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Gas Tank Identification

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Kilday, Feb 9, 2019.

  1. With respect to the forks, I don't want a front or rear fender so I will probably go with an alternative like the TKAT. I'm trying to reduce weight wherever I can, too. For example, the battery box is way too heavy (and completely rusted) so I will have to find a replacement. I'm holding onto it in case I need to use it as a template.

    Yeah, I do not like those bars at all. I want a more aggressive posture meaning clip-on or clubman. Say, how far down can I tuck the forks to the main body of the bike? I do like shorter pipes but not wrapped. Also, I'm not a fan of the stock pipes and muffler. I'm a minimalist and am paying attention to the foundation, cut-off points, height, bone line, angles, and fork distance.

    I haven't bothered to look for signals or a headlight. The headlight can go, too. I guess that my biggest concern is the 1977 engine and the 1983 frame. I haven't decided if I'm going to replace the engine or not. It's a kickstart but I bet that will get old pretty quick. I'm still figuring things out however, I really appreciate the input. Below are a couple of example of what I like minus the seats. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.
  2. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Kilday,
    you SURE the engine is a '77? The oil view port on it's right side engine casting is '80 at the earliest.
    What kinda ignition does it have? '79 & older got points and a mechanical advancer; '80 & later have a TCI module.
    If you want to avoid kickstarting you are stuck with the big ol' stock battery and it's holder to work the electric start.
    that 14AH battery is about the smallest that'll crank the starter and it's still marginal on cold mornings.
    Also note that the battery holder has either the TCI module or the alternator rectifier bolted underneath it so be careful
    what you throw out. If you decide to DIY a new battery box be sure it's full rubber mounted like the original or the battery
    will get shaken to pieces PDQ.
    Both your example bikes have vacuum diaphragm carbs with pleated tapered cone air filters.
    That type of air filter ain't particularly compatible with that type of carb.
    If you go back to stock carbs best switch to cylindrical foam filters.
    grizld1 and Kilday like this.
  3. 650Skull

    650Skull Dinosaur Lives Top Contributor

    Good deal and what has been done to the bike seems to have been done well.............Can loose a bit of weight by removing one of the front brakes. Sell the brembo caliper to pay for a smaller bore MC to compensate for the one front brake.

    One of the questions you need to ask your self is "do i want form over function or in between".
    Before i lowered the forks i would change the bars and then see how the bike looks......It already looks to be low in the front.

    Lowering the forks.......Makes the ride harder...........Moves the weight to the front wheel and makes the steering quicker, (Handling improvement if the right amount).

    The rear wheel being is normally a 16", (specials), or 18" (Standards), and they both are around the same height due to the 16" fatter tyre. A 19" front conversion to the rear makes the rear higher, 1/2" at the axle.........moves the weight to the front wheel making the steering quicker, ( handling Improvement).

    lowering the handlebars to cafe or clipons moves body weight forward on to the front wheel, Making the steering quicker, (handling improvement).

    Doing 2 out of the 3 things would be ok but doing all the 3 may not be an improvement.

    Here is an example of doing a small thing and changing the look immensely. All that has been done is swap the light holders side to side lowering the headlight and lowering the gauges...........The front guard has been cut and the normal guard braces have been cut, welded a bracket on and made into a small fork brace going over the guard............personally i think the front needs a guard of some kind to look right.........A 75 Standard
    minifnder 1.jpg minifnder 3.jpg minifnder 2.jpg

    I like the look of mufflers that kick up at the rear.
    2013 calendar http://www.xs650.com/attachments/calendar_spread5-jpg.23176/
    grizld1 and Kilday like this.
  4. Hi fredintoon,

    In answer to your question about the engine, I'm not sure. I looked up the engine number (447-711531) which is, in part, how I found this website. See photos below including the auto advance unit, second set of carbs, and other parts that came with the bike. Also, you made me rethink the kickstarter. The battery/electrics box had nothing bolted underneath it and, interestingly, is a Working Man's Customs.

