I don't know what style it fits into other than my own, so I just call it "Mjölnir"

the_nutt

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I've been slacking on making a build thread, and also never properly introduced myself, so this is going to serve as both.

I'm Cody, originally from Kansas now residing in Austin, Texas with my wife and dog. I'm a web designer and photographer by day, and shadetree mechanic/fun haver by night. I've had three motorcycles now: 76 CB360 that I spray painted some parts of and ended up hating, a CB450 that refused to run right, and my current 72 XS650. This is my first XS, and my first serious "build" so I'm excited.

These photos are from what I've snapped on my phone as I worked on the bike over the last couple of months. I usually get too distracted with what I'm working on to shoot "build" photos, but I did a pretty good job with this one. I'll shoot legitimate photos and details of everything soon to follow this up.

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When I got the bike it had freshly rebuilt carbs, new tires, and a PAMCO ignition. It ran and rode great. The only complaint I had was that the seat was completely blown out. My goals for the bike were pretty simple: reliability and minimalism. I want to be able to blast around town, be comfortable, and go where I'm not supposed to. I bought Hugh's PMA and put it in (I did not document this. It was uneventful and easy as pie.).

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I wanted to do something similar to my CB450, so I started tearing it down. I removed all the wiring, signals, controls, etc.

This photo is where "Mjölnir" came from. Someone on another forum said it looked like my driveway had been hit with Thor's hammer.

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De-tabbing

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I made a simple battery box from 16g steel I had in the shed. The box is connected to the frame with 6mm bolts tapped into the tubing. I routed the new wiring through the frame. You can see the small jump I had to make from the main downtube of the frame to the seat rail.

(I have yet to weld on the front of it, because I had to have the bike ridable so I could take it and the box to my friends garage so it could be tacked in the frame to account for the slight bend from the frame.)

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This little guy was invaluable when chasing wiring in the frame.

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I made a small bracket for the reg/rec combo in the Hugh's PMA kit and mounted it at the rear of the frame under the swing arm. It should get plenty of air here and its out of the way and hidden. It was also easy to route the wiring through the main tube there up to the battery box.

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I drilled and notched this tail light so I could mount it to the back of the upper shock. This is temporary until I figure out a fender or something for the rear end.

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I made a temporary seat for shake down runs. The grip tape kept me from sliding around, but the vibration from sitting on bare metal was so strong it impaired my vision. Also, I thought it would be cool to wrap my plate around my shock. It wasn't.

This is also the first photo in which my new tires appear. I've grown up riding bmx so I've always wanted a knobby front tire. I ended up trying a dual sport rear but didn't really like the way it looked, so I took it back off. Changing tires by hand is a bit of a pain, but you feel like a man afterwards.

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A slightly better plan, but still probably temporary, I attached the license plate to the side. I hate how it looks when the plate sticks out at a 90 degree angle on anything but a bobber/chopper, so I angled this quite a bit. I would probably get hassled by the right cop, but you can actually see the plate well from directly behind the bike.

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I made my seat pan from the same 16g steel using a 4 1/2" angle grinder, clamps, and hammers. I have dreams for a more capable machine shop, but I got it done.

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Safety first. You can also see the new bars and steering damper in this photo. I'll get better shots of the front end soon. I didn't really document the bars, headlight, or dampener.

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Obligatory metal cutting action shot.

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A different day, but I set myself on fire.

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Back to the seat. After I bent/shaped it I made little tabs to fit in the front corners so I could wrap fabric around the front and hide the tank tab a bit. Also tacked two 6mm bolts to the pan that drop through a steel bar welded to the frame to secure the seat. The holes are for rivets.

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I glued the foam to the pan using 3M spray adhesive and clamps.

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Shaping the foam with a bread knife so the seat didn't turn out blocky. I wasn't too concerned with the foam being perfect, I just wanted the overall shape to be right. I knew the material would hide the knife marks when wrapped.

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Seat wrapped and installed. I didn't photograph the wrapping/riveting process. I barely had enough hands to complete the task, much less stop and shoot photos.

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How she sits now. I still have a list of things to do: master cylinder, brake line, powdercoating and painting the bits that are currently raw, etc. But it starts first kick, every time, and is a blast to get into trouble on.
 
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Tron

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Fuck yeah this bike is rad!

Is that stock paint? its gorgeous. Im stoked to see another bike similar to the style of mine with the big old style tank

How firm is that foam?
 

the_nutt

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Fuck yeah this bike is rad!

Is that stock paint? its gorgeous. Im stoked to see another bike similar to the style of mine with the big old style tank

How firm is that foam?

The tank had been repainted by the PO. I just checked out your threads and I'm excited to see we've got similar goals! Exploring ftw.

The foam is pretty firm, but is good IMO since the seat is so thin. Its MUCH more comfortable than cruising around on the bare metal seatpan, hah. It dampens vibrations and bumps well, and has been comfortable for the 30-40 minutes I've been able to ride it so far.
 

avenue

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nutt,
have you made it to any of the ride nights or meetups in Austin?

I grew up in Austin, make it back to town about once a month, recently finished my project, and would like to make the trip with the bike sometime in the future.

the bike looks good. simple and to the point. just how it should be.

keep it up,
avenue.

ps. I photo assisted for a few years in Austin right out of college. I'd guess we know some of the same people in the photo scene.
 

the_nutt

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nutt,
have you made it to any of the ride nights or meetups in Austin?

Aside from big things like East Side Classic or one of Revival Cycles parties, no I haven't.. of all of the bikes I've had they have only spent minimal time on the road. I'm great at working on bikes, then when I get them where I want them I sell them and buy new projects to not ride, haha.

I'm changing my ways with this one though. I'm into it in every way, and don't plan on getting rid of it any time soon.

I'll definitely be around.
 

lowliferat

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What you doing with that dual sport rear tire? I've been trying to find one. I like the seat good job on that , I will be doing the same soon. Only been riding on metal for 6 months now.
 

the_nutt

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What you doing with that dual sport rear tire? I've been trying to find one. I like the seat good job on that , I will be doing the same soon. Only been riding on metal for 6 months now.

Oof, riding on the metal is rough! I don't have any use for the tire. I'll PM you and we can work something out.
 

the_nutt

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I went out and explored a bit today, finally took a better full shot of the bike. I'm going to powdercoat some bits and pieces, then I'll take photos with something other than my phone. You don't run knobbies to stay on the pavement...

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