Idea spawned from scrap
The whole bike happened on accident. We had been looking for an XS for a few months. Everyone wanted way too much money for a busted bike. So after I was ready to give up, there she was. Leaving on the side of a warehouse. 1980 Special II. No headlight, no tach, brakes and engine locked up tighter than tight. $75 is all I paid.
Once we got her loaded up and dropped off at the shop, we pulled the motor and cut the frame in half. We jigged the frame, but didn’t know where to go with it. I wanted to build a drop seat, but didn’t want it to look just like everyone elses XS. Couldnt just have a standard drop seat frame. It had to be much different. So we went to work on design. I had drawn up a few frame ideas but nothing really worked… Then Jamie, owner of OTB FAB grabbed some scrap tubing from a Polaris RZR tire carrier, and BAM! Here you have it.
The frame was from scrap tubing, the bars are recycled XS handlebars. All of the little brackets were scrap pieces laying under the plasma table, just recycled. (trimmed, drilled, etc…) The tank was given to me by my friend Robbie. He had found it and had it hanging in his garage. It was rusted and covered in 1/4″ of bondo. I stepped it and gave it a patina’d paint job. The fender was a trailer fender, cut to fit. Paint matched to the tank. (almost)
his is my 1980 XS. Back in July 2010, I picked it up for $75. Motor wouldn’t turn over, missing a headlight, brakes were locked up, wheels were taco’d like they had individually been dropped onto a train track. The best part was, 1800 original miles. The rings were frozen to the cylinder walls… Once the motor was free (with some oil poured into the cylinders) it was all uphill. Time to start cutting and building.
The frame was an idea spawned from scrap pieces laying in the shop. Jamie Endow from Off The Back Fabrication had grabbed them and asked, “What do you think?” I told him we just need to make them a few inches longer and it was a done deal. So we wheeled the bender over and made some longer pieces and formed the new hardtail.
Also, to give credit where credit is due, Jamie designed the handlebars as well as the seat pan… He showed me the seat pan when he made it and it looked like a modern take on a vintage tractor seat. I was sold!
The bars themselves were just too good of an idea not to do it. We came up with quite a few ideas and couldn’t come up with any solid ideas. Then he drew this little number up… Turns just as many heads as the frame.
There are still a few things that need to be done before she’s finished. (Some pictures have the headlight zip-tied on)
Also, gotta name drop.
Thanks to: LowBrow Customs and Monster Craftsman for having awesome products and quick shipping, and a few of the local boys… Deyne from Sids Speed Shop and Stuart from Gorgeous Corpse Culture both in Ogden, UT.
Thanks Zach Miller