1976 XS650 restoration and rebuild, advice and help welcomed!

Points mechanism safely removed. Helpful hint, good to have the spark plug IN when removing the points assemblies. Many small washers and hardware, possibly easily falling into your cylinder if the plug wasnt there!

It might be worth noting at this stage, that from a step by step standpoint, I've been following the Gibson article/guide. So far so good.


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Instead of taking everything off the backing plate you could have removed it all as one unit. Remove the two big screws that hold the backing plate and the whole thing comes out.
This minimizes lost parts.
Thank you Leo, so very true. The reassembly was good practice though... While I was at it, managed to get the advance side handled easily enough as well. Thanks!


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Each housing for the advance and points mechanism is now safely removed... Does anyone have a good siggestion for removing the old stubborn gaskets on those puppies?

Paint stripper, apply and let soak, scrap away with a plastic scraper, old credit cards work well for this.
Reapply as needed to remove.
They make a gasket removal spray that does the same thing.
Yes, paint stripper, several applications. Here's a housing after the 1st application, soak, and scrape. It got about half way through the gasket .....


The 2nd application and soak freed up most of what was left. Just a couple more little dabs required on the remaining pieces .....

Thank you gentlemen for the gasket removal advice. Putting it to the test shortly...

This week I have managed to remove the entire clutch pressure plate, friction plates, basket, kickstarter assembly. Ill be changing the phillips head pressure plate screws to allen head bolts, but the OE's came off using a #3 phillips bit and a 12" socket wrench. As for the clutch basket, this one was interesting... The basket was drilled out, see my rope job to hold it steady... Either the fine people at Yamaha, or the PO were geniuses. The basket had enough holes to run some rope through to hold the basket and housing secure while I removed the 29mm nut.


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Now the million dollar question of the week. With nearly all the mech now removed from the right side of the engine, does anyone have a good suggestion for removing the nut securing the primary starting gear in place?

Thanks in advance!
To remove the primary drive gear nut, just put back the driven gear/ clutch basket and lightly tighten nut. Jam a piece of wood between the gear teeth, and remove the drive gear nut. I've used this method many times. Some guys use a rag, but it sometimes gets sucked into the gear mesh if not done right.
Gibson, thank you. That makes 100% sense. That's partially what allowed me to remove the clutch basket nut. I should have thought of that!

Thank you!
As Gibson mentioned, put the bike in gear, start to loosen the nut. As you turn the nut you will see the rear wheel turn. When this happens I slip a wooden hammer handle through the spokes so as the wheel turns it jams the handle up against the swing arm to hold the wheel as you loosen or tighten the nut. I use the same process to tighten or loosen the front drive chain sprocket nut.
Well I did till I got my impact wrenches, one electric, one air.
I then just Hold the clutch hub with my hand and rattle gun the nut off.
For the drive sprocket nut, I slip it in gear and hold the wheel to keep it from turning.
Now If you don't have the drive chain on or the engine is out of the frame then look through the "Home Made Tools" thread and you will find lots of tools to hold the clutch hub.
Yes, I make up clutch hub holding tools for all my bikes. All it takes is one extra steel plate .....

Thanks all for the clutch and primary drive gear removal advice. I put the clutch cover back on the shaft, and wedged a dowel in between the clutch gear and the primary, that did the trick.

So at this stage, nearly all of the right side mech has been removed and cataloged, and I have gotten the camshaft cover off of the top end... Everything looks pretty good I must say. It's the cylinder that I am driving towards and the source of the low compression...


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Ready for powder coating... I think. Here are some photos of the rims and hubs. For the most part the surfaces are ok-ish. Some heavy pitting and aluminum scoring, especially on the rear hoop.

My plan here is to have the rims and hubs powder coated, and relaced with new spokes... Would anyone have any advice yeah or nay on that plan??


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While cleaning the rear rim, I came across this ding. Other than that, no cracks or impact areas could be found. Any alarm bells out there?

I am wondering if that can be de-burred and be back on track...


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I just spent a couple hours working on cleaning my front and back '76 spoke wheels and they still do not look as good as yours. I too like to see the plain alloy and wonder how the cost of powder coating compares to new alloy rims.
Try white polish on a small buffing wheel. It is very time consuming. I cleaned mine up laced so it was really tough. I gave up eventually and said good enough. Some day I may re lace them with stainless spokes and do it right.