Patrick – My love of XS’s all started when my uncle gave me a couple bikes and extra motor, this 79’ and an 81’ special (one of my upcoming builds). Both of these bikes have matching numbers (frame and engine). After viewing all of the ideas on the web (especially this site) I decided just to ride it until the old tired motor gave up. I was fortunate enough to log about 450 miles before the end came. Oh, it would have gone further, but one of the locals in my area decided to pull out in front of me, causing me to lay it down. I turned out OK – just a few days of soreness afterward. But the motor was done, I was able to limp it home after the accident but it was leaking oil in way to many places to ever go down the road again.
Now before all of this happened, the bike really turned heads. I got a lot of “what the hell is that” most of the time. You see my uncle was able to blend an old Pacifico fairing onto the 650 along with some ’81 Goldwing GL1100 saddle bags and trunk. This basically turned it into an ‘Old School Bagger. Jump to Summer 2010. I turned the motor over to my uncle for a rebuild (mechanic by trade) and I turned over all of the plastic and body (less frame) over to my ultra talented bro-in-law (20 plus years painting) for a super cool paint job. Everything took longer than expected, which I understand it how it all goes during a project like this. I didn’t want to spend the time polishing the forks so I took a wire wheel to the old finish and I think it came out pretty cool. Wire wheeled all of the chrome to remove any pitting, dirt, grime, etc. I would have loved to re-chrome it all but … to much $$$
The paint is a Black Cherry with some red metal flake and it also has pearl marbleizing accents here and there. Ya there are a lot of things I could have done different (powder coated the frame), but for the most part I’m really happy with the way it turned out. There are little additions that I’m adding as the days go buy. I can update with some photos of the LED treatment that I’m currently in the process of adding in the next few weeks. I’m sure the charging systems will love me afterwards!
During this build I ended up with another frame and a cash of extra parts. This spring I’m planning on starting at least one more project, probably a bobber style. And… hopefully I’ll find time for yet another build during the winter with one of the other frame/motor combos I have packed away. I’d like to give many thanks to my Uncle and Bro-in-law for helping me make this happen.