Aluminum XS: Yamaha XS650 Chopper

Hand-Built XS650 Chopper from Prama Motorworks… 

The Yamaha XS650 is one of the best-loved, most versatile Japanese motorcycles of the air-cooled era. In a time when the old British marques were filing bankruptcy and shuttering their factory doors, the XS650 burst onto the scene as an oil-tight, modernized British-style parallel-twin with unit construction and a horizontally-split crank case. What’s more, it remains one of the more handsome engines in all of Vintage Japanese Motorcycledom.

Like the Triumph twins before it, the XS650 found its way into flat trackers, road racers, bobbers, choppers, and more. Former Pikes Peak winner Travis Newbold has even built an XS650 motocrosser, aka the “Excess 750.”

Yamaha XS650 Chopper

Recently, we heard from Yosef Gumilar of Indonesia’s Prama Motorworks, who opened his workshop 10 years ago. Earlier this year, Yosef won our hearts with his Yamaha SR400 race bike, a “Muscle Thumper” he built in just four weeks for the 2023 Motor Adu Classic Bike Race…and rode to victory!


Yamaha SR400 Race Bike
Yosef on his SR400 race bike!

Now he’s back with this XS650 chopper built for his friend Elru Cornelius. Yosef is a big fan of racing bikes and has quite the skills with aluminum fabrication. He set out to build a sport-inspired chopper that would be relatively comfortable for long rides. Instead of resorting to aftermarket bolt-on parts, Yosef relied on his own skills and creativity to build a true one-off chopper for his friend.

Yamaha XS650 Chopper

Nearly everything was custom-fabricated around the ’78 XS650 engine. Not just the heavily modified hardtail frame and all of the aluminum bodywork — tail section, headlight surround, chin spoiler, etc. — but also the handlebars, brake and clutch levers, throttle holder, exhaust, side rack for luggage, rear wheel cover, and more.

Yosef wanted to build a bike that his friend could actually ride, not just show off, so he opted for a thicker saddle and some practical additions for touring.

“I added a spotlight and side bag for long rides.”

Yamaha XS650 Chopper

Meanwhile, the tattoo-style hand-painting is the work of Rollie Monkie, Dickey Helltigers, and Rakhablek. This is one of our favorite XS650 builds to date — a truly unique chopper, hand-built for a friend. What could be better than that?

Yamaha XS650 Chopper

Below, we get a few more details from Yosef about the build.

Yamaha XS650 Chopper: Builder Interview

• What’s the make, model, and year of the bike?

The engine is from a 1978 Yamaha XS650.

• Why was this bike built?

The bike is customer project, built for my friend @corneliuselru.

XS650 Chopper

• What was the design concept and what influenced the build?

l love racing bikes, so I always infuse a racing theme into my builds. I hoped, even though it’s a chopper, it would be good for touring. I just imagined adding a sport-touring theme to the chopper.

XS650 Chopper

• What custom work was done to the bike?

All bodywork is fabricated from aluminum.  Everything is custom: the bars, brake and clutch levers, exhaust, throttle holder, side rack, wheel cover, etc. I added a spotlight and side bag for long rides.

The painting is by @rolliemonkie @helltigers and @rakhablek_.

XS650 Chopper

• Can you tell us what it’s like to ride?

It’s nice ride even for long rides, especially with the side bag.

XS650 Chopper

• Is there anyone you’d like to thank for their help?

@rolliemonkie @helltigers and @rakhablek_.

Follow the Builder

Facebook: Yosef Gumilar
Instagram: @Pramamotorworks

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *