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100MPH
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Date Posted:12/02/2013 4:31 PMCopy HTML

Hello all, my name is Mike and I am in the middle of converting a 1973 XL 175 into a street only, bar hopper, around town scoot!!  I really like the light weight and simplicity of the XL (This is my first custom build). I have also noticed while searching the web for inspiration, that very few people have used these bikes as platforms, hence I like the fact the finished bike will be somewhat unique.
I bought the bike locally (Seattle Wa. area) in non running condition with 5800 miles showing on the odo. It was mostly complete, but since my goal was a custom project originality was not a priority. The PO had attempted to do some restoration with a rattle can of silver paint. UGH!!

My goal will be to take this small cc enduro and make it look like it was always intended for street use only.


Here's a couple of pics of how she looked at the time of purchase... 

[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0294.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0295.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0297.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0298.jpg[/IMG]



Then the fun begins!!

Complete dissassembly... Degrease...Clean...More grease... Clean... well you guys know!

Removal of tires, completely disassemble wheels and hubs, media blasting, powder coating, bearings, recondition brakes, reassemble, new tires etc. etc...

Complete rebuild and reconditioning of the the triple tree, forks, new steering bearings.

Rebuilt top end of motor, new seals and gaskets, more blasting, more powder coating, engine paint.

[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0382.jpg[/IMG]

Start to decide which parts will stay and what will be replaced.

I decided to go with a gas tank from a 1978 SR500 Yamaha. I am also using the SR's front fender for my rear fender.  The front wheel hugging fender is off a Harley Davidson Sportster. The Xl forks already have mounts for a low fender. 

Do all of that and you"ll have this....

[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0366.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0367.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0368.jpg[/IMG]

Time to take this project to the fabricator "MAD METAL RAY"!!


Start tearing into the frame, detab, remove rear loop, replace rear shocks with shorter units, increase angle of shocks, make mounts for rear fender and begin to create a custom seat pan.


[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0370.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0372.jpg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0373.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0374.jpg[/IMG]

Well guys, there is a lot more to do, and I will be updating this build as the work continues. Thanks for your time and feel free to chime in with your comments and opinions!!   Thanks Mike




100MPH #1
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:12/02/2013 11:07 PMCopy HTML

I had a chance to take a few more pics today. 
[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0385.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0388.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0387.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0386.jpg[/IMG]

Custom turn signals are almost finished

[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0393.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0394.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0391.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0390.jpg[/IMG]

Motor back in frame.  Wewill be making a custom exhaust and wiring harness.

[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0395.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0397.jpg[/IMG]
RetroRacer #2
  • Rank:Silver Member
  • Posts:67
  • From:New_zealand

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:12/04/2013 5:31 AMCopy HTML

Nice job, keep up the good work. Look forward to the final result! RR
100MPH #3
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:12/04/2013 3:16 PMCopy HTML

Thanks RR!!  I am in the process of locating all the required pieces for the custom wiring harness.   Has anyone used a battery eliminator on a 73' XL?? 
What about any products offered by Oregon Motorcycle Parts??   They appear to have a rectifier / regulator combo that replaces the stock units.

I sent them an email, currently waiting for a reply.   I bought a 6 Volt Antigravity battery but if I can use a battery eliminator that would be preferred.
Swiss #4
  • Rank:Diamond Member
  • Posts:1254
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:12/05/2013 12:17 AMCopy HTML

HA!HA! Awful thick tubing for those rear frame tubes!  You must be a Harley man!!  Build is looking fairly clean good luck with keeping it styled right for the look that you want. 

Swiss

100MPH #5
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:12/05/2013 3:37 AMCopy HTML

I actually consider myself a early 70's Japanese 2 stroke motorcycle fan.  Although I do have a 1978 SX 175 Aermacchi Harley! My main ride is a 1972 Yamaha R5. I also put quite a few miles this summer on my 1971 CB 350. 
[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0266.jpg[/IMG]


RetroRacer #6
  • Rank:Silver Member
  • Posts:67
  • From:New_zealand

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:12/08/2013 12:34 AMCopy HTML

How did you get on with Oregon Motorcycle parts? I checked out their website, the battery eliminator idea seems likes a good approach, I would be interested in their response and if you can get a unit that works on the 175? I guess another alternative is to find an AC stator off a 1976 -78 XL 175, these years did not require a battery to run the ignition or the lights.RR
100MPH #7
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:12/08/2013 2:36 AMCopy HTML

Okay RR, I was able to purchase the Battery Eliminator and a rectifier / regulator combo model VRRPM2-H  from Tony at Oregon Motorcycle parts. The cost was $146.00 US  These parts will enable me to change the bike to a 12 volt system. I will also need to change out the headlight, the coil, and all the bulbs to 12 volt. I am already using LED turn signals front and back.  A 12 volt coil is under $20. I have not sourced a headlight yet, but should'nt be a problem.  These parts work in conjunction with the stock stator. Since I am creating a custom wiring harness I felt this would be the the best configuration. Especially excited about the "No Battery" set up.   I will keep you all posted on how this new system works once it's installed. Stay tuned updates are headed your way soon.
Peace !  Mike 
XLKirk #8
  • Rank:Gold Member
  • Posts:175
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:12/15/2013 7:58 PMCopy HTML

Great looking "punk Harley" build you have going. Love that seam that carries from the tank through the rear fender. I think you'll really enjoy the gearing of the 175 - just a blast to ride. I'm anxious to see what you plan to do with the exhaust - hi pipe flat tracker look or the low megaphone street tracker style? Either way - you have a great project going.

