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Miss November XS2 tribute

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

  1. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Grease nipples on the ends of the swingarm pivot bolt are stock, all 650s have them. That tab under the nut is a locking tab. The small hole in it off to the side should be fitted on a peg on the frame to keep it from rotating when the nut is tightened. Once the nut is tight, you're supposed to bend the tab up against the side of it, much like the folding lock washer on your countershaft sprocket. But, someone has put a washer under your nut. That shouldn't be there and will prevent you from folding the lock tab up against the nut.

    Here you can see the lock plate fitted on my '78 Standard, on the lower right. You can see the little hole in the plate fitted onto the peg on the frame. What you can't see is the side of the plate bent up against the nut to lock it down. That's happening on the under side .....

    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
  2. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Here's a little better shot showing the tab bent up against the bottom of the nut .....

  3. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Raymondo'
    not if but when the M14 threaded end of your bike's stock 16mm dia swingarm through-bolt snaps off
    (Hopefully you notice it's happened before the bolt falls out on the street at highway speed)
    you can replace it with an M16-ended one.
    Back when mine failed I used a salvaged Suzuki through-bolt held by a Nylok nut to replace it
    and tapped the swingarm for a grease nipple.
    These days you can buy an M16-ended replacement from MikesXS.
    Greyandridin, MaxPete and Raymond like this.
  4. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Got that to look forward to then . . .
    Greyandridin and MaxPete like this.
  5. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Raymondo,
    let preventative maintenance be your watchword.
    If replacing the swingarm's nasty plastic bushings with bronze ones is on your to do list the through bolt swap gets free labour.
    Greyandridin and MaxPete like this.
  6. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Thank you, Fred.

    Have made a promise to meself to have a Good Look at the swing-arm area. Probably when the best of the riding season is past. When I take it apart, won't be at all surprised if the plastic bushes have been replaced. In the steering head, I found brand new bearings. As I said before, somebody has spent some time and money on this bike.

    And while I'm in there, just happen to have a TX750 swing-arm sitting in the garage. Bought from German ebay, no less.

    Needs a minor mod so I'll have to take it to a welder I know in Galashiels. Then a lick of paint and back together. At that point, y'all can assist with finding the best combination of parts. Have already seen a few threads on the esoteric art of setting it all up so the arm is secure but not over-tight - will need to read up on that when I get there.
  7. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Just don't over-tighten the pivot bolt and you most likely will have no issues with it. I've been using the original for 15+ years with no problems, and being most likely the original, it was a good 25 years old to begin with.
  8. Jim

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

    Mine's slightly less torque than recommended and works fine. The trick is to have the pivot tube (steel bushing on drawing) an interference fit in the frame so you don't over torque the bolt trying to suck everything together. If it's not an interference fit, shim it.

    Swingarm fitup.png
  9. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    I like that diagram! That’s something a lot of guys couldn’t get their head around.
  10. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Thank you, Gentlemen.

    5T - very reassuring. This is always an area that can give trouble, and will give trouble if ignored for too long. As Fred says, preventive maintenance.

    Jim - I too like that diagram. Very helpful. Still won't fully understand what's in there till I dismantle - those grease nipples on the bolt.

    But this is still riding weather, so heading out. When the weather turns salty, Miss November will be treated to some garage lift time.
  11. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Out again today. August managed to put on a show for its last day so went to see Elliot and his wife in their new home in Northumberland. Haven't seen them since lock-down started. A novelty for me and for them, in these Covid times . . .

    So a nice long outing for the Yamaha - upwards of 130 miles? Backroads, hilly country roads, and a few stretches of busy main roads. Including the A1 Great North Road with Bank Holiday traffic.

    The bike coped very well indeed. At times we were motoring along at sustained 60-65 mph and the bike did not feel stressed. Indeed, a few times used just a little bit more for over-takes and the engine delivered. Certainly didn't feel like it was about to blow up.

    Really enjoyed today's outing. Great weather, good roads, some even had good surfaces. And the bike performed beautifully. Able to keep up with the traffic. Very stable. Handles bends well enough. And still fully oil tight when we got home.

    Seems to confirm this bike might be practical for going places on?
  12. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    The kindness of strangers!

    Went to Carter Bar on the Scotland-England border, where I had a chat with a couple of lads from Newcastle out on a Ducati 996 and a Triumph Tiger adventure bike thingy. As I departed, the bike showed me up by not starting for, oh, a dozen kicks.

    Set off home on the rural route across remote moorlands. After a mile, the bike coughed. Another mile and it spluttered, would not catch, stopped completely.

    Kicking no good. Nada. Zilch. Carb icing? That was my first thought. After a few minutes, and a few more kicks, decided to try the electric boot. Not even a click!


    Do we have a charging problem? More pressing, how are we going to get home? As a confirmed tech denier, no mobile phone or any of that nonsense. Pushed the bike a few hundred yards to a lonely cottage. Boarding kennels in fact, so plenty barking. But nobody at home. Or at least, nobody answered the door.

    I don't want to leave the bike, even in such an out-of-way spot. But will have to try and hitch home and come back with tools. Or perhaps a van.

    One solitary car comes by. Stops, window down. 'Are you okay?' 'Well, I seem to have broken down.' The chap asks a few questions, says he's got to collect his wife, then he'll come back in a van and bring jump leads. 'Give me twenty minutes.'

