No Thanks XS!!!

Riding a 04 HD Deuce to building my own XS650

My buddy Mark got me involved in XS650’s about 3 years ago when I saw the bike he built sitting in his kitchen on the way downstairs to get a brew, I wanted to know everything about it and how he built it, well after that night and a hangover later I went from riding a 04 HD Deuce to building my own XS650.


I started with a G&L hardtail, shaved and lowered the front forks, 180 rear with a Gary Po offset kit, stock front hub laced to a 21” with stainless Buchanan spokes, Pamco Ign, and all my electrics hidden in my old gas can that I found at an antique store.


Everything that was in my head was put In this build and I couldn’t be any happier with the turnout, I honestly can say that I have more fun riding the XS than I ever did my Deuce, I’m not slamming Harleys but this bike is a blast and I didn’t have to get a loan out to build it.


I want to thank Mark Walker and Rob Ross for your guys help and motivation to get this project finished in 12 weeks in that cold ass winter for Daytona 2010. I know I’ve forgotten a lot so feel free to ask any questions or comment but be gentle it’s my first time and not my last.


I can’t wait to start another, I’m going Brat style next I think,  well shit I like em all.


Tracy Smith


  1. 58dub says:

    Very nice indeed. I can’t wait to find my first XS and start hacking it up. Keep on chopping hope your next one turns out as good if not better. Cheers

  2. tadd442 says:

    dude…that 21″ is killer…

  3. kenb says:

    Welcome to the world of metric, yep fur sure more bang for the buck and just a fun scoot, I sure like the pipes and old fuel can. I finished mine in late june 09 and picked up two more, plus a couple others so lots of fun times ahead,more budget builds to come.

  4. PJ says:

    Great bike. I like some some of the things that make it a little different from the standard hard tail XS like the gas can and wheel choices. By the way, when you got the spokes, how did you determine what you needed? I want to put a 21 on my XS and am looking into various options of how to do it.

  5. Johnny Gold says:

    I’d like to know more about the 21″ too. There’s a kid at work whose parting out a dirt bike.

  6. Tech7 says:

    Cool ride. I like it.

  7. Wicked650 says:

    Hi Guys, now sells 21 inch rims and stainless spokes for the stock 36 hole front xs650 hub. Getcha some, $157 for both shipped to your door.

  8. Tracy says:

    Hey guys thanks for the comments it deffinatly makes you feel like you did something right. The 21 front was a rim that Mikesxs sells and I just called buchanan out of Cali and told them what I had and they hooked me up with what I needed. Mikesxs now has the spokes for the 21 and stock hub for less money but I dont know if Mikes are stainless, Your Welcome Mikesxs.

  9. Tebo says:

    Tracy, the wheel-work is bitchin’. And I’m betting not as easy as you made it sound. Maybe someday I’ll tackle a lace job to get a disc on the rear with spokes. The pipes are sick, too. Palm trees? You get to ride alot more than us in upstate NY for sure. Enjoy!

  10. T.J. Beyer says:

    Tracy, I’m jealous, looks great, now you and Rob get over here and lets get mine too.

  11. T.J. Beyer says:

    I meant to say lets get mine DONE too. Sorry.

  12. chck says:

    AWESOME build. Working on my xs650 right now. Gotta get it done for this summer! Do you have any close up pics of how you did the mid controls that you could email me. It would be greatly apprecuiated. Also, any hints on doing it would be awesome. I really like the mids and dont want to have to go with forward controls.


  13. josh says:

    hey Tracy, how tall are you? i want to get an idea of if a 4 inch strech will work for my tiny ass 5 foot 8 body.

  14. mookie says:

    hey Tracy.
    could i get some close-ups of the footpeg and foot brake set up?
    i’m building a bike and need some ideas.

