Cool Kid Customs xs650
By Ross Sharp - 04 Apr 14
Michel Szozda sacrificed his own ride and sold it to fund the opening of Cool Kid Customs, seen here in The Shed last summer with a customer build GSX400, 'Cracker Jack'. Michel needed to get around in style and figured a rolling business card wouldn't hurt the order book either so commissioned himself to build himself a new bike. The eminent XS650 was the stead of choice, plenty of shove, loads of noise and an engine that's vibey enough to remind you why all the hours of graft were worthwhile. Standard procedure was carried out, shortening the frame, removing tabs and grinding any messy bits. A coat of matt brown sets the visual base for the rest of the bike's unique colour scheme, with lurid green accents here and there. The tank is the work of WallDizzy, who usually creates huge wall murals but in this case the team have collaborated with this awesome pen drawing. A coat of lacquer seals in their efforts. The forks have been lowered and shorter rear shocks fitted giving a squat stance and just enough room for a fat pair of Avons on the black powdered wheels. So as to ride the thing with a straight back Michel fitted upright enduro bars with a slight sweep and metal flake grips. The seat isn't super slim and offers more cushioning than the current trend of wafer brat seats. Once happy with the way the bike stood, Michel whipped the motor out and stripped it down before gas flowing and polishing the cylinder head. A pair of polished headers into straight through megaphones, both on the right hand side, deal with the extra ponies produced and keep pedestrians informed of Michels progress down the road. In case the neighbours were out and missed the noise, the electric starter has been removed and the wiring loom modified for kick only. He will be popular on cold Sunday mornings. Michel has been a skater since childhood so upcycling old, broken boards seemed a good idea for the side panels and front headlight, surround. The left panel provides a simple location to hide electrics and mount the ignition switch and an on/off toggle. Had Michel described the concept of this build down the pub, there might have been a few raised eyebrows. But in the flesh it looks the part and the seemingly random colours and materials amalgamate into something a bit different, in a good way. And lets face it, the most important part is that this bike is ridden everyday and enjoyed, putting a smile on Michel's face and inspiring him to build outlandish projects for customers wanting to be a Cool Kid.