XS Choppers are dead…

livingdeadmc

XS650 Junkie
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Location
East Lansing Michigan
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I haven’t built an XS650 in years. I’ve been building parts for them for a decade and a half and they’ve always had a place in my heart but over the past five to six years I’ve been focusing on Harley’s. Six months ago I had a friend reach out and ask if I wanted this XS650 that’s been sitting in his garage. I was there the next day picking it up. I was going to leave it as is and just use it for R&D. The following day I ordered a VooDoo vintage hardtail for it and things began to spiral out of control shortly after that.
 
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I mounted the fender, made a sissy bar and seat pan for it as well as whipped up an electronics box to mount under the seat. Then it sat like this for a bit. Shortly after getting to this point I was selected to be a builder for the 2024 Smoke Out Rally. The other builders were all building Harley’s and as much as I wanted to build a Shovel I thought it would be fun to show people what can be done with the XS platform.
 
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Since I was now going to be showing this bike off to people other than my neighbors I figured I might as well really build this thing. I decided to nix the Voodoo hardtail and build the whole frame. I started that project by building my dream frame jig. I owned the Chop Source jig for years and built many frames and bikes on it. It was great but lacked some things that I really wanted. My buddy Mike at Chop N’ Weld used this 15 series aluminum T track for his jig and I’ve always drooled over it. I put my lathe, Cnc plasma table, TIG welder and 3D printer to work to make my new frame jig come to life.
 

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Now that I had the frame jig knocked out it was time to move on to the frame. I started by machining an HD style neck. Then I drew up a 1:1 scale motor profile to build around aka no more lugging that heavy XS motor on and off of my jig. I wanted to do something different with this frame and landed on using square tube for the backbone and seat tube with a shotgun style down tube. The frame specs are zero stretch, two inches up in the front, three inch drop and 28° rake. I designed and cut the axle plates in house as well as the neck gusset. The tube on the frame is one inch .120 wall DOM tube.
 

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Next on the list were my motor mounts, mid controls and kickstand. All of these parts were designed in CAD and cut on my plasma table. I’ll be running a Tokico disc brake in the rear as well as a foot clutch and hand shifter.
 

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I’ll be using one of my XS handshifters that I created and sell on my web site along with a new foot clutch design that I’ve been working. The foot clutch lever is still a work in progress and the foot clutch hub pictured here is 3D printed. The final hub will be machined out of aluminum.
 

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Moving on to the rear of the bike. I found this CCi solid aluminum 16” wheel to run and that will be fitted with an XS to HD sprocket that I had Rebel Gears make. Then I mounted a Sting-Rey fender from Low Brow. Sticking with the square tube theme I bent up this square stock sissy bar and spun up a small tail light to mount to the sissy bar.
 

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The front of the bike features ultra narrow trees from TwinCity in Italy the front forks pictured are just a place holder until my 39mm HD forks come in. LED Sled is a sponsor for the Smoke Out Rally and they sent me this beautiful 21” invader to use for my build. I wrapped that in a Shinko 270 tire. The tank pictured is also a temp. A good friend of mine is building me a wassell style tank with a tunnel made to fit the square back bone. Cult Classics reached out to me to see if they could donate a paint job for the tins so the fender and tank will be sent off to them once done.
 

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Last weekend I was able to knock out the seat pan. Welding the uber thin fender to the .125” thick base kicked my butt….luckily it’ll be covered by foam and leather lol. The front channel was bent on my break and the rest of the seat was cut by hand and shaped on my 2x72 grinder. I’m hoping this weekend to get the front seat mount done so I can get this thing sent off to be covered.
 
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