1976 XS650C Café Racer Build

mrob24

XS650 Member
Messages
23
Reaction score
128
Points
28
Location
Fife, Scotland
Hello, All. I'm a new member to the page, although I've read countless threads since picking up my 1976 650 approximately six months ago. I'm in bonnie Scotland. What a brilliant resource this forum is. The depth and wealth of knowledge contained within is such a fantastic help, and the community seems top notch. It's good to be here!

I'm 34, road riding for 14 years, although started my riding aged eight on my TY80 stroker trials bike. I guess bikes are in the blood, as they say: my dad raced Yamaha RDs for many years, my uncle raced, my mum used to ride (she wouldn't date a guy unless he had long hair and a bike, so she tells me, how she ended up with my dad!), and my great grandfather raced pretty successfully at the Isle of Man TT for many years. There's a collection of silverware in the family.

I have a Yamaha MT-10, which is a weapon and a hoot, and picked my XS up last year - my first foray into the world of classics, inspired by my old man's recently completed Triton 750 twin build (took him 30 years, he blames kids etc...). I bought my XS in a sort of pseudo-tracker guise. I'm cafe-ing it (I understand this will generate abuse from purists, however I really just wanted to get seriously stuck into something that'd require a good bit of work). I struggle quite severely with my mental health at times, and spending evenings in the garage getting in over my head is the most wonderful therapy. It's been such a great distraction to be stuck into something creative, and challenging.

Anyway, sorry for rambling. Below are some pictures of what I've been up to. I look forward to contributing and continuing to learn from you all everyday.

All the best,
Cheers.
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Hello, All. I'm a new member to the page, although I've read countless threads since picking up my 1976 650 approximately six months ago. I'm in bonnie Scotland. What a brilliant resource this forum is. The depth and wealth of knowledge contained within is such a fantastic help, and the community seems top notch. It's good to be here!

I'm 34, road riding for 14 years, although started my riding aged eight on my TY80 stroker trials bike. I guess bikes are in the blood, as they say: my dad raced Yamaha RDs for many years, my uncle raced, my mum used to ride (she wouldn't date a guy unless he had long hair and a bike, so she tells me, how she ended up with my dad!), and my great grandfather raced pretty successfully at the Isle of Man TT for many years. There's a collection of silverware in the family.

I have a Yamaha MT-10, which is a weapon and a hoot, and picked my XS up last year - my first foray into the world of classics, inspired by my old man's recently completed Triton 750 twin build (took him 30 years, he blames kids etc...). I bought my XS in a sort of pseudo-tracker guise. I'm cafe-ing it (I understand this will generate abuse from purists, however I really just wanted to get seriously stuck into something that'd require a good bit of work). I strugggle quite severely with my mental health t times, and spending evenings in the garage getting in over my head is the most wonderful therapy. It's been such a great distraction to be stuck into something creative, and challenging.

Anyway, sorry for rambling. Below are some pictures of what I've been up to. I look forward to contributing and continuing to learn from you all everyday.

All the best,
Cheers. View attachment 237224View attachment 237225View attachment 237226View attachment 237227View attachment 237224View attachment 237225View attachment 237226View attachment 237227View attachment 237228View attachment 237229View attachment 237230View attachment 237231View attachment 237232View attachment 237233
Welcome. Does my old heart good to see a young enthusiast of vintage bikes. She's a beauty by the way. Looking forward to your posts!
 
Thank you all very much for the warm welcome, and the encouraging words. I like taking plenty of photos along the way to capture progress (and to remind myself how things go back together...), so there will be plenty more photos to follow as things move forwards.

Next steps are to have the wheels rebuilt with stainless spokes, fit new bearings I've purchased (wheels and steering stem), fit bronze bushes in the swinging arm (on their way over from Heiden Tuning, NL), and then get the front forks rebuilt. I made a caveman tool to hold the damper rod still while tightening the oil seal from a length of 12mm ID steel tubing, crushed to hold the 10mm flats. It's a little more sophisticated than the lengths of bamboo I used to jam the rod from turning during disassembly :D.

The top yoke, triple clamp, and front disc carrier, are in getting blasted and powder coated black just now, I get them back tomorrow. And I have some time to myself this weekend... the air will be full of blood, knuckle skin, choice words, and happiness!
 
Hi Mrob - what would you like us to call you? - welcome to the forum frae anither in Bonnie Scotland. Lovely bike - one of the best colour schemes and I'm quite jealous of those wire spoke wheels & alloy rims. Proper nice. Looking forward to seeing how the project goes and hearing what you do with the bike once it's on the road. Cheers, Raymond
 
Hi Mrob - what would you like us to call you? - welcome to the forum frae anither in Bonnie Scotland. Lovely bike - one of the best colour schemes and I'm quite jealous of those wire spoke wheels & alloy rims. Proper nice. Looking forward to seeing how the project goes and hearing what you do with the bike once it's on the road. Cheers, Raymond
Hi, Raymond. Another Scotlander - f'like?! I descend fae Aberdeen for my sins, although I now reside in NE Fife, by Cupar. Please, call me Mark (I'll update that by my Avatar thing - good point). It's great to chat, thank you for welcoming me along. Yes, I do like the flanged alloy rims. The steel spokes were looking pretty sorry for themselves, so they're shortly to be rebuilt with stainless jobs by Barrie Brown at Windygates. It's a fine paint scheme, I really like it. The tank and side panels are in remarkably good condition, too.