    IMG_20190212_130513_HDR.jpg IMG_20190212_130544_HDR.jpg IMG_20190212_132341_HDR.jpg IMG_20190212_130128_HDR.jpg IMG_20190212_130106_HDR.jpg IMG_20190212_125756_HDR.jpg IMG_20190212_125651_HDR.jpg
  5. Hi 650Skull,

    I like your idea about removing one of the front brakes. Also, I'm going to take your advice and change the bars. I really like the height of the first motorcycle. However, I can't say that I like the muffler in the last photo.

    You've given me a lot to think about. Say, can you recommend a supplier for quality parts (e.g., headlight, handlebars, turn signals, clutch lever, brake lever, and so on)?

  6. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Parts swap around so readily and easily on these bikes, it's often difficult to pin down exactly what you've got. The engine crankcases appear to be '77 but the whole upper end may be from a newer model. The type E cam chain adjuster you have didn't come along until '79 or '80. A '77 originally had the type D adjuster. The blacked out cylinder and head didn't come along until the '80's either although I suppose that could just be '77 parts painted. To see what kind of ignition you have, look under the little cover opposite the advance one. I think I see 2 gray wire looms coming out of it in one of your pics. Maybe the motor has been rephased. How many ignition coils are on it? Your extra stock carbs are a late set ('82 or '83) of the BS34s with the cable operated choke. Good carbs if properly overhauled and set up.
    Kilday likes this.
  7. 650Skull

    650Skull Dinosaur Lives Top Contributor

    +1 with 5twins......Check under the ignition cover.

    Advance weights are shot.......Depends what is under the ignition cover before making a decision on replacing the advance weights or finding something compatible with your ignition???
    IMG_20190212_132341_HDR copy.jpg

    Looks like paint peeling off the head fins..........

    The US guys would be better able to point you in the direction of the parts your looking for........An add in the classifieds may turn up some parts from members........

    Wes hasn't been on here for a year, and no guarantees........... here is his web site for seats.......He has a good rep for making good quality seats and will work with you if you want something a bit different.

    Thread in the shop section.
    The link to his site has changed......... it is now.
  8. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Good catches Skull!
    Kilday likes this.
  9. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, that advance unit looks a bit beat up, lol. The one post may not be broken, the weight may just be slid halfway off it. Both the weight retaining e-clips are missing. The little center disc is also mounted out of alignment, 180° off. If it still has the points ignition, that would throw the timing 180° off.

  10. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Kilday,
    from your photos and from other replies, your engine is a Frankenstein, built from a mix of parts from different years.
    Which don't mean it won't run OK once the ignition and carburation is sorted out.
    Check if the engine still has it's electric starter (it's under the tranny) or if it's access hole has been plugged.
    As the dreaded PO has ditched the stock battery box in favor of a WMC under-seat electrics tray I presume he was going kick-start only
    because that tray is way too small to hold a battery that's big enough to crank an XS650 E-starter.
  11. Hi 5twins,

    Funny that you should mention rephased. Before I purchased the bike, I googled the VIN. This is what came back on motorcycleslog.com:

    Yamaha: xs650 Cafe Brat Tracker. 20k on the odo. Top end rebuilt. REPHASED engine. [July 2016]

    "RELISTED WITH VERY LOW START PRICE AND LOW RESERVE. This is my daily rider. Really fun bike. I've put around 2k miles on it since it was customised so all the kinks are ironed out. Ready to be ridden away. The main selling point is the rephased engine. Crank and cam were rephased by Hugh's Handbuilt and professionally installed. I have another set not rephased which you're welcome to make an offer on. Makes the bike a lot smoother. No more rattling teeth. Sits quietly at 80mph so it eats up the highway miles. Also has a Pamco electronic ignition. The 277° Pamco one with all the bells and whistles off of mikesxs. I also have an xs1100 right disc rotor. It's in great condition and new pads. Make me an offer on that too if you want. New gauges New linesxs750 tank Uni pod filters Rejetted carbs Hydraulic clutch (no shifting problems here)Custom seat Clubman bars (comes with tracker bars too) Bendix repaired (so it starts on the button) Plenty of tread on the tires New battery New rotor and brushes..."

