77-81 XS650 "JADE" Tribute Build

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
Hello. I believe this is the right place for this ongoing thread. But if it is not, my apologies to the moderators.

This is my 1981 XS650 "JADE"

I have a long history with this build/bike. The engine was gifted to me by my late fiance Olena one Christmas. I had a cb750 at the time that I sold to put towards a wedding and down payment on a house for us. I had a few bikes and parted with them all. (Bachelors life)

When my fiance found out from my roommate, she took it upon herself to get me this xs650 from someone on Craigslist or Facebook who told her this bike was a better British bike than the old British bikes. She knew I loved the 60s era British bikes and had passed on getting a good condition Tr6. She presented the bike to me late Christmas morning with a note saying she couldn't wait to see what I would make of it and the trips we would take together.

Around four months later, I laid her to rest after she lost a battle with lung cancer. (The same illness that claimed her father)
I couldn't even look at the bike. My roommate convinced me not to get rid of it and offered to keep it in his family's storage unit.

Over fifteen years later, I am working in the ER during the height of the pandemic; in need of something to help me decompress during my downtime, when my old roommate contacts me saying he's cleaning out the storage unit and asking if I want to take the bike. I had forgotten all about it.

So now in the last few years, I have slowly started wrenching on it at night. (I have trouble sleeping) Determined to finish it for myself and in memory of my Olena. The vision is 60s era desert sled with a touch of Japanese Brat-style thrown in.

The bike's name is Jade, as that was a nickname I gave to Olena for her green eyes. The final tank/trim color will be Aston Martin Green with a nickel frame.

Everything except the engine itself has come from various other XS650 models, SR500, Suzuki twins, various vendors that still make parts for the XS, and a modern Triumph Thruxton.

I will update the build thread as I move forward, but I want to thank everyone here for their wealth of knowledge and community, and to any still reading this, thank you for your time.

~ Starcrossedmoto
 

Attachments

  • Olena 1.jpg
    Olena 1.jpg
    26 KB · Views: 116
  • Olena 2.jpg
    Olena 2.jpg
    41.6 KB · Views: 115
  • 20220817_014359.jpg
    20220817_014359.jpg
    240.2 KB · Views: 117
  • 20220924_000852.jpg
    20220924_000852.jpg
    246.4 KB · Views: 112
  • 20221006_030235.jpg
    20221006_030235.jpg
    193.6 KB · Views: 108
  • 20221006_020016.jpg
    20221006_020016.jpg
    113.8 KB · Views: 100
  • 20221208_215206.jpg
    20221208_215206.jpg
    288.2 KB · Views: 101
  • 20221208_215402.jpg
    20221208_215402.jpg
    263.7 KB · Views: 101
  • 20221208_215652.jpg
    20221208_215652.jpg
    335.6 KB · Views: 120
Last edited:

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
My house has no garage, so I brought the engine down to my basement where I have done two other bikes piece by piece.

After a few weeks of deciding on a look/goal, I began sourcing and ordering parts including a titled frame.

First things first was to see what shape the engine was in...not good if the spark plugs are any indication.

I have new big fin cylinders and new pistons. A few weeks sitting full of Marvel Mystery Oil 50/50 acetone and the engine kicked over.

I like the brushed metal look so I refurbished the front end off a '79 standard. Sanding block on a '80 clutch lever and a brake lever I had from an old Honda scrambler.

Mirror from 4into1 and Euro flat-track bars.
 

