81 XS650 Old School, Loud & Proud Jersey Style


2009 I picked up a 2000 Yamaha V-Star 650 then proceeded to chop it, nothing major but love the old school look so chop chop chop, I noticed the xs650 Yamaha was was real popular and seemed to have a cult following and i could see why …just a real sweet bike and Kick start ,,, thats old school…



I would look for xs650’s on craigs list but guys asking top dollar for some hacked up bikes so continued to search every day…after about 2 months i found a 1981 xs650 in good shape for $950 so i called the guy and he said he had posted it about 30 mins ago…it was like 10 pm so i asked him what time he wakes up in the morning he said 8am i said i would be there at 7am, when i got there 7am he came out and his cell phone was ringing off the hook with people asking about the 1981 xs650  but too bad i had cash in hand so sold ! ! ! …sweet…


I am new to building and new to carbs timing ignition stuff so i did lots of research and found this builder “daddy G” or Rich is his real name in my home state of New jersey…Rich welded a TC brothers hard tail on for me and did a few other things like the tc brothers foward controls, but most of all Rich gave me tons of real good real world advice which saved the build, i could not have finished the build if it were not for daddy g…so shout out to you Rich !


I started the build around june 1st and it took about 2 months, i had lots of problems, first off the tci ignition box went on me so i had to install a pamco ignition, (thanks to pamco pete for advice too),
when i got the bike running it ran like Sh&t so i cleaned out the carbs and Daddy G said i should go from the 130 main jets to big ass 160 jets to i went off to the local yamaha dealer and picked up a pare of mikuni 160 jets and Bam it did the trick starts with 1 kick now…I had to do some creative fabrication but that always half the fun of any project,,,  well i may be looking for another xs650 to build over the winter maybe a brat bike…hmmmm

also thanks for the good advice from the guys over at xs650 garage…



  1. Bodhi says:

    The bike came out decent ( thats as far as I go w/ the praise and drool stuff)

    I lived in Jersey for a while (40 yrs) so I felt compelled to write.

    If I could make one simple suggestion…..wait for it …here it comes…

    Drop the head light down some

    I had a hard time finding a good mount for mine so i bought a top triple tree from e-bay and cut it down to the fork clamps and gauge mount holes. It worked out really well

    Other than that , great job.


    From coming with your son a year ago to my shop in NY to Now NJ and building it all on your own it turned out perfect.

  3. Don russ says:

    looks great i am also in jersey. http://i218.photobucket.com/albums/cc42/jerseykat1/bikes/IMG_1462.jpg thats a pic of my bike. I would lower the headlight also.

  4. francocali says:

    Thanks Don, nice Brat Bike what area of NJ are you located ?

  5. ritzkraker says:

    hey , im in jersey too … way south , down by sea isle city … check out my ride , though i didnt build it … its still fun as hell to ride …

  6. Grease Nipples says:

    My favorite bumper sticker: Kiss Her Where it Stinks. Take Her to New Jersey

    Probably funnier if you don’t live in New Jersey.

  7. shad says:

    Hi there nice job .Where did ya get your seat springs? I have my seat mounted just like yours way back like that and I put 4 ” springs but I seem to have quit a bit of side to side movement .Your springs look beefy they look like a wider diameter than mine. thanks for any help have a good day . Shad

  8. franco says:

    I got the springs from a custom Harley shop, i weigh 220 lbs and they hold up real good.