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New member PJC here introducing myself

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by pjc, Nov 11, 2018.

  1. pjc

    pjc XS650 Enthusiast

    Gents, I apologize for not introducing myself when I joined this excellent forum. I began by asking questions and looking to advice. These where answered pronto, I'm grateful for that Sirs! This forum, XS650.com, is a Godsend for information and the passion folks have for this motorcycle. Pretty COOL!

    For years I've wanted to scratch the itch and dive into an XS650 project that will have no specific outcome in form or function. I mostly wanted an XS650 to putt around in the kettle hills nearby and be able to putz with the bike crafting my own changes as time went on. I've owned (or they owned me?) many bikes over the years, mx dirtbikes to Metric & American street bikes.

    So, on October 22, 2018, I brought home a 1980 XS650SG, Yamaha Cardinal Red (kinda faded) forever bike. The roadtrip begins.

    Thank You!
  2. motormike

    motormike XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Photos… details.. always enjoy both.. the story behind the discovery.. and the direction of the project. :)
    gggGary, Boog, geedubya and 2 others like this.
  3. Jim

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

    Welcome to the forum pjc!! Did we mention we like pics? :rolleyes:
    peanut, gggGary, DaveO and 2 others like this.
  4. Welcome pjc, yes we like a good story:)
    peanut, Jim and gggGary like this.
  5. Superjet

    Superjet XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    peanut, Jim and gggGary like this.
  6. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Welcome to the party, pjc! I "lurked" here a long time, before I started my own build thread. The collective knowledge here is incredible! You'll be rippin' it up in no time... well... in another 6 or 7 months when Wisconsin emerges from the ice age (winter. yeah, we get it here in the 'snow belt' in upstate NY too) :rock:
    Jim, gggGary and Boog like this.
  7. Boog

    Boog Traveling Stroyteller

    Hello Pat and welcome from Virginia. If I get my Title this week, I too will begin this adventure with an '81 SH.
    MaxPete, Jim and gggGary like this.
  8. ThatXS650Guy

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

    Welcome. You've made a fine choice.
    Jim and gggGary like this.
  9. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Start the story!
    MaxPete, geedubya, Machine and 3 others like this.
  10. Skip

    Skip XS 650 Screwturner

    Welcome.. everything XS is right here ☺
    MaxPete, gggGary and Jim like this.
  11. pjc

    pjc XS650 Enthusiast

    Thanks for your welcome here Gents. The story begins with me NEEDING another bike. My last was a 2005 HD FXD Superglide I bought new. Great bike, put 42k miles on it. Last year of the carburetor 5 speed big twin dynas. Lots of great memories, one ride to Sturgis rode straight through other than gas and water stops from West Bend WI to the campground in Sturgis by the drag strip. Left at 530am, there at 930pm Sturgis time. I sold that dyna 5 or so years ago.

    See, I've always had a bike in the garage. Trouble with a HD is expensive parts, etc. Prior to the dyna I had a '94 Road King that went away when mamma said we were going to be parents. Prior to that I had Metrics that I was comfortable with doing home grown mods to that allowed me to putz with the bike.

    From there to here, I've always liked the look and possibilities of the XS650. Years back I traded a CL360 for a '69 triumph T120R in a basket. I never did anything with that bike, traded to a cousin for an Evinrude outboard & $$$. I figure the XS is miles ahead of the T120 an engineering reliability, and new manufacture parts are available (like MikesXS and other sources I've found here). So, my search for an XS began.

    Found a couple local to WI on craigslist. Nope. Went to an auction at Mach4 in Appleton WI October 10 this year. There was a pretty corroded '75 and a couple '72s that looked good in the online photos. The '72s had rust crawling out of the gas tanks, like a fungus attack. The '75 was way worse.....wow, that one sold for $900+ to an online bidder. Anyhow, in my back pocket were 2 XS650's on an Ebay RawHide Boys Ranch (Bart Star of the Packers & Jane & John Gilespie organization). One was a '80 XS650SG, the other a '82 XS650 Special II (wire wheels with 100 or spokes on the front, well, maybe not a 100, but lots). I quit biding on the '82 at $915. Went for $935. Next up 5 minutes later auction time was the '80. I won that one, $510 + the Governors cut and title fee. 20k miles on it, description said sold as non-runner due to gas running from carbs when the RawHide wrenches tried to start it.

