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View Full Version : Love the bikes. Why the emphasis on the 650?



kamut
12-27-2009, 2:01 AM
I just discovered this site. Really creative stuff.

I had an '81 Special II about 15 years ago-it was old then! I keep seeing that motor in all these threads. Is it better for these applications? I thought it was a cool motor, with good low end pick up. I'm just wondering why the attention on that one motor? Are there other chop-friendly motors, or will anything work?

I had been wondering if anybody was choppin' Japanese bikes. Since they're the cheapest, it seems the most true to the diy/chop tradition.

I've got a (new to me) Sportster that I'm not ready to radically lay into due to my lack of skills, but I would love to get after one of these unloved bikes.

Are there any tutorials on this out there, that sort of explain the basics?

jpswino
12-27-2009, 5:25 AM
WOW!

I'll cut you some slack since I think you may be infected with HD-itis.

Back in the 70's Honda CB750's were THE motor to use in a chopper. They were faster and more reliable while being more simple in design with almost zero vibration.

People been choppin' rice bikes since these bikes were new. The XS650 included. The XS has a similiar look to the Triumph motor and made perfect sense to chop. It too has many of the fine points of the CB750 but is a vibrating son-of-a-gun. Both motors are light weight and powerful making them ideal for blasting around town. Power to weight ratio is helped out because of their one piece design.

There are sites on the web solely dedicated to either of these motors. There you will find people soley devoted to one or the other. These motors have a cult following for sure, me included when it comes to CB750's.

Yes, you will find these motors to be much more economical for the backyard builder as well. There were thousands and thousands of these bikes made making them easy to find and repair. They also tend to be basically bullet proof when repaired properly making them incredibly reliable for the average joe on a budget. Because of their popularity there is also a massive inventory of replacement parts and high performance goodies.

Not to mention, both have a serious COOL FACTOR! And a superb sound.

So yeah, jump in there and get one or the other. Feel free to send me a message and I'll send you links to all the places you need for support besides this superb site. And if you ask me, look for a 1969 thru 1978 CB750 SOHC that is running. Should be able to get one for way less than $500. From there you can chop, cut, rebuild into anything. And you will be able to do it on the cheap real easy.

I'm sure there will be plenty of guys putting their two cents in on why they like the XS motor. But if you go to some of the other chop sites I am on you will see even more guys geeked about the XS so its not just here.

Cheers and welcome to the site, jp

calicruiser
12-27-2009, 10:52 AM
cheap, bulletproof, decent HP on a low weight bike, and you can turn a stock xs in to a chop, bob, cafe, dirt tracker, etc. very easily!

josh

pangeaspeed
12-27-2009, 11:20 AM
these guys pretty much nailed it. check out xs650chop.com and i have a blog that fully documents the build of my xs. www.pangeaspeed.com

philbey
01-04-2010, 10:16 PM
I went with the XS because the triumphs and harleys are virtually inaccessible over here in Aus for decent prices.

You could pick up a running but ratty XS for ~1500 bucks 3 years ago, whereas any decent running triumph is 6-7 grand. Mind you finding any XS's for that price is getting difficult now too.

Plus, I'm a metric child through and through. I don't even own an imperial socket set~!

jake
01-05-2010, 9:49 PM
i love my 750. next would be an xs. thenagain, i have my triumph to build also...

Jashole
01-06-2010, 12:44 PM
As long as you're riddin!!!
:)

eightthirtysixcc
01-06-2010, 7:53 PM
As far as a technoligical and cost standpoint, the jap bikes have and still are better in every way from the American and British counterpart.

Thats said... something about a Harley and Triumph...

jpswino
01-07-2010, 7:53 PM
Thats said... something about a Harley and Triumph...[/QUOTE]


I guess I just couldn't swallow the pill because that feeling has never grabbed me.

BUT...on the other hand, anything a guy can build with his own two hands, no matter the level or expertise involved, has always gotten my full attention.

No better feeling in the world than being able to truthfully say "I built mine".
So chop whatcha got and don't worry about it. If whatcha got is HD, you're gonna have to work much harder to look different or stand out in a crowd, that's all.

lol

NaK
01-07-2010, 8:34 PM
XS650's are good bikes to chop because they are fun bikes to begin with, they have good lookin motors and and there frames are not ugly as shit when they are stripped down.

philbey
01-07-2010, 8:36 PM
thats true too, the XS motor is really clean, except the clutch cover font really bugs me, just looks a bit too eighties.

