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steveair2's '78 XS Chopped Hard Build

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Steveair2, Jul 16, 2014.

  1. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    Hello Group,

    My name's Steve Stephenson. I live in Dallas Texas. I've been collecting parts for a few years now. I started this build a few weeks ago. I decided to document my progress here.
    I have a Elswick hard tail and a four inch under DNA front end. After all the cutting and grinding, I think I should have just built the frame from scratch.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 26, 2014
    jetmechmarty likes this.
  2. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    I'll try to get the pictures right side up from now on.
  3. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    If you click on the pictures twice, they turn right side up.
  4. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    Today I cleaned up the neck and am fitting tubes to the backbone and down tubes.
    I bought some 4130 tubing I'll use the graft the neck back on with.
    The tubing in the picture is 1.75x.120. It's a tight fit onto the back bone.
    I have some 1.5x.083 I'll use that will slide over the down tubes.
    I wonder how many beers it's gonna take to get this bike built?

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  5. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    Today I finished trimming the backbone and down tubes to fit the extension tubes.
    I cut 3/8" off the bottom of the neck, and installed bearing races.
    Then I finished cutting off all the unnecessary crap off the Cole Foster tank.
    Man, they can put a lot of unnecessary crap on a motorcycle, can't they?

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  6. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    I'm using some electrical conduit to mock up my front end.

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  7. blackbetty

    blackbetty XS650 Junkie

    Nice progress. Where about in Dallas?

    Lemme know if you need a hand w anything
  8. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    Thanks Black, I live near Peavy and Garland Rd. in the Casa Linda area.
    If your in the area, swing by and have a cold beer.
  9. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    It seems like the stock frame has a slight misalignment. I decided to build a jig to hold the front end in place. This was the best way I could figure to help me get the neck set just right. I'm a little frustrated with the stock alignment, maybe it will look better in the morning.

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  10. OOOOOOH a Springer! You got my attention now!!!

    Slow and steady, I like it!
  11. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    Thanks Airwolfie,
    The alignment problem I'm looking at is just aft of the lower engine mounts.
    The frame tubes spread outwards right aft of the lower engine mounts.
    I'll probably cut these sections out and weld in some new tubes of 4130.
    No sense putting all the time, effort and money into this project and not
    make it just right. I'll be at Airventure Oshkosh all week. I'll take a closer look
    at it when I get back.
  12. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    Today was my first day back to work on my bike after my vacation. I had a crappy week at work catching up and had a pinched nerve in my neck.

    That being said, nothing like being a red blooded, right wing American, drinking beer and building Hot Rods and Motorcycles on a Saturday night!

    I have not owned a motorcycle in about twelve years. I decided I wanted a bike a few years ago. I wanted a air cooled twin. Store bought bikes suck. Then I found this site.
    I found two XS650's on E bay. Drove up to Oklahoma and trailered them back.
    Can't wait to get this bike running.

    The stock frame alignment problem turns out to be slightly less than a eighth inch out.
    I'm building a wood jig around a eight inch wide piece of steel channel. I'm slowly getting all the measurements in line. I think I can live with the eighth inch.
    I'll keep measuring for the next few days. I'm getting close to welding.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2014
  13. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    Pictures of my progress tonight.

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  14. Vansnxtweek

    Vansnxtweek XS650 Addict

    That springer front is gorgeous!
  15. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    Thanks Vans, the springer front end is a DNA. It's actually the least expensive springer front end available. I've read a lot of negative comments about it on the web.
    Mostly about flexing during braking on the longer units.
    My bike will be fairly light with no front brake. My front end is also four inches shorter than the standard one. We will see how it performs.
  16. Keep plugging away man! I can't wait to see how it turns out!
  17. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Wooden frame jigs? Must be a kitplane builder. Down in this area nothing's straight, except for $67 per board-foot oak, and that's only on dry days. You must have a good source.

    Some folks have run into alignment/centering issues with the engine and rear wheel sprockets. The factory frames seem to have a little cant to one side, and throws them off. Maybe you could add a engine sprocket positioning fixture, to help predict where the rear wheel will settle.

    I'm baffled by your avitar. Modified bucker jungmann, with elements of albatross and pfalz? Is that the kit you're building?
  18. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    Thanks Airwolfie, I can't wait to see how it turns out either.

    TwoMany, Thanks for the tip with the canted frame. This seems to be the case with my bike. I'm going extra slow at this point. I'm using a sixteen inch Harley rear wheel and brake. The clearances are very narrow. I will need to have everything dead nuts right on to make this work.

    My Jig is built around a heavy piece of eight inch steel channel. I'm taking all my measurements off the channel. I am good a picking out straight pieces of wood at Home Depot. The human eye is one of the best measuring tools.

    My biplane is my own design that I have built from scratch. Not a kit. Every piece was hand made by me. It has been much more work than I thought it would be.
    The bike is me taking a break from the plane project. Although I will be getting back to
    work on the plane before the bike is complete.

    The biplane design is sort of a modernized DeHavaland Tigermoth / Hawker Fury.
    It's two place, with a 75 HP Continental. Target empty weight is 600 lbs.
    Cruise at 90mph and land at 45mph. Should be a good performer if I can hit
    my target empty weight.

    My Avitar is a Flitzer F2 Tiger homebuilt biplane designed by Lyn Williams.
    It is very much like what my plane will look like when complete.

    I am in the process of precise engine sprocket measurements at this time.
    A fixture of some sort is a good idea. Thanks for your input, and noticing my plane.
  19. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Target empty weight. Reminds me of a story about Burt Rutan, at Oshkosh.

    A newby reporter was assigned to interview Burt about his designs.

    She asked: "How can you tell if something is too heavy to go into your plane?"

    Burt: "Well, I throw it up into the air. And if it comes back down, it's too heavy."

    Puzzled, she then asks: "What new projects are you working on now?"

    Burt: "You know how a cat always lands on its feet? And if you drop a slice of buttered bread, it always lands butter side down?"

    Now she's more puzzled.

    Burt: "We plan to strap a slice of buttered bread onto a cat's back, and see if the whole thing levitates."

    Poor girl didn't know what she got herself into...
    harpo57 likes this.
  20. Steveair2

    Steveair2 XS650 Addict

    You have to love Rutan, he's a legend!

    So today I decided to measure everything I did Saturday night. I figured that after all that beer I drank while working on it, I would find at least one thing wrong.
    I double checked the engine sprocket and wheel sprocket measurements, frame angles and hard tail alignment. The only measurement I could find that was off, was the down tube that joins into the rectangular hard tail member was one sixteenth of an inch off to one side. The sprockets are going to line up perfect. The hard tail is in perfect alignment with the back bone. I'll double check everything one more time before I tack weld the frame. I can't believe everything fell into place like it did.

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