Wednesday, July 23, 2014
 

StormType2

$959

WDP 1049 Storm profile Layered 5x8-500

WDP 1075 Storm 3qtr WDP 1108 Storm Rear- straight V2-200 WDP 1100 Storm v3 layered

Orange returns

Orange gelcoat is again
offered for SXR and Storm

Add $125

X650 Storm conversion kit for 650 Yamahas

The X650 Storm™ is the newest conversion kit in the world for the 650 Yamaha. The new kit is based on Craig Vetter's X75 Triumph Hurricane from 1972. The Storm will piss off Hurricane owners...but they'll just have to deal with it. You have to admit the Hurricane is now an iconic motorcycle. Vetter did a sterling job in creating what was in 1972, a break through design. The Storm converts the look of 1977 to 1981 650 Specials and 650 Standards from 1974 to 1979.

The X650 Storm™ was not intended to be a dead-on copy of the Hurricane. The Hurricane had a small and impractical tank. Mine has about twice the capacity at about 3 gallons. The Hurricane rear lacked body mass with color to balance the tank. My kit balances front to rear with body work to achieve better overall visual harmony. Perhaps the best feature of the Hurricane was the swooped seat shape. That I used with relish because most body lines of the period tended to follow the frame lines.

The seat drops below the frame lines and is visually arresting. Although the fantastic seat looks long, I don't recommend two up. It is attached in the front with 6mm and ¼-20 bolts which may not be strong enough to support weight on the very rearward section.

The body parts come to you in white gelcoat, or optional orange. The tank is coated to be ethanol proof. The separate tank and tail are designed to look like a seamless one piece body but two smaller pieces keeps the shipping costs down.

I think you will enjoy the crowd attention the Storm will draw and ease of installation.

I have made a recent change in the storm graphics. The "Storm" and "650" are split gray as they have been but the split stripes are now a warm yellow--more striking.

I have seen blogs mention that my tank and tail kit price is too high. I went through my cost structure again and discovered when I set up my original prices that my mark up was and is below standard industry pricing. My costs on every part is not cheap—especially the seat cover.

NOTE: The Storm kit can now again be ordered in orange gelcoat for $125 extra. This will save you money—no painting

Instant Storm Makeover

rosenberg-storm-before-afterTom Rosenberg from Union, KY ordered a Storm kit from me with a taillight and graphics (when I was making orange body parts). He received his Storm kit last Thursday and had it on the bike on Friday. He said, "It's great! I love it! I took it to a local charity ride and it was a hit".

rosenberg-storm1 rosenberg-storm2

He kindly sent these before/after photos so you can ponder whether you want new clothes for your old 650 too. (Just sayin')

 

Pricing

Tank and tail in white $959.00
Tank and tail in orange add $125.00
Graphics uninstalled $139.00
Graphics installed $174.00
Graphics, custom colors add $40.00
Beauty plates (more info below) $69.00
Brake/taillight $29.00
Side license plate holder $79.00
Side license holder w/ 2 signals $102.00
Side license holder w/ 4 signals $120.00
Chrome/amber signals, set of 4 $36.00
Beach Storm front fender (more info) $69.00
Low western bars $39.00
Storm bars $39.00
Napoleon bar end mirror, in black $49.00
Progressive 12 series shocks - black, 75-120 springs $249.00
Storm exhaust Ascot system from 650 Central
209-533-4346 (about $300)

Kit Parts

  • Tank: mounts, petcocks and gas cap and tail piece with the world's coolest seat
  • Graphics for tank and tail
  • Frame cover plates
  • Handlebars (low western or adult café)
  • Vintage style Progressive shocks
  • Napoleon bar end mirror
  • Minimalist brake/taillight
  • Side mount license plate holder
  • 2-into 2 chrome upswept megaphone exhaust

 

Features

WDP 1081 Storm seat mtgNifty little (illegal) tailight/brake light. See how seat cushion attaches with Velcro.WDP 1089 Storm seat-bottomSeat base with Velcro

Optional Accessories

WDP 1084 StormFrame cover up plates

WDP 1090 Storm forkSuperbo Tarozzi fork brace. It comes in heat treated black but you can paint as I did.

WDP 1108 Storm Rear- straight V2-croppedStorm bars have the same overall shape of western bars that were popular in the '70s. However for greater comfort, these have a low rise and they are wide. You will like them and the price: $39.00 WDP 1096 Storm mirrorNapoleon bar end mirror pivots in two axis so you can get the right sight picture and tuck it away in your garage.

Storm2012-ShocksProgressive 14 Series shocks are designed with smaller diameter bodies for the vintage look but retain modern velocity sensing multi-staged valving. The spring rate of these chrome 75-120 springs is on the cushy side for we older riders who average around 190 pounds. If you weigh more just crank up the adjustable spring preload. Now mind you these shocks are not designed for two-up riding principally because I don't recommend that with my tail and cushion. Shock kit comes with shock eye spacers and an adjustment tool.