Some jap frames are really ugly with huge fat backbones and pressed steel sections.

WolfHunter
01-08-2010, 3:33 PM
The XS looks great. Just like a Triumph! And in my opinion here's why:

During the 60's, 70's and early 80's the Japanese manufacturers were notorious for copying Western design across an array of products they were producing & exporting. (Japanese cars were an exception.) Japanese merchandise not only mimicked Western design but so did some of their product names.

One of the main reasons for their product copying was to appeal more to the overseas market because "MADE IN JAPAN" still had a negative connotation during the 60's and 70's (today its Made In China). Many trademark infringement lawsuits were filed -and won by American companies over the blatant ripoffs.

Take for instance the Electric guitar and the infamous "Lawsuit" models that were exact copies of the Gibson & Fender models. (down to the minutest of details). The Japanese manufacturers response to the lawsuits were to slightly change the shape of the guitars so as to be within the law.

Although I cant recall any motorcycle copy lawsuits ever filed, its quite obvious which motorcycle the designers of XS650 got their ideas from.

A little side note: Some of the products the Japanese manufacturers had mimicked were sometimes so well engineered, they often out performed the item the exteriors were originally based on.

kamut
01-09-2010, 8:44 PM
I noticed that my first 650 had a similar looking engine to the Triumph, but I never really thought about it.

Thanks for the feedback, folks.

lobstermobster
01-09-2010, 10:20 PM
they dont make 666 cc so the 650 is the closest we can get

Jashole
01-10-2010, 2:49 PM
these guys pretty much nailed it. check out xs650chop.com and i have a blog that fully documents the build of my xs. www.pangeaspeed.com

i dig the site. im thinking of getting an xs realll baddd!!!

turtle
01-20-2010, 11:07 PM
I love it when I build one and take all the logos off of it. I stand and listen to all the rubs say hey I had a triumph like that once

BillySlicks
01-22-2010, 3:33 PM
The XS became popular for popular for 2 reasons originally.

1. Its the closest looking japanese engine that resembles a triumph. Yamaha reverse engineered a triumph to come up with a parallel twin that would compete in the market place with the british bikes at the time. They wanted the engine to look as close to a trump as possible....

2. They used to be dirt fucking cheap....

So people started building them, parts/kits/websites started to become widely available, and now the whole reason for buying one makes no sense seeing as its taken hold and regarded almost as highly as a triumph.

For the money they want for XS' now might as well buy a brit......Why buy a 'copy' of a triumph when the real thing will only cost you marginally more

calicruiser
01-23-2010, 11:51 PM
For the money they want for XS' now might as well buy a brit......Why buy a 'copy' of a triumph when the real thing will only cost you marginally more

a couple of reasons, no wrenching, no leaking!!! LOL

Punkskalar
01-24-2010, 12:27 PM
The XS became popular for popular for 2 reasons originally.

1. Its the closest looking japanese engine that resembles a triumph. Yamaha reverse engineered a triumph to come up with a parallel twin that would compete in the market place with the british bikes at the time. They wanted the engine to look as close to a trump as possible....

2. They used to be dirt fucking cheap....

So people started building them, parts/kits/websites started to become widely available, and now the whole reason for buying one makes no sense seeing as its taken hold and regarded almost as highly as a triumph.

For the money they want for XS' now might as well buy a brit......Why buy a 'copy' of a triumph when the real thing will only cost you marginally more

#1 Im not fully convinced on that story. Id like to see more information on that.

#2 TRUE

I have yet to see a triumph that can build power as easily and as reliably as an XS650 engine... Im a gearhead, so thats where I put my $$ :)

philbey
02-02-2010, 12:11 AM
and not to forget horizontally split crank case means no leaky!

Junkshow
02-22-2010, 12:05 PM
I'm runnin a 80 XS. If you are looking for some good XS650 ideas, check out xs650chopper.com everthing from dirty garage biulds to polished show pieces. CBs are sick too, I have seen a few in SoCal lately that are insane.

eric123
02-22-2010, 5:36 PM
I like XS650's so much I have 6. They are great bikes, with many aftermarket goodies...