XS650 Scrambler by Dime City Cycles: “XS744”

XS650 Scrambler by Dime City Cycles

Rick Brown, BikeBound’s senior traveling correspondent, recently had the opportunity to spend an enjoyable and educational afternoon with Herm Narciso and the crew at Dime City Cycles in Largo, Florida, including a tour of the facilities and a collection of DCC builds.

A few years ago, Herm and his friend Jason were building bikes at night in his garage as a respite from his daytime corporate world. When his wife Kara, now a major part of DCC, kicked them out of the garage, they rented a little 900 square foot shop to continue their hobby. After crafting a number of unique components for their builds, people began noticing and wanting to purchase them. Seeing a way to at least partially pay for their hobby, they began a small side business making parts for DIY builders.

XS744: Dime City Cycles Scrambler
DCC Motto: “Nothing but the best is good enough.” Indeed.

The big break came in 2009 when they were contacted by Café Racer TV about building a café racer for an episode of the show. They took a ratty ’69 CB450 and  created the Brass Café, their vision of what a Honda factory project bike would have looked like if Honda were into the café racer culture of the ‘60s. It became one of the most popular episodes of Café Racer TV and, within days of its airing, their phone began ringing off the hook. DCC was born and Herm was eventually able to ditch the corporate world and focus on his passion for bikes.

Nil Satis Nisi Optimum:  Nothing But The Best…

DCC generally no longer builds bikes for customers but still turns out some beautiful rides to showcase DCC products and keep the creative genes flowing. It has become one of the largest vendors of parts and components for vintage bikes, including café racers, bobbers, trackers, scramblers, brats, or any combination thereof.

DCC’s motto is Nil Satis Nisi Optimum, meaning “nothing but the best is good enough.” That certainly describes the XS744 featured here. Incredibly crafted and gorgeous, it was specifically built for the 2015 Handbuilt Show in Austin, TX. Although created as a show bike, it is not a trailer queen and, in fact, Herm confided that, on one of its initial off-road forays, a street bike reaction to a dirt bike situation resulted in some additional shop time, which resulted in the different paint scheme on one of the side covers.

XS650 Scrambler
One sexy scrambler from any angle.

DCC XS744 Scrambler:  The Build

Dime City Cycles started with a factory-stock 1980 XS650 and a five-week deadline.  The bike was in terrible shape, with rust on the cylinder walls, and DCC began what became a ground-up restoration, replacing nearly every nut, bolt, and piece of hardware in the entire bike.  A big bore kit with 80 mm pistons brought the displacement up to 744cc–hence the bike was christened the “XS744”–and the rebuilt motor was given titanium valves, a blueprinted crank, and a performance cam.

XS744 XS650 Scrambler

Carburetion is via “The Coveted” Mikuni VM34 kit, and the bike runs LEDs throughout–you would hardly know it ran lights at all until they fire up!  MotoGadget gauges out of Berlin keep the rider informed of his velocity and nearness to redline.  Authentic Ohlins piggyback shocks bring up the rear, and a Tarozzi fork brace and Racetech springs firm up the front.  The bike rolls on Avon Diztanzia off-road tires with custom-laced rims, and a 320mm rotor and twin-piston caliper helps bring this fire-breather to a halt.

Custom Headers with Performance Mufflers from Cone Engineering

XS650 Scrambler Build Sheet

This build is dripping with trick parts.  For XS fans like us, the list reads like a Christmas list to a greasy-hand Santa Claus who knows his way around an air-cooled parallel twin.

XS650 Scrambler by Dime City Cycles

Here is a build sheet detailing the major components of the build:

  • 13.25″ (336mm) Ohlins S36P Eye to Eye Gas Charged Shock Absorbers
  • 15 AMP Hour 480 CCA Antigravity 16-Cell Battery
  • 7/8″ Universal Black Nissin “Shorty” Hydraulic Front Brake Master Cylinder
  • 8.8mm Yellow Accel Spark Plug Wire Set
  • AirTECH Bobbed & Smooth Rear Fender for Triumph Bonnevilles & Thruxtons
  • AirTech XLCR Motorcycle Front Fender
  • AVON Distanzia 100/90H-19 Dual Sport Front Motorcycle Tire
  • AVON Distanzia 130/80HR-17 Dual Sport Rear Motorcycle Tire
  • Black Biltwell “Mushman” Footpegs – Triumph
  • Bronze Swingarm Bushing Kit
  • DCC Originals Universal Cafe Racer Rearset Linkage Kit
  • EBC Clutch Kit
  • EBC Pro-Lite Brake Rotor
  • Flexible LED Integrated Tail Light / Indicators
  • Galfer K7 Universal Stainless Steel Brake Line
  • Honda CB450 Brake Shoes (1972-74)
  • K&N Pod Air Filter Kit for Yamaha XS650 1978-83
  • Koso D1-OLED Multi-Function Mini Gauge
  • LazerStar 50W Shorty Auxiliary Driving Lights
  • MotoGadget m-Switch Control Switch With 2 Stainless Push Buttons
  • MotoGadget m-Switch Control Switch With 3 Stainless Push Buttons
  • Renthal 1-1/8″ Handlebar Clamps
  • Tapered Diamond/Waffle Renthal Dual Compound MX Grips w/ Kevlar Brand Resin
  • Tarozzi Fork Brace
  • The “Real Deal” Dyna Ignition Coils
  • The Coveted Mikuni VM34mm Carburetor, Complete Kit
  • TruWrapz 360 LED Turn Signals
  • Vintage Connections Connector Plug Kit
  • Yamaha XS650 Big Bore Kit (+5)

Nearly every part in the list is available from DCC, and you can see the full build sheet here.

Builder and Photographer

Love that narrow tank!


Post-stoplight view from a stock XS650 😉

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