Mike from Visual Impact – The bike started out as a build for me but along the way things changed and the bike became a customer build. I painted the tank for it a few months prior to even knowing I would end up building the bike. He wanted the tank to be like a Japanese tattoo sleeve. Basically everywhere you look on the tank something different is going on.


After I got this bike’s frame done,  me and a buddy started talking about how no one makes a kit to “brat the XS”. So we decided we would. We knew it wasn’t that hard to do for some guys but we also knew that its a pain in the ass sometimes to get guys to machine shit down for you or to make a couple of bends. We put it all together and put a reasonable price tag on it. $85 plus shipping in the lower 48. It includes 2 plugs for the frame and two plugs to close up the top rails, 4 tabs to hang the shocks off of and 4 pre bent D.O.M tubes with extra material to allow for different set ups.


I put together some directions to help guys with the install on my web site as well. Trying to make it as painless as possible. Again, we knew it wasn’t rocket science but judging by the feedback so far it was definitely a need we filled. Here’s where you can buy the kits and see the simple how to directions…… Just go to the store page on my site.


I painted the tank, sent it to the guy who was to build the bike and next thing you know the bike that it was supposed to be going on, not only wasn’t done, but it wasn’t even started and the dude made off with his cash.  That’s where I ended up making my brat build his and I changed gears completely to build him his vision.


He did however let me add some of my own touches to the bike like the motor and polished cases, kickstand, pegs(flyrite) and kicker pedal(chc). Also he let me do whatever on the rear fender. We had talked a little bit about a possible Japanese flag so I kind of tweaked the idea and did it in blue and made it more like a panel instead.

It was a blast to build and its even more fun to ride. He had a very specific vision of what he wanted. I questioned a few of his choices but ultimately his vision makes sense all together and its exactly what he wanted. Its different and its all his own. Ive noticed from the reaction some guys dig the shit out of it and some dont get it but it always draws attention and reaction everywhere it goes.


Ted- I know a lot of work went into that paint job; how many hours goes into something like that.

I probably have about 40 hours into the tank. The art part of it went fairly quick, maybe 20 hours of it was the actual art. The rest of the time was bodywork and a few sessions of clearing to get everything to where you see it.


Ted- Do you first sketch out your idea on paper or go in freehand with a airbrush and see where it goes.

I like to sketch out what Im going to do with a airbrush right onto the tank. Sometimes Ill grab a piece of chalk and just rough in something but this tank I knew the customer wanted a koi, oni mask and  dragon so I just went in loose with the airbrush and played around with placement. Every once in a while I will get a customer that wants sketches of something prior to me painting.


For me I like to just feel things out so that kind of takes the fun out of it but I do try to keep in mind some guys cant visualize what it will look like so it helps them make sure its what they want.  Every one is different on what they need and I try to accommodate them.  Although being a one man shop, time is at a premium so working loose and going with the flow is always my prefer-ed method.


xs650-chop-sturgis 099


Visual Impact

Visual Impact 2009/09/the-brass-monkey


  1. Hans from Holland says:

    Very neat job Mike!!!!
    and yes….paint on tank turned out pretty nice.
    Good to see the seatrail kit, good option for a reasonable price·
    Greetz from Holland.
    o yes, aron style headlight is nice!

  2. gman says:

    Very nice, id love to know the tyre dimensions and is that the standard wheel laceing? Just seems to look real cool.

  3. rM says:

    I’ll be ordering one of these when I can get my hands on a bike.

  4. Bodhi says:

    Minimalist Bratstyle

    The japanese love to use elaborate exhaust systems on their bikes,
    its one of their trademarks.

    The Top fuels on this one help put an Americanized spin on a japanese concept.

    Nicely done.

  5. Mason says:

    Nice bike. Really like the laceing of the spokes and it looks like a great kit too.

  6. Capt_Zoom says:

    Had the pleasure of seeing this bike at the bearded lady bike show in Minneapolis a few weeks back. Is spectacular. I really like what you did with it. These pics don’t do you paint justice.

