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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Raymondo, Jun 13, 2019.

  1. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey Top Contributor

    Peanut, people give information on an internet forum in a spirit of helpfulness and there has to a be a bit of give and take. No worries.

    Thank you for the offer on the carb slides, I'll have a think.

    The XS is not perfect but runs well enough that I have been able to take advantage of the present good weather to put a few more miles on it. In fact, gaining enough confidence that yesterday went all the way to Galashiels to show the completed bike to the welder who fixed the broken fin. The bike caused enough of a stir with his colleagues that I was almost dragged into the staff room - it was their afternoon break - where the banter then revolved around old bikes.

    Today, went up to this local beauty spot:

    PICT1990.JPG

    Couple of spots, crows riding the thermals - the ground drops away down to the River Tweed, before rising again towards the volcanic Eildon Hills which dominate views in this part of the central Borders

    When we got home, pulled the plugs:


    PICT1993.JPG


    I think that's a reasonable colour - they are café au lait in the middle and perhaps a wee bit too black around the rim? Comments from those with more experience very welcome.

    Long shadows demonstrate the low angle of the sun - as the year goes on, it will get much lower in these northern latitudes.
     
  2. peanut

    peanut XS650 enthusiast & inveterate tinkerer XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

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    ahhh so glad you are at last able to enjoy some riding after all your hard work and issues. Theres nothing like those first few rides for excitement and satisfaction. Sounds like you have some great riding locations where you are.Plug colour sounds perfect , the black soot could indicate a slightly rich idle mixture but it could just be a lot of riding at low revs and sustained idling at the end of your ride
     
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  3. Rasputin

    Rasputin XS650 Addict

    Plugs look good to me. Here’s mine.
     

    Attached Files:

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  4. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Your plugs look pretty good. It's normal for that outer edge by the threads to be black. You're concerned with the side strap, center electrode, and the porcelain, and yours look good. With today's fuels, you may not get shades of brown or tan but rather shades of gray. Here's mine, they're been looking like this for 10+ years. Very similar to yours I'd say .....

    [​IMG]

    Notice how I label them L. and R. (left and right). This is so I don't forget which is which once I have them both out on the bench. I also mark the side in line with the open end of the side strap for indexing purposes.
     
  5. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey Top Contributor

    When I pull anything off a bike, it's my habit to lay out as they came out - my plugs are laid on the piece of card to show which side they belong. What do you mean by the indexing of the side bar? I just tighten by hand then add 1/4 turn or so by plug-spanner till they feel tight enough?

    Peanut - you are quite right about low revs and sustained idling. I have mostly been riding in the 2-4,000 rpm range and a lot of it the lower half of that. Just taking it easy to see if the bike is ok and while I'm getting used to it. Mind you, today actually overtook a lorry and had to wind on a bit to get past safely. What a Daredevil, eh?

    On my list - balance the carbs, strobe the timing, strip and clean the brakes, check the valve clearances. But I'll get around to these in a haphazard way.
     
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  6. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Indexing the plugs is an old hotrodder's trick. Once installed, you don't want the side of the side electrode faced towards the intake valve as it partially masks the center electrode and the spark. They make special indexing washers you can add to the plug to get the electrode to end up where you want it, but I don't bother with those. You have probably near an 80% chance the plug will end up OK, without the side electrode in the way. If I do get a bad one, I just try it in a different cylinder and that usually solves the issue. You're not going to see huge performance gains from this, it's just a little thing you can do for free that may promote a better burn in the cylinder.
     
  7. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey Top Contributor

    You live and learn! Thank you for that!
     
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  8. peanut

    peanut XS650 enthusiast & inveterate tinkerer XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

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    You utter Hooligan Ray :laugh2:
     
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  9. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey Top Contributor

    Today, took advantage of a dry day after several days of rain to go for a ride. At least, the salt will have been washed away.

    A few 'teething' problems. Riding along, noticed the l/h headlamp bolt making a break for freedom, so caught and pocketed it. At another point, the horn came on continuously, so stopped and unplugged it. Must be a short, methinks?

    But apart from that, the bike behaved. In fact, it was huge fun to be out and about on what has been just a 'thing' lurking in the garage with incessant demands for attention, time and money.

    Roads covered in wet leaves, plenty of mud, a few flooded roads - in one place had to 'ford' a deep flood for about fifty yards. But at least the bike drove reliably. Adequate power, for those conditions at any rate, from absolutely nowhere meant I could just leave it in a suitable gear. Though, the gear change is surprisingly good. I like to blip the throttle on down changes - sounds great - and I've never missed a gear yet.

    The front brake has a wooden feel and I don't know how much stopping power there is. Given cleaner roads, I'll do my usual and practice emergency stops. In any case, I intend to dismantle and clean the brakes, new fluid, bleed and probably new pads this winter.

    Only thirty miles but that's the longest continuous stint.


    PICT1995.JPG


    Covered in mud, covered in glory. Well, for today.
     
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Team Junk, Jim and 3 others like this.
  10. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Yes, do disassemble and clean out the MC and caliper. If they've never been serviced, they need this. If they're not leaking at all, you probably won't need any rebuild parts. Most of the ones I've renovated only needed a cleaning. Looks like you already have stainless lines. My next suggestion would be to drill your disc. This will help with wet weather braking but also improves dry weather braking a little bit. Don't countersink the holes, leave them sharp edged. Just knock off the burrs. Sharp edged holes will scrape the pads and keep them clean.

    You might want to address your throttle cable routing to get it up off the top of the engine. Usually with low bars, you can direct it down the left side of the steering neck .....

    [​IMG]

    As you've probably read on the site here, a slightly smaller MC will greatly improve your braking "feel" and modulation. You will be able to apply the brake much more progressively instead of basically the "on-off" feel your stock MC gives.
     
