The XS 650 is a motorcycle so prevalent in the conscious of the custom scene that we'll all have several different versions juggling in our mind at the mention of the Yamaha twin. They produced over half a million of these machines from the late sixties through to the mid eighties and many of those have ended up in the clutches of custom builders. This XS recently emerged from Clutch Custom Motorcycles in Paris and rolled into the BSMC Event 2.
Clutch have now tackled three custom stalwarts, a Yamaha SR 500, a couple of boxer BMW's (see their beautiful recently featured R75/7) and now the XS. Their clean, minimal style permeates all of the bikes giving them a familia resemblance seen in trademark touches such as the wheels, gas caps, deep dark colours and raw metal finishes. It is easy to see why the XS is so beloved of Pro and amateur builders alike with its beautiful engine and classic frame layout, both of which are emphasised and enhanced in this incarnation. Clutch have lowered their 76' XS by 5cm at the back and 6cm at the front with machined and re-threaded forks mated to custom top trees. They have also dropped the tank fractionally closer to the engine by redesigning the bottom part with a bigger tunnel that also accommodates electrical components.
All this nip and tuck yields a profile that is all engine and wheels - the fun bits. A slimline bratstyle seat, relocated ignition key, hidden Shorai battery and slender custom mudguards further drop the visual and physical weight. In the flesh at the Event punters were drawn to the tactile finish of the bike, the luscious matt deep maroon drawing many envious fingerprints. The tank colour subtly compliments that of the K&N air filters while the contrasting stainless pipe and matt black silencer reflect the colour matching of the spokes and nipples of the wheels.
Details such as the warning lights frenched into the top yoke, the raw finished frame and classic bates lighting front and rear ensure there was plenty to discover on closer inspection. Clutch are proving there is plenty of life in the old staples yet... See more from Clutch Customs on their Facebook Page and Website. Posted by Gareth@TheBikeShed