This bike has a sad story behind it as the guy that we built this for was no longer with us by the time it was finished. When we got this 1980 XS650 Special to work on, it was completely worn out and literally leaked from everywhere a bike could leak from… and that’s not an overstatement. I remember him saying 2 quarts of oil and a can of brake fluid a week was the norm. So, the plan was to have a leak free bike that was much better as a daily rider than a stock XS in good shape. And, that’s exactly what we did. Quite simply, everything was rebuilt while applying upgrades to make it handle better and run better at the same time. The paint was to emulate the RD400 Daytona colors, partly because it has an RD400 rear end and partly because he and his friend had a red vs. blue thing going on. The end result is not the flashiest XS on the street, but a simple, clean, lightweight XS that handles, stops and goes much better than any stock XS. And, it now has a new, experienced XS owner who I know will look after it. I will also admit, that I miss this bike already!

This bike is dedicated to Stephen Flusche and his family, who have been fabulous.


  • Progressive shocks and rebuilt forks (heavy fork oil and springs)
  • Mikuni VM34′s and Pamco ignition
  • RD400 rear end with stainless brake lines
  • Bronze swingarm bearings and Taper steering bearings
  • Mild gas flowed head and 5th gear overdrive
  • Yet another seat from Matt (Working Man’s Customs)
  • Fabricated battery box with lithium battery, simplified wiring and key-turn electric start