Attachments

  • 20211121_015921.jpg
    20211121_015921.jpg
    355.6 KB · Views: 56
  • 20211121_015934.jpg
    20211121_015934.jpg
    416 KB · Views: 53
  • 20211201_024733.jpg
    20211201_024733.jpg
    525.1 KB · Views: 49
  • 20211201_024743.jpg
    20211201_024743.jpg
    510.8 KB · Views: 51
  • 20211202_180050.jpg
    20211202_180050.jpg
    529.4 KB · Views: 48
  • 20211205_064644.jpg
    20211205_064644.jpg
    471.6 KB · Views: 47
  • 20211205_064714.jpg
    20211205_064714.jpg
    309.2 KB · Views: 53
  • a5d1f0db64a18658ca16cc02654f88fb.jpg
    a5d1f0db64a18658ca16cc02654f88fb.jpg
    92.2 KB · Views: 57
  • 694c4c7f6a182a7595735dca80fd8cfa.jpg
    694c4c7f6a182a7595735dca80fd8cfa.jpg
    135.2 KB · Views: 51

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
Never a fan of choppers, but I do like the look of a smaller Bates-style headlight. And while I am not into that Steampunk trend, the bronze/copper I think looks pretty slick against the silver and chrome.

Springer front end looks vintage and tough, but too expensive, impractical, and not right for this build. Repurposed the stock headlight/fork shrouds minus the ears, and found a good use for an old pair of factory shocks off an old Suzuki GS450.
 

Attachments

  • 20211201_024638.jpg
    20211201_024638.jpg
    511.2 KB · Views: 42
  • 20211204_093243.jpg
    20211204_093243.jpg
    451.5 KB · Views: 42
  • 20211209_210106.jpg
    20211209_210106.jpg
    545.6 KB · Views: 40
  • 20211211_170217.jpg
    20211211_170217.jpg
    470.9 KB · Views: 40
  • 20211211_170231.jpg
    20211211_170231.jpg
    468.3 KB · Views: 42
  • 20211211_170432.jpg
    20211211_170432.jpg
    478.6 KB · Views: 46
  • 20211211_170756.jpg
    20211211_170756.jpg
    512.9 KB · Views: 43
  • 20211225_220755.jpg
    20211225_220755.jpg
    342.1 KB · Views: 42
  • 20211225_220815.jpg
    20211225_220815.jpg
    519.6 KB · Views: 42
  • 20211226_142253.jpg
    20211226_142253.jpg
    469.6 KB · Views: 43
  • 20211226_142312.jpg
    20211226_142312.jpg
    516.2 KB · Views: 43
  • 20220514_022614.jpg
    20220514_022614.jpg
    407.7 KB · Views: 43

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
I’m so sorry for your loss, sounds like Olena was a wonderful girl. That’s great you’re working on it to get it on the road. I’ll follow this thread with interest.
She was, thank you. Working and planning this build gave me the itch to get back in the saddle as well, so I picked up an xs850 that is my daily commuter and...I have to say kickstarting a bike then riding it...takes me back to all the single cylinder thumpers my brothers and I used to ride as kids. We'd go tear-a$$ing around chasing each other on our grandparents' property up in the mountains. 😆 Didn't realize how much I missed all that.
 

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
As stated before the engine did come with a frame...that was rusted and hacked so getting a titled frame compatible was priority no. 2.

After reading various threads here and elsewhere, I determined which model and year frames would bolt to my engine and offer me spoked wheels.

Found an '80 Special, titled, dirty, but not rusty, mostly complete except for the engine and the front forks.

Front forks are from a '79. (Not sure how to tell whether standard or special)

I removed the tabs for the stepped cruiser seat, but left the frame otherwise unchanged. Second-hand custom seat made for a Yamaha SR500 and reupholstered in rich brown fits perfectly on the 650 frame.

