Edit: please note that this build has now been completed and I have added a reference at the bottom of the first post to help find specific parts of the build. Hello my friends, I’m sure many of you now know I am the proud new owner of a 1971 XS2. I have long admired the classic red and white XS2, in fact it was the first Yamaha 650 I ever recall seeing. A friend of mine in high school had a Suzuki dual sport 185, he traded it in and one day he pulls into the high school parking lot on a shiny new red and white XS2, I absolutely loved the way that bike looked and sounded. It’s totally different from my ‘77. So without further ado, here is the background story of my new bike. I constantly search Craigslist for interesting old bikes, especially XS650’s . A couple of weeks ago, not one but two XS2’s show up for sale near me. The one I bought was located at a business, an auto wrecker / junk yard to be precise. The owner/ proprietor of the wrecking yard had only owned it a few months, he’s not a bike guy, could care less in fact. He had no emotional attachment to it, he bought it at an auction. He said he thought it came from an estate sale. We walked out back to an open air shed to go see it. Here you are seeing it for the first time with me. I told him to shut it off. This bike sat for 32 years. After winning the bike at auction he had to go pick the bike up in the town of Yarnell, a small sleepy little town about 70 miles from Phoenix. He said it was crammed into a back corner of a garage and so covered with dirt he couldn’t even tell what color it was! He wanted to have it start and run so he could sell it, so he took the carbs apart , cleaned them, replaced the gaskets, replaced the petcocks. Flushed the gas tank ( more in that later!) and added a couple of fuel filters. He did none of the rituals that a caring owner would do when trying to awaken a sleeping beauty. He did it quick and dirty, I’m truly impressed it would run at all, but I was concerned he might do more harm than good so I told him shut it down. The bike is going to be a lot of work, but it looked worth saving, so we struck a deal. Two hours later it was being picked up by a motorcycle towing service, by 4:00 pm it was in my garage. Manufactured in November of 1971, I had just turned fifteen. It still has the 46 year old sticker from the dealership that sold it. So, I am super stoked to begin this project, what I have in mind, primarily , is preserving this old girl. It has lived in the desert it’s whole life, zero corrosion, but every peice of rubber and plastic is dry rotted and cracked. I want to make it mechanically sound and rideable and really clean and polish her up, but I’d really like to save the original paint if possible. It photographs better than it looks in person up close, but one thing I have plenty of is time and elbow grease. So there you are, you know as much as I do at this point, I hope you’ll join me and God knows I need to be pointed in the right direction now and again. I think it’s going to be a lot of fun. Until next time Bob Next up: An inititial inspection ( photo intensive!) Reference index below, click on the underlined H, in the word Here ( links don’t always land on the right post, but will be the right page) Initial inspection and comments from forum members. Pages 1 thru 6 Efforts to save the gas tank. Here Speedometer and tachometer disassembled for dial face restore Here ( all the way to #207 ) Gauges are rebuilt Here Stripped Carburetor butterfly screw removal Here Swing arm bronze bushing install Part 1 Here Part 2 Here Carburetor helicoil repair Here Carburetor work Here , Here Master cylinder and front caliper Here Front disc and speedo drive Here Wheel bearing mistakes Here and fix Here Work on forks Here, Here, Here, Polishing : forks Here, Seat reupholstered Here Pulling the motor Here Engine teardown Here Finished bike on page 140 Here Everything after that is maintenance , service work and cross talk.