1981 Yamaha XS650 – Project Bike #6650cc - Project Bike 6 - 5400 Miles
A potential new project has presented itself. A friend of mine bought a house in Madison to flip. This 1980 Yamaha XS650 Special was buried under some junk in the garage. I hauled it to my garage and was able to free the kickstarter lever, and determined that I can turn the engine over by hand. A good sign! According to the tag it was built in Japan in November 1980 and is a 1981 Model VIN JYA4N9002BA009945.
With the left engine side cover removed, we can see the years of built-up dirt and grease to be removed and cleaned!
The entire rear half of the XS650 has been removed. The frame is in pretty good shape. Needs to be cleaned and touched up with paint.
The carbs have been removed… wow, really dirty and need cleaning. I hope the insides are not as dirty!
Deconstruction has been completed and now I’m experimenting with the modifications I will make. I’ve already chopped off the tail-end of the frame and have welded in a seat loop with an integrated slot for LED lights. I’ll be using longer Triumph Bonneville rear shocks to make the stance better for a cafe racer. I’ve ditched using the stock fenders and will modify ones from other bikes I had laying around. I’ll be using a shorter brat-style seat.
Rear seat frame was chopped for a short brat-style seat, and a fender from some other bike is being fitted. Bonneville rear shocks. Front fender chopped to be used as a fork brace and new fender mount.
Today (September 10), the owner of this Project Bike #6 stopped by the shop to inspect the progress. He was excited about the plans and direction of the bike. I was able to show him the read fender mounts I came up with, and the chopped fender. We discussed final colors and paint/powdercoating.
Design Direction & Inspiration
This is a Yamaha XS650 Flat Tracker race bike by Alex Leathers that shows some design direction I’d like to take this build in.