    It's mine now, with no real plan on what it will look like. I will be bobbing the seat shorter, simple round tail light, scrambler bars, changes to have the XS feel the way I want it. I plan to retire in ~3 years or so, and this XS will be part of that future for me to change it as I see fit. Local rides around the kettle hills, laid back and easy.

    So far new bars are in place, backrest gone, cleaning up all the oil, repairing the battery cables, removed & jumper the reserve light module (blue/black & blue/yellow wires). Changed oil & filters. Squirt diluted w/gas 2 stroke oil in cylinders and stroked engine through to wet the cylinders. Checked for spark (got spark!!). Mothers polish on the alloy wheels. PO must have loved lubing the chain, real oil mess on swingarm and area. I'll take a close look at the trans output shaft seal to see if this is oiling the chain. Just been putzing with it to get to know whats where. I'll probably keep the stock air filter/box setup. Filter elements are in great shape. Do a compression check, set cam chain I rocker clearance, go around the head bolts to validate torque. Clean & freshen carbs w/float valves, etc. Maybe fire it soon. I know I'll need a cam chain guide 'cause of small chunk found in side filter. That will be spring time fun because it's gotten to be frozen tundra season here in WI.

    Photos are form the Ebay ad. No sense in posting pics of what the bike looks like with new bars & backrest removed. That will come with time I suppose.

    Again, Thanks for the welcome here!

    small-l1600.jpg small_s-l1600 (1).jpg small_s-l16001.jpg
    RadMax, MaxPete, GLJ and 8 others like this.
  12. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Well that’s a good story! You’re off to a good start. Can’t wait to follow your progress! Have fun!
    GLJ, Boog, Superjet and 2 others like this.
  13. pjc

    pjc XS650 Enthusiast

    Putzed today working on battery cable repairs and other stuff. Ground cable terminals replaced w/new, was green coro under both terminals at crimp. Ensured good bare metal contact w/frame. Positive cable was aok.

    Cold (32°f) compression check told me there's 148 psi left cyl, 150 psi right. That's good news for me. Connected shop battery to check chassis lighting function. With key to on position, headlight no light, after a good kick headlight stays lit indication that alternator is sending output to the headlamp relay. That's good news too. Also jumped blue/black & blue/yellow at reserve lighting relay. Clipped the connector on the relay side, nipped unused wires below rim of connector, soldered the two blues, applied rtv sealer over relay end of connector. Once cured, applied dielectric grease to terminals and installed into chassis harness connector. No need to worry about reserve light relay failing during a ride. Sometime soon I'll remove the carb assembly to clean & repair as need in the warmth and comfort of the basement workshop.

    Skinned the seat to begin the job of bobbing the rear of pan. I'll bob by cutting off rear of pan, shorten remaining pan to just behind the rear seat retainer mechanism. I welded pieces of 1/8 mild steel around perimeter where the retainer mechanism posts fit through, weld 1/8 steel flats to posts and have 1/8 rubber pad between the 1/8" steel flats and top of seat retainer mechanism towers that are attached to the frame tubes. The old foam was wet, not too much rusty mung-n-drool damage to seat pan. This is an aftermarket king/queen seat ( C/G inside a shield shaped label on bottom of pan) that weighed a ton. Some of that weight was water. Pan is pretty light. Used stock Yamaha mounting hardware. I intend to contact cement thin closed cell foam over pan, contact cement some Naugahyde over that, finish the edges with the trim channel that was present on the seat. Might turn out ok.

    Hope it's ok to post the small accomplishments I get done as I go on this project. At some point I'll get disciplined (meaning not so lazy!) enough to make photos to go with this work. Tell ya what though, sure is great to have a bike I can putz with rather than do routine maintenance to it.
    nj1639, TwoManyXS1Bs, Meddy and 2 others like this.
  14. TwoManyXS1Bs

    TwoManyXS1Bs BBQ Hunter Top Contributor

    I had a recent project that needed "contact cement" strength, but wanted to use a spray adhesive. Tried this stuff. Man, was I impressed. IMHO, much better than contact cement.


    There's other adhesives in here, some more suited to upholstery.

    Absolutely! You never know if someone may chime in with handy tips...
    MaxPete and 59Tebo like this.
  15. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    I think you'll find the 650 to be a "tinkerer's delight". There are so many little tweaks, "fixes", and upgrades you can do, most for very little money. The bike is basically good to start with but can be made better quite easily and without breaking the bank. Some things I would add to your "to do" list include grease fittings on the side and centerstand pivots, in the steering neck and on the kick starter too. Hydraulic brake system disassembly and cleaning, plus the addition of stainless lines, will have the brakes working good again. New steering bearings are usually required because the original loose balls are all crusty and rusty, and even though the new tapered roller bearings will set you back about $30, they're well worth it. The forks will greatly benefit from a teardown and thorough cleaning, plus the addition of the "Minton Mods" to the damper rods. Refilling with slightly more than the specified amount of fork oil will have them working much better.

