how to hardtail a xs650

Hardtailing an XS650 can significantly improve its performance and stability. This guide will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to do it safely and effectively. Before starting, gather all necessary tools and materials, including a welding torch or arc welder, drill with appropriate bits, tap and die set, cutting torch or saw, sandpaper or grinder, paint or powder coat.

Step 1: Remove the rear suspension. Be sure to use a jack and other safety measures when lifting your bike off the ground. The XS650 is known for its sturdy frame, which can make it easy to remove the rear suspension. Once you have the bike lifted, carefully disconnect the shock absorber, spring, and other hardware from the frame.

Step 2: Modify the frame. This could involve drilling and tapping holes for new mounting points, or more extensive welding or cutting of the frame itself. Always consult a professional if you’re unsure about any aspect of the process. Hardtailing involves removing the rear suspension from the bike and replacing it with a rigid rear end. This can be done by drilling holes in the frame for new mounting points, welding or cutting off the old mounts, and then installing new components.

Step 3: Install new suspension components. Mount a shock absorber, spring, and other hardware to the modified frame. Be sure to properly torque all bolts and nuts. Hardtailing can significantly improve the bike’s stability and handling in rough terrain, but it requires some customization to ensure that the rear end is securely mounted to the frame. This involves drilling holes for new mounting points, welding or cutting off the old mounts, and then installing new components like a shock absorber and spring.

Step 4: Test and adjust your new setup. Adjust suspension settings and fine-tune ride feel to your liking. Once you’ve installed the new suspension components, test them out to make sure they’re working properly. This may involve adjusting the preload or compression setting on the shock absorber, or making other minor tweaks to ensure that the bike feels just right for you.

Step 5: Customize and personalize your bike. Add paint or powder coat, decals or graphics, or swap out other components like wheels, brakes, or exhaust systems. Once you’ve tested and adjusted your new suspension setup, it’s time to customize and personalize your bike. This could involve adding paint or powder coat to the frame, installing decals or graphics, or swapping out other components like wheels, brakes, or exhaust systems to make your bike truly unique.

Common mistakes to avoid include over-tightening bolts and nuts, cutting too close to critical components, and not properly grounding any electrical connections. It’s also important to follow all safety precautions when working with fire and metal. Hardtailing can be a challenging project, but with the right tools, materials, and know-how, it can also be incredibly rewarding and fun.

In conclusion, hardtailing your XS650 can take anywhere from a few hours to several days or even weeks, depending on the level of customization you want to achieve and your own experience and skill level with welding and fabrication techniques. The benefits of hardtailing include improved stability and control, better handling in rough terrain, and the ability to personalize and customize your bike to your liking. With the right tools, materials, and know-how, you can transform your XS650 into a high-performance machine that’s tailored to your unique riding style and preferences.