I started this bike approximately 12 years ago, I was 19 years old with one other Honda shadow bobber build under my belt. I sold that to purchase another project and wanted to do an xs build with a hard tail. I had in my head that I wanted to build a bike with good contrast, and as little chrome as possible.
I decided on Brass/Gold and gloss black. That was to be my theme of the bike. So, I found a bike on craigslist that was going to be someone else’s project and they never got around to it, so they were selling it for that reason. I got the bike home it was the original rolling frame, stock wiring harness and gauges, otherwise all the stock parts had been stripped. It did come with a sportster tank and drag pipes.
I immediately got started on the project, cut the back half of the frame off and fabricated my own hardtail with a 4-inch stretch. (forgot to mention I grew up welding and own the welding shop I grew up in). I then made the forward controls, pegs, and grips all to match. They were marked out by hand, individually center punched, drilled, and counter sunk by hand on an old drill press.
(Most certainly not the most efficient way to complete the task but was 19 with a custom-made bike in mind. Fabbed up a fake oil tank for the electrical, and a battery bow to match the “holes” in the pegs. Not long after I completed those items, I became overwhelmed with what to do next. The nest of wires was intimidating, and with not a lot of “motor” experience and points system did I know how to go about getting the thing running.
Needless to say, it sat around until I stuck in the back of one of my sheds where it sat for about 12 years. February 1st, 2023, I was inspired by some friends on their latest projects and plowed some snow in front of storge shed and got the bike back to the shop. The motor still turned over so decided to try and finish it up before spring. I since had picked a small lathe that made some of the parts along the way a lot easier.
Did all the fabrication and was ready to wire the bike and start the bike so I knew the motor would run and work before paint. Had a buddy that knows a lot more about wiring then I do help me out, so I know it was done right and kept it clean as possible. Added gas, hit the starter and it fired and ran…. So, I did tear down separated all my parts into a black pile, and the “brass/gold pile” then sand blasted my parts.
Cleaned them all up and hung them up for paint. All my paints used on this build were Diamond Vogel products. Primed, shot black, and then used their commercial clear coat over the top 2-3 coats. I then painted the gold with some metal flake that I had them custom make. Again, clearing over the top. The motor I cleaned up and painted with Diamond Vogel High Temp paint.
Then hand painted the fins with the gold to get the contrast I was after. Let the parts dry and started the reassembly process. The bike was complete, and I added gas to the tank hit the starter and started it up. Started to adjust carb but couldn’t get it to run quite right on one cylinder.
Looking into things a little further only had 40 psi compression on one cylinder (how I wish I had done this earlier). So, with my head hung low took the newly painted motor back out of the bike and tore it down…. Rebuilt the top end, (with another couple buddies that knew more than I did) had the valves and head worked on put it back together, and back in the bike.
With a quite a few more carb tunings and syncing it was up and running just in time to be in local 4th of July parade. I will list everything I either made or bought to customize this bike as best I can:
- New wheel bearings front and rear
- New brake pads in front, shoes in rear
- Shaved front forks of unwanted tabs
- New fork seals
- TC bros headlight
- Drag bars
- New levers and cables
- Stainless braided brake line
- Custom hand grips
- Steering stem bearings
- Gas cap ( 6 shooter)
- Custom steering neck gusset
- 2 new coils
- Top end engine rebuild
- PMA system
- Oil Filter adapter for Honda 650
- Brass kick start
- Carb rebuild kit
- UNI air filters
- Wrapped exhaust with brass hose clamps
- Custom forward controls and linkage
- Custom foot pegs
- Custom battery box
- Custom fake oil tank(electrical)
- Voltage regulator/rectifier
- Solo seat with brass springs
- Low brow chain tensioner
- Gold Chain
- 4 ” stretched hard tail section
- Kick stand gusset
- Rear fender and mounts
- License plate mount
- “stop” brake light
- Custom brake stop
- Firestone Cocker tires
- Lots of misc. BRASS nuts, acorn nuts, nylon nuts, and washers
I think that about sums it up. A big thank you to all the friends and family that helped me out on this bike couldn’t have done it without you all. The only chrome on this bike is the front fork tubes. My black and brass hardtail dream has come to life. Now for the next project? Thanks for looking!
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