  15. Rob says:

    OK, this may seem a stupid question, and may provide a laugh for some of you, but I’m confused by what appear to be foot pegs on the upper frame tubes just south of the seat springs. Do you have a pillion pad for the fender and this is where your passenger puts her feet ?? I’d like to see a pic of them in use ;>) And also, Josh asked a good one about your height, it would be cool if any pics with riders aboard would include this info. O, and “Bitchen scoot dude” Thanks !!

  16. Tracy says:

    Ok Tebo: Hell yeah that lacing shit sucks and I spent about just as much time on the internet researching stuff as I did in the shop. As for the palm trees, we were down in Daytona for bike week, I live in cold ass Ohio.
    Josh: Yeah im a whoppin 5ft 7″. G&L will build whatever stretch you need just give them a call.
    Mookie: send me an email for some pics of that brake setup:
    Rob: Yes those are passenger pegs for my wife, and I have a pillion pad for her to, she was ridin with me in Daytona this year and she’s 5 mths prego and she was lovin it. email me I have a pic of her and I on it.

  17. chuck says:

    yea, i would also love to know how you did the mid controls, maybe some close up pics. awesome bike by the way.


  18. brian says:

    I’m 6 foot tall I ordered the G&L 5 inch hardtail. The mid controls look like the stock ones monted on the lower frame rail that’s how I’m doing mine. Bike looks great!

  19. Puker says:

    +1 for Buchanan spokes and Mikes. Good resources like that make it easier for good bikes this to get built. Nothing is as satisfying as building and riding your own bike. Sweet work!!

  20. Ted says:

    @Johnny Gold- You can also just use a vintage dirtbike 21″ front wheel. I picked mine up on eBay for $40. That way you don’t have to order custom spokes.

    @chck – “Working on my xs650 right now. Gotta get it done for this summer!” Me to. I’m just waiting on a couple more parts to get shipped. I should have one of my bikes up and running within a couple more weeks. It is hard seeing all the cool bikes posted every day with my not done yet. I’ll be on the road soon though.

    @ chuck – The mid-controls look to be stock foot pegs.

    @Tracy- Killer bike man. Thanks for sending in the pics.

  21. Ron says:

    Sweet scoot!

    So, the frame is all stock, but the hardtail? Thanks for any input.

  22. jesus says:

    you are on the right path young jedi!

  23. josh says:

    thanks for the response man, just to be clear, am i correct in assuming that is a 4 inch strech? the way the seat sits on the frame and your positioning while on it looks perfect for me and my style. wicked bike!

  24. joel mekolites says:

    great bike!

  25. Tracy says:

    Ron: Yes stock frame cut and grinded with a hardtail welded on.

    Jesus: Does this mean im going to heaven? Sorry had to do that, thanks man.

    Josh: Yeah 4″, G&L takes a little more time to get but well worth the wait. I was going to build my own hardtail but with the 180 it made the bends a little harder to tackle for my first one so next one I will deffinatly do myself.

  26. Blackwidow says:

    I like that rear wheel it makes the whole bike look fat

  27. WannaXS says:

    Looks great. Im jealous.

  28. Mike says:

    Where did you get the offset kit? is there a website? I’m building a 200 series highboy, & I’d like to get rid of the jackshaft.

  29. Tracy says:

    Mike: His name is Gary Poh you can email him @ or try his website I know G&L also uses his stuff so they might be able to help you out also.

  30. Kermel says:

    Nice looking bike.
    What model of gas tank did you use ?

  31. HOEYUNO! says:

    This sites grown. There use to be 4 or 5 posts per page

  32. Kermel says:

    Anyone an idea on which tank has been used ?

  33. Tracy says:

    Kermel: Sorry for the delay I havent been on here in a while. Its just a sporty tank I picked up at a local bike shop (Kustom Imporium) google it, Guys name is Chris and tell him your looking for a sporty tank with the indentions in it.

  34. Lanzalones says:

    Nice bike. Want to make the rear wheel on mine the same. Where did you get the wheel? What else is needed to make the back tire the same as yours? Thanks!

