This was my first bike build. I did it for my Senior Thesis in Industrial Design at Appalachian State University. I know, I know.... Jap bikes suck... Well, I decided to make sure mine didn't suck, and on a student budget, and only about 16 weeks to build it, I needed cheap and fast. Enter the venerable XS650. I took a night job on campus in the metals department to be able to access the lathe, mill, TIG, etc... I never really used the equipment more than about 10 minutes each before this project...
This is the ugly I started with:
I wanted to use Akront style drop center rims, and scrounged some off of an Ossa and Husky Dirtbike. I laced them up myself to the XS60 hubs, which I machined and polished. 21" Front and an 18" rear.
Everyone does a 3-4" stretch on an XS, so I decided to keep mine short, real short. the wheelbase is actually shorter than stock. I shortened the forks myself, trimmed down the fat on the trees, and had a roller.
Next up was the engine. I had a roommate with an XS650, and it seemed to vibrate alot. ALOT... After doing some research, I found lots of Internet Ninja's discussing re-phasing of the crank and cam. Like all Internet Ninja's, all they did was talk about it, so I decided to do something and make it happen. Stock XS engines pistons travel up and down at the same time. Unacceptable! I altered the crank by rotating 1 set of flywheels 83.something degrees. Then the cam had to match, at an even 41.something degrees, so I cut apart 3 cams before making this one work! So far soo good, no vibes, and 10K plus RPM make this thing a torque chop if there ever was one. Add in some 707CC pistons, overdrive 5th gear,some headwork, custom pipes, and a set of vintage Lectron Flatslides, and this thing just hauls ass...
After that, I couldn't just throw any old set of aftermarket bars, seat, etc... on it. So I made em all to fit my style. I made the bars from some stock ones I cut down, hammered out the seatpan and covered it myself, made my own rearsets, controls and grips, and topped it all off with a hidden footclutch mechanism and hand shifter. Basically, the only thing let unmolested was a headlight and a taillight.
Basically, I wanted to learn all I could and test things that I'd never seen done before. Overall, I've been extremely please with how it came out. I built it for me, but its nice that others dig it too...
Owner/Builder: Hugh Owings, Boone NC
Bike Name: I'm bad at names, so this is just my XS650
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1981, XS650, Slightly Modded...
Frame: Stock front loop, stock length hardtail.
Fork: Shaved and lowered. smoothed trees, integrated headlight mount.
Chassis mods: Custom Rearsets, fat free frame, handbent hardtail section
Tire/wheel size and style: 21" Akront with an Avon up front, and 18" Akront with an Avon out back
Favorite thing about this bike: James Fuel tank, only seen 1 other ever...
Next modification will be: Longer fender and a sissybar for the long trips... That side bag would be sweet too!
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Handmade exhaust, controls, seat, bars, fender stays, gas cap (yeah, even the gas cap)
Any building or riding story or info you'd like to include: I'm 6 foot tall, and a short chop is too damn fun. With the right bars, and controls, this thing is just right for a 5-7 day trip... Now the seat on the other hand, well...
Thanks to: Brewdude for the powdercoating, And Mitch from Bling Cycles for the encouragement and support. Last but not least, my friends over at Pirate4x4!
Check out the build thread here: "Punskalar Builds a Bike / Chopperthing"
And you can here it run here:
Hugh Owings Motorcycle Bobber Chopper XS650 XS 650 Honda Rebel CMX250 Hughs Hand Built HughsHandBuilt
Last edited by Punkskalar; 05-02-2010 at 9:05 PM.
I am also planning on doing another for myself, in a whole new chassis....
Here is a quick video of how the "new" engine sounds...
Last edited by Punkskalar; 02-08-2010 at 11:17 PM.
Hey, this is Chop Cult, all bikes rule, regardless of their race, color, creed or national origin. You must be thinking about that "Other" forum. Read the write up on your bike, nice work. Aesthetically you've done a great job on the lines and the flow. It is more impressive that you have actually improved on the internals as well.
The bike is absolutely killer! I love everything about it.
You should be extremely proud of what you've put together. (and if you didn't ace that program I'd gladly have words with your instructors!)
Well done! I can't wait to see our next build.
so far i'm gonna say the jap chops are winning this my bike contest. bike looks like the child of rad and sweet
This one gets my vote so far, killer lookin scoot nice and understated, then I read about the whole flywheel / piston / cam thing, damn dude!!
Hugh, how much did you lower this thing by? I can't remember, did you post more details in the pirate 4x4 thread?
everytime i searched "xs650 bobber" on Google Images for a while when getting familiar with this scene, your bike you come up and I was always blown away by it. Cheers
I'll save you some time. Look here for the start of the frame mods....
Last edited by Punkskalar; 02-08-2010 at 11:28 PM.
I followed your build-up over on Pirate and despite the fact that I'm familiar with the bike it still blows me away every time I see it. So clean and well done. Have you figured out a solution for the sissy bar/rear fender for the cross country ride yet?
Good looking bike. I've been trying to find a cheap XS650 myself. I'm gonna read your Pirate write up!
Off the subject a bit but since you're on Pirate4x4 you might be interested. A few guys from my Jeep club(NJJC) Erik Miller & Kevin Ledder just got to the Lake Bed in Socal today to run in the King of the Hammers race!
Last edited by DirtFloorJim; 02-09-2010 at 1:17 PM. Reason: Fixing stuff
Just read the write-up from the January CycleSource on you and this bike. Verrrry sweet! I hadn't even heard of anyone attempting to do that rephase deal before this.
That chop is outstanding. I keep going back to the magazine article! You did an awesome job on the whole bike! Respect!