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Mailmans , 77D getting a makeover

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Mailman, May 5, 2019.

  1. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Edit: For those not familiar, this bike was a restoration covered here,

    My trusty old white ‘77 is in serious need of some love. I have been so focused on my XS2 and other things going on in my life, that for more than a year, it has received no more attention than an oil change and chain adjustment. It has been so dependable, that it’s easy to forget. It has been the easy bike to just grab and go when I needed a break from my XS2 , or just wanted to get away. Many was the time that I returned from a ride, and just rolled it back into its corner of the garage and just left it there until the next time I needed a break. It has never been so dirty or dull looking and hasn’t had any real maintenance done in over a year.
    And to add insult to injury, I managed to knock it over in my garage and put a nice crease in the left side of the tank. Since I finally finished my XS2, I am dedicating this summer to giving my trusty old bike a much deserved makeover. :heart: :cool:

    This is not going to happen super quickly, because I’m going to chip away at doing one job at a time, and my XS2 is still being broke in and will need a lot of attention during that period. But I wanted to get this going and I thought I’d start a thread so youse guys can follow along. :thumbsup:

    So, let’s get started. You all remember my bike looking like this.

    Yesterday, I removed my windshield and washed it and applied plastic polish to it, then wrapped it in a t shirt and stored it away in a tub, with all the hardware, until next winter. Then I pulled the gas tank , seat and side covers off, and I drained the gas tank and removed the gas cap and petcocks and prepped the tank for storage and put it away.
    Now it looks like this,

    That’s because, last year I bought a brand new, never used gas tank on eBay that I plan on using.
    388634A6-4449-4950-B7E7-FCB09FF832DB.jpeg F5265BA1-6EA7-4E2A-9EEF-6DA8933480BC.jpeg

    I’m going a whole new direction, the bike will be black and gold, classic Norton colors eh?

    I am going to rebuild the petcocks and take the gas cap apart and clean everything and install a new gas cap gasket.
    I also bought a set of old side covers from Daniel Black that need to be stripped and painted. I bought a set of decals for the side covers along with some gold double row pin stripe tape, again for the side covers. Along with some new hardware. So I’m hoping that they will come out nice, since the tank looks so nice already.

    The first thing I need to do is get this nasty old paint off, as well as some rust on the insides of the covers.
    I’m going to try something, that I’m not really sure how well it’ll work. I’m soaking the side covers in a 50-50 solution of vinegar and water to see if it’ll remove the paint, you know the lazy way. :D
    1E799FC1-1EA1-4254-A5E2-D096B3487201.jpeg DC2E7C3E-9194-489D-A57A-F67FB4294392.jpeg

    I soaked my really nasty center stand this way from my XS2 and the paint just fell off of it when I took it out.
    In an effort to keep cost low on this, I’m thinking of just rattle can spraying the side covers, but I have also thought to see how much powder coat would be. It might be pretty inexpensive.

    Moving on...I also have had a new seat cover since I first restored this bike, but never put it on. Well now is the time.

    Along the way, I plan on taking the carbs apart and giving them a good cleaning. I’ll see that everything is adjusted and tuned and sorted, and I’ll also look for anything else that needs doing.

    I also ordered some new grips and there might also be some more cosmetic changes as I go along, so check back in once in a while, and I’ll keep this updated as things happen. I’m trying to keep the costs low this time and not let things spiral out of control. :laugh2: We shall see......
    Until next time

    Gimme some lovin’
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2019
  2. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    Good luck with that.
    Jim, gggGary, MaxPete and 1 other person like this.
  3. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Ha! :laugh2:
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
    GLJ, Jim, gggGary and 3 others like this.
  4. Beags64

    Beags64 XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    A bit of deja vu? Careful, that slope can get real slippery in a hurry!
    Jim, gggGary, geedubya and 3 others like this.
  5. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Tell me about it. My theory is, fixing up one I already have is cheaper than starting with a new one. Yeah, that’s it,
    That’s my story and I’m sticking to it! :laugh2:
  6. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Well, you’re starting from a totally different spot on the 77D than you did on the XS1 Bob, so keeping the costs down may be doable.

    Watching with interest! :popcorn:

    Jim, gggGary, TwoManyXS1Bs and 2 others like this.
  7. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    Oh, yeah, I like gold on black.
    What kinda grips you considering?
    Jim, Mailman and gggGary like this.
  8. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty & Demi - I suggest but THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Hipster brown?
    B_Crabaugh, TwoManyXS1Bs, Jim and 3 others like this.
  9. LiveSlowDieWhenever

    LiveSlowDieWhenever probably broke down. Just call me greasy.

    Alright Bob! On to the next one! My next project is almost definitely going to be white and gold. Always thought it would look good, and seeing your 77 confirms it. All bikes deserve the treatment you provide :cheers:
    Jim, Mailman, gggGary and 1 other person like this.
  10. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Moss doesn't grow on a rolling Xs650! You've lavished your love on the XS1, now it's time for something else. I would've thought you'd take a break. Y'know, relax for a while. But no. You have to jump in to the next project! You're making the rest of us look like sand-baggers! :doh: Good luck with the '77. I'm sure you'll treat it with the same level of expertise you showed on the XS1. And (of course, you know the drill!...) keep us updated! :thumbsup:
    MaxPete, Jim, Mailman and 1 other person like this.
  11. DoubleE

    DoubleE XS650 Enthusiast

    Ohio USA
    MaxPete, gggGary, Jim and 1 other person like this.
  12. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    For grips, you might consider one of the offerings from Banggood, very reasonably priced. On the '83, I went with these and I'm quite liking them so far. The ribbed design seems to soak up the vibes pretty good .....



    I'm also considering some of these for use at a later date, or maybe on another bike .....


    I like the different color choices. Black is just so blase, lol.
    MaxPete and Mailman like this.
  13. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Bob,
    mostly you surely know what you are doing but in my experience seat cover installation needs two burly people and the creative use of vile language.
    Gator xs2, geedubya, Mailman and 2 others like this.
  14. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Arizona summer sun, prefect for seat cover work!
    TwoManyXS1Bs, MaxPete, Jim and 2 others like this.
  15. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    4 us old guyz
    front detail.jpg
    Colorado siligrips you won't regret it.
    peanut, TwoManyXS1Bs, MaxPete and 4 others like this.
  16. Jim

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

    there's a How-To in the Tech section on how to recover a seat. Excellent article that anyone could follow. It was written by.... wait for it.... Bob. :whistle:
  17. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Thanks guys! For all the kind words. This has been such a great bike, I really want to bring the appearance back.

    Pete, have you been snooping around in my eBay account? Haha! :D Ordered them yesterday, they are made by Emgo, they are GT grips , color called Golden Oil. I kinda thought they would look good with the black / gold theme going.

    If they don’t work, I’ll sell them to a hipster! :laugh2:

    Yeah, I actually looked at those, I think they look to be some good grips. I am finding myself liking the colors too.

    Those DO look really comfortable! :)
  18. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor


    I’ve actually done a few now. They’re typically not too bad, if you are careful. Now watch....I’ll screw this one up. o_O
    MaxPete likes this.
  19. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    You sound like a laundry detergent commercial.
    MaxPete and Mailman like this.
  20. Superjet

    Superjet XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    No rest for the wicked!!! lol Gonna be a nice one. I do like the black and gold tank.

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