Archive for the ‘Frame – Tanks n Tin’ Category

XS650: Reproduction Badges   Leave a comment

Marbles Motors also produce nice reproduction badges. Not only for Yamaha.

Examples …


1 .. XS1




2 .. XS2




3 .. XS1 … XS2

XS1 … XS2


Posted October 14, 2012 by xscafe in Frame - Tanks n Tin

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XS650: Police Tank   1 comment

Currently for sale. Ebay. Singapore. New.

Patrol Tank. 584-24110-01.


1 .. Left




2 .. Right




3 .. Left




4 .. Underside




5 .. filler – no rust

filler – no rust



6 .. decal – left … H is damaged

decal – left … H is damaged


Hell of a price.

Posted October 12, 2012 by xscafe in Frame - Tanks n Tin

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XS650: XS-Sport…Phil Little   3 comments


1 .. XS Storm ... conceived as a quick makeover for late model 650 Specials

XS Storm … conceived as a quick makeover for late model 650 Specials



Phil Little. Racer turned Glasser. Omar’s Dirt Track Racing. Sold-on, 2008.

“ … street trackers were largely personal and scratch built projects up until 1988. Bill Birchenal mentioned that in addition to making dirt track tails for 650 Yamahas I should make full conversion kits … and it was the success of Omar’s Dirt Track Racing … around 1988 was the nexis for street tracker  popularity … at that point they were easier to build. The kit approach to street trackers includes Sportsters. Storz was the first to do this and I came along, a johnny-come-lately with my cheaper and easy-build SXR street tracker …” Phil Little



2 .. Yamaha 650 Street Tracker

Yamaha 650 Street Tracker


This is the very bike that started the world wide street tracker trend. A complete ground-up makeover including stock engine rebuild. The engine is stock.



3 .. Norton Manx conversion ... Yamaha 650

Norton Manx conversion … Yamaha 650


“I built this bike and developed a complete conversion kit (under Omar’s Dirt track racing name) to transform a Yamaha 650 into a Norton Manx look-alike. A simple conversion, completed without removing the engine from the frame or repainting the frame. Best using a standard model with wire wheels. 1974 to 1979”.         Omar’s DTR .

As Phil Little Racing he wants to market a ‘Sport’ kit. A la Craig Vetter and Tracy Nelson.



4 .. XS Storm .. Vetter, X75 Hurricane ... Tracy Fiberglas Works

XS Storm .. Vetter, X75 Hurricane … Tracy Fiberglas Works


Neither street tracker nor café. “Sport Custom”- Craig Vetter, X75 Hurricane! Tracy Nelson, Fiberglas Works. 70s.

Relegated to Storm,  “conceived as a quick makeover for late model 650 Specials. Cast or wire wheel model. For an X75 replica, select a 650 Special with chrome trim. Black themed bikes suit later Heritages. I want a X75 replica, 19″ front, 18” rear wire wheels from a Standard on my show case bike. Of course means a swing arm and brake parts conversion.

  •   Body parts will be offered in coloured gelcoat – no painting.  Orange, Yellow or White (for repainting)

X650 Storm conversion kit for Yamaha 650 Twins.“Now the entire idea here is to offer you a cheap body kit that looks terrific and is easy to install. I think the kit will sell for under $900 but I can’t be sure yet. I know I will be able to make tanks for less than ever before because I have found a new anti-ethanol resin from a secret supplier (don’t ask, I won’t tell). This will eliminate the expensive interior tank coating process which I have done for the last seven years.

The tail design uses the stock rear fender and taillight. This saves too because I don’t have to include a taillight into the design or price. Another thing that will save you a ton of money is the fact that I will make the body parts in orange and yellow gelcoat. You won’t have to spend $400 bucks on a paint job. I will make the body parts in white for those of you who want to do a custom paint job. I will have a graphics kit which give a professional, finished look to your conversion.

You should be able to install the entire body on a Saturday. You pull off the stock tank, seat and sissy bar. You’ll be cutting off some seat rail tabs but the rear loop stays. Once you’ve sprayed your cuts in black you just slap the body on and hook up the fuel lines. I’ll supply the petcocks and gas cap. By Sunday you should be riding”.



5 .. no seat ... no rear guard

no seat … no rear guard



6 .. the real mccoy ... recently on english ebay ... around 500 quid ... NOS BBB X75

the real mccoy … recently on english ebay … around 500 quid … NOS BBB X75


XS650: Badges   Leave a comment

Usually I remove badges. Tank. Sidecovers. On the XS I mostly leave only the clutch cover.

Saw these the other day. Lasercut from stainless steel.


