Checkout the online shop for new parts and service for you ride!

Click Here for more info on parts! Thanks - Hughs.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

What is our Future?

I ran across this video a few days ago, and have watched it several times. There are certain aspects of this video that sadden me, and others that make me feel like there is more to life than making money and working behind a desk with clean fingernails...


Handmade Portraits: Liberty Vintage Motorcycles from Etsy on Vimeo.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Deep Six Brass - Now Available for XS650's

You know the ugly ones with clunky rubber pegs that mount on a swingarm framed XS650?  Yeah, those ugly things.  Well I've got a build going on here in the shop, and there is no way I could let it leave with those hideous rubber rusty stock pegs.

Enter My buddy Tom from Deep Six Cycles. He got up with me a few weeks ago about making some sweet brass for the XS650 Market.  I sent him a pair of XS650 pegs mounts, complete with rusty nasty pegs attached.  He knew that something had to be done.  Being that Brass and Stainless are some of his favorite materials to work in, this was a no brainer.

This week I was pleasantly surprised when he dropped off my new pegs.  These things are NICE!  (Don't mind all my grubby fingerprints, that's my fault)  This is a completely new design from Deep Six Cycles exclusively for the XS650.  Solid Brass Hex Stock, machined and polished to the hilt, and then mated up to solid Stainless Steel Adapters.  Did I mention these are NICE?

He sent them over with all the needed hardware, all I had to do is remove the stock rubber peg pin.  I used a drillpress, but this could easily be done with a grinder, dremel, claw hammer, etc...

Drilling out the stock pin:

Then it was a simple install using the supplied hardware.  I put the Bolt head facing upwards, but in all reality, with the supplied Nylock nut, these aren't going anywhere.

I drilled out the other side and mounted the new brass peg just like you see above.  Then I just had to bolt it back onto the frame.  I recommend using new rubber mounts (you can get these from MikesXS), but for now this bike is still in the mock-up stage.  These things are gonna ROCK.  Check it!

I really think these are gonna set off this bike in a way that the stock rubber pegs just couldn't touch.  Tom is planning on making Knurled Aluminum pegs as well for all you Cafe/Street Tracker dudes, so stay tuned and make sure to drop in and see everything else he has going on.

Retail is $125 plus shipping, and that includes all the hardware and about 5 lbs worth of awesomeness.  I don't keep these in stock as of yet, so make sure to get up with Tom at Deep Six Cycles if you want a set.   Purchase directly from their Blog RIGHT HERE!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Rad dudes and cool bikes....

I've been building an engine for a dude on the Chop Cult that goes by Jason H.  He got ahold of me a while back, and now he's getting a pretty sweet rephased engine for his chop project.

He brought me a dead and beat down looking engine a few weeks ago, and brought his buddy along for the ride.  You might have seen these bikes over on the ChopCult, but if not, it's worth a look.  These dudes are buying a few select pieces to work from, and then making almost all of the rest of it themselves.  My Kinda dudes. 

Jason H's "Black Sheep XS650"

Take a quick look, sweet handbuilt controls and bars, seat hinge, exhaust, risers, etc...

Pretty sweet stuff coming from the flatlands of North Carolina.

The best part of the latest trip up the mountain was that Brian brought me his XS650 to test ride.   If you haven't seen this wild thing, you need to take a closer look!  Brian is one of these Luddites who talks about the internet as if it is some kinda ninja voodoo TV screen.  So needless to say, all his creativity must come from somewhere else, I'm gonna guess this boy sits in the sun just a little bit too long at times, but he kicks out some really sweet moto madness.

Don't let all the lack of paint and raw materials fool you, these bikes are just about finished.  They are building them to ride for sure, and could care less about a scratch or rusty spot. 

So I did get a chance to ride Brian's bike last night, in the rain nonetheless.  I couldn't pass up the chance honestly.  This is a man's machine.  No front brake, an even worse rear brake, Kick-Only with a PMA charging system and a clutch that will try to toss you over the bars.  It was by far the most dangerous thing I have ever ridden.  After I left the driveway and headed to the main road,  the headlight came off and then it shot an air filter into orbit while I tried to pilot the thing 1 handed down a wet mountain road with no brakes and no lights.  I like it.  

Stay tuned to these guy's builds on the ChopCult:
Crazy ass dirt tired death trap
Jason H's Black Sheep XS650

They are planning to make the Smoke Out East as well, so get ready to be amazed in person at all the attention to detail and sweet fabrication skills these guys are kicking out.  Now I just gotta talk them into running the Big Mountain Run sponsored by Limpnickie Lot and Cycle Source Magazine.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Survivor XS - Paint by Dills Paintworks

The feller that does all the rad paint for "Wheels Thru Time" Museum, and this Sweet Shovel managed to squeeze in some time for the Survivor XS's paint job. 

I might have to rename this bike "Trout Sandwich" since the paint makes me wanna go fishing with my favorite spinning lure...  I'm in love with it, and you definitely won't see another out there like it! 

Thanks Mr. John Dills for all the hard work, I know it will look even better in person!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Battery Boxes - In The Works

Well, I'm at it again.  Several products are on the back burner right now as they are just to time consuming and you guys (and gals!) are keeping me busy.  I'm not complaining.  

I have been drawing up a few battery boxes to get laser cut and I'll TIG weld them together.  These will be available soon for Harley Size batteries, 4LBS, 5LBS, and 7LBS as well as YTX14 batteries.  If you have another size you like to use, let me know and I'll be glad to have one made.  I'll be adding a few products in the next few weeks (hopefully) so stay tuned.  Thanks again folks.

