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  1. #1

    Default First build 1981 Yamaha XS650

    Hey guy's my names Ryan and Iíll be starting my first chopper build on a 1981 Yamaha XS650. I bought the bike bare bones stock back in April and rode it for a bit. But so far Iíve chopper the frame, welded on the hardtail with my buddy David. And have started working on the bike myself. I donít have really any experience building choppers except reading forums and scrolling through Instagram seeing a lot of badass chops I take ideas from.
    Right now Iíve just gotten the rear fender mounted without a sissy bar, and gotten a new chain on and spaced out. Hopefully you guys can help me with the bajillion problems I run into and I can have this bad Johnny up and running come spring time
    Thanks!

  2. #2

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    Attachment 98401
    Attachment 98402

    Here’s the bike stock and what I have so far!

  3. #3
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    For whatever reason, your pictures aren't working. At least for me. I'd like to see what you've got going on if you get a chance to try the pictures again.

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    ^^^^^^^^ Me either.......^^^^^^^^^^

  5. #5

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    Off to a great start haha letís try this again
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    Hopefully this works thanks for the replyís!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 17C8A4BD-4264-4D1F-98AC-969D7091BB1A.jpg   2B603FDA-372E-40A6-B92A-B4E437727EDF.jpg  

  6. #6
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    Yep it worked........ Very nice looking start.................

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    I really like the look of that frame. Best of luck on the project man. I'll be watching it come along.

  8. #8
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    That will make a practical chop.

    Noob errors to avoid:
    Poor fender mounting like drilling through the frame instead of using bungs. (I'd add a cross tube to support the upper part of the fender. If you don't mind a little extra work you could fab welded internal support for the fender and eliminate needing rear struts since there's room between tire and fender.)
    Lack of fender reinforcement (on the inside of course) at mount points.

    Figure out what tank you want to run.
    Typical noob error is a low tunnel tank sitting atop the unattractive backbone. That brace connecting the top engine mount to the front down tubes could be replaced with a round tube mounted high enough to be concealed/mostly concealed by a high tunnel tank. You could also replace it with higher mounted gussets. Goal is reasonable neck support mostly out of sight.

    There's plenty of room for a comfortable seat. Find pics of what you like and remember auto upholstery shops can cover custom seat pans if you decide to make one.

  9. #9

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    Hey guys, so I made some good progress today. The top cross tube was relocated about half an inch back closer to the rear fender in order to have a little more room for an electronic box in the future. I was thinking of doing a horseshoe HD style but instead of oil have it house all the electronics. I still have to figure all that out but thatíll be further down the line. I got a pair of 7/8 4 bends that I slapped on there and I really love the look of them. The last guy I guess cut the cross section out of them which holds them together so I want to find a design to weld onto them and fix that issue. I also created another mount for the fender on the lower section to give some more support. And I shaved down the original fender mount on top just to put a little design on there so itís not so basic. On top of that I notched out the fender itself so the chain doesnít scrape it when riding. Take a look hopefully the pictures actually work this time. Thanks again!


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  10. #10
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    Lookin' good. What make is that hardtail?
    Gotta ask, your buddy David, don't tell me that is the young guy that chopped his XS on here:
    '77 XS650 Chopper Build: My First Chop!
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50518
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    Lookin' good. What make is that hardtail?
    Gotta ask, your buddy David, don't tell me that is the young guy that chopped his XS on here:
    '77 XS650 Chopper Build: My First Chop!
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=50518
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thatís him! Hahaha itís a TC broís hardtail kit for the XS. I love his build, and heís the one that taught me all I know. I want to do something similar to his but different bars, sissy bar, electronic box, headlight and forks.

  12. #12

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    Hey guys, itís been a while since Iíve updated this but alot of good progress has been made. I got my sissy bar from TC broís and mounted that up using a fender brace which turned out really clean and narrow which I like a lot. I fabricated the mounts for the two tail lights I put on the sissy bar which I love the look of, as well as I welded the license plate mount onto the sissy bar. I also got the first half of the seat pan done since I decided to build my own by shaping and bending 16 gauge steel to sit flush on the fender. I plan on taking another piece of steel and bending a back rest on the seat pan, then finally cutting my own foam and glueing it on and sending it out to upholstered. I also got a super narrow sporty tank that I mocked up, all Iím waiting for are these metric bungs to come in the mail and I canít mount that. Lastly I figured out the bars and the angle they need to be at, now I need to weld a cross member piece to keep them that way. Let me know what you all think, thanks for all the help and feedback
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  13. #13

