Yamaha XS650 – Holiday Customs
One of the most common donor bikes these days is the very versatile Yamaha XS650. In the right hands it can be turned into a number of very cool genres. One of the most common forms that grace these pages is the bobber. So when we received these photos from Jared at Holiday Customs of his latest creation we were genuinely excited about his interpretation. Sure, it’s not too far away from his last bobber which he happened to like so much he couldn’t part with it. “I always end up building bikes I want to keep,” says Jared. “I wanted to make another schwinn inspired motorcycle after getting a nice response from the original XS from a year ago.” Like a lot of personal projects by builders they often start off strong but then customers with their paying jobs take precidence - usually resulting in their own bikes taking a lot longer to finish than originally planned. “I think it worked out well because it gave me more creative time instead of rushing the build” he says.
The handmade exhaust is one of the most eye-catching features of the bike, and it looks like he’s made this one a little more practical than the last. “The exhaust was probably the most labor intensive. Sliced the tube metal, pie cuts, opened it up and filled in the gap’s with sheet metal. Probably 6 hours on each bell bottom.” When it comes to being handmade, it doesn’t stop at the exhaust. Actually nearly every part of the bike was custome made by Jared. “I would rather make something out of nothing before buying a bolt on part” he says. Jared made the battery rectifier/regulator box, handlebars, fork covers, hard tail, kickstand, lic bracket, headlight mount, front brake stop and the seat – Ginger at New Church Moto did a fine job upholstering the seat with black diamonds and brown thread.
The engine is stock but has been completely rebuilt and Jared says it “runs amazing”. He also tucked the coils up inside the tank tunnel for a nice clean minimal look. The front wheel is a 21” dirt bike wheel with a drum brake that Jared had to modify to fit on the XS forks. “I got the bike done and on the road last summer and then it sat. I started noticing the clear coat started to yellow and would chip very easy so I tore the bike down to the frame, stripped it and re-cleared the frame with a different product.”
Because Jared had to build the bike up again, he thought it would be cool to do a time lapse video of the whole process. You can check out the video here, you’ll also hear the beautiful bark from the old 650cc parallel twin. Jared has decided to sell this unique XS, so if you’re in the market for a one off custom bobber that has been completely hand built then contact Holiday Customs via their blog.
Photographs by Neil Dacosta