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New guy saying hello......

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Kel-Lo, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Kel-Lo

    Kel-Lo XS650 New Member

    Hello all. Recently picked up this '79 xs650 special. It's been sitting in a garage for about 15 years. 22k miles, for $200 I couldn't pass it up!
    Originally thought I might just clean it up and flip it but I've been wanting to build a street tracker for awhile now, so I guess this is it!
    I've been riding and wrenching most of my life but this will be my first true "build".
    I know there is a wealth of knowledge on this forum and I'm sure I'll need to tap into it at some point. Thank you in advance! (and thanks for having me) IMG_20191114_182114.jpg IMG_20191117_102219.jpg
    Wulfbyte, Raymondo, Jim and 1 other person like this.
  2. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    It's a beauty! Welcome aboard.
    Wulfbyte and Jim like this.
  3. Jim

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

    Yeah, looks like a good starter bike for a build. Welcome to the forum!
    Wulfbyte likes this.
  4. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Welcome to the party, Kel-lo! That '79 looks a lot cleaner, and more original than the one I have (same $200.00!)
    Good luck with the build, and keep us updated (we're nosy! :wink2: )
    Wulfbyte and Jim like this.
  5. MaxPete

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

    Welcome from Canada’s sunny southern coast in Windsor, Ontario Kel-Lo!
    Post lots of photos and ask lots of questions, you’re in the right place.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2019
    Wulfbyte and Jim like this.
  6. billy icon

    billy icon test pilot,gunnie pig, and all around experiment

    hi ke - low this is the place for xs 650 for sure, Im rather new myself, but have found an absolute treasure trove of knowledge here,
    I sugest you sit down with your favorite beverage and read the entire "TECH" section just because, one it will familiarize yourself with the bikes themselves, and two when you go to do any work on yours, you will be like "hey I know that funky little part " just my:twocents:
    oh and welcome the more the marryier
    59Tebo, Wulfbyte, nj1639 and 4 others like this.
  7. pjc

    pjc XS650 Enthusiast

    Jim and Wulfbyte like this.
  8. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    That is in pretty good shape. I would suggest getting it running like it is, sort out any issues (there will be a few), then maybe tear into it for the "custom" build. But who knows, you may just like it the way it is (well, change the funky bars, lol).
    Bewarethemoon, 59Tebo and MaxPete like this.
  9. Kel-Lo

    Kel-Lo XS650 New Member

    Hey, thanks for making me feel welcome! I will be sure to keep you all posted on the build progress with plenty of pics! (and questions I'm sure)
    As for the donor bike, it's one of those instances where the picture looks better than real life. Pretty rough shape overall. exhaust pipes rusted out underneath, seat all torn up, repaired with duct tape. The rear signals were held in place with duct taped. Carbs are in bad shape and it had no spark.
    Taking a leap of faith with the engine, good compression and I bought it from a co-worker who swears it ran good when he parked it. Will be doing a top end re-build so we'll see how it looks.
    I'm excited about this winter project. Will be sandblasting and painting the frame in the next week or so.
    59Tebo, Jim, Wulfbyte and 1 other person like this.
  10. MaxPete

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

    ...not to be unkind toward your co-worker - but if it was running well, why did he park it?
    59Tebo, Jim and mrtwowheel like this.
  11. Kel-Lo

    Kel-Lo XS650 New Member

    His brother was in a bad motorcycle accident, they rode together often. Co-worker stuck the xs in the corner of the garage and never rode it or even started it again. Last registered in 2002.
    MaxPete likes this.
  12. motormike

    motormike XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Oooh Aaaaah….. photos dur'n the process…. I'd get it running.... determine no tranny issues… and that the charge'n system is work'n… don't want any post build gremlins. Well you retain the mag wheels. ?
    MaxPete likes this.
  13. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Tires next (or should I say last?). You can't trust old rubber, no matter how good it looks. Not "new old stock" either. Find the freshest tires you can. Make and model (of tire) are personal preferences, but read the "alphabet soup" DOT number for the date code, and get the newest ones available. They are, after all, the last thing between you and the cold, hard ground....
    MaxPete likes this.
  14. mrtwowheel

    mrtwowheel Honda Etched On Brain Top Contributor

    earth? If you replace that with your hometown or general area you may get some better deals on parts that you need or even some hands on help from other members here. Also, if you put your year and model in the "signature" area people will have an easy reference to see what you are working on. That comes in real handy when discussing your carbs, alternator, and ignition.

    Welcome here, Scott
    TwoManyXS1Bs, MaxPete and Jim like this.
  15. fredintoon

    fredintoon Fred Hill, S'toon. Top Contributor

    Hi Kel-Lo and welcome from frozen Saskatoon,
    a tracker conversion will remove most of a '79 Special's dodgy styling but do consider a smaller piston front brake lever, wire braided
    brake lines & drilled brake disks. Note that a 1 gallon larger XS650 Standard gas tank will drop straight on.
    And eff what the stylists will advise, keep the 7-spoke cast wheels because they are easier to keep clean and they'll run tubeless tires.
    And yeah, 15 year parked tires will be hard as wood, won't grip the road worth a damn and they gotta go.
    MaxPete and Raymondo like this.
  16. Kel-Lo

    Kel-Lo XS650 New Member

    A lot of good advice, ideas and suggestions.
    I do have this build planned out pretty thoroughly with what I believe is a realistic budget of between 3k and 4k.
    I'm a sheet metal worker by trade, I can fabricate and weld when needed.
    For what it is worth I'm generally not a social media guy, I'm not a big contributor to any forums or anything of that nature. But I've been looking at this site and admiring many of the builds and restorations. Also seems to be a friendly group. If people are interested I will post a separate build thread, list my plans timeline etc.
    Tonight I will be fabricating an engine stand.
    TwoManyXS1Bs, MaxPete, 59Tebo and 2 others like this.
  17. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Are you kidding? Of course we want you to post a build thread, it’s our idea of excitement around here! :laugh2:
    Welcome to the mad house Kel-Low!
    MaxPete, 59Tebo, mrtwowheel and 2 others like this.
  18. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    :agree: :popcorn:
    MaxPete and GLJ like this.
  19. azman857

    azman857 '80 XS 650SG Rider XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    A welcome to our club from (currently wet) Arizona! Sorry I'm late but I'm here now. Nice ride you have there, Kel-Lo. Smoking deal too! Please, don't hold back asking questions and sharing the pics. Wealth of know how here.
    MaxPete and Mailman like this.
  20. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    What Mailman said, Kel-Lo! This isn't "social media" (is it?). :doh: I thought it wuz a bunch of fuddy duddies (speak for myself!) hanging out, swapping stories, and occasionally doling out (sometimes) helpful advice about the motorcycles we love. :wink2:
    Absolutely start a build thread (with lots of pictures!), and keep us updated (cuz we're nosy!). Some of us (me) got nothing else better to do. :whistle:
    There will be tons of activity here, as it's getting into "building season"! :rock:
    TwoManyXS1Bs, MaxPete and azman857 like this.

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