New 83 Heritage Special Build


XS650 New Member
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Pennsylvania, United States
Hello Everyone, I am new to the XS650 community. I recently got an '83 XS650 for almost nothing, and I plan to tear it apart, rebuild it, and use the project as an opportunity to learn more about motorcycle repairs. I am hoping to end up with something roughly like this: .

The bike seems to be in okay condition. After I got it home I put a new battery in it, changed the oil, cleaned the carbs and eventually had it running.

I now have it stripped down to the frame and have washed and degreased the frame parts. I have two questions about the next steps to take:

1) What would be the best way to treat the surface rust? (See pictures) My plan at this point is to grind the rust spots off with a wire wheel, use loctite rust neutralizer, then rattle can prime and paint. Does that make sense?
2) After cleaning the frame I noticed a pretty major dent in the lower frame rail. (See pictures). How bad is this? Should get this repaired before doing anything else with the frame?

Thank you in advance for any advice!


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Yeah, that bend looks pretty nasty in pic #0582. Aside from keeping in mind what gear I was presently in while out on a ride would be that bend too and if it would get worse. Thinking I'd be inclined to find another frame. How's your welding skills?
Other opinions may vary.
Welcome aboard!
Thank you for responding. I don't have any welding skills but there are a few welding shops in town. I could see what they say and then depending on that see if I want to find another frame.
Plenty of dirt bikes out the with frame dings like that... I've owned a few myself. As long as the rest of the frame is straight, I'd run with it. The bottom of the cradle picks up the engine as well as the front, top and rear mounts... so the engine is supplying quiet a bit of support in that area. And at 50lbs, these frames are built (overbuilt) like a tank.

Unless you plan on running on the salt flats or Baja, I'd just let it be.
If you're really concerned about it, get a welder to weld a scab patch over it.
I think I`ve got that section of frame if your wanting to have it spliced in.