Did you know that the evergreen Yamaha XS650 was launched over half a century ago? Although the production line closed down in 1985, the air-cooled parallel twin is still a top choice for many custom builders, including Minnesota-based Dan Riley.
Operating as Gunn Design, Dan is a gifted freelance designer with good business smarts, too. A few months ago, he contacted Tucker Powersports and suggested a custom bike collaboration—which makes sense, because Tucker distributes custom-oriented brands that regularly appear on these pages, such as Vance & Hines, ProTaper and Renthal.
Dan pitched the idea of a build using parts sourced from Tucker brands, and suggested a platform he has worked with on several occasions—the XS650. The Tucker folks agreed, and a 1975 XS650 was bought off Craigslist for a mere $650.…