This build has been one of my favorite as I have never built a XS650 before. Down here in South Texas the Bobber scene is not very popular. Seems like south of Austin they are very rare. I have my little hole in the wall about 3 hours south of there and have been building bobbers for a little while. Old bikes are also kinda hard to find and the ones you do find are almost all victims to the salt in the are from the ocean.


One day I was doing my usual 3 to 4 hour daily search on the net trying to find a bike worth saving when I came up on an ad that said “XS650 parts bike- make offer”. I called the number immediately since these famous 650’s are very rare down here. I contacted the person and slid on over to check it out. Just as I expected; Rust bucket. I started investigating a little more into the bike and the only thing still good on the bike was the motor. I played it off and told the guy ” Man this is a piece of junk.


I’ll give you fifty bucks cause I’m gonna go scrap it.” They said they would take the fifty since it had been in his back yard for twelve years. I took it  and after about three hours of re-wiring it I actually got it to start. I yelled out “Holy Sh#t” I just bought an XS650 for fifty bucks. The next day I took a cutting torch and began the destruction process.

A week into the project I go to work in the morning only to be informed by the company I had been working for 7 years with that they were shutting down do to the recession and were laying everyone off. WOW!!!! After everything was said and done I couldn’t believe I had gotten laid off. It seemed like a nightmare but I turned the negative into a positive.

About a week after that I started up on the bike again still wondering how I was gonna pull this off. Then I started to think what if I could build a bike with no money and build the the bike to look the way I feel. I looked at my tubing stash and say I had enough for one more frame. Started going thru all my old parts off of old street bikes and dirt bikes I had wrecked in the past.

I started rummaging thru all the parts. I pulled out an old Kawasaki dirt bike tank from the 70’s. I madea a mold for the seat and made the seat out of fiberglass. Pulled the front wheel off a Yamaha YZ125 and the head light came off an old Suzuki. I got the thach off an old Honda CB750 and the handlebars off a very old Kawasaki 4 wheeler.

The throttle is off a Honda 250 some misc. parts like nuts and bolts from other crap laying around. Then I made some other parts for A little different look. Trying to shoot for the ” I’m broke” look I made my rear brake lever out of a 30 year old open end wrench.


I also used an old auger bit for the rear brake linkage and another old box end wrench to connect it to the frame. Made the drop seat and used a small shock off one of those Chinese knock off mopeds I found in a trash pile. Added a feul guage to the back of the tank and used an old roller skate wheel from some skates I shamefully bought at good will for seven dollars.

I made my exhaust out of two different bikes along with the stock XS exhaust. Bought a rear taillight, exhaust wrap and an ignition switch. Oh, and stole a battery off another old bike I had sitting around here. After all that I think I only spent about $150.00 total even with the bike after I gave it, what I call a fauxtina paint job. I love the way the bike came out.

My buddy who is a photographer came by and took some pictures before I had a chance to finish it so don’t judge too hard. I still need to reverse the front rim so that I can hook up the brakes. I also need to cover and straighten out the seat. It’s a bit crooked. I also need to hook up the tach and taillight that are not in the photo. That is the short story on how my XS650 was not built but grew.

Thanx to out of Temple, Texas for the pix.

stanley oblawski