81 XS Midlife Crisis

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Brad – I don’t know why I started this project. Maybe having my cousin Rob from Chappell Customs living so close I thought it would be crazy not to. I picked this 81 XS up for $1000, drove it home with having to shut off the petcock at stop lights to keep thet carbs from shooting gas all over the road.  Lucky I made it the 75 kms home without burning up. Put it in the garage and in 30 minutes we had everything stripped off that didn’t look like it belonged on a bobber.  Then came the chopping of the frame.  I was definelty in it now. I know my way around a tool box and have worked on engines before but have never tried to customize or fabricate anything like this project.
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Here is a list of parts I’ve purchased and from whom. TC Choppers: hardtail, bullet signals.  Elswick Cycles: electrical box.  Pandemonium Cycles: Ya Mama exhaust.  Lowbrow Customs: P-Nut tank, fender, Bitwell seat.  Visual Impact: Pipe Bomb ignition switch, Power Piston tail light, Monstercraftsman: midstance mounts, 4.5″ chrome headlight, Powell Peralta tensioner.  Hugh’s Handbuilt: 2″ shock lowering kit.

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I’ve had only excellent service from all these suppliers.  I have only fabricated the mounts for the headlight, signal lights and the mount supports we used in the hartail install.  I’ve polished the side covers and front forks, speed holed the wheels and will be doing the front rotor too. Living up here in the Great White North we have to safety the bikes, so need the lights, fenders and I will fabricate a chain guard…which will come off quickly. Rob did the welding, giving me instruction on how to do it.  He has offered to do the same with the paint.  I am thinking of a black frame with either orange or green tank, fenders and electrical box.  I have a hard time with seeing the end product so haven’t made up my mind.

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I’ve ordered motor parts from MikesXS: rebuild kit, performance carbs, high voltage coil so will be starting that as soon as it gets in.  With working all the hours in law enforcement that I do, it’s tough to find time in the garage drinking beer and smelling the oil and grease, but I hope to have it done this summer.

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I will likely keep this one for a little while and then sell it so I can buy another and put to use more of the fabricating skills I’ve learned.  Even with the small things I’ve done with this one that is where I feel the most pride. Hope you like it, drive safe and keep it between the ditches.

Brad Harfman

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Comments

  1. mike lytle says:

    you should radius that rear fender before you mount it………..thanks for sharing

  2. fanoboss says:

    OMG, IT’S DA’ FUZZ, ha. That’s a cool ass bike, keep us posted.