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XS650


1982 Yamaha XS650 – Stout 33

Posted on August 1, 2012 by Scott in Bobber. 28 comments

Like most brothers, the Chappell Brothers have different tastes. Rob prefers to live in Ontario, Canada while Chris chooses to live in Los Angeles. Their taste in bikes is different as well. Rob’s style leans more towards racing and café racers while Chris loves bobbers and choppers. So when they decided to build their latest project they chose (after much debate) to build a bike in the middle – a board track influenced bike that would have a custom frame, traditional girder front end and tall skinny wheels. If time allowed they would also tackle their first custom gas tank! (which they did). They found the perfect donor bike in the form of a 1982 XS650 Heritage Special and got to work on this project that was really going to challenge these part time bike builders.


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Maria Motorcycles ’80 XS 650E – ‘Eva’

Posted on June 14, 2012 by Andrew in Brat. 28 comments

Anyone who’s ever attempted a custom bike build will know just how much work a seemingly simple little “tidy-up” can amount to. Something that looks like it’ll take two weeks tops ends up being an 18 month project with more dead ends, u-turns, and detours than a Sunday drive with Stevie Wonder. So imagine the work involved in starting a bike shop “a few months ago” and then going public with not one, not two, but three killer bikes. At very best that’s a bike every three weeks. Now I can’t speak for you guys, but if I had three weeks to build a bike the results would be humble at best. A few rattle cans, and angle grinder – hell, even a custom seat would take that long to throw together. But it seems as if the guys at Maria Motorcycles in Lisbon, Portugal have either worked their asses off these last few months or they’ve invented time travel and brought these bike back from the future. And the real icing on the cake? Both EXIF and little ol’ us are doing features in the same week on their stuff. Take your stinky hats off and give a little nod to Luis Correis and his latest bending of space and time, the beautiful “Eva.”


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Yamaha XS650 – Holiday Customs

Posted on March 5, 2012 by Scott in Bobber. 42 comments

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.


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Matt Machine’s 1978 XS650 Street Tracker

Posted on September 20, 2011 by Andrew in Scrambler, Tracker. 24 comments

Ever caught one of those documentaries on TV where some unsuspecting Joe Average pays $1.95 for an “old painting” at a junk sale and ends up being told by some expert or another that he is the proud new owner of a multi-million-dollar Van Gogh? Or the spotty kid who gets given a dusty old guitar and amp from a dead relative and later realises he has one hundred large in mint 1952 1954 Fender Strat and Tweed Deluxe clutched in his sweaty little fingers. Never happen to us, right? Well looky over here and please do meet one very lucky Sydney-sider who goes by the name of Rob. Now when the rest of us combine beer, eBay and a “little bid to start things off”, we usually end up with something that looks a little like this. But not Rob. See, he had a tipsy mash of the “bid now” button and ended up buying a bike from Australia’s king of customs, Matt Machine. Pipers, say a big hello to Mr Ayres and the newest member of his personal rolling stock; the Matt Machine 1975 XS650 Street Tracker.


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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.


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1978 Yamaha XS650

Posted on February 1, 2011 by Scott in Video. 18 comments

Another little video from our friends at Deus. This time featuring a freshly painted red 1978 XS650 cut to Al Barry & The Cimarons song ‘Morning Sun’. The bike has been hiding out in the Deus ‘Temple of Enthusiasm’ since they opened their doors. Now it’s off to a new home where she’ll be enjoyed by some lucky bugger.

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Holiday Customs XS650

Posted on December 16, 2010 by Scott in Bobber. 32 comments

This year has been no vacation for Jared Johnson at Holiday Customs. “We built some 13 bikes this year and didn’t have time to build for myself” says Jared. After finding a rusty old 1976 Yamaha XS650 in Portland for $400, Jared knew exactly what he wanted to create. “I had been thinking of how I wanted this thing to look. I really like the lines on Schwinn cruiser bicycles, flowing with curves.” The bike sat in his shop for a few months until he was ready to fully immerse himself in the project. “I made everything on the bike except for the seat. The frame alone took a week. I rolled the tube metal, welded it up, then put the tires on and realized it wasn’t low enough, so I cut off the tail and started over.” After the frame was complete, the idea for the curved pipes that follow the lines of the frame came to him. “The pipes took 4 long days, rolling the tube, notching out for the rear axle bolt, walking around looking at it for hours” he says.


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1981 Yamaha XS650 Bobber

Posted on October 20, 2010 by Scott in Bobber. 46 comments

This is a story about a young man named Cassio Silva who fell in love with a bobber sitting outside a tattoo shop in Texas. “That same day I went home and spent hours researching how to build one for myself” recalls Cassio. You see, this 20 year old had never even ridden a motorcycle, let alone tried to build one. “I’ve been building and modifying cars for years and knew i had the skills to take on the project” he says. After finding a suitable XS650, Cassio took the bike home and within days it was cut in half in his garage.


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Yamaha XS650 Boardtracker

Posted on July 25, 2010 by Scott in Tracker. 7 comments
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It’s not every day you see a Yamaha boardtracker – especially one of this calibre. It wasn’t long ago that this one of a kind XS650 created a lot of attention when featured on XS650Chopper. Built by the talented Nick Stringer from Metal Head Fabrication in California, it recently picked up Iron Works Bar Hopper 1st place at the LA Calendar Motorcycle show.

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Yamaha XS650

Posted on May 7, 2010 by Scott in Brat. 3 comments

Just like Deus are influencing the motorcycle culture in Australia, the Wrench Monkees are having the same effect in Europe. This clean and simple XS650 took inspiration from the talented Danish custom builders.


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