Kevin – Here’s a ’78 XS650 cafe thing I just finished. As usual it started with an ugly, non running donor bike. I’ve never built a cafe before and I wanted to do one with a mean and dirty look, like it wants to kill something. A mix of race bike, rat, and a little chopper thrown in. First step of course was to get it running, so I cleaned and jetted the carbs for the pod filters I put on, and the open pipes.
The tank was shot so I took another off the wall. I made the tail section out of an old Harley duckbill fender and put some dual taillights underneath. It mounts to the frame in the back, and runs under the seat to mount under the rear tank mount rubber. Then I made a pan, covered it in triple density foam and tried my hand at upholstering. Not too bad for my first attempt (well actually I threw out the first cover I made).
I lowered the front end 3″, got some clip on bars, throttle, white grips, new cables (shortened the throttle). I mounted the ignition to the center of the top tree and made a little fairing to hide it/ dress the front up. Stainless brake line up front, both brakes bled, and the bike was ready to ride.
My other XS (The Baloney Sandwich) has a 32 tooth rear sprocket for the freeway so I was surprised by the stock gearing on this bike, and how strong it felt. I took it on a little romp through the local mountain roads and got two 5’th gear wheelies on some rises/ drop-offs!
I’ve got to move on to other projects (I have 6 XS’s in the garage right now), so the bike is currently for sale.
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