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

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

Monday, December 31, 2012

Have a Red Hot New Year!

Have a great new year folks...  Thanks so much for your support in 2012.  We look forward to offering more products and services to you in the 2013...  

And what?  Oh yeah, we'll be taking in Engines starting the first of next week.  Stay tuned for a new blog post!

Hugh's HandBuilt

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

TDC - and how to find it...

This content has moved!  Don't fret, it's not gone, just upgraded to a new site.


Whats happening lately at HHB?

Well folks, it's nearing the end of the year, and we figured we'd give you an idea of whats been happening in the shop lately.

We've been kicking out a TON of our Rephased XS650 Engines.  I think we've fired up and test run about 7 engines in the last 2 months or so...   I know you guys like videos - so here is a few of the latest engines we've fired up.

I've been working overtime getting these engines built - not that I'm complaining... Long hours and long days have been getting these out the door faster than ever... 

Tevan has been making some great progress on his Resto-Mod Cafe' 72 XS2 Project - it's gonna be a sweet machine!  He's really worked hard building his first bike, and he's only 19 - this one should be completed and on the streets very soon! 

I have been slowly bringing my Black and White Bike back up to snuff.  I had a little bit of a meltdown from all the abuse I've given the thing, so it's got a newly rebuilt and even better engine just waiting for the chassis to get freshened up..

Yep, fried a piston - given the abuse and neglect I've shown this engine, I'm not uspet in the least...

 The old Black and White bike has basically been the test mule for almost all of our HHB products and services.  As much as it is an Iconic XS650, I also beat the living daylights outta that thing in order to ensure that I only bring the best XS650 Parts and Services to you folks...  Built to ride! 

New 750cc Engine just waiting for some more abuse!  (I have a bad habit of building an engine for myself, and then selling it...  Not letting this one go - for once....)

Speaking of engine work, we've been reworking a few things around the shop so I can offer Clutch Exchanges in the future.  We've been getting lots of requests to machine our 8 Pack Clutches - and we've finally figured out a good way to machine them and build them in a timely manner...  Look for that service to be announced in January sometime...

8 Pack Clutch into an OEM 7 Pack Basket

And for those of you with an OEM 6 Pack Clutch Basket, we've also found a way to upgrade you to 7 Disks - and it's gonna be a very cost effective upgrade!  

We always get questions "How do you get your engines/parts/stuff so clean???" Well, we used to do a TON of beadblasting to get our components as clean and fresh as possible.  Bead blasting required a TON of effort, and even more time cleaning and ensuring all of the glass bead was thoroughly  removed from any engine components.  

Then we discovered Aqua Blasting!  Johnathan is the owner of Rice Relics and has been doing some great work for us...   (PS - You can mail him your parts, and he'll make sure you get the very best service and mail em' back to you - very cool!)

This will give you an idea of the amount of work we've been doing lately, and without someone doing the Aqau Blasting for us, we'd be stuck at the blast cabinet all day...

And when parts are this clean, I can find/fix any damages much easier...  I've had several sets of cases come in with this area of the engine damaged.  A little bit of AC power and we are back in business...

Ok, but back to bikes right?  I had been helping a friend build this "Brat" bike for a LONG time, it was actually the 2nd bike I ever started to customize.  Well, several years later, and it sitting in the corner of the shop neglected, a deal was struck with the owner and now I have been beating on this bike as bad or worse than the Black and White bike ever had it... 

I've made a few changes from the previous owners doing - mostly cosmetic.  I've been taking it over to the skate park and hitting the ramps with it...  Sooo dumb...  But, this thing with it's super narrow bars and gnarly tires just wants to be in the air - I can't help it... 

It'll get some upgrades this winter, a 750cc Rephased, cammed, ported and carbed engine should do nicely....  And maybe I'll quit breaking it - that box jump at the skate park is hell on a frame I tell ya - haha....  Nothing some new tubing and beefier shock mounts can't handle...

So we hopefully will have our Resto-Mod Cafe' Project, the Black and White Bike, My funky Brat Lansplitter Dirtbike Thing, My Digger Project (long been on hold...) and a Street Tracker done this spring to bring to shows, events, etc... 

Street Tracker you say???  Oh yeah, I've started on the head for that project too!  I'm thinking 270 Degree Rephase, 750 CC, and all the trimmings... 

So we've got a LONG busy winter ahead of us...  I think we have our hands full, and we still plan to bring 3-4 new products to market in the next few months - so stay tuned! 

PS - find us on Facebook - we tend to put alot of random updates on Facebook, and sometimes you can get a jump on the sale of random parts too...  So go "Like" us, if you don't already

And since 2013 is practically upon us, go get your calendar!  We made the cover!!! 

Buy your 2013 Calendar here - - and no, we aren't making any money off of this, we just thought it was cool... 

