I don't know why we don't feature more XS650s around here. They make great chops and are affordable and reliable compared to a lot of other options. Joel's bike caught our eye at the Dixie Roundup and I was lucky enough to have a chance to shoot it while taking advantage of Larry and Ashley's hospitality at Garage Company Customs.
It’s been a solid bike. I've been building and rebuilding it for three years. It did leave me by the side of the road once with charging issues; I had to limp it home in the rain a couple of hours with a bunch of 6V lantern batteries. I can’t complain—I like it more every time I kick it.
Owner: Joel Stinson
Location: Birmingham, AL
Engine, year and make, model, modifications: '79 XS650 because the original '73 motor was a solid mass of rust. Fresh top end, Pamco ignition, permanent mag alternator with Hugh’s bracket, cut up old 2-into-1 exhaust
Frame: 1973 xs650, home made hardtail, stock rake
Fork: Old swap meet 8 over xs650 with springs cut down to make it 6 over. Legs shaved with angle grinder, files, and lots of sanding
Tire/wheel size and style: Stock 18”, dirt bike 21
Favorite thing about this bike: The old license plate
Next modification will be: I would like to tear into the motor again and bore it to 700 with a bigger cam, maybe extend the fork longer or rake it, who knows. Only real plan is to put down miles on it
Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Home made sissy bar and handlebars; stock pegs moved up a couple of inches; Lowbrow Alien tank; narrowed trailer fender; rattle can paint, some kind of old '70s chopper headlights
Thanks: God for mercy, my wife Sarah for her support and sense of style, Mike for helping turn wrenches, the Haints and Garage Company for their hospitality and for keeping old choppers alive in Birmingham
Read more of Joel's musings here