Front forks rebuilt and lowered using parts from Hugh's Handbuilt, Motolanna, and xs650.com
 

Attachments

  • 20220204_202733.jpg
    20220204_202733.jpg
    435.4 KB · Views: 54
  • 20220204_202749.jpg
    20220204_202749.jpg
    405 KB · Views: 50
  • 20220720_213348.jpg
    20220720_213348.jpg
    297.7 KB · Views: 47
  • 20220420_172438.jpg
    20220420_172438.jpg
    375.3 KB · Views: 50
  • 20211227_170040.jpg
    20211227_170040.jpg
    301.9 KB · Views: 47
  • 20211227_170046.jpg
    20211227_170046.jpg
    347 KB · Views: 47
  • 20220331_212943.jpg
    20220331_212943.jpg
    589.9 KB · Views: 47
  • 20220419_180200.jpg
    20220419_180200.jpg
    308.2 KB · Views: 45
  • 20220501_153846.jpg
    20220501_153846.jpg
    389 KB · Views: 45
  • 20220613_010919.jpg
    20220613_010919.jpg
    398 KB · Views: 47
  • 20221008_010320.jpg
    20221008_010320.jpg
    317.4 KB · Views: 53

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
While it seems the overwhelming consensus is for disdain of all 16" rear wheels I doubled down.

'79 front forks with an '81 Special front hub. Rim was 19" and bent so I replaced it with the 16" rim off rear wheel of a Suzuki GR650.

Had all parts vapor blasted and powder coated satin nickel with bronze accents. Stainless steel spokes from Buchanan's. New bearings from All Balls. Speedo delete from HHB.
 

Attachments

  • 20220529_023648.jpg
    20220529_023648.jpg
    312.9 KB · Views: 52
  • 20220612_210902.jpg
    20220612_210902.jpg
    211.5 KB · Views: 44
  • 20220612_210924.jpg
    20220612_210924.jpg
    368.5 KB · Views: 43
  • 20220612_210947.jpg
    20220612_210947.jpg
    333.3 KB · Views: 46
  • 20220612_211038.jpg
    20220612_211038.jpg
    239.3 KB · Views: 42
  • 20220719_184726.jpg
    20220719_184726.jpg
    469.8 KB · Views: 49
  • 20220723_011113.jpg
    20220723_011113.jpg
    603.3 KB · Views: 39
  • 20220723_012040.jpg
    20220723_012040.jpg
    373.1 KB · Views: 41
  • 20220723_013142.jpg
    20220723_013142.jpg
    462.9 KB · Views: 39
  • 20220723_150207.jpg
    20220723_150207.jpg
    396.2 KB · Views: 38
  • 20220806_032648.jpg
    20220806_032648.jpg
    363.9 KB · Views: 41
  • 20220806_032700.jpg
    20220806_032700.jpg
    473.8 KB · Views: 38
  • 20220806_154842.jpg
    20220806_154842.jpg
    414.6 KB · Views: 46
  • 20220813_235814.jpg
    20220813_235814.jpg
    317.5 KB · Views: 51

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
Sorry to hear about your loss!
It is good to see you are getting on with life and honoring her memory by building up the bike she gave you 🙂
Thank you. Loss is...loss. I have never learned how to lessen that sting, but contrary to what I feared, when wrenching it has brought back the memories of joy and peace she brought to my life, and I have found myself remembering details of her I never knew I treasured.
 

Adamc

XS650 MEDDLER
Top Contributor
XS650.com Supporter
Messages
2,422
Reaction score
10,538
Points
513
Location
Wales
Hello. I believe this is the right place for this ongoing thread. But if it is not, my apologies to the moderators.

This is my 1981 XS650 "JADE"

I have a long history with this build/bike. The engine was gifted to me by my late fiance Olena one Christmas. I had a cb750 at the time that I sold to put towards a wedding and down payment on a house for us. I had a few bikes and parted with them all. (Bachelors life)

When my fiance found out from my roommate, she took it upon herself to get me this xs650 from someone on marketplace who told her this bike was a better British bike than the old British bikes. She knew I loved the 60s era British bikes and had passed on getting a good condition Tr6. She presented the bike to me late Christmas morning with a note saying she couldn't wait to see what I would make of it and the trips we would take together.

Around four months later, I laid her to rest after she lost a battle with lung cancer. (The same illness that claimed her father)
I couldn't even look at the bike. My roommate convinced me not to get rid of it and offered to keep it in his family's storage unit.