As always, thanks so much for your continued support of Hugh's HandBuilt - when you support a small business like HHB, you can see exactly where your money goes.  We have 2 fulltime employees, and I have a wife and 4 month old child who all appreciate your business.  Thanks again folks for allowing us to be a small part of the American Dream


Saturday, December 1, 2012

And the winner is????

JASON H - Step right up and collect your prize!!!

Thanks so much to the folks who entered, shared and really took part in what this giveaway was all about...  It has been inspiring to more folks than you can imagine, lots of people have emailed or called and talked about this giveaway.

I'm proud to see so many of you fine folks getting out in the shop and spending time with your families...  Keep it up..

Jason H -

"Here you go brother.
Thanks for doing this man we all appreciate it.

This is my two year old daughter Aberdeen. She's my one and and only and definitely mine and my wife's best friend. On top of skateboards and Dora she loves all things loud and fast.... Out of all of the sweet tools in my shop she has been the greatest addition.

Thanks again man."

His email response is the best

 "Your kidding! Your effing kidding! I have literally never won anything literally....not even two bucks on a lotto ticket!!!!! I'm gonna scream!!! This is bad ass!!!!

That's was so hard to type!!!! Thanks so much man!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Glad to be a small part of your build Jason!

And all the other submissions?  Well, here they are!

Our Holiday Giveaway Submissions.  Get out there, get your family involved in wrenching on these old bikes - win big!!  

More information on the Giveaway here:

2012 Holiday Giveaway Picture Submissions:

"Here is a pic of myself and son with my xs winter project that is now going on to it's 3rd year ;) Although he's not old enough to help out yet, I am very thankful for his appreciation of anything with wheels and his enthusiasm for all bikes. My biggest thing to thankful for is a wife who will put up with the endless working in the garage, buying parts and direction changes.

The bike started as a pile of parts that once where a 77 xs650 with just 1800 miles that was left in a bake yard.

The motor is a 71 that will eventually be a rephased motor with my 77 bottom end mated to the 71 top end. My goal at this time is to have is on the road for spring..... Of 2013 and no later ;)
Thanks for the work you do for the community and all of your blood sweat and tears."

Jeff C

"This is me and the neighbor kid that's always coming by checking out what I'm doing, he's the only one besides my kid that shows interest so I put him to work and showed him how I clean up the covers on these motors"

"This is my boy Eli helping out, he's getting good with the Scotchbrite and likes to get his hands on my wrenches and anything that plugs in the wall! My little girl is more "monkey see, monkey do" but she's got the idea. The grey fella is my Dad, over 30 years as a fabricator and never once showed me how to do anything. All I ever heard as a kid was "no boy of mine is gonna work in a dirty old shop all day like I have to!". Little did we know all these years later it would be all I want to do, and after my wife bought me a welder, the old man came down and showed me some of his tricks... one of the best days ever"

"Monkey See, Monkey Do!" - haha 

"My wife changing out my jets before I get home from work"

I work 50+ hours a week at night so I don't get to see my kids that much during the school year, and they know I love being in my garage. That said, it's really cool that they like to get into what I'm doing and show interest. You're doing a lot of great things Hugh, keep it up man!

Jeremy V

 "I'm a 32-year old software engineer, who absolutely loves XS650's! Bet you don't hear that often, ha. I went out last year and grabbed a beater, pulled out from the woods, no tank, not much of anything really. After a lot of research, I rebuilt the carbs and got it wired (oh yeah, that was also missing). Getting the bike fired up was one of the coolest things ever, given my experience. The other coolest thing ever is the little guy in the pic, who loves these things as much as I do. We sit on my laptop and browse,, etc. and are just amazed at how awesome these bikes are. He's obsessed with tanks, every one he sees is like the first tank he's ever seen, love it! Either way, I'm blessed to spend time with him doing what I love to do, even if it's for an hour or so every week given my busy schedule. Hope you and your family have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and please don't stop making these awesome products! Take care!"

Marco A

 "This is a picture of me and my son (Noah) work on my bike.  It is a 79' XS650.  I have been working on the bike for about a year.  It is a drop seat, hardtail (7 inches longer), the front end has been raked out several degrees.  I plan on stripping the frame and stain clear coating it.  The engine will go black with highlighting the fins on the jugs.  I will be running clip-ons with internal throttle and clutch.  I am looking forward to having it done in the spring." 

