Visual Impact Airbrush & Graphics XS 650 chop

Back in the beginning of the year, my project started. I have restored cars and I do custom paint on cars and bikes, but I never built a bike, so this was definitely a learning experience. The project started out gang busters like all good projects do. After about a week I had the bike stripped, cut apart and the new hardtail from G&L welded on. wwwvisualimpact2com-005

As the weeks went on, my time that I could put toward it was being taken up by other things and mainly by getting paint work out the door for my business. So I slowly started buying parts when I could, and I kept a running tally of what I spent on the build, right down to the sandpaper I used to sand the bike with. I wanted to see what it would actually cost me to build a bike.

That tally came to just a few dollars over 4,000 including the cost of the bike. The build ended up taking about 6 months in time. Although most of that was spent thinking about what it would look like and not actually getting to work on it.


The running theme of most guys projects. Anyway, here is my first bike and hopefully my first of many to come. It was a blast to build, and I am very pleased with my end result. Some build info…….I started with a 1977 xs 650 standard,  the hardtail is G & L of course(top notch stuff I must say), the tank is a wassell.


I welded in the sight guage bungs on it and I made a new tunnel so the tank would sit higher up on the frame. The sissy bar is hand made and so are the mid mounts. The seat pan is a blank from accufast. I welded on the perches and mounts and drilled around the perimeter to give it a cool look. The bars are clubmans. The rear fender is a 30s ford spare tire ring. I re radiused it to fit the wheel. The front headlight is off of a scooter. It houses the speedometer in it.


I spent quite a bit of time doing bodywork on it and changing it from a side mount to a bottom mount and converting everything from 6v. This piece is my favorite part of the bike. Somewhere in the middle of the build I almost bailed out of using it because I felt it was too large, but I’m glad I stuck with it and saw my complete vision to the end.

The battery box is custom made using a tcbros box. I welded on bungs and put the all thread in and made the top battery hold. Finally the paint….

The frame and many of the smaller parts were painted to resemble a patina’d brass finish. The tins were done in a super fine silver to mimic a raw look. All the pinstripes were matched to the color of the brass. The end result is my bike I call “THE BRASS MONKEY”.

Thanks for checking it out.
Mike from Visual Impact Airbrush & Graphics