So you guys have seen Death By Wheel! which was a sorta kinda start to this newest build for MYSELF. Yes folks, I’m taking some time here and there to do something for me, and I’ve been planning this bike for a good long while.
Well, those Death Wheels got their tires mounted up this week, and I’ve got several engine parts all bead blasted, cleaned up, and waiting on some parts before I can build the engine. I ordered a pile of tubing, several new dies for my HandBuilt Tube Bender, and got to work. PS – Support the XS650.com forum and purchase your XS650 Axle Plates from Travis – HERE!!!
I built a NEW jig to hold the engine by itself, I have plenty of engine cases and dead parts, so this one is ugly and grimy, but it’s gutted and easy to use for this. I wanted to build a tight frame – with super close tolerances to the engine, which made this pretty much necessary. Using a stock frame for reference, I stretched the rear 2″ and bent up some tubing to get started.
Then I made the front section of the frame. 5″ out, 3″ Down, 35 Degree Rake… I used 1.25″ OD Tubing sleeved over smaller tubing to make the front end similar to the stock frame. The engine was lowered into the frame almost 1″ lower than stock, and then tilted forward a few degrees. You’ll see why in a bit.
And yes, before I catch hell, the shop was/is a mess… I don’t care, I was having fun and making progress, the mess can wait. With all the lower frame rails tacked on, sat back and made sure I liked my dimensions. Yep, looked pretty radical to me, so I kept on….
I took a few more measurements with my Micrometer Eyeballs, and bent up a toptube / backbone out of some 1.5″ OD Tubing…
Here is a better shot to see how tight it all is….
I really wanted a more sloping angle behind the engine, and to get that effect, I knew I’d have to rotate the engine a bit forward. And don’t worry about oiling issues, I’ve been running my personal XS about like this for several years now due to the lowered forks and how I set up my tail section. The case parting line on the engine isn’t horizontal stock either, so it looks more angled than it really is…
Then I made sure I could get the engine in and out – Kinda important, since the top tube is about 3″ lower than stock…
Put the mock-up engine back in, and started finishing out the rest of the engine mounts….
Front was gonna be a bit tight as well, look how much further forward the stock engine mount would have been out of the frame – wasn’t planning on keeping it anyhow… (You can see the sleeved tubing / slashcut here as well – nice details like this pay off in the end…)
Spent some time scratching my head, and decided against a thru-hole in the frame for this mount, as it would ugly up all my work making those slash cuts and sleeved sections. So I machined up some stainless, and put together this trick little setup. It took alot of work to make them come in and out, as they have to pivot into place… These aren’t going anywhere! (You can see how low the cases are inside the frame in this shot.
Upper engine mount (Won’t be using one anyhow, Rephased Engines run so smooth you don’t need it…) is TIGHT!
I was getting pretty happy with how everything was coming along, so I went ahead and bent up the rest of the tail section, and tacked it in… I still have to add fender braces and some tabs, and then spend a little bit of time finishing all the welding, but so far soooooo good….
I’m stoked!! I ordered my Lectron 34MM Carbs today, as we as my JE 750CC Pistons and liners (10.5:1 Compression, not that lame 9:1 from those other folks) from Hoos Racing. I gotta build a new front end, and start getting a tank of some sort put together. I have a few here I am thinking of narrowing, but might do a Prism tank too (anyone got one on the cheap??)
Until next time folks, it’s been a long day, but I feel like its been a good one.