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New Member, with an new(to me) xs650 - Phase I

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by thefabulousfink, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. thefabulousfink

    thefabulousfink XS650 New Member

    Hi everybody,
    I've been lurking on this site since I got my 650 in January, but I'm finally ready to get working on it so I thought I should introduce myself. I'm senior at WSU in Pullman. This is my third bike and I'm a pretty good wrench-turner, but there's still a few parts of motorcycle anatomy that I'm a little fuzzy on.

    But enough about me, here's the bike:
    A 1981 XS650 Special. It belonged to my cousin's husband and was last run in 2008, then was shut up in a barn for 7 years. My cousin wanted it gone so I got it for the low, low price of $free. The good news is that there is very little rust, the bad news is that just about every fluid, rubber, or consumable part is shot and needs to be replaced.
    Here she is after a bath.[​IMG]

    I plan to eventually do a cafe build, but I'm going to do it in 3 phases. Phase I is simply get the bike running and do basic operational improvements like bearings and cables. Phase II will be performance improvements; possibly an engine rebuild, phase, over-bore, intake and exhaust. Phase III will be cosmetic; seat, clip-on's, rear-sets, quarter-fairing, paint job.

    I'm new to Yamahas, so I'd love people's advice and tips. I'm on a budget for this first part of the build so I'm mainly trying to get an operation bike and save the expensive overhauls until next year when I'll have a job to finance the build further.

    Here's what I know/suspect needs to be done for phase I and the tentative order I plan to fix them.

    1. Drain gas & oil. check for debris.
    2. New oil, check compression.
    3. New Battery.
    4. Rear brake is seized.
    5. Replace fork oil/seals.
    6. Replace chain, sprockets
    7. Grease all bearings.
    8. New tires.

    That's what I've got so far. I'm sure more will turn up.
  2. Brassneck

    Brassneck XS650 Guru

    Nice score, and looks like a solid starting point.

    There's plenty to add to the list, but the one obvious miss is the fuel systems on your list: gas tank clean/re-coat (if it's rusted inside)... likely petcock rebuild, and a whole lot of carb cleaning. (There's a ton of threads and guides on carb cleaning... so easy to read/learn). Seems like 75% of the issues on starting are carb related, and cleaning them extensively.

    Good luck! (And go Huskies!) :)
  3. Welcome to the forum. First priority is to make sure it's safe to ride. Check out this link to the Tech section http://www.xs650.com/forum/showthread.php?t=367

    Then after that, get her running and "tune into" the bike. You'll soon start to get ideas of want to you want / need to improve. I did a cafe build and I've just sold it but it was such a blast.

    Enjoy your bike
  4. lakeview

    lakeview XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Welcome to the forum! So nice to see a noob with a practical plan!. All the best in your endeavours both mechanical and scholastic.
  5. thefabulousfink

    thefabulousfink XS650 New Member

    Thanks for the link and the warm welcome. I'll upload some more pictures as I move forward.
  6. thefabulousfink

    thefabulousfink XS650 New Member

    So, the gas tank was completely full! The gas is all bad, but there is no rust in the tank. The oil came out black, but free of debris. The one problem I encountered was when I tried to remove the oil filter cover, it was stuck. A little prying later and I saw why.
    The gasket had turned to glue.

    A little work with a razor blade got that mess cleaned up, but I needed a new gasket. Appearently I live in a geographical oddity, two weeks from any Yamaha part. The third store I went to tried to sell me the wrong oil filter, and the fourth store had the right filter, but would have to order the gasket. I'm going on vacation next week and didn't want to leave my oil half changed until I got back. The solution: make a gasket.

    I got a $3 roll of gasket material for Autozone and traced the outside of the oil filter cover onto it.
    A little work with some scissors and it fit like a glove.
    Then I took a piece of the old gasket and used it to trace the inner circle.
    A perfect Fit.
    I then put the cover over the gasket and tapped the screws gently to mark their positions. Punch the holes with and awl and clean them up with a razor blade and I am finished.

    That was a lot quicker than waiting for the UPS man. :thumbsup:
  7. Bigfeet

    Bigfeet to many projects

    Welcome to the forum from someone who went to school across the border in Moscow about a thousand years ago. You lucky dog! I would love to ride that area on a bike again. Especially an xs :thumbsup:
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  8. wesleyonoel

    wesleyonoel XS650 Addict

    Ingenuity on the Palouse. Beautiful place for motorcycle riding. A cruise along the Clearwater toward Lolo Pass is hard to beat. Yup, another former Vandal......... Best wishes with your project!.................Wesley

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