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    Hey guys! Itís been a pretty long time since Iíve updated this, but Iíve gotten a lot accomplished and it feels like the bike is almost there. As of recently I glued down the foam on the seat pan using 3M spray adhesive. Mounted the headlights, slapped on a set of tcbros xs650 forward controls, mounted the tank, fully fabricated a look alike HD oil bag which I use as my battery tray and mounted my regulator to the back side, built brackets for the coil to mount onto the down tube of the frame, welded together the bars giving the bike a narrow look I love. I also got some grips, a new throttle tube, and clutch perch. I also bought a set of pipes off a dude to cut and use a builders kit to build my own exhaust but realized the pipes were baffled so now Iím going to buy a set of straight pipes and run that, or build my own.
    The only part Iím struggling with now and canít figure out is that I bought a Ď79 Xs650 rear disc wheel to use since I wonít be running front brakes, and bought a Ď79 rear axle for the proper spaces. But when I put on the caliper also from a Ď79 it appears the caliper holder is rubbing against the disc causing the wheel not to spin at all. I donít believe the disc is warped, and I tried every possible way to make it work except grinding down the caliper holder to make it not rub. Iím wondering if anyone has had the same problem and could help out, or give me any ideas on what to do.
    -RussoClick image for larger version. 

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  14. #14
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    the caliper holder is rubbing against the disc causing the wheel not to spin at all.
    Gonna guess, without seeing what spacers are on the other side, that the wheel is over too far to the disc side.

    Did you confirm the caliper mount is straight, not bent?

    Remove spacers from axle, re-install wheel with brake caliper to see where the wheel needs to sit to allow the caliper to have the proper alignment on the disc. Then determine spacers and sprocket alignment.

    It a hardtail, so gonna guess that the spacing between the axle plates is not the same as a factory swingarm for disc brake. Did you measure and compare?

    Could also be the hardtail is tweaked...squeezed in at the axle plate...confirm the hardtail frame rails are parallel from axle area up to the bend behind the seatpost, both top and bottom rails, and they are straight.

    Oh, looking good by the way!

    On another note, you still have the stock front fork legs and wheel...I would recommend you install that front brake, at least until you get a few miles on it and get used to riding your new chopper...you know, stay alive.
    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 04-05-2020 at 8:37 AM. Reason: brake

  15. #15
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    Wow, this is a sweet build. I love the bars and I'm a fan of the way the fender just starts to flatten out above the tire.

    I like your garage too. More importantly, did you make sheriff?

  16. #16

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    Thanks for the reply man! I tried take out the axle and putting it back in without the spacers and the axle started giving me problems fitting in the wheel, so i decided I’m just going to go back to the drum in the rear and run the front brake especially considering what you said about staying alive

  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchet54 View Post
    Wow, this is a sweet build. I love the bars and I'm a fan of the way the fender just starts to flatten out above the tire.

    I like your garage too. More importantly, did you make sheriff?
    Thanks man! I wasn’t too sure how I felt about the fender flattening out but I definitely got used to it and fell in love with it.
    Lmfao my dad actually ran and won

  18. #18

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    Well itís been a little while since Iíve updated this but I finished the general fabrication on the bike and wired the bad boy up, ran a couple test rides and itís running like a champ. Up until one part where the bike completely shut off on me. Figuring I havenít changed the battery since I got the bike I got a fresh battery and slapped it in. The bike wouldnít kick over. So I checked my fuses and realized the fuse coming from my regulator/rectifier into the power of the battery was blown. I tried putting in a new blade fuse but it would blow the second it touched the female end. I then went to take off the reg/rec and saw it had a orange kind of red liquid leaking from it and the back side of it was puffed out a bit and had a small crack in the center. Does anyone know what could cause this? And how can I prevent this from happening again?Click image for larger version. 

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  19. #19

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    Well here we are again. To pick up where I left off. I got a new battery and a new regulator/rectifier. The bike was running fine until one day I was riding not to far and the bike completely shut off on me. I started checking everything, no fuses were blown. All the grounds were still connected and everything seemed to be in place. I let the bike sit for 5-10minutes and when I turned the key for the electronics the headlights came on but would quickly fade and if I turned on my taillights the battery would drain even faster. I charged the battery fully but even with a full charged battery if I turn the key it would drain the battery way too fast. I was able to kick the bike over and put a voltmeter to the battery and the battery was still draining.
    Before I chopped the bike I had replaced the alternator, and I just put a brand new battery and regulator in it so I’m wondering what’s wrong or what I can do

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