  7. Capt_Zoom says:

    What size and type of tubing are you using for the seat rails?

  8. anthony says:

    Beautiful tank! U just made me a fan of the bratstyle with this one.

  9. visimpact says:

    Thanks for the positive comments guys. Its greatly appreciated.
    The seat rails are 7/8 D.O.M tubing
    The rims are stock yamaha special rims.

  10. Rusty Nutz says:

    Good work, you should sell a lot of them. Great paint work.

    What shocks do you need to go with this kit?

  11. Micah says:

    By FAR the best bratchop on here! I fucking love this bike! You have an amazing eye! The stance and flow of this thing is mean as fuck… The bars, the paint, attention to polish and accent contrast… God Damn! I’m practically typing one handed right now… World class work!

  12. Sgt Sleazebag says:

    sweet bike for sure.ultra clean.saw it at bearded lady and then again at first thursday at dulonos where i got a ticket for “altered muffler”lol.

  13. Dave says:

    Doubled-up megaphone mufflers would definitely hit home with the true “Brat” image. Not bad at all though.

  14. visimpact says:

    What shocks do you need to go with this kit?

    You can use whatever shocks you want pretty much. THis bike has progressives on it. I used dyna shocks on another. The only catch for using certain shocks is the stock mount on the swingarm may need to be widened a bit to accept some shocks.

  15. Justin says:

    sick bike, love the artwork, seen it at the Horse bike show in Sturgis, was trying to find who owned that damn bike all afternoon, haha

  16. GeoSchiss says:

    Mike, Congrats! You’re two for 2! Keep it up. One day, I’ll be coming to you for my build!

  17. Ted says:

    I had a idea for the kit. What about welding the bars together so it’s just like a weld on hardtail. You could charge a couple extra bucks for one that is partially fabricated and it would be easier for some guys to install.

  18. visimpact says:

    We were toying with the idea of doing ones pre built also that would be set up for a specific shock length etc.. The main reason we havent done one is we leave the parts long to let guys set things up to their height and what size shock they want to run. Who knows what the future might bring though for pre built ones as well.

  19. I really love the way it looks. You built a clean bike over all. Would the kit maybe work for a different motorcycle?

  20. rasper says:

    Nice ride for sure!

  21. Stu says:

    Amazing paint. I don’t usually like crazy paint jobs, especially on and xs, but this just works so well.
    The little accents on this bike make it killer.
    Great job.

  22. CHAD says:


  23. Voodoo Timm says:

    Love this bike, and the kit is something that I am extremely interested in.

  24. Greg says:

    I love the look! Now I don’t have to send off to Japan for dropped rails. I love my bike but I love my ass a little more and shocks are definitely gonna help with the ride down route 1 to key west next summer. Good job, man!

  25. chris says:

    great bike man- and congrats on the kit- very smart.
    what kind of bars are those on there?

  26. visimpact says:

    They are biltwell bars

  27. Doug says:

    Beautiful bike. Very inspiring. The lines with the seat rail kit are great. I will be purchasing the rail kit for a future build, Thanks.

  28. visimpact says:

    Thanks man, It has come to light very reasentlly that I need to justify what I do, how I do it and how I got there. THe curved rail kit that I came out with was 100 percent inspired by a dude named Joel on here. His bike turned out bad ass and when I went to build my own bike I went with curved rails like his bike because its something I fell in love with from the first time I saw it. If I was inspired by someone else I would have been sure to let it be known. From my build spawned the kit. I hope that clears up where this all came from not that it really matters its not that big of a deal. Its just some bent pipes. Heres a link to one of my favorite bikes on here. Nice work Joel. Note the first person to post a comment on his build(the last build link is the final bike and the first comment is yours truely). I hope this horseshit helps to shed some light on this nonsense. Kick ass job Joel.

  29. Sati says:

    What is that song?

