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Multi Build - 72' and 80' chops Back at It!!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by thelowlife, Dec 10, 2019.

  1. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Been awhile since I posted any kind of build on here. Finishing school, finding a job, buying a house, few jobs later, getting married.. life gets in the way.

    The 72' details

    Where do I even start with this.. Previously working on a 72' bobber chopper. Making decent progress on things but being broke college kid, new job with limited money etc. etc. Decided to put that on hold. This was the previous version of it and where it was left 2013ish.


    Still have this guy with us.. he is 8.5 now! Charlie!!


    It was good from far but far from good. Through out the years I did a little bit of work here and there but nothing really big got finished on it.

    Between the here and there I put a new oil bag electric bag, a new style frisco tank.



    That's pretty much how it sat for a long time....
    TwoManyXS1Bs, 59Tebo, gggGary and 2 others like this.
  2. billy icon

    billy icon test pilot,gunnie pig, and all around experiment

    looks good man, keep pluging away,
    gggGary likes this.
  3. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Slowly started getting back into it by 2018 and now 2019. I decided instead of looking at it as a big overwhelming project that would cost X amount. To nibble at little pieces. In doing so I could take my time and do those little pieces properly. So that good from far but far from good would change to just plain old good!!

    I had this vision for the 72' in my head and it was always tough for me seeing some awesome stuff online and always chasing perfection I never was really happy and would frequently change things. With my new mindset on it I decided, while doing the little things, take my time and do it right.. finish a section and on to the next. With my patience and a little more skill under my belt I decided to get back into this.

    Started with the motor. Previously I had high temp painted the motor never happy with the results. I decided its fairly inexpensive to powder coat it myself.


    Job done! Taking my time and working through this gave me great results!! On to the next task

    Started looking at the frame and the job I had previously done, with bending the tubing, welding it etc. Not exactly happy with it, I purchased a hardtail from Chop Source and decided to lob off the previous hardtail and start fresh.. this time I made a frame jig out of Can Truss I got from work.



    ENTER THE 80
    During this process waiting for the tubing, my new Everlast tig to show up and searching for cool parts to add the the 72' I stumbled across this gem locally. An 80' xs650 with some chopping already done. TC Bros Hardtail, PMA Kit with capacitor, all the stock parts. Super rare to see something like this up in Northern Ontario. Decided to take a look at it, asking price was a little high and I know that no one around my area really wants to pay $1200 for a project with this much work. I made an offer of $500 because I knew what it would take to get this thing together. First offer was rejected so I told the guy to call me if he changed his mind.


    To be honest this was a different tactic for me.. normally finding an xs650, even a chopped one would've had me running to the bank and dishing out whatever they were asking.. truth be told I had another toy that was keeping me grounded.

    2001 HD Sportster 883 converter to a 1275


    1275 jug and piston vs. stock 883. Just a little bit of a difference!!


    Tore into the Sportster, which side tracked my 72' a little. Powder coated all the chrome, powder coated textured engine cases, new exhaust, handle bars, lights, turns etc. etc.
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2019
    Jim, TwoManyXS1Bs, Raymondo and 2 others like this.
  4. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Several months after my original offer the owner of the 80 xs contacted me and said come and get it. I went lower on the asking price because I had noticed some oil from the jugs, so I knew it needed a gasket set. Owner said it would run anymore, so I suspected the weak points ignition, and some of the welds on the hardtail needed to be redone and what better then putting it on my can truss frame jig... nothing I haven't dealt with before.

    IMG_4472.JPG IMG_0577.jpg IMG_0576.jpg

    Pulled the motor for the 80 xs apart see what the internals looked like took some measurements and put together the game plan for that. The bores looked really good, well within spec. Found the issue why there was no spark, the advance assembly was split.

    The owner of the 80 had mentioned he wanted to do a king and queen seat with a sissy bar.. full chopper. I decided that's the direction I would go with it. Started fabrication a sissy bar and kind and queen seat pan. Instead of paying several hundred dollars for a fender I decided to use a trailer fender. I'm not usually a big fan of the trailer fenders because they are so flat and don't usually fit the tire well. I found locally a fender that had some nice shape, it was however 10" wide. I had to take several inches out of the center and radius the fender to fit.
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    In the mean time I continued to plug away on the 72, powder coating parts, putting things together.. wheels with stainless spokes, lacing the wheel. Build the hardtail and tack welded checked and measured ensured it was square. Using the TC Bros hardtail the one on the 72 was built with an extra inch of drop, 3" of stretch in comparison.
    IMG_0632.jpg IMG_0802.jpg IMG_0804.jpg
    gggGary, Jim, Raymondo and 2 others like this.
  5. cafetools

    cafetools XS650 Addict

    To powder coat the case did you have to tear it down all the way?
  6. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Yep, torn down all seals removed. Media blasted and acetone washed.
    gggGary likes this.
  7. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Spent some time filing and blending the sissy bar for the 80 tonight

