View Full Version : And so it begins.. 78 xs650 project

10-12-2009, 10:51 AM
Well I finally got myself a project. Swooped this decent running 78 xs650 on the cheap. Build should take a few months if I can get all the parts together. Want to run a 21 inch front, and am trying to see what is out there I can make work. Will be a hardtailed, narrow, skinny bars, lane splitter. Any help on that front end would be awesome. Thanks again


10-12-2009, 11:13 AM
Good luck with the project ... If I was going to do anything with the front end I would go with a DNA -2 springer, from what I have heard its pretty easy to do.. You will need to buy the tampered bearings from mikesxs but you only use the race from him and then you will need to buy a 1inch trailer bearing and it will all come together very nice..

I will be doing this myself but it wont be till next year when income tax returns come in..

10-12-2009, 2:47 PM
Thanks man, I do love the springers but I dont want to throw cash at that really. Im basically looking to be running a stance like the pic below.

10-25-2009, 5:22 PM
Well figured I would post up some progress pics. I was going to build a hardtail for it, then sat around and stared at it for a while and really digging on the softail/brat or whatever you wanna call it. I really dig on what those guys are puting out in Japan, so I kinda wanted to try that out. SO here is what I have so far. Still looking for my drum mag for the back. WIll be running a 21 front with a speedmaster and the double white stripe rear on a 16 mag on the back. So far we have cut the back off, bent up some tubes for the seat area and got those on there. Took the forks off and cut the springs down 2" and shaved all the tabs off and smoothed those out. Going to clean the neck area out still. Got lots of grinding to do still lol. Im looking for a ribbed billed triumph/wassell rear fender as well if anybodys got one. Once I get my wheel I can get that fender tabbbed up and into place.

10-25-2009, 5:23 PM
One more for ya with me on it lol

10-28-2009, 2:35 PM
Headlight is in!

10-28-2009, 3:01 PM
looks good! i see you are keepin it a swinger. heres a link for thick, quality usa made fenders. as soon as i have the scratch ill be running one too.

10-28-2009, 6:25 PM
Thats funny I was just checking those fenders out the other day! Think Im going to have to order one up

10-28-2009, 9:33 PM
I was thinking that I want to do exactly that with my bike. Too bad I can't weld n all that shit.

10-28-2009, 10:48 PM
Looking good so far!

10-29-2009, 6:56 AM
Looking good. Keep posting the progress

10-29-2009, 11:53 AM
Thanks everybody! I will keep this thread updated for sure! Tank just came in. Hope to get a pic of it on there tonight and get some more welding and grinding done. Gotta try to track the bearings down for the front and make some spacers.

10-29-2009, 12:18 PM
Looks good, I want to see those tank pics.

10-31-2009, 2:22 PM
OK couple more pics, got the tank sitting on it, cleaning up the neck area, made some tabs to mount the shocks, lathed up some bungs, tacked it all together.

11-02-2009, 9:48 AM
Ok well here is an update, got some stuff done yesterday. Rear end is all welded up, fabbed up a tail/tag bracket, ground and cleaned up most of the welds, shaved off neck gusset area and cleaned up, milled spacers for the 21 wheel to work. Welded up bungs in backbone for tank mounts and mounted tank. Seems to be coming together nicely. Next up is the headlight, headlight mount, make some bars. Waiting on my wheel and fender to get here so I can get the rear end all done.

11-02-2009, 7:08 PM
Are those rebel shocks?

11-02-2009, 7:40 PM
Yep 10" rebel shocks

11-02-2009, 8:20 PM
love the headlight...the progress looks great so far!

11-03-2009, 3:58 PM
Thanks guys, hope to have bars built, headlight mounted. Hopefully my rear wheel and fender show up by friday and I will have those on there as well too. Then most the fab work will be close to done.........

11-03-2009, 11:01 PM
sweet looking bike. I've done quite a bit to mine so far...it's an 83. If you know of anywhere i can pick up a set of shocks for mine, i desperately need to replace them. what are you going to do with the battery and electronics?

11-04-2009, 12:05 AM
How low are you wanting to go in the back? Mine are rebel shocks, you can snag those up on ebay for usually under 50 bucks or so, ive seen some go for less on there. I ended up getting mine at a motorcycle salvage place about 30 miles from my place. My buddy had 11 inchers on his 82 and I think they are lowering shocks off a sporty. As far as the battery goes man Im not sure. I wanna run the smallest battery I can and super simple wiring. Prob fab up a box and a fake oil bag and put it under the seat area.....

