rene, I’m in Airdrie and ya shoot me a line we can share some ideas and work on these beautiful XS650’s. You can contact me through Stampede Toyota in Calgary AB.

  8. Bluesgrinder says:

    Great build, mines somewhat like yours I,m building. Man I love the metallic blue, the white gives it a pop also. very clean , I’d be proud to ride it. What did you do with all the electric that goes into the head light? I,m stressing on it cause I,ve got a new headlight as yoiu do.

  9. Tala Crossley says:

    Hey Bluesgrinder, Thanks for the props, as to the headlight and wiring I cut out a hole in the back of the headlight and cut down some of the stock wiring so I could fit most of it inside. However I still need to clean it up a bit more and get rid of some of the big plastic connectors so it looks cleaner. Have fun with your build, Cheers!

  10. rob says:

    What frame did you use.

  11. TALA CROSSLEY says:

    Hello Rob, The frame is a modified stock, using the Brat Kit form Visual Impact, removing the centre stand mounts, and de-tabing anything that made it look cluttered. Then adding the shortest progressive rear shocks I could find.