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.
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.
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.
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!
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