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RonXS' Build Thread - The Soft Cafe

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by RonXS, Apr 14, 2020.

  1. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    I didn't notice that until you mentioned it... I like the tucked in pipes too. Thanks
     
  2. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Personally, I don't care for Mike's new Commando mufflers. They're not the same Commandos they used to sell, they're just an EMGO muffler now. They used to be dyno designed and available with a 1.5" inlet so they fit nicely without the need for reducer sleeves. Now they just have some off-the-shelf EMGO baffling and only come with a 1 3/4" inlet, so you need to use those reducers (which always leak, lol). Honestly, I think they're junk now. Mike's headpipes are still nice, so I'd say get those alone and keep searching for a suitable 1.5" inlet muffler.
     
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  3. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    Thanks 5twins...Whats your opinion of the MAC exhaust?
     
  4. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    Maybe good priced "Dunstall Replicas" 27" ? On new MikesXS head pipes ?
    :whistle:
     
    RonXS likes this.
  5. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    There are two versions of the Dunstall replicas out there. One version has fiberglass wrapped removable baffles and those are supposed to be pretty good. The other version has fixed baffles tack welded in place. That version sucks. I know because that's what I started out with. Within a few hundred miles, one of the baffles broke loose and fell out on the road somewhere, never to be seen again. They also had 1 3/4" inlets which required reducers and didn't seal all that well. I used them because I had them sitting on the shelf. I thought they sounded OK until I got the original Commandos Mike's used to sell. I mounted one Commando with one Dunstall replica still on there and started the bike. Wow, what a difference in sound. The Commando sounded wonderful, the Dunstall rep sounded like shit, lol.

    I have MAC headpipes on my '78. I got them from Mike's years ago. It's what they used to sell before they had their own pipes made up. The only bitch I have about them is their sealing flange that fits into the head is TINY. They didn't seal into the head very well at all. I fixed the problem by making up inserts but one doesn't expect to have to "fix" a brand new $150 part, right? I see from looking at pictures of their new exhausts that the sealing flange for the head doesn't look much improved (bigger). They also now have 1 3/4" diameter headpipes. That's a bit large for the 650. It likes 1.5" better. That's what my old MAC headpipes are, and so are the MikesXS ones. I do like the kick-up on my MAC pipes, it's greater than the MikesXS pipes. This lets the mufflers run just above the axle so rear wheel removal is easy - no need to pull the mufflers off .....

    [​IMG]
     
  6. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    Thanks 5twins I like that look!
     
    Machine likes this.
  7. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    And the sound is of great importance as well. What a huge mystery it is to achieve looks, sound, function, and dependability too.
    It seems best all sorted out right there on 5twins 78E.
    Thank you - R
     
    RonXS likes this.
  8. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    Now the mystery to solve is: How to assemble something similar to 5twins exhaust from whats available today...

    Enter Brassneck... He has a sweet XS custom that you all have probably seen. I noticed this recent picture from the XS650 Forum gallery and reached out to him for details on his exhaust...

    Brassneck's XS:
    [​IMG]

    Brassneck agreed to let me post up his response:
    "...I went with Mike's XS headers (the ones with the slight upturn at the ends)...but they aren't turned up enough for my taste...so I have attached a set of upswept adapters (From Dime City Cycles), and finally a set of Shorty "Hooligan" mufflers from Niche Cycle.

    They sound great (a bit loud if that's a factor for you) but throaty, not raspy. And I really like how everything looks.

    Overall, we're dealing with off the shelf low-cost items here...so it's not the best quality--if you know what I mean.

    Personally, I think the headers are actually decent....but the upswept adapters are just ok, and the hooligan mufflers are pretty cheap feeling--everything feels like it came from China. Also, they required exhaust adapters to get them down to the right diameter which is annoying, but they don't leak.

    So yes, they do the job and the chrome seems good enough, but the metal is a bit thin in my opinion (which helps with weight I suppose). I'm not expecting too much but I also don't have a lot of $ into them either. I'm sure they'll hold up fine for the next 5-10 yrs. :)

    I would do this set up again (Love the look/sound)...but if I could afford it, I would go with custom stainless headers and tie them directly to cone engineering reverse cone mufflers...literally the best sounding exhaust for parallel twins, in my opinion. I run them on my vintage race bikes and they are fantastic. But I already went this route with the XS, so if/when the hooligan's die, I'll keep the headers and just put on some Cone Engineering slip-ons. :)"


    Thanks Brassneck!