Troy Y


" About 1980 or so my then at the time 5 year old brother decided he and a friend would "fix daddies bike". They managed to pull every screw they could and cut wiring and drain fork oil...long story short, when my father tried to fix this, he and my grandfather never got her to run again,,, So it sat in a damp dingy basement garage for the next 32 years.
This began the long strange trip...
My father bought the bike in NY, rode it to Oregon, and back to NY then it was dead. in that time he met my mother in Oregon and they rode it everywhere, for my whole life my mother was mad at my brother about wrecking that bike, and always brought it up.
My mother passed away and the bike sat...
I moved to Portland OR and met my lovely wife Aubrey. We went to NY got the bike out of that basement at my grandfathers and had it shipped out to Oregon... I had decided that I would do a complete restoration, not having a clue where to begin or how to...
Lucky for me, and the point of this contest, my wife who had no idea what a torque wrench was, has now dived in full out to help me and has learned everything about the bike inside and out...
here are some pics,
before, during, and after, and of course my lovely girlie non mechanic ( at all) wife, working away...
she now also goes to get her oil changed when she should, all because of our beloved xs. "

Gordon L


Here's a pic of my shop helper getting his hands dirty during the initial teardown of our first project. My name is Jesse and the this is my son james. the bike is a 78 special that I bought last march. the other pic is it as it sits now. Its been a bit of a slow project since I've been learning as I go. ultimately it will run a pma and pamco with no battery/kick only.fake oil bag for electronics and fake battery box converted to tool box to fill the giant void behind the motor. pretty basic build as I'm doing it all myself other that the hardtail weld which I didn't think was a good Idea with my limited skills and flux core harbor freight mig. my son hangs out with me pretty much every day in the garage and he is convinced its his bike. he's also forcing me to paint it blue. Thanks for the help that you have unknowingly provided from your site,, and chopcult. 

Jesse G

"Here is 6 year old Joey wearing an old lab coat from my office, helping me get Yamabond spread out so I can get the case back together.  This was a complete teardown of a 1980 xs650 engine that I built back up (and now have in my running bike)."

"This is 9 year old Lucy giving me a hand getting the HHB Clutch mod all buttoned up on my 1980 xs650  Special"

Steven S

"Here's a pic of my dad , my niece, my dog and I on a cold desert night. The bike is an 81 with tcbros hardtail  and gordonscott pipes. We just finished the paint . Other then that  I'd just like it to be a daily driver before summer so I can ride it again before I deploy . I'm so thankful for the support of my family ( my dads plethora of tools) haha my nice and my dog helping as much as they can . And my moms home cooked meals . I think this is a great idea and good luck to everyone ."

Semper Fi

 "This bike started out as a 73 TX650. I bought it with a locked up motor and in boxes. If you asked me what a bobber was a year ago, I couldn't tell you. 
 I seen an ad in the local classifieds (wasn't even looking for a bike) for a bobbed out harley and ever since than knew I had to have one.
 Joined up on and started chopping.
  It's been a blast building this bike, not even close to being finished.
Bike has a T.C hardtail, later model 35mm front end which will eventually be lowered 3 inches up front with a 21 inch wheel. I like the low slammed bikes. It's been consuming me to get mine built that way. Motor will stay stock for now as it is not in the budget. Just want to get it rolling.
 Here's a pic of my boy Seth. Not able to turn wrenches yet but will be a helper in the garage soon enough. He likes anything with wheels and I think that's a good thing."
Kevin M 

 "Here is a pic of me and my son (JD) in the garage with my 79 xs650 Special. I am in the process of stripping it down to turn it into a minimalist bobber with rigid frame and rephased motor. I hope to do all the work myself with the exception of building the hardtail and having Hugh's HandBuilt split my cam. She should look good when done with flat black paint and Lucifera on the seat from an old Danzig song. My son is only 18 months old but I hope he grows up wanting to hang out in the garage with his ol' man." 

Josh M

"What a great idea to highlight how a garage can bring a family memories.  Attached is a photo of my oldest daughter in her pink leotard helping me rewire a XS650 after the installation of the HHB PMA, Pamco and new coil.  It's only appropriate that she helps since the XS650 was a Father's Day present.  I have started to build a hard tail with hopes of 21" wheels and a HHB re-phase.

Thanks for the opportunity to showcase what the typical weekend looks like in my garage.

Keep up the Great Work and here to success in the upcoming New Year!"
Johnathan M

"Very generous contest you are hosting!

So, I have a 1981 XS 650 SH that I got last Christmas with an idea to have a historical bike to a) play around on, b) make my son think I was cool, anc c) learn how to work on bikes as he is a car/bike freak and I'll have to fix his someday.

The ultimate goal for this bike and one in the future is to leave something to my sons that they can appreciate from a historical standpoint, and also know that their Dad put it back together for them. This bike will be a Cafe Racer style and I hope to spend the majority of this winter getting it all pretty like.