XL Kirk

100MPH #9
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:01/02/2014 3:00 PMCopy HTML

Happy New Year Everyone!!  I was finally able to put a few more hours in on my build.  Here are a couple of pictures of the custom exhaust. I'm not completely finished with it yet, let me know what you think.  Mike

[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/image-1.jpeg[/IMG]
[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/image.jpeg[/IMG]
RetroRacer #10
  • Rank:Silver Member
  • Posts:67
  • From:New_zealand

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:01/04/2014 7:46 AMCopy HTML

 Mike

I think it looks good and in keeping with the whole style of the bike. Might be a liitle noisy after a while though!

What paint finish did you use on the clutch cover?

Looking good!

RR
100MPH #11
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:01/04/2014 2:31 PMCopy HTML

Thanks RR! 
Since the exhaust is simply a straight pipe, the volume may be a bit loud.  I'll know more once the harness is complete and we start the bike.  
As far as the engine covers are concerned, I had them media blasted, then a crinkle powder coat finish was applied. I am aware of some paints that are also crinkle finish, but I felt that powder coating would be more durable. The smaller timing cover insert on the clutch side was finished in a gloss black powder to create some contrast.  
Stay tuned, I should have some more pics this weekend!

Mike
100MPH #12
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:01/06/2014 5:55 PMCopy HTML

Here are a few more pics of the exhaust...
[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/image-2.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0415.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0413.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0412.jpg[/IMG][IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0417.jpg[/IMG]

I shortened the kickstand to add some stability since the bike is a quite a bit lower.

[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0410.jpg[/IMG]

Mounted the tail light. I have no idea yet where the license plate is going.  If anyone has any ideas or pics of a plate mount location you like please share.

[IMG]http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z356/MLowenstein1/IMG_0411.jpg[/IMG]

It is now time to start on the custom wiring harness, I will keep you all posted on the process along with the finished diagram and a parts list of the completed electrics.   Thats all for now!!  Mike
panda38 #13
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:4
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:01/25/2014 11:04 PMCopy HTML

 Did you get rid of the original gas tank? Do you want to?
XLKirk #14
  • Rank:Gold Member
  • Posts:175
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:02/01/2014 8:29 PMCopy HTML

Hey Mike,

Well I certainly didn't imagine that pipe! Kudos for the creativity and the look. It looks like the pipe is very close to the under the seat pan frame. Have you sat the bike on the ground and bounced on the seat pan to see if there are any issues with the pipe? 


Keep the pics coming - very interesting build.

Kirk

100MPH #15
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:02/07/2014 3:32 PMCopy HTML

 Hey Kirk,

Sorry for the slow response. I haven't had alot of time lately to work on the bike.  

The exhaust is actually mounted to the rear cross support for the seat pan, just like the rear fender. The exhaust, frame, fender, are static and act like a single piece. the only part moving is the swingarm and tire assembly.   

I hopefully will have some time soon to continue with the build. 
I guarantee this bike will be on the road by summer!! I'll keep you posted.

Thanks Mike
XLKirk #16
  • Rank:Gold Member
  • Posts:175
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:02/11/2014 9:56 PMCopy HTML

Hey Mike,

Looks like you have it all worked out. I was just thinking that the old butt might get a bit warm (mine would anyway). Sweet bike.

XL Kirk

brettzilla #17
  • Rank:Silver Member
  • Posts:96
  • From:Canada

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:02/27/2014 1:12 AMCopy HTML

did you powder coat your brake panels? they look great and i want to do the same, but i'm worried about the heat damaging the little rubber insert in the speedo cable bore and thus preventing the speedo cable from working. how did you get around this?
Westfalia #18
  • Rank:Silver Member
  • Posts:59
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:05/21/2014 3:37 PMCopy HTML

 Great work, but I always wonder why custom builders seem to choose excellent complete original bikes to make a custom out of?? This happens all the time...usually(not in your case) with contempt for those into originals.  Could you not just take a clapped out(missing parts and run down) but really straight example (which would be much cheaper anyway) and leave the only original once bikes for those that are into restoration?  Please tell us that the very hard to come by original parts were sent on to good homes.  If you still have the exhaust I'd be interested in it.
Again, really nice work regardless.  Just shedding a tear for one less original bike in the world.
100MPH #19
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:07/10/2014 2:52 PMCopy HTML

Hey guys, Here are a few more pics of the bike. The build is complete, and the bike is back on the road!  I wrote a long post detailing all of the work that has been done, and of course it got deleted when I tried adding the pics.  I will post the details again soon.
XLKirk #20
  • Rank:Gold Member
  • Posts:175
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:07/12/2014 7:57 PMCopy HTML

Nice build - stuff I really liked: 1) Positioning of the Speedo - tucked under the handle bar. 2) the shape and position of the handle bar (did you bend that?) 3) that Seam that runs from the front fender, across the tank, across the seat and across the rear fender 4) the repositioning of the rear shocks - tilted just right. 4) That Pipe! 5) the toggle switches added to the top of the headlight bucket 6) It's licensed! so your riding it!


