I had this questionable idea to have a build off with Deathtrap cycles in east Austin after I claimed the XS650 was the best Triumph ever built. After all, the XS650 was a copy of the Triumph T120 Bonneville… minus the leaks and the Lucas electrics and the bronze engine bushings etc. So, the plan is to build an XS650 and for Deathtrap to build a Triumph T120 (650cc) and prove which is the quicker machine in an 1/8 mile drag race.
There is a strict budget of no more than $1000 to be spent on the engine to make it go fast and it must remain a 650cc engine. My donor bike was a 1980 XS650 Special… for no other reason than I had one laying around. The Triumph has a big weight advantage to start with (the Special weighs in at nearly 500 lbs and a T120 Bonnie, a shade over 400 lbs). Power output is about the same in stock form, around 45-50 horses. So, this will be a test of the XS650′s ability to produce many more horses with not much money and keeping all Yamaha engine internals. The plan was for serious head work, good carbs and a well balanced engine. Oh, and a healthy amount of weight loss helped out by the hard tail and lots of aluminum.
Sadly, the race has yet to happen. But all I can say is that mine's finished.