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Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Adamc, Aug 24, 2021.

  1. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider & fettler XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    The reserve lighting unit is one of those things like the ejector seat that can be binned. FWIW being bear of small brain and limited patience, for me the easiest solution was to rip out the mess that was in there and start again. Just fitted the things it needed - power gen, ignition, lights, brake lights, horn, indicators. Which the Americans call turn signals. If you adopt a similar approach then you can have lights on with the ignition or use an On/Off switch but either way, you will have wired it and you will understand how it works.

    In case it might be useful, Jetmechmarty has put a tutorial on making crimped wiring connections here - http://www.xs650.com/threads/2021-and-the-xs650.58890/page-4#post-710230
  2. Adamc

    Adamc XS650 MEDDLER XS650.com Supporter

    Cheers Raymond
    I haven’t even ridden it yet! So will try and get a few runs in to dial out teething issues before winter casts it darkness upon us. Then the rewire will begin. I will document it here. Thanks for the link and encouragement.
    grizld1, Raymond and Jim like this.
  3. Jim

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

    Yeah, make do and get some rides in. If nothing else, that'll give you motivation over the winter redo.
    M-unit.... or still ponderin'?
    grizld1 and Raymond like this.
  4. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    As for the passing light not working, I don’t know of any XS650’s that came with passing lights. That was something they put on newer bikes. That generic switchgear you’re running has the switch, but I doubt it’s hooked up to anything.
    grizld1, Raymond and Jim like this.
  5. Jim

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

    It's sticking in my mind that one of the Euro/Oceana bikes came with a Pass switch. I might be full of it though. :rolleyes:
    grizld1, Adamc and Mailman like this.
  6. Adamc

    Adamc XS650 MEDDLER XS650.com Supporter

    You are correct bob. Neither the pass light switch or indicator switch are wired to anything.
    grizld1 and Mailman like this.
  7. Adamc

    Adamc XS650 MEDDLER XS650.com Supporter

    I think full on MG M-unit rewire....way to go!
    grizld1 and Jim like this.
  8. Adamc

    Adamc XS650 MEDDLER XS650.com Supporter


    What is it about these XS650 bikes; I have become obsessed with the thing.
    More so than any other bike or build I have had or done in the past; including some really nice Honda's and even a brief fling with a Ducati.
    Maybe it's that I have turned 60 recently, and age refocuses your thought processes and desires to a more practical level, and on to whats gratifyingly achievable. Whatever the magic is I have never been so happy twiddling the spanners and looking towards the day I could ride it. Another element in the enjoyment is being part of the XS650.com family; the support and humor here is wonderful.

    Anyway back to the bike.
    It seems many of the members here like what they have seen with my bike. Enough to get voted into the calendar for next year; every bike on that list was worthy of garage space in my opinion. All of them could easily grace the pages of a magazine, each with their own merit. I am very grateful of the votes my bike was attributed and thank each one of you that supported me; I am sure like me you wanted to give them all your vote.


    I am pleased to say I finally have the bike in a safe and roadworthy condition now.
    A couple of hours polishing it yesterday and I was off for my maiden ride. A shake down run was planned maybe 20-30 miles round trip.
    Sun was shining camera primed, in case of calendar photo opportunities, choke out and fire...... Perfect start up, warm up to a reliable idle.
    All was well with the world; so I togged up into leather jacket, helmet & gloves (I never ride in a T-Shirt & Flip-Flops!) and excitedly yet nervously wheeled her to the road. Climbed aboard, a bit of revs and away....... clutch in, second gear, and a solid nothing! Back to first try again and ....nothing. No ride today then.

    Back to the Bat-Cave to investigate.
    When I had reassembled the rear-sets I had re-positioned the foot pegs to suit my own anatomy. I had not realised the actuation rod from the lever was conflicting with the mounting plates. A stupid oversight on my part. More spanner work and the issue was resolved without too much trouble.
    A re-adjustment of position and a few temporary shims sorted that.
    (Need to get some spacers made. And shorten the connecting rod to lift the lever to a more comfortable, less exposed, position).
    The conflict area is shown below:
    Back on the bike for a re-run. All was well with the bike this time and gears were selecting perfectly.
    I was surprised how smoothly the engine ran, with little vibration even through the thinly padded racing seat.
    I am smitten with this machine, and had a grin like an alligators smile!

    Unfortunately the wife turned up at the shop and stopped play for the day.

    A FEW CALENDAR GIRLS (From Racer TV - YouTube)
    If you haven't seen this YouTube channel check it out
    The bikes are as good as the girls. Most don't have girls in them.

    grizld1, Raymond, RC4MAN and 4 others like this.
  9. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty Project collector XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Real deal. Not a model, but a real person on her own bike!
    grizld1 and Mailman like this.
  10. Adamc

    Adamc XS650 MEDDLER XS650.com Supporter

    Yes Marty,
    You can check this build out here:
    grizld1, Jim, Raymond and 2 others like this.
  11. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider & fettler XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    That's a great result, Adam. Was a bit worried when you reported that your maiden ride had to be postponed because you couldn't get into second gear. Didn't sound promising, so I'm glad to hear it was just a rear set snagging snag.

    And I fully relate to your sentiments about the XS650. Must be something addictive - upon a friend asking her where I was, Mrs told her he's in the garage with his other love. Apart from the money, have definitely spent far too much time on the bike. With the help, support and active encouragement of the reprobates on this forum.