Well Done.

100MPH #21
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:07/13/2014 3:01 PMCopy HTML

Good morning all!! Well, it's been quite a year for my family. My wife and I just had our first baby, a beautiful boy, two weeks old and doing awesome. I have also been very busy opening a new location for our business so needless to say busy would be an understatement. But the good news is the build is completed and the bike is on the road!
I took the bike to my friend Tom who works at a local custom shop here in Bremerton Wa. Tom made a custom wiring harness using the battery eliminator and regulator / rectifier that I acquired from Oregon Motorcycle parts. The bike now has no battery. He also added toggle switches to the top of the headlight bucket for the turn signals and headlight high / low. He routed out the original headlight bulb and replaced it with a 12volt HID bulb that can be serviced. The coil was replaced with a new 12volt coil, new NGK lead to the plug, new flasher relays etc. The bike is now running a 12volt system.
The handle bars are called M Bars and were acquired through E-Bay


Tom also added another toggle switch on the side of the bike to turn the lights on and off. Next to this is a momentary push switch to operate the horn. You can see the battery eliminator and regulator to the left that were mounted to the frame under the seat.
100MPH #22
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:07/13/2014 3:54 PMCopy HTML

In order to start the bike, you must first be sure to have the lights turned off. The additional draw of the lights impedes the performance of the capacitor used to eliminate the battery. The bike fires right up, usually on the first kick. Once the bike is running, you flare the throttle and turn on the lights. If you were to just turn the light switch on without the additional revs the extra current draw kills the bike. Once the bike is running, and the lights have been turned on you are good to go.  The lights do dim at stop / idle and brighten as the revs climb higher. 
My friend Harley (yes his name is Harley) did the seat upholstery on the custom pan. I bought an old leather jacket from GoodWill for $20 and cut it up for the leather. I really like the way Harley put a seam down the center of the seat to keep the centerline design.

The throttle and grips are made by Biltwell. I like the way their vintage balloon grips look and feel.

I have put about 60 Kilometers on the bike so far. Yes, Kilometers, I bought the wrong the wrong speedo LOL! But overall since we are dealing with a metric bike I think it's kinda cool.  Having the speedo tucked in under the right side of the M Bars adds a nice design detail and keeps things interesting.

The bike rides very well! It tracks down the road straight and true, without excessive vibration. The bike is LOUD due to the straight pipe exhaust. I was pulled over by the Wa. St. Patrol on my second ride, and told I will need to fit a muffler of some sort. I knew I wasn't speeding, flat out the bike does a respectable 60 / 65mph.  He actually was pretty cool and didn't write me a ticket!
The bike draws lots of attention, most people are just trying to figure out what it is. So far I have heard Triumph? BSA? Harley?  One guy thought it was an Indian! I think the biggest shock is when I tell them it's a 175!! 
When this build began, I guess my overall plan was to take a small cc bike that most would never consider for a custom build, and create something different and interesting, with a vintage vibe. Mission accomplished! I love it, and thats all that matters!


My plan this summer is to ride and enjoy my new build! A lot of the parts I reconditioned got dinged up during the fabrication process, and I still haven't touched the original frame or swing arm. I will most likely tear down the bike this winter and go through it piece by piece. 
If anyone has questions or needs specifics on a particular item feel free to ask. Things are starting to return to normal around here and I should be able to get back to you in a more timely manner. Thanks Mike

NOW LET'S GO FOR A RIDE!!!

BryanO #23
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:1
  • From:South_africa

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:07/16/2014 5:04 AMCopy HTML

Cool build this one, 
Well done 
Parraeels101 #24
  • Rank:Bronze Member
  • Posts:46
  • From:Australia

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:08/12/2014 8:04 AMCopy HTML

Well done with the build mate, looks great. Just a question about the 12v system, did you need to have the stator rewound to make it all work properly?
100MPH #25
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:15
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:08/19/2014 1:49 PMCopy HTML



Parraeels,  the stator was left stock, there was no need to alter it.  
3y3909 #26
  • Rank:XL Board Member
  • Posts:2
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:09/07/2016 4:03 PMCopy HTML

What an awesome build, Fast forward to 2016 and the XL175 raises again I have started a build myself, I am very interested in the wiring schematic and parts. Please anything to help.. thanks 
Westfalia #27
  • Rank:Silver Member
  • Posts:59
  • From:USA

Re:1973 XL 175 Pure Street Build

Date Posted:04/27/2017 11:14 PMCopy HTML

 Wow, what a nice original bike it was....




Go soothingly on the grease mud ... as there lies the skid demon! ...





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