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new 82 XS650 - carb issues, many questions, HI from NY!

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by trance, Apr 29, 2012.

  1. trance

    trance XS650 Addict

    Hi there - I'm a new owner of an 82 xs650 that's been hardtailed. I am feeling a bit of buyer's remorse (paid too much) but am already in love with the bike, so probably the remorse will go away. Please read down, i've got several questions...

    The engine is really beautiful and seems well designed - I've owned many 4 cylinder honda CB's and this seems like a very elegant design by comparison.

    Some issues with the bike, of course.

    Was barfing gas out of the carbs when I got it, idle speed was all over the place. Today I tore down the carbs, cleaned them, adjusted, and the problems seem to have gone away...

    Here are my other troubles:

    1) loud noises from the electric starter. I read that this means worn gears. Is it worth replacing (if so, WHAT piece do I replace?) or just use the kickstarter? :confused:

    2) tapping/chattering from the top end. I'm going to adjust cam chain, valves per info I found on the tech section (awesome videos!) and then resync the carbs and see i it goes away. If it does not - does this mean worn cam chain guides? :confused:

    The engine seems tight - 150ish compression on both sides. DPO claimed that it had been rebuilt recently (I dont' believe that crap though...)

    3) last question, i promise...the handlebars are connected to the triple tree with rubber bushings. this connection seems loose to me as compared to the solid connection my honda's have. there is some wobble when I lean on the bars. Is this normal? :confused:
  2. rickieh

    rickieh XS650 Owner

    as for question 3, my 76 does that.idk if its normal just saying thats how mine is and was when i got it, it still steers alright and everything
  3. when you see how much a 360* paralell twin vibrated vs. an inline 4....you will understand the rubber isolators.
  4. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    The electric starter problem can usually be repaired without any new parts. See here .....


    The bars shouldn't wiggle in the mounts. The rubbers are wearing. You can shim them usually with plain old washers from the hardware store. You need ones big enough to fit over the riser shaft, which is a little bigger than the threaded portion on the bottom. Pull one out and you'll see what I mean. Take it to the store with you and get 4 washers to fit the shaft. Put 2 on each riser, one above the rubbers on top and one on the bottom.
  5. trance

    trance XS650 Addict

    Thanks guys, appreciate the comments. Here's the symptoms of my starter (a bit different than what the wiki talks about)

    1) It does engage, just makes a serious grinding noise. It does crank the engine no problem

    2) does not seem to disengage right away, takes maybe 3 seconds after the motor starts.

    Had one other issue that I forgot to ask about last night - when I was going through the carbs, I could not figure out how to remove the floats. I'm used to a brass pin holding the float in place. the XS has what looks kinda like a nail - has a head on one end and is flat on the other (no point like a nail! :laugh:). It was pressed in place so tightly I could not budge it. I wanted to remove it to inspect/clean the float valve seat - since so much crud was inside the carbs. did my best to blow it out anyways.

    Another carb question - the carbs had their needle valves screwed all the way in :wtf:. I turned them out to 3.25 turns, having read that 3-3.5 turns was correct. Is this good? I'd assume to adjust them if I have an idle problem or am running lean/rich, correct?
  6. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

    To remove the floats, take a thin bladed diagonal cutter used to trim circuit board leads in electronics, and put it under the head of the "nail". Squeeze just hard enough to get the blades under the head and lever it up by rocking the tool down. Any other way is liable to break something.


    The starter; I fixed mine with the kit sold by Mikes which includes a new gear and a new wishbone spring. Might include another small part or two, don't remember. It has lasted a couple of years so far and I use electric start almost exclusively and ride every day, incl. winter.
  7. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    That grinding is the normal starter problem. Do the fix from the link (bend the drag clip tight again) and that should take care of it.

    That nail head type float pin is correct for the BS34 carb. The diameter of the shaft just under the head is larger than the rest of it and wedges into the post. Besides the interference fit, yours may be gummed in with gas residue. Clean the area really well, apply some heat, and then try tapping it out from the other end. I use a 1/16" pin punch. Anther method is to grab just under the head with a pair of side cutters. I prefer the pin punch and have always managed to get them out that way. When you install the pin, you don't have to drive it in all the way so the nail head is seated, just enough so the other end is flush with the outside of it's post .....



    The 3 - 3 1/2 turns out is an initial setting, fine tune from there for best running. Usually, if you go much below 3 turns on this carb set, you get lots of popping and/or a hanging idle.
  8. trance

    trance XS650 Addict

    AWESOME!!! Thanks!!! :thumbsup:
  9. KentMoney

    KentMoney XS650 Addict

    I've tried heating both posts up and tapping the pin out with a punch with no avail. I can't get these goddamn things out! I even ground down the small end that was peened.

  10. weekendrider

    weekendrider Iron Horse cowboy Top Contributor

    S.W. MO
    imo part of the problem is they are gummed up in the float hinge also.
    First get the floats free then use 5twins suggestion of a small punch.
    I like the spring loaded version. I'm leery of dykes and using a hammer.
    The pin towers can and do break if you get too heavy handed.
  11. KentMoney

    KentMoney XS650 Addict

    yes, i tried a solid drift and a spring loaded punch to try to get it out, with and without heating.

    They won't budge.

  12. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    IM not so? HO this is the gold standard,


    it might seem like a pain in the ass to do but if you break a carb tower off you will say damn that tool would have been cheap!
    You really do need to pull the float remove the float valve body and check the screen and o-ring.
    If you don't make the tool get the carb sideways support the tower with the pin head and tap with a punch on the other end.

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