Story at end, yet to be integrated with pics... a few pics rushed in for a potential TV commercial...
Well, I’m much better at doing than writing, but, here goes...
2xs is the most recent of my builds. It has taken nearly 12 months and around 500 to 600 hours to get to this stage, though, many of those have been contemplation with my favourite beverage, xxxx gold!
I built this xs because my son wanted me to build him a chop like my ‘Xsive’. I said, “Have this one; I’ll build another”. So, this build, (as I’ve advised many people before) began with finding a seat and a good riding position and building a bike around it.
I start with a new Harley ‘badlander’ seat, a spare frame from my hoard and some ‘procrastination fluid’ you guessed it 4x . I wack in a set of Ducati fork legs, a Harley back wheel and make up a temporary water pipe swing arm.
Then it is out with gas axe and 1 ml cutting discs;. “I’m going to make this seat work on the mock up”. And hey presto, several hours and many xxxx later, it sits just where I want it. Now all I have to do is make everything else fit into half the space and make the cuts structurally sound.
Out with the tig, a bit of boxing in, some braces to replace the ones that got the chop and that’s done.
Now, time to think about the rear end. It’s easiest to cut the lot off in front of the top shock mounts and a start again. Steam pipe shock mounts, more boxing, more welding to make it strong. Hmm. Swing arm needs to be longer and wider. Do I modify a standard one! No, too easy.
After a lot of measuring, I decide I’ll make a 2009 gsxr rear end fit. Sounds easy, but never listen to your sub conscious! But, my mind is made up. It’s going to happen and eventually it does. I get rid of the mono shock (this baby’s having old school twin shocks. New bushes are machined by my mate Pete, from roll formed mica. Then some spacing in the guts, a new pivot bolt, some through swing arm shock mounts, lots of repositioning to find movement for suspension. The right size blocks to suit the ride height I was after and that’s done.
Now, got to make the back brakes work, so set about fabricating a master cylinder mount, concealed high up under the seat and use the original brake pivot point. Need lots more of my favourite beverage again for this one and the rear end’s done.
Well, not quite. Got to line the chain up. More measuring and straight edging. Ok. 18 ml off the Cush drive where the sprocket mounts. That’s the easy part; you just can’t buy a Suzuki sprocket or one that fits to suit the Yamaha’s gearing. It needs to run a smaller chain also. So settle for a new 520 x 32 tooth xs sprocket, tig up the mounting holes and redrill the Suzuki p.c.d. Pete takes care of the machining once again. A new 520 x 18 countershaft sprocket, welded and machined, so the retaining nut still fits
Beauty! Chain clears the frame with 8mm clearance sideways. Get the chain aligned with mock up engine. Rear ends on! Mission accomplished.
Fast forward to the front end. Have purchased a set of CR Honda 35 ml fork legs, hub disc and caliper. Set it up with a wheel. Dang, too low on the front... forgot that the axle height is 70 ml higher on the mx forks, so a couple of four inch slugs do the trick. Get rid of the air valves and beef up the springs.
The front hub is machined and polished and new chrome spokes and an alloy Takisami xl rim added. A 21” Dunlop 404 tyre is added. But, guess what? Mx forks don’t have mud guard mounts, so it’s out with the tig. I’ll just make a guard out of stainless that mounts where the fork seals go. Many hours and 4x later and it’s on.
I fabricate some stainless headlight mounts to take a bates side mounted headlamp ended up being used for a set of Old Fart’s flashers to sit on and another mount made to suit a bottom mount 5 ¾ “ lamp modified to take a quartz insert as it came with a 35 watt globe unit,
Now to the middle frame... it sits a little high at the front so I fabricated a bug scoop to offset the angle, think I will put the exhaust down through here.
About 30 hours (and many xxxx) later a set of stainless pipes magically appear, mounted on the mock engine that has been sitting in place for all fitments to be made around it.
Now, it’s time to debur and cut off all unnecessary lugs, file finish welds etc and fit out with infill’s and tins. I french the side cover tins by rolling them over my knees. Cut outs for air filters and grills are all done by rolling over a suitable surface. Then pieces are tigged into place and prepared for painting.
S/S tube for the hidden wiring begins at the top frame tube by the steering head and exits under the seat. “Wiring.” what a head stress! Lots more 4x!!! Total system is designed to use micro switches and relays. Ever had to unsolder and rewire after market Harley 1” controls to cater for the reduction in wires? Luckily they all work first time... the advantage of doing radio school as a child... some things have remained in my thick skull!
Believe it or not, 57 wire connections are inside that tiny little headlamp courtesy of all the switches as well as a digital Speedo and tacho. Although final hookup to the electric leg from the solenoid is complete, there is no way an xs starter is going to turn this pig over.
While I’m trying to decide on colour, I mount the mustang (70’s)tank and manufacture the rear guard from fiberglass mould of a XVS Yamaha, cutting and reworking it to get the right look. A s/s hand formed sissy bar to mount to the guard and seat takes shape. Someone chopped all the rear end off, “one” of those 4x moments we all should have.
Some forward controls to fit the already fabbed mounting points are made from stainless steel. Modifying a Harley Sportster, after market chrome side stand get the bike standing up.
Engine parts have now arrived from the USA... big fin race barrel, big bore, 800 forged pistons, s/s valves, hp valve springs, waggott cam shaft, h/d Barnett clutch, pamco electronic ignition, 75000 volt coil, modified rz stator and rotor, solid magnetic alternator. The head gets a port and polish and early model 38 mikuni carbs, jetted to suit are hooked up.
Back come the parts from the chrome platers. The polished alloy rear wheel and side covers come back from GLM polishers in Adelaide, one of our suppliers...a “sparkling” great job!
Colour is now decided after many trials on anything that could be painted... a 50/50 mix of chromatic orange and lemon yellow for the base colour, followed by several coats of tropical pearl sunrise, finished off with 3 coats of 2 pack clear; all over a 2 pack undercoat.
The bike is then reassembled with fabricated s/s engine mounts, and s/s bolts and locknuts.
I take it to the N.S.W Mushter. A fair bit of interest is shown in it along with the other bikes the men bring to the show and shine at the markets in Maitland. The XS gets awarded a people’s choice award.
Since then, as the bike was not totally finished (are they ever right the first time), some finer detailing has taken place such as fine tuning of my reverse (I call it a mouse trap chain tensioner). This has been necessary to provide chain clearance and tension under the swing arm, as it did not clear the swing arm pivotwith the small rear sprocket. It’s now got the ‘ting/ting’ sound out of my chain guard which I made a little close to the chain. I have also fitted some baffles for rego.
I know I have forgotten to mention what seems like a thousand other little things that had to be chopped/sawn/welded/fabricated/polished/bent/buckled/twisted and shoehorned. but you get the picture don’t you?
I’m happy with the results and can’t wait to (don’t tell the missus) do another one. I’m thinking of putting a VT750 shafty into my 73 iron head frame... reckon it can be done?
I’ll have to consult the 4X for guidance on this one. Or maybe a cafe race lowered XS sidecar?
Cheers, Steve XSIVE.
PS it has since won 1st in show in custom jap category at the Maitland Bike and Rod Show.
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