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It all started with a pre WWII fender and headlight of unknown origin that I picked up a few years ago. Looks like something of German engineering. Well along came the chance to buy a 77 xs 650. It looked a little rough, but it was all there.

I’d been looking for one to build a bobber out of for quite a while but the model seemed to always elude me. But after bringing it home and sitting for hours looking at it and forming a plan I just wasn’t feeling the bobber idea.

Then I took the old fender and headlight out and it started me wondering about the history of the xs. I found that it had its roots in a German company. From what I could find it seemed to me that Yamaha bought out Horex and the engine design was basically a Horex design that Yamaha made better.

So I hardtailed the original frame with a kit. Rebuilt the top end of the motor. Added a PMA stator, electronic ignition, new head pipes, some shorty mufflers, new slide carbs, and electronic rectifier/regulator for the motor. Didn’t like the front wheel so I used a Honda Cl 350 wheel. Some bigger handlebars, cut up a crash bar and fabricated it to fit.

Added a panhead back fender. Mixed up some German feild gray paint. The blacks all powercoated in a home made oven. The finishing touch was the fabricated side panels attached with dzus fasteners. Rides great and gets alot of heads scratching trying to figure out what it is sense I covered the Yamaha insignia on the side of the motor with a Horex insignia.

I Started by stripping the frame with gasket remover which takes off powder coating better than anything else I’ve found. Added a TC brothers Weldon hardtail. Fitted the motor. Then added the wheels and fenders. Didn’t like the look of the front wheel with the fender so I had a Honda Cl 350 front wheel that has a bigger diameter than the Yamaha wheel.

Also the hub just looks cleaner and the look fit the build better so after that was installed and some light fabrication it looked right. Had to cut the rear mount from the Yamaha tank and add a new one to fit the hardtail. Made a seat pan from two pieces of metal welded together. that was laying around. Cut out the brake pedal mounting hardware from the rear discarded frame Made the side pans from the sides of an old refrigerator that I bead rolled. Attached them with 1/4 turn dzus fasteners for easy access.

After all the fab work. The bike was stripped and painted field gray. I do a little custom painting in my area but I prefer things simple for the most part. Unlaced the wheels, knocked out the seals and bearing and powder coated the wheels, hubs, frame, mounts, bars in a metal cabinet that I insulated and used heating elements from an old electric stove. Put it all back together and worked out some bugs. Then I just stood back and grinned.

Submitted by Steve Tarnowsky

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