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What is the best wiring diagram for a 1979 xs650 special?

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Ricky_F, Oct 13, 2020.

  1. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    Hello guys,
    I am new to this page and most definitely new to the xs650. I got mine last week and have been reading forums as a ghost follower for a few days now. My first bike before this was a 2009 cbr600 and I never had to learn anything about the bike, it just ran.

    I've been learning a lot the last few days.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    My main questions are
    1. What is the best wiring harness for my model bike? I've seen some diagrams but it's honestly mind boggling looking at all the diagrams. It's very difficult to read them. Any advice on reading them would be amazing. I want to remove the stock harness and put in a new one.

    2. Do I have to remove all parts off the motorcyle to rewire the harness? I've been looking up videos of people stripping their whole 650 but I can't find any really. That is something I want to learn how to do, to strip it down to just the frame.

    3. My gas cap was stolen a few days ago and I read the 1979 special caps are not interchangeable, any ideas where I may find one on here?

    I'm very eager to learn eveyrhing about the bike and want to customize it but first my goal is to get her running smoothly. Today I'll get some new fuses since the glass ones are old and worn, and I'll go from there. I lost power to my indicators, rear and back, so my guess is those old fuses. I'll post a picture of them when I get off work.

    TwoManyXS1Bs and Raymond like this.
  2. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider & fettler XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Hello, Ricky, welcome to the forum. You evidently have a lot of enthusiasm and I think you are going to have a lot of fun with your XS.

    You have asked a few questions, which is great, but it will help if you give an idea of your immediate plans for the bike. Does it run at the moment? What works & doesn't work? How soon do you want to have reliable transport? Or is your main focus to produce a neat custom?

    It looks like your bike started out as a Special - do you happen to know the year? That matters for things like the wiring diagram.

    Whatever year it is, you can buy a full wiring harness. Which will be - mostly - correct for the standard bike with all the electrical doodahs it came out of the factory with. But your bike has already been changed and you might not need or want all that.

    You will need to strip a few things to renew the wiring, but there is no need to take everything back to the frame, depending on your plans for the frame. Or the engine.

    My 1978 SE had a wiring system which had been butchered by POs and rather than try and fix that or go back to a full standard electrical system I opted to strip out all the wiring and build up a simplified system from scratch, starting with one of the simpler diagrams in the tech section. This meant buying tracer cable, connectors, etc and days of laying it all out and crimping up those connections. Happily, it means I now have a system I can get my head around. Here's my wiring diagram, just for interest:


    Go ahead and ask questions. There are plenty of knowledgeable people on this forum who have given me a huge amount of invaluable help and advice.

    Oh, and the folks around here just love photos.

    Cheers, Raymond
    Ricky_F and Jim like this.
  3. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    Thank you for the quick reply!

    I would love to make a diagram like that, but first j have to let you know the current condition of the bike. I will take more photos so you guys can see what I'm working with later today.

    The bike is a 1979 special. I'm not sure if that is also its sub model? I think you guys can tell me that if I give part of my vin I believe?

    When I got the bike it only kickstarted because the battery was bad. I bought a new battery and it started with the starter. After that the bike wouldn't start with the starter at all again, it felt as if my battery was either draining or something else was up. I charged the battery on a tender and also had my buddy jump me with his car. The bike started with the button again right away.

    Yesterday I was messing with it by putting the battery back in and I must have dome something because all the power was off even with the ignition on. I checked a few forums and thought to check my fuse box. Sure enough after I switched some out they bike started again no problem. But my fuse box is old and rusty as well as the 20 amp fuse holder broke off so I has to do a quick fix, today I'll buy a new fuse box at the store.

    So the bike runs, and it kicks to start too, even though I am not as good at that.

    My goal is to get it to run smoothly, which I'll see after the fuse change today, and also to get back and front indicators working so that I can legally ride it to work.

    I've also noticed that my kill switch is missing, the tachometer too, and the horn. As well as the button to reset the indicators after you turn simply doesnt work.