My name is Ryan and my xs650 handle is 'rlauchard'. These are my two sons Connor (redhead, age 4) and Finn (blonde, age 2). My wife and I are thankful for them everyday and since I travel...well...absence certainly makes you aware of how much they mean to you.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours and a Merry Christmas to boot!"
Ryan L

This is a picture I snapped of my old man, Roger.  Him and I had been at odds for nearly two decades and when my interest in chopping bikes was sparked it seemed as if that was just the catalyst we needed to bury some hatchets.  He is now my go-to guy for info/advice and one of my best friends.  The bike he is standing next to is my 1980 xs650 that we just got done putting the first coat of primer on.  I picked up the brat-kit from monster craftsman, welded it up and plan to build the bike up in a very simple fashion to cruise around town.  I picked up a 2" lowering kit from you guys and a wassell replica and swapped out the stock front wheel with one from an xs400 with the drum brake.  Happy holidays!
Cody K

 "These are pictures of my son Austin. He is 8 years old, and this is his first project ever. My dad passed away last April, and we did a lot together. So I picked up this 72 xs as a father son project to try and redirect my son from video games and t.v. The change in him has been phenomenal! He loves getting out in the garage and finding out all what all the tools do. The time I used to spend in the garage alone, has now turned into passing on what little I know, and learning a few things in the process. Austin has Aspergers, and I have been trying to find something that he enjoys doing. Once they get an interest, they focus on it with laser like intensity, and I think we hit the mother load with the xs project. Hardware and tool runs to the store that used to be a trial with him, have suddenly taken on a whole new direction. Let’s just say this has been a pivotal moment for us, and I couldn’t be happier with the direction this is headed!! We have decided to do a scrambler/tracker type bike, with the understanding that when he can kick start her, the bike is officially his. We will be posting progress pics on instagram under the name strattoad. Thanks’ to Hugh and everyone else in the xs community for providing the products and info to keep this going.

Glenn Q

"This is a picture of my 7 year old daughter Keri Elizabeth. She is my shop helper constantly helping me work on my cars and now my new XS650 bobber build. As you can see in the picture she was so excited to work on the bike she didn't even take the time to change out of her "fancy" clothes to start wrenching. She took apart the rear fender, signals, tank, front fender and side covers all on her own, from finding the correct tool to knowing which nut or screws to wrench on.

The goal of the build is two fold.

First goal is to be able to share another project with my daughters and teach them as much as I can as we learn how to build a bobber together. I want them to be self sufficient and be able to handle any obstacle thrown at them including make their own car/bike repairs. Hopefully one day she will let me be her helper when she wants to build her own motorcycle/show car.

Second goal is to build a super clean, super sleek hardtail. Clean lines, crisp paint. less is more approach.  Something I can be proud to cruise around town and say I built it myself."

Jason W 

Heres a shot of my wife, our soon to be son, Jackson, our dog Axl Garbage, and I working on my 81 XS650 Heritage.  I'm planning on streching it 3' and dropping it 2', with a sportster tank( in the top corner of my pic).  My idea is to give it a real sweaty look, I've always like primer grey, and raw steel.  I'm working on a kick stand, made out of an 1 1/8 wrench heated and bent, and a custom taillight cover made from the top of an old time juicer.  I found your contest looking for an alternative for the crappy riser bushings in my stock XS, I'll be ordering those from you real soon !
A little backstory on my family....  I bought my fist motorycyle, 71 cb750 barn find, last spring with a small amount of cash I had laid away.  No more then a week later, my wife and I found out she was pregnant with our first child !!!  We are so pumped!  Funny how life works, I would have never spent the money on a bike for myself if I knew we had a baby on the way.  So I made the most of it... Spent all summer fixing up the CB got it running and put a few thousand miles on it.  I loved it !  Wrenching, crusin, and learnin about these old bikes has been awesome.  So in the fall I sold my CB, made a few bucks and got an 81 heritage that had sat for 15 years on the cheap and now its my winter project.  As you can see I dont have a garage, I made up my porch as my Choppin Shop, and I'm set up for the winter.  I cant wait until my son gets here so I can pass my love for two wheels on to him,  Plus then my wife wont have to keep holdin a flashight for me too!!!  
See you on the open road !
Mike F
Me and my son Mike are building a xs cafe for my wife Mary.I Stripped and powder coated the frame. We plan to use a permanent magnet alternator and a pamco ignition. And relace the wheels with new spokes. We hand built the tail section , seat pan and are now working on the foam and vinyl now. Hoping to have it done by spring. 
Mary P 

 "My grandson helping Papa in the garage. Working on my tracker. He just asked "What you doin now Papa" when I snapped the first pic. Caught him a little by surprise This was Thanksgiving Day. Second pic is a year or so old. He asked "What drawer Papa" When I told him to bring me wrench. Racerdave on"

Dave S

"Hey Hugh,
Super cool thing to give back.'s my kid, Tobias, having helped me rebuild and polish the front forks. I have a '77 xs650 swingarm bobber i'm building...(some call it brat, I don't think mine is). All the frame mods (none to the neck) should be done soon and then onto the torn apart motor...rephase, clean, blah, blah, rebuild. should be fun. He has a ball taking my tools and working on his little 4x4 battery powered truck while I work on the scooter. Ultimate goal for the ride the piss out of her all the time. Would love to ride down to Mexico to see one of my closest friends.

