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XS650 tracker build(first build)

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by tunedbytyler, Mar 25, 2020.

  1. tunedbytyler

    tunedbytyler XS650 Member

    Hey Guys!

    purchased an old tired 1978 xs650 standard about a year and a half ago as my first bike. Used this bike to get my license, and rode it a good amount before getting tied up in other hobbies over the fall/early winter.

    after sitting for a few months, and friends making fun of my "POS", one of my buddies recommended i turn it into an ART bike. I do custom bicycle paint for a living, so i jumped at the idea to paint something on a larger scale. Little did i know, this would turn into one of the largest projects i have attempted yet.

    1. FRAME
    -- remove airbox/battery box
    -- make custom electronics tray under seat
    -- detab entire frame(remove fender mounts, centerstand+mounts, airbox mounts, seat mounts+lock, passenger foot pegs, reflector mounts, handle, exhaust mounts
    --brass swingarm bushings
    --angular head tube bearings
    2. ENGINE
    --electronic ignition (boyer)
    --PMA (xscharge)
    --new gaskets/seals/hardware
    --new pistons(.025 over)
    --barrels machined to match(work done at Marinos auto machine shop in Watsonville,Ca)
    --paint entire motor black(gold leave logos)
    --starter delete..never worked, never really minded. taking out starter motor + internal gears
    3. SHOCKS
    --14.25 progressive shocks
    --will need to make something to protect the swing arm(haven't decided if i want to buy something and refab it or just make something from scratch.)
    4. FORK
    --shave extra brake mount off left fork leg
    --paint lowers
    --new seals/boots/rock shox fork oil(15wt, slightly overfilled)
    --fork brace(tarozzi)
    5. WHEELS
    --new rims(slightly wider to run shinko 705's)
    --new stainless spokes+nipples
    --paint hubs
    --new bearings+seals
    6. COCKPIT
    tracker bars(tc bros or builtwell)
    --brembo 11mm master
    --dogleg clutch
    --magura 314 throttle assembly
    --motone 3 button(blinkers/horn) not 100% yet
    --motoscope mini, or motoscope pro...i think...
    7. Exhaust
    -- pandemonium ya mama exhaust
    --shave welds off pipes
    --paint black with heat resistant paint
    --wrap just section under guard in black heat wrap
    -- custom cl175 heat guard
    8. TANK
    --xs400 square tank
    --make rear tank mount
    --decide on petcock setup(very tight with rear tappet cover). may machine adapter plater for 3/8 npt petcock so its angled slightly outward.
    9. SEAT
    --fiberglass seatpan with upwards indent to help with electronics room
    --figure out how to make a seat...

    Here are a couple pics of first getting it home in my 72 datsun 521, and the early teardown stages
    X9JkgwHKTeuV7V6auDzaBQ.jpg Bpdwww+9Qs2FHIK4QZC8EQ.jpg D04535D7-46CA-46D8-91A9-F529CB273BE3.jpg 6Wdf%AsfTO2sVw9UQZ5Iqg.jpg HrYBbhVxRNa23lm4XKTTLg.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Mar 25, 2020
    Scripto VU, Raymondo and TwoManyXS1Bs like this.
  2. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    A 78E is a sweet year to make a custom out of. Hope to see more pics too !
  3. tunedbytyler

    tunedbytyler XS650 Member

    i started on the frame first. When i took apart the bike i labeled every tab so i would know which ones to cut when the bike was apart. as stated in the first post i removed fender mounts, centerstand+mounts, airbox mounts, seat mounts+lock, passenger foot pegs, reflector mounts, handle, exhaust mounts and other bits that were deemed unneccesary.

    I used an angle grinder for everything, starting with a cutting wheel, then a grinding wheels, and lastly, an 80grit flap disc to smooth it all out. pretty happy with the results and the fact that i wont really need much if any bondo.

    overall i lost about 4lbs in mounts alone, and this only counts what i could cut off and not what was grinded afterwards. in addition to the mounts, i dropped the weight of the fender(or half of it), the centerstand, the airboxes/battery, steering lock and passenger foot pegs. in addition to removing mounts, i shaved down a just about every weld(while doing so safely) and chopped about 2" off the rear end. i still need to purchase a welder(and get better at welding) to finish the frame, but am nearing completion.
    ***thinking of trying to fill the hole from the steering lock with a dime...we'll see. threw a couple mock up shots with the exhaust/tank for excitement!! 60627147221__75A3205A-D7A8-4B1D-8FDC-469448B6C484.JPG iAztRQ80RRixpsa4kuZdkg.jpg
    gaVrCOwLTda22Hsvw2oQqA.jpg fWKVZL2oRDubNxOp17mM%w.jpg 6mKJnv6QR6G1w8n3jMRu2g.jpg 60634026142__0DA4C936-7CD5-4868-A586-E6DE770DBCA1.JPG oj7BOqn0RgygaOxLH3DOsQ.jpg
    Raymondo, TwoManyXS1Bs and Jim like this.
  4. Norton7d