    I have a leak from my right carb, which I'll show you guys later, but other than a little backfire it doesnt seem to be of immediate concern.
    Jim and Raymond like this.
  4. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

  5. ThatXS650Guy

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

    North GA
    I don't think a new wiring harness is what you want. I would address each problem separately. For the fuses, replace the fuse holder with blade holders. It's easy and a good upgrade. For the indicators, if you have the left stock control, it's easy to crack it and repair any wires that may have become un-soldered.
    Jim likes this.
  6. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    The PO said they were working previously but he wired then himself. I'll start with the fuses and if they still dont work I'll take it from there, in a few hours I'll be able to buy them and install them. I love how the bike looks so I'm very excited to slowly work on it everday
    Raymond likes this.
  7. Raymond

    Raymond XS650 rider & fettler XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    With the frame number and the engine number - originally these would have matched - you can look up the year, model, etc in the Tech section. Then let us know.

    Uhm. Sounds like there's a few electrical gremlins lurking. The starter motor is an area which can give problems - there are loads of threads about these. Read some of these but also tell us more about the symptoms and we might get to the bottom of the problem.

    I decided to perfect the kickstarting technique - largely familiarity & confidence - and now that is how I start the bike every time. Well, except one or two occasions when I've been in a filling station and it hasn't started first or second kick so I prodded the button 'coz I didn't want to look too stoopid.

    But it sounds as though you have a bike which has a few problems but runs? I agree with ThatXS650guy - address each problemo one by one. At least until you get to know the bike better or decide you want to do a major job on it. And yes to the blade fuses too.

    When a fuse blows, the bike is trying to tell you something. Do you have a multimeter? They are not expensive and even if you know very little about vehicle electrics you will soon learn to check continuity/short circuits so very handy.
  8. lakeview

    lakeview XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    About your gas cap - it would be specific to the sort of tank you have as it is not a Yamaha item.
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Ricky_F and Raymond like this.
  9. itschrisb

    itschrisb XS650 Addict

    Hey welcome! Your bike looks like a great starting point to a cool build. Having had just bought two bikes with wiring issues I’d personally rip it all off and start rewiring each individual component by itself. You know the bike runs so that issue is already sorted out.

    Having just finished up 90% of rewiring my bobber the amount of unnecessary wires on these bikes from the factory is ridiculous. That coupled with who knows how many people did “electrical fixes” before you it’s just not worth sorting through the mess to figure it out. There is a forum member on here @DADDYGCYCLES that also makes custom harnesses for whatever you want. Very reasonably priced and honestly if I wasn’t so determined to do it myself I’d absolutely go that route.

    I believe I have a wiring diagram for a ‘79 printed out somewhere that I can post for you.

    Here is a link just in case. https://thexscafedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2012/04/79-xs650sf-2f.jpg

    also included a few simplified diagrams im roughly basing my wiring on. I personally believe using a fuse box is easier than the inline fuse holders so I went that route.

    http://www.xs650.com/threads/some-wiring-diagrams.61/ This is another very useful thread.

    For your tank check out Lowbrow customs or TC bros It looks like a “peanut” tank. You can probably find a replacement cap.

    hope that helps some!

    Attached Files:

    Raymond, Ricky_F and ThatXS650Guy like this.
  10. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    Welcome Ricky_F,

    First off, to be able to do anything ....you need to ID the bike............Get a manual and as people answer questions go through the manual to educate yourself on the answers given

    A lot of people has misidentified their bike because of the production date. Production dates from from Aug one year to July the next......meaning the 79 Model was made from Aug 1978 to July 1979........

    79 models have points ignition and BS38 Carbs, (cant identify what carbs, pics are to small), and metal side covers, (same as yours).

    I'm going to be a bit harsh here, don't be discouraged as anything can be fixed .............The bike looks like it is going to be a lot of work, the PO, (previous owner), has done a hack job trying to make the bike look cool. Thats not to say the bike cannot be fixed to run well and reliable.............this is going to depend on what has been done and what the cost is to get it reliable...........

