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Mystery muffler

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Not Sure, Nov 27, 2020.

  1. Not Sure

    Not Sure XS650 Member

    Hello, I’m new to this forum and to the xs650. I recently purchased a stockish 77. I have a fair amount of work ahead of me to get it road worthy but hopefully nothing major. As of now it looks like alot of wear items. For example swing arm bushing, neck bearings, fork seals and other odds and ends. I found it on FB. I’m looking forward to resurrecting her. I have searched the forum and the internet looking to find a particular muffler I saw on YouTube. I have found the same looking muffler but listening to the sound bites they aren’t even close to the one I’m after. I was able to contact to builder of the xs with these mufflers. He told me he made the mufflers but wouldn’t tell me how he made them. I’m hoping someone on here will know what these are or how to recreate that sound. Anyway, thank you for having me and thanks in advance for any help.

    gggGary likes this.
  2. Not Sure

    Not Sure XS650 Member

    Here’s the bike

    Attached Files:

    ThatXS650Guy and GLJ like this.
  3. XSLeo

    XSLeo XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Welcome to this slice of the XS life.
    If your resurrecting the bike I might get it running with what you have, before I start modifying anything. You might find you like the sound you have.
    I agree on the neck bearings and swing arm bushings. This can effect safety.
    New tires is often a good idea. Old tires are bad tires. No matter how the tread looks the tires can be bad.
    Clean carbs, good battery and the charging system are more important than the sound and looks of the bike at this point.
    I as others might recommend going through the wiring and cleaning, tightening every connection, even inside any switches that can be opened up can fix issues before they become issues. Start at one end of the bike and work to the other. A bit time consuming to do but worth the effort. It makes riding much more enjoyable when you don't have to worry abut breaking down because of a dirty connection.
    Have fun.
  4. Not Sure

    Not Sure XS650 Member

    XSLeo, thank you for the advice. Everything works electrically but now that you mention it and seeing as how it’s winter I like the Idea of cleaning and tightening electrical connections. Your right about tracking down electrical gremlins. I have suffered from them on more than one occasion. I may have been less descriptive than I could have been. The bike seems to run fine. I will have to disagree with you on the sound of the factory exhaust. For my tastes she can benefit from a different muffler. Don’t get me wrong, I can appreciate the purest. Again thanks for the advice I certainly will be going through the wiring harness. Take care.
    Raymond and gggGary like this.
  5. hovel

    hovel ol' stupid

    Difficult, at best, to get true exhaust sound out of these lousy computer speakers. Even when I run my PC through a decent amp and speakers, accurate exhaust sound bytes are elusive. Those mufflers look like a version of "cocktail shaker" of which you will find many. Might be a good place to start.
    Raymond and gggGary like this.
  6. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Not Sure and welcome,
    first, do what Leo said.
    Seducing your mufflers with a pointy steel bar and a BFH will make them sound louder for sure,
    Will doing that give the bike more power and higher speed? I doubt it.
    What I'd recommend for upgrades is to swap in a smaller piston front brake lever, a full length wire braid
    reinforced plastic front brake hose, tapered roller head races and bronze swingarm bushings and drilling a bunch of holes in the front brake disk..
    Raymond likes this.
  7. Not Sure

    Not Sure XS650 Member

    Hovel, I hear ya on the speakers not giving an accurate representation. I was hoping someone would chime in and with a comment like “oh yeah you can create that sound by making a copper baffle drilled in such and such a manner”. Some thing to that effect. I have noticed they look allot like the usual cocktail shakers available from Emgo. I’m going to do more research before I go out and buy mufflers on a trial and error basis.
    Fredintoon, I agree with you following on following XSLeo’s advice. Can you elaborate on the brake master cylinder size you mentioned? I have done some research but I’m clearly not an expert by any stretch. I haven’t come across modification yet.

    thanks for everyone’s input.
    gggGary likes this.
  8. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Addict

    This is something I dont know much about
    But it sounds as if it is what they call a re phased engine

    more of Those

    The build there is of exceptional quality ( The first the Japanese bike ) not anyone that can do it
    and lot of effort and money put in
    It does not have stock carburetors as far as I can see
    If you ask me the throttle response is not perfect but close it is perhaps cold there

    Mufflers is difficult to get right ..Not sure if those are bought of the shelf
    But back in the day people had straight pipes
    Trying a google translate --- there was a saying that rhymes in Swedish

    " Straight pipes so that the Torque dies "

    Exhausts pipes even in the 60 ies and 70 ies was a result of trial and error
    Inside the pipe there is a pressure wave that turns back at the open end reflects and goes back
    It affects the pressure inside the combustion chamber
    Stock has some sound damping inside muffler that affects the pressure inside the pipe
    If as some did put on straight pipes with " Wrong " length and internal pressure
    the bike would run poorly. It would run with less power Making more noise.
    If I recall right it was even more sensitive with 2 stroke engines
    I remember reading that some put in a disc on a axle inside the pipe towards the end turn it locking the axle
    and getting the pressure up Inside Test ride and adjust .. .not sure what it is called in English Choke ???
    Harleys in those days there was no dyno for testing
    So all in all
    That can be a re phased engine
    Not stock carburetors
    With on the dyno fine tuned exhausts
    With unknown internals
    It Looks as a Japanese bike worth noting is the better compression on the first bike
    The second not smoking

