The Limey – You see, there’s another shop in town (‘town’ refers to Austin, TX) that specializes in old Triumphs… so one day I said “The XS650 is the best Triumph ever made” and then this happened. The plan was to prove what I had said in a moment of XS pride and build a very light, very small XS650 that would trounce the evil Triumph (and bear in mind, I’m from England and have owned many Triumphs) in an 1/8 mile drag race.


The rules were simple; NO bore kits and only a maximum of $1000 to spend on the engine build.

So, I built up a bone stock 447 XS motor with a fresh set of pistons and a lot of care. I did port the hell out of the head, matched the intakes and stuck a set of VM34’s on the end to make it breathe. It’s fast and spins the back wheel happily if you’re not paying attention… so it should be an interesting race. I just wanted for it all to be Yamaha in the engine… so it would be a good test to see which really is the better Triumph… at least this won’t leak.


A stock Triumph generally weighs nearly 100 lbs less than a stock XS Special, so I had to get rid of weight… lots of weight. Ever wonder how much a mortorcycle weighs? I did… but anyway, on to this bike.  So, everything that can be aluminum (including the engine casing bolts) are… and we reckon it’s sub 300 lbs now. I will have to borrow the roll-on scales at the print shop down the road to be sure.


There was one small snag to the race happening… the other shop hasn’t built a bike to race against yet. But I’m sure they will and when they do I will post videos for all to see. Wish me luck! Oh, and before anyone asks… there’s a fair few T500 parts on this and all the rest was one-off stuff (including the hard tail… thanks Matt!). Anyway, if anyone wants to visit our site, here’s where it is: limeybikes.com

Chris Kelland AKA: The Limey

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