It’s as solid as a rock

Describe Your XS650: Year: 1977
The plastic half of the rear mudguard was, until recently, the only part of this ’77 model not modified. However, I had to cut a piece out of it to clear the oil lines and the remote filter, which lives just behind the swing arm pivot. So now, I can say that every single part of the bike has had work of some kind done to it.

The frame is basically stock, but clean up with several brackets removed and others welded on. The front wheel is a rear wheel off a ’79 Special, disc is off a TX with a custom centre. Calliper is from Performance Machine. Forks are from a 1987 Suzuki GSXR-750, converted to cartridge, on custom trees designed by me. Rear wheel is off an ’81 Special, in a swing arm made by me. It’s asymmetrical to accommodate a belt drive. Both mudguards were made by me in ‘glass. The rear is a copy of a Special, and the front is two of them, cut short and joined together. It has roller bearings in the swing-arm and in the steering head.


Motor is 750cc, with JE pistons and Carrillo rods, both designed by me. Head is ported, with intakes extended. Carbs are Mikuni 36mm flatslides. Aside from the element itself, the air filter housing and intake trumpets were made by me. One filter does both carbs. Valves are stainless steel, 1mm oversize. Rockers are modified to take Porsche tappets. Combustion chambers, exhaust ports, valve heads, piston crowns and skirts all coated with HPC. Crank is rephased to 90 degrees, balanced, and completely polished.

Cam is likewise re-phased, is Megacycle 250-30 profile, and modified to has been modified to be belt driven on one end, and have 2 Boyer-Bransden ignitions on the other end. All hardware for belt drive and ignitions desined by me. All flat pieces made by me, all round pieces made by a friend with a lathe. Clutch has Barnett springs and 8 of their plates, as well as modified shock absorber with buffer blocks replacing every second spring. Lube system has a high volume oil pump. Cooler and all plumbing is Earl\’s and as mentioned earlier, has a remote filter made by me, with a spin-on element from a car.


Electrical system completely replaced with permanent-magnet alternator from RZ-250, reg/rec from Boyer-Bransden, chrome switches from Mike’s XS, lights are custom, and wiring done from scratch.

All brackets, saddle bag frames, number plate frame, luggage rack and sissy bar made by me. Belt final drive designed by me.


Paint was candy apple red but redone recently by Bad Image to my vague (skulls and flames over black) suggestions. In last pic, I’m part-way through making new pipes. They’ll be chromed and, like the last set, ceramic coated on the inside.

Bike is almost maintenence free. I don’t have to clean or adjust chain, clean crap off rear end of bike, check or replace alternator brushes, adjust tappets, adjust points, or use tools and go into motor to change oil filter. I can check cam drive tension just by sight and replace belt just by losening idler pulley (although I never expect to do it). About all I do is check tyre pressures and change oil every once in a while. Most time consuming job is polishing.


Bike goes like a missile and because it’s a 90, will rev off the dial and does not vibrate at all. It’s as solid as a rock on the road and an absolute pleasure to ride.

Thanks David Rayner

This XS650 is absolutely amazing! What you guys think? leave a comment below.. And, if you’re sitting on some XS650 pics send them in and share with the world….