A new build of (somewhat) EPIC proportions! My '78 XS

Alright Guys,

So I'm trying to work up some way around a hook wrench for the steerer assembly. I would like to get it taken apart with in the next week with out spending more money so I can put that into a frame jig and other more important tools at the moment.

What do you suggest for getting it loose?

So I don't want to have to wait but I will if I have to.

alright! Update time!

In the last two weeks... its been a while... I feel like I haven't gotten much done.

Last week I spent time working on complete disassembly of the trans, working up a engine work stand, and beginning to explore the options for frame jigs. pictures below.

This week I got to visit my favorite place, the industrial scrap yard! I picked up some more awesome scrap to work up these jigs to get me to my final place.

I feel like I'm working myself sideways with these things but I know I'll be much more trusting of my work if things are done the right way.

Hopefully this weekend I'll be able to get the jig somewhat assembled and the motor degreased. I want to work on cleaning up the motor and carbs by soda blasting them but I want to cut costs this time around. I'm thinking I could build the bike, get it running, ride it for a bit to work out the little gremlins, then get it painted next summer or fall when work gets busy.

What do you guys think?


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Moar Photos. Some of inspiration

Design update.

I've decided to pull from the board tracker design more than a brat design. I like the longer lines of the board trackers. I also like some of the old dual tank designs that I have found here and there. I'm going to try to make two tanks that will follow the backbone of the frame. This means I'll have to move to a single tube backbone.

Travis, Fubar, anyone else? I'd greatly appreciate your knowledge of working with frames and hard tailing.

What size tubing did you use for the backbone?
Did you slip the new tubing over the old? Or did you cut the frame all the way to the steering tube?
What geometry should I stay away from when reworking a major structural piece like this?

I'd like the backbone to have a nice curve in it so the tanks can follow the form. I'd like to make the tops of the tanks to run flush with the backbone so I'm thinking I'll be coming almost straight back before any curve down with the backbone.

Also Travis, I'm eyeing your hard tail kit. Closely. It's cool that there are guys here that do that for us all.

Thank guys



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Quick update,

Got some time today to draw out what my design will be like.

Would love to have AutoCAD to draw this thing up in but that's to rich for my blood at this point.

The drawing with dimensions is drawn to a 1.5":1' scale.

Shooting for 25-30 deg. rake
6" stretch over stock
19" front wheel
16" rear
Floating seat

Let me know what ya think:thumbsup:


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The backbone is 1-1/4" (on my 81 anyway). I think you could sleeve it with 1-1/2" .120" wall DOM, but only if the backbone is exactly 1-1/4". You'd have to measure. You could also use 1-1/4" tube for a butt joint with a 1-1/8" sleeve on the inside and rosette welds.

From the looks of your drawings, you'll pretty much be building a full frame. You're going to need a tube roller for the large radius bends and a tube bender for the small radius bends.
That's ambitious man. I'll certainly be staying tuned in.
- I know but don't let my rational mind know. :D

From the looks of your drawings, you'll pretty much be building a full frame.
- Thanks for all of the information travis! Luckily I have access to both so I'll be mocking it up with butt welded tubing then I'll dive in with the DOM.

Then look to open source software!
- Dave, Thanks a bunch! I've done searches in the past for "free CAD for mac" not "open source." I've already gotten some drawing done and I'll have some pdf's up in the next day or two. Have to balance my school work with all of this.

I'll be working on my frame jig today. Working with the physics prof to machine some neck centering cones. Not sure how much I can do with the plates for mounting the brackets and axle so Im weighing my options.
Got the jig half done. Pictures tomorrow


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thanks for the nudge travis.

Been a really busy past three weeks+

School is kicking my butt so i'm having to put some more time and energy into that... that's where most of my energy is going. Had 5 group meetings last week that were reoccurring, went to an economic development convention that was put on by MEDA and won the student case competition against 5 other schools. It was pretty cool. I designed some marketing materials for the business. Long story short, won 100 bucks. It went into my future garage fund. haha. So it's most likely going to be spent on the Eastwood TIG welder/Plasma cutter/cart combo after I get a fulltime job. I've been doing a lot of research and for a post college grad budget it seems to be the best quality for under 1000 for the TIG alone. If you guys have any ideas I'm more than willing to hear them.

Also acquired a '76 cb750 from a local guy for $100 and a few tools for another $60. The bike had an electrical fire AND the guy sold the carbs AND along with a title being in his ex's name with no way to contact her I found myself another project! Ordered a few parts that I didn't need, duplicates,but have gotten carbs and cables that have burnt up. With some simple wiring and an oil change I think i'll get it running.


I'm currently running into a clutch that doesn't seem to want to fully disengage. Did some research and tinkering and it looks like maybe just changing the oil will be enough. I hope. I'd rather not have to tear a 4-banger apart. I'm gonna use the cb motor, wheels and other odds and ends for the custom frame once i'm done with school. So I'll be starting a new thread over at cb750.com. Man we need some more traffic over there.

Any way I could help do some marketing for the cb board? Get some graphics around or do some FB promoting? Travis, I see you at each board and I'm guessing your the main guy so those questions are in your direction.

So, the XS project is going to revert back to the winter project like I though it was gonna be. Going to be going back to the brat style and will be lowering the back of the frame by cutting the springs by a coil or two.

That's about it for now... might get some work done this weekend so maybe another update sooner rather than later.

oh P.S. finally got dad's '70 triumph spitty home so I'll share that here too for fun.:thumbsup:


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How did you guess.... my girlfriend says I'm a pretty mean dancer.

No its the Mennonite Economic Development Associates

But..... I was in a classy show choir, think glee crossed with "the worlds most interesting man," with lots of Beatles, Queen, and other classic songs thrown in.
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Gonna start putting this little sh!t back together soon. While tearing down the engine I bent some of the dowel pins that help guide the main motor components. In the main motor portion of the Hanyes manual the part is on page 25 and is item 6 in the diagram.

Are these a Yamaha standard? If I order some would they have to be XS400 spec?

Thanks for the help!
Hey well got some progress done this weekend regardless of my last "gonna wait" post.

Went out and got some 1" OD tubing and mocked up a frame. I purchased the cheapest stuff since this would be the first frame I have built. I wanted to make sure I made mistakes on this frame first so I knew what to expect and where I needed to focus my time and attention.

Also did some chopping to the XS frame so I'll be exploring my options for building of that now.

Its now on to saving for a
tubing bender, JD2 is the hope
Welder TIG I hope.
And supplies for a tubing notcher.

If you guys want a good source check out http://chopperhandbook.com/index.htm

Free plans and lots of free information. Its more for the big V-twins but there are a lot of good tips there.


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