Old Gold Garage Yamaha XT500


Dan Collins picked an odd duck for his last project. It's pretty easy to build a good looking panhead. It's a slightly different ordeal to take a homely old dirt bike and turn it into something neat. Dan pulled it off though, the Scarab is unique machine that looks like it'd be a blast to ride. 



Owner/Location: Dan Collins, Old Gold Garage, Ventura Ca.

Bike name: The Scarab

Engine, year and make, model, modifications: 1976 Yamaha XT 500 rebuilt by Dan, bead blasted covers, handmade exhaust, otherwise stock

Frame: 1976 Yamaha XT500 with XS650 swingarm, cut and modified rear frame section and monoshock from Buell Blast(Showa). Frame and swingarm are Ceramic Coated bright silver

Fork: 1979 Honda XR500 (lowered) with modified triple trees and neck stem. Hand made headlight nacelle with speedo from 1960s Honda Benley

Tire/wheel size and style: Front 23" Honda aluminum with Buchannan stainless spokes, magnesium brakes, rare Czechoslovakian speedway tire(2.75x23) Rear is 21" Yamaha aluminum rim with Buchanan stainless spokes and stock brakes. 21"knobby tire

Favorite thing about this bike: built on a small budget and short time frame. And getting to ride it in Japan

Next modification will be: It's done. 

Other mods, accessories, cool parts, etc: Kung fu grips from Biltwell, handmade seat pan and seat cover. Frame ceramic coated, pegs and controls ceramic coated, exhaust ceramic coated, clip on bars, cloth wiring, Coverted to 12 volt system, halogen headlight bulb LED taillight, O-ring chain, gas tank from Honda monkey bike(modified), white gold leaf panels on tank

Thanks: John Glaspie (lettering, gold leaf) Biltwell, Lowbrow Customs, Brian Forbes who helped with the rear wheel assembly and swingarm and paint, and The Polishing Shop in Oxnard for the Ceramic Coating and powdercoating and Williams Machine in Ventura for machining the engine parts.  

See more of Dan's work on the Old Gold Garage website.

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Comment with Chopcult (25)

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 04:30 am

cool .. really dig how the seat is pulled over those nubs ..

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 04:38 am

Original and economical. That, to me, is the ultimate bike. Great work Dan.

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 05:01 am

Hell yeah. I've been waiting for this write-up. Looks like you could almost bunny-hop it. Haha.

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 06:13 am

Unlike the countless variations on a theme, here's a new composition. Thank you, Dan.

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 06:18 am

That thing looks so fun to rip around on

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 06:43 am

Thanks guys, havent tried to bunny hop it yet, but it runs like a raped ape...

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 09:04 am

Very nice, Details details details. Dan how about a how-to on the braided wire and srtring loom deal. I assume this is a hot rod trick. I love the look.
You are the king of the day today 1 bike featured here on Chop Cult and a pencil drawing of you and the Velvet Hammer all over the interweb! Rock on! Tim

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 09:07 am

Probably one of the best example of a low budget build where creativity and craftsmanship can make a beautifull and unique bike.

The design is so fresh, it's a pleasure to watch a bike that looks so original, fun and functionnal !!

Bravo Dan, you give motivation to thousand of young poor builder around the world.

The details are amazing too.

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 10:39 am

Unity light meshed with the speedo nacelle is nice. The whole bike has great attention to detail and is well thought out. Refreshing change.

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 11:05 am

One of my current favorites for sure. Great work Dan!

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 12:17 pm

This bike looks fantastic! Are there any pictures of the bike being ridden?

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 12:37 pm

A video of it being ridden would be pretty rad.

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 01:40 pm

Rad. Now hit the trails.

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 02:05 pm

Damn Dan! Nice job!

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 02:17 pm

shit like this is why i love riding. inovative and refreshing. keep building shit like that!

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 02:23 pm

fuck, that is awesome.

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 02:35 pm

As much as it pains me to say anything nice about that rat bastard Dan Collins and the things his meddling fingers touch: Very good job.

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 02:37 pm

It is strangely insectile and phallic at the same time...

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 03:04 pm

FUCKING RAD Dan, FUCKING RAD!!!!!!!!FUCK - thats bad ass!

Commented on 3-14-2012 At 06:59 pm

Cool bike. As a person that has messed up the ceramic coating on my pipes without even messing around very much, I have to wonder why anyone would ceramic coat anything besides pipes. The stuff on mine holds up to the heat great, but mechanically damages easily and doesn't allow for spot touch up like paint or powder.

Commented on 3-15-2012 At 07:11 am

Bravo! Love this build!

Commented on 3-15-2012 At 11:31 am


Commented on 3-15-2012 At 06:18 pm

Very cool! I love this thing. It would be a blast to rip around on.

Commented on 3-15-2012 At 10:20 pm

Awesome work! I really like this bike.

Commented on 3-19-2012 At 10:57 am

The back fender fucking makes this bike. Those spanning scarabs and vultures are all over ancient Egyptian architecture, it's just rad that they take new like in this bike.

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