By Anthony van Someren - 23 Jul 13
Tom Elliot sent us a couple of mobile phone snaps of his shed built xs650 via Facebook, and we liked it so much we asked for more. It may be a humble build in his view, but it's what we're all about. We like to put machines like this side by side with the pro builds from Spirit of the Seventies and Cafe Racer Dreams, with no less fanfare, and usually just as many positive comments at the bottom of each story. Tom is from Connersville, Indiana and is married with two daughters. "I have worked as a mechanic and a parts man for the last 8 years. My dad put me on my first bike when I was 7, it was a Honda 70 dirt bike. I rode that thing everyday! And I have been hooked on riding ever since". It was Tom's dad that bought this bike, stock, in 1992 with 6000 miles on the clock. Last year Tom found himself without a ride and wanted something stylish so he persuaded his dad to let him tinker with the Yamaha, and this is the end result. "I really love the look and simplicity of the old bikes." "I see lots of bobbers and choppers, but to me they are just cookie cutter. I wanted something that looked like it could have been produced that way. Along the way a good friend of mine was in an accident and lost his life. That's what really got me going instead of just dreaming." Tom rides his cafe/brat hybrid every day, as his commuter and his toy! The best of both worlds! "Whenever I ride it brings back memories of being a kid on the back of my dad's bikes, and reminds me life is short and ya only get one chance at each day, so make it worth it!" We love our pro-built custom specials, stripped and re-assembled from the ground up with high performance upgrades and ubercool paint, but a bike like this is every inch as cool. Keep 'em coming, as they inspire the next guy to do something for themselves.