11-06-2009, 10:54 AM
all the shocks i have seen for the rebel's are 11 inch. what year bikes have the 10's?

11-06-2009, 5:37 PM
Not sure what year these ones were off of but they were more like 10 1/2 or so.

11-08-2009, 8:18 PM
Well got a few things done this weekend but not much. Waiting on the wheel and fender. Still gotta figure out my battery situation. Got a bracket made up to mount the headlight and got that on there. Fooled around with all kinds of different bar ideas.

11-11-2009, 1:56 PM
Got the wheel in! Mounted up the tire, cant wait to get that thin on there

11-14-2009, 10:04 PM
Lookin cool. Maybe narrow those bars to match the skinnyness of the riser portion? One request, don't use a regular ol solo seat, make a longer (almost two-up) seat. Its a better look for swinger bikes. Thats what the bratstyle guys are doing, as well. Either way, nice bike, something be proud of. Love the amber light.

11-15-2009, 11:52 AM
Thanks for the post man. Yea those bars are wayyy wider that whats going on there. Just tacked that peice on there to move it around. Still messing with bar idead but they will be really narrow. As far as the seat goes, it wont be a springer seat for sure and prob no a solo seat eaither. I gotta start making up the seat pan and handlebars this afternoon so we will see what we come up with. Ill keep it updated.

11-15-2009, 12:17 PM
Well got a few things done this weekend but not much. Waiting on the wheel and fender. Still gotta figure out my battery situation. Got a bracket made up to mount the headlight and got that on there. Fooled around with all kinds of different bar ideas.

This XS is tidy as! looking sweet bud....love the headlamp x


11-15-2009, 2:39 PM
if anybodys lookin, ive got a couple sets of shocks off of 86 rebels, and some off of a 94 sporty.. that bike looks great, my buddy just got done with a xs build, well i guess not done, but rideable.. KEEP CHOPPIN!!!!!!

11-15-2009, 8:52 PM
Ok well I got over there and got some stuff done today. Got the bars done, and the rear brake all dialled in. Had to do a few things to get the brake stay to work on that swinarm with the wider tire but it's opperational now. Got the seat pan made up and the front section where all my switches and key are going to mount. No pics of the seat pan yet but it's looking like it should work good. Few pics

11-16-2009, 12:00 AM
radd bars!!!!!

11-16-2009, 7:59 PM
Thanks Choppy! All my buddys say they look like Shreks head

11-16-2009, 11:57 PM
Naw.. they're not Z bars they're not T bars, they're not apes nor drag bars, so they're just bad ass.

11-17-2009, 7:35 AM
Hey did you get into the wiring yet? I have a 72 XS650, saw a couple of simplified wiring diagrams online. I want enough wire to turn it on and power the lights. If you have any ideas, I'd appreciate it. I'm going with the electronic ignition, works great on my Triumph, one or two kicks tops to start it cold. Later

11-18-2009, 9:26 AM
Hey Mikeyb, no wiring as of yet. I have the harness out of it all in one piece. Only going to be running a brake/tail, headlight. I will be using something allong the lines of the one below. Im not much of a wiring wizard by any means. Will be getting help on that from my bro at his shop when all the fab work is done im taking it down there so he can help me get it running and wired

12-02-2009, 9:19 PM
Well finally got some updated pics. Rolled out the seat pan and got the fender mounted up, coming together. Hope to get started on wiring this weekend

12-08-2009, 6:29 PM
Looking good man looking good.

Is that all stock swingarm back there?

12-10-2009, 8:13 PM
Yep stayed all stock on the swingarm length

12-10-2009, 8:16 PM
Cool man looks like you've been busy

12-12-2009, 11:59 AM
Sweet, thanks guys! Hope to have this thing up and running in the next couple weeks so I can shake it down here in the sub freezing dam cold lol. THen it's tear down, button up some welds do some more grinding, spray bomb that bitch and ride the tar out of her for a while

12-13-2009, 7:24 PM
pisser, they do look like shreks head.

12-13-2009, 8:03 PM
that fucker is looking damn good!

02-13-2010, 8:06 PM
Ok, got a few updates for ya if anybody cares lol. Frame painted, put some of it back together here is how its sittin right now
<a href="http://s240.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/scottylook/?action=view&current=_IGP3548.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/scottylook/_IGP3548.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
<a href="http://s240.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/scottylook/?action=view&current=_IGP3542-1.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/scottylook/_IGP3542-1.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
<a href="http://s240.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/scottylook/?action=view&current=_IGP3543.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/scottylook/_IGP3543.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

02-13-2010, 8:28 PM
Looks good so far, is that a 2.75x21" speedmaster?

