STRANGE DAYS is an annual vintage motorcycle show, camp-out, live music festival, swap meet, and all around party in north NJ.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Strange Days 3 Giveaway Chopper!

Here it is gang! I've been wanting to post this sooner but wanted to get a little further along on the build to post some good pictures. Last October Ken, Chris, Ben, my ol'man, and I decided we will rebuild the Voodoo Child, a 1972 Yamaha XS650 survivor bike, and give it away at Strange Days 3!!

Some of you may say wait a minute, its not a survivor if you're rebuilding it! You're killing it's original soul!! In reality, you couldn't ride the bike the way it was. Between the top end needing work, flathead screwdriver punctures in the gas tank etc, this ol' chop needed some serious TLC to be able to hit the highway again.

Some background on the Voodoo Child...
Man, if cracked bondo and varnished gas could talk!! The Voodoo Child must have been someone's home built chopper. (Or may even by a small shop, it's origin is a mystery) The swing arm was extended 4 inches, the tank, frisco mounted and brazed directly to the frame, tons of molding through out, and a wild candy tangerine color, but the paneling looks like it was free handed and then wet sanded to appear faded.

I picked up this old bike off of the Jockey Journal some time ago just for parts. Once I brought it home I realized there was no way I could part it out! Its an untouched '70s chopper! It ran good and I made a few of my own changes and rode the bike for a number of years as is, but I knew at some point it would need a rebuild. The aftermarket frisco tank began to leak so bad it could hardly hold gas and the bondo was starting to peel away. At that point I stuffed the bike in the corner of the garage until the right opportunity came to restore her.

How did the name come about? The night I brought it home my ol'man and I were sitting on the ground in the dark just staring at his funky '70s machine under the single outdoor spotlight of the garage. Voodoo Child Slight Return started playing from the stereo deep inside the garage and it all sorta fell into place...
Original '70s madness! Look at that rear suspension set up!
Some changes over the years...

The Plan:
We decided as a group to not only restore this funky original East Coast chopper, but to rebuild with the mindset that what if the original owner had the opportunity to take it one step further, to make it a real show bike.

First thing we had to do was locate a new springer. The square tube S.I.E. springer is long gone after it cracked from pulling too many wheelies. Hence, the bike has had a glide front end.

It took 6 hours of chipping away bondo to get the tank off!
 Once the tank was brazed on, they must have flipped the frame over and dumped a gallon of bondo under the tank. There was bondo up inside the tunnel of the tank! The braze job was so bad the only thing holding this tank on was the bondo.
 We made our own twisted struts to match the front legs on the springer.
The sissybar....
 Stay tuned for more stories and updates on this build and Strange Days 3. This bike could be yours!!!

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