Ross – I started with a 1979 Yamaha xs650 special that I picked up for $200. After install the new brushes for the alternator correctly ( not shorting out against the cover) the bike started up and ran good. After that I completely tore the bike apart and started building it back up. Started with extending the swing arm and mounting an R1 monoshock.  I went with the monoshock because you see a lot of the hard tail xs650’s running around and wanted mine to look different. I took the front wheel off of a 1979 Yamaha xs750 that was an 18” rim and machined hubs out of 6” of solid aluminum to mount the originally sprocket and rotor to and fit the new swing arm. A new custom length chain and new tire finished off the swing arm. Hand formed tail section around a integrated 2006 R1 tail light rounded out the rear body work. 

The front shocks were chopped and lowered. I hand built the handle bars with new levers, mirrors, slim line brake reservoir from mikes XS, new grips form a 2006 R6, pamco electronic ignition, custom wiring harness, and a new electronic speedometer/ tachometer.

Really wanted to do a bike with no chrome, so everything was powder coated or painted. Anodized red bolts, nuts and covers finished out the over all look of the bike  Hand built exhaust covered in black exhaust wrap really helped with this look too.

I’ve always owned sport bikes but wanted something that stood out but still handles good. This is what I came up with and love ridding.There were a lot of other parts on this bike that I built or changed that I’m sure you can pick out in the pictures.  Hope you guys like it.  I already have another 1977 xs650 in the works. After all fab was done I blacked everything out.  Frame and engine are flat black, and everything else is gloss. Not one piece of chorme on the whole bike. This was the first XS for RAW Customs and look foward to doing another.  Hope you guys like it, let me know what you think. Just opened my own business (RAW Customs) for custom motorcycles, muscle cars, hot rods, trucks.  Pretty much anything with wheels.

Wanted to build a bike that would stand out and get some attention.

Ross Winkelhorst