Straight from the hands of a fellow community member, Joe Cotton, who’s just dipped his toes into the world of chopper building. He’s sent us four fantastic photos of his 1981 XS650 chop, each one showcasing the love and labor that’s gone into this custom creation.

This XS650 has been a year-long passion project, with a total investment of just $1200. That’s right, my friends—proof that you don’t need to break the bank to break the mold. And the result? A chopper that’s got style for miles and a story to match.


Joe’s pastor and buddy, Jon “Chookie” Maginn, lent his artistic talents to lay down the paint, adding a personal touch that you just can’t get off a shelf. The frame was given its hardtail swagger by Black Widow Choppers.


One of the photos gives us a close-up of the engine, a heart of steel that’s been given a new lease on life. It’s a sight that’ll make any gearhead’s heart skip a beat—clean, classic, and ready to rumble.


And then there’s the action shot—our man himself cruising on his chopper, a moment captured in time that speaks volumes about the joy of the ride. It’s one thing to build a bike, but it’s another to ride it, to feel the wind and the road as one. That’s what it’s all about.


Sadly, this XS650 chopper has since found a new home in Vegas.

But don’t think for a second that Joe’s journey has ended. He’s already scooped up another 1981 model and is diving headfirst into building his second chopper. This time, though, his wife and son have laid down the law—this one’s a keeper.

So here’s to the first-time chopper builders, the family and friends who support them, and the rides that bring us all together. It’s a beautiful cycle of build, ride, sell (or not!), and repeat.

Keep those wrenches turning, those wheels spinning, and those stories coming. We’re not just building bikes here; we’re building a community, one XS650 at a time.