Preview of the latest Battery Box Design.  

Hoping to offer these in 1/8" thick 1018 Steel as well as Stainless!  Yeah, who does stainless boxes?  Hugh's HandBuilt, thats who!  

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

RARE XS1/TX560 Big Bore Kit (For Sale)

What we have here is a used XS1/TX650 Big Bore kit.  These are 79.6mm pistons, and came either on the extremely rare TX650 with factory 750 kit, or were installed as a dealer option.   They are for engines with 22mm wrist pins ONLY.   These are in great shape, with some extremely minor scuffing on the cylinder walls being the worst of the wear.  There are some broken fins on the cylinder (as seen on the right side of the 1st and 2nd pic), but any competent TIG welder can rebuild them easily.

The rings and pistons look amazing, and are in great shape as well.  I have a NOS Big Bore Head Gasket I will toss in with the sale.  These are no longer in production, and this is the only set I have ever seen online or in person.   Get em while the getting is good.   $450.00 OBO    Even if you could find these for your engine new, the later model version is going for $659.00.   This is a steal folks. 

And Yes, I will ship overseas, but not on my dime.  

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Failed Cranks - Why to properly build and weld an XS650 Crank

Ok, let me start off by saying that I have heard several people say that welding the cranks is a waste of time unless it is in a full race engine, big bore, etc..   Well I've been tearing down engines now for a few years, and have come across this more times than I can remember.  This crank is just ONE example, but I've seen them come apart at the centers, rod pins, both, etc... 

See how this rod pin isn't near flush with the flywheel?  

Another view to give you an idea of the depth of the pin.

See this scoring on the flywheel?  This is from the flywheel crashing into the cases.   Not good folks.
To much side to side play in the rod = Uneven and non centered forces on the piston as the rod moves back and forth on the pin.  This will cause pinching and binding in the cylinders as the piston travels up and down.  Probably not a good thing.

Having a charging issue you can't solve?  Might be directly linked to a crank coming apart as the flywheel has pushed the charging rotor into the alternator housing, grounding out and being a complete pain in the you know what to diagnose.  I've had several engines come in with charging issues, only to find out that the entire system has been toasted due to the flywheels separating.  

FYI - This was a stock bottom end, with a 750 Big Bore kit.  I've seen this problem on many stock engines, big bore kitted engines, and non-welded rephased cranks as well.  If you are putting money into your engine, make sure the crank is done PROPERLY.

So what is a Properly built crank you ask:   

Simply put, it must be built from the center out.  All pressed joints must be TIG welded for proper penetration and minimal buildup of filler material (clearances on the rod bearings and crank bearings are TIGHT around some of the welds).  All clearances must be in spec, and all flywheels must be checked for runout before final welding.   Yes, it takes time to do, but anything worth doing, is worth doing right the first time.  

Crank Pin Welded on the Outside.

Welded in the Center after pressing the 2 Halves together. 

And more welds of the pins.  Just because I always think the colors are amazing!

And of course a shot of a Rephased Crank - Seems like a good idea to me if you are tearing it down far enough to build it properly.   
Next time you have a charging issue, or have aluminum shavings you can't figure out where they are coming from, look to the crank.  The often most overlooked part of the XS650 engine could be the biggest thing waiting to go BOOM inside your engine. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Inspired - What inspires you?

I recently found a picture that made me want to get back into the shop and get to working on my projects.   This fellow has a TINY little shed he is working out of, he has a small workbench, tools hanging on the wall, and probably has to keep the door open just to breath in there.  He also managed to put up a few photos of bikes that inspired him to build a motorscoot for himself. 
This photo inspires me in a few ways.  There is a picture of my first bike hanging in his door to inspire him in his build.  Seeing how small of a space this guy is working out of makes me realize just how good I have it.  Guys like this are keeping it true to Backyard Builders everywhere.  If anyone knows who this is, send them over here, I want to send them a discount coupon for some parts if they need it... 

Keep it real guys, and lets see some more Backyard Builds hitting the streets this summer!


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Another Rephased Engine - For an member.

277 Rephase, stock bore, stock head, Mikuni VM 34MM Roundslide Carbs, Stock Headpipes, Pamcopete Ignition XS1 Camshaft. This is a Kick Only engine, we deleted the starter and all the related shafts and gears.

Still needs to be broken in, fully tuned, camchain re-tensioned, head re-torqued and such, but this is a great running engine. The ticking you head is the valves, I run them very loose while breaking in an engine, at .006-.007" so that I can guarantee everything is getting oiled properly before final tuning and install.

Notice that this thing is SUPER loose on my test stand (only 1 bolt holding it tight), but idles smoother than any stock XS650 engine you will find.


Thursday, March 3, 2011

Polishing... Such a pain, but SOOO Worth It!

So I hired a local kid who wants to learn and earn...  Sounds good to me.  First thing I did, was toss him on some really ugly side covers and engine covers that he couldn't hurt.   A few hours later, he was in full swing and grabbing anything he could around the shop to learn how to polish.   If anyone wants to exchange a set of covers, email me at

Its been great weather lately, and when that happens, my shop gains 200% in size since I'd much rather work outside than in... 

Checkout the online shop for new parts and service for you ride!

Click Here for more info on parts! Thanks - Hughs.