There are many, many XS650′s on the web that various people have bobbed, chopped, bratted, cafe’d and generally modified in a myriad of ways. So, trying to make a simple brat on a relatively low budget that stands out is getting a lot harder to do.

The customer we built this one for sent a few pictures of what he had in mind for his 1975 XS650 before we embarked on this project, which we then mostly ignored and did our own thing… mainly because the pictures were of completely hideous bikes, except one… which we thought was actually quite a clean build. Secondly, we didn’t want this to look like someone else built it.

Whenever we do any build, we always upgrade all the usual things, like swingarm bushings, steering bearings, brakes etc. So, we wanted this one to be the proverbial ‘little black dress’ that was simple, clean and fully functional for any occasion.


  • Progressive shocks and rebuilt forks (heavy fork oil and springs) with fork covers
  • Mikuni VM34′s and Pamco ignition
  • Bronze swingarm bearings and Taper steering bearings
  • Fully integrated turn signals
  • Fabricated battery box with lithium battery, simplified wiring and key-turn electric start