Another 75 brat.

QWERTYMage

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Originally, when I bought this bike, I wanted to do a real-time update as I was working the bike, but it became really obvious that wasn’t gonna work. Progress was slow.


So, here’s a writeup of what I did to the bike and why, and if there were any surprises along the way.


1: The Vision.

I wanted to update the bike with lower forks, a sportier stance and a strong engine. I thought that a Cafe bike would be correct, but after thinking about my back and shoulders constantly giving me grief, I decided a more upright riding position would be better for my aching bones. That’s around the same time the Monstercraftsman brat kit came out. I chopped up the frame, and detabbed the other bits, neck gusset, and … the frame sat for a while. Eventually, I found a welder and got the kit installed.

1. The Frame
The MC Brat kit was installed, and I wanted a heavy, low stance, since I think those kits look better with a low visual height. A low Wassell repop and big tires (4.5 and 4.0 Firestone ANS knobbies). I also wanted to use an M-Unit, so I decided to set up an electrics box between the frame supports behind the carbs… why the hell hasn’t anyone else done this? I hope I don’t find out. I got a new head tube gusset welded on, a few mounting bungs for the electrics box, and got to painting. I knew there would be more welding eventually, (there was…. stay tuned), so I decided a good strong paint was in order and powder coating wasn’t. I met a hotrodder who turned me on to Eastwood rattle can frame primer and paint. Gas, oil and fluid resistant, strong (almost as strong as powder coat) matte black primer and paint. Not perfect, but close enough for me.

2. The Stance
I wanted the bike a bit lower, so I went with a HBB fork lowering kit. It was installed by Hugh himself to the guts (he wanted them sent to him to make sure they were right since the ‘75s had a few variations on the fork hardware. I used appliance enamel on the lowers (This stuff scratches fairly easily, but fuck it.) I got some new springs and cut them down with a bit extra spring to add a bit more stiffness), and heavier oil for more stiffness. This took a bit to get used to because the forks are FIRM.

The rear springs are stock, and need to be updated, but I’m out of cash at the moment. Progressive rate springs eventually - stock length. A few heavy dips have shown me how close to my ass the rear tire is… I ended up buying a 206 link chain (from a 204), to give me a bit more room.

3. The Electronics…
Here’s where I knew enough to be dangerous, and not enough to do it easily. I hate fuses and relays. And the M-Unit v2 would help with that. It was going into the Electrics tray and the space was big enough to add a few buttons and a keyless switch. The wiring was with a Motogadget wiring kit. I wanted to use small connectors to eliminate the chunky white connectors we all hate/love. I spent a fortune on shipping parts and reordering parts when I didn’t have enough the connectors. A word of advice: the combo crimp/solder/shrink connectors aren’t worth it. Do it the old fashioned way with a soldering gun, a good crimp tool, and separate shrink tube. It looks and works way better than the new school stuff.

I wired a 3-button switch in the bars for the turns and horn. There is a button at the nose of the saddle for the headlight/highbeam. There is a kill switch/program button in the electrics box next to the M-Lock.

I got it all wired up, but did it without reading the Motogadget manual and had a short in the bars… it was crushing…. but my wife yelled at me and I got back to rewiring the whole thing a second time using the Revival Cycles wiring kit. It’s better than the Motogadget kit. Btw.

I needed a small coil that could fit under the tank and the only one that fit was the Dyna Mini double coil. It’s the tits and it fits. I used a light bar mount for the coil mount. It’s rad, but you can’t see it, so fuck it.

I wanted bright lights, so I went with the Motogadget Pins for front turns, and the X-Axis 2 color lights for the amber turns and brake/running lights. And a new headlight and bucket because I needed to tuck a few wires inside. The only indicator light is the high beam light in the bucket.

I wrapped everything in split loom and tiny loom. The wiring in the front is a bit like spaghetti, but fuck it.

I also wanted to protect the battery (8-Cell Antigrav battery if I ever decide to hook up the starter) from overcharging and exploding under my bike (it’s mounted under the swing arm to the rear engine mounts) so I got a tidy reg/rec from Oregon Cycle Parts. It's mounted under the subframe.

5: the Engine: I had Limey Bikes rebuild the top end because I want it to not break down.

6. The mistakes: I ignorantly removed the flimsy tab that held the rear brake sensor. Oops. Got a super thick one welded on. There was a short in the handlebar button that would have been prevented had I READ THE MANUAL. Oops. I rewired the bike with a new wiring kit. It looks better now. It will be rewired again eventually. Fuck it. I had to weld on a kickstand after we figured out the stance. Not a mistake, but I'm really glad I didn't powdercoat. I had 2 element brake and running and thought I could use a bit of German engineering to rig up some turns too. Wrong. I replaced them with the 3 element units we see here. My tach (behind the top tree ) needed a 90 degree turn to read correctly. Got that made by a buddy. Easy peasy. Btw, those tiny LEDs in the tach make a lot of smoke if they are overjuiced.