    I suppose I should've mentioned that earlier. My bad.

  12. I love the mark-up on the photo. Very helpful. This is all new to me.
  13. Yeah, I suspected that I had a mix of parts early on. Whatever happened to this bike from July 2016 to February 2019 is a mystery.

    Basically, I want to do the following: strip the bike; treat the frame for rust and paint; pull the engine and have it looked at, worked on, or replaced; wire it back up (a friend of mine does exactly this kind of work); and, slowly build it back up. Just out of curiosity, what would you guys do with respect to the engine? Mind you, I don't have the knowledge, skill set, or tools to do specialized work. Right now, I'm leaning in the direction of simply replacing it.

    fredintoon, 5twins, and 650Skull: I really appreciate your time, input, and course corrections.
  14. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Kilday,
    the re-phased bike shown in your post #31 has major differences to the bike shown in your post #14
    Different tank paint, bars, wheels, front brakes, mufflers for a start.
    Best you double-check everything you got, eh?
  15. Correct. They're different. Someone else purchased the bike in 2016. I looked up the VIN to see what I could find about the bike's history.
  16. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I think the new owner decided to change the bike all around again, going more for a tracker look than a cafe. I don't think there's anything wrong with a rephased motor, and it's not cheap. It probably cost the original guy around $500 to do, just for the crank and cam work, along with the special Pamco ignition. Total rebuild cost was probably even more if other things were replaced (pistons, cam chain and guide). I'd use it and run it if it's still on OK shape. It probably didn't get too many miles put on it before the last guy decided to tear into it for his "remodel" job.
    gggGary likes this.
  17. 650Skull

    650Skull Dinosaur Lives Top Contributor

    Engine wise, Unless you find indications there is a problem i woldn't worry about going into the engine...... Give it a compression test, If it hasn't been run for a year or so then it could be a bit low, this is common and compression will come up after a bit of a run and engine warm up. If you cant run the engine it doesn't matter as long as engine compression is with in 10/15ft lb between cylinders.A good XS650 is around 150lb, (130 is acceptable and on a cold engine this would most likely come up with some running), and even down to 100 can be run but would be a rebuild......
    An oil change and check the sump screen and side screen, do that about face check the screens first.......:D.......probably find the sump screen is broken, this would be normal......

    Check side screen for plastic or alloy shavings..........plastic could mean the cam chain guide is disintegrating......post pics for an appraisal and recommendations.

    The advance weights need to be replaced...........Pamco does not have a 277 Advance box for the 277 re-phase. You will need to get a new advance weights kit. Your best bet would be to advertise for a good second hand one, Aftermarket ones have been known to have problems in the past so a good second hand Yamaha one is the way i would go...........Things to look for on a second hand one is where the Weights bob slot into the groves on the cam rod. if they have worn then the advance will be altered. Another thing is they shouldn't have very much play between the weigh bobs and the cam, (for the want of a better word), groove............use 5twins pic as a guide and then look yours..........I have some around here and will take some pics and post later
    gggGary, TwoManyXS1Bs and Kilday like this.
  18. Sorry, work got in the way. I'm tearing her down. I'm taking note of what you and 5twins have told me. I'll let you know as I progress I'd like to see her finished by end of summer.
    gggGary likes this.
  19. Just wanted to give a brief update. I'm getting ready to pull the engine and test compression. I really need to buy a mat if Imma have it indoors.

    gggGary likes this.
  20. Thanks for the great info. The project is moving forward bit by bit.

    Question about the frame... I noticed that custom builds don't have the following (see attachments; I don't know the correct nomenclature.) Basically, everything to the right of the tape and highlighted in the diagram. Hopefully, you'll understand what I'm talking about.


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