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This is Emma- ‘77 XS650/750cc’s

IMG 1172 587x316 This is Emma  ‘77 XS650/750cc’s

Funded by firearms

This is Emma, my ‘77 XS650.  I bought her a year ago after about two years of planning out what I would do with an XS and searching for the right donor.  Fortunately, she’s turned out pretty much exactly as I envisioned.  She was funded almost entirely by me selling crap that I wanted less than I wanted her; the bulk of the money coming from firearms, bike parts, and vintage skate and punk t’s.

I’m Lang and I’ve owned and ridden bikes all my life; got my first dirt bike at six and my first street bike at twelve. In fact, I never did own a bicycle.  But this is my first ground up build (well really assembly) and as you’ll see, I had a lot of help from some very talented folks at The Chopper Underground.

emma brake 1 8 10 587x440 This is Emma  ‘77 XS650/750cc’s

My friend Dirtnap did the +2″ hardtail and 36* neck rake. He also turned the brass rods for the brake arm and stay and made the fender struts.  The bike wouldn’t exist without his help and friendship. CCgirl (Brianne) of Cycle Cosmetics covered my seat and did a fantastic job of  tooling in my design – yes, there’s a meaning behind each element on the seat, but I won’t bore you with them. Southernmenace (Kevin) of Bartertown Bikes made the brass risers for me and they fit better than any set of risers I’ve ever held.  Scrapmetalart (Craig) from Front Street Cycle made the peaked fender and bent the bars to my specs. Craig’s work is top notch.  G&L Choppers did the brass pegs and mid-controls; really great folks to deal with and they were happy to accommodate my suggestions.  And finally, Blacksmithbilly made my 1.75″ pipes, which contrary to their appearance, were a real bitch to get bent – the guy is an artist. You can find all these folks on TCU.

IMG 1226 587x476 This is Emma  ‘77 XS650/750cc’s

IMG 1236 587x476 This is Emma  ‘77 XS650/750cc’s

IMG 1244 587x440 This is Emma  ‘77 XS650/750cc’s

Now if you’re still with me, I’ll give some more details. When I got her, her compression was low and the poor girl had been sucking in the remnants of her air filter for the last decade or so, so I had Thomas Racing Service in Indiana bore out the engine to 750cc’s w/ Wiseco pistons and install a #1 Shell cam.  Then I popped on a set of 34mm Mikuni round slides.  She also had a cooked rectifier, but rather than just fix what needed fixin’ I went a little overboard and threw on a Sparx three phase alternator and a Pamco ignition.  She’s got decent pep now.

IMG 12381 This is Emma  ‘77 XS650/750cc’s

IMG 1258 This is Emma  ‘77 XS650/750cc’s

IMG 1241 This is Emma  ‘77 XS650/750cc’s

The front end is a hodgepodge of Yami enduro parts: stock 34mm XS trees, DT400 forks, an XT500 hub and some Yami 21″ shouldered rim (to match the rear 18″ stocker).  The headlight is a 105mm CEV moped bucket that I fitted with a mini speedo, push button dimmer, and a tractor headlight.  The gas cap is an old diesel truck cap that I cut and mated to a vented Harley cap. The electrics bags under the seat are French sniper scope cases I found at the local Army Navy – one’s got my battery and the other has my fuses and ignition switch – I rewired her from scratch.

Well, that’s about it so thanks for listening and honk if ya see me on the road!

And if you’re thinkin’ “who the hell are all these people”, well, here ya go:


Good luck w/ your bikes – I look forward to seeing them finished!


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  1. chevy53 says:

    well emma is a classie lady, nice bike

  2. Lang says:

    @REEB! I guess I won’t know for sure until issue 3 is out, but Rich told me he was definitely putting her in.

    Thanks chevy :)

  3. jrollo says:

    I thinks she is worth alot more that you gave up for her.

  4. shaydaddy says:

    Really dig your bike man. It has a real ww2 harley feel to it. I love the old military bikes that were turned into bobbers. Thats what started people chopping back in the day. I was wondering though how well do your electric bags hold up against moisture.