    Norton7d XS650 Addict

    Hello, i am up in Sacramento.
    Are you willing to sell the exhaust?
    How does it look, dents, rust, etc...?

    Thank you.
  5. tunedbytyler

    tunedbytyler XS650 Member

    Next up was the fork. wanted to remove the extra brake tabs, rebuild them, and paint the lowers in the "art bike" theme. cut the extra brake tabs off with a cutting wheel and ground them smooth with a grinder/80grit flap disc. after getting the brake tabs smoothed out, i sand blasted the lowers and painted them along with the upper and lower tripples. these are the first part of the bike that i painted and it is rewarding to finally see something finished after the countless hours up untill now. keep in mind this is an "art bike" and not painted to be subtle. Enjoy!
    9FF%rFtxRM+yrJf6Bg20FA.jpg oT9TEWaSTpmfKDZlakdPLw.jpg xSRO91gtQSifmt7g5UpgBQ.jpg vY1vIrEvTwW1mkSCDNjrgg.jpg 8DRy+wkqTfCtVOHJBxx7fQ.jpg
  6. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    Okay, that is some "wild" paint choices!
    Your Art bike build is very interesting! Very nice work on the frame. Your 78 is going to be quite unique obviously.
    Since you are going for good looks, I would recommend you find a breather off of a later 80's engine to replace the oversize 78 dual breather box..
  7. JAX71224

    JAX71224 jax71224

    Like da ex. shield!! Know where more are?
  8. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    The 1978 tank and side covers look to be in really nice original condition. I hope you preserve them as is, there are probably guys here that would be interested in buying them.
    Raymondo, arcticXS, GLJ and 2 others like this.
  9. tunedbytyler

    tunedbytyler XS650 Member

    got the hubs painted and new bearings installed. spokes, nipples and rims should be here early next week.
    In addition, i got the swing arm painted and new brass bushings installed.
    MSYeXXe9QL+aaz7PDmZ82A.jpg 7nfnvBdiRIW+VUm41AhpHA.jpg 3G0Sk9EmTH2fs%SZl1fYOw.jpg

    Attached Files:

    Machine, TwoManyXS1Bs and Scripto VU like this.
  10. arcticXS

    arcticXS XS650 Junkie

    It is actually a sweet year to keep original as well, or at least avoid irreversible mods. At least that's what I am trying to do with my 77D. The only thing irreversible so far, was cutting/grinding off the handle on the LH subframe, for lifting the bike onto the centerstand. Because it fouled my Denfeld luggage rack/ pannier holder.
    Cutting up Specials is totally OK in my book, but remember I am a low handlebar kind of guy :)
    Raymondo likes this.
  11. tunedbytyler

    tunedbytyler XS650 Member

    Got the barrels back from Marinos machine shop. got them washed and scuffed up along with the rest of the engine. after getting everything scuffed i used an etch primer and spayed it satin black. just finished everything today. Going to let it dry for a day, then start reassembly of the motor. ignition and PMA are supposed to be here tomorrow so hoping to get everything back together over the weekend and clean up all the small parts cluttering the workbench currently.

    in addition to paint, i was able to make the underside of the electronics tray. cardboard template, to aluminun then grinded/filed/sanded to fit just right. going to weld mounts to the inside that will hold the tray. i do not plan on running a battery(boyer box instead) so hoping i can fit everything in this space. i also plan to make a fiberglass seatpan that will have an indent molded into it to help make room as well.

