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1979 Yamaha XS650 Bobber

Posted on August 3, 2011 by Scott in Bobber. 23 comments

The humble XS650 might be one of the most common donor bikes on the planet but we still never get tired of seeing them when they’re done right. Like this stunning bobber by WSDMoto out of orange county CA. The bike recently got 2nd place at the 2011 LA Calendar MC Show which sounds impressive until you hear what the builder said: “This would be the first time I’ve gotten anything less than ‘Best of’ or 1st place since 2008. Kind of a tough pill to swallow, but still happy nonetheless.” Who remembers 2nd place? We do… now.

WSD Moto built this bike from the ground up, and they decided early on that only the best parts would be used. “All the components that went into the build are TOP OF THE LINE! There were a lot parts that I initially made/bought for this build that I wasn’t 120% satisfied with so I replaced them with the best of the best. Some of the parts and littlest details took months to locate and/or finish. Everything that is on the bike now has been tested and proven to be the best performing and most reliable components out there!”

The bike doesn’t just look new, it pretty much is. Nearly everything on the bobber is either new or has been brought back to better than new condition. “The only components that were previously used are the engine casings, engine cradle portion of frame, and wheel hubs. All of which were media blasted, re-surfaced and finished for this build. The motor is awesome and starts on the first kick!”

It took WSD Moto just under 9 month in total build time to create this flawless bobber. “The bike is still new, as it has not been on public roads but the motor/transmission/drivetrain have been tested and function perfectly.”

To be honest, we are baffled that their are no miles on the bike. Could you resist riding the creation you’ve been building for the last 9 months?

The bike is currently for sale on Craigslist for a very reasonable $6500. 

– Complete top end rebuild
– Bored & honed cylinders and valves re-seated
– New 1 over pistons & rings
– New cam chain, tensioner & guides
– New gaskets, filters, o-rings, hardware etc…

Fuel & Electrical System
– Mikuni VM34 racing carburetors
– Pamco electronic ignition
– 3-phase permanent magnet alternator charging system
– Mini “triple-i” sealed battery

– Custom rigid hard tail frame
– One-off foot controls with knurled brass pegs
– Billet triple clamp
– Fully rebuilt damper-valved front forks
– Custom sprung seat covered by Redtail Leather
– Custom one-off brushed chrome gas tank with hand cast one-off vintage gas cap
– Custom one-off chopper headlight and brass tail-light
– All Balls tapered steering head bearings
– 520 o-ring chain and custom made sprockets

Wheels & Brakes
– Custom aluminum Akront rims
– Custom Stainless Steel spokes and Brass plated SS nipples
– All Balls wheel bearings
– Brembo front 4-piston caliper, rotor and radial master cylinder with SS brake line
– Avon AM20/AM21 tires

[Big thanks to Ted at XS650chopper]

  • kenoath

    looks like it would give you a killer pipeburn

  • Scott

    @Kenoath Ken oath!

  • Tameran

    "Starts on the first kick" hey ? Where is it then ? Looks like removed on the first picture ?

  • Big D

    Must be an automatic as I see no clutch handle anywhere.

  • Perry Wilson

    Just never been comfortable with my junk that close to open exhaust pipes… but a beautiful bike regardless…

  • Mmm No airfilters? Suicide clutch? Pipeburns? No speedo? No tail light… is it finished? 😛

    The best is the Brembo brakes (and triples/handlebar) but it looks like a 2 piston setup.

  • NR

    Pretty but unfinished bike. It's going for minimal, which I like, but comes off kind of bland. Builder is arrogant and a visit to his blog doesn't help matters. It takes more than metalwork to build something with soul.

  • 10 Bones

    It hasn't been on the road because in California that thing would not pass a vehicle inspection. Lack of fenders is a problem, so is the lack of mufflers, tons of other issues.

    Enough critisizing. I have always liked the look of brass on aluminum. It just looks so nice. Natural and candid looking, not staged or "made to look pretty".

    Only thing … can you imagine going down the freeway at 75mph and hitting a pothole only to get bounced off the seat and into the meat grinder that waits for your nutsack there in between the speeding rear tire and the frame? Friggin OUCH!

    So I think if I bought it, it would have to have some sort of small back rest or small fender-like rear bars or something .. anything .. to keep my package out of that garbage disposal that lurks between the rear tire and the frame. Man oh man, if you got caught in there, it would take a few seconds of torture before youi could either bail off the back or get the thing slowed down enough to un-wedge your ass out from inbetween the rear tire and the frame. FUN STUFF!!!! 🙂 Meanwhile that 650cc meat grinder is just grindin' away at your privates!! Haahaa!!!

