Just the way I had hoped

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Psychedelic colors schemes, restored original parts, loud pipes

The project started out a little over a year ago. I had never ridden a bike, much less built one. I sought an xs650 due to its seemingly endless supply of parts and thriving community. As luck would have it, a friend of a friend had one for sale. It was a 1978 Heritage Special that had been slightly modified into a cafe racer, didn’t run good, but the price was right.

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I took my daughter to pick the bike up. Seeing as how I had never ridden a bike, I had to take the man on his word. He showed me how to start it and I watched him circle the block, but other than that I knew nothing.

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We got the bike home in my garage and I would start it and dream for a couple weeks. After I ordered my initial set of parts, my daughter, father and I began to tear the entire thing apart; Down to the last bolt.

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I tried to reuse as many bolts and pieces as I could on this build, but here is a small list of things done to this bike:

  • -top end rebuild with all new big bore pistons and port/polish
  • -full clutch rebuild
  • -frame modification on the rear and front neck support. stock rake
  • -custom made sissy bar that holds the fender and is mounted to the swingarm.
    making the sissy bar and fender completely independent of the frame
  • -boyer brandsen digital ignition
  • -cheapie sportster tank
  • -custom laced 16″ and 21″ wheels with cheapie avon tires
  • -paint/powder

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I’m sure I am forgetting a lot, but want to keep the list short. It was a long road of hard learning, trial and error and sleepless nights. It took about a year to finish and I can honestly say I am happy with it. By pure luck and magic, it came out just the way I had hoped. I have gained lifelong friendships and strengthened others.

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xs650chopper.com –  So, this is your first motorcycle AND your first time building one – How does it ride?

It rides loud and fast. Seems to want way more throttle than I am willing to give her. Being my first bike build and first bike period, I am taking it easy and trying to feel it out before I let her legs stretch.

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I had never ridden a bike until the day this one was ready for a test drive. On the first ride I popped a wheelie from 3rd to 4th and didn’t realize it for about a block. I let off the throttle a little and felt the front tire hit the pavement. Probably no more than an inch or two, but enough to make me change my underwear. Spooky fast but I love it!

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xs650chopper.com – It’s very 75’s retro- Did you have a picture in your head of what you wanted to build or were you making it up as you went along.

From the beginning, the only thing I wanted to do was a 60’s/70’s bike. In my opinion, the Japanese guys seem to be doing it right when it comes to the “brat” style bikes.Lots of psychedelic colors schemes, restored original parts, loud pipes and the right dose of raw passion. So, I guess you could say I was hoping that if I could somehow achieve even a tenth of what those Japanese amigos were doing, I would be vibrating with happiness. I think it came out more than what I hoped for.
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Most importantly, it couldn’t have happened without family, friends and strangers willing to lend a hand or knowledge. Especially my father and best friend in life, my daughter Magalea.
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Thanks to: Magalea, Dad, Richard, Dave, Josh, Kevin (Auto Muffler King), Kevin (Simple Bob), Chris (paintbychris.blogspot.com), Sundie, Tia813, Larry Mcbride and everyone else who helped out. You can read more here: I couldn’t have done any of this without you guys!

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Thanks Alfred

Comments

  1. Guy says:

    Stock rake and long forks, don’t get much more old school than that!!! speed humps won’t be an issue with that kind’a ground clearence…(not like mine grrrrrr) quality work on your bike mate, congrats, thanx for posting her man…now…ENJOY ;-D

  2. Ry says:

    Love the paint, love the paint, Love the bars and the paint. Nice job

  3. Barney says:

    That is awesome paint, and I have those same grips!

  4. Piute says:

    Candys ,Scallups,jello grips,YOUR sick , I’m the guy that helped do a lot of boats,low riders,back in the time,Now my Brother (Magic on Metal) doing it.Your in my (family) class of paint,
    ………Let the sun shine and get it on……..Piute

  5. fanoboss says:

    I love the vibrant colors. My personal preference would be to shave down those forks and get LOWWWWWWWWWW !!!!! Great Bike : )>

  6. Colocation says:

    Great old school look! Love the frisco style with the tank… Bad Ass 🙂

  7. Colocation says:

    with the colors you can definitely find it in parking lot.