1 .. actually thought about getting this one ... 155 x 20mm

actually thought about getting this one … 155 x 20mm


2 .. nice, but didn't quite do it for me ... 155 x 20mm

nice, but didn’t quite do it for me … 155 x 20mm


3 .. 149 x 30mm ... mine are all 533 or early models

149 x 30mm … mine are all 533 or early models


Find some nice dome head or countersink some machine screws n Bob’s ya aunty.

Posted February 26, 2012 by xscafe in Frame - Tanks n Tin

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XS650: Pedestrian Slicer   Leave a comment


Don’t get confused with a ‘Cheese Cutter’. That nefarious device constructed by Road Engineers to facilitate our safety as road users.

No. I’m old enough to remember when motorcycles had front number plates. Cool things. Can’t imagine why they were removed. Probably something stupid to do with safety.


1 .. fine condiment ... from denver, co.

fine condiment … from denver, co.



Registration was either stamped into the plate or painted on. Some nigggly voice in my head tells me that ‘Trials’ and ‘Street’ applications required different sized font … 1.75″ and 2.5″ respectively.

Shape. Size. Colour. Material. Design. Painted. Stamped. Engraved. Embossed. Perforated. Simply style. ‘Form n Function’.

2 basic types …

  • cast … look good … watch those modern Indian and Chinese knock-offs. Poorer quality. Brittle.



2 .. polished or chromed cast aluminium

polished or chromed cast aluminium



3 .. painted on numbers etc

painted on numbers etc


4 .. cool oldie

cool oldie



5 .. Nice




6 .. contrasting black

contrasting black




7 .. brass ... ready for shaping

brass … ready for shaping



  • blade, flat plate  … you’re only limited by your own lack of imagination here.



8 .. weld-on lugs

weld-on lugs



BCR. Benjie’s Cafe Racer.



9 .. from benjis cafe racer

from benjis cafe racer



10 .. nice fttings

nice fttings



11 .. in brass too

in brass too



12 .. Fitting




13 .. Clamps




14 .. blade type

blade type



British Customs




15 .. Blade



16 .. triumph ... no drill

triumph … no drill



17 .. no drill ... stronger, not so vibration prone

no drill … stronger, not so vibration prone



NewBonneville No Drill.



18 .. looks so

looks so



19 .. blade type ... stamped numbers

blade type … stamped numbers



… check out Tippers Vintage Plates.



20 .. more stamped plates

more stamped plates



21 .. old japanese bicycle ... mt fuji ... brass ... check out the bottle dynamo ''GE Tachometer'' apparently ex Fei Ji

old japanese bicycle … mt fuji … brass … check out the bottle dynamo ”GE Tachometer” apparently ex Fei Ji



22 .. nice styling

nice styling



23 .. Steampunk'd




Paradox Cycles.



24 .. paradox cycles

paradox cycles



Need to match the curve to the guard. From draggin @ triumphrat. net



25 .. use curve finder to get the guard profile

use curve finder to get the guard profile



26 .. make a pattern ... transfer to the slicer

make a pattern … transfer to the slicer



27 .. add or remove material to fit

add or remove material to fit



28 .. Sweet




Hard case link.

Hunt around. Ebay. Swap meets. Junk shops. Make your own.



29 .. and to finish off ... skaere

and to finish off … skaere



cheese cutter ... dont fuck with them ... NSW petition banner

cheese cutter … dont fuck with them … NSW petition banner



Imagine looking up to see that strung across your flight-path.

XS650: Tracy Bodies   3 comments

Jay asked me some time ago if I knew anything about Tracy Bodies.  Ya’ein… Produced back in the 70’s. Monocoque. Sleek. Tank and seat. Fiberglass. But not much more. Had never seen one in the flesh … so, off I went. To see what I could find.


… … Jim Phillips sketch


I found myself quite an interesting story. Several really. Multilingual. Spanning the Atlantic. Success. Failure. Survival.


… 50 T’bird 650



… 60 T’bird


One thread starts with a Triumph Thunderbird. Don Browns’ first bike.


first triple … P1 triple prototype…63x80mm-3 times…The Rocket3/Trident, Triumph Motorcycles’ step away from the basic vertical twin. The plan was to give the US market 750 cc power  without vibration


Another with Doug Heele and Bert Hopwood. Early 60’s.  Triumph Triple Development Squad. From that to this…


68 ‘Ogle’ Rocket 3



Slippery Sam … BSA/Triumph. 68-75  Rocket 3 and Trident attempting to head off the rising sun.


BSA/Triumph. 68-75  Rocket 3 and Trident attempting to head off the rising sun.


