Hello Everyone! I’ve been working on this on and off for 5 years. Bike started life as an ugly blue 1973 TX650. We payed $1200 for this along with a 1979 XS400. I started to make a street fighter/cafe bike, but just couldn’t get what I wanted.
I was at a bike salvage yard and found the bent and rusty 21″ front wheel. I had no idea what it came off of, but liked it. $20 later I was on my way home, and decided to just cut off the back end and start over. Originally I stretched and lowered the rear by 5″ and dang was it low. So it took me 3 try’s to get it where I wanted it.
Then, the Front just looked weird, so I Raked the front neck 2 1/2″. The only new large purchase was the rear wheel—it’s an eBay special that I had to machine the sprocket side down to fit. I stripped and powercoated the wheels. Lacing 100 spoke wheels took a lot of beer and time but turned out ok. My wife purchased the gas tank from Low brow customs and seat from eBay (Christmas and birthday gifts). I cut the bottom out to lower the rake of the tank.
I built the mounts. Then there are the brakes. I really like the clean handlebar look but just couldn’t make myself put a foot brake for the only brake. I’m just to darn clumsy to sit at a stop light with one foot on the ground. So I found a master cylinder on sale at Mikes Xs. I machined the rear caliper bracket and salvaged a Caliper off a Victory Cross country.
I stripped and machined the logo off and sweet talked a friend to machine a name on the caliper cause it looked like a Chinese POS with just a flat front. I ran the -3 SS. Brake line in the frame (god I hope the frame don’t crack where I drilled the frame). Doing my research on these bikes I found a lot of people hating the starters on these awesome bikes so I blew that thing right off. Needed a huge battery any way. I made the wire loom and ran it with the brake line inside the frame.
I put the Mike’s XS electronic Ignition on so I would only have 1 coil under the tank. Remember I lowered the tank,oops 2 coils won’t fit any more. I formed the battery box to fit the smallest battery autozone had. All the wiring fit with the fuse box and battery fit in the lower battery box but the huge open hole in the center drove me nuts and my wife hated it.
So I looked all over for something to fill the gap. I was eating at a bar and they had a little keg on a shelf and that was it. Who doesn’t like bikes and beer!! So I found one on eBay, cut a door in it and mounted the fuse box in there so it would be easier to get to. I put a Harley front headlight with a led for energy saving along with an LED rear tail light. Still has the stock charging system.
Put the key switch in the keg, but run a light switch to save battery when starting. I had a friend at a local bike shop rebuild the Carburetors cause I don’t know shit about motorcycle carburetors. I do know the TX Carbs have a cable for each carb which was a treat to find a respectable looking throttle set up. I had to make most of it using a dirt bike setup.
I left the factory pipes on it. I’m still looking for a muffler that I like that’s not $300 for a set Champagne taste). I tried rolling my own megaphone tailpipe and failed miserably—wasted a 4ft square sheet of .060 stainless steel. I made the foot controls. Machined the pegs and kickstart pedal out of brass. Once it was done sitting on my work bench I had to decide how to paint it.
I must admit all the colors on the tins are my lovely wife—only thing I did is have 5 coats of clear shot on. I did spray the frame with blue wrinkle finish paint with 3 coats of clear. I love the look of the replica vintage Firestone tires but couldn’t justify the price then I found these shinko tires they have great reviews and fit the look I wanted. I’m really proud how this project turned out.
I’ve been riding around my neighborhood tuning the carburetors. Remember I don’t know shit about motorcycle carburetors . I’m waiting on an eBay set carb sync tools. But so far it’s been a relaxing enjoyable project that I think turned out awesome. Hopefully you guys do too. Thanks for your time reading my story.
Submitted by Jimmie Johnson
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