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Project Canuck- 84 XS650 Project Build

Discussion in 'Canada' started by canuck1969, Jul 20, 2018.

  1. Hey all. Just wanted to place my first official post here. Just picked up a low mileage 84 (15,000km) and looking forward to tearing it down for a project rebuild. Been sitting for a couple of years but was in running condition. Just changing out the oil and cleaning out the fuel system with a quick carb rebuild/cleaning. Electrics seem to all work and will turn over easily so no issues there. Lets see what I find. Once I can get it started will do a quick compression check and start the winter project a little early by pulling it all apart.

    Will be nice to wrench on something older. Have two other newer bikes so wrenching is at times more looking at my computer screen (although one of them is a Moto Guzzi so electrics have become my specialty). The other is a Suzuki V-Strom so dead nuts reliable so not much going on there of course the first valve clearance took me two days. 1st days was just stripping everything off. Seems like the XS is even easier to set the valve clearances than my Moto Guzzi. Didn't think that was even possible.

    Anyhow I am sure I will have plenty of questions once I start tearing it down. Have not decided if it will be a full resto or cafe racer. Lets see what happens.
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  2. robinc

    robinc Member of the 'yellow meter gang' Top Contributor

    Welcome canuck1969. Congrats on the new project. Start a build thread in The Garage so we can all follow along.

    Oh, and you'll hear this more than once. We like pics, lots of pics!
    WPGxs650_brat, gggGary and Jim like this.
  3. Will definitely start a build thread. Stay tuned
    gggGary, Jim and robinc like this.
  4. robinc

    robinc Member of the 'yellow meter gang' Top Contributor

    Nice looking bike.

    Looking forward to it!
    gggGary and Jim like this.
  5. MaxPete

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

    Welcome Canuck1969 - could you tell us where you are located?

    I see that someone has already been working on your bike - the big tall “rototiller” handlebars have been exchanged for something a little more practical.

    Jim likes this.
  6. I am in Burlington.

    The previous owner bought it as a project bike. Got as far as changing the bars more for the reason of being easier to ride for him. Rode it a couple of time and never got around to starting the project. He has several others to keep him busy. He was reluctant to let go of it but new that it would get the treatment that it deserved so now it is my project bike.
    gggGary, MaxPete, Jim and 1 other person like this.
  7. Jim

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

    Welcome to the forum!!!
    You might find this useful..... It's a good article on waking up a tired XS.
    Boog, gggGary, MaxPete and 2 others like this.
  8. Good read....

    Oil is already out. Black but no surprises at the bottom of the catch pan and nothing on the magnets. Smells like oil. Tank is rusted so that is coming out and will run from a bottle for now. Air filters are Swiss cheese and oil filter and sump filter are coming out and have replacements. Carbs coming out for a quick look. Have a rebuilt kit so will pop in a new bowl valve and give it a good cleaning. Bike shifts through the gears and clutch seems to operate ok but may still replace. Electrics seem good for now. It does turn over and I have spark so lets see how it looks once it starts. Compression and leak down to be completed after starting. Rest of the bike looks good but just concentrating on the engine. Once I know the condition out it will come for an overhaul.
    gggGary, MaxPete, Jim and 1 other person like this.
  9. MaxPete

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

    Sounds like good plan!

    Have you got a decent shop manual? It certainly sounds like it’s not your first trip to the rodeo....
    robinc and Jim like this.
  10. Full shop manual and a Hayes manual. All good to go.
  11. MaxPete

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

    Super! Please post pictures and ask if you need any parts. Lots of folks here have stashes and most will share.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
    robinc and Jim like this.
  12. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Congratulations, and welcome Capt. Canuck!! The bike looks like it's in really good condition, so you could go either way (resto or café). If you do a café, it can be done as reversible, if you (or the next owner) prefer. Best of luck and keep us updated ('cause we're a bunch of nosy buggers :laugh: ).
  13. kshansen

    kshansen XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    Canuck welcome first thing I would suggest is to replace that exhaust system with some aftermarket stuff, oh and then sell me the stock system for my 1983!

    If you really want something with easy valve service buy a Sportster they have this new fangled thing called hydraulic adjusters! Okay performance wise the XS650 can put the sportster to shame at half the displacement but does come close in the vibration department!
    canuck1969, gggGary, MaxPete and 2 others like this.
  14. Managed to get some time today to just do a quick degreasing of the engine and cleaning of the bike. Gave it a good once over and it is in better condition than I thought. Frame is pristine ( at least from what I can see) and only visible rust is under the battery box which was to be expected. If all the hidden parts on the frame are as good it won’t need a frame repaint. Just local touch ups. The current paint is blemish free. Almost thought that it was once repainted but nothing else points to a tear down.

    Cleaned up all the oil under the sump so I can see where it is coming from.

    Only question I have at this time is on the sump cover. Is there a trick to getting that last bolt off that is under the side stand switch linkage or does it need to come off first.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2018
    gggGary, Jim and robinc like this.
  15. Guessing you are in need of an exhaust;)

    I like it. It’s nice and shiny.

    Not sure I am capable of walking into a Harley dealership. Pretty sure the skies would open up and be struck down where I stood.

    You want vibes try a Guzzi. I like to just call it Italian character.
    Jim and robinc like this.
  16. gggGary

    gggGary Stop that! XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    No trick but it's not unusual for the frame to have bent in a bit from years of side stand abuse. A big chunk of hardwood and an even bigger maul will "persuade it" back out where it belongs.
    canuck1969, Jim and robinc like this.
  17. Got it out. Used a wrench instead of a socket and had no issues. The plate came out relatively easy relative to what I read. Couple of hits on the drain plug with my persuader of choice and out it came.

    And I thought it was painted black… go figure.



    Little bit of sludge but nothing alarming. No metal and the screen was still in one piece although it pretty much disintegrated when I touched it. Just need to get some oil in her and the the carbs come out for a looksee and quick rebuild.
    MaxPete, Jim, robinc and 1 other person like this.
  18. Jim

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

    From what I've read here, I'd stay away from the rebuild "kits" being offered. They're kinda sketchy. I think that @5twins has a pretty comprehensive list here somewhere on all the OEM parts to order.
    canuck1969 likes this.
  19. At this point I just ordered the float bowl kit with a gasket and new float valve as I know it has a sticky valve. Just want to get it to the point that I can start it and check compression properly so I know what I am getting into once the engine comes out. I really just want to hear it run and see if anything else pops up as an issue. I may replace the carbs to a better version but that is a conversation for later.
    Jim likes this.
  20. Jim

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

    A good source for OEM parts here...... Partzilla.
    robinc and canuck1969 like this.

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