Cheers,
Mark
 
Welcome to the madhouse. I always comment that this forum is more of a community here. It is far more active than a lot of other forums I have frequented. The tech forum at the top of your page is a wealth of knowledge, along with the search tab. I'm always amazed at what I can solve myself by utilizing those two. You too will be amazed at the vast knowledge and willingness of members to help here. These machines are quite versatile and easy to work on. Keep us posted on progress and obstacles to hit.

Also, what kind of seat is that? Looks like a MotoLanna unit. Bike looks like a hoot to ride!
 
Welcome to the madhouse. I always comment that this forum is more of a community here. It is far more active than a lot of other forums I have frequented. The tech forum at the top of your page is a wealth of knowledge, along with the search tab. I'm always amazed at what I can solve myself by utilizing those two. You too will be amazed at the vast knowledge and willingness of members to help here. These machines are quite versatile and easy to work on. Keep us posted on progress and obstacles to hit.

Also, what kind of seat is that? Looks like a MotoLanna unit. Bike looks like a hoot to ride!
Thanks, man. Certainly in the dozens of threads I've read through the community seems second to none - it's a pleasure to be paid up here, as it were. I'm loving working on my XS, I just wish I could spend more time on it. Alas, work is needed to pay for the build! The 500 miles I did on it before starting the strip down were magic. It's a real visceral experience, very different to the modern bikes I'm used to, in the best possible way. My bike currently has 17/30 gearing on it, I'm looking forward to adding a few teeth to the rear to liven things up a little.

Honestly, I don't know what seat is on it, the PO had it fitted; I'll check later on and comment back if I can find anything.

Cheers,
Mark
 
Hello, All. I'm a new member to the page, although I've read countless threads since picking up my 1976 650 approximately six months ago. I'm in bonnie Scotland. What a brilliant resource this forum is. The depth and wealth of knowledge contained within is such a fantastic help, and the community seems top notch. It's good to be here!

I'm 34, road riding for 14 years, although started my riding aged eight on my TY80 stroker trials bike. I guess bikes are in the blood, as they say: my dad raced Yamaha RDs for many years, my uncle raced, my mum used to ride (she wouldn't date a guy unless he had long hair and a bike, so she tells me, how she ended up with my dad!), and my great grandfather raced pretty successfully at the Isle of Man TT for many years. There's a collection of silverware in the family.

I have a Yamaha MT-10, which is a weapon and a hoot, and picked my XS up last year - my first foray into the world of classics, inspired by my old man's recently completed Triton 750 twin build (took him 30 years, he blames kids etc...). I bought my XS in a sort of pseudo-tracker guise. I'm cafe-ing it (I understand this will generate abuse from purists, however I really just wanted to get seriously stuck into something that'd require a good bit of work). I strugggle quite severely with my mental health t times, and spending evenings in the garage getting in over my head is the most wonderful therapy. It's been such a great distraction to be stuck into something creative, and challenging.

Anyway, sorry for rambling. Below are some pictures of what I've been up to. I look forward to contributing and continuing to learn from you all everyday.

All the best,
Cheers. View attachment 237224View attachment 237225View attachment 237226View attachment 237227View attachment 237224View attachment 237225View attachment 237226View attachment 237227View attachment 237228View attachment 237229View attachment 237230View attachment 237231View attachment 237232View attachment 237233
Welcome to the forum. Looks like your bike has some good bones to build on. I wouldn’t worry about comments from the purists. It’s your bike and build it an any way that makes you happy. Although I’d like to have an unmolested bike, I’m quite happy with my modified ‘76. My heart says add another bike but the garage space says no. I’ll be following your build with interest.
 
Welcome. Boy, you really dove in with both feet, lol. Yes, these bikes benefit greatly from a small gearing change, but only a small one. You have to keep in mind we're only dealing with about a 50 HP machine here so if you gear it too high, it won't pull redline in 5th. Plus, you kill the bike's "fun factor", the wonderful midrange "lunge" it has in the lower gears. I find that 17-33 gearing is ideal for an 18" rear wheel, 17-32 works well with a 16" rear wheel. Personally, I feel a 30T rear sprocket is too small. If you want to cruise down the highway all day long at 80, buy a BMW, lol. That's not what this bike is about.

A couple more little tips - you'll want to install a grease nipple on the middle bottom side of the swingarm for those new bronze bushings. They are designed to get their grease supply from the rear, not the side like the original bushings. Install the fitting at the edge of the gusset plate. You need the added thickness of the plate so the fitting doesn't stick too far into the arm and hit the pivot tube .....

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You can also do a small mod to that pivot tube. Drill a couple more holes through it at the center (red arrows) .....

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This will allow grease pumped into the original grease fittings on the ends of the pivot bolt to get into the center of the arm and to the backs of the new bushings .....

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This mod alone may be enough to get the new bushings properly greased but I do both.

Next, your '76 motor most likely has the type C cam chain adjuster, the one with no lock nut. I would recommend upgrading it to the later type E adjuster. Details are here in posts 22 and 23 .....

https://www.xs650.com/threads/cam-chain-tensioners.1056/page-2
 
I bought my XS in a sort of pseudo-tracker guise. I'm cafe-ing it (I understand this will generate abuse from purists, however I really just wanted to get seriously stuck into something that'd require a good bit of work).
Welcome, XS650s are good therapy and non stock, Trackers, and others have been welcomed here...:laugh2:
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