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    Shocks I bought don't fit, looking for ideas

    Just remove the steel bushing, and go without it if the hole in the rubber bushing fits without it. Or get a steel bushing that fits. Another issue you may encounter, is the stock chain guard. It will cause clearance problems with many modern shocks.
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    Source for Swing arm through Bolt.

    Regarding the original thread subject, didn't someone recommend the swing arm bolt from a Suzuki GS 750/1000/1100? (750/1100 from 80 onwards were named GSX in Europe)
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    Just some pictures from Yamaha Plaza, Iwata

    More pics, mostly 2 strokes
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    What About A Timing Belt?

    It seems you have some mixed up info on BMW cars, and potential issues. I have owned BMW cars of 3 different generations. 1981 518 (E12) M10 engine, inline 4, sohc, duplex chain. No issues for 300 000km 1986 320i (E30) M20 engine, inline 6, sohc, timing belt, manual tensioner. Replaced every 60...
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    Just some pictures from Yamaha Plaza, Iwata

    The Toyota GT2000 inline 6 was partly developed by Yamaha. And supposedly have some things in common with the XS650. The capacity per cylinder is very close.....From what I can figure out, both bore and stroke is 75 mm., again very close to the XS 75 mm bore/ 74 mm stroke.
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    Just some pictures from Yamaha Plaza, Iwata

    In 2017, I was fortunate enough to spend 2 weeks on holiday in Japan. And of course I visited the Yamaha collection in Iwata. Here are a few pics from that collection. Who would fancy a pillion ride on that 2 seater YZR? Note the rider name on the fairing windscreen...... Long wheelies anyone??
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    What About A Timing Belt?

    Well, I guess the no speed limit Autobahn may have influenced the decisions regarding service intervals. And generally, BMW engines had higher output per liter than most other cars. Like the 150 hp 2.3 liter and the 170 hp 2.5 liter inline 6 engines. And they were definitely interference engines...
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    What About A Timing Belt?

    Tower gears, like in the Honda RC 30 would have been a better solution IMHO.
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    Side stand bottoming out

    Stiffer and longer shocks would definitely help, as would stiffer fork springs. The oem suspension had very low spring rates, and I suspect most XS owners weigh more than the average XS owner in the 60s and 70s....
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    Early fuel caps - Any alternatives or substitutes available ?

    What about "Monza" filler caps? They may date back to the 60s, but are common on cafe racers and classic roadracers. Like this one:
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    Weighing my options.

    On my 55 On my 55 rwhp Ducati 600/680, a 520 o-ring/ x-ring chain normally lasted 10-12000 miles (16-19000 km) Even the M900/900 SS , with 70-80 hp run #520 chain. I do realise that the XS may be tougher on the chain, due to the unusually small rear sprocket though. (Which is another good...
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    Weight loss?

    WideAwake covered most obvious items. I guess the stock front fender can be replaced with a fiberglass fender and a fork brace. That removes 1-2 lbs. (On my Euro XS650D, I saved over 10 lbs/ 5 kg unsprung weight from front by ditching the stock dual disc setup, using a single 320 mm ISR disc and...
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    Anybody have an opinion on head pipe torque inserts?

    This whole discussion makes me wonder what would actually be preferrable. An overly large header (1 3 /4" OD) with TPO and EPO vs 1 1/2" or 1 5/8" OD pipes? Or maybe a stepped or tapered header, starting at 1 1/2" OD / 1 3/8" ID at the port, and 1 5/8" or 1 3/4" at the muffler connection? At...
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    Anybody have an opinion on head pipe torque inserts?

    G I have seen some mufflers where the perforated baffle was first wrapped in fiberglass cloth (weave), then normal muffler packing outside that. Presumably to make the packing last longer.
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    Recommendations for better brakes.

    Om my 74 RD350A, which has exactly the same 2x48 mm caliper as 76 and older XS, I use a 13 mm Brembo MC. With good pads and a teflon lined one piece hose, the stock 267 mm single disc works fantastic. Two fingers lock the front wheel easily.
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    Advantages of replacing XS front end with Sportster

    What about weight? HD isn't exactly known for nice, lightweight components. Like that boat anchor rear wheel on the XR1200 Sportster version. MULE has used 43 mm RWU Honda forks, and 38 mm RWU FZR 400/600 forks on his XS650 builds. Pretty sure those are way better options than anything from HD.
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    Dunlop K-180 tires

    I actually have a set of Pirelli MT60 on my XS650. Dry grip is pretty good, and the rear is worn quite a bit after 4000 km. I guess it will need replacing after 6000, maybe earlier. The road surface in my area is pretty rough and hard on tires.
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    Dunlop K-180 tires

    Just a little, on a Suzuki 125 project for my youngest son, in 3.25x18 front and rear. That little bike handled fine on paved roads, although its top speed was just a touch above 70 mph
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    Dunlop K-180 tires

    I have zero knowledge about the Dunlop K-180, but may have a somewhat similar looking alternative for you, as long as you can live with narrower tires (4.00 is the largest, both in 18 and 19") In my opinion, a "period looking" XS650 street tracker actually should have narrower tires than modern...
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    Remove Dust Covers

    It looks like those chrome covers are installed over the stock rubber dust covers. So yes, soaking with some CRC 5-56/ WD40 or similar, and some persuasion should get them off.