    For the RLU bypass, I used to "gut" a matching plug for the harness one and add back a single jumper wire .....


    ..... but I've come up with a simpler solution, a single jumper wire. I route it back behind the harness plug through the wiring coming out of it, and make it just long enough to be plugged in. This does a good job of holding it in and there's no way it will come loose and unplugged .....




    I use this single wire jumper method for pretty much all my bypass and jumper mods now. Here's the one on my '83 clutch safety relay plug .....

    MaxPete, gggGary and Superjet like this.
  16. pjc

    pjc XS650 Enthusiast

    That is a great way to route the jumper 5twins, clever! I've seen your (I think) photos of the zerks you installed at the kick stand and center stand pivots. I thought that was pretty clever too so I saved the pics for reference. Amazing the great information/ideas to be found here. Just gotta use the search function, read a lot.

    Yep, I need to do the brake system, could be wheel bearings too. Pretty much the entire bike needs inspection/attention. For bearings that turn ok, feel smooth, and not sloppy clearance I've used a needle greaser to get under the lip seal where I can, inject a bit of fresh grease. Sometimes this works, sometimes not.

    I will be installing tapered rollers for the fork. Metal swingarm bushings too. Loading by hand the rear wheel laterally I can feel play at the swingarm pivot. Probably the plastic bushes are still in there.

    TMXS1Bs, I've used the 3M Super77 spray contact cement. Great stuff. That's what I'll use for the seat foam, nauga project. For the foam I'll go with 7# or so rebond carpet pad, 7/16" layers, shape with sanding block. I don't need too much foam thickness. Got a tough azz, lol.

    A great Thanksgiving to ALL.

    MaxPete and TwoManyXS1Bs like this.
  17. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Yes, due to their age, pretty much every one of these bikes needs a good and complete going through when you get it. You should also check all the wiring and connections. You may find corroded or loose connections and rubbed bare spots on wiring due to vibration. Doing this will ward off electrical problems in the future.

    Yes, I also add some fresh grease to old, still good bearings. I check new ones too. Apparently, "lubed for life" doesn't mean the same thing to every manufacturer, lol. I've run across new bearings with practically no grease in them.
    MaxPete and 59Tebo like this.
  18. pjc

    pjc XS650 Enthusiast

    Hello Gents. Thought I'd post an update to where my '80 SG is. And a Thank You for all the wisdom that is here in XS650.com! I'll start with repost of photos of as was.
    small-l1600.jpg small_s-l1600 (1).jpg
    Photos of current state as of 02nov19.
    IMG_2403s.JPG IMG_2402s.JPG IMG_2400s.JPG IMG_2399s.JPG IMG_2404s.JPG
    Following post: text of what I did.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
  19. pjc

    pjc XS650 Enthusiast

    Here are things I did:
    1980 XS650SG RestoMod; Blade fuse holder, AGM battery, Reserve Lighting Unit bypass.
    Bob seatpan, pad/upholster. Bush clutch lever pivot, Motion Pro cable. Emgo tracker handlebar. Digi volt meter. Round LED Tail Light, skulls. Shortened turn signals front & rear. XS850 Special headlamp bucket w/H4 lens (is like having a portable Sun out front). Fork seals, new used rust zit free fork tubes. Progressive 412, 90/130 spring, 11.5” (HD FXR, XL) $95 + ship NIB ebay. Shortened center stand, install zerks.
    Emgo Coil, fab bracket to use horn mount boss, 7mm wire, NGK caps.
    New front master cylinder ($27) & Yamaha seal kit, Mikes XS piston for brake caliper.
    Service carbs, JBM diaphragms, 135 main jet (was 132.5). Sump & side oil filter, Lucas 20/50 MC oil. Compression 150 psi cold both cylinders. Mikes xs petcock. Kawa Ninja passenger foot rests (to replace XS front clubs). Fork leg boss decoplugs left side fork lower leg.

    That's it for now. Needs tires, probably Dunlop D404 'cause I like the look.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2019
    nj1639, MaxPete, 59Tebo and 2 others like this.

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