77-81 XS650 "JADE" Tribute Build

Final wheel dimensions are
16x120/80 front
16x140/90 rear

Tried shorter rear suspension for the slammed look, but ultimately went with the rear shocks off a modern Triumph Thruxton.

Resurfaced brake rotors from either an XJ750 or an XV750

Tank from 4into1; gas cap reproduction model for an old Harley Davidson. Both given a brushed treatment with a scotch-brite pad. Por-15 tank sealer used for inside of tank. Clear enamel on the outside to prevent surface rust before I reach the paint/powder stage of the build.

Billet mirror mount plugs from eBay.
 

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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
So sorry for your loss. Sounds like one heck of a woman. Nice bike.
 
Planning to have the grips and kick lever wrapped in leather from TripMachine Co.
Darkened the leather using oils and some coffee.

New throttle assembly from Emgo. Amal style.

Current grips from Biltwell. Final grips just billet and rubber from Amazon.
 

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Wow!
What an introduction....
It is always great to see what can be accomplished by someone truly inspired.
Sometimes those inspirations are driven by great loss.
I am sorry that you lost someone so special far too early in life.
In my humble opinion your tribute reflects those deep feelings that never disappear.
I hope that at some point perhaps your gorgeous build will bring you some of the joy she wanted for you with the gift.

I love so many things that you did with the bike.
You captured that springer look without the springer...
Very nice, like so many other design elements you chose.
The details stand out. The story is unforgettable..
Congratulations! I will looking forward to seeing more about your creation.
 
Kept the wiring harness that came with the frame to test lights and other electrical parts.

Headlight was sourced from Amazon along with the copper front turn signals.

The steel and brass rear signals are from an American vendor here in the states. Ebay shop/seller Mr. Lucky's Motorcycle Parts

For the front fender (Yes, there will be a front fender) I wanted to do something practical yet quirky for the struts and mounts. Took a beat up fender from an SR400, trimmed an inch from the left and right sides, manually installed zinc plated rivets, and used banjo fittings with allen-cap bolts to secure them.

I like the look/vibe, but I am certainly wishing I had more skill with welding. May revisit this later.
 

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In my humble opinion your tribute reflects those deep feelings that never disappear.
I hope that at some point perhaps your gorgeous build will bring you some of the joy she wanted for you with the gift.

The details stand out. The story is unforgettable..
Congratulations! I will looking forward to seeing more about your creation.
Thank you. Though I have not had a maiden voyage, taking my time over the last few years in quiet moments late at night has been something I never knew I needed. A space and way to channel my honest joy and sadness together. I have been surprised by the quiet joy.
 
Looking forward, once the engine is out being vapor blasted I will begin the paint/powder preparation for the frame, yokes, tank, and fenders.

I knew I wanted a metallic green as the main color for the tank, so I began searching through British cars and bikes. While British Racing Green is a lovely tried and true color, to me there is no car manufacturer decidedly more British and elegant than Aston Martin.

The color I chose is Almond Green also called Aston Martin Green depending upon the model year.

Keeping the knee dents clear/brushed with the rest of the tank being green. Fenders will remain brushed/silver as well. Frame will be a nickel powder coat by Prismatic Powder. Ben S at NEC (Never Ending Cycles) will be handling the powder coat and final wiring.
 

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Looking forward, once the engine is out being vapor blasted I will begin the paint/powder preparation for the frame, yokes, tank, and fenders.

I knew I wanted a metallic green as the main color for the tank, so I began searching through British cars and bikes. While British Racing Green is a lovely tried and true color, to me there is no car manufacturer decidedly more British and elegant than Aston Martin.

The color I chose is Almond Green also called Aston Martin Green depending upon the model year.

Keeping the knee dents clear/brushed with the rest of the tank being green. Fenders will remain brushed/silver as well. Frame will be a nickel powder coat by Prismatic Powder. Ben S at NEC (Never Ending Cycles) will be handling the powder coat and final wiring.
My old boss had an Aston-Martin in that green. It's a beautiful color and I think it will look great!
 
Been a while since I have posted an update. Life always has a way of getting thick when you least need/want it to.

My father is retired and just finished rebuilding his gem of '75 Suzuki GT550 Triple. He can't ride it however as he is battling prostate cancer at the moment...I picked up a Yamaha XS850 triple that I will get running again and ride in this year's DGR in his honor.

That has eaten up most of my spare time. But I have made a little more progress on 'Jade.'

Sourced a surviving oil tank off an old Yamaha 2 stroke from the early 60s. After some careful welds and cleaning, it will work perfectly as both an aesthetic side cover and an auxiliary petrol tank.
 

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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.
Good on you for driving that love for her home. She'd be proud.
 
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