At Northside Welding & Machine, the art of motorcycle customization is taken to a whole new level. It’s a place where full builds, handmade fabricated parts, and precise machining come together to create something truly unique. Today, we’re proud to feature one of the shop’s own creations—a 1980 Yamaha XS 650 scrambler—crafted by none other than the shop owner, Eric Pleil.


Eric sent us three pictures of his build, with the main image unfortunately being a bit pixelated. Despite the photo quality, the rugged charm of the scrambler is unmistakable. This bike wasn’t built to be a showroom queen; it was built to be ridden hard and to handle anything thrown its way.

The journey of this XS650 began with a complete teardown. Eric and his team stripped the bike down to its frame, which then received a fresh coat of powder paint, ensuring durability and a new visual appeal. The vision was clear: to create a shop bike that could take on the dirt and gravel without a second thought—a bike that could get dirty and be all the better for it.

Every component of this scrambler has been meticulously refreshed or replaced, from the top end of the engine to the wheel and neck bearings. Dual sport tires were chosen for their versatility, offering the grip needed for off-road adventures while still maintaining on-road composure.

One of the standout features of this build is the custom tail section, a testament to the fabrication skills at Northside Welding & Machine. It’s details like these that not only enhance the bike’s functionality but also its unique character.

Eric’s dedication to this project is evident in the fact that nothing was left untouched. The result is a bike that’s as reliable as it is eye-catching. It’s no surprise that since its completion, this XS650 scrambler has not only won Best Bobber at the Springfield MA. motorcycle show but also caught the attention of the Waterbury Republican paper in Connecticut, which featured an article about the bike and Eric’s shop.


The recognition is well-deserved, highlighting the craftsmanship and passion that went into building this scrambler. Eric’s XS650 is more than just a mode of transportation; it’s a mobile showcase of what Northside Welding & Machine stands for—quality, creativity, and the sheer joy of riding.

We’re honored to have Eric’s work represented in our community and to share the story of a bike that’s as much about function as it is about form. Stay tuned for more inspiring builds and the stories behind them from the talented members of our Yamaha XS650 family.