LHS above

The completed bike with hand-tooled seat and open pipes

over carbs

I wanted to run the main loom under the frame tube but there wasn’t room


Daniel picking the bike up on a sunny autumn day

1980 Yamaha XS650 bobber

Owner Daniel is a designer, so it’s not surprising that this bike is very carefully thought about. It’s an XS motor finished in crinkle black. That’s also an XS frame, raked out and converted to hardtail, with a Harley tank painted a metallic greeny-bronze. The head and tail light are one-off cast aluminium jobs with bronze rims, and the pegs and filler cap are aged brass. Daniel tooled the leather seat himself.

With bikes like this the loom needs to be as invisible as possible. Ideally the main trunk would go over the engine, but there wasn’t room, so it went up the right hand side under the tank. There was absolutely no room under the tank so the ignition coil, flasher unit, speedo and indicator connections and switchgear plugs all fit just underneath the tank at the front.

To avoid having a big plug connecting the rear light and indicators to the main loom, I used Deutsch pins and heat shrink. It’s expensive and takes a bit longer to build than a normal connector block, but the final result is hardly any thicker than the wires it joins up.

The Velona/Daytona speedo worked well. Besides mph it reads battery voltage and records trip mileages, either via buttons on the back or via an optional handlebar switch.

Deutsch pin plug1

Using Deutsch pins and heat shrink to make an invisible connecting plug