James’ 1972 XS Bobber

I bought the bike a few years ago now when a friend of mine showed me some pictures of bobs/choppers featured on xs650 chopper.

The one that stood out for me and started the journey was the build by Hugh’s handbuilt, the original first build with the bare metal frame and blue tank. Which most will probably agree is an iconic xs bobber build!

After finding a nice xs I got it all stripped down and with help from a good friend and extremely talented bike builder Jim Alonze we got it chopped up and he set to hard tailing the bike. Although the look I was after was the Hugh’s look after mocking up we decided to stretch the back end abit to suit me abit better!

I picked up a red BSA B7 tank at an auto jumble and we grafted that onto the frame aswell, using the tan mounting points as the pivot for the seat! After getting the bike road legal it was rough and ready…

It was a cool bike but the frame was rattle canned the tank was the red when I bought it and all in it was just made for me to ride not clean and not worry about!

Last year at the end of summer I decided to pull it off the road and give it abit of love, again I suppose very much like Hugh did!

Although I love a polished finish, I realised bit wasn’t for me as it’s too much to keep it looking fresh! So I opted for black, black is a colour you can’t really go wrong with so set about stripping and painting pretty much everything.

The bike underwent afew minor changes, main one being going for a PMA kit and converting to batteryless to lose some of the wiring and to tidy up the visuals of the bike! Slight change in bars was about it really… When the bike was built first time round I’d opted for some handmade brass footpegs.

Going into this build I realised how good the brass looked on the black so decided afew additional brass touches were needed, the Kickstart and the gear leaver both got knurled brass handles. Majority of bolts were swapped out for black stainless bolts with brass washers, with alot of brass nuts also used to mount things like tank and rectifier.

I tried to find somewhere local who could brass plate afew parts for me and had no luck! So went to a local powdercoaters to see if they could get me a brass finish on afew bits.

They did some test pieces for me playing around with coats and finishes and we managed to get a pretty good finish in the end that can be seen on the rear mudguard stays, seat springs and rear brake rod, these aswell as the little brass touches really stand out on the bike! It axes people when they look at the rear stays and they find out it’s just a powdercoat!

Now the bikes back on the road and just where she left off there is a few bits I’m still wanting to sort a few little custom brass touches but just gonna see out the summer on her!

A big thanks for alot of work and help from Jim Alonze who as I said before is a very talented builder. Also Hugh at Hugh’s handbuilt, I have never met the bloke nor will I probably ever meet him but his bike inspired me to start my build and because of what he knows about the xs his catalogue of parts for them is amazing and helped me alot!