Yamaha XS650 Chopper

Let me tell you a little about the Custom Built Yamaha XS650 Chopper.

It all started when my client stopped in at my shop with this ratty beat up Yamaha xs650 on the back of his trailer. Rodney had purchased the bike with a fully rebuilt motor and a rough frame and wheels . That was basically all that there was to work with.

He first asked me if I could fit the electronic ignition and wire it up. After doing so on day one Rodney turned up to see the job and asked me what would you do if you were to custom build this bike. I replied, it all depends on budget, but if you are willing to spend what ever is needed and let me have creative freedom I’ll build you an award winning one off show bike chopper. He loved the idea and the rest is history.

I had always had the idea to build an all hand crafted chopper. Making every inch of the bike it’s on show piece. So starting with the tank I decided to make a tank that was unlike anything iv ever seen. Bead rolling, English wheeling, hammering sheet metal for 35-40 hours shaping a tank with art deco curves and design aspects. After making the tank I purchased new wheels from lowbrow customs, then started to strip the bike back to its bare bones.

After completing the tear down it was now time to make a seat for the bike and rear fender. Starting again with a hammer and leather bag I started beating and shaping metal to create an all steel custom seat pan and hand rolled rear fender. Then moved on to the custom bead rolled battery box and bead rolled lower frame plate.

At first I planned on doing a bare metal bike but decided along the way that I wanted to use lots of brass on the build and felt that bare metal wouldn’t make the brass and chrome components pop enough. So after talking to Rodney the owner of the bike we decided to paint the bike. Choosing a custom PPG heavy flake deep red paint. This now meant I had to repair any imperfections on the frame as the frame was to be painted the same colour as the tank, battery box and fender . When repairing poor welds and dents in the frame I found 4 cracks in the frame. So there was no other option but to cut the back end of the frame off and make a new one that was strong and safe. Now it was all repaired it was now time for paint.

While the frame was off to paint with the rest of the parts like tank and fender and so on, I took all parts like the hand made sissy bar, custom exhaust system and engine components to chrome and brass plating . Once all the parts were plated it was time to assemble the bike. Finishing the bike at 12am I took the bike to a custom bike show at 9am and managed to take away a trophy for best custom . And now it was off to the owner Rodney’s for its new life as a one of a kind Custom XS650s.