  8. Shane Ryans says:

    I love the paint job. It reminds me of the old time stretched hard candy with the shiny candy colors.

  9. hooversama says:

    same, LOVE the paint!

  10. Puker says:

    This is exactly what i love about building motorcycles. The journey doesn’t end with the destination of finishing the build. And everyone involved, good and bad, lends to the spirit of the machine! It’s beautiful, and congratulations! Enjoy your ride!

  11. Fabbastard says:

    They sure don’t paintem up like that any more …cool bike!

  12. alfredo says:

    thanks everyone! Have been watching this site for a long time. Nice bikes that provided tons of inspiration for this build.

  13. Voodoo Timm says:

    Love the bike man! the paint is killer

  14. BigJimmyW13 says:

    Never got to see the paint on the underside 😀 Looks good man, but you already know what I think.

  15. Man that bike is super rad looking!!!! Really a nice bike i love em high and mighty like that good for hoppin curbs n city riding man. Glad to hear everyone likes my paint work i threw down on the tins. I try to keep all my work vary 60’s 70’s. Enjoy that bike man it rules.

  16. Russ says:

    This is one really cool looking swing arm ride. You dont have to change a thing ,but I think if you shaved and polish the fork legs and add some shorter chrome shocks like the early harleys (that the springs are covered) ,that would look good also

  17. mick says:

    Don’t lower it yet. Take a good year to learn to ride first. The high will help for that. Also u may want to take a ridding class if u haven’t yet. 70% of all rider involved motorcycle accident haven’t taken a ridding class. I’m not a fan of brat style but its a good call for a beginner just remember always expect that the other people on the road are going to turn in your path, stay out of blind spots and be loud as u can be. 🙂 It’s just like skating in a crowded skate park. Love the bike reminds me of a Harley I sold a few years ago minus the hard tail. That’s the first time I’ve heard avon called cheap. Good job Homes
    Mick

  18. Jesse says:

    I need a badass tail light lens!! where can I find one like yours?

  19. fanoboss says:

    The paint just takes me back to late 70’s early 80’s with lowriders and Cheech and Chong. The more I lookthe more I like.

  20. fanoboss says:

    @ Russ, then you get what I’m sayn’ LOL : )>

  21. alfredo says:

    @Jesse, got mine from Death Science. Go check ’em out http://deathscience.highwire.com/

  22. angus67 says:

    You Made it Amigo!! Great thing about biulding it yourself, is you can fix it your self!
    Hope you get another so we can watch over at xs650.com!
    Beautifull.

  23. fanoboss says:

    The TUNNEL AIN’T PAINTED !!!! LOL , only jokin…unlesss u go and repaint it, THEN I TOLD U SOOO …not. Are you going to do another one Al ?

  24. Guy says:

    A raw tunnel…sounds painfull.

  25. Kevin aka Simple Bob says:

    Alfred….. Man im so stoked for you that you have made here. This is what happens when you push yourself to accomplish a goal that others may have said your crazy for tyrying. Your bike is a beautiful piece of work and im glad to have helped. maybe someday soon mine will be complete and we can cruze the roads. Until then keep up the hard work and enjoy it……Kevin

  26. Sean from boston says:

    I really love this bike and the fact your father and daughter both helped you with it must make it that much more special 3 generations all one goal, beautiful story and better bike than I could ever build, keep the rubber down bro!

  27. slacker garage shop says:

    Damn nice job… the tall sissy bar looks perfect. I can see a chrome Springer in your future. That would fit the bike great.

  28. Piute says:

    I sure hope youv’e learned to enjoy the 1 wheel thing,Getting those skills down takes miles n wiles n miles…lolhaving fun yet ???????

  29. benine1 says:

    did you lower the frame rails or just shorten them?