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71 xs1b barn find

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Bigcam24, Jun 23, 2020.

  1. Bigcam24

    Bigcam24 XS650 Member

    I got a 71 xs1b from a family friend it has been sitting for about 20 years. I'm brand new to bikes. I need to know everything I need to check before I can get it running again. The kick start is stuck also any help is appreciated
     

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  2. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Hi Bigcam, looks like you got lucky with that barn find and you've certainly come to the right place for help and encouragement to get that early classic up and running again.

    You probably need to know it might be a long and slow process. If the kick-start is stuck, it might be that the engine is seized - not very surprising if the bike has been sat for two decades. But everything can be fixed, all parts are available and these are simple machines.

    You are going to need time, expertise and money - there's a trade off, if you've got loads of money to devote to the project you won't need much time or expertise and so on. Tell us a little bit about your intentions for the bike and your own mechanical experience. And more pictures are always welcome.

    Cheers, Raymond
     
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  3. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Work the shifter up to 3rd or 4th, jog bike FORWARD a bit till the motor moves, put it back in neutral, recheck kickstart, the kicker gears can jam if it gets rolled backwards. If that doesn't work remove plugs add rust buster wait a day or two. Look in tech in the top menu 650skull has a good wake up primer in there. Remove plugs, oil cylinders, maybe some rust buster too. kick it through A LOT with the plugs out, 50 -100 times is good. Ask about issues as you run into them here and KEEP POSTING PICS! Welcome aboard.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
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  4. Ratranger

    Ratranger XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

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    I'd say follow garys advice, but I'd pull the plugs and valve adjuster covers so you can see if there is visual rust and add some oil to everything first.

    That thing looks pretty complete so I wouldn't chop it.
     
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  5. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I have just one piece of advice to add to the above:

    DO NOT jump on the kick starter or use any sort of tool (like a breaker bar) on it. The kicker is not designed to break loose a stuck engine and all you will do it ruin some of the gears inside or possibly break the kicker shaft - which is a fairly big job to repair.

    Take out the spark plugs and put something like Marvel Mystery Oil (there are lots of witches brew suggestions that people use - another is a mix of automatic tranny fluid and acetone) down each hole and let it sit for a few hours/day or so (and leave the plugs out throughout this entire operation).

    Then I would recommend following Gary and Ratranger's suggestions and shift into a high gear (3-4-5) and then sit on the bike and simply jog it back and forth till you detect motion - and/or - take off the round left side cover plate (the one that says YAMAHA on it - held on by two JIS screws) and gently rotate the big nut back and forth to get the crankshaft moving a little.

    Be patient - this may take a little while - but they nearly always break loose with a bit of effort.

    Not to worry - it is likely that the piston rings are stuck with some gummed up oil and old gasoline or possibly a bit of rust but once it starts to turn, the engine should come back to life OK or possibly it may just just need a bit of hone and clean up with some new rings. As Raymondo says, these are simple machines and parts are readily available plus there is tons of help available on this forum including several step-by-step threads on how to do the top-end on an XS650. In my view, the best rebuild thread is by forum member Jim on getting his Miss September back in shape.

    Here is the linky: http://www.xs650.com/threads/jims-1980-sg-miss-september.50545/). Read that one over and when you are ready, follow Jim's steps through the top-end rebuild and when you are done, you will have an extremely nice bike to ride (plus it is a total chick magnet)!

    QUESTION: it the bike complete (are the side covers and original handlebars with it)?

    COMMENT: these older bikes are becoming a bit rare and that one looks good - so if you plan to chop it, please don't - until you have ridden it in stock condition. It is of course your motorcycle but I must tell you that most of us have found that the XS650 truly is a very nice bike to just boot around on and with a few simple modernizations (chiefly to the electrical system), they are reliable, safe and truly a blast to own and ride.

    If you really want one that has been chopped, there are lots for sale on this forum or on Craig's List. Just search for "For Sale: failed chopper project" - as many of them are either incomplete (because the owners had more ambition than money and/or skill) or the owners find them so uncomfortable that they cannot be ridden more than a few miles without painful back injuries.

    ....and welcome to XS650.com from Canada's sunny southern coast in Windsor, Ontario!

    Pete

    PS - you will need to post A LOT more photos.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2020
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  6. cra-z1

    cra-z1 XS650 Junkie

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    Nice find, seeing those handle bars reminds me of the time when my friend with and XS2 was in front of me with the exact same bars.All of a sudden I could see his right hand out to the side with half of the bar dangling by his side.Scared the hell out of him but I couldn't stop laughing. The early 70's was the start of customizing the bikes and a lot of shady work was being done.
     
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  7. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I had an identical experience with a pal of mine with those bars - that is why I asked if the originals were available. Forty-odd years on with some rust on them....YIKES!

    Changing those bars is the very first thing I would do on this bike - even before working on the engine.

    Pete
     
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  8. Bigcam24

    Bigcam24 XS650 Member

    I tried pushing it forward a little in 3rd then put it in neutral and kick start is still jammed. So I removed plugs and hit it with some pb blaster and some marvel mystery oil an let it sit what should be my next step?
     
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  9. Bigcam24

    Bigcam24 XS650 Member

    Raymundo I'm looking to get it as close to original as I can without spending to much. It was stored inside so theres really not a lot of rust on it. The handle bars and side panels I haven't found yet they may be gone. I agree the handle bars do seem a little flimsy.
     