    Got some other goodies for it too from Lowbrow Customs Black Friday sale. Axed chopper tank, fender for the 72, with strut kit

    9D5A655E-8E39-4389-8146-57183D17FB88.jpeg 5DEB16A5-8EA6-403F-B66B-32E613AC43C4.jpeg

    Just before heading in tonight I got the fork lowers for the 72 ready to assemble. Just need to make some sort of deal driver. Just a little peek at the handlebars for the 72’ with switches. Trimmed the Biltwell keystones down.

    B1690513-2CCA-460E-BA6F-9E5C69B6BFC2.jpeg 6D835BA5-0838-4CBD-86F0-DFA97FC01A1F.jpeg 47508A77-3F68-4440-B7B8-B694BDB83824.jpeg
    gggGary and TwoManyXS1Bs like this.
  8. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Busy with the holidays and work and all that shit. Mounted the tank on the 80'. Just cleaning up the king and queen welds, playing with the idea of molding in some taillights to the seat too.

    IMG_1285.jpg IMG_1284.jpg
    Used a 5/16 top hat bung welded into the backbone. More tabs and parts on order from Lowbrow, along with some goodies from Hughs Handbuilt for the Sportster!!

    Will have to take some more pictures of it when I'm back on it. Changed shift schedule at work so I going to take a week or two to get situated.
    gggGary likes this.
  9. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Finally got my front wheel powder coated. Needed to do some maneuvering to make it fit in my oven but I got it there.

    Good old night shifts.. was able to get it laced up.

    Test shot some possible tank colors. Did a Mahogany Metallic with few coats of clear with metal flakes. Was thinking of attempting doing some sort of design but might just keep the tank, rear fender and headlight this colour and possibly pinstripe something on it.

    Tonights night shift will have me designing and test fitting a front bracket for he Brembo caliper. hopefully some pictures to come.
    Jim and gggGary like this.
  10. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Made a couple of bushings for the tank mount grommets. Used some 1/8 pipe nipples m. Bored them out on the lathe to fit a 5/16 bolt and cut down the threads.
    6452A0D4-FF6A-427C-A80E-6A2E0B8A3592.jpeg D34BAC30-5D88-4A08-9D47-BA3FEAC483A5.jpeg EB4154FB-BD6B-4552-964F-5AFDB4C30A4B.jpeg 7B790C3F-3B56-49E0-8AE6-C8CC4FBCBB43.jpeg 3C0CDF3A-F789-4FC0-AC23-5D429D55B2B4.jpeg

    Well powder coated the tank. Initial results were great but there was lots of booger’s in the coat.
    Looked good from far but far from good the clear didn’t lay down flat everywhere either. Suspecting that’s due to the flake

    CECBF560-4E37-47B8-8A55-BAAD25F7A618.jpeg 91746946-E522-446F-ABF6-75312CDDACF8.jpeg

    Trying to repair some of the booger’s I decided to wet sand it. Not sure what route to take after. Going to see if I can use a cutting compound bring some of the colour back, when I wet it down it looks like the base coat is fine but I may have burnt into my inter coat with the flake in it.

    Not sure if I should try and automotive clear with flake or try to hot flock the tank with powder coat clear and flake to bring it back.

    This doesn’t show how bad the clear was. I did several coats of final clear on top of the flake to try and prevent this so fingers crossed I can buff it back.
    9B8757C2-7CC1-415A-BF9C-03AFBF6691BC.jpeg EBAF169E-2F57-4ED2-A05C-E736960F8B49.jpeg
  11. thelowlife

    thelowlife XS650 Addict

    Well good news I was able to wet sand and polish out the tank. Waiting for some new buffing pads and I'll be able to get this thing shinning

    Got to trueing up the rear wheel. Got the side to side pretty good but my spoke wrench from Xs650direct.com sucks and spreads apart, unfortunately rounds the nipples out. I have one of those coming too. Then I'll work on the front wheel and the up and down. My wife was gracious enough to let me use the living room to do this work. Its been cold -26C here in Northern Ontario so not doing it in my 'garage' was a big win.

    I used a blind bearing puller and pulled the bearing through to seat it. Worked quite good, then on to the wheel trueing stand!!
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    I'm sure this crappy spoke wrench is to blame for many rounded nipples ;);) I searched through the forum there were a few suggestions to get the Rowe spoke wrench unfortunately I couldn't find a branded one with a quick delivery time or that would deliver to Canada (Amazon says they can't ship that particular product to my location??)

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