The X650 Storm™ is the newest conversion kit in the world for the 650 Yamaha. By agreement with my former company, Omar's, I could not produce another street tracker or a café kit for the 650. That left the 'sport custom' category. 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, just sand, prime and paint paint. 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, the modest price and ease of installation.
Tom 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".
He kindly sent these before/after photos so you can ponder whether you want new clothes for your old 650 too. (Just sayin')
|Tank and tail with seat||$959.00|
|Chrome signals||$36.00 for 4|
|Graphics installed||add $35.00|
|Custom graphics colors||$160.00|
|Beauty plates||$69/pair, in stock|
|License plate holder||Being made now|
|Tarozzi fork brace||$145.00|
|Low western bars||$39.00|
|Napoleon bar end mirror, in black||$49.00|
|Progressive 12 series shocks||$249.00|
|Storm exhaust||Ascot system from 650 Central
209-533-4346 (about $300)
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.
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.
It'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.
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.
Since 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.
The 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.
9/12/12. 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.
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.
The 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 are different and totally dedicated to the Storm kit. It won't work with a stock bike or any other kind of 650 custom.
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.
These Italian braces are top quality pieces. They are designed for strength and ease of installation. The black color is what happens when aluminum is heat treated for toughness. I recommend you paint the brace silver to hide it so it's less dominant when surrounded by the chrome fender and shiny forks. Or heck you can leave yours black or paint it orange or whatever color.
It fits: SR500 1980-1995, XS650 1977-81, XS650SE 1980-1981 all with 35mm tubes x 55mm sliders. I will be selling these for about $145.
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.
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.
43065 County Road One
Rice, MN 56367