X650 Storm Conversion Kit for the Yamaha 650 from Phil Little Racing

Storm conversion kit for the Yamaha 650 from Phil Little Racing

The X650 Storm conversion kit from Phil Little Racing gives your Yamaha 650 the look of a Triumph Hurricane at a fraction of the price of the real vintage classic.

Phil Little has been creating some excellent kits for a whole series of motorcycles over the years, dramatically transforming their appearance for not a lot of money and they're perfect for the guy with basic hands on skills and the desire to spend a little time in the garage, cleaning up that old bike that doesn't get the love it should and converting it into something he'll be proud to show off to everyone.

Phil just introduced the Storm conversion kit for the Yamaha 650. If you've always had a soft spot for the Triumph Hurricane, but your budget is a bit short of what you need to pick up one of those vintage classics, this realistically captures the appearance, albeit minus one cylinder, with one piece appearing bodywork which is actually a cleverly designed separate tank and tail section. I think he did a really nice job with the seat, too, it attaches with some very secure velcro strips and it flows nicely from the tank to the tail so you don't have to go the foam slab route if your upholstery skills are lacking.

Storm conversion kit for the Yamaha 650 from Phil Little Racing

X650 Storm conversion kit for the Yamaha 650 from Phil Little Racing

The 3 gallon tank is made with an anti-ethanol resin so you don't have to worry about fuel leaks and the bodywork comes standard in orange, so you save a few hundred dollars right there because you don't need a fancy paint job, though you can get a black or white body if you prefer and paint it any color you want. Like I said, your basic hands on skill plus some garage time putting this kit together will yield some very eye catching results.

Storm conversion kit for the Yamaha 650 from Phil Little Racing

X650 Storm conversion kit for the Yamaha 650 from Phil Little Racing

The Storm body kit is priced at $959. Options include graphics, frame cover plates, low western bars, minimalist brake and taillight, fork brace, vintage style shocks and a side mounted license plate holder.

That good looking exhaust is available separately from Michael Morse for $300.

If you have an old Yamaha 650 sitting around looking a bit tired, or if you want to pick one up at a good price, I know where there's a sweet body kit that would be just perfect for it, guaranteed to produce a few double takes at the next bike night.

Link: Phil Little Racing

Rear view of the Storm conversion kit from Phil Little

Rear view of the Storm conversion kit from Phil Little

Comments

  1. hilltownrich says

    Looks nice, good price, but, “anti-ethanol resin so you don’t have to worry about fuel leaks” is a bit of a stretch I think. Not sure if anything except a metal tank of some kind can eliminate the damage caused by ethanol.

    • Paulinator says

      “Damage caused by ethanol”? That’s a big subject with global implications.

      Clean bike. Looks fun.

      • says

        Ethanol (alcohol) just eats away at fiberglass tanks. It’ll bubble the glass and puts crud in carbs and valve seats where it hardens. An engine tear down is the only solution. The X resin in my tanks was made for underground storage of fuel. In a year and a half, we haven’t had one problem

        • GenWaylaid says

          Phil,

          Out of curiosity, how do you make the tanks? Are they laid up like fiberglass or molded?

  2. B50 Jim says

    Most cars and light trucks have plastic fuel tanks that handle ethanol just fine. No reason a bike can’t, either.

    This is the ideal kit to transform an XS650 from a good Japanese Bonneville into a good Japanese X-75. I know the XS650 comes in for its share of criticism — too slow, vibrates too much, too heavy, so-so handling, etc… but my experience from riding a stock ’75 for 11 years showed it to be a good, solid motorcycle that did most things well — not spectacular but it got down the road with good, usable power, took curves as well as I needed and of course never broke.

    Add this kit, spend some cash for a 750 kit and upgrades for the engine, and improve the handling (all very doable and relatively easy) — and you’ll have a fantastic machine that will have the goods to match its appearance.

    Having once ridden a “real” Hurricane, I can say nothing can match the experience of that potent 3-cylinder and its magnificent sound, but a good XS conversion would come close, for about $20,000 less.

    • B50 Jim says

      Tanshanomi–

      Now you’ve done it. I was planning to leave my A65 as a stock-looking survivor with some upgrades inside the engine, but now I’ll have to contact SRM….

      There goes my budget!

    • Mike says

      Old Beezas are as cool as you can get already. I wouldn`t bastardize one myself. I think the idea here is to turn a UJM into a JEM!!. I think it does it. Nice alternative to al the Street Trackers, Bob Jobs, & Choppers they`ve already been subjected to. Not a bad price either. If you`ve got the $$ there used to be a company in England that would build these motors anywhere up to 1100cc.!.

  3. Steve says

    This bike is gorgeous and makes me wonder why Honda did not style their new naked 500 in this same way. So many of today’s bikes are butt ugly from hideous looking Harley-copy cruisers to transformer style sport bikes with their racing only riding stance. This is a styling exercise on how to do it right.

  4. Scotduke says

    Nice looking kit to make an unspecial looking XS650 into something a whole lot better. I’m not keen on the mirror but everything else works for me. Quite a few people I know had XS650s and they were all keen on the engine. Some of them even got them to handle ok.

  5. Hooligan says

    ’”m not keen on the mirror but everything else works for me”.
    Yup a bit err.. and ot much use on our side of the roads would it?. Though it might be useful to spot the Police bikes who sit in your blind spot.

      • says

        Wanna bet anyone? Craig Vetter doesn’t seem to be the the type to look back much, and if the Hurricane kits out there are of a good quality, I think he’d be pleased that his design lives on. Keep in mind that what he did was a job for a manufacturer, not an aftermarket kit.

