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Styling Question, probably a stupid one

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Solomoriah, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Check me on this, if you will... the "custom" styled latter years of the XS650 consists of different bars, tank, seat, side panels, rear fender, and lights, right? If you had those bits from an earlier year, they'd bolt right on to the newer frame, correct?

    I love the Triumph-like look of the earlier XS650's, but the 1980 custom-styled bike was what was available locally. I'm just curious if I could graft on the earlier bike's looks... the best bit being that it could be "restored" in a couple of hours.
     
  2. grizld1

    grizld1 Grumpy old man Top Contributor

    If the "earlier year" is 1974 (TX650A) or after, then bars and tank will fit, and a 74-79 seat will fit any 74-79 frame. Seats from 1980 forward were lift-off type, not hinged as in earlier years. Special models used a fat 16" rear wheel as opposed to the 18/2.15 rear on Standard models, and upper shock mounts on Specials were set farther forward than on Standards.
     
    JRay77 likes this.
  3. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Ack. So the seat won't transplant. Not worried about the different rear wheel; it's not as important to the styling IMO as the tank/seat/bars combo.

    The master cylinder on my bike is a mess, and having tried rebuilding the unit on my 1980 Honda CB650, I'm not inclined to try to fix this one... so I need a new unit. I've actually been using a knockoff on the Honda for over a year (about 3,000 miles) with excellent results, but the Honda's bars don't slope as much as the Yamaha's. My quandary, therefore, is whether to buy one like I put on the Honda and swap the bars for a less cruiser-like style, or buy a "sloped" unit and keep the stock bars.

    I was really hoping I could do the bars, and plan to replace the rest of the styling bits as time and funds permitted. Not sounding so promising now.
     
  4. At the end of the day a Special is still a Special no matter how you dress it, been there and done that. You can get real close but it won't be a Standard - and if a Standard is in your heart to have you wont be satisfied.
     
  5. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Which leads to my next question... master cylinder replacement. I know Mike's has an aftermarket "sloped" master cylinder, but it costs 3 times what the unit on my CB650 did. I don't mind paying for quality, but I don't see the point in paying excessively for it.
     
  6. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    If you do nothing else, at least change the bars to a lower more normal bend. It will totally transform the look and ride, for the better. For a MC, since you have to replace it anyway you might want to get one slightly smaller. The stock one has a 14mm bore and it works OK but a slightly smaller 11, 12, or 13 will give better and more progressive "feel". You can buy new or get a used one from some other Yamaha model. The nice thing about the Yamaha ones would be they will use your brake lever, brake light switch, and reverse thread mirror.
     
  7. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    robinc likes this.
  8. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

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    I encounted a Yama one somewhere that was opposite the xs650.
    If you're going to replace the hoses and pads and bleed the whole bleeding thing, I would think you could rebuild the master with one of Mike's kits. I did and it was real easy. Just examine the bore for pits. And because it's aluminum don't hone it. The caliper might need rebuilding too, I also did that using mike's kit and his piston.
     
  9. xjwmx

    xjwmx It's just the unknown. Top Contributor

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    Every time I see a great but not standard shape seat cover like that I wonder where they come from.
     
  10. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Looking at the seat in that photo, the seat shows no pleating. My guess is that was done by an upholstery shop.
    I had a local shop make a seat cover from scratch once for a BMW, pleats and all, and it’s pretty amazing what someone who knows what they’re doing can make.
     
    robinc likes this.
  11. motormike

    motormike XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

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    nice look'n Special..... tidy.. clean... :)
     
    robinc likes this.
  12. ThatXS650Guy

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

    I took my Special seat, flattened it and shaved the foam flat. It can be done but my '79 Special is not as extreme as the later Specials. The later ones, like the pic in post # 7 look like swayback horses. Not my cup of tea at all...
     
    MaxPete likes this.
  13. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    I was wondering about replacing the bars with a more normal bend; my Honda CB650's stock bars are much less cruiser-y, and I like them fine. And the "generic" replacement 14mm master cylinder I put on the Honda would probably work well on the XS650.

    I'm not particularly interested in rebuilding the unit on the bike... first, because I tried that with the Honda and it was a fiasco, and second because the unit on the XS looks nasty. The plastic is all pitted and rough... the "plain" generic replacement wouldn't add anything, but neither would it subtract from the appearance of the XS the way the ugly stock unit does.

    I have to replace the right-hand mirror anyway, so I can just use a right-handed one like the unit on my Honda.

    Now I just have to figure out what bars to buy...
     
  14. ThatXS650Guy

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

    You would do well to follow 5Twins' advice and get the smaller MC. A big difference in feel and looks.
     
  15. MaxPete

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

    A lot of folks use what are known as "drag bars" - they are sort of flattish and seem to work well. Also - the 1970's Honda CB750 bars are popular (might find some at a wrecker) and for my money, the stock XS650 Standard bars are just about perfecto. The fact is that most 1970's era bikes had the right sort of bars - so poke around you'll likely find something that will work well for you. The seat is another matter - but they're out there somewhere....

    ....one more thing - I'd just like to say that there are no stupid questions. We're all friends here and so ask-away.

    I have to admit that before I joined the Forum, I had exactly the same thought about swapping some parts and making a Standard out of a Special - but I eventually found my Standard (the always-entertaining Lucille :yikes:). She's cool, she's fun, she sounds great (when she runs) and she's often hard to get along with....but she's mine.

    The key point is that given how old these bikes are and yet, the high level of activity of the Yamaha XS650 community, chances are that someone, somewhere has asked the same question or had the same concern before so often, a search of the archives is often actually the quickest and most effective way to dredge up an answer. The search engine is really very good at finding what you need.

    Cheers,

    Pete
     
    Mailman and robinc like this.
  16. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Thanks for the advice, guys. Not unfamiliar with using forums... I run one of my own. But not familiar with the culture here, so I'm treading lightly for the moment.

    The bars on my CB650 look about perfect for the XS650, actually, but I will look into the standard Yamaha bars as well. As to going with a smaller master cylinder... how exactly does it make it better?
     
    Jim likes this.
  17. Jim

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

    Simple hydraulic theory.... the smaller master means you have more lever travel... but more force available (at the slave) for less force exerted. Also gives a much better "feel" at the lever.
     
  18. Solomoriah

    Solomoriah XS650 Addict

    Ah, so.

    Looking at bars, I can see the attraction of the CB750 bars, but honestly bars bent like my 1980 CB650 look like the best "fit" for the "Special" styling on my Yamaha. Or the prior year standard XS650 bars... they look pretty nice.

    I'm getting the oil leak slowed first, and then I'll be ordering bars, grips, and a master cylinder. Thanks all for your advice on my project!
     
    MaxPete and Jim like this.
  19. MaxPete

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

    Stick at it - you’ll get there!

    Pete
     
    Jim likes this.
  20. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

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    My bars of choice are the Euro bend. I like them because they droop down slightly on the ends. This turns your wrists to a near perfect and natural angle. They are very comfortable .....

    [​IMG]

    Here's some installed on a '78 Special .....

    [​IMG]
     

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