    Truly rideable? (Not just around the block or through the parking lot at the fairgrounds either). Hard to say really.

    In Southern California, one mud puddle or pothole with a little water in it and you'd have a stripe going up your back, and another one right up your front all the way to your face. Haahaa!!!!! Like I said, fun stuff. (jsyk, I raced XR750s on the half mile and Yamaha RD based TT bikes .. both at Ascot Park in the mid 1970s. Not bragging, just letting you know I'm not some wuss that happens to own a motorcycle, I'm a motorcyclist like most of you are).

    Sweet ride! Reminds one of an earlier, more innocent time. I love the whole "dirt bike simple" attitude of it too.


    • Bill in LA

      Truth. Just saw the current owner of this bike who has been riding it around Socal and he says it is nothing short of amazing.

      Naysayers sound like a bunch of wussies who don’t even ride.

  • 10 Bones

    " … used the best parts made for the bike"

    ~ahem~ … All Balls steering head bearings? I do not think that Chinese mass produced bearings made by KML and distributed by All Balls and Moose qualify as "the best parts available" (or whatever was said there).

    All Balls are undeniably *popular* .. but popular rarely means *good*. I cite Disco Music and Pet Rocks as examples.

    I dunno … it just seems like a lazy way out to use them on a bike that the builder is so proud of the careful selection of engine parts. It takes more effort to have your local bearing shop (Kaman?) to hunt up the proper tapered bearing and seals .. but only a LITTLE more.

    My dad used to say "it takes enough hard effort to be just "good enough" .. but it only takes just a little bit more to be TOP DRAWER". He and I agreed on little, but on that issue I'd say he was right.

  • ES555

    Builder is pretty arrogant for building a boring, cookie cuttter bobber…….he also needs to learn how to properly finish a bike….

  • Twostoked

    Sensational build! Nice work WSD Moto.

  • teddy

    I love it, but he couldnt have expected it to be a big show winner. Its clean and brilliantly done, but nothing on it is overly amazing.

    Hes obviously put a lot of work into making sure every piece that went on the bike was new condition. But really, if every bike builder did this, there would be so many more show quality bikes.

  • WSDMoto

    Thanks for the kind words guys! I understand that there are a few things missing in the photos. The kickstarter I left off for the pictures because I thought it looked better that way. The clutch lever wasn't put on because I waiting on a new clutch cable to arrive to install. The brass tail light is mounted to the license plate bracket so it comes off unless it needs to be there. There is no speedo, but the drive is intact so putting one on is easy.

    The Brembo caliper is actually a 4-pot Ducati superbike part. The air filters are brand new in their retail packaging for whoever buys this bike.

    The absence of a rear fender is intentional. The solo seat has a pretty good kick-up to keep your butt from sliding off. Otherwise, there are 4 threaded bungs welded into the frame for a ribbed 7-metal west rear fender.

    I know it's difficult to see, but there are a multitude of tiny little details that were painstakingly hand-crafted for this bike. Like anything I build, it is quietly understated and meant to be appreciated only by those who can.

    Thanks again!

  • davmo

    Love the bike. yeah, its a nutsack hazard, but man, isn't that the point? Ride on.

  • Bubal

    Lastima que en España no se pueda construir una moto en un chasis rígido.
    La moto es bonita, pero yo habría hecho la parte de atrás mas corta, pero reitero lo que digo es muy bonita.

  • Daod

    Are the plow shears optional?

  • dave in kalifornia

    Nice build… Very simple. As the gods intended… lol

    Sometimes I wonder who among the readership are actual *riders*??? Sure, It's NOT a touring bike- but that doesn't mean it doesn't get ridden.. (this bike is a poor example, as it's not been ridden) but it is a classic example of a bobber. I've know guys that have ridden bikes just like this for YEARS as primary transportation- Not everyone thinks that it has to be a fully-equipped road couch. Rear fender? Seriously? Afraid of a little spray off the front tire? Really? Finished? Just what isn't "finished" about it? I will admit, the pics shouldn't have been submitted of it pre-clutch lever/air filter/taillight install… so in that respect, it is not "finished"… Is that what you mean? I think looking past the small omissions is what any true enthusiast sees.. And for that- it's a very nice build. Maybe not a first-place winner, but it deserved 2nd for sure.

  • @Dave in Kalifornia – Amen.

  • Simple yet cool, I like it

  • People always whine about how expensive the custom bikes posted on here and bikeexif are. This is the opposite: How do you put nine months of work and a ton of new and custom parts into a bike and then sell it on Craigslist for only $6500?!