Thanks for all you do Hugh."


" I was in the garage with my dad working on the bike befor thanks giveing dinner and the wife found me I got yelled at lol cuz i was in my nice clothes. my plan is to hard tail it and a nice simple pant job and some ape hanger I'm hoping to have it done for the riding season coming up I'm on an extreme budget for this bike it will be a rat rod chopper/bobber. The next one I build I will go all out and hopefully my son will be old anuf to help a little he's only a month old"


 "Here is my 3 year old son Eli who is a natural when it comes to wrenching and working with his hands. Anytime I am working on any project he is there to help. This is my 1981 Special that was pretty neglected when I got it. Last winter was spent getting it into shape so I could be riding it by spring. Replaced fuses with blade type, fixed all leaks, new swingarm bushings, steering bearings, tune up, polished engine covers, new chain, sprockets, etc, etc. Spring came around and I road it every day to work and back and on weekends with no issues. This winter is now upon me and I am ready to spend time in the garage (I do concrete construction so my job is seasonal).  What I have planned next is; new bars 12 inch black, mustang tank, all new lights, speedo, solo seat, brat style (gonna keep the suspension), new rear fender, pipes etc, etc. Here are a couple of pics."

Paul K
"Hi Hugh
This is me with the kids spending some family time together.
I do shift work so its hard to balance work, family, and a bike.
But its nice that my boy is willing to learn how to fix/fabricate,
and my little girl likes to ham it up and give us some laughs 
The bike is a '79 650 came with the hard tail, but it needs some updates, PMA,Pamco,fender,tank... it runs good but i know it will run great when we're done with it
thx Steve, Mas, and Nicole"


"This is the bike my neighbor Mike and I built last winter, runs and rides great it's apart for paint,polish and rechrome and a seat cover, I'd like this bike to look new and turn alot of heads, we had alot of good times in the garage with build, have 2 more to build and maybe a couple of street trackers too.  Happy Holidays"

Mark F

"Wanted to say thanks in advance - not cuz I expect to win, but because you are doing a great job of supporting our community. I expect I'll be a customer soon enough. My bike is an '82 which I bought as a ratty already hardtailed bike.

The welding was horrid on this bike, and the cam chain rattled like hell. I've now had this bike completely apart and have re-welded the frame, tore down the top end of the engine and am now working on rewiring. It's getting beautiful and can't wait to ride it.

This is my daughter Raye. She's handy with a ratchet and keeps me young. She's usually riding in the driveway on my old skateboard while I'm wrenching the bike.

She and I ride together on the 'other' bike - with the sidecar.

PS: this pic is the day I got the bike. the 2up seat is gone, as is the huge rear fender and dragging mufflers. I've got some drag bars on it, small headlight and gauges. I'm keeping the monster harley tanks cuz I like how they look and can't wait to get something like 300 miles per fill up.

PPS: I've been keeping a blog at   haven't updated lately cuz I can't get on tumblr at work LOL.

Well, that's it. Thanks Hugh."

David S


" Startin' 'im out young!

Been working on this bike for about 2 years now with amazing help from Hugh and others enlisted in the website...Huge thanks to all! I started out with the idea of a drop seat, hard-tailed chopper. The little man helped by inserting sockets into the exhaust and putting screwdrivers in any hole that they would fit in. Making "tools" to fish out small things from every hole on the bike was a bit of a set back but completely worth the time together. He loves being in the garage helping with all our projects.
The bike evolved into the second picture with more to go before next summer. All custom parts (excluding the SWEET! rephased crank and cam by Hugh's Handbuilt) including the hardtail, gooseneck, fenders, powder coating and more were fabricated with long hours of grinding and welding in the garage of tools that I acquired mostly for this project. Despite the glares from the wife on a few long nights, the bike has made it this far. Funny thing is, when I took her on a ride around the block for one of the maiden voyages, her outlook turned 180 degrees and talk of in town date nights began...Moral of the story; hold out 'til the bikes are done guys! They will like it in the end."

Jeff W 

"My  father in law gave me this bike in exchange for getting his Harley running and taking a motorcycle safety course. Both bikes sat over 10yrs. It was a stock 1977 XS650D as soon as i got the bike home I tore it completely apart and started cutting away. My wife helped me and I saw a tear as memory's came back as she rode on the tank as a little girl. So I painted the tank with the lace from her wedding dress as tribute. My 2 daughters were so exicited to see it riding they wanted to ride something. So I found a 1970 shrike mini bike they are helping me with."