02-14-2010, 8:50 PM
bikes comin along nicely.. whats in store for the tank for color?

02-15-2010, 5:23 PM
Nope thats a dunlop, 90/21. It's just on there for the time being. It's getting a speedmaster.
Still not sure on the tank as of yet. It's either gonna stay bare and have some script on the sides or its getting an all out 70's flaked pannel job.

02-15-2010, 6:15 PM
can you still get those dunlop tyres? I've been looking for a T110 rear tyre but can't find them anywhere in Australia?

02-16-2010, 12:03 PM
Not sure if you can or not, this one is on there for mock up pretty much. Gonna put a speedmaster on it. I looked for those goodyears but havn't seen one anywhere.

02-16-2010, 5:55 PM
Great looking bike! Got to ask you something - as I want to do the same - with all the gussets cleaned away from the neck area are you worried about strength and the head tube going kerrplunk, so you end up riding down the street on a unicyle!?!?
Ya see (http://dyslexsickle.blogspot.com) I'm right on that part now and dying to cut all that shit out but thinking those little Japanese fellas must have put it all in for a reason!??!

02-16-2010, 9:25 PM
That's a good point Alfonso, I'm pretty keen to chop out my gussets too. I was thinking of chopping my stock one and then making up some nicer ones out of thicker material.

02-17-2010, 12:15 AM
Hey, to tell ya the truth Im not to worried about it. That cross bar from the front to the engine mount is solid. There is plenty of bracing in there in my opinion. There are a ton of these bikes running around with that cut out so Im gonna run it like that. That is just my opinion thou gh so don't take my word for it lol!

02-17-2010, 4:46 AM
This is true. Like Philbey says... think I need to cut out and then work in thicker smaller gussets and a cross bar into mine. The z750 is a tank of an engine and I'm 6.3....

02-17-2010, 9:09 AM
Yea. I dont weigh anything and my bike doesnt either lol. Ill keep an eye on it once I actually start riding it and keep ya posted if there is any cracks, breaks, or whatnot. I feel pretty good about the bracing thats in there for what it is. Could be wrong, wouldn't be the first time.

02-17-2010, 1:20 PM
Shit, I hope not... Naaaa, like you said - there's a shit ton of people riding 650s around all trimmed up like that. Will be cool. But yeah, if it snaps send us a picture of your face the moment it does!! hehe.

02-17-2010, 6:34 PM
yeh I might take a good look at mine and have a think about it soon. You could make some neat little bracing out of 1/4 inch plate.

02-18-2010, 6:50 PM
i cut mine out and the little cross bar. i ride the piss out of my bike and no problems yet. bike is looking good too.

02-19-2010, 12:31 AM
yeh true. Problem with fatigue (which I'm expecting the issue would be) is that when the problem suddenly becomes a noticeable one, the bloke is no longer around to explain the issue. hahaha.

02-21-2010, 1:52 PM
Heheh! That's right. Broken fingers don't type so good... That said I've only gone and cut most the gusset out of mine... Aaaaaaaghhhh. Looks so much better now and after all that's what its all about right? Looking good on the way to hospital!? If you're gunna have sex with a whore and take the condom off you might as well go full hog and do her up the arse??!

I'm still pussying out and going to put some thickass plates in there and a wee cross bar though. Just smaller and purdier...

04-07-2010, 11:09 AM
Well well, for those interested got the wiring started yesterday and the loom pretty well weeded down to what we need. Mounting the battery and needed solinoinds and whatnot today/tomorrow. Really hope to get this thing fired off by the weekend.

04-08-2010, 7:07 AM
Pic, got the needed electronics mounted up un the pan. Bat box and mount almost all fabbed up. Should have the battery in there today and start connecting some wires..... http://i240.photobucket.com/albums/ff111/scottylook/wiring.jpg

04-08-2010, 11:45 AM
Not z-bars, not T-bars, I say K-bars, as in they look like those Kryptonite Bicycle locks.

Sweet scooter dude.

04-19-2010, 8:52 AM
Well, got this thing wired and running yesterday. Still some stuff to get tuned but it goes down the road. Got some popping and whatnot. Some to do with the pipes but I do believe I have some air being pulled in between the intake boots. anyways here a few pics

05-24-2010, 7:22 PM
Got any pics of where all the wireing, electronics are and the battery?