The inspiration for this project came surprisingly from a Bloomingdales catalog with a vintage World War II motorcycle on the cover. Something about the look really appealed to me. After doing some research on the military motorcycles from that era & realistically evaluating my riding environment, I decided I wanted a modern interpretation of a WWII military motorcycle with a more modern power plant and an updated braking system.
I got this 81 xs650 rat 3 years ago and it’s still a work in progress.
Hugh’s PMA, Pamco 277, big bore, forward controls.
I bought my bike all original in 2011 after searching for it for about a year. When I first got it I did minor modifications, cutting off the rear 2-up and making a solo seat, making the front fender a rear, painting it, and chopping and polishing the forks by hand (16hrs).
I got out of the Army in the fall of 1971 and bought a brand new 1972 XS650. After tangling with a car the following year, I found myself with a broken ankle and a pretty damaged motorcycle. I received a little insurance money and rather than return to stock, I did my first custom build.
This is a 1979 Xs 650. It has a Kawasaki ZX10 front end. Hand made top aluminum yoke.