"The attached picture is the best pit crew I could ever ask for sporting some of their favorite shirts!  Xavier on the far left is my mini me, the others are my ex wifes kids.  They all love hangn out with me in the garage, Xavier claims everything in the garage is his, so aparently i dont have any motorcycles.  Hugh, you are an amazing man and what you are doing with the old Yamahas is awesome!!  Keep it up!  BMR 2013!!!!"

Ben Hall

"This is a picture of my girlfriend of six years as we got started on my xs650. We were stripping it and looking over reusable parts, I plan on having her help out over the whole process.
The plan is to hardtail the frame, build a springer front end, go over the engine and have a nimble reliable bike with a handful of one off handmade parts all by spring. Being young and broke, I’m planning out the entire build and building as many parts myself while keeping safety and reliability in mind."

Greg P
"Here is a pic of 3 of my students who are part of our "Kids Cafe" club at my school in Minnedosa, Manitoba, Canada.  This is my first crack at a motorcycle project involving students to this degree -- I did have 2-3 students help rebuild my supermono racer at my last High School.  I have 13 kids signed up, but using the auto shop at the high school and only having 1 bike to work on, I had to get creative in order to keep all students busy.  I have 3 students come to each after school session, to work on the bike for a couple of hours.  This pic sorta represents the frenetic nature of the junior high brain, and the fact that during this session, all three guys were busy!  Two are working on rearsets while another works on an engine cover.  The bike is a 1975 I purchased from a roadracing buddy for $500, partly restored.  Our hope is to finish it as a Cafe Racer in time for next spring and raffle it off, with the proceeds going to fund next year's project.  I hope to make in an annual club."

* We gladly sponsor these young folks in their efforts to wrench and learn about old motorcycles.  Check out their blog -

James S 

"This is my daughter Peyton... She's always eager to help out on my projects, though always seems to get distracted by one shiny object or another and ends up off in the corner beating on something with a hammer or building some architectural masterpiece that defies gravity out of every spare nut, bolt, piece of scrap metal, and electrical tape she can find.

Growing up spending hours in the shop with my dad I know what it can do for our relationship, so when I can't find that missing bolt... I don't sweat it when I find it on the 15th floor of her masterpiece...

My barn owl special XS is coming along very slowly...since cleaning the owl poop off from the years sitting in the farmers barn it keeps changing forms, and has currently changed direction to end up hardtailed, re-phased, and built in a nice clean vintage looking chopper style. Low and tight."

Jason J
"Here you go brother. 
Thanks for doing this man we all appreciate it.
This is my two year old daughter Aberdeen. She's my one and and only and definitely mine and my wife's best friend. On top of skateboards and Dora she loves all things loud and fast.... Out of all of the sweet tools in my shop she has been the greatest addition.
Thanks again man."

Jason H

"This is a picture of my 4 year old Grandson, Dakota helping me break down a tire off my 75 XS650 Standard. You can see the project in the background. This is my "XS Build-Off" project. I am planning a fully custom frame, basically all that will be left of the original bike is the neck, engine, rear wheel, and front hub. I have designed a very industrial frame and frontend for this build.

 I was given this XS, my first bike, by my Uncle Jerry. he had it in his back yard for about 10 years. He finally realized that he was never gonna get around to doing anything with it, so he gave it to me, along with a 73 CB500 chop that he gave to my younger brother, Brandon. The Honda has already garnered 2 trophies (rat class) and it the center of attention where ever it goes. My brother and I are trying to start a small custom car & bike shop called "$pare Change Custom$" and we are hoping that my XS and his CB will be the best advertisement for our little shop.

 My Grandson loves being around my motorcycles, and has always tried to "help", so today he joined me in removing a 20+ year old tire so I can clean up the rim, true the spokes and mock up the rear half of my project. It is very important to me to spend as much quality time with my Grandbabies as possible. I am 40 years old, and my family has a history of either living well into the 90's or passing on very early... I  lost my Dad 10 years ago when he was only 51, I dont want to risk missing a chance to have "Kota & Tampa" time... we never know when we will be out of time.

 I think this is a great way to "pay it forward" that you have decided to do, THANK YOU!"

Chris M


"Here I am with my little helpers! Isabella (6), Tristan (4), and Kellan (2), and, of course, the 77 XS650! I'm still tearing down, grinding and accumulating goodies. Plans call for a loud, hard tailed, bare bones death machine! My kids, especially Kellan, LOVE motorcycles, and we're having a great time playing with it. It's my first chopper build, and to say I'm on a tight budget would be a huge understatement! After selling stock "garbage" that I don't need, I"ve broke even. Not one dime out of pocket (yet)! Our first build together was a YZ250 dirt bike that, with some little helping hands, turned out great! I had a nasty wipeout and decided I should just stay on the street, so I traded it for the 650 and never looked back. Thank you for running this contest. Your work is amazing and I hope I win!!!"
Marcus H 
 "I have an 83 special. The plan for the bike at the time the pictures were taken was to just get it running. My daughter was almost three at the time these pictures were taken so she couldn't really do much but she certainly "helped". The picture of her sitting on it is her enjoying the fruits of her "labor" :) Now that she has spent so much time around tearing down the bike and getting it running I now catch her "wrenching" on her scooter and bicycle, never mind the fact that she's using a screwdriver to do so :) She turned 4 this past sunday. 

