The 'leftovers' project - XS650

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah I noticed the little hook of the springs at the rear facing up - will definitely flip them over :)

Not really sure of the colors on this bike yet. Been a real struggle to sort it out in my head. All the colors I like are muted greys which are essentially the same color as the bare metal. So might just clear the entire thing, frame and all.

The engine is completely bead blasted - no polished bits at all. I'm going to be shaving the front forks of all the fender and caliper mounts - will leave one bottom caliper mount to bolt the brake stay to for the front. The fork lowers will just be sanded to a brushed finish to match up with the fork covers which are bare steel.

The tank(s) is likely going to be a split affair - two separate tanks sitting on L shaped brackets welded to the backbone. You won't see them from the top and the tanks will sit on them bolted on from below. So the tanks will just float there with the backbone of the frame between them.

I might sell off the ribbed ducktail 7 West aluminum rear fender I have now and replace it with a plain steel version. Would like the option of adding a pillion seat to it like this one:

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/LYCETT-TYPE-PILLION-SPRUNG-SEAT-FRAME-SPRINGS-BSA-ARIEL-ENFIELD-ECspares-/261070235190?pt=Motorcycles_Parts_Accessories&hash=item3cc8ffa636&vxp=mtr&_uhb=1#ht_2618wt_968
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
I suppose if there was a single bike on the planet that would serve as overall ideal inspiration for this project, it's Ian Barry's The Black, with the sprung seat, split dual-purpose tanks etc. Of course that's like me painting with fingerpaints being inspired by the Mona Lisa, but hey, I do what I can with what I've got ;)

http://www.ianbarry.com/the-black/

05-Falcon10-Black-13.jpg

05-Falcon10-Black-03.jpg
 

JRK5892

Over 1,000 Posts
Tim we stock a color called bead blasted alum... looks great!
here is is in clear and without clear... (left is clear) would be a very simple clean color you can do to create a uniform look though the whole bike

302850_10151169236028230_747210292_n.jpg


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Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Today was a good day! My fork covers arrived from Vintage Customs, one of our fine Friends of DO THE TON.

As Jay describes on his site, they are hand-made, not stamped out at a factory. They fit like a glove. I still have to sort out my steering bearings a bit, which is why my top and bottom triple tree are a little further apart than they should be.

Jay includes o-rings which sit on top of the covers just under the top tree to eliminate any metal on metal rubbing or clanking, and they're a perfect fit over the rubber dust boots on the stock XS forks (mine are 35mm units).

I'll be trimming mine to fit once I shorten the front forks. I didn't know exactly how much shorter I was going to want them so I had Jay make mine the stock length. But I believe he can make them shorter or longer as needed. Would look cool on some 4" over extended forks.

I ordered mine in the unpolished raw steel. Not 100% sure what my finishes are going to be. I might end up powdercoating the fork lowers and the covers, or possibly leave them brushed metal finish. The raw steel is a good match for the stock fork lowers in terms of color.

Once I shorten things up they're going to look even better. I'm pretty happy with the front end now, and won't keep longing for a girder. I'll keep my more modern telescopic forks with cartridge emulators in them.
 

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Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Working on a set of matching 7 Metal West fenders for front and rear. The one in the pic is their aluminum ribbed duck tail model that I got off someone in Canada for a great deal. But, it's 1/2" wider than I'd like and I'm thinking steel, and non-ribbed for a more traditional, plain look. I might put a pillion seat on the rear at some point so want the steel for strength, and this bike is going to get a front fender I think.

Nice thing about the fork covers is they're heavy gauge steel - I think around 15 gauge - so plenty to weld onto if one wanted to do something interesting with a headlight mount or something.

Really cleans up the front end.

Think of a sort of lowered, stretched, raked 1950's Triumph Thunderbird and you'll start seeing my bike :)

1950-03.jpg
 

JRK5892

Over 1,000 Posts
LOVE the fork covers! that is one of the things that draws me to the CB350's reminds me of a bagger HD front end with the cow bells, really dig these covers man!
 

Pattheswede

First Timer in Cafe Racer Build
The fork setup looks great on bike!
A question, how to get it working whit that small way to travel?
Stiff springs and counting that it sometimes hit the bottom?
I will lower mine, so I'm curious how to solve it.
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Pat - thanks for the comments. The fork covers are designed for the stock length XS forks. I have to lower mine 3-4 inches, which you can do internally by installing a spacer and shortening the springs.

I'll be left with a couple inches of travel. Some heavy oil should help a bit. I'll shorten the fork covers as well.

Right now I'm planning on using one of the fender mounts on the forks, otherwise I'd shave them off. I'll be shaving off the caliper mounts, except for the lower left one which will be used to mount the brake stay to.
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Seat arrived. Exactly what I was after. Opinions may differ and who knows how I'll feel about it later but for the moment it is exactly what I wanted.
 

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Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Here's a better view of how it's starting to look. Goal is to more or less make it appear like it could have come from the factory, from bunch of yabos doing skunkworks in the Triumph or Norton factory on a weekend back in the early 50's. Fenders on both ends, flat basic steel for fender stays, exposed cloth covered wiring etc.

Sorry about the desk - might swap things around in here so I have better access to the entire length of this rather long bike. It's a solid 7' 4" end to end. Would have to take the front wheel off to slide it into the back end of Kemp's Aerostar ;)
 

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VonYinzer

Over 10,000 Posts
Have you seen the stuff Cooks Customs has been putting out recently? Very similar in execution to what your shooting for. But WAY fancier and more elaborate (overkill in my opinion).

1975-norton-850-commando-right_cook-customs.jpg
 

oldskool

Joon-yah
DTT SUPPORTER
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Man I love that seat,especially with the open springs. It would look insane with a girder on it,lol.
 

Rich Ard

doin' the backstroke in an estrogen ocean
DTT BOTM WINNER
Looking very cool, Tim. I wonder if a pair of kevlar pants would protect the ol' brass from damage?
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
I rearranged things in my office at home and can now sit on the bike. Managed to sit on the seat balanced on the cross tube of the frame. It's bloody comfy! Might just leave it as-is. Toss a sheepskin over it for long rides.
 

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