    Raymondo likes this.
  11. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey Top Contributor

    Thank you, 5t. I could take the disc to the same engineering company in Galashiels to have some holes drilled - the people there seem to like old motorbikes.

    The XS's future with me will definitely include getting the front brake to work better or upgrading it. The master cylinder looks old and tired anyway so have been thinking about trying to source one with a smaller piston - yes, I've read threads on here that discuss the improved feel that gives.

    I described the feel as 'wooden' - the brake lever lacks in movement and there's no feedback. It will help to get out on a warm & dry road and use the brake harder - build braking force and confidence.

    In the longer term, might investigate fitting a new caliper or disc or both. Won't go down the double disc route though.

    Hadn't thought about re-routing the throttle cable, but will have a look now. It feels a bit 'heavy' which must be due in part to a heavy return spring. But it's a lot better since I put engine oil down the cable - very dry and stiff when I first looked at it.
     
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  12. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    I never considered the stock throttle return springs to be very stiff. Maybe it's time for a new cable. A bound up and rusty old cable may improve with oil but it will never be really smooth and good as new. How does the end down at the carb look? It should be nice and straight like so .....

    [​IMG]

    ..... not all bent and kinked up like this one .....

    [​IMG]

    Apparently, the correct way to install and remove throttle cables without kinking the crap out of them is one of life's great mysteries, lol.
     
  13. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Raymondo,
    what 5twins sez.
    Note that the stock brake lever's piston has twice the area that's optimum to work one caliper because Yamaha
    sized it to run dual disks and (perhaps they had a warehouse full of them?) also used them on single disk bikes.
    I'd advise that you calculate the piston diameter that's half the area of the stock lever's piston and swap in a lever.that has one.
    OR install a leftside brake.
     
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  14. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey Top Contributor

    Thank you both! 5t, will no doubt end up fitting a new throttle cable but it's not yet top priority.

    Fred, have been looking at master cylinders on ebay. There's loads of Chinese ones where you get the whole works - reservoir, brake lever, handlebar clamp and brake switch - for not very much money. Hmm - haven't pulled the trigger yet because there's always a worry about buying something too cheap, especially when its brakes. Some described as for pit bikes have pistons as small as Ø 10 mm but I think Ø 12 or 13 mm would be reasonable.
     
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  15. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey Top Contributor

    Well, it's not perfect:

    PICT1996.JPG

    but I like to think that if it had resembled your pic 2 then would have replaced it before now.
     
  16. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    That heavy throttle could also be as simple as the Rt switch housing moved due to loose screws in such a way that the grip is contacting the handlebar ?
    And be careful with the aftermarket MC’s . The Rt side mirror mount is Lft hand thread from Yamaha
    that and the Chinese ones :poo:
    :)
     
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  17. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    If your original MC is working OK then replacing it with a smaller one is not a pressing issue. I ran my stock one for years and was perfectly happy with it. I didn't see the point or the need to drop $80 to $100 on something I didn't really think was necessary. Eventually though, all the talk around here about smaller ones being better got to me, lol. Also, many used substitutions from other Yamaha models started being talked about. The benefits of these is Yamaha quality of course, but also the correct reverse thread mirror mount, and the ability to use your 650 brake light switch and lever. This makes the swap much easier. And then there's the low cost. If you're patient and search eBay for a while, you can usually find one in acceptable condition for about $20, sometimes less.

    So, the hunt was on. I was after an 11mm size as that seemed to be very popular around here. The Yamaha model it was most frequently sourced from was the XT/TT 225 or 250 dirt bike. This presented a bit of an issue. Coming off a dirt bike, many of the ones for sale were pretty beat up. It took a couple months of searching but I finally ran across this one. This pic is from the eBay listing .....

    [​IMG]

    Mismatched clamp bolts and incorrect lid screws, but the plastic plug in the mirror mount suggested to me that it had never been used and was hopefully pristine. Also, the sight glass was in good shape. Many are not, all cloudy or checkered up, basically shot. So, I decided to take a chance on it. The price was right too, only $14, lol. Well, it worked out well. A thorough cleaning, new polished stainless clamp bolts, and new correct lid screws had it looking and working fine .....

    [​IMG]

    A bit "weathered" looking, yes, but it blends well with the rest of the bike. The bike (1978) is 40+ years old after all. Once I started using it, the only thing I didn't like was the additional lever travel this smaller size MC gave. You have to pull the lever in about half way before it brakes. I've adapted to it but it put me off at first. So, for my other 650, I decided to try a little bigger size, 1/2" (12.7mm). I like this much better. It doesn't have much more lever travel than the original 14mm MC but gives improved "feel" and modulation. This will be my "go-to" size from now on if I ever replace another.

    [​IMG]
     
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  18. Raymondo

    Raymondo XS650 owner, fettler, setting out on a journey Top Contributor

    Unfortunately, the Great Salt has started. On Thursday night, temperatures fell to below zero so Scottish Borders Council, ever mindful of the risk of being sued if somebody has an accident on an untreated road, sent the gritters out.

    There might still be opportunities to get out on the road - if we have a few days of rain followed by a clear day? But won't be out much on any of the bikes till next March?

    Haven't found a suitable master cylinder yet, but have made two purchases. A good BS38 slide & diaphragm from the Mikuni Man, surely a useful contact? Makes sense to keep as a spare. And a TX750 swing arm. Makes less sense - perhaps signals an aspiration to have a well-sorted XS.

    Brings total spend on the bike since purchase to £2273.76 but it's only money.
     
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  19. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    That's right, and what better way to spend it, lol.
     
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  20. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    ZACKLEY - or as a buddy of mine used to say: “hell Pete, if I had your money, I’d burn mine”.

    P
     

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