I picked this up a frame, motor, front end and swing arm for $100… got the thing home and started to pull it apart. Not know what I wanted to ultimately do with it, I knew I had to start with the engine and clean the damn thing…. As it was on the side of a garage, stuck in the mud, covered in snow.

When I got it home, I started to pull it apart… removed the engine from the frame and put it on my engine stand and started cleaning… the whole engine was spray bombed black, so I wire wheeled it all down, left the case covers clean and polished, and repainted the heads and engine case black.

I chopped down the exhaust and wrapped that up also to hide the surface rust. From there, I ordered Hugh’s Complete XS650 PMA charging system, new points & valve covers from Dime City Cycles, and the carbs came as a kit completely set up from HOOSRacing… except for a few other odds/ends the engine was set.

I turned my attention from there to the frame and cleaned up and chopped off what I didn’t want. I originally had a set of rearsets on the bike, but it killed my knees so I went with a set of pegs/mounts from MonsterCraftsmen. I got new solid riser bushings from Hugh’s, cleaned up and painted the forks, steering bearings from All Balls…. Handlebars, controls, headlight, grips- all dime city.

I didn’t like to dual petcock set up with the OE tank, so I swapped that out for an HD peanut tank. Seat is off a Sportster 48. Electrical box is from Voodoo Vintage. Rebuilt the front and rear brakes… rims and tires I got off of eBay along with taillight, blinkers, brake rod etc. Rectifier is mounted on a steel plate between the rear subframe… Shocks are amazon cheapo’s (for now) By end of summer I took it for a ride… got a title and approved in Michigan for road legal riding.

But the engine was still not “right.” So I contacted Hugh via email and he helped me get everything dialed in.. Once that happened, I was set… This motor rocks! But now I want to do more to it! This winter, well now/soon… I want to tear it back down and make it even better. I want to clean up, redo and hide all the wiring proper.

Planning on ordering a new exhaust and better shocks, and a smaller headlight as well. Looking at wiring up an electric starter also. Finally, going to get a nice paint job for it to finish it off. In the future… I may decide to do the engine phase/re-phase and switch it over to a more “dirt style” bike and take her on the back roads if she’s solid.

Time will tell. With this being my first “major” build frame up… I think it turned out fairly well for a beginner. .But I know I can do better as seen with my plans above.

Submitted by Nate Miller