  30. visimpact says:

    What is that song? Shamans harvest/dragonfly

    Apparently Kevin G. was the first guy to do a curved rail brat build and I have been made aware that Joel got his idea to make his bike with curved rails because of him. So I want to let everyone know that.
    My kits and the idea of coming out with a KIT to sell came about after I made my bike and are modeled after my own bike that you see here.
    To all that have bought my kit, Thank you. I look forward to seeing all your bikes on here…and send me some pics of your scoots so I can put them on my web site. Thanks Ted and keep up the good work with this kick ass site. VIZ

  31. Tracy says:

    Brat style is a great way to go, My hardtail has wipped my ass this summer. Nice F-ing job 🙂

  32. visimpact says:

    Mine has done my back in as well. Im switching my hardtail up this winter and putting some apes on it to get my back in a better position. Leaning over with the lower bars and hitting pot holes here in the northeast sux. Our roads are bad around here and hundred plus mile rides=walking hunched over for a week.

  33. alain bissonnette says:

    hi, i would like to buy your kit for xs650 seat but would you shipe it to Canada

  34. visimpact says:


  35. Ken says:

    Wow, this turned out great. Pretty much whats decided me to try bratstyle. Could I ask what seat you used? Was it a bought seat or did you have a pan covered? I just picked up a pair of the smaller rebel shock and Ill be ordering your kit next. Cant wait! Awesome bike, man!!

  36. visimpact says:

    I bought the seat on ebay but I had to cut it apart move the mounts inward a inch and reweld it and then recover the seat. Thanks for the good words

  37. Tebo says:

    I remember Joel Mekolites bike! I thought the whole package was too radical (at the time). Everyone I’ve talked to has tried to talk me out of a hardtail build. Now, it’s starting to look like bratstyle is the way to go. For me. I’m gettin’ fat around the middle and gray around the edges, and a rigid just might be hazardous to my health. Someone else was looking at building a bratsyle and I suggested such a modification would give it a “Visual Impact” (pun intended). And I’ve been inspired by such as “Tidy Whitey”, among others. Our bikes are art you ride, and as such, a reflection of your personallity. Drool, Build, Ride. Your bike kicks, dude.

  38. steve says:

    how much does a cool project like this cost and is it worth the money to build. Because i just got an 81 xs 650 and i was planing to do something just like this

  39. ken says:

    guess it depends on how much you can fab and what you have to buy. Head/tail lights, seat, shocks, tank, guages, the brat kit if you dont fab your own, and paying someone to rewire the bike if you cant do it yourself. Then theres paint, lowering the front forks, and probably more that Im forgeting. Ive been really thinking this through and dont want to chop up my bike until I get it running real well and making sure that charging system is up to snuff. BUT DAMN it looks cool, dont it?!

  40. CL Chop Shop says:

    Thats gotta be one of the coolest 650’s I’ve seen. Great job!

  41. Wade says:

    How did you get the battery to fit in there? And where is you key switch, I have an 81 and I’m liking your look.

  42. visimpact says:

    I got a thinner battery then stock and its kick only but its set up so that if the customer wants to convert it to key start they can. Its a one kick bike though so its not to bad.

  43. Wade says:

    Do you have the battery number or how I can get one? So is your bike on a toggle or how do you set it up to be keyless?

  44. visimpact says:

    You could set it up any way you want, on off key switch toggle or whatever you want, just make a mounting plate for it. I dont have the battery number. I went to a bike shop and had them go thru the book and find a battery that worked. You can also just get one that you can lay on its side and put it under the bike or lay it on its side in the same place as this. Many many ways to set it up.

  45. Wade says:

    Sweet thanks for all your help. Your bike is pretty awesome! I hope to add your brat kit to mine this winter! Thanks

  46. Wade says:

    Hey one more question, what brand, size etc. is that front tire?

  47. Kenny says:

    Cool bike guys.what front end did you use.cheers

  48. visimpact says:

    Avon front tire 3.5×19 If I remember correctly. Stock front end Kenny lowered two inches shaved mounts and painted.

  49. AU nation says:

    i love this build.. did you stretch out the rear swing arm at all it looks longer then. as well as the shocks look a tad longer then most brats..?

