Laurens – Hi there, here’s one from the Land of the Dutch. About a year or so ago I picked up the plan to build me a hard tailed XS. When looking for a cheap donor bike I came across this kick only ’79er. Basically it already looked mostly the way you see it here and was offered for a reasonable price. The owner had built it almost the way I intended to do myself. He had welded the hard tail section himself and most what you see here was already there and it seemed to run okay too. Unfortunately it had poorly done ugly bright yellow on black tribal flames on the tank and fender. Also it was built with too many chromed cheap parts and sloppy painting but since I could ride it home immediately instead of building it from scratch (which would probably take me two years) I was sold when I saw it.
After the first rides there was lots of tinkering. It is my first XS so it took me some time, sweat and swearing plus pushing the machine home several times to find out that the rotor was broken and it would only run for a short while until the battery was dead. Meanwhile during the short rides it did run, I lost my licence plate, tail light, one muffler, many bolts and had practically everything shaken loose… including my teeth. So I pulled it half apart and rebolted everything securely with loads of lock tight. Made a new licence plate bracket and installed a nicer tail light. Chopped the wide handlebar to half its width. Lowered the risers and replaced and redid some wiring here and there and some small stuff overall. Eventually installed the satchel on the side too so I could bring much needed tools and spare parts along. (already had the tool roll too but that didn’t suffice 🙂
This winter I removed the ugly tribal crap and painted it all stone grey (the color doesn’t really show well on these pics btw). I’m still thinking of what to paint on the sides of the tank, or perhaps just add a simple single pinstripe but that will come in time. I also had the ugly cheap seat redone by Miller Kustom Upholstery whom I can recommend to everyone. The brown seat matches the grey paint super nicely.
Now it’s getting closer to the look I had in mind but there’s still quite a few things I want to change/ remove/ add. For instance the front end: I’m not a fan of springer forks and I’d like to clean up the handlebar so I might look into that soon.
Anyway, it’s nothing super spectacular and it’s not my dream bike or anything but it sure is a fun bike. I’ll definitely build me a perfect one someday but for now I’m enjoying and riding the hell out of this bone shaker.
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