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The Ripper-side-right

XS650 The Ripper

The meandering story of The Ripper is almost too twisty to follow. But here’s how I kind of remember it. I once took an order from a local gentleman who wanted me to build him a café racer. Creative freedom would be in abundant supply he said. It wasn’t. Months into the build I found myself trying to work in a laundry list of things that I could not even pretend to like. Then one day, as if to find the limit of my accommodating nature, the customer said, “What about a baby blue frame?” So in one final gesture, I suggested a plan. Or called his bluff. Powder blue, I said, would be ok, if the bike could be an homage to the object of my childhood desire — the legendary SE Racing “P.K. Ripper” BMX bicycle. Full of false enthusiasm, the lucky owner agreed enthusiastically. We worked with Todd Lyons at SE Bikes to simultaneously build a replica of the 1980’s aluminum oval-tube-framed BMX beast. It ended up being a fun project. Right up until the day before delivery when the happy owner informed me that he had decided the bike just didn’t fit his personal style. So I gave him another bike, and they party finally ended. As for The Ripper, it headed west to a life of acceptance with a new owner.


  • Donor: 1980 Yamaha XS650 Special
  • Front end: 2007 Yamaha R6R
  • Front wheel: Yamaha R6R
  • Front brakes: Yamaha R6R
  • Rear wheel: Stock XS650
  • Tires: Metzeler ME880
  • Tank: XS650 replica
  • Exhaust: Modified stock, ceramic coated
  • Gauge: Acewell
  • Seat: Custom upholstered, Roy Baird, RVA
  • Battery: Shorai Lithium Ion
  • Chain: DID gold X-Ring

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