The future of the bike is to brat it out, finally put on the new carbs I picked up and I had been planning on getting a pma kit. The bike in the background of the pic of her sitting on the floor actually has one of your kits in it, belongs to a friend of mine. Anyway I figured you'd enjoy the pics, keep up the good work."
Trevor K

    "This is how we relax in the evenings working on my 81 XS650 Short Chop. Shown in the picture is daughter Jane age 4, and Son Michael age 7. 2012 was a tough year for our family. Being a Newly Full-Time single dad, with a very full work schedule, spending time with my family working on a hobby we all love is our inexpensive form of recreation. Being on a really tight budget the affordability of the XS650 has allowed me to build a cool bike on a limted income. The kids truly love spending time with me working on the bike.
    This is how the bike was this past year at the Smoke Out. We are currently adding a rear fender and "sissy bar" and calling this project "DONE"!
Thanks Hugh for making cool products for the everyday garage builder!"
Tim A

Here are some pictures for your giveaway contest. That is very generous of you to give back to the motorcycling community like this. You make some great looking parts and I hope to be able to incorporate some of those parts into my xs650 build seen below.
As you know, family is a very important thing. For me, my daughter Allison has been my inspiration for my build. I have done several other cafe builds in the past, but this is the first build where my daughter is actually old enough to contribute. Earlier this summer, I picked up this xs650, 1981 special, that you see below. While my wife and father both thought it was a “piece of crap”, my daughter saw potential and said “we can work with that dad!”. She is a little too young to be able to get really dirty on this project, but she knows my tools and and parts that I need and makes an excellent assistant. If I ask her to get me the metric open ended wrenches, she knows where they are and what they are, which is very helpful. She picked out my tires by the way the looked (Avon Safety Mileage MKII), and she picked the powder coating color on the forks, swing arm, wheels, engine cases, etc (P7 Iron Glimmer). I am really excited to have the tank and bodywork painted when I get to that stage because she picked lime green metal flake! Should be awesome.

As for other plans with the bike, I have Tarozzi clip-ons and Durgam’s rear sets on the way (he’s a xs650 member). I am using an xs750 tank as seen. The engine was recently “vapor blasted” for a better than new finish. Pipes will be high pipes from Gordon Scott (another member). As for the engine, I plan on upgrading the charging system and ignition as my budget allows. It would be great to win this contest so that I could put those beautiful parts you make to good use."

Steve B 

"Hi my name is josh. my sons name is Sid and he is 5 and already wants to anything that involves a wrench and getting greasy. the pic is us riding back from the garage (he wanted to hold the engine so it didnt fall) where he helped me cut the rear section off my 81 xs and install an ardcore hardtail. the plan is alien tank, matte black tins, gloss black frame, jockey shift, and a ton of your parts. hopefully if i win the drawing we will have lots to do for the cold minnesota winter. thanks for doing this giveaway, it shows that you really care about your customers!"

Josh L

"Hugh, Thanks for this great giveaway opportunity you have going on. Slow going project started on easter. My wife and I are foster parents and took in a 6 year old with type 1 diabetes, so project got put on hold for almost 6 months. Learned alot and had more time to look for parts and ideas.
    Here's a few picture of of me and my daughter Katelyn on current build. She's the one that glass beaded the cylinder head.
 I'm now using this 1980 frame and swing arm because it has a title. 1978 engine and wheels.
Project started with a 1978 I bought, got it running but was rough and no title. Bought another 1971. (only wanted from drum). Ended up finding yet another 1971. Both were rough and rusty all over. But sold almost everything but frame and front wheels to fund this project.
Plan on this bike being funded from others as I plan on keeping it.
Ok... direction bike it going is a Jap Brat Gravel crew style with matching 18" takasago alum. rims. Fat tire setup. Simple is more. No extra stuff and no FAKE oil bags. All hidden wires and a special something Fuel tank with a secret under It. Motorcycle will be simple black and polished aluminum bits. Hope to get done by spring for ridding seasons.

Thanks again on a great giveaway and contratulation on being a father. Good luck with all you do for the xs650 community, and should I not win I still plan on buying more from you in the near future."