7. Other stuff. I used redcote on the tank. Easy Peasy. I used steel wool and Eastwood Extra Glossy Clear coat on the tank. Wet look for
Days. Stainless bolts where I could find them on everything. Dime City bucket. Looks nice. Not fun to reassemble.

Advice: get a MUnit. They are slick. Read the Manual. Don't cut off the rear brake sensors tab or the adjustment nut tab. Either put your batteries on a tender or wait to buy them until you need them. Not two years out. Support your local dealers and mechanics. Ask for help. Write down a budget. Then double it. Buy from Hugh's Handbuilt. Buy from Dime City. Don't buy from Del City.

BUY A GOOD SET OF DOUBLE BARREL CRIMPS.

Listen to Slayer.

(I had a whole lot of help from my buddy Alex whose 75 is killer. And a lot of patient folks on this forum helping me keep it between the ditches.)
 

Bob Kelly III

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Looks great ! Well done !
that grey looks surprisingly good ! I didn't think I'ed like grey on a 650 but that looks down right fantastic !
....
I dunno what part you replaced and cut out of the old frame but I think its the top of the rear shocks and seat area.... it came out looking like it's supposed to look ! clean and simple !..... Well done !
.....
don't even go around the block without Eye protection on .... no fenders will take an eye out quickly !
....Some day I hope to have a bike just like that........ what more can I say ! <GRIN>
and I hope you don't melt the bottom of your battery the exhaust exits mighty close to it !!!!!!!!
......
Bob.......
 

TwoManyXS1Bs

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...I dunno what part you replaced and cut out of the old frame but I think its the top of the rear shocks and seat area.... it came out looking like it's supposed to look ! clean and simple ...

Bob, that's a new (to us old farts) styling design, "Bratstyle".
I've never ridden one.
In fact, it was on this forum that I learnt of those...
 

QWERTYMage

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It runs great. It took a few mistakes and some trial to get the jets to work with the Hugh's exhaust. For the record, the exhausts have baffles for the back pressure. I upsized the pilot, main jets two sizes. Moved the needle clip up one.

Handling wise, the tires have a lot of weight and the steering is muddy, but I like it. It took a bit of work to remove a hop in the front tire after it was mounted poorly. It's all good now. These tires HATE graded asphalt.
 