  50. visimpact says:

    Its stock length swingarm and the shocks are 11 inch eye to eye. It looks lower because I angled the 1 1/8 tubes toward the back to match the wheel curve. The kit that I sell, allows you the option to either make them curve toward the front or curve toward the back like I did on this bike.

  51. AU nation says:

    cool looks rad man.. ill be starting to chop mine up here in the next few days. im looking forward to some good results

  52. harry carmony says:

    I like this, and I bet in real life it is REALLY COOL…- I like your frame kit a lot…I like the way the shocks hook up, and altho you may say a bend is just a bend, – we both know that aint true…I have seen plenty on them on here and this is first one I have really liked…-and price is damn reasonable…
    The paint is beautiful, and here again, prolly all the more so in real life…
    Of course it is For Sure, – I Would Rake It…- but it is pretty obvious you know how you like to build them…- lol…- Congrats !!!…- Very Cool !!!

  53. fish says:

    just want to say i hope my bike looks as nice as yours when its done

  54. Ben says:

    Anybody know if that’s a ‘standard’ sized alien tank or if it’s chopped? Everything I’m looking at is too long/big. This has nice proportions.

  55. Visimpact says:

    Hey Ben the tank was from cycle x. Single cap alien tank.

  56. mike says:

    if i were to use the full length of the seat rails(not cut them and butt them against the frame rails like you did), what would be the easiest way to “notch” out the tubes that come up from the frame so that the seat rails would sit nice and tight in them and allow them to be welded?

  57. shad says:

    I just ordered your kit and I am about to source some shocks ,,,,,so the rebel shocks only come in chrome …what shocks are on this bike I am trying to stay all black on this build ,,,any suggestions…………thanks Shad

  58. shad says:

    One other question does that tank have one petcock or two I ordered that tank as well I am building a 78 ,did ya use one petcock with a y? or does that tank have two outlets at bottom…….so you can run two petcocks or two t valves

  59. Visimpact says:

    Progressive shocks. One petcock used with a y other hole under tank plugged

  60. shad says:

    on those progressives where they the 10.5 ” or the 11″ ? thanks for your help

  61. Visimpact says:


  62. norm younger says:

    Love the brat style. now that my xs650 chooper is done im on the look out for another to brat out.

  63. El Gaucho says:

    I always did like those double white wall Shinko tires.

  64. UnholyAres says:

    Have you guys thought about selling your rear fender set up

  65. Visimpact says:

    This is a separate battery box and fender but yeah i have thought about selling the combo I made for the latest build(should be posting pic of the finished build soon on here) but it’s time consuming. If I could figure out a way to cut down time maybe in the future it may be a option.. I have another item coming out soon that will also help out builders stay tuned within weeks…

  66. UnholyAres says:

    Great cant wait I just got my Brat kit for you guys on my bike and was wanitin to see if you guys was going to offer it…cant wait 🙂

  67. Visimpact says:

    Unfortunately the new item won’t help with fender bat box. It would be a while for that if ever. It all comes down to time and cost. Not sure all the work would be cost effective. That’s the hard part. I really will have to sit down and figure out if I can streamline the process and then figure out if there’s enough of a demand to make it worth the time. This other item I’m coming out with is cheap and is def going to help out builders though stay tuned for that soon.

  68. UnholyAres says:

    I understand what you mean, could you tell me how it might be to do just one lol.

  69. Visimpact says:

    Lol, U can contact me thru my website email links on there. Thanks

  70. baxter26 says:

    Love this bike using your kit on my 77 xs build. how did you mount your seat ? no springs ? love the look of how the drop seat sits on this bike.

    Thanks Craig

  71. visimpact says:

    Thanks! No need for springs under the seat. Your shocks have you covered on all the spring you will ever need. As far as mounting it. Just make a gussett between the front rails for the front mount to bolt to and the rear you can either weld a bar across the tubes or make mounts to bolt the rear of the seat. Simple!!

  72. Craig says:

    Simple but a great idea. In mass the roads suck as it is so this brat kit is a life saver. Awesome bike inspired me to build my own keep up the good work.

    Thanks, Craig

  73. Chuck Jones says:

    I really like the coy painted on it.