Scott Weiss – A friend drove up to the house on a bike I didn’t recognize.  He told me it was an XS650.  I remembered those bikes but I didn’t think they where as cool as his street tracker.

That started a web search and a realization that the build culture around these bikes is very inclusive and I decided I should try to figure this out.

Craigslist and $150 later I now owned most of a 1978 XS 650.  No carbs or exhaust but it did kick over and it seemed like good compression but what do I know.  I’m an audio engineer!

I like the look of the Brat Style bikes and they also seemed like a good start for a total beginner.   XS650_Build_01 XS650_Build_03 XS650_Build_04 XS650_Build_05 XS650_Buils 06 XS650_Shilshole_01 XS650_Shilshole_02 XS650_Shilshole_03

Mikes XS, Monstercraftsman, and Hugh’s Hand Built all provided advice as well as parts.  I could not have figured this thing out without the kindness of these folks and the great business and service they provide.  I was also lucky enough to trade some emails with the Fong Brothers.  TC Brothers and Dime City Cycles also provided custom parts.

The engine is stock.  I decided to try to get it back together and running before I started changing any of the components of the engine.  To My surprise it fired up and over a few weeks of tweaking it now starts on the first kick.  It’s a pretty easy kick as well.  Just kick it through and she usually goes.

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This site as well was SO helpful.  I used it quite a bit for design ideas.  One big help was to figure out the tire sizes I wanted to run.  This was an unbelievable resource for design.

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Thanks to everyone who helped along the way.  This has been a very rewarding project.  I had never welded or really worked with metal before.  When I’m doing 50 mph down the road that thought sometimes runs through my head.  It’s always a thrilling ride!