fredintoon

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View attachment 101642 View attachment 101643 View attachment 101644 Originally, when I bought this bike, I wanted to do a real-time update as I was working the bike, but it became really obvious that wasn’t gonna work. Progress was slow.
So, here’s a writeup of what I did to the bike and why, and if there were any surprises along the way.
1: The Vision.
I wanted to update the bike with lower forks, a sportier stance and a strong engine. I thought that a Cafe bike would be correct, but after thinking about my back and shoulders constantly giving me grief, I decided a more upright riding position would be better for my aching bones. That’s around the same time the Monstercraftsman brat kit came out. I chopped up the frame, and detabbed the other bits, neck gusset, and … the frame sat for a while. Eventually, I found a welder and got the kit installed.
1. The Frame
The MC Brat kit was installed, and I wanted a heavy, low stance, since I think those kits look better with a low visual height. A low Wassell repop and big tires (4.5 and 4.0 Firestone ANS knobbies). I also wanted to use an M-Unit, so I decided to set up an electrics box between the frame supports behind the carbs… why the hell hasn’t anyone else done this? I hope I don’t find out. I got a new head tube gusset welded on, a few mounting bungs for the electrics box, and got to painting. I knew there would be more welding eventually, (there was…. stay tuned), so I decided a good strong paint was in order and powder coating wasn’t. I met a hotrodder who turned me on to Eastwood rattle can frame primer and paint. Gas, oil and fluid resistant, strong (almost as strong as powder coat) matte black primer and paint. Not perfect, but close enough for me.
2. The Stance
I wanted the bike a bit lower, so I went with a HBB fork lowering kit. It was installed by Hugh himself to the guts (he wanted them sent to him to make sure they were right since the ‘75s had a few variations on the fork hardware. I used appliance enamel on the lowers (This stuff scratches fairly easily, but fuck it.) I got some new springs and cut them down with a bit extra spring to add a bit more stiffness), and heavier oil for more stiffness. This took a bit to get used to because the forks are FIRM.
The rear springs are stock, and need to be updated, but I’m out of cash at the moment. Progressive rate springs eventually - stock length. A few heavy dips have shown me how close to my ass the rear tire is… I ended up buying a 206 link chain (from a 204), to give me a bit more room.
3. The Electronics…
Here’s where I knew enough to be dangerous, and not enough to do it easily. I hate fuses and relays. And the M-Unit v2 would help with that. It was going into the Electrics tray and the space was big enough to add a few buttons and a keyless switch. The wiring was with a Motogadget wiring kit. I wanted to use small connectors to eliminate the chunky white connectors we all hate/love. I spent a fortune on shipping parts and reordering parts when I didn’t have enough the connectors. A word of advice: the combo crimp/solder/shrink connectors aren’t worth it. Do it the old fashioned way with a soldering gun, a good crimp tool, and separate shrink tube. It looks and works way better than the new school stuff.
I wired a 3-button switch in the bars for the turns and horn. There is a button at the nose of the saddle for the headlight/highbeam. There is a kill switch/program button in the electrics box next to the M-Lock.
I got it all wired up, but did it without reading the Motogadget manual and had a short in the bars… it was crushing…. but my wife yelled at me and I got back to rewiring the whole thing a second time using the Revival Cycles wiring kit. It’s better than the Motogadget kit. Btw.
I needed a small coil that could fit under the tank and the only one that fit was the Dyna Mini double coil. It’s the tits and it fits. I used a light bar mount for the coil mount. It’s rad, but you can’t see it, so fuck it.
I wanted bright lights, so I went with the Motogadget Pins for front turns, and the X-Axis 2 color lights for the amber turns and brake/running lights. And a new headlight and bucket because I needed to tuck a few wires inside. The only indicator light is the high beam light in the bucket.
I wrapped everything in split loom and tiny loom. The wiring in the front is a bit like spaghetti, but fuck it.
I also wanted to protect the battery (8-Cell Antigrav battery if I ever decide to hook up the starter) from overcharging and exploding under my bike (it’s mounted under the swing arm to the rear engine mounts) so I got a tidy reg/rec from Oregon Cycle Parts. It's mounted under the subframe.
5: the Engine: I had Limey Bikes rebuild the top end because I want it to not break down.
6. The mistakes: I ignorantly removed the flimsy tab that held the rear brake sensor. Oops. Got a super thick one welded on. There was a short in the handlebar button that would have been prevented had I READ THE MANUAL. Oops. I rewired the bike with a new wiring kit. It looks better now. It will be rewired again eventually. Fuck it. I had to weld on a kickstand after we figured out the stance. Not a mistake, but I'm really glad I didn't powdercoat. I had 2 element brake and running and thought I could use a bit of German engineering to rig up some turns too. Wrong. I replaced them with the 3 element units we see here. My tach (behind the top tree ) needed a 90 degree turn to read correctly. Got that made by a buddy. Easy peasy. Btw, those tiny LEDs in the tach make a lot of smoke if they are overjuiced.
7. Other stuff. I used redcote on the tank. Easy Peasy. I used steel wool and Eastwood Extra Glossy Clear coat on the tank. Wet look for
Days. Stainless bolts where I could find them on everything. Dime City bucket. Looks nice. Not fun to reassemble.
Advice: get a MUnit. They are slick. Read the Manual. Don't cut off the rear brake sensors tab or the adjustment nut tab. Either put your batteries on a tender or wait to buy them until you need them. Not two years out. Support your local dealers and mechanics. Ask for help. Write down a budget. Then double it. Buy from Hugh's Handbuilt. Buy from Dime City. Don't buy from Del City.
BUY A GOOD SET OF DOUBLE BARREL CRIMPS.
Listen to Slayer.
(I had a whole lot of help from my buddy Alex whose 75 is killer. And a lot of patient folks on this forum helping me keep it between the ditches.)

Hi 'mage,
nice bike and nice write-up. But FOUR "fuck it"s in one post? Ah well.
Adding to your section 6.
XS650 front fender is also a fork-brace and the fork really needs one. Suggest you fit an aftermarket fork-brace.
Pleated conical air filters are sub-optimal on stock carbs. Suggest you substitute Unipods.
Too short exhausts make tuning difficult. Suggest you extend yours aft.
No rear fender plus solo seat adds the possibility that your backside will bounce off the seat and land on the rear tire which will render you genderless.
Suggest you add some kind of minimal rear fender.
 