    On the wiring.......Again the bike needs to be identified, itschreisb has posted diagrams for a factory TCI, (electronic) ignition. these are for 80 and later models so won't relate to a 79 bike........need to buy some tools........... A multi-meter first up, to do a continuity test of your loom to work out where what goes to what........How to use a mult-meter....but where do i start???.......good question..........back to ID and a manual

    some more electrical links..
    What happens when i turn the key on.
    Grounds are so important

    Battery. These bikes need a good healthy battery to start, and a good charging system to keep the battery strong..........your problems indicate there may be charging issues..........Expanded charging system guide
    This link may get confusing because it also cover the 80 and later Models that have the Factory TCI (factory electronic ignition), so the charging system is different. parts are basically the same but the electrical input and out put are different. ..........one is an A type and the other a B type.

    A factory points ignition is a B type

    Fuses, good info posted above about putting in a set of blade fuses.

    I wont go into to any more, there is enough info here to confuse and delight .........
    79SF Wiring diagram
    79SF-2F ...jpg

    78SE wiring Diagram
    Confusing i know...........believe me i do.

    You wiring will probably have been hacked, doesn't matter, break the loom down into areas and continuity test. without turning on the key. No power.
    Example diagrams........

    NOTE; these diagrams are also related to the later 80-83 TCI iignition, ignore the Pamco reference in the the ignition and main diagram diagram also. These are an example to show how to break up the loom into sections and used in a simplified diagram
    XS650 Part 6 Turn Signals A.PNG XS650 Part 5 Brake light.PNG XS650 Part 4 Headlight-Tail light.PNG XS650 Part 2 Charging.PNG XS650 Part 1 Main Circuit.PNG XS650 Part 3 Ignition.PNG XS650 Complete Project A.PNG
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2020
  11. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    Man I will definitely take a look at the 79 harnesses you just mentioned because it would be really fun to use a basic diagram and then build my own from there! Let me send you guys some pictures right now of what I'm working with so I can get a little more information about what route to take.
  12. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    And Chris, thank you for the links!

    650skull you guys have given me so many links to checkout I think I'll be busy for the rest of the week haha! I cant stress enough how helpful you guys have been! I'll ID the bike now and then I will start from there. But I know for sure I need some fuses today, a multimeter, and an ohmmeter I believe.
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Raymond and Jim like this.
  13. Jim

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

    As small distinction, but a multi-meter also has an ohms function. Multi encompasses ohms, volts and amps.... and sometimes other functions such as frequency, diodes, etc. You only need the multi-meter and not the additional ohm-meter.
    And welcome to the site!! Looking forward to seeing more pics.
    sleddog83, TwoManyXS1Bs and Raymond like this.
  14. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    Thank you! I'm going to take them now I just got distracted by all the links and amazing replies!
  15. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    Guys my title says the year is 1979 and my Model type is RS. When I looked at the ID Bike link Skull posted, which is ridiculously amazing, I believe my bike is the 1979-F one? Could someone confirm for me? My vin is 2F 017...
  16. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    Here are more picture guys while I skate down and go get my new fuses and the multimeter down at the shop. As you can see my fuses are shit and the holding on the 20 amp main actually fell apart.

    Attached Files:

    Jim likes this.
  17. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    If you mean 2F0 17**** then it is a 79SF.........points ignition

    Take note.........very big difference
    Itschrisb posted diagrams are not for your bike...........they are for an 80 and later model.........with TCI (factory electronic ignition), ignition. no points
    Ricky_F likes this.
  18. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    I got the bike started a little but ago, but after a few minutes of letting it just sit and run she died. I noticed that when I opened up my two gas lines (petcocks)? Both of the carbs started to leak. After I closed the chokes I was able to kickstart her. It usually takes me about 5-10 minutes to get her going. After I kickstart she runs with the push button. Just something I noticed before I go to the shop now.
  19. Ricky_F

    Ricky_F XS650 Enthusiast

    But if I was correct on the number then my model is the one I stated correct? Its definitely 2F0 01
  20. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor

    What is it.........2F0 01 or 2F 017

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