New Cafe/Street Tracker side mount license plate holder

Here is a great way to clear a license plate off café or street tracker tail. This new license plate holder/signal mount attaches behind the upper left shock stud/bolt and a matching side signal mount attaches on right side. A cam action holder positions the plate parallel with the shock so it won't bang into your shock.

xs650-plate-bracket-kit-rearxs650-plate-bracket-kit-front

This side holder looks stupidly simple but is the result of months in R&D and a bunch of money! The final product is laser cut and jig welded. The license plate is held vertical so it wouldn't slice your leg when you threw a leg over. Of course this makes this an illegal plate presentation in some states. (As if the patrolman could read a motorcycle plate from his squad car anyway).

xs650-plate-bracket-kit-partsxs650-plate-bracket-kit-art

I send it to you in raw steel. That leaves it up to you what color to paint it and keeps your cost down because I don't have include the cost of paint or a coating.

I made it to fit 650 Yamahas but there is no reason why it wouldn't fit other bikes. The mounting hole for the 650 shock stud is 14mm. If your bike uses a smaller diameter bolt/stud, just weld on a fender washer to shrink the 14mm hole. Conversely hog the hole wider as needed.

xs650-plate-bracket-kit-frameSide license plate holder $79.00
Side license holder w/ 2 signals $102.00
Side license holder w/ 4 signals $120.00

This is what you see from bike's rear. I have these pink frames if anybody is brave enough--5 bucks.


 Below is a picture story of product development

Storm_week3Storm_week5

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 make the body parts in orange. 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.

Storm_week5Storm_week6aStorm_week6b

Storm_week7aStorm_week7b


Storm_week8

The photo on the right shows my progress at week 8. The parts have been sanded to 2000 grit and polished to a glass-like luster. The next step is to take them to the glass guy for molds to be built. As of 7/26 the molds have been finished. Now I have to make the tank bottom and work out the graphics kit.

If you would like to get on my 'Up Date' list, write me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Storm_week9bIt's week 9, and the tank top and tail fender molds are done. Next I have to make the tank bottom, seat base molds and mold for the seat foam. I am cheating a bit by painting the inside of the wheels and hubs orange but I think this touch of color will add to what basically is a body dropped on a stock bike.

Storm_week9a

Most of you will do custom changes beyond what you will see on my showcase bike. My showcase bike will show the basic conversion without many deviations, the kind of bike most of you will build. This basic approach will also show how radical a stock bike can be changed with just a new body on it.


Storm week8aSince I showed the last photos I have been waiting for parts to come out of the mold. That has happened. I am pleased with the overall look but I have to rework the molds. It seems that fiberglass suppliers are not used to precision molded parts. The gap between tank and tail has to be tightened up so both pieces look like a one piece body.

Storm week8bYou'll notice how I am using orange inside the rims and inside the brake drums to add a subtle accent to the overall package.

Storm week8cThe bodywork is spartan because I have no graphics to define the lines and give the bike a finished OEM look. You can see the swoopy lines for the seat-the seat is really going to help this kit. What with reworking the molds and the other things I need to do-I know the finished kit is some months off. If you put me on the rack, I'd guess December-January.


650-w-seat-0029/12/12. Today for the first time the new seat is shown on the Storm body. The remaining element needed is the graphics which will be done in two grays-one dark, the other light. Once graphics are done I will have studio photos done for the formal product introduction.


 10/1/12. I think this project to develop this Storm conversion kit for 650 Yamahas has taken one year. There are so many little and big pieces to jiggle to make a completed whole. Now for the first time you can get how this kit will look.

Storm oct2012-1Storm oct2012-2Storm oct2012-3

You see it with body on, the seat in place, the exhaust system on and a small idea of the graphics we have chosen in two metallic grays. I should have a professional photos to show you here about the end of October.

Before the official product introduction I want to have kits in stock so when you call, I can ship the week you order. I have always been behind so maybe this is wishful thinking but it is my goal. I'll talk at you later when I have more to show.

~ Phil


Frame Plates

F.fender.-Ugly-001The section of a Yamaha 650 frame where the foot pegs and axle are located is an eye-sore on all 650 models. I developed Ugly plates for the Omar street tracker way back when but these F.fender.-Ugly-002are different and totally dedicated to the Storm kit. It won't work with a stock bike or any other kind of 650 custom.

The top portion is bent out then in to meet with the bottom edge of the Storm tail piece. Now this is just a prototype. If you don't like it or wish changes, let me know now at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Chrome Front Fender

This fender has been requested by Tom Brattskar, my European distributor. He has found it very difficult to find a pristine stock front fender over there for the X650 Storm he is building. He knew that I am going to introduce a new Yamaha 650 kit, the Beach Storm in the winter of 2013/14 and he wanted the fender from that 2014 kit early for his X650 Storm. Here is a peek at it in a pre-mold stage.

F.fender.-Ugly-003F.fender.-Ugly-004F.fender.-Ugly-005

Engine Jeweling

Up here in the north country we have a nationally known custom bike builder. His name is Kevin Rickbeil. He has the awesome talent to detail the smallest piece of metal into a work of art.

You can see his work in this Yamaha 650 engine. Not only was it entirely rebuilt but the externals got his jewel treatment.

Yam_650_FV_8170_3s_thumb Yam_650_BV_8186_3s_thumb

Now if you would like to have Kevin do this to your engine (and it doesn’t have to be 650), give him a shout directly-you don’t have to go through me.

Kevin Rickbeil
43065 County Road One
Rice, MN 56367

320-393-3062

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

(952) 935-8833