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ONE MAN ARMY. A Ram Air Yamaha XS650 from Canada’s PanicRev Customs


Posted on September 28, 2017 by Andrew in Tracker. 29 comments

It’s no secret that loads of custom builders farm out elements of their builds. Often it’s the paintwork, sometimes it’s the wiring or even particularly swear-worthy moments of fabrication. But not Paul Miller. As head honcho of the small shop PanicRev Customs young Paul does everything himself. Everything. And he does a damn fine job of it too, as this XS650-powered, custom-framed street tracker shows.

And he tends to think well ahead. Halfway through his last project he was already mulling over his next build, and he had a pretty good idea of what he wanted to make. He was after a parallel twin to set up as a tarmac-carving street tracker. While glancing through some classifieds he came across an ad for a 1972 XS650 powerplant.

‘The day after that I was in my truck and driving three hours away to check out the engine,’ Paul says. ‘It turned out to be in good working order and it was very clean.’ While it sounds like it was all systems a-go the engine was put to one side in the shop while he finished other projects, but as soon as a gap appeared in his calendar, he struck.

‘I ordered the lengths of chromoly tubing for the frame and swingarm,’ he says. ‘And I also picked up some sheet aluminium – so that’s how the build started’. From those parts laid out on his workbench Paul designed and fabricated a bottomless, stressed-member frame and a trellis-style swingarm that runs a single rear shock.

Then it was onto the bodywork. The tail section and svelte gas tank were belted out of aluminium. And that sleek tank hides of the coolest details of the bike – ram air intakes that run through the length of the tank and around the rear to the carburetors. According to Paul that was also one of the hardest things to get right.

 

“All paint was done in-house as well. Mr Miller is making us all look bad”.

And the custom work doesn’t end there. The bike is littered with excellent little touches that are the result of hours of careful, deliberate hard work. ‘Every bit of machining was done on a manual lathe and a mill,’ Paul says. And all paint was done in-house as well. Mr Miller is making us all look bad.

Not computer graphics

Thankfully he did use a number of off-the-shelf parts to round out the build. These include a pair of front forks off a 2008 Honda CB600RR (though he machined the triple trees on a manual bridge port mill himself) and a rear shock off a 2007 Yamaha R6. The rear brake comes from a Ducati M750 while the front was pinched from GSXR1000.

But despite all these quality parts one of the neatest things on this build you can’t even see – all the wiring is tucked out of the way, guided by small brass inserts. Take a look at the front top of the frame and how neatly those guides sit. That’s attention to detail right there.

All those elements – the amount of fabrication, the design of the bike, the combination of quality parts and myriad of incredible details littered throughout Ram Air 650 all go together to make one of the most distinctive, tidiest street trackers I’ve seen in a long time – a bike that is so damn clean it looks like a render. Why would you outsource any work when you can produce a bike like this?

All those elements – the amount of fabrication, the design of the bike, the combination of quality parts and myriad of incredible details littered throughout Ram Air 650 all go together to make one of the most distinctive, tidiest street trackers I’ve seen in a long time – a bike that is so damn clean it looks like a render. Why would you outsource any work when you can produce a bike like this?

[ PanicRev Customs – Instagram | Photos by BSTEPHOTO ]








  • Manesh Karunakaran

    There are clean builds and then are CLEAN builds!! Absolute stonking perfection in stance and proportions and execution! Oh my!

    • guvnor67

      Absolutely! The quality and attention to detail here is top shelf.

  • Don Arnold

    Renderings, yes. I was thinking how someone placed the sources perfectly for the ray tracing, wait, what? Like a Wyeth, mastery of detail makes the mind fabricate something other than reality.

  • Dave Coetzee

    And the tank still holds fuel with the intrusion of the ram air ducts? Wow!
    I wouldn’t be surprised if Mr Miller didn’t take these, clearest pics I’ve ever seen, as well!

  • Andy Rappold

    Wow …that focus on detail is mind blowing.

  • Kyle

    Gorgeous bike; this is what the tuning fork guys should be producing instead of the bloated XSR900. But what’s the tank capacity like with those big air channels running through it?

    • PanicRev Customs

      Thank you, The tank actually still holds a little over 3 gallons

  • lennard schuurmans

    Super rad bike! What wheels did he use?

    • lennard schuurmans

      Found it on his insta, RSD wheels

      • PanicRev Customs

        That’s right, they are Roland Sands Del Mar

  • John in Pollock

    This is one of those bikes you could lick anywhere, and not get your tongue dirty.

    • PanicRev Customs

      Hahahaha Thanks

  • martin hodgson

    This is perfect! Nothing I would change, not a single element I’m not blown away by. Incredible workmanship!!! Has to give the top ten of the year a shake.

    • PanicRev Customs

      Thank you, means a lot!!

  • the watcher

    Dammit, someone moan about the lack of mudguard cos there’s sod all else. Almost too nice to ride. Almost.

  • To see just how detailed Mr. Miller is, watch PanicRev Customs TV on YouTube.
    WARNING: You’ll be ashamed of your own work.

    • PanicRev Customs

      Thank you, trying to get more episodes out!!!

  • Bebo Yaya

    lovely bike! Any idea what it weighs ready to go?

    • PanicRev Customs

      Thanks, I haven’t checked yet. frame with swing arm only weighs 28.5lbs so she should be pretty light

  • Al

    Brilliant…innovative…top shelf quality build.
    (All one can do is nit pick on a couple of washer’s (the nut and bolt type :)) missing on the exhaust headers and an off colour srew on the ram air intake.)

  • Robert Andrews

    Do you accept kidneys as payment? I could probably suffer living with one if I had a chance to own something as clean as this. Love the xs650, and this bike is a gleaming example. True definition of a custom job.

  • ccc40821

    Bhp & weight, please…

  • Brandon Robertson

    Bike is amazing.
    Any additional info on the headlight?

    • PanicRev Customs

      Thanks. Its an ebay daymaker. Has white DRL’s that switch to amber for signals. Pretty well built unit

  • Best XS650 I’ve ever seen. Every thing is perfect – wouldn’t change a thing. The finish is beyond excellent. This is what every builder should strive for.

    • PanicRev Customs

      really appreciate it!!

  • Soapy Loofah

    I have nothing to add that hasn’t already been said – it’s THAT good!

  • AB

    Man this is a piss take. It’s a computer rendering.

    Or

    Is

    It

    ?

    • PanicRev Customs

      you got me haha