Chappell Customs Yamaha XS650

Yamaha XS650
I love discovering builders that have been floating underneath the internet radar—guys who are doing good work, but largely unrecognized. Chappell Customs is one such outfit, being two brothers who build bikes out of their garages on evenings and weekends. Rob lives near Toronto in Canada and Chris lives in Los Angeles, California. They discuss their builds via emails and phone conversations, and fly back and forth to complete the work. (Which is all done in-house, including the paint and powdercoating.) “The goal of each project is to take basket cases and turn them into ‘cooler than new’ motorcycles,” says Chris.

This most recent build, a 1982 Yamaha XS650, started out as a rolling chassis with two different wheels and a pile of parts. “The frame and engine were retained; everything else was taken off and replaced or rebuilt,” says Chris. Rattle can paint was stripped back to bare metal, cylinders were honed, and new rings, seals, gaskets and filters fitted. The front end was rebuilt with progressive springs, and a new rear frame hoop was welded in. “For longer rides than peanut-tanked bobbers, we decided to use an XS750 tank,” says Chris. The bike was rewired, and fitted with new hand controls, lights and turn signals—along with high performance brake componentry, aftermarket carbs, an RK chain, a lithium battery, gas shocks and a digital speedo.

I’d say it fits the “Custom built cool” motto. Check out the Chappell Customs website for more of their builds.

Yamaha XS650
Yamaha XS650
Yamaha XS650