Bobber Vs. Standard/Modified XS650

Like Gary said, one change at a time. Modify to match my riding style as it develops.

Reading into 40north's response, I wonder if my 230lb bulk is too much for the XS? Should I be falling in love with a heavier bike...
In high school I weighed 170, when I bought the XS650 I weighed 265. Now I weigh 170 and again. It's probably better to do push-aways and avail ones self of the dual pleasure of a classic mid weight better than a Bonneville scooter, and the freedom high school weight gives. Mind you, my ol' stock '83? XS got given away, built rebuilt swapped out and ended up as a street tracker, and then got given away back to me. I like her better now. If you wait too long the XS supply stream go kaputski... I'd live now. Man I wish I'd kept the stuff I've owned... Keep whatever you decide on.

A 883 sportster, with the carburetor, not FI, might suit better. Slightly less power, maybe 100 pounds heaver...

The XS handles better, imho.
Hey's very cool>

Rock On! But it's a whole lotta work to do it right.. Pretty scooter, eh? (I'd a gone with a girder, megaphones,... and Z bars with a p pad for the payload...)
Thanks 40north. Nice bike! I agree with your points. I am curious about how a girder compares from a handling perspective to standard telescopic spring/oil damped, or an inverted fork?

Another question I have is what is the rear suspension configuration on this bike called? I would like to learn more about this type of frame/suspension.

That's plunger rear suspension. Was common on bikes in the 40's as an improvement over rigid frame.

How a girder setup compares with a telescopic fork depends on the geometry - all the technicalities of rake, offset, trail. You can make a girder fork bike handle just as well as good teles, but if you're going custom you have the opportunity to configure the bike how you like it, from relaxed to twitchy.

But above all - good, tight, accurate handling will depend on how well the set up has been engineered on your bike.
Several fork designs can work well, like the Britten with a carbon fiber girder type, Bimota Tesi/ Yamaha GTS with hub center steering, BMW Telelever, and "a million" bikes with telescopic forks. But I would guess telescopic forks are more "manageable" for an amateur builder with limited resources, if good handling is more important than aesthetics