Infatuated with the lean, minimalists approach

I’m thirty-five years old and have never ridden a motorcycle except for the ones at the boardwalk fixed on the carousel.  Didn’t know my swing-arm from my elbow, no metal fabrication, nor welding skills, very limited mechanical ability although I have turned a wrench here and there but never built anything from the ground up.  I have been fascinated with motorcycles since I was kid and finally said to myself it’s either now or never.  


Started looking intensively over the last 12 months online and became infatuated with the lean, minimalists approach to bobber/choppers/brats etc., almost bought a 69 triumph but then started seeing more and more great xs650’s who’s reputation and following was compelling.  Found an 81 xs650  Special in Bingahamton NY, w/less than 3400 miles, complete running bike minus carbs, clutch, kicker, and seat for $475.  Took the four hour ride w/my bro and brought her home.  Wanted to feel like I was doing something so stripped it all down in about an hour and here it stands.


I’m on a 10-12 wk waiting list at Ardcore Choppers for a hardtail frame, in the meantime I need to figure out which direction stylistically I want to go.  Want to keep the whole thing under $2500.  Leaning towards the sensibilities as defined by Nate’s bike the-wizard-sleeze-xs-650ardcore-choppers and the Fong Bros yamaha-xs650-bobber-the-fong-bros.

I want to get spoke wheels but I may clean up and use the mags, I’m going to use the original front fender as the back, have the forks lowered (great how-to-do in here) hacksaw the original pipes to drag pipes or shorter, and I found this great early 70’s metal gas tank.  It’s green, not a color I would have chosen but I like it.  I may strip it down to just bare metal though and do the frame in a dirty orangeish, type color – not sure as everyday I see another sick xs on here!

Anyone wants to volunteer an email address and serve as a mentor it would be truly appreciated, and if you live near southern/central nj and want to volunteer in person guidance then I’ll reward with cold beverages!  I’ll post pics as it begins to take shape.  Keep up the great work everyone and I’m looking forward to becoming part of the xs community!

Paul Tanimae