She’s mine, she’s paid for & she just keeps running & running

Here’s a little history about my current XS… but it seems like I need to tell you a little of my past first. In the early 80’s I was riding my first Harley, a 1980 Sportster. Even though it was a dependable bike I still wanted a bike of the gods “a Chopper”. Back then not everyone owned a Harley or a chopper.


One day there was an ad in the paper for a hard-tail frame, Springer front end & various other parts. I rush over to see what the guy had with grand ideas of turning my Sporty into a bike of the gods. Well he has a new aftermarket frame, other parts, a used springer front end and almost enough to put together a roller. It had gone through about 3 different people, all gathering parts but no one putting it together. In the corner was a motor with no name (all had been filled in). He tells me it’s rebuilt and will fit the frame. I ask him what it is. He says “Just a Yahmy 650.” Five hundred dollars later & I’m loading my score!

I build the bike and now own two, my Sporty and my Chopper… Well I ride them both a few more years before I trade them for my first big twin, a 1980 shovel in a 1957 straight leg frame.


Years later, a couple more Harleys and a lotta miles and an old friend tells me he still has his XS from the past and I’m the only one he would consider selling it to, on one condition – if I ever get rid of it he gets first shot. He goes on and tells me some of the history. It’s a 1972 that he bought in ’74, he and his ex Father-in-law are the ones that chopped it. He bought the hard tail section, electrical box and other parts from a Santee catalog. They cut the frame in half, chalk lined it out, tack welded it up then took it to his Father-in-laws work where he was a professional pipe welder to finish putting it together, a true 70’s chopper. Well it’s almost 37 years since it was built. The motor has never been rebuilt and she is still running strong.

Of course I had to make it mine. I removed all the 70’s molding., found perfect welds, took her apart, repainted, changed a few things, rewired, etc., etc.  I’ve been riding her for about 8 years now and she’s still a classic chopper. So I’m pretty much back to my beginning.

Two bikes a 1990 Soft-tail that has been the best bike I’ve ever owned (She’s mine, she’s paid for & she just keeps running & running) and my 1972 XS650 Chopper (one of the funnest bikes I’ve ever ridden.)  She’s a keeper.

Russell Archer “Rustler”