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First XS650 Build, What to Look For

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by SlowMaintenance, Oct 5, 2015.

  1. SlowMaintenance

    SlowMaintenance '76 XS650 Chopper

    Don't ride beyond your machine's capabilities and you'll be just fine ;)
     
  2. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Yes, but your machine isn't capable of stopping some idiot from turning right across your path in front of you. In your case, if that happens, you might as well just speed up because you certainly ain't stoppin', lol.
     
  3. SlowMaintenance

    SlowMaintenance '76 XS650 Chopper

    I know these conversations are likely to come up in any chopper build thread, though I do my best to avoid them as it seems unlikely that either side is inclined to change their opinion.

    There are hundreds of stories and videos on youtube of people turning in front of motorcycles equipped with and without front brakes whose riders were unable to stop in time. There is always a possibility that someone could pull out at the very last second. Someone could also t-bone you as you're on your way through a green light. Or plow into you from behind as you wait at a red.

    The further you look into all of these situations the more you realize it could happen to anyone on any ride. Dwelling on this topic endlessly has only one resolution...to remove the key from the bike and never put it back in. You will always be safer on four wheels than you will on two.

    Yet we still ride. We still chase fifth gear and remain infatuated with the feeling of the wind on our face. I don't ride as aggressively as I used to, I just don't need it. I've never been enthralled by the sport bike craze nor had any desire to exceed 100mph. I ride at my own pace and I enjoy every moment of it.

    I'm not asking anyone out there to change their definition of safety, only to understand that we all have our own.
     
    TwoManyXS1Bs likes this.
  4. SlowMaintenance

    SlowMaintenance '76 XS650 Chopper

    Back with an update, she's alive! Some more riding around and pulling the clutch in eventually did the trick and those stubborn plates freed up. I'm now able to start it in neutral and shift into first without stalling. Takeoffs are still difficult because the clutch is pretty on/off as opposed to a slow release, but there's room to tailor that in the future.

    I took her out for a good ten mile ride yesterday and was having an absolute blast. So incredible to feel the feeling of riding something I built piece by piece, mistake by mistake over the course of the past two years.

    That said, I did have a hiccup on the way home. I was in fifth gear and got on it a little too aggressively. I heard a loud backfire through the exhaust and then it kind of shut down. I tried to bump start it and the engine would come to life briefly but die back out as I tried to give it gas.

    Pushed it home and ran some tests, here's the info I've got for you.

    Compression is still good so I didn't destroy the cylinders. Reads at 120psi on both cylinders.
    No blown fuses in the fuse block. Voltmeter shows battery voltage between ground and each side of the fuse which runs to the coil.
    Coil ohms are reading higher than usual. Should be 2.5-4.5. I'm seeing 7.3. This is measuring with the leads on each side of the coil where the wires usually run to. I performed this test with the wires disconnected and the spark plug wires disconnected as well.

    Reconnected everything and pulled the plug out, grounded it to engine and kicked the engine over. No spark. Tried the other plug, no spark there either.

    To me it seems like my coil is toast. I can replace it with a new coil but I'm more concerned with WHY it's toast. Did revving her too high blow my coil? If so, how did that happen without blowing my fuse?

    Any insights would be appreciated. I've got yet another lesson to learn from this, and will come out more experienced as a result. I think back to 3 years ago when I first started riding, I wouldn't have even known what to test for in the first place haha. I've come a long way, but still have more to learn before I'm ready to make a vintage bike my main ride.

    PS: The stock gearing is a joke. 17-34 that is. This thing needs a 31 tooth rear sprocket BADLY. Riding it reminds me of when I went to Italy and rented a fiat 500. Every time you enter a gear, you're seeing the indicator that say it's time to shift again lol. Or in this case, your teeth are chattering lol.
     
  5. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    What ignition coil(s) do you have? Is it stock points? Since it back fired, you should take a good look at the ATU (advance mechanism) to see that it has not fallen apart. 7.3 ohms does seem strange.
     
  6. SlowMaintenance

    SlowMaintenance '76 XS650 Chopper

  7. DanielBlack

    DanielBlack XS650 Junkie

    It looks like your thumb is on the metal tip of the probe. Your body's conductive and can skew your readings.
     
  8. SlowMaintenance

    SlowMaintenance '76 XS650 Chopper

    Just wanted to show where I was testing it to confirm I was testing the correct leads. The test was done without my fingers on the leads themselves.

    Going to order the Harley 31609-80 coil that Pete recommended in a thread years ago. Hopefully this didn't take the ignition with it, but the fuse isn't tripped so I'm not sure how it could have.
     
  9. retiredgentleman

    retiredgentleman XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    What resistance do you measure when you just connect the 2 meter leads together? Bad leads could have high resistance.

    Quote;
    "Did revving her too high blow my coil? "
    PMA and capacitor.....................a bad combination IMHO. If you were reving the rpm up real high, the PMA is also generating extra high voltage, which the crap Chinese regulators can't handle. Fuses only blow on high current. High voltage will not blow them.

    You should have a permanent volt meter on your bike.

    DanielBlack...............If you connect your fingers in parallel with a coil winding, it can only lower the resistance. Its not possible to increase a coil from 3 ohms to 7 ohms with your fingers.
     
  10. SlowMaintenance

    SlowMaintenance '76 XS650 Chopper

    I got the new coil in and she's back up and running smoothly. Took her out for a nice long ride and didn't have to push it home for a change haha. Realized the chain was a little loose so I tightened that up as well and she's tip top.

    That chain throws a fair amount of oil on the bike though, this is my first chain bike so I wasn't used to that lol.

    Either way, I'm just happy she's running again.
     
    Mackels, TwoManyXS1Bs and figure8 like this.
  11. SlowMaintenance

    SlowMaintenance '76 XS650 Chopper

    New update!

    Was having an issue with my rabbit pullback bars because unfortunately this bike is a little shorter front-to-back than I expected so the pullback was just too aggressive. Decided I had to do something about it. The pictures tell the rest of the story, didn't have a saw that could measure cut angles so I needed to do the best I could masking with tape and a hacksaw and angle grinder. Lincoln Handy MIG w/ flux core wire is an incredible machine with awesome penetration and was perfect for this job. I used an angle grinder with a sanding wheel to blend the bars smooth after the welding.

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