  5. Lang says:

    we’ll see – she hasn’t been thoroughly soaked yet – but the bags themselves are waterproofed and all the components inside are weatherproof. I figure they’ll hold up better in a down pour than the pod filters will.

  6. Ian Summers says:

    I absolutely love everything about this bike. Gorgeous.

  7. Steve says:

    Very nice build .

  8. Mason says:

    Classic design and engineering. The bike is amazing. If you ever put it up for sale let me know.

  9. bloodhound says:

    I still like that bike.

  10. ChrisB says:

    This bike looks like it’s ridden by an arch-villain. Luv it.

  11. Shawn Dennis says:

    is this emma from the video “Emma’s first ride” if so se is a real beaut.
    great job….

  12. Brandon says:

    What amount of drop is in the hard tail? I know you said it was a +2″ stretch but how much drop was built in?

  13. Lang says:

    Thanks Shawn – it is the same bike, she’s just painted now :) The kids at my local vo tech school agreed to paint it – they did a great job, and just charged me materials.

    Brandon, I think what you’re ultimately asking is what’s the ride height – it’s a little over 5″. I don’t know what a stock yami has.

  14. Dale says:

    Lang; The guy that did your hardtail is he out of Fishtown? If so, what the hell happened to him??? I was in touch with him to build mine and poof! nothing… Sucks big time, I liked his work, liked the fact that he shipped on Greyhound, to save his customers a bundle on shipping. Had to go another route because of the lack of contact on his part. If it isn’t the dude you need to check this out (his sites even down except for the photo gallery):http://fishtowncustomcycles.com/GALLERY_GS5R.html

  15. Lang says:

    yeah, that’s him. Life caused him to shut down shop. Sucked big time. I got to buy his mig welder and drill press though.

  16. Dale says:

    Damn! That just blows, I really liked his work. Well at least some good came out of it. Thanks for the info. Nice ride she looks great.

  17. fanoboss says:

    Love your bike, the bars take on a different character when looked at from the rear, very artsy. I like Artsy.

  18. Whisperingeye says:

    Where or what kind of mid controls do you have

  19. Lang says:

    G&L Choppers made the mids for me

  20. scott says:

    very nice. just right IMO. great subtle design touches throughout but nothing overboard. i’d love to know what u have in it if u don’t mind sharing?? i’m on my second bobber build and am amazed at what it’s costing to turn one out! and

  21. DaveO says:

    Lang….can you tell me where you got the brass kick pedal…or did G&L customize it for you?….Great Bike!

  22. Lang says:

    Thanks! G&L made the pedal along with the rest of the pegs and then I ground down and threaded the original pedal on the kicker arm so the new pedal could be screwed onto it.

  23. DaveO says:

    Thanks for getting back to me…I should have pics of my xs soon!

  24. norm younger says:

    nice bike. its got a cool classic triumph vibe to it but yet very unique.

  25. Thomas says:

    Dirtnap hardtailed a bike for me about 2 years ago, I’m looking to get another one done but can’t find his number, do you know if he is still hardtailing and how I can get in touch with him?

  26. Lang says:

    Sadly, he closed up shop and sold most of his equipment.

  27. m7ke says:

    this is exactly what i want to build.. hardtail badass but with class and style !

    so, i read that dirtnap doesnt do this anymore, but i was wondering what weld on he used, or did he make it from scratch ?

    any more details on the seat ?

    and details on the handlebars – those are awesome ! would you be willing to give specifics on length, radius’s,etc?

    I’m gettig a pile of parts from two xs650′s and I need to start fabrication soon.


  28. Jason says:

    Been hauling a 77 basket case around for years. Just started on it, and hope it turns out half as nice as yours.

  29. Ингвар says:

    хорошая тема получилась. мне понравилось.

  30. tadd442 says:

    still one of my fav’s…..

  31. buster says:

    Satan rides one just like this one!

  32. Emeraldcopnj says:

    Nice job !! I am in the middle of a build of my 1977 also. What did you use for the headlight bucket/brackets?? ( I searched the one you mentioned here and was not able to get any hits) What speedo did you use? I like that look ! Thanks !