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  10. Bigcam24

    Bigcam24 XS650 Member

    20200621_152224.jpg
     

    Attached Files:

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  11. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    You need to know if the engine is seized - the next steps will depend on that. There are lots of ways to turn an engine. What happened when you pushed the bike forward in 3rd? Did the engine turn? Try the things Pete suggested and report back.
     
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  12. Bigcam24

    Bigcam24 XS650 Member

    No it didnt turn just skidded to stop It gave me about a foot or so I could roll front to back but stopped
     
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  13. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    The ole XS is pretty good about not getting stuck if water didn't get in, And that usually only happens when the carbs are off. So it's prolly not seriously stuck.
    Like pete mentions 2 screws, remove 5" round cover on LH side a 17mm socket on the nut will let you see if the crank is free even if pistons are stuck. Don't go all the hulk on it. Does the nut (crankshaft) move at all? The crank will turn just a little even if a piston is stuck. Your best plan is to NOT MAKE ANYTHING WORSE. That can be a harder to stick with than you'd think. Do you know any good mechanically inclined pals that would HELP without making things worse?
    The one foot of movement is prolly just normal chain and transmission slack.
    you can try rocking it back and forth a bit seeing if it will free up sit on the bike roll it forward bump back bump repeat a few times with "medium force especially forward. Repeat with the clutch lever pulled in see if the clutch will free up, then try kicking with the clutch pulled in. that will separate the kick starter being stuck from a piston being stuck. It's possible someone has already made things worse by going gonzo on t he kicker with a stuck piston.
    Decide if you are REALLY willing to take on this kind of a project. There's going to be a LOT of wrenching between now and a rideable motorcycle. New tires, FULL Carb overhauls down to the tiniest piece, brakes, ignition, wiring electrical issues, clutch work, all near certainties. Deep projects are more acceptable to others if "Billy Bob" hasn't scattered it around the garage with dull screwdrivers and a hammer already. Sorry but knowing your actual willingness to do a big project, and this IS a BIG project is helpful!
    Keep us in the loop, keep showing pics, we just love this kind of stuff!
    Good luck!
     
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  14. Ratranger

    Ratranger XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

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    Looking at the pics I have 2 questions, does it say 3000cc or 2500cc for oil? And what shape is the valve adjuster cover on the left front of the motor? I can't tell in the pic but it looks like it could be square.
     
  15. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Looks like XS1B to me....:wink2:
    xs1b.jpg
     
  16. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    If you get it to turn, do NOT try to start it until it has been oiled and kicked through a LOT of times! Stuck valves happen on wake ups...
     
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  17. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    BIGCAM: while these questions may seem unimportant, they really are vital clues as to which generation of engine you actually have in that bike and that will be important information as you order repair parts and eventually get to rebuilding and adjusting the carburettors.

    OK - 3rd gear didn't work - so try 4th or 5th. A higher gear will provide more leverage to get things moving inside. Also, don't forget about trying the crankshaft nut inside the lefthand alternator cover.

    QUESTION: you mentioned above that the kick start lever is "stuck". Do you mean that it does not move at all - or that it moves a bit but will not turn the engine over?

    Again - the answers to those questions will provide important clues as to what is wrong inside.
    If the lever can move or swing through the "kicker-arc" a bit (say more than 15-30 degrees) then the engine is stuck, but if the kicker will not move at all - then it is possible that the engine is free but someone has taken apart and reassembled the kicker incorrectly (which can happen - and can be fairly easily repaired). Either way - we need to know so that we can guide you toward the correct repairs.

    Finally, freeing up the pistons with lube down the spark plug holes generally works but it is not instantaneous, so be patient. It might take a day or three for the lubricant to soak in and dissolve the gummy old oil and fuel or whatever is sticking the engine - and you need to rock it forward and backward - and I'll betcha dollars-to-doughnuts, it will come loose.

    Stick at it - you will get there. The secret is to take it one step at a time and be methodical and keep asking questions. You've got a bunch of 1950s-60s-70s era guys sitting out here in XS650.com-land just waiting to help you out (and possibly poke some fun at you too ;)).

    Just remember that at the end of time, after the nuclear holocaust, only three things will survive:
    1. Cockroaches
    2. Rolling Stone musician Keith Richards
    3. Yamaha XS650s
    ....and you bike will be among them.

    BTW - the original mufflers for your bike (not what is on it now) are known as "baseball bats" and decent reproductions are readily available at a reasonable price. They look and sound fantastic on these bikes.

    Cheers,

    Pete
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2020
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  18. Ratranger

    Ratranger XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

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    I zoomed in, it has the reinforcement ribs behind the cylinder. It should be an xs1 motor with that. I just couldn't tell from the angle if the rocker cover is square or triangularish. 256 parts are a little harder to find, but Hoos does have good pistons if it needs them.
     
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  19. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Right-on RR - but getting the engine number off it would be helpful too.

    Pete
     
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  20. Ratranger

    Ratranger XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

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    Very true. I have an XS1 motor with no ribs, and no number on the cases. So sometimes you have to go by what you find. Anything the age of these can be pretty mix and match. I wouldn't order any engine parts until you confirm what is inside. It could easily have a 447 crank and pistons and you wouldn't know without visually checking.
     
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