A little bit about my 1978 xs650 chopper. Bought it with the Ardcore frame 23″ custom spoke spool and laced hub with sportster front-end and 17″ rear wheel. It was not rideable when I got it. It was foot clutch jockey shift and you couldn’t get it in neutral while moving. I almost killed myself trying to ride the thing.
It’ll still only go to neutral when completely stopped. So I changed it to standard foot shift and hand clutch. The original seat was solid mounted and just steel no foam at all. I put a much better seat with 4″ springs. Now I’ve switched it to tc bros air bag suspension for the seat.
The seat leather I got from local fabric store and laced it to the seat pan and use upholstery glue for the 3 layers of different density foams. It’s way better riding now. Bmx kick starter pedal. Rear disc brake slows the bike down pretty good. Had a hose and bolt zip tied in it to hold the fluid when I got it.. I put a resistor on it.. the frame was clear coated with something.
I don’t know if it was powder costed or painted or what, but it’s pretty durable.. it made the frame this sorta rusty brown but the rust doesn’t get on you. I painted the tins myself. The gas tank I did so many layers of body filler to smooth the rough welds. Painting it was a major learning process and used two friends that do paint jobs professionally for help.
First two stage paint job I’ve ever done. I think I did it right. Came out great and how I wanted. The panels have that 70’s and Chicano look to it. Has that 70’s chopper feel but with dirt bike tires. Don’t tell anyone but they aren’t DOT legal tires.. Tank is Frisco mounted, narrowed sportster tank tc bros peacock. With custom lathed gas cap and then I had to put a baffle inside the gas cap so it would quit shooting me in the face with fuel. I fixed that before I painted it.
Paint is 5 different gold flakes.. then there’s candy green and candy black.. base coat was black. Exhaust is just two stock headers cut down and switched sides. Vans grips on 1″ mini ape handle bar. Rear view mirror mounted to the frame is just so I can see if police are following me. BMX Bear trap foot pegs.
Electronic ignition and points.. Hugh’s hand built capacitor. My xs650 chopper is for sale. I wish I could keep it but I need the space.. I also quit drinking 5 years ago so don’t bar hop on it like I used too. Time to move on and to build my 1956 ford f1 truck that’s been in my family since the 90’s. I’m 3rd owner. If the xs650 could only tell all the stories. Time for someone else to enjoy the shit outta it!!! This is the bike you know you should never sell, but still do. I’m kicking myself already.
Submitted by Charles Douglas Schultz
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