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XS 650b

Much can be said for and about the XS650. Here’s a link to the Wikipedia page. This is my rebuild job on a 1971. Ruth and I took this on in 2000, starting with a frame and five boxes of parts which again, buddy Bruce Hayton had been so good as to pull apart, and not label or photograph anything in its “before” state.

While there were a number of ‘Where the &*%#@ does this go’ moments, we didn’t end up with any spare parts. The rebuild is somewhat chronicled in a photo essay which follows.

The colour is very close to original, taken from an un faded over spray inside the headlight clam shell. The white stripe is an intentional cheat. Its placement and size is correct, but I asked for a touch of the main yellow to spilled into the white, for a softer. Buttery white. See for yourself - I think it was the right move.

The ride? Tractor-ish. These things vibrated like an off balance dryer on steroids. Parts fell off as you cruised along. I thought my KLR was bad, but this was the vibration king. A lot of loc-tite was added hastily after the initial rebuild. Ruth managed to catch a side panel before the wind took it while riding pillion! Oh, and true to theme on early bikes, the brakes made evasion and avoidance your best plan.