Duffs XS650

-1 2014

I am duff from Belgium, here is my story… I’m a 39 year old guy from Belgium and since very young obsessed with motorcycles. My brother and me were only 4 or 5 years old when we are already driving a little mx-bike. At the age of 19 I drive some years in Races but it was at a very low level… 🙂 just for fun! I bought my first custom-bike when i was 22 years old. it was a harley Davidson sportster from a few years old,it was already rebuild ann customized. I only took it apart to change the color. I drove it for 2 years when i changed it for a harley night-train with only 500 kilometers on the dash. After 1 day there was only the frame and engine left.all other parts got changed or rebuild. I cruised all Europe with this bike.one day some guy made me an offer i can’t refuse and i sell the bike. I put all my saving money together and at the age of 27 i bought me all parts to build me a walz hardcore bike,from the ground of to a complete bike. It was not so simple but with some blood, sweat and tears the bike got ready.when the bike was completely finished it cost me about 35000 euro,it was in the year 2000. at that time there were not so much people that drive a walz hardcore bike. Most people had it only for show, i drove 15000 kilometers with it in 2 seasons.the most of the weekends we were on a meeting together with some friends. It was a lot of fun.during the winters we got often invited to bikeshows.

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When my girlfriend got pregnant and i bought me a house,i make the decision to finish driving the expensive custombikes… after some years,when my hands got tiggeling again,i bought me a Cadillac coupe deville from 1967.i put it on airride,20 inch rims and give it a topchop from 12 centimeter.i drive it for 4 years on Sunny days… if i look back,i just like to make things that you don’t see every day in the Streets…

11 years ago i start working in a big motorcyclegarage. we work over-there with 25 people and are official yamaha and honda-dealer.we sell about 800 bikes each year and are by the biggest of Belgium.one of my colleague, carlo was already working with xs650’s more then 25 years.i think he has parts to build 20 of them.people from other countrys come to him to let him rebuild their engines,also for complete restorations and other stuff.he knows this bike like the pocket of his pants!! its his fault i got interested in the xs650. i find it a beautiful engine with a nice sound,its a good base to build a crazy thing…

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I wanted to build a long and low bike,with a rough-retrolook. i wanted to keep the cost low,i don’t want to give more than 2500 euro for the complete bike.when i was building it the bike got better and better,with more and more new parts…when it was ready it cost me double… 🙂 i start with buying a donor-bike,it looked like a raped caferacer. the engine was working but doesn’t sound so fresh…how the bike looked doesn’t matter because i only needed the engine,carburetors and some electrical parts.

Carlo and me started to rebuild the engine. we take the measurement of everything,the things that are not good any more got replaced.we put some new sprockets,new bearings,new chain,new gaskets and oilseeds in it.the complete rebuild cost about 700 euro. we cleaned the carburetors,put new valve and needleset in it. 2 new k&n filters on it and ready. i found a new frame that i could use for my project. it was a zodiac frame type 653. it was 15 years old but never used.we can see that on the mounting-tabs and on the places for the axles. in the rear we use a standard 18 inch wheel with spokes and drumbrake. the front wheel is 23 inch wheel,i comes from a honda xl500r out of 1979. it has also a drumbrake. when we put the wheels in the bike has to much groundclearance. i was not what i want so we need to cut the frame to make it lower. it was 5 inch,after cutting,measuring and welding we have about 3 inch.this was what i wanted!!!i really had a nice stance.the front fork is a standard one,we flexed it and put new oil and seals in it.we put the fork deep in the steering-plate,so we can mount the clip-ons above. in combination with the old trike-bikesadlle we have a nice sitting-position.

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I bought 3 different gas-tanks on a swap meet,to try what fits best.one of them was perfect i think.i cut the tunnel out of it to make room for the coils.they are know not side by side but after eachother. i also need to remove the petcock.the fuel-tank comes from a little moped from holland,a cradler florett out of the sixties. the exhaust i had in mind needs to be short,racy and agressive. we use thick wall iron tube from 48 millimeter diameter.a friend of mine has a little factory for making tables and chairs.we can use his machines to bend the pipes until we had a exhaust that fits.i think we make 10 sets before it was what i really wanted…it is a very quiet type of exhaust!!! 🙂

The headlight,foot-pegs,handles,clip-ons,fender,seat,fuel tank,front wheel,electricbox,…are all parts we bought on a swapmeet. we rebuild them until we can use them.the numberplateholder i build out of nothing.the rear light is a new one,an imitation from an old car taillight??

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The electric was very simple because there are only two switches.one for the light,one for the ignition. it do has a brake light to!! 🙂 we put it all together in the rusty armydoctorsbox. we remove all the parts in the engine what you normal need to use an electric starter.this ones is kick only and it works perfect.choke on,one kick and he turns.every time again!!

People tell me i was a little bit crazy by building this bike…it would be to radical,to extreme,…i would not be able to ride it.from the beginning it doesn’t matter to me how it would steer or brake or the comfort it would give.i know i was not building it to drive it each day 200 kilometers…i wanted to have something with a special sitting position. it took me some time before i know where to put the footpegs. after driving and testing the bike several times it felt okay. it does not feel like a honda cb600 hornet but who cares?? the people got a smile on their face when they see me driving,and that’s why we do it,isn’t?? 🙂 the biggest problem is at very low speed that the handlebar will drop to the inside when you turn a little bit.you really need to keep it strong!!when i drive faster,it’s smoother,on the highways when i was doing 90 i can drive with one hand,so not to bad at all.

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When the bike was finished i drove it one season,without paint or something.after changing some little stuff i took it apart in the winter.the frame and wheels got powdercoated,the little parts i painted myself.i put some time in it to clean up the cables and electric.i choose to let the fueltank in patina,i love it in combination withe rusty electric box and the old sadle.

The front tyre is a speedway tire,there is not much choose in a 23 inch size…the rear tyre is a dunlop street legal desert tyre,i just like the rough profile!!when you drive harder then 10 kilometers in an hour you don’t feel that there aren’t strutters on it… lots of credits to carlo,he helped me out a lot with the rebuilding of the engine,al the welding work,preparing the spacers for the wheels,making brackets,…and many other things!!

i am duff from Belgium-17 2014

So this is the story, is you have some more questions,just ask!!!

Best regards from Belgium,

Duff