Over fifteen years later, I am working in the ER during the height of the pandemic; in need of something to help me decompress during my downtime, when my old roommate contacts me saying he's cleaning out the storage unit and asking if I want to take the bike. I had forgotten all about it.

So now in the last few years, I have slowly started wrenching on it at night. (I have trouble sleeping) Determined to finish it for myself and in memory of my Olena. The vision is 60s era desert sled with a touch of Japanese Brat-style thrown in.

The bike's name is Jade, as that was a nickname I gave to Olena for her green eyes. The final tank/trim color will be Aston Martin Green with a nickel frame.

Everything except the engine itself has come from various other XS650 models, SR500, Suzuki twins, various vendors that still make parts for the XS, and a modern Triumph Thruxton.

I will update the build thread as I move forward, but I want to thank everyone here for their wealth of knowledge and community, and to any still reading this, thank you for your time.

~ Starcrossedmoto
Sad for your loss, but happy for you that you have something to remember her by.
Cool build as I said on another thread. Nice details with the springs and exhaust.
Overall a great looking sled.
 

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
Sad for your loss, but happy for you that you have something to remember her by.
Cool build as I said on another thread. Nice details with the springs and exhaust.
Overall a great looking sled.
Thank you. I honestly just lurked about this site for some time not wanting to post anything on my build being in awe of so much of the talent and skill presented here.

While I would ride a Vespa until the seas dried up if it meant I could have have her sitting behind me again, I do believe I can do more justice to this bike now than I could have then.
 

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
There are plenty of aftermarket pipes for these bikes, but when I picked up the frame, the seller included the exhaust
The mufflers were rusted through but the headers were ok. Metal rescue outside and in along with some Scotch-brite discs on the angle grinder and the headers have grown on me.

2" diameter stainless steel pipe 30" long. Cut in half to make two 15" mufflers. Drag Specialties baffles inside. And custom brass exhaust tips made by Brass Cycle Works. (I found him via this forum! He does incrediblework! Artek)

Handmade leather keychain to match the seat.
 

Attachments

  • 20221114_163549.jpg
    20221114_163549.jpg
    204.2 KB · Views: 43
  • 20221122_212519.jpg
    20221122_212519.jpg
    307 KB · Views: 40
  • 20221207_001310.jpg
    20221207_001310.jpg
    475.8 KB · Views: 47
  • 20221207_003230.jpg
    20221207_003230.jpg
    301.2 KB · Views: 40
  • 20221208_215008.jpg
    20221208_215008.jpg
    215.9 KB · Views: 39
  • 20221208_215206.jpg
    20221208_215206.jpg
    288.2 KB · Views: 42
  • 20221208_215402.jpg
    20221208_215402.jpg
    263.7 KB · Views: 43
  • 20221208_215652.jpg
    20221208_215652.jpg
    335.6 KB · Views: 39
  • 20221208_215724.jpg
    20221208_215724.jpg
    235.6 KB · Views: 39
  • 20220520_222357.jpg
    20220520_222357.jpg
    392.9 KB · Views: 41
  • 20220520_222741.jpg
    20220520_222741.jpg
    307.9 KB · Views: 41
Last edited:

STARCROSSEDMOTO

XS650 Enthusiast
Messages
33
Reaction score
132
Points
33
Location
Wisconsin
I must say that this is a build thread that appeals to our modern desire of instant gratification!
Kudos to keeping this all close to the chest over this last year or so and then dropping it down like a hand of Knock Rummy.
Looking forward to hearing this running.
Overall A+
Thank you. Though I'm more of an UNO type of guy than Rummy. 😉
Good on you fer getting on with the build after all that time, good build, good tribute to Olena.
Thank you. It has been just what I needed and cathartic.
Looking great! Nice progress and your pics and write ups are great. You’ll be riding it in no time!
Why thank you. Always concerned I sound like a long-winded ol' coot. lol.
 
Top