Like a dream!

Kevin – My XS650 dream Build got its breath from a winning ebay bid. After the winning bid on a 1977 XS650 Engine, A custom rigid frame with a 42 degree rake was built to hold it all together. It wasn’t a easy task either. Getting the chain stretched from the XS sprocket all the way to the sprocket mounted on the side of a 300 Venom mounted on a Mammoth Spoke 18″ x 10″ wheel took some thought, planning and design. But “Houston Hal” at Metal Craft Racing pulled it off. Hal fab’d a jackshaft that could get the job done. Custom pipes were bent and ceramic coated titanium. Custom Handlebars, tank and fender complete the package. A special thanks to Houston Hal for his expert craftsmanship!

This build started with the dream of doing something different and unusual. I always admired the appearance of the Yamaha XS motors and decided to build around this motor. I watched ebay until I ran across a deal on a 1977 Yamaha XS650 motor that I couldn’t refuse, or at least that’s what my mind told me. Before I knew it, the motor arrived at my door step, and the dream build started to unfold. The motor sat on the bench in my garage until I located a local builder to fabricate and build me a fat tire, drop seat chopper frame to my specs.

Click to enlarge

The frame quickly took its form, but after several month of sitting idle, it became apparent that the builder could not follow through on my vision. So I took it home, where I tinkered and played with my basket of parts until I quickly discovered that my vision raced well above my capabilities. That’s when I loaded my basket of parts into the back of my truck and drove over to see “Houston” Hal over at Metal Craft Racing. He had helped me out in the past when my Fatboy was in need of some TLC, and I knew he was more than capable of bringing my project to life.

I walked in to Metal Craft Racing and asked Hal to come out to my truck and take a look at my project. He took one look at my crude project, and said, “OK, but we will have to start with the mechanical aspect of this, because if it isn’t functional, it isn’t any good to you.  We unloaded all of my parts, and his mind went to work on strategy for the project. He first attacked the obstacle of getting the chain from the Yamaha transmission over to the sprocket mounted on the hub of the DNA Mammoth Spoke Wheel and 300 Venom tire combination out back. He went to work on fabricating a custom jackshaft like he uses on his Top Fuel.

Now that the obstacle of the back of the rigid had been overcome, he turned his attention to the front end. My vision had always been a rigid chopper with a springer front end, so a DNA Springer was fit to the frame along with the DNA Mammoth Spoke and 21 inch Venom tire up front. And knowing it all had to come to a stop, Hawg Halters brakes were used on both ends. Hand fabricated handlebars were then bent and welded to custom risers to give the desired look and feel.

When it came time for a choice of air cleaners, I quickly discovered there was not much of a choice out there for this type of motor. Custom velocity stacks were bent, cut, fitted, flanged and attached via set-screws to give it that unique look. Now that we got the air coming in, it was time to tackle the gases going out. Again, Hal went to work on bending and forming a unique snake-like exhaust system that was ceramic coated “titanium” by PolyDyne.

With the fabrication complete, it was time to break everything down so all the parts could receive their complimentary aesthetics. The tins went out to Fast Lane to get sprayed and cleared. The frame and parts were sent over to Bernard at Innovative Coatings to be powder coated. The box containing the handlebars , velocity stacks and other custom parts were dropped off at Atlas Plating Chrome Shop. A handful of rough aluminum engine covers were polished to a showroom shine by my son, Mark. In no time at all, the parts were back at Metal Craft Racing where Hal began the assembly. Before you know it, 3 months had passed and my dream XS had been brought to life with the help of “Houston Hal” and with the motivation and support of my wife Maria, my sons Mark and Kevin Jr. and my daughter-in-law Abby. It rides like a dream!

I Have to give all the credit to Houston Hal at Metal Craft Racing here in Houston. I would come up with a idea or a part and run it over to his shop and he made it happen. A true craftsman in all aspects of fabrication. 3 Months to build. A Great riding rigid chopper. Motor is 100% stock, for now. Plenty of get up and go. Maybe punch it to 750cc in the future. After I wear the 650 version out. Most of the pics were taken before the pinstipping was done. A fun build. It was something that I wanted to do before I retire. The bike was finished March 1, 2012.

Tech sheet

  • Owner: Kevin Hoover
  • Fabrication: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Year and Make: 2011 Custom
  • Model: Hotrod XS
  • Assembly by: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Chroming: Atlas Plating
  • Build Time: 3 Months
  • Year: 1977
  • Model: XS650
  • Ignition: Points
  • Displacement: 650cc
  • Lower end: Stock
  • Top End: Stock
  • Cases: Stock
  • Velocity Stacks: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Exhaust: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Shifting: 5 Speed
  • Engine Sprocket: 17 Tooth
  • Wheel sprocket: 35 Tooth
  • Painter: Fast Lane
  • Color: Gloss Black with Clear Coat
  • Year: 2011
  • Builder: CTC
  • Type: Custom Rigid
  • Rake: 42 Degrees
  • Jackshaft Fabrication: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Bars and Risers: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Fender: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Headlight: 5 æ Inch
  • Taillight and Tag Bracket: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Speedo: Not Needed
  • Forward Controls: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Electrics: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Gas Tank: Houston Hal of Metal Craft Racing
  • Seat Stitching: Thunderhead Designs
  • Type: Springer
  • Extension: +2 Inches
  • Builder: DNA
  • Size:21 Inch
  • Tire: Avon Venom
  • Rim: DNA Mammoth
  • Brake: Hawg Halters
  • Size:18 Inch
  • Tire: 300mm Avon Venom
  • Rim: DNA Mammoth
  • Brake: Hawg Halters
  • Photography
  • Photography: Luis Orellana Photography
  • Model: Shailey Boaz
Click to enlarge pic