Marcel – It wasn’t that I had bit off more than I could chew, I just had to chew a lot longer than I’d planned. Other than a few bolt on mods on my other bike I had never really wielded a spanner or taken a motorbike apart, but after getting into motorbikes a few years ago and developing a taste for classic motorbikes and seeing the beautiful customs that people created on websites like the Bikeshed and Bike Exif I decided to have a go. I’d always had a hankering for an XS650 and when the opportunity arose to get one at a reasonable price I jumped on it and bought a 1978 Yamaha XS650E, a manual and registered with the XS650 forum. The plan was to strip the bike back and rebuild it using elements I’d seen on other bikes and also add some of my own, all in about 6-8 months, ready to ride it down to Wheels & Waves 2014. That didn’t happen….at all. In fact I didn’t even get close. For a perfectionist like myself that can be quite disturbing, but once I managed to just go with whatever the bike threw at me the process became far more enjoyable.
In the end I took me just over a year to get to what you see here and I probably spent far more than I should have. But that’s not what it was about for me. I learned new things (like patience!) and acquired new skills, made new friends and feel a sense of accomplishment. Priceless as they say.