    So while I waited, I started to go over things. The indicators and headlamp work, but not even a click from the starter button. Soon discovered the live battery lead was loose. Aha! That would account for not starting. Those vibes Pete likes to talk about . . .

    Twenty minutes later our chap is back, with a van and tools. We had a chat - he lives in the house that Steve Hislop, motorcycle racer, grew up in. Doesn't have a bike, but has an old TVR sports car so knows all about electrical problems . . .

    I borrow an Allen key to tighten the plug terminals. Bike starts second kick. Quick thank you and I'm off again.

    No problems on the way home and if anything, the bike was running better.
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
    Grimly, Boog, TwoManyXS1Bs and 6 others like this.
  13. MaxPete

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

    An excellent adventure Raymond - but again I ask....what vibrations? :D

  14. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yes, it was an adventure. I told meself that at the time. There's no point in getting all het up (you might have to translate that one) when things happen. Better to think 'this is an adventure'. Usually it's a very minor thing that stops you in the middle of nowhere. It will get sorted out. Even if I have to go and hire a van to bring the bike home. Or go and see the village m/c engineer and ask for his help & van.

    When you break down, you're probably going to meet new people and often as today see the best side of humanity.

    There must be enough vibration to loosen the battery terminal. But to be honest, I think XS650 vibes are exaggerated. I've ridden bikes with much worse. One supermoto I used to run was bad enough to make your gentleman's region go completely numb. But I must stress this was only temporary, thank goodness!

    Of course, I'm getting an ear-bending about how I should carry a mobile phone when I go out . . .
    Boog, Jim, GLJ and 1 other person like this.
  15. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    This happened to me once, but it didn't kill the bike, just had it running rough and misfiring. And it turned out to be the negative wire on mine, not the positive. It had me pull the carbs and clean them before I discovered it, lol. So now, checking both connections from time to time is on my check list. Whenever I happen to lift the seat, I check them. Another item worth putting on the check list are the screws holding the helmet/seat lock on. Don't know why but these always seem to loosen up. My original was missing when I got the bike. My buddy has actually lost a couple locks already, lol.
    Raymond and Mailman like this.
  16. MaxPete

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

    Well, I have to admit that travelling these days without a cell phone seems....ill-advised IMO. This is especially true when travelling on a, shall we say, elderly conveyance...

    Nonetheless, on the few occasions when I have broken down (never due to vibration I might add...), someone invariably has come along and been extraordinarily kind and helpful. It really has been amazing how things work out quite nicely despite the circumstances which, initially at least, can seem pretty dire.

    Last edited: Sep 1, 2020
    Jim, GLJ and Raymond like this.
  17. Greyandridin

    Greyandridin Got nothing to do and all day to do it XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I've had an occasion where my bike has died out in the middle of nowhere and along come some good Samaritan who helped me jump start my bike so I can ride it to the nearest gas station where a couple then take me over to a mechanic's shop who then takes me to get a new battery and also makes sure I get his discount
    Good people all over !!
    Especially when you thinks that's it time to kick the bike in the ditch and hitchhike home
    (does anybody even hitchhike any more?)
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Jim, MaxPete and 3 others like this.
  18. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    You got lucky on that one Raymond, happy to hear it all ended well. Don’t bikes always seem to enjoy not starting when there are onlookers? :laugh2:
    Back in the 70’s I was hauling my XT500 in the back of an old pickup truck, on my way to Phoenix from where I was living in the mining town of Globe Az. Way up in the mountains and away from civilization , my water pump decided to go out. No cell phones back then.
    I thought surely someone would stop and see if I needed assistance, given the remoteness of my location.......nope. Finally after about an hour, I decided to unload my bike and ride back to town for parts, even though I couldn’t load my bike back into my truck by myself. I got the parts, fixed my truck. Then rode back to town to get a buddy to follow me back up to the mountains and load my bike back into my truck! Killed my whole day! o_O I’ve gotta say, I’m on board with cell phones, they have saved me more than once.
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Jim, MaxPete and 3 others like this.
  19. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider, fettler, setting out on a journey XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Well, I'll certainly be checking those terminal screws pretty frequently. Have put the correct size Allen key in my riding jacket pocket now.

    The only problem I've had with the seat lock is the wedge-shaped catch is worn and getting it to engage with the hasp on the seat is at best hit or miss.

    On the mobile phone thing, I guess I've just gotten more and more stubborn the more often I get told. I'm sure my friends have me down as eccentric in that respect as in so many others.

    In 2012 I was taken off the bike - Victory Hammer - by a sheep. Just came out of nowhere and sprinted straight into the bike. I didn't do too well sliding down the road with 300 kg of American cruiser on top of me. The cars I had passed minutes before stopped to help and this lovely old couple ended up taking me home. From whence to A&E.

    That incident gets dragged up in the mobile phone debate. By me. It happened in a rural area and there was no signal. A mobile would have been as much use as a trombone is to a cow.
  20. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I don't have one either. I carry tools, some spare parts, and motorcycle jumper cables instead, lol. Cost a few bucks to put together this "kit", but I don't get billed monthly for it either.
    MaxPete, Mailman and Raymond like this.

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