    I'm looking into the Cone Engineering mufflers and MikesXS head pipes. Both are 1.5", so no adapters are required.
    Cone Engineering Muffler 18" Perf Core 1.5" MC-1500-18-SS
    MikesXS Replacement Headpipes for Yamaha XS650 1970-84
     
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  9. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    Yes, the MikesXS headpipes don't kick up much at the ends, unfortunately. The MAC pipes were pretty much perfect. Those Dime City upswept adapters are nice but a bit much in my opinion. Too bad they don't make another set with less upsweep. Here's the MikesXS pipes on my newest 650. As you can see, they don't kick up much .....

    [​IMG]

    But overall, I'm pleased with the looks of the system .....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The mufflers are actual Norton Commando Peashooter replicas. Most English bikes use mufflers with 1 3/8" inlets but these have 1.5" inlets. They are called the "big bore" model .....

    https://www.commandospecialties.com/norton-exhaust/big-bore-peashooters.html

    They are a beautiful muffler but are basically straight through so are a bit loud .....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    Thanks for all the info 5twins. Yeah, at $30 each those DimeCity upswept adapters are pricey... However, It looks like I could get the desired 'kick up' with a modified reducing adapter (1.75OD to 1.5ID). I would be shooting for enough rise to clear the axle but not interfere with the passenger pegs.

    I've been pricing out the Cone Engineering option and its getting more expensive than I want to put into this project... Mufflers $275, Mounting brackets $40, Bracket welding $50. $365 and that's not including S&H. Basically my entire exhaust budget without head pipes. Yeah their nice, but...

    The Emgo Hooligans like Brassneck's are $140/pair. With MikeXS head pipes I'm at $315 plus S&H. Of course I'll need to spend time to make it all look nice. But that's OK... I work for $2.50/hr. ;)
     
  11. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    The Dime City adapters are $30 a pair, but I still think they sweep up too much. I run quick detach hard bags on my '78 so I can't have that.
     
  12. Brassneck

    Brassneck XS650 Guru

    Another route to go may be to take the Mike's XS headers and have them bent up a tad more if you have a bender or know someone/exhaust shop... I don't know if/how much the chrome would be affected, but a little bending may not be a big deal...then you could get the angle you're looking for?
     
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  13. ThatXS650Guy

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

    This^^^ . I think something in-between would be about ideal. It's either that or custom stainless pipes which would be $$$$.
     
    RonXS and Brassneck like this.
  14. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    Ordered up the MikesXS head pipes. Will wait until I get them to choose a muffler...

    My experience with chrome is that it is brittle and will not tolerate bending. I have found exhaust reducer/adapters in 1.75"OD to 1.5"ID. These could be modified with a few cuts, bent into position and welded. This way I could get the exact angle needed to clear the axle bolt. I think this will give me what I'm looking for. Also, I think I'll get a little more 'kick up' once I mount up the longer 340mm shocks.

    When searching for sound examples of the Emgo Hooligan muffler, I found this interesting way to reduce the sound level. The guy attaches a baffle insert (wrapped with mat) onto the 'kick up' adapter and inserts it into the Hooligan. At the end of the video he takes it for a ride. Here's the Youtube. I think it sounds good.
    [​IMG]

    All this pipe/muffler research has been exhausting. (sorry, I couldn't resist) :laugh2:
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
    Raymondo, Brassneck, GLJ and 2 others like this.
  15. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    I cant leave this alone... Must be because it's a rainy Saturday...
    Another Youtube sound clip. This time the Hooligans are on an XS650. I can't tell what head pipes are on the bike but they don't look stock to me.
    "
     
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  16. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    Made an aluminum spear to fill in the holes left when I removed the "Special 650" badge from the side cover. It's screwed on... No double stick tape here . :)
    [​IMG]

    Saw the aluminum 'welding' on Youtube. Used the low temp aluminum braising rods to attach the aluminum screws to the back of a reshaped piece of old boat rub rail. I Dremeled in some recesses into the back of the piece to keep the screws in place and gave it a go. I'm impressed, it's fairly easy to use.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2020
  17. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    That’s a clean and creative solution! :thumbsup:
     
  18. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    Here's the back side of the spear for the other sidecover just after being braised... The 2nd one always looks better. :thumbsup:
    [​IMG]
     
  19. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    Got the fairing and the superbike bars mounted up... I'm running out of things to do before I disassemble it to paint the frame...
    [​IMG]
     
  20. RonXS

    RonXS XS650 Addict

    Who am I kidding... I still have plenty to do on the XS. Like mount up the DT250 fender...
    [​IMG]

    Before I could mount it, had to massage the crease out from the front of it. I have plenty of parts, but they all need attention of some sort. :eek:
     

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