    The Jap is kicking two times before starting ( It can be coincidence ) that is what vintage Harley owners do ..and there in the background sits an Harley Showelhead Motor
    Again this is nothing I have been into just heard of it and read --- I go for stock --but worn stock --since that was what many did in the beginning Only thing they could afford " Chrome wont get you home "
    If I am wrong please tell that here
    ThatXS650Guy and Raymond like this.
  9. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Not sure,
    North American XS650s only have one front brake caliper. The rest of the world's XS650s have two.
    Yamaha used the same XS650 front brake M/C world-wide which makes North American XS650 M/C pistons twice their optimum area.
    What I did was add the left-side caliper from an XS750 Standard and an extra XS650 brake disk to convert to dual front brakes.
    This fix feels really spongy unless you use braided wire reinforced brake lines. Which ain't cheap so I use two full-length instead of three partials.
    My sidecar rig don't notice the handling difference caused by the additional un-sprung weight but it really appreciates the quicker stops.
  10. Not Sure

    Not Sure XS650 Member

    Jan_p, thanks for your input. Those bikes do sound similar. If the source of that distinct exhaust note is in fact due to a rephased motor I’ll have to be happy with whatever mufflers I settle on.
    Fredintoon, thanks for the info on the front brakes I’m definitely interested in that mod. Especially since my front brake seems to be seizing intermittently.

    thanks again
  11. Not Sure

    Not Sure XS650 Member

    Hello all, I found another video of the same exhaust from the same guy. In this video something can be seen in the end of the muffler. I’m wondering if this is the secret to the sound.
  12. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Addict

    Not the same carburetors at least ---the latter ones are stock.
    And then the chain intake --carburetors -- exhaust ..Needs to be Finetuned Ideally
    That at the end of the muffler is most likely that choke I talked about in the previous message.
    Pressure adjustment which that specific machine needs .
    Can be another machine ( Thinking out loud ) or the same machine in another configuration.
    I would guess those pipes can be bought somewhere in the World.
    But there is a hose clamp on the second holding the muffler not visible on the first.
    ( Thinking out loud again ) second is not rephased but first is
    Difficult to hear there can be larger displacement on the first Bored out ..and that's why other carburetors are installed
    Someone here can identify those .it is not any to me known ones and not seen in a quick googling
    Second runs better ( in My View ) 1.25 in one can hear a little knocking
    2.33 Throttle response is good.
    Probably as good as it gets.
    I would try a little little little ... little less advance at idle.
    Se if it changes the knocking and throttle response .Not knowing if this is a warm engine or cold start.
    If it is wear in bottom end ... little can be done .But if it is the timing that little nothing ( retard ) can be even better.
    Raymond likes this.
  13. RustiePyles

    RustiePyles Semper Fortis

    Those mufflers are called upswept cocktail shakers.
  14. Norton7d

    Norton7d XS650 Junkie

    Well Not Sure, please note if you are considering selling the original pipes, please let me know.
  15. Not Sure

    Not Sure XS650 Member

    Norton7d, I certainly will. Although they look much better in the picture than in person.
  16. Norton7d

    Norton7d XS650 Junkie

    Thanks, they always do.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  17. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty What should I put here? XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Cocktail shakers are a popular style. There may be multiple manufacturers of the style. I’ve heard on bikes and it seems no two sound alike.
  18. Not Sure

    Not Sure XS650 Member

    Jan_P, you and Rustpyles may be right. Perhaps it’s a combination of of the shelf mufflers and just the right combo of engine modifications. Or perhaps they are in fact modified cocktails shakers.
  19. ThatXS650Guy

    ThatXS650Guy More Sparky than Speed Racer XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    North GA
    Don't take this the wrong way Not Sure but it seems you are chasing a by-product rather than the correct goal which is a good running, reliable, beautiful example of mid-70's Japanese engineering. Don't get me wrong, I can appreciate a good sounding bike but shouldn't the goal still be to have a fun bike to ride around?
    That being said, what are your plans for it? Café, Brat, Chopper, Hardtail, tracker?
  20. Not Sure

    Not Sure XS650 Member

    Jetmechmarty, From my research I know of at least two different manufactures. Like you said they seem to look the same but sound different from bike to bike. That’s sorta of what lead me to believe there must be some modification or baffle that creates this unique sound. Probably the shape of the muffler itself has something to do with the sound as well. When I put the exhaust together on my 1950 ford shoebox with a Flathead v8 the sound could be significantly changed just by where the muffler was in the system.

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