The brat is done


Dan –  my first build. 1977 xs 650. It took 10 months and was nothing but fun!!!! Just took my time and it all worked out. I rewired it myself. lowered  the seat via VISUAL IMPACT. 16 inch rear tire 18 front. Designed and built the battery box. Then cut down the original fender. Spray bombed the frame and top end of motor. GM color on the tins. I forgot the paint number lol. It runs real strong. Hope you like it i know i do.

Visual impact brat kit.
Reworked the rear fender and made my own mount spacers.
Made the battery box
Shinko battery.
Did all the wiring myself. ( first time i ever tried this )
Friend painted the tins ( GM color )
Got the head light on ebay its a old one off a tractor i think.
Tank came off an old sportster. got it on ebay.
This build was a great way to spend a long iowa winter. And believe me if i can do this any one can. Dan aldeman


  1. dex82 says:

    always good to see humility, but it looks like you did a geat job. yeah, wiring from scratch sucks, especially if you did what i did and just threw away the original wiring harness (except the voltage regulator). thank gawd for the internet. clean lines, hope you decide to tackle another

  2. stanley says:

    front drum set up? what is it from? did you lace it?

  3. Grumpy says:

    Great first built! You should be proud! Well done……………

  4. Topspeed674 says:

    Nice first effort…Kudos!

  5. El Gaucho says:

    nice lines and I love the color!

  6. dan says:

    didn’t use a front brake…rode it a few months before winter hit . and i will be getting a front brake!!!!! looked cool but almost killed me…cools ok but dead sucks!!.oh one other thing. the biggest mistake i made on this build was not doing a full mock before painting and riding. i can not emphasis this enough DO A FULL MOCK UP. wish i had.

  7. BUSTER says:

    Yeah thats real sweet dude.

  8. DENNI$ says:

    dan, Nice job on the build, looks real good. Is that a stock swingarm? You have some real rake in that rear shock. Also, could you expound on the concept of the “FULL MOCK UP”? As a first-time builder, Just what exactly do you consider that to be? How do you think it would have helped you? What problems might you have avoided? This could be a nice “How To” for new builders, eh? I’m sure many of the potential problems are universal. Keep the rubber side down!

  9. dan says:

    Denni$ Face book me with questions OK….if your legit I’ll get your number and call you. I can save you a lot of getting pissed off lol

  10. dex82 says:

    full mockup is basically building the bike before you actually build the bike, meaning you assemble everything, make sure your components, mounting tabs and everything else is where you want them before you consider paint and the like. really sucks to have a shiny new paint job and realise that your custom gas tank, with the custom $2500.00 dollar paint job doesn’t fit, or you don’t have room to run oil lines because your custom exhaust is in the way, or the rear fender looks really dumb and out of proportion, or that great shorter-than-stock springer that looks really cool only leaves you with 1 inch of ground clearance. only way to build a bike……….build it first, making sure everything is where and how you want it, the aesthetics are what you want them to be, and you actually have THE part that you want to mount wherever, then take it apart, paint it reassemble and wire, and you’re good to go. sounds easy, huh?

  11. Denni$ says:

    dan, thanks for taking the time to put together a comprehensive reply. I can feel your (personal) pain as you cite those few, critical examples….*grin*… and yeah, it always sounds easy(er) after yer done! And while some might say that your points are obvious, I feel it’s a good idea to keep them front and center to avoid those potential mistakes.

    I am not close to beginning my own motorcycle projects. As a one-man-band I am s-l-o-w-l-y pecking away at a place to work on my bikes – a 28 x 40 garage. I did my mock-up for that on graph paper! while I would certainly be open to any ideas/concepts from other site-cruisers on how to lay out work areas etc, for the moment, at least, my cycle building dreams are only in my head. Also, I appreciate the Facebook invite, but I don’t use that site. (yes, i know, I know…. but I’m *OLD* school on computers, too!)

    Again, dan, thanks for the timely response!

  12. roger C says:

    There are a lot of things I like about your bike. 1 its not
    a hard tail and looks awesome anyways. 2 the nice handle bars never seen them before. Good looking colar sceam. The electrics clean and unsean. I think your going to get alot of looks from people. and last the gas tank , head light, shroud under the set all complete the bike, I hope mine turns out as well.

  13. CruzBoos says:

    This bratty babe certainly looks rude enough to slap on her perky ass and make her say things that will make her paint blush. If she was mine, she’ll take it and love it.

  14. Art says:

    Great looking bike Dan!

  15. bikepilot says:

    Very nice bike. I’ve been looking for battery box ideas and I really like yours. It would be nice to see different views than the left rear, though..!

  16. Jdubb says:

    Love the bike, just bought a 1980 xs that I plan on do something very similar, I want to keep it a soft tail. Did you stretch the swing arm at all? Use smaller shocks?

  17. dan says:

    Its a stock swing arm with 10.5 inch shocks of a Honda rebel. Got them used on ebay