Here is a beautifully done bratstyle xs650 bobber built by Justin from MI.
Incredibly satisfying to be riding on something I built.
1976 XS 650
I bought this for $50 from my neighbor who had it parked for the last
18 years. It came just before my wife and I found out that we were
having twins, to make our grand total, 4 kids. So as I was freaked
out and excited, this bike became my nightly therapy after my kids
went to bed each evening over the last year and half. The twins
coming also meant that this build would be low budget and done almost all by myself.
Motor: Top end rebuild, paint, and polish cases and covers, and tossed
the electric starter. I debated on shaving the yamaha name off the
cover, but decided to keep it I am not ashamed its a yamaha. I also
did the banshee magneto swap since I was not planning on running a
battery. Swapped out the points for the pamco ignition – only to
absolutely FRY it my first start up. Pete actually helped me figure
out what went wrong, then he backed up his warranty and sent me
another circuit board. Pete and the pamco ignition are awesome. Also
rebuilt the carbs, and cleaned them up. Just kept it simple with
straight pipes and rebuilt clutch.
Frame: I cut off every tab, support, crosswhat-not, etc… Anything
that was not in the future for this bike. I also cut off the seat
rails and bent those how I wanted them. Welding this back together
was the only thing I felt I need help with. A guy I met who builds
hotrods helped me with the major welds, and I did all the small stuff:
headlight bracket, tank/fender bungs, etc… Basically, I welded
anything that could possibly fall off but I’d still be ok.
Front end: I lowered, shaved, and polished the front forks, as well as
trimming and polishing the triple trees. Brakes are rebuilt stock, but
I drilled the rotors with my 5 year old. If change anything, it will
be a smaller front caliper, and disk.
Wheels: I re-laced the front to an old yamaha dirt bike 21 and the
rear is an aluminum 18 off another xs, new bearings, etc….
Tank is an old wassell that I got from a guy here in MI with a few
dents and dings. I cleaned it up and did my best rattle can paint job
ever. No its not unique, but I really liked the way it looked on the
Handlebars: my favorite part of the bike- talking with one of my best
friends about some ideas I had for bars, he said, “I’ll make them for
you.” I was blown away- a few weeks later when they showed up at my
door. I absolutely love them. I ran the wires for the signal and kill
in the bars. Since there is a two month wait for chrome here in MI, I
opted to paint and ride since is only sunny here two months a year
Headlight is a old 4″ scooter headlight with a speedo inside. I’ve
had way too many tickets and I cannot afford another, so this is a
Seat: Made the seat, shaved the foam, and learned how to work with
leather. Apparently you can’t buy leather by the square foot- you have
to buy a whole cow. So I bought a small calf, and now I have plenty
left for more seats.
The bottom line: Its fun and its incredibly satisfying to be riding
on something I built. Thanks again for this opportunity.
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