This bike has been on here before but not with current pics. I saw an ad for a 82 xs650 on craigslist.  Gave it a call and decided to go take a look.  It was pretty beat, and missing stuff here and there and it didn’t run.

The guy only wanted $300 so it was actually a decent deal.  I slept on it and then called the guy back after a few days.  Turns out this guy (Hillbilly Wicked Choppa) had a jig setup for doing hardtails on the xs650.

I had recently got a mig welder, but wasn’t confident on my skills to attempt a rigid build as my learning experience.  For another small price he would weld on a hardtail for me and i could come pick it up in a week or two.  DEAL!noid-dscf2714
I had told Hillbilly i wanted about a 2″ or less stretch. turned out just perfect.  I brought the rolling frame and the engine home in the back of my pickup.  I had this idea in my head of what i wanted the bike to look like.  It had to look older then it was, it was going to have some copper/brass/gold highlights, and i wanted the paint to be cream in color.

No apes, just something low like drags bars.  Spoke wheels, some variation of a sporty tank and i wanted to shift it like an old post war bike.

The wheels i found by putting out a request at the salvage yard lines.  Guy in the midwest had these TX650 alloy spoked wheels. Need some old looking tires – firestone replicas! Powdered them black myself along with some other bits.  Continuing with the old theme i wanted to hide the 80’s electronics gizmos.

Figured, how cool would it be if I had a faux oil tank to hide them in?  cool, but how do i hide the wires?  how about in copper tubes disguised as oil lines to the fake tank! harder then it looked to run all those wires thru that tube. tank was bought at Target and used to say “flour” on it.


Made the handle bars from some dom tube and found these nos grips on ebay that ended up being more then they were worth, but i’ve never seen another set like ’em.  i think they were for minibikes back in the day. With my “oil tank” i was having issues finding air filters that fit.  Finally discovered a set of K&N’s that fit perfectly. Next was the exhaust.

I wanted the pipes to come out pretty far before they shot down at a 90.  Nobody made anything fitting this description.  So i watched all the header manufacturers on ebay until one listed some mistake bends.  got a box of 12 bends of 304 ss for $20! bought some straight on and started cutting it all up with the chop saw.

Bought some stainless wire and welded it all up. It wasn’t perfect.  so i wrapped them up. ended up looking great wrapped up anyway.


Shifter is a piece of 7’8″ dom I bent in my bender and the knob is from a paper towel holder from Lowes. Fancy stuff right? Thats the best part about building a bike – coming up with solutions while your drunk at the shop avoiding the better half.

Foot clutch was same deal.  drunk holding parts scratching my head.  i was going to have some cable running over some pulleys snake around from the peddle up to the top engine mount then down through the stock cable hole in the side cover. i even bought the cable and pulleys to do that.  Then i found another way involving a lot less work.  threaded a piece of 1/4″ pipe and stole a shift lever arm from a CB350 ( i think) and welded a piece of tube to the worm gear  mechanism that the stock cable pulls up on.

Drilled a hole in that little chrome plastic cover and viola! seat is not done, but function over form i guess. no gauges, no signals, one little HD turn signal converted to a red lens for a tail light, deep 6 the ing cylinder cleverly hide an on/off switch and a momentary switch for the starter in the ends of the bars under the grips.  What else…lp gas valve for a petcock, and i made a stainless brake hose for the front.

Went through 3 Chinese crap batteries, then bought a agm battery made in the USA that has lasted through all the vibrations.  Got about 2k miles on it since.
Hope you like it.

Thanks Shaun