Joe A 

 Here are a few pictures of my '74 tx650 I'm hard tailing and choppin' out.
This is my beautiful daughter Veda, she loves hanging in the garage
with me and scattering all my tools, i finally just got a bucket for her
to put them in. Since I'm using all metric i let her have all the
standard stuff to scatter ha ha! This is gunna be a pure stripped and
hand made chopper, everything Veda and I have made for the bike are home made, bent, fabbed and welded. When V is bigger we'll start one for
her, pure budget built and the only things bought are raw materials.
Finished pics will be up in the spring (I hope)  

Damon S

"Hey Hugh,

Really dig your work! My friend told me that you are a family man too and you were having a contest for fellow XS enthusiast. I thought that I would send along a quick shot of my new son Elliot and I on my 2nd XS project.

Keep cranking out the parts and we will keep wanting them.


Phil M

"I am entering this contest as a surprise for my husband! I didn't want to spam your email with a bunch of pictures, and your blog said to send in "a pic" so I took one group picture of all of us instead. He has a 79 SX650 special that he plans on making a softtail chopper out of, aka brat style and his goal was to have it done by this spring so that he can ride it to Born Free 5.  Unfortunately, we are both recently unemployed and with 4 kids money is tight so he won't be able to finish it any time soon. Now that he finally has a bike to work on after all these years, I know it breaks his heart to have to put it on hold so soon.  Right now it is sitting out at his mom and dad's shop with several other project bikes. A little about us: My husband Shauncey is a very talented floor and tile installer of 20+ years. He grew up around bikes, and worked on them with his dad for many years, but wasn't able to get  one of his own until finally this last summer when he was 33, 3 years after his dad passed away.  Our oldest son Chance is 13 and although he would much rather be playing sports or listening to music, he does appreciate a lesson in mechanics here and there and I appreciate the time they get to spend together. Breckan, 11 really just loves to be as helpful as possible, it doesn't matter what it is, he's ready and willing to pitch in. Adian will be 9 in a couple of weeks and he loves everything about it. He wants to know every detail, wants to be the one to take it apart and put it back together. He wants to be an inventor and a builder someday and is always coming up with new ideas and improvements. He jumps at the chance to go to the shop with Dad. Now, Briella is the only girl and the youngest of the bunch, but she is definately a princess AND a tomboy. She loves to tell Dad everything he is doing wrong (because she knows all) and is very adamant that his bike needs to be pink. As for me, I really am much happier than I look in the picture! I don't ride because frankly, I am a big scaredycat, but after being married for 10 years, it warms my heart to see the sparkle in Shauncey's eyes when he talks about working on or riding his bike. He spends a lot of his free time just going and breaking down and rebuilding or refining or readjusting, etc. what he has already done several times because he isn't able to move forward. He loves your website and stares at motorcycle parts on the internet all of the time! If he won, this would be the best Christmas present I have given him in years!! Thank you for all of your hard work and thank you for putting on this contest and giving us a chance to make his dream come true!"


 (Sorry Ryan, your pic imported sideways, and the blog wouldn't let me rotate it)

"Here's my submission for the contest....

I picked my XS back in 2006. I had originally been looking for an old British twin to restore, but most of what I found was overpriced and incomplete (or both). I couldn’t find anything locally and after half a year of chasing leads, I was beginning to get discouraged.

During this same time, my Mom & Dad's neighbor was going through a divorce and needed to sell an old Yamaha he had tarped up under his deck. Upon inquiring, a deal was struck for $500 and I pushed the bike the 20 some yards to my parent’s garage.

The bike turned out to be a 1979 Special II with only 12,056 km on the clock. It was ugly, yet complete, and the engine wasn't locked up.

I managed to get about three quarters through the ‘restification’ when I met my future wife.  Marriage, home ownership, and children followed, and the bike project was put on the back burner.  

I don’t have as much time to get out to the garage and wrench as I used to, however I’ve recently discovered that my daughter seems to share the same joy and enthusiasm for old motorcycles as her dad."

Ryan S

 "Hey Hugh, I got my boys out in the garage, and we knocked out a couple items on my XS project."

Justin had a WHOLE series of photos of him and the boys making some new brackets and such for their project...  Very cool...  This is just one of them..

Justin P

" This is me and my daughter working on the Wicked Soul.Changed the bars,put on some BS38's redone by OldSchoolCarbs,added a HHB hyd. clutch.Told her once she masters the dirt bike she can hop on one of my street rides."

Brian T

" My name is Kennedy, I'm 16, I live in the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia, and for the past month I have been building a bike with my dad. After my Dad bought his Softail, I became even more interested in motorcycles than I already was, and eventually he offered to build me one of my own. We entered a contest online, and have been going at it ever since. I have shelled all of the cash I made over the summer into this bike and can't wait for the product we come up with. The plan is for both of us to ride up to Ohio in the summer to show off our creation, each of us on our own bike."

Kennedy C

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