  35. theirie1 says:

    The bike looks great. where did you get the rear fender.

  36. Tracy says:

    @Lanzalones- The rear rim is a Harley 15×5.5 with a 180 avon cobra. You can get the wheel about anywhere.

    @theirie1- Rear fender is a Traditional cut by Led Sled customs, those guys have some cool shit also, check em out.

  37. chevy53 says:

    bike looks good

  38. Donnie says:

    Great looking bike. Was wondering what size rotor you’re running up front? Thanks.

  39. Tracy says:

    @ Donnie – Just a stock rotor with some holes drilled in it. Thanks

  40. Jonny says:

    So I might have just about the dumbest question possible. But I am new to the bike world, and just picked up a ’80 XS650 for $300. Regarding the framework: I live in Arizona and getting bikes street legal can be a real pain in the ass out here. If I get a G&L, how will that effect the title I have for the bike?, or does it? I would greatly appreciate you steering me in the right direction.

  41. brian says:

    Just adding a hardtail does not change how u register the bike cause the neck on the bike with the vin number will still be on it.

  42. Uncle Bear says:

    I don’t usually care for “Fat Rear Tire” bikes, but yours is “Killer”! Keep building. Later

  43. Tracy says:

    @ Uncle Bear – Yeah man I got a little crap for the 180 tire, But it was actually so I could get a bigger fender on the rear for my wife, her idea 🙂 My next build there will not be a fat tire, It was a pain in the ass to get setup, not fun. Sometimes you do what you gotta do when it comes to the woman.

  44. Wooley says:

    Seeing and reading what people are doing with these bikes is exciting. This is another fine example of craftmanship found all over this site.

  45. nelsonic72 says:

    nice. will you be putting some paint on it?

  46. Tracy says:

    Thought about it, nothing fancy just some flat and gloss black, not going to paint it till next winter though, plus im building another. Time flies when your choppin.

  47. Shane Ryans says:

    That is a cool first bike. I like how you put the old gas can in there to hide your electronics.

  48. Shane Ryans says:

    Nice build, love how it is brushed metal mostly

  49. Shane Ryans says:

    That is a big perk that you don’t have to get a loan to build a really fun bike.

  50. fanoboss says:


  51. 77metricbobber says:

    This bike is truly awesome, lots of keen work I like everything but… my two cents is make the front tire like the rear it looks odd…

  52. sunny says:

    nice ratbike man what style hardtail you use and is there a weld on tail shit in cali sucks man you can only have one custom bike in a lifetime per name and whats under swat looks like mini trash can

  53. fanoboss says:

    It’s cool to go back and look at the same bike, maybe months later, and see thing I didn’t notice before…

  54. 3Deuce27 says:

    It’s a long ways from that first look and pang of desire to a ride-able Scoot. Most don’t take, especially with their own hands.

    Nice job Tracy

  55. El Gaucho says:

    Hmmmm, 180 rear. I don’t usually like fat tire bikes, but that is fat without being gaudy. I like it. Might have to do one sometime.

  56. daisy (my dog's name) says:

    Cool scoot. Now, about the pic of you flipping the bird: Dude, with that helmet and those shoes, Dennis Hopper you ain’t.

  57. Tracy says:

    Wow lets see, 42 degrees that morning yeah I think ill put a helmet on so I can see and not freeze (just thinking of my safety and others). Vans shoes (been around since 1966). Dennis Hopper is a poofter. So tell Daisy my dog would skull f*ck her face.

  58. Matt says:

    I like the bike… But like the guy said above, you look like a chode flipping the bird with your white socks, tennis shoes and pink helmet. Just sayin 🙂

  59. daisy (my dog's name) says:

    Oh, look out, Matt. Tracy doesn’t take kindly to being kidded about his rideing gear. Don’t be fooled by his sissy get-up: He is one bad mo fo. And so is his dog.

  60. Tracy says:

    Gotta wonder about dudes worrying about what I look like and what I’m doing when I’m riding!