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New owner looking for help

Discussion in 'The Classroom' started by Jaw_knee, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. Jaw_knee

    Jaw_knee XS650 New Member

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    Hey XS community, bare with me on this one. Proudly just bought my first motorcycle: 1976 XS650 and am so far loving it! In general it's in great shape, but I've run into a few problems. Idles pretty low, even after a long warm up. To the point where if I'm approaching a stop sign and drop down into first the engine just dies if I'm not constantly giving a little throttle. Same thing happened a few times to my buddy who was riding and it and is a much more experienced rider. I adjusted the idle valve screw the next day just about 1 turn, so that it would idle at about 1200 RPM with choke closed. The engine sounded much better and more consistent after that, went on a quick 5 minute spin and all seemed well. Then today I get home, ready to go for a ride, turn the petcock to on and fuel starts leaking like crazy from the carbs (I think, hard to tell exactly where it's coming from). Readjusted the valve but no change

    History: just bought it off an old friend of a friend, guy barely road it due to his health, kept it in a warm dry basement. It was sitting in his basement for about a year since last start up, so I assume the carbs could've gotten gummy from old fuel. That seems to be what all signs are pointing to. I'm not afraid to do some serious research and get my hands dirty, but as I said I'm a been and really just looking for some good advice from more experienced owners and the right direction to go in. Thanks all, sorry for the long post!
     
  2. Jaw_knee

    Jaw_knee XS650 New Member

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    IMG_3471.JPG Just opened the gas tank to see how much gas was in there still. Could this be the likely source of the problem?
     
  3. Bob Kelly III

    Bob Kelly III Ranch Kid from way back,.... that got Old !

    Here is your best bet for good info on your bike !
    http://www.xs650.com/pages/tech/
    that is a link to the technical reference on this forum ! it is filled with answers to all your questions and then some ! you have Lots of reading to do !
    Welcome to the forum !
    there's a good chance that the gas is old and doesn't wann'a do it's thing quite right and water settles out of it in the float bowl
    (and you thought gasoline was pure and had no water in it ??? well, it does have allot of water in it and you need to pull the air cleaners off the machine and slap your hand over the carbs one at a time to create a big vacuum to suck out the water. )
    that is a simple quick hack the best idea is pull the carbs and give them a thorough cleaning.
    the rubber gasket on the cap should be replaced as it keeps water out of the cap when riding in the rain !
    if you don't ride in the rain it's not that big a deal unless you don't like a leaking gas-cap ! LOL
    .....
    Bob........
     
    Jaw_knee likes this.
  4. MaxPete

    MaxPete Life with Lucille...I suggest, she decides. Top Contributor XS650.com Supporter

    Wow - that blue paint really pops on that '76!

    Keep at it - she'll run like a top soon!

    Pete
     
    Jaw_knee likes this.
  5. Brassneck

    Brassneck XS650 Guru

    Yep, read up on the bike...get a manual, and get to know it as well as you can. Tons of info on here...but will take some time to get familiar with it. The search box (top right) is your friend...use it often as there's a post on almost every topic imaginable that's already been asked/done or discussed. This site is AMAZING in that way.

    For your current situation. Sounds like the carb's floats are getting stuck...gas leaking is a good sign on that or the needle valve is not sealing. Also could be that your idle was too low, which you may have addressed by turning the idle screw up. However, my guess is that your carbs are gummed up and the fuel flow isn't optimal...Regardless, a year of sitting can make things difficult with fuel (As you suggest)...best bet is to pull the carbs and REALLY clean them (read up on the best way to do that...removing all jets/valves, etc. is key), sync and balance them...and then see how it runs.
     
    MaxPete likes this.
  6. Bob Kelly III

    Bob Kelly III Ranch Kid from way back,.... that got Old !

    Jaw-knee :
    Have you made any progress ?
    .....
    Bob.......
     

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