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Jim's 1980 SG Miss September

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Jim, Sep 26, 2017.

  1. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Just signed up yesterday. So if I break some unwritten rules of etiquette, please don't hesitate to let me know.

    In the early seventies I owned more R3's R5's and RD350's than I care to remember. Since they were all pretty well wore out by the time I got em (I was poor), I spent in inordinately large amount of time at the Yamaha parts counter. Of course, to get to the parts counter, you had to walk past all the shiny new bikes on the showroom floor. Funny how they set that one up huh? Anyway, they always had a few brand new XS's setting out there and a ten min. trip to get parts would last all afternoon till the salesmen would chase me off so they could clean all the slobber off em.

    Finally, around 78 - 80, I talked a salesman into trading me straight across 3 RD's for a used 76 XS. Man, it was love at first ride! I've owned 3 more since then. I've had lots of Beezers, Triumphs, and Norton's, and I swear the XS is still the best all around vertical twin ever built!

    I bought this "bible" in 1980. It's a little dog eared, but it serves me well.


    Cylinders.. comment 26
    Pistons.. 29
    Discussion on polishing.. 32
    Spring compressor.. 33
    Valve grinder.. 38
    Stud removal.. 43
    XS1 pics..59
    Paints used.. 63
    First paint batch..66
    Head bearings..78
    Frame cleanup..85
    Start of frame jig..91
    Fork badge.. 103
    More frame jig..111
    More frame jig..119
    Frame jig...done..132
    Mounted frame..159
    More frame cleanup..188
    Painted frame (phew)..195
    Head race removal mod..209
    SS hardware polishing..219
    Reg/Rec f&ckup..229
    Reg/Rec test the right way..246
    Fuse box mod..289
    Fuse box plate..299
    Steering head zerk..322
    Minton fork mod..351
    POR15 paint..371
    Fork seals..395
    Fork cleanup..402
    Fork spacers..447
    Little box on wheels buffer.. 475
    Start of fork reinstall..485
    Headlight bucket..500
    Instrument buckets..515
    Voltmeter.. 522
    Front wheel and brake rotor..558
    Front wheel mounted..584
    Swingarm bushing mod..648
    Swingarm installed.. 651
    Rear fender..693
    RLU wiring mod..699
    Rear shocks oops..705
    Rear wheel..713
    Painted engine cases..730
    Bottom end reassembly..744
    Sump and cam chain..761
    Engine stand..781
    Top end buildup..811
    Engine W&B..813
    Engine hoist fixture..827
    Engine install..845
    Starter.. 850
    Clutch.. 859
    Grab rail..903
    New seat..979
    Rewound rotor..987
    Clutch seal mod..1015
    First run..1035
    Second run..1059
    Floating heads ;) 1084
    Closed up headlight.. 1103
    Front master cyl... 1111
    Finished front brake.. 1131
    Switch decals..1137
    Exhaust video..1197
    Tank bodywork..1220
    Priming tins.. 1279

    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    MrBultaco, cmj650, txxs and 9 others like this.
  2. YamadudeXS650C

    YamadudeXS650C Central New York XS650 XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I was at a bike meet last month with my '76 XS and someone said, "the best Triumph ever built was the XS650."
    geedubya, Boog, Shifty and 3 others like this.
  3. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    You have the best manual in my opinion. I have the Haynes and Clymer as well but rarely look at them. You got the right version too, one that spans up into the '80s. 1980 was a big change year for the 650. It got totally different carbs, an electronic ignition, and a slightly different version of the old charging system. '79 and older manuals wouldn't apply to any of that stuff.
    gggGary, MaxPete and Jim like this.
  4. weekendrider

    weekendrider Iron Horse cowboy Top Contributor

    S.W. MO
    Dude you want to come organize my shop? I understand separating metric from sae. And I can go keeping 1/2 3/8's and 1/4 drives seperate, but when you start labeling 1/4 drive shorts and longs. . . well that is organized to the max.
    I don't mind long winded as long as you got something say.
    Welcome to the site!
    gggGary, Boog and Jim like this.
  5. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    By chance were you one of my instructers at Shepard AFB in '75? I too have an '80 SG. Best "B" roads bike there is these XS650's. Working on these bike are almost as fun as riding them. Almost...IMO haveing a factory Maint Manual is the most important tool in the box. Happy wrenching on your project!
  6. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Old habits I guess. As an aircraft mechanic, being organized is kinda a necessity. Ya don't want a wrench rattling around in an engine bay when she takes off. Could be catastrophic.
    Thanks for the welcome, Jim
    Boog and YamadudeXS650C like this.
  7. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I was in Europe in 75. What school did you go to in Shepard?
  8. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Bikes that we have both owned,
    RD350 check
    XS650 check
    BMW check
    Triumph check
    Norton. Damn! Never been able to score one.
    Got any pics of your XS1 ? We like the early stuff :)
    YamadudeXS650C and Jim like this.
  9. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    43131 Jet aircraft 1 & 2 engine. Pre F-15 but the instructers were saying one was comming.
    I've had a R-69 and a R-100RS in my past. Lessee....A-75 and a Norton 850 Commando too...A honda or 2 and a coupla H-D big twins too..Loved them all....and take any of em back too!...
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2017
    YamadudeXS650C and Jim like this.
  10. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    So here's what I have.