        • says

          Original in what sense? The real deal in the form of a Triumph Hurricane costing three or four times as much, or original as in something different? I don’t really see your point….

          • BigPeeWee says

            Original as in not trying to copy someone’s previously marketed design of a one-piece bodywork package in the same color with the very similar graphics and exhaust system design. Comprendez now?

            • says

              So what’s wrong with replicas, or – assuming the original designer is cool with it – copying a design? All but a select few of the bikes on this blog are built in a style already pioneered by other builders, be they street trackers, café racers, bobbers or the ubiquitous hipster bikes.

              Lighten up; there’s only room for so much innovation, and most people like something they have seen somewhere else already.

              • BigPeeWee says

                Can see you’re a real innivator. Why design your own stuff when you can just copy someone else’s work. You’re really defending that philosophy? Yes, on the one hand Craig Vetter never did a body kit that looked identical to his X-75 for an XS650 so I guess this is almost like a totally new idea.

  6. Mean Monkey says

    Aw! It’s a pity I sold my TX650 about 12 years ago, that’s a nice kit.
    Tho, I agree with Hooligan about keeping the big honkin’ mirrors. Been rear-ended a few times too many.

  7. rohorn says

    Funny how a lot of the classic bikes like the XS650, SR500, XLH, (70′s UJMs), etc… can be dressed up into all sorts of good looking bikes. Nevermind the fact that they can also be butchered into truly disgusting things as well (Just do a search “Cafe” or “Bobber” on the local Craigslist and prepare to vomit), but I rarely see bikes that come disgusting from the factory turned into something more attractive.

    I wonder what current showroom anchors would fly out the door if they could get some cheap & easy plastic surgery (as it were) to make them more attractive.

    • Paul Crowe says

      There could be a cottage industry in new bodywork for numerous bikes, as you suggest. It seems what is out there in abundance now, are the cafe or tracker kits. What’s happened there is people slap on a piece of bodywork and don’t do anything else and you get those Craigslist specials, when they could have had something much better simply by putting in some honest prep time with the base bike first.

      Phil’s kit here isn’t magic, a junker underneath will still look like a junker with new bodywork if they try to take the shortcut without a solid foundation, but if they spend some time cleaning, repainting, detailing and replacing what’s necessary, and THEN adding this kit, the end product will be pretty sweet.

      Doing this to the current showroom anchors might make a great looking bike but wouldn’t be cost effective for the aftermarket, but if just one ambitious dealer with some talent, took a dusty bike on his floor and came up with an alternate kit like this and transformed the bike and sold it, he could probably sell a kit to all of the other dealers with the same problem. Then it might take on an aftermarket life. Or maybe, if someone like Phil approached a dealer and offered to transform some slow mover, it would be a way to break into that market.

      Some interesting opportunities here.

  8. Bigshankhank says

    Wasn’t the XS850 a triple? Can this kit be adapted, plus three pipes on the right side for an even more “correct” look?
    All that being said, well done Phil, this is a great looking kit.

    • says

      Most sensible comment to this post so far. The XS850 triple is underappreciated and (maybe therefore) inexpensive. It would look really neat with three rh side upswept silencers.

  9. says

    Nice looking bike – and very nice sorted out kit
    I always had a soft spot XS650s. Halco on the Shaftesbury/Salisbury road (in England) always had good ones for sale and with bored out motors – what ever happened to them?

    RE: the Street Triple kit – didn’t a french guy do one a few years ago? sure I saw it here on Kneeslider?

        • Paul Crowe says

          If you look around, you’ll find all sorts of really excellent builds, but those are getting away from what Phil did here. He made an affordable kit for guys with an old Yamaha to get something that looks a lot nicer and pretty unique. If a high skill and expensive build is what we’re looking for, that’s a different target.

    • Hooligan says

      The Street Triple kit is also called the Daytona 675. Ha Ha

      The Street Triple is one of those bikes that can be anything and everything. There is a lot of modification among the afficinado’s. So if you want to put a big fibreglass thing like that on it then I’m sure it can manage it.
      But the bike might not look at it’s best.
      Which is stripped down – in my opionion.

  10. dannyb278 says

    with some differant paint it would remind me of some of the triumph flat track body kits that came out in the late 60′s

  11. '37 Indian says

    Looks good, sort of like a Tracy body kit from the ’70′s. If fuel leaking is a concern, couldn’t you use a tank sealer like POR15? I bought a new Yamaha XS750 Special in ’78, sold it to buy a car, then owned an ’80 XS650 Special, nice bike but vibrations were excessive to the point where I hated it, sold it, and now have another restored XS750 Special. The triple Yamahas are LOT smoother.Great bike, sure a GSXR750 will smoke it, but I can ride for weeks and never see another one. Smooth, reliable, shaft drive, and averages 50 mpg. If I was going to build a bike with this kit, I would use a ’80-’81 Yamaha XS850 Standard with XS11 big bore pistons from Wiseco, for a 900cc Triple. And if the shaft drive bugs you, there are even some chain drive conversions out there, see http://www.yamaha-triples.org/portal.asp for more info.

  12. says

    All that is old becomes new again.
    There have been BSA X-65 kits available in England for over 30 years.
    They fit most BSA 650 twin models.
    Having said that, I think I’d prefer a Yamaha XS650 over a British twin anyway.
    So well done in producing this kit.
    Just be aware that it’s not an original idea.