    You will enjoy nipping out on the bike - since mine started behaving last year it has become the bike that gets picked nearly every time. Yesterday, we passed 34,985 on the odometer, which marks 8,000 miles together.

    Mailman, grizld1, Jim and 2 others like this.
  12. teamWicked

    teamWicked XS650 Addict Top Contributor

    I love your rear sets. Most of my riding life has been on pegs "under my butt" center of gravity and riding rather to aggressively into the hills. I will have to now re polish my skills in a new normal or figure a way to neatly move my pegs back 6 inches.
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2021
    Mailman, grizld1, Adamc and 2 others like this.
  13. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider & fettler XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Similar thoughts. Standard XS pegs just a little bit too forward. The problem is finding a solution that allows ease of kick-starting.
    grizld1 and Adamc like this.
  14. Bjorn

    Bjorn XS650 Addict

    Adamc and Raymond like this.
  15. Adamc

    Adamc XS650 MEDDLER XS650.com Supporter

    You are correct Raymond. My rear sets have fixed pegs so the kick-start is redundant. I have seen them with flip up pegs; but most genuine rear-sets have fixed racing pegs.
  16. Adamc

    Adamc XS650 MEDDLER XS650.com Supporter

    So the time has arrived and I enthusiastically togged up the riding gear; camera bag on my back, and away we go........
    God it feels good to be back on a motorbike after what seems a lifetime. A little tentative for the first few turns and miles, but enjoying the
    The bike was looking good and feeling good beneath me, responding well to the throttle. One small issue was the gear change lever being angled too low making changes a bit difficult; but I could sort that out on my return to the shop.

    Today was
    a good day; weather could be better for the calendar photos, being somewhat overcast, but this is the UK and at least it was warm and dry.
    My aim was to visit two
    photo venues, Tredegar House and the Newport Transporter Bridge; both well known landmarks of my hometown. Distance about 40 miles round trip from my shop. Roads were quiet country 'B' roads that would allow me to monitor the rebuilt bike and make notes of what the shakedown would reveal. The first thing noticed was the gearing was much too low; 40MPH was comfortable, 50MPH was not so nice. Vibration and high revs spoiling the ride. I also felt a little vulnerable without any mirrors or indicators amongst traffic.

    Another biker, riding a 1980 Kawasaki KZ1000A followed me for a few miles before pulling alongside and giving me the thumbs up. A nod of appreciation exchanged and he pulled ahead into the distance; no way I could keep up with the gearing I have.

    First stop would be Tredegar House and country park:
    Tredegar House
    (Welsh: Tŷ Tredegar) is a 17th-century Charles II-era mansion on the southwestern edge of Newport, Wales. For over five hundred years it was home to the Morgan family, later Lords Tredegar; one of the most powerful and influential families in the area. Described as "The grandest and most exuberant country house" in Monmouthshire and one of the "outstanding houses of the Restoration period in the whole of Britain"

    As I neared my destination there were a number of roundabouts to negotiate. At the first I noticed gear selection was a little more difficult. At the second roundabout a lot of pressure had to be applied to the foot lever. By the third roundabout as I approached, difficult down change and.... Clunk.....Stuck in third gear. I managed to feather the clutch to get around, entered the Tredegar house car park and pulled up at the house outbuildings. Looking at the dangling control rod, stripped out bolt thread where the rod attached to the lever, and the bolt had bolted; Joy of Joys!
    gearA.jpeg gear1.jpeg gear2.jpeg gear3.jpeg

    There was not a soul around to offer help. I was looking at other parts of my bike to strip out a serviceable bolt in order to limp back to the shop when,
    as luck would have it, the other biker called Robert pulled in on his Kwaka 1000. He happened to have a few small bolts and nuts in his tool pack and we managed to 'Heath-Robinson' a linkage that allowed me to limp back to the shop. All this took around an hour and a half. I now have to drill and tap the lever to take a bigger bolt which should sort the gear issues.

    Sadly I didn't get time to take photos at the house, or get to the Transporter Bridge, but here are some pictures below:
    tranny1.PNG tranny 2.PNG tranny 3.PNG

    Jim, Mailman, GLJ and 3 others like this.
  17. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider & fettler XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Teething troubles. But at least you got home. Had the gear linkage bolt fall out on a Buell X1 once . . .

    I expect PO has fitted a huge rear sprocket to give the scrambler/flat-tracker look? Which will make the bike wheelie-tastic but compromise usefulness for going anyplace.

    What gearing are you running? On a suggestion from 5T, I changed my bike from 17/34 to 17/33 and that gave a big improvement. Yours might be lower than that?
    Jim and Mailman like this.
  18. Adamc

    Adamc XS650 MEDDLER XS650.com Supporter

    Currently 17/40! as Jim's eagle eye spotted. Yep the front is a bit on the light side when you crack it open. which opened my bowels a bit on the first run!:poo:
    Mailman and Jim like this.
  19. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    Looks like you have a custom rear wheel so I'm not sure a stock 650 sprocket will fit. Here's some dimensions you can check .....


    If you put the stock size jets back in your carbs, I'm pretty sure you'll need to do some re-jetting with your mods (pods and pipes). The BS34s are borderline too lean right from the factory on a totally stock bike.
    Mailman and Adamc like this.
  20. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty Project collector XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    That big sprocket is great for riding in congested areas with low speed limits.

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