    Right now she's butt ugly. Engine is nice and smooth... good runner but oil leaks everywhere. You name it, it leaks.


    I can't stand a leaker. Engines gotta come out.


    20k on a 37yr. old bike aint bad.


    Are you f#%cking kiddin me? Who puts crap like that on their bike... That seat gives my wife the willies. Had to hide it from her. Anyway, you can probably tell from the pics that I started takin it apart then realized that I didn't have any "before pictures." So I backtracked and took some. That was last fall just as my rt. knee was about to give up on me. Kinda slowed me down. Over the winter I sucked it up and got a brand new (titanium) rt. knee. I aint a 100% yet, but a hell of a lot better than I was. Good enough to get back to work on the bike anyway.

    Engines out and I pulled the top end today. Someone has been into this engine before... I swear, when you go down to Sears to buy a wrench set, you should have to take a mechanical literacy test before they let you buy. The oil tube nut that goes into the fitting that's screwed into the front of the engine case was cross threaded. Locked up solid:( Had to cut the tube to get it off. Not that big a deal cause tube is rusted and I was gonna replace it anyway, but I had to put the fitting in a vise to separate em, effectively ruining the fitting too. Not sure if you can see the cross threading here...


    Aside from that, top end looks good. no scoring on the pistons or cylinder. Cam and rocker arms show absolutely no signs of wear. Too dark now to get good pics. I'll get some more up tomorrow.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2018
    zodc, MaxPete, madmax-im and 3 others like this.
  11. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I got the XS1 pics around here somewhere, I'll see if I can find em. It's even uglier than this one:)
    Mailman likes this.
  12. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    Seems like we might be learning from you.
  13. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Heh... ya gotta love packages from Mikes XS. I lent my alternator rotor puller out so long ago that I can't remember who it is I need to chew their ass for not returning it. After all these years I really should know better...


    They even sent me a decal this time. Cool!
    MaxPete likes this.
  14. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Take care on what you buy from them. Some of their repro parts are pretty poorly made. Ask on the site here about things you're thinking about buying from them. As an example, here's that cross-threaded fitting you need that my buddy bought. Makes yours look good by comparison, lol. Mind you, this is a brand new part .....


    Best replacement for this fitting is a used original. Wire wheel it clean and paint it with silver Testor's model paint using a Q-tip.
    MaxPete, Boog and Jim like this.
  15. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    He got that from Mikes XS? Holy crap! That's where I was gonna get one from...
    MaxPete likes this.
  16. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    To be fair to Mikes and not to criticize at 5twins,

    That pic is a few years old, since then mikesXS has changed hands and his replacement policy and communication has improved by leaps and bounds. Some parts are suspect but also he has improved on some of the others............
    MaxPete, YamadudeXS650C and Jim like this.
  17. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Contact gggGary from the forum here. He's got one I'm sure, probably a good used oil pipe too.

    You should probably invest in a complete gasket set and a seal kit too. It's cheaper than buying them individually and you will use just about everything in them eventually. Mine was much like yours when I got it, a virtual Exxon Valdez on 2 wheels, lol. Over the next few riding seasons, i worked my way around it and replaced most of the seals and lots of gaskets. That made it pretty oil tight, or about as oil tight as one of these gets, lol. Eventually I went through the topend but I had already fixed pretty much all the oil leaks.
    Jim likes this.
  18. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Way ahead of ya...:D

    MaxPete likes this.
  19. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Notice the red bakelite washer laying on top of the others in your kit. There should be 2 of them in there and they're oil drain plug washers. They work very well and virtually never wear out.
    MaxPete and Jim like this.
  20. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    You can save some money buy buying from cruzinimage. They don't have the biggest variety, and seems they run out of stock lines before reordering so parts arn't available at all times. So far there has been no problems found with their stock...........Why they sell rear sprockets for the XS650 and not the front is strange and the 33 tooth rear is $6 less than the 34thooth rear and $11 less than Mikes 33 tooth rear sprocket...........may have to ask if it is a 530 or 520 but still worth a look........Their pistons have good reports by members on here, http://www.xs650.com/threads/cheap-piston-sets-on-ebay.26971/ and you can buy a full set of 2 pistons/rings/clip/pin for the price Mikes charges for one piston/rings/clip/pin


    Freight times are very good, (Within 10 days to Aus) and they combine shipping. I found there was no way to separate the shipping costs per item, so i asked and they had already done a combined shipping price and refunded the extra.

    They are selling slides with the diaphragm for $19 for BS34's, new item. Mikes wants $99
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2017
    MaxPete, gggGary, Jim and 3 others like this.

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