    NEXT... i am stripping and doing some light body work on the gas tank. no major dents, just slight imperfections. this will of course be the showpiece of the art bike so i plan on it taking at least a week if not 2 to paint.

    jsWrId+6RkuaQ0C24cNDSA.jpg 60661916605__BBE22FD3-00E6-4D97-831D-2292EA71DB99.JPG %jJG3A8pSreoUMusmdRj4Q.jpg YGfEO7fKQ8OKyGkl+8jyEg.jpg KBHPqwu9RtiztHoOJppwYg.jpg 7nJqzrrYQO2LIeB%c0E5Gg.jpg

    Attached Files:

    TwoManyXS1Bs and Jim like this.
  12. tunedbytyler

    tunedbytyler XS650 Member

    Picked up a welder a couple days ago and got all the welding on the bike done. just used flux core so i didnt have to get gas, and knew i was going to be grinding the welds down anyway. i had taken a welding class at a jc a couple years ago, but this was my first time welding outside of that. figured it would be a good time to learn since nothing was heavily load bearing.
    - rear tank mount
    - electronics tray mounts
    - brake lights/spring mounts(removed w/ passenger footpeg hoop.
    - rear hoop

    in addition to getting the welding done, i started getting the motor back together. got the valves back in, piston rings in and clocked, and barrels and head back together. need to install ignition and pma still, as well as getting everything set up.

    n2HIUD4KTg6YWfLCJmqnQA.jpg p3AsiX8vTj68AY+T0OiWsg.jpg H36FRH5ORKGWotL9MGMiNw.jpg BP1A+L%ITRiC6DPfIfN4vg.jpg 60704281211__B11AAF50-6ABC-437F-816F-BC39EF4D4EE1.JPG T8FBeij1SlenUlprvUZ+qQ.jpg +tqZV+hjQOS0p%xvEfFkzQ.jpg CVVp2DoxSZO3ZsAqx4giYg.jpg
    TwoManyXS1Bs, 88_pony and Machine like this.
  13. tunedbytyler

    tunedbytyler XS650 Member

    Got the tank started! As someone mentioned, my xs650 tank and side covers were in extremely nice condition, too nice to justify painting. So i hunted and found an xs400 square tank that had a couple dings as i knew these would be easy to fix.
    Order of operation went as follows: etch primer, bondo, fill primer, sealer, base color(which is the base for everything and the color the frame will be), artwork, clear. at this point i am a bit stuck. i had further plans for the tank, but i am in love with the current state. thinking some gold leaf logos and call it a day.
    next step is a fiberglass seat pan which i need the tank on the bike for, so i'll have a couple days to think about it.
    exvNJqzsTCSI1%QQElv8ww.jpg ufwumLbjSyuVTFgMT1CFfg.jpg
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Mailman and GLJ like this.
  14. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    I’m curious , how do you achieve that multi hued swirly paint? I’ve never seen anything like that. :umm:
  15. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    Just catching up your fast progress ! You seem to be both fast and skilled. Please do keep posting pics of the build. Very interesting :cool:
    Mailman likes this.
  16. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I think your paint theme has an outer space kind of look going. Kind of like looking through a telescope outside of our solar system. Very cool!
    Mailman likes this.
  17. tunedbytyler

    tunedbytyler XS650 Member

    Quick update, been a busy couple of days.
    - Got 2 seat pans made of fiberglass.
    ---One to attempt to make a seat myself and one to send to someone that knows what they are doing. I put a large indent in the pan to make room for electronics and im worried it might be too much, but wont know till i get foam on it.
    - got the exhaust sprayed matte black with high temp paint.
    ---plan on wrapping the exhaust or at least the rear portion, but didn't want to leave it raw.
    - Got the frame stripped down to bare metal, and primered with an etch primer.
    ---plan on hitting it with a fill primer, then the base coat/clear which is the same navy as the hubs.
    - lastly i got the wheels laced up!
    ---in a recent past life i was a professional bicycle mechanic, so luckily the wheels werent bad at all, slightly easier than a bicycle wheel to be honest since spokes never go under eachother.

    hx9v2wqVRrC3op85NdRyNQ.jpg Dj59e2myRXWdRYHbtC7mng.jpg +u8PDufLRIqE67crm0MvSA.jpg ebe2%KFXTwyRhywLZ8AZ7g.jpg %qqRKTQ4Q2q1ifK+fbAC5g.jpg xlGH1KhnR6SAHioaiuwTyQ.jpg NxXKgzPQQhqQKMX2zv1XSg.jpg
    TwoManyXS1Bs, Mailman and GLJ like this.
  18. timbeck

    timbeck XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter

    Great work, love the wheels....

    Machine likes this.
  19. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    I'm sure watching this build !
    And also very jealous of you having all the skills and equipment to use it with !
    Like, who has a bead blast cabinet large enough for a car ?
    Lol, -R
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
    Mailman likes this.
  20. HighSocietyLowLife

    HighSocietyLowLife XS650 Enthusiast

    What brand and size wheels are you using?

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