I wanted to build this bike as a technical and aesthetic exercise. Ive built Bobbers, Cafe Racers and I’ve no real desire for a Flat Track style, so I thought this was different. I wanted to make sure that it was a true one off. A modern take on a classic with USD front end and no visible electrics. So, all parts are machined from scratch or handmade.

The donor bike was an eBay special – an XS650 Special – all I wanted was the engine and headstock.

The frame was a bare frame, minus headstock and any mounts shipped from Voodoo vintage. I really loved the curved style that they produced. The front forks are from a 2014 Yamaha R1 and here’s a list of the main cool bits done by me

Tank fabricated from scratch (cornflake packet templates 🙂

Front wheel and hub spacers machined and laced to new rim with stainless spokes

XS650 stem transplanted in to R1 yokes with hand machined collets

All engine mounts fabricated by hand

All welding done by myself – TIG / MIG

Harley derby cover to anonomise the engine

Engine stripped, cases split, gearbox rebuilt

Crank split and rephased to 277 degrees, along with cam

750cc barrels added


See through billet machined tappet covers


Braided hose oil pipes

All foot pegs, kick start foot piece and levers machined by hand from bille

Hydraulic clutch conversion

Seat pan by handRear wheel made from an XS front hub with machined spacers to carry a drive sprocket and Ducati 996 rear disc

Rear disc carrier machined by hand

No visible electonics or wiring

GPS Speedometer

Main challenges were around the rephase and keeping everything hidden

The finish is a candy apple red on the tanks and frame with a cream panel and gold pin striping. The logo is something Ive put on a few of my bikes now – My surname, Robson, done in the Norton font – I quite like it now

The exposed steel parts were chromed and all exposed aluminium was hand polished – i thinkit looks better than chroming

The bike rides well, considering its stance. We have covered circa 700 miles together so far. The longest solid trip being 60 miles

Submitted Paul Robson

xs650 long sleeve
xs650 tanktop
xs650 mug
xs650 Bandana

COMMENTS HAVE MOVED TO OUR FACEBOOK GROUP - CLICK BELOW