Extended swingarm modification

Grewth

XS650 Addict
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I bought my second 650 Special about 18 years ago, mainly because all the good parts present seemed to match up exactly with all the bad parts on my first Special, bought a few months earlier.
The second bike was more or less standard apart from one strange modification.
The owner had extended the swingarm by about 6", by means of cutting the tubes and welding in extra pieces of tube.
Because the lower rear shock mounts had also moved rearwards 6" or so, obviously the standard shocks were now much too short for the job.
So a set of long bright red motocrosser type shocks had been substituted, which were raked back at about 45° maybe.
A sort of bodged up flat mudguard completed the job, the bike looked sort of freakishly disjointed to me.
The vendor seemed very proud of his handywork, and insisted that the extended bike handled so much better than his brothers standard XS.
I was thinking that the freakish appearance of the bike was probably the reason that he was struggling to sell it.
However, there were two standard swingarms included with the sale, and a knackered set of standard shocks, so I made an offer and a deal was struck.
I never did ride it with that long swingarm.
Both the spare standard swingarms had decent bearings, so I fitted one with some good shocks.
About six months later on, the vendor phoned me, out of the blue, and said that the swingarm bushes on his brothers bike had failed, and that I could sell him back one of the spare swingarms.
I replied that I was quite happy to keep the swingarms, thanks, that I was not operating a free parts storage service, and his brother could go whistle.
He swore at me a bit, I never heard from him again.
I've always sort of regretted not trying the bike when it had the extended wheelbase.
It looked well engineered enough, aligned properly at the very least.
The drive chain made up of two lengths joined together put me off quite a bit.
I think I slung the extended swingarm in a scrap skip at work.
Would it/could it of handled much better than standard ?
I believe that Yamaha extended the XS2 swingarm compared to the XS1, and Percy Tait had it extended further still.
But only a few mm not that sort of extension.
Surely it would have impacted the handling negatively in some way too ?
 
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