7 .. Windjammer a la Craig Vetter

Windjammer a la Craig Vetter


About this time  Craig Vetter   graduated from University of Illinois Design School. Turned a passion into a life. A search for handling, comfort and fuel economy became industrial fairing production. By the late 60’s 5 moulds were producing for various models. Desiring for a ‘one fits all’ he ended up mating the generic upper section to a CB750 lower, including a headlight carrier. The ‘Windjammer’ was born 70/71 and he cashed in proper from the Goldwing crowd.


8 .. In 1968,

In 1968, three years out of design school, I was known for my fairing designs. But I wanted to do an entire motorcycle. At the same time Don Brown was pondering how to somehow “Americanize” the BSA Rocket 3, I was designing a special ‘zoomy’ seat – tank for my new Suzuki 500. It held 6 gallons of fuel and 1 gallon of two-stroke oil! I rode it everywhere and in the summer of 1969 regularly raced it at the Indianapolis 1/8 mile drag strip. It was there that I realized that the long, ‘zoomy’ shape, as beautiful as it was,- forced a viewer’s eye right off onto something else – anything else. My next motorcycle design, I decided, would somehow keep a viewer’s attention right there. .. n March of 1969 I brought my Suzuki to Daytona and pestered every motorcycle company executive I could locate. “Look at this,” I said, “You need me to design a bike for you. That’s when Harry Chaplin took my card. .. Don continues: The telephone number was in Rantoul Illinois. On April 21, 1969, I called Craig to discuss a project he might be interested in. That set the stage for lunch on June 3, 1969, which proved to be interesting indeed. Craig remembers: Don’s offer was to fly to Nutley and meet. If he liked me, he would give me the keys to a BSA Rocket 3 and I could drive it home to Illinois. I bought a one-way ticket…Craig Vetter



9 .. BSA Rocket 3 ... Ogle designed Rocket 3 Trident ... had the power but why give someone who knows nothing about motorcycles the job of designing one ... beats me

BSA Rocket 3 … Ogle designed Rocket 3/Trident…had the power but why give someone who knows nothing about motorcycles the job of designing one? … beats me



69 CB750K … the before and after benchmark


BSA/Triumph presented their ‘Ogle’ designed Rocket 3-Trident to their US Dealers and Distributers in 68. Disappointment. Boxy and Bone-Ugly. Kickstart. 4 speed. A Sales and Marketing non-event against the coming CB750/4.


11 .. speed and distance ... no looks

speed and distance … no looks


Don Brown, BSA’s US VP and Director, funded the setting of various Speed and Distance records by Du Hamel, Mann and Hempstead  late 68, Daytona. The gods at Bonneville Flats smiled . Wasn’t Enough.


… Craig Vetter was approached. April 69.

  • ‘Redesign the Rocket 3’
  • ‘Don’t Tell a soul’
  • ’I’ll see you right-
  • – do a deal-from petty cash’
  • ‘Slim.’
  • ’Thunderbird sleek’
  • ‘1 to 1.5 person.’


Over a handshake the keys to a Rocket 3 slipped into his possession (E.N: KC-00197 A75R … reportedly one of the Daytona Rocket 3’s  speed and long-distance record setters).


13 .. summer of 69

summer of 69


His Summer of ’69.  The prototype was shipped to England Oct 69. Cycle World got to write about it in ’70.


Cycle World – Sept 70


In ‘71 it was displayed at Houston. Then BSA turned up its toes.


15 .. BSA




16 .. Vetter Rocket

Vetter Rocket


Vetter’s final prototype Rocket 3 featured

  • an innovative monocoque seat and tank unit tarted up with gold Scotchlite reflective tape
  • a simple chrome headlight
  • Borrani aluminum rims
  • polished stainless steel fenders and
  • a 3-into-3 megaphone exhaust, supplied by Brown who also sent
  •  a set of extended Ceriani road racing forks
  • Vetters’ suggestion to extend the cylinder head fins so the engine appears more powerful, was  carried out on = production bikes



… Triumph X75 Hurricane


So Triumph rebranded her. As the X75 Hurricane. Allocated 1183 engines. Production ran ’72 through ’73  = 1172.


Hurricanes, 2005, Duxford


Classic. Iconic


Hurricane lines … sleek


Tracy Nelson. Board-Glasser, O’Neills. Late 60’s, moonlighting with his tanks.

The Fiberglas Works.


… 72 Superstars Catalogue … 2 piece


Fiberglas Works in Santa Cruz had spotted the action. By 74 their ‘Californian’ Café/Street Racer Bodies were fixed program. Having spent the last 7 years clawing their way to the top of the custom fiberglas world, they wanted some of this. How’s that?  US $169.95 with an extra $70 for custom paint.


