I’ve had this idea for about 5-6 years now: To build a bitchin’-ass XS650. About 4 years ago, an acquaintance of mine (Todd, rest in peace, man) sold me the donor bike for $100.00. A pretty ugly ’72, that had some parts missin’, but I was assured that she ran right up untll she was mothballed about 10 yrs ago.


The old XS2 sat in my laundry room up until this past December, when some extra funds became available. Immediately I began buying parts from all the usual websites (Mike’s XS, TC Bros, Lowbrow, etc…) as well as about 25 trips to Ace Hardware.


I enlisted the primo welding and fab skills of one Gar Green over at Wild West Rods and Custom here in Tucson, AZ., and after three and a half months we wound up with what you see here. She’s about 99% mocked-up, and with any luck we will begin the dis-assembly this weekend, and get her ready for her Red Baron red powder coated frame and too-cool metallic red on pearl white paint job with gold hot rod style pinstriping. Wild West will scuff ‘n’ squirt her, while I take the frame to my workplace and shoot the powder onto the skeleton.

Gar and I came up with what we think are some really original details for this chop. In addition to the -2″ under chrome DNA springer, we did a bunch of cool welding features to the frame, and a one of a kind “his and hers” right side hand shifter that is linked thru the frame over to a simultaneously working toe shifter. (After my wife gets good with the hand shift, we will take off the toe shift.) Even tho we will remove the toe shift, we will always have the option of running either hand or toe or both, because we are making inter-changeable shift arms for the tranny that will allow either set up, and be able to do it in minutes. The bike can have several looks, and functions.


The only thing is, after about $6500.00 of parts and labor to this point, we still are not sure the motor will run. She turns with the kicker, and makes sucking and blowing noises from the intake and exhaust ports, so haw bad can it really be. These things are bullet-proof, right? I sure hope so.

Oh well, have a look at the pics, and please feel free to e-mail me with question, comments, praise or disgust. All input is welcome.

Thanks for a cool website, and keep-on-a-choppin’!

Mike Gelernter