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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Visual Impact


Visual Impact 2009/09/the-brass-monkey

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  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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?

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. Wade says:

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

  7. Kenny says:

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

  8. visimpact says:

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

  9. 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..?

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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 !!!

  13. fish says:

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

  14. 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.

  15. Visimpact says:

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

  16. 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?

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. Visimpact says:

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

  20. shad says:

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

  21. Visimpact says:


  22. norm younger says:

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

  23. El Gaucho says:

    I always did like those double white wall Shinko tires.

  24. UnholyAres says:

    Have you guys thought about selling your rear fender set up

  25. 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…

  26. 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 :)

  27. 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.

  28. UnholyAres says:

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

  29. Visimpact says:

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

  30. 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

  31. 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!!

  32. 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

  33. Chuck Jones says:

    I really like the coy painted on it.