… regular magazine ad … 74



… Fiberglas Works 72 Superstars Catalogue …from a fine blog… Damned to be Free


Damned to be Free … Flowing like Glass, Jim Phillips Poster


Tracy body … more hungry mantis than cuddly seal



… cool ebay find


Artwork from Jim Phillips featured in many of their catalogues and ads.


… Jim Phillips


Fiberglas Works and later Tracy’s Fiberglas Works or Tracy’s and Friends must have been a stammkunde from way back. Jim went on to make a name for himself in the Band Poster, Surf and Skateboard worlds.


… Jim Phillips artwork … catalogue



27 .. 71 poster ... Jim Phillips

71 poster … Jim Phillips




… Samoto 400F



… Samoto Honda


Also in the action were Samoto(Rome). Honda Dealer. Playing with the big 4’s. In 73 they produced 15 88bhp CB750/4’s and 2 CB1000/4’s.


… Samoto 1000


Quite a heritage. And we’re only scratching the surface.


… Fiberglas Works  card molded into gas tank



… Tracy and friends logo



… Tracy logo



… Tracy body … the more common variant – parallel seat, upper shock mount cutaway



… underside … 14lb … 2.75/3 gallons



… Tracy body … parallel seat, upper shock mount cutaway



… less commonly found … cobra tapered seat, flared upper shock bulge






… cobra style



… custom



… Don Castros’ Triumph 750



Tracy hardly



… XS Tracy



… coming at ya



… ready to go



Steve from RedMaxSpeedShop bought Jays’ bike. With the Tracy body. Is thinking about doing a replica. If anyone is interested the link is above.



… redmax



These bodies are now up to 40 years old. There are reports of owners facing problems with cracking and leaking. Originals not likely to be ethanol compatible. Less likely to affect Triumph X75 Hurricane owners. These have metal canisters hidden inside the fiberglass molding.

74 Tracy catalogue pp 1-32

74 Tracy catalogue pp 33-65


… tracy body on SR400 … Kobe Bandits


 Kobe Bandits

Interesting thread over at Honda CB750s.

Note: Apparently the original finish is in the epoxy. The outermost layer tinted to replicate candy finishes. Any metal flake would be added before the next layer of epoxy and mat was applied. I always thought my H1 body’s original color was fire engine red but at Tracy’s prompting I stripped it back to the epoxy and found rainbow flake over black gelcoat. Talk about durability. Some people in prepping will mistake this base color for paint and actually sand the top layer of epoxy off. Makes them brittle. {[Geeto67 @]}

XS650: Paint   Leave a comment

Yamaha Paint Formulas. The 60 million dollar question. Why? No idea. These are a closely guarded secret. We have the code. Meaningless without the key.

Best you can do is take a clean sample to a painter with the ‘touch’ or hope he has a great spectrometer. Even then you’re not going to get the layering correct.

Found these some time ago. Not the answer. Just a piece of the puzzle.


1970 Colour Chart

1970 Colour Chart


283-2 Paint codes from 71 service bulletins


colour chart 73 - 1

colour chart 73 – 1


colour chart 73 - 2

colour chart 73 – 2


colour chart 74 - 1

colour chart 74 – 1


colour chart 74 - 2

colour chart 74 – 2





paint general … from 1979 Accessories Catalog


paint 1975


paint 1976


paint 1977


paint 1978


paint 1979


Unfortunately I don’t have any more.

For later models Color-rite claim to have the inside running. Only list from 1986 though.

XS650 paint codes…not recipes

BFB 00J3 Bountiful Blue
BG 00H9 Black Gold
BLR 002J Black Red
BR 0063 Brilliant Red
BRw 0063-/-0046 Brilliant Red/White
BRb 0063-/-0033 Brilliant Red/Black
CBL 002E Cobalt Blue
CBW 00N1 Cinnamon Brown
CDR 004H Cardinal Red
CG 0064 Candy Green
CMR 00E9 Carmine Red
CO 0052 Candy Orange
CSL 0020 Crystal Silver
FBL 00G3 French Blue
FRS 009G Frost Silver
LGM 008J Legato Maroon
MFB 00F5 Metallic Flake Blue
MA 00W2 Macho Maroon
MM 00U8 Maxi Maroon
NMB 00J9 New Midnight Blue
NYB 006G New Yamaha Black
NRR 007J New Ruby Red
PYG 0011 Pearl Yellow Gold
SAB 00R7 Star Black
SBM 00E4 Spanish Burgundy Metallic
SGM 00T4 Spruce Green Metallic
SLD 00Y1 Sapphire Blue
VB 00H7 Vintage Burgundy
VGE 00K2 Vegas Green
YB 0033 Yamaha Black

Posted February 2, 2011 by xscafe in Frame - Design, Frame - Tanks n Tin

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