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barn find - n00b with his first bike

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ehjun, Nov 19, 2014.

  1. ehjun

    ehjun XS650 Member

    Hi guys. first post here. ive been lurking for a few days, reading stickies and gathering what information i can about these bikes. i wanted to introduce myself and ask a few questions if you guys dont mind.

    little bit about me

    i am, at my foundation, a car guy. ive "built" a few tuner type cars with big power and big wheels and the like but i recently sold my car and im trying to stay away from cars for a while. i know how to turn a wrench for the most part and have a decent amount of tools. ive taken motors apart but havent really put them back together. i leave that for the machine shop.

    i really enjoy tinkering with stuff and ever since i sold my car ive been lost on what to tinker with. i didnt want to build another car because thats a quick way of spending 100k so i fixed up a bicycle i had laying around. now that its finished i decided to look at cafe racers since old bikes are cheap (relatively) and cheaper now that winter is coming here.

    this is when i remembered theres a bike in my dads barn. i havent seen it in years but i remembered it was a yamaha. from memory i thought it was an xv750 but turns out it is a 1973 tx650, which from what i can gather is a xs650 with a rounder tank. i think it will make an awesome project.

    about the bike

    heres the kicker. the bike was left on the property at least 26 years ago. my dad has owned the property for 20 years and and the last time he tried to title it (got lazy and stopped once he had all the paperwork) was 1999. as such, the bike has no keys. how necessary is it to have a key for these bikes or can the ignition be bypassed to a switch and button? the gas cap is also key'd, is it possible to undo the gas cap without cutting it out or calling a lock smith? i kinda want a new tank anyway so that may be my way around the problem but i also dont want to sink too much money into the bike all at once. i read the sticky about the possibility of the engine being rusty on the inside already and that kinda scares me since i have no idea about the costs associated with rebuilding motorcycle engines.

    lastly, heres a picture of the bike. it being my first time, by the looks of it should i just pass on this undertaking and get something newer? also, what are some things in particular that i should be wary of other than the motor possibly being seized?

  2. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Looks like a project for sure. Read the new to me thread up in the tech section. Do what it suggests.
    The Xs is a simple device if you can wrench a car you can do this.
    Can you kick it over?
  3. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Iggy switch is easy, red to brown jumps it. Most XS caps can be opened with some careful latch jiggering. I might snap a pic of the 73 cap bottom so you know what's under there.
  4. ehjun

    ehjun XS650 Member

    if you mean this thread, i read it and am frightened of trying to kick it over.

    i would really appricate pics of the underside of the gas cap. might make things easier on me
  5. wherearewe

    wherearewe Rub on Ya Titties

    How much does it cost to restore a motorcycle? How long is a piece of string. You can spend as much as you like, there is pretty much no limit.

    Don't be afraid of giving it a little kick. All you want to see is if the motor can turn over. Don't try and start it. Squirt some oil down the plug holes, make sure you are in neutral, and gently kick it through. If it turns, you are off to a good start.
  6. weaselbeak

    weaselbeak XS650 Junkie

    You sound like a guy who should sell this bike to somebody more into the 650 scene, and look for something closer to roadworthy.
  7. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yeah kicking it over or seeing if it will kick won't hurt anything. if it moves great, first hurdle cleared, the rest is easy :wink2:

    Sorry for the crappy pic, my camera choices at the moment are bad and worse.

    73 cap.JPG
  8. weekendrider

    weekendrider Iron Horse cowboy Top Contributor

    S.W. MO
    You might look to see if the key code is one the face of the ignition or steering lock. It was on later models, not sure about the '73. Good luck with your new toy and welcome to the site.
  9. ehjun

    ehjun XS650 Member

    Good to know. It just sounded from that thread that if it's been sitting for a while I could score the cylinder walls if they were slightly corroded and that if it's been sitting for a while (like 26 years) it would likely be corroded. As far as costs, yeah I know it can be a lot. I just don't know what I should expect to pay for an engine rebuild and stuff like that

    Definately crossed my mind. But I think free might be better than running. :shrug:
  10. Charleygofast

    Charleygofast XS650 Member

    Good on you for taking this on! How many miles on the old girl? XS650s make great cafe racers, trackers, scramblers and bobbers. Personally I'd go mild cafe-tracker...as alot of the original tins look to be in good shape! That seat is pretty interesting...I bought a 74 Norton in the 80s that had one like that...it got replaced with a nice Dunstall solo seat. Good luck and dont be afraid to ask advice the people here know what they're talking about and know XS's!
  11. ehjun

    ehjun XS650 Member

    yeah! im thinking cafe/brat and have some ideas floating around in my brain space. tins are ok. theres some rust bubbling up on the tank and i think the other side has a dent in it from when it was knocked over. im pretty sure im gonna go with a xs750 or a cb450 tank eventually.