Bob Kelly III

Ranch Kid from way back,.... that got Old !
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Well..... Fred's Right ya know ! on everything he said ! just gives him areas to improve upon still ...because after all a work of art is Never finished ! LOL.....
still a gorgeous machine ! I like the fat tires it just looks mean !
......
I made the mistake and took my bike up the mountain on a dirt road about 10 miles...... these heavy 650's are not dirt bikes !
it wanted to front end slide all the time on me ! I did allot of foot peg standing ! LOL
and leaning way back to make the front lighter ! ( which didn't really help).....
a fatter front tire would help that allot I bet !
.......
Bob.........
 

QWERTYMage

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Fenders are in the plan, but it's a $$ issue - and I wanna make sure I like how it looks. Eventually I think I'll be going with a a HHB brace and Cooper Smithing front fender. I wanna get a fastback seat/fender made, but the price is up there for the quality I want.

I always only wear eye protection. Caught a bee to the eye on my other bike once. The shades saved me a bit of pain, for sure.

The carb seems to be tuned just fine, pods and exhaust be damned.
 

fredintoon

Fred Hill, S'toon.
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He's in Austin, Fred. This is what runs about down there:
View attachment 101654
Yew better come down here and tell 'em whatfor...

Hi 2Many,
nice montage. Only two classic "nut-ripper" seat layouts and they're balanced by two Vincents.
And no, it'd be a wasted journey. I've never had any success telling Texans anything.
 

fredintoon

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Fenders are in the plan, but it's a $$ issue - and I wanna make sure I like how it looks. Eventually I think I'll be going with a a HHB brace and Cooper Smithing front fender. I wanna get a fastback seat/fender made, but the price is up there for the quality I want.
I always only wear eye protection. Caught a bee to the eye on my other bike once. The shades saved me a bit of pain, for sure.
The carb seems to be tuned just fine, pods and exhaust be damned.

Hi 'mage,
like Bob sez, it's a work in progress and "bairns and fools shouldnae see a boat half-built" eh?
Got a beestrike myself once. Damn thing hit the mebbe 1" of skin between my jacket and my fullface.
Or perhaps it was a hornet. I musta hit it right in it's stinger because I could hardly breathe by the time I got home.
 

Bob Kelly III

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I was heading to town once on my 305 Honda and had my cold weather gear on .... all bundled up and a long scarf around my throat
because that is the place that freezes first.... ran through a huge swarm of bees straight through the center because there was oncoming traffic and I could not dodge it .... man was I glad I had that scarf on I stopped and let the bees gather them selves up and fly off !
I was covered in them..... had at least 20 on me not looking too happy either ! but being in a swarm they are out of sting mode...I knew that already.... as we had 2 big bee hives on the ranch ..... but still I was so glad I didn't have 5 or 6 in my helmet ! LOL
...... i brushed them off that were still crawling and went on about my business ! got to town and started unwrapping and found a few still with me ! ...LOL
......
Bob........
 

QWERTYMage

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good looking bike. I like the stance. Looks like it is fun to ride.
I was a bit worried that the mid controls would be too cramped, but it's actually a very comfortable ride. The vibrations thing isn't worse than I expected it to be. The saddle is way better than I heard online.
 

Bob Kelly III

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I guess your foot pegs are still in the stock position.... I bet if you moved them forward 4" or so it would be less of a knee bend.... but standing on the pegs would be dangerous ....but how often do ya do that ? LOL
.....
Bob........
 

Jmann8686

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Who cares vile
I was a bit worried that the mid controls would be too cramped, but it's actually a very comfortable ride. The vibrations thing isn't worse than I expected it to be. The saddle is way better than I heard online.
I am debating on weather to keep my stock control or go to forward controls on mine. i went with the VI brat kit. Just getting my motor back together now. But from the little bit of test fitting i think my seat sits down to low for stock controls. would you mind taking some photos of where you hid your electronics and sending them to me in a DM.
 

QWERTYMage

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I am debating on weather to keep my stock control or go to forward controls on mine. i went with the VI brat kit. Just getting my motor back together now. But from the little bit of test fitting i think my seat sits down to low for stock controls. would you mind taking some photos of where you hid your electronics and sending them to me in a DM.

The electronics are in the tray shown in one of the shots, behind the carbs and mounted to the struts... it's only deep enough for an M Unit, but it would be fairly easy to make one deeper.
 

Bob Kelly III

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Fred:
its not what you tell a Texan.... it's How you tell'em ! you have to get their attention first..... with a big stick or baseball bat ! <grin>
Sometimes that's Kind'a hard to do though they don't like to be told anything ...that's why they ware the hat and side arm !
but there's a way around that...... bring out the beer and their always friendly ! LOL.....:laughing:
......
Sorry QwertyMage.... I'll quit sidetracking your thread ! ...Great build and good looking bike..... keep after it !
....
Bob......
 
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