Keith’s Black Widow

black-widow-xs650-4After spending a couple of years in the sandpit, I wanted to come home and work on something satisfying, that wouldn’t talk back.

My son bought this ’83 project for me.  Engine was seized, but I figured I could manage it, if not too far gone.

I lived in my shop for three months.  Best therapy ever.

I did all the welding, powdercoating, painting, laced the wheels, rebuilt the engine, made the wiring harness, and when I got through, it ran!

The XS650 is a remarkable engine, very forgiving of all the years of abuse it went through.

The frame and lack of suspension makes it a bar hopper, but a real head turner.

The VM Mikuni’s and the Pamco ignition make it a 1 or 2 kicker.  Idles smooth, runs and shifts great.  I did stuff some small silencers in the pipes, but I jetted it for the open exhausts, and it runs like a scalded dog.  So glad to have it in the stable.

A sheriff pulled me over once, and got out to tell me how nice it looked.  He wanted to know if I’d help him build one.

There’s just something about riding something so simple, no electronics, no radio, no electric starter, just muscle.

Submitted by Keith Rhodes

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