    i just realized what this was. thank you for it!!!:thumbsup:
  12. MVLUV

    MVLUV XS650 Enthusiast

    I was in your situation 18 months ago, owned several late model bikes but never done any major work on them myself.
    Now I have a restored and running bike that means more to me than any other bike I have owned.
    Don't be intimidated by the whole project, break it down into individual tasks with some prior planning so you are not doing things twice. Then research and execute each task to the best of your ability.
    This site and many others are deep mines of information (just look at some of the bikes being built).
    Don't be in a rush, I think impatience is the arch enemy of good workmanship.
    Do as much as you can yourself to minimise cost and maximise experience.

    Good luck.
  13. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi ehjun,
    here's my take on your situation:-
    Get that bike titled in your name before you spend a dollar or work an hour on it.
    Then do all the resurrection tricks to get the thing running.
    Then put new tires on it, it's 26+ year old tires are deathtraps even if they hold air and look perfect.
    Then just ride the thing for a couple of hundred miles to get a feel for what it'll need to make it yours.
  14. weekendrider

    weekendrider Iron Horse cowboy Top Contributor

    S.W. MO
    ehjun, here is a picture of a 74/75 from 650skull
    On the switch face you can see the 4 numbers (7625)? With that key code a locksmith can cut you a key for around $7-10 in my area.
  15. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    I have a 74 Tank and the gas cap is the same from 73-75, mine has the key code stamped on the rear near where the key slots in.
  16. gggGary

    gggGary I'm listening, change my mind XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Don't worry about doing engine damage with the kick starter. \\\if it spins you are good if it doesn't then wait till you have it in the shop. do what the thread suggests sometimes a lightly stuck piston will come free. Most the time an engine that has been inside out of the rain will turn. I'm rode about 500 this fall with an engine out of a bike that sat in a barn from 1986 til this summer, It is very healthy. Yes if you can get a key that's the way to go. For get it running work a small clean gas container is better than the bike's gas tank anyways. looks like she was down pretty hard on the RH side. Mufflers are not stock.
  17. I am Carbon

    I am Carbon shade tree mechanic

    Welcome to the site.
    I would like Fred said get the title first.
    After that I will say there is in no way you will ever get close to 1000K with her.
    The XS650 engine is a great engine. Simple in it's design, good looking, robust.
    Also you most likely have to go inside her and replace the cam chain guide. This is a job you can do yourself.
    Also the lower end seals will be as dry so thos probbly start leaking.

    This video starts at installing the cam chain guide the correct way.
    Not the wat I intalled the guide in the jug reassembly video
  18. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Welcome aboard.
    I'd like to add that for the time being you can bypass the key switch. Pull the headlight out of the bucket. Unplug the wires on the headlight and set aside. Now locate the wires coming down from the key switch.
    There should be a bundle with 5 wires, 4 in one big connector, one by itself. The big plug has a red/white, red, brown, blue. The single is a red/yellow.
    Un plug it. On the harness side the red wire is power into the switch, The brown is power out to a lot of the bike, things like turns, horn and such. The red/white is power out to the engine stop switch which sends power to ignition and starter relay.
    The blue wire is power out to the tail light. The red/yellow is power out to headlight on/off switch.
    To bypass enough to get it to run build some jumper wires that plug into the connector block. Hook one jumper from the red wire to one side of a toggle switch, hook wires from the other side of the switch to red/white wire, This will power the ignition. Hooking one to the brown wire will power the charging system, turns, brake light, horn, neutral light. The blue, tail light. The red/yellow the rest of the lighting.
    This will work to test the electrical system. Eventually you can rekey the switch, gas cap and seat latch.
    Not only replace the tires, clean the carbs, tank. replace the battery. You will need a good battery to test the electrical as well as run the bike.
    Speaking of batteries, when you buy the battery buy a motorcycle type battery charger. You may have a car charger but it puts out too high a voltage and amperage for a bike battery. Get one with a 1.5 or so amp rating. Wal Mart has them for around $20. Has a bike on the box.
  19. ehjun

    ehjun XS650 Member

    holy helpful post!!! thank you

    what type of battery do you recommend? i talked to a bike mechanic friend of mine and he told me to get it started first as well so i think i am going to do that. but i kinda want to get it to kick start only (battery-less) eventually so i dont want to spend a grip on one.
  20. kopcicle

    kopcicle antidisestablishmentarian

    Twelve Volt


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