“Shop Rat” A 1978 XS650

meandbike2 1024x768 Shop Rat A 1978 XS650

“Shop Rat” Carved into the seat..

Hi, my name is Josh, I work at G&L Choppers and this is my personal ride. I finished it a few days ago. It took me 2 years to build in my free time. This bike started life as a stock frame and a motor. Nothing more, nothing less. The backbone of this bike is the G&L Choppers hardtail with a 4″ stretch and a slight drop in the seat area. I wanted the riding position to be nice and low. I mounted the tank high on the backbone (frisco style) and made the mid controls. I went with some Biltwell keystone bars that are wrapped in leather grips from madtailor. I run a left hand clutch on the bars (like normal) and crossed the shifter over to the right side (hand shift) for a little style.

noid meandbike1 Shop Rat A 1978 XS650

noid a Shop Rat A 1978 XS650

The fender started life as a square front fender for a harley and after running it through the english wheel a few times it became my rear fender. I built the round electric box, the end caps and the battery box. The springer is a 2″ under DNA with a 21″ harley front wheel and 16 rear wheel with a disc brake setup. Headlight is a small 4″ light and the taillight is model A style. The engine has been painted and polished and the pipes are aftermarket headers from mikesxs. The carbs are 34mm aftermarket Mikunis.

noid d Shop Rat A 1978 XS650

noid f Shop Rat A 1978 XS650

I painted the bike using HOK limegold candy base and the pinstriping was done by Steve Havens here in Colorado Springs. This was my first time wiring a bike and to my surprise it actually starts and runs! The name “Shop Rat” is carved into the seat which I had made for this build. The bike (and I) hung around the shop for 2 years so I figured what better name for it!

noid g Shop Rat A 1978 XS650

  • Thanks to Rich Ford (owner of G&L Choppers) for all the help and advice throughout the build.
  • Thanks to Sarah and Zozo for putting up with my obsession!!!!

Thanks for looking,
Joshua Scott
G&L Choppers

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46 Responses to “Shop Rat” A 1978 XS650

  1. Jorge May 28, 2011 at 5:37 pm #

    I would be happy with a bike like that, and I wouldn’t change a single screw.

  2. norm younger July 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm #

    Wow perfect bike!

  3. norm younger August 1, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    Once again great bike.

  4. Johnny Chop May 5, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Nice scoot! Any chance of a cat like me gett’n some close up pics of your rear caliper mounts?

  5. eric May 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    What did you use for a rear spoke rim,,, running into problems trying to put a rear spoke on my 78. Need the help. thanks….

  6. Don Miller May 14, 2013 at 5:40 pm #

    BEWARE of G&L Choppers!
    They’ve had my bike & $4,000 for well over 3 YEARS and still refuse to answer my calls!
    I’m not the only one. Check out the XS650 Forums, Chop Cult, Chopper Underground, SOHC, Bobber Talk or the Garage Journal and judge for yourself.