X650 Storm conversion kit for 650 Yamahas

This kit is based on Craig Vetter's X75 BSA/Triumph Hurricane from 1972. The Hurricane is now a classic motorcycle selling for nose bleed prices. Vetter did a sterling job in creating what was in 1972, a breakthrough design. The Storm kit converts 1977 to 1981 650 Specials and 650 Standards from 1974 to 1979 into a unique custom bike.

WDP 1108 Storm Rear straight V2The X650 Storm™ is not 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 bodywork 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 separate tank and tail are designed to look like a seamless one-piece body but two pieces keeps shipping costs down. The tank mounts like the stock tank. The tail is attached with a 6mm and a ¼-20 bolt. If you intend to ride two-up, I suggest you put a rubber pad between the tail and the rear loop which does not have to be removed for this kit.

The body parts come in white, orange or black gelcoat. Black and orange are an additional fee. If you just must have Yamaha Yellow, I can make that happen for an additional $250 on a special order basis. The tank is coated with Phenol Novolac Epoxy to be ethanol proof. This coating is not warrantied in California, Oregon, Washington or New York. Those states sell an awful brew of fuel. My coating will probably be okay but I have no idea what crud they’ll use in the future.

Go ahead and customize your 650 to stand out from the crowd of traditional 650s. I guarantee your Storm will draw a crowd. 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.

Storm Parts

WDP 1075 Storm 3qtr
  • Tank and tail. Includes: mount hardware, petcocks, cap and seat
  • Graphics for tank and tail. Yellow and charcoal. Other colors extra
  • Frame cover plates
  • Snappy abbreviated front fender
  • Handlebars (low western or café)
  • Vintage style Progressive shocks
  • Napoleon bar end mirror
  • Minimalist brake/taillight
  • Side mount license plate holder
  • Turn signals (not DOT)
  • 2-into-2 chrome upswept megaphone exhaust (Mike’s XS)



Tank and tail in white $995.00
Upcharge for orange or black gelcoat $125.00
Body sanded, polished & graphics applied (learn more) $125.00
Storm graphics - gun gray/silver $139.00 
Storm graphics, custom colors add $40.00
Beauty plates (more info below) $69.00
Brake/taillight $19.00
Side license plate holder $89.00
Side license holder w/ 2 signals $102.00
Side license holder w/ 4 signals $120.00
Chrome/amber signals, set of 4 $36.00
Progressive 13.5” shocks $249.00
Napoleon bar end mirror, in black $49.00
Storm bars (few left) $59.00
Storm front fender (more info) $119.00

Optional Parts

Brake/tail light

yamaha storm tail light

Simple little light (non-DOT) fits anywhere.

Café plate and signal mount

xs650-plate-bracket-kit-rear xs650-plate-bracket-kit-front xs650-plate-bracket-kit-parts

xs650-plate-bracket-kit-artThis is a great way to clear the license plate and signals off the rear fender. It mounts behind the upper left shock. A matching side signal mount attaches on the right shock. A cam action piece positions the plate parallel with the shock so it won't bang into your shock. The license plate is held vertical so it wouldn't slice your leg when you threw it over. Of course, it may be illegal in some states. I send it to you in raw steel so you can color match to your bike.

I made it to fit 650 Yamahas but maybe other bikes too. The mount hole is 14mm. If your shock stud/bolt is smaller, weld a fender washer to shrink the 14mm hole. Conversely hog the hole if wider than 14mm.

Frame cover plate

WDP 1084 StormPull your pegs and slip these plates on. The pegs hold them in place. Covers the ugliest part of the Yamaha frame. Comes in raw aluminum.

Snappy abbreviated front fender

yamaha beach storm 3 thDrilled for 8mm Yamaha fender mounts. Comes in white. Just paint and install (unless you want me to make it in color matched gelcoat for a $50 upcharge).

Storm Low Western bars

WDP 1108 Storm Rear- straight V2-cropped

Storm bars are western bars that were popular in the '70s. These offer greater comfort-they have a low rise and are wide. You will like them. (Very close to old flat track bars.)

Vintage style Progressive shocks

sxr shocks 412 series thProgressive 12 Series 13.5” shocks. Yours will look different than this photo in that they will have chrome springs and I remove those geeky covers. They are a smidge taller that stock shocks which will improve the ride a wee bit

Napoleon bar end mirror

WDP 1096 Storm mirrorEverybody who knows Napoleon mirrors loves them. They pivot in two axis for a good sight picture then tuck it in under the bar, away from garage obstacles. I use only one on the left and drive in the right part of the street. That way you can see everything behind you from under your arm. Nobody will surprise you from the right because you own the part of the lane. I tell you this so you don’t have to buy two.

2 into 2 chrome upswept megaphone system

storm megaphone exhaust 1I used to offer 650 exhaust systems when I owned Omars Dirt Track Racing. It was a bitch buying the parts, schlepping them to a welder and boxing them up. What I sold was in raw metal so the customer had work to do. Because of low quantities, they sold for a pretty penny.

Mike’s XS makes this Ascot 2:2 system which is chromed, bolts-on and sells for a cheap $330. You can’t go wrong. As I recall the megaphones came unpacked and made a nasty loud noise. Buy a packing kit on-line so as not to leak off the non-motorcycle world.

Storm graphics

storm graphics 1Consider my Hurricane-like Storm graphics. The standard kit is yellow stripes with dark metallic gray “650” and “Storm” lettering. I’m happy to do custom graphics like Ken Vaudrin from Grand Rapids, Minnesota, who wanted all gold to go with his color scheme.

Some thoughts about a Storm build

Consider my gelcoat options: white, orange, black and maybe yellow*. Colored gelcoat is harder than paint and a whole bunch less expensive than a paint job. The kit is easy to assemble and some guys have done it over a weekend. You may want to consider installing an 18” wheel from a standard model to go with a wire front wheel. If you are going to do that, buy a wire rear, a standard swing arm, stay arm and all the brake parts inside of the pedal.

* Special, special option

Product development photos

It took me the better part of a year to complete this kit. The first photos show pattern making, then you’ll see the molds and finally finished parts.

Storm_week3 Storm_week5

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Storm week8a Storm week8c

Storm week8b


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

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