About 15 years ago I decided to build an xs. I liked the look of the engines, but i didn’t know much more than that. I picked up 2 from a guy. One complete that almost ran, the other a parts bike. I wanted it to look like a 70s triumph, so i dressed it up with sportster tins etc.
Fast forward last year I dumped it in the fog, and it cracked the fender strut weld. Solution? Cut it in half and hardtail it with David Bird 0deg,0stretch piece.
Tacked in place, then had a friend tig it. Found a new seat that I took off from a big twin hd. Guy didn’t like the red stitching. Found a matching pad from Biltwell.
Had to add something red, so grips helped. Repainted the tins with some silver w/red pinstripe so it didn’t look out of place.
Tucked all the wiring between the rails under the seat. Same tail ite/signals as my sportster, and a bobbed fender. Sissy bar from lowbrow. Also seat springs and hinge. A little cleanup to the engine, new o-ring chain and a lithium battery to clear it.
Redid the wiring to minimum necessary, using 96 HD switches on drag bars. Used pullback 6in risers so I didn’t have to stretch. (I’m getting old, lol). Put a new LED head lite. The sporty eyebrow it had bent falling. My k and n cone filters hit the frame, but Honda cb750 ones are 3/8″shorter, just clear.
Of course, it starts and runs for a test drive, then the cdi box dies. Unavailable…so aftermarket electrical ignition. (now the ’74 parts bike came in handy, it had the mechanical ignition advance components needed for that electrical ignition). Saved!
I’ve wanted tt pipes since the beginning, but couldn’t find any in the normal channels. Searching online on a rainy day I found an xs forum that mentioned a builder of them…but it was 10 years old.
Turns out the guy still makes the pieces, but I had to weld them up myself. He no longer does that. No sweat, a couple torque cones up top, some 4 inch baffles to satisfy my neighbors, set to go there!
Clear coated the tank and fenders after more black lacquer (it’s available in Oregon) the silver was pearl silver base coat (leftover from repainting my95 sportster after I hit an elk, but that’s another story, haha)
The red is 67ford candy apple. Picked a calm day to paint on the driveway. Still haven’t buffed it. The starter never was too dependable, so i bought a starter removal kit with a new seal. I don’t think that little lithium battery would have been enough anyway.
The front wheel is from an early tx650, so I had a special axle made to fit my81 forks, and I had to mod yhs disc brake caliper mount to clear. As long as I was at it, I replaced all the wheel bearings.
Gotta figure, the newest original parts are 40 years old. Decided to leave any gauges off for a cleaner look up front. The foot pegs mount to the original muffler /pipe mount location. I had cut the kickstand off to better line up the frame to hard tail points, so I picked up one from Lowbrow. Had to remove the powder coat on the frame and the stand to grip enough.
Finally, I drilled and tapped the frame and pinned the stand. It has to be solid since it’s a kick only bike. I mounted the pass pegs up high on the frame, but I checked with a smallish young lady to be sure there was enough distance.I think the front sits too high, so I got a 2 inch lowering kit from mikes xs plus new fork seals still to do. Now this is how I envisioned it when I started 15 years ago. But then, they are never really done, are they?
Submitted by Michael Evenson
Have a bike you want featured on the site? Submit it here.
COMMENTS HAVE MOVED TO OUR FACEBOOK GROUP - CLICK BELOW
VISIT FACEBOOK GROUP HERE!