This project started several years ago as a nearly stock ’82 Heritage Special, that I found on Craigslist for $400. After a tune-up, the bike was running great and I was happy. However, after about two weeks the gremlins started to appear. Plagued by electrical problems and no money to fix them the project was born. I started researching everything I could about the XS650. The plan was to build a subtle looking, super reliable, vintage style bobber for next to nothing. Being an Industrial Designer/Metal Fabricator by trade, I designed and built almost every custom part with basic hand tools. The bike has been lowered 2 inches and the seat konged another 2 inches. The swing arm has also been stretched 4 inches and under braced.
The seat, exhaust, and kicker pedal are all one off pieces, as well as the forward controls, battery box, and electrical box. The rear fender is a spare tire ring from an Astro minivan with custom struts. The tank is a king sporty with a custom petcock built from hardware store parts. The Tail light/License Plate bracket is a universal piece that I designed and sell through several forums online. Everything on the bike was then covered with powder-coat. The only paint on the entire bike is on the cylinder jugs.
To fix all of the electrical issues, it was converted to kick only, then given a Hugh’s PMA, Pamco ignition with monster coil, irridium plugs, new reg./rec., and a complete rewire. Now she’s a one kicker warm, two kicker cold. I love what it’s become and to pass it on to my son one day.
Response from this bike has been great and has turned my hobby into a business. I have to say a special thank you to my wife and my stepfather George. Without their help and support none of this would be possible. Also thanks to Zac Fisher for the great pics. To follow this and my other custom build, check out the Shaydaddy Custom Designs facebook page. Thanks for reading and God Bless.
Shane Kouns aka Shaydaddy