I took a bone stock barn-find non-running xs650 and stripped it, and heavily modified the frame from a ’71. Blew up the original motor… rebuilt a 78 motor and painted it blood red. Wanted to make a boardtrack racer style with turned down handlebars but because I’m 6’3″, had to move the seat back and go with uprights.
I’m constantly changing things… like a bigger seat, custom pipes, but otherwise, it’s fun and dangerous to ride at the same time. I used 2 part boat epoxy paint which makes touch ups a bit of a hassle. Obviously a hardtail, straight pipes, no front brakes and basically a crappy rear drum brake. But I ride it like a boat… plan your stops, plan your turns.
Otherwise it turns heads especially when I hit the throttle. I build a bike every year or so, this this was 3 years back. It matches up well with my ’79 Honda CB 750 and my ’69 Harley Ironhead, also both heavy customized, one like an old police bike, one cafe/brat style. I also switched everything over to electronic ignition which means it starts and runs all the time.
And if you’ll notice it has a single 38mm Mikuni carb on a long sleek intake plenum coming from under the seat. The exhaust is section cut and welded mild steel (which is now wrapped in black) and is nice and loud. The headlight(s) are unique too. The main light is from a fire engine and has a red bulb in it as well as white.
The side headlight is from an old tractor that I modified and put a new bulb in. It doesn’t really throw out any light but looks cool. I also was able to hide the battery and electrics either under the tank or in a leather and steel cornered camera box from the thirties. It looks like a tool box and works perfectly to hide the battery. The taillight is from a ’30s ford sedan with a custom bracket. Overall it was really fun to build, didn’t cost much and I take it out whenever it’s not raining to a local Harley bar where it gets more looks than anything that’s there… ever!
The seat is a old-school Indian-style fat-ass leather shovel seat I got from India, mounted on copper(coated) springs. That pretty much is my whole suspension. I originally had a real sleek Bates style leather seat which is now in a box. Getting old means comfort sometimes take precedent over the ‘cool’ factor. Tires are original Dunlop ‘Gold Seal’s which I found years ago.
They are not yet cracked but I rarely go over 40 or so with this bad boy. When they start to go, I’ll switch to Firestones because it’s nearly impossible to find these tires again. The farthest I’ve driven ‘Go Fast’ is about 50 miles. In town you need to pay a lot of attention to everything around you. But in the country, It’s like riding a bike with a big-ass motor under you.
Submitted by edpop!
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