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1978 Xs650SE Barn Find

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ElCamMan515, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    Good evening everyone,

    This is going to be the thread of my 1978 Xs650SE that I found in a barn last month. I paid $250 for it knowing it did not run or have an ignition. Fast forward a month and after installing an ignition, coils, rebuilding carbs and battery. It fired right up. Last inspection sticker on the fork is 2009, so ithas been sitting a while.

    I am undecided on what way to go with the build, but first order of business is to get it road worthy to ride hopefully before end of summer. Below is a picture of the day I picked it up and a link of it running.



    Tim
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Greetings Tim,
    I’d say you got yourself a real find! An excellent deal. The bike sounds good, nice steady idle, I’d say you’re well on your way. Those mufflers look to me to be the ones made by Mac, I’ve never heard them running, they sound good. I look forward to following your progress, let the good times roll! :thumbsup:
     
  3. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    Mailman,

    I am not sure what exhaust is on bike. There are no markings anywhere on mufflers. I searched the internet and YouTube for weeks trying to find a video or picture of exhaust with no luck. It is loud when you rev it up.

    What do these bikes idle at? This is my first bike so lot to learn.

    Tim
     
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  4. Boog

    Boog Traveling Stroyteller Top Contributor

    Great find and great work so far Tim. Keep it up. I have not started my rebuild yet of "Rusty" which is in far worse shape than yours here.
     
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  5. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    My bikes seem happiest right around 1200 rpm.
     
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  6. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    21,023
    13,809
    813
    1200 RPM is the idle speed spec and it's best you stick to it. Much lower and it will randomly stall at stops. Any higher and the ignition may begin advancing. If that happens, the RPMs will increase, which will cause more ignition advance and more RPM increase. The RPMs may go up to like 2500 with the bike just sitting there and you not even touching the throttle.

    Also, set the idle speed hot. These bikes naturally idle at a lower speed cold so if you set the idle at 1200 then, it will be too high once the bike warms up. Setting the idle speed much lower than 1200, like at 900 to 1000, will have the bike idling too low and stalling when cold.
     
  7. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    I started the process of swapping different bars onto the bike. Ran into a hiccup with the trottle cable. Metal bracket that goes into the handlebar control is to big to fit into the used handlebar control I picked up from a forum member. Guess I'll have to hunt down a handlebar control that has the lights on/off feature.

    Tim
     

    Attached Files:

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  8. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    21,023
    13,809
    813
    Take a look inside the hole on your "new" switch assembly that the throttle cable elbow fits into. Sometimes there's a plastic "shim" sleeve stuck in there. Some newer cables require it for a snug fit, some older cables don't need it. But even on the cables that do, it can be difficult to insert the elbow into the control if the sleeve is already in there. Best to remove it, place it on the elbow, then stick the elbow in.
     
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  9. Machine

    Machine Race the wind Top Contributor

    Also, when switching to lower bars your long clutch cable can now be better routed to in front of the head light bucket "ears" and then a nice loop to the right side of the steering stem.
    No longer have to have it in the gauge / handlebar mount area.
    That is a nice mod.
    -R
     
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  10. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    21,023
    13,809
    813
    Yes, originally the throttle cable routed down alongside the right side of the steering neck, the clutch cable along the left side. With lower bars, to help "absorb" some of the extra cable length generated, you'll want to flip-flop them - route the throttle along the left side, clutch cable along the right .....

    [​IMG]
     
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  11. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    Good day everyone,

    Just a small update to thread.

    Due to my crazy work schedule I have not made any progress on the bike in the last 3 weeks. I did how ever take the MSF Basic Rider Course this past weekend. Its an excellent class and I recommend it. I learned a lot that I plan on implementing once riding. Due to Covid have to wait until middle of Aug to go to the DMV to take my permit test and hopefully walk out licensed. If I do not get bike done for this riding season in NY, I'll be spending the winter months ensuring it is ready to ride come spring 2021.

    Cheers,

    Tim
     
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  12. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    Good day everyone,

    Yesterday evening I took bike out of my buddys garage for its maiden voyage. After about 5 laps bike came to a slow stop and I had no power to rear wheel. Looked down and behind me and there sat the drive chain. I guess this bike doesn't want to hit the road this year.

    Here is a short video before chain broke:


    On a side note, I got all electrical figured out. All turn signals, brake lights, headlight and gauge cluster light up.

    Time to start saving for a chain and tires.

    Tim
     
    Greyandridin likes this.
  13. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    Good day everyone,

    Been slowly working on the XS. Here's a list of what I've done since last post.

    Fixed front brake light switch
    Replaced turn signal flasher relay
    New tires and tubes
    Ordered a new replacement peacock

    Still a little more to do before it is ready to ride.

    Here are some updated pictures. Enjoy and have a great day.

    Tim
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Oct 21, 2020
  14. RustiePyles

    RustiePyles Semper Fortis XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Dang, that was a steal at $250, congrats. Pretty good shape for a bike that's been sitting for 11 years too. Nice score!
     
  15. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    Good Afternoon Everyone,

    Hope everyone has been staying healthy. No real update on the bike. Have had no motivation to get into the cold shop until this week as temperatures have begun to rise and all the snow has mostly melted here in Central NY. Monday I plan to replace/repair the follow items: Replace fuel petcock on gas tank, install new chain, install new plugs and sealing washers on carbs. Once oil filters and air filters arrive, I will change the oil with Rotella 15w-40 and install filters and take it for a small rip before scheduling an appointment to get it inspected. I am looking forward to riding this summer everyday I can.

    Thanks,

    Tim
     
  16. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    Good afternoon Everyone,

    Bike is only lacking an oil change before I schedule an appointment for NYS yearly inspection. I was able repair everything on my list. I took it for a ride around my buddy's house and had no issues. Looking forward to warmer weather in the coming weeks and going for a ride.

    Tim
     
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  17. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    Good evening everyone,

    Changed the oil and filters today. Also adjusted the carbs a little and the bike idling and running good. It was backfiring prior to adjusting. Here's a short video of how it runs now after it's warmed up.



    Tim
     
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  18. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    Hello everyone,

    Small update.

    I finally had time to take bike out for what I hoped was a 5 mile jaunt down the road. Before I left I adjusted the clutch a little as I thought it needed some adjustment. Well I got 2.4 miles down the road and went to stop at an intersection and bike died, went to start it with electric start and no power. I blew a fuse for ignition. So, I went to kick start it and clutch wasn't fully disengaging so bike wanted to roll. Called my buddy and picked me up with the trailer.

    Back at his place, I replaced the fuse and readjusted the clutch and decided to go for another try. This time I got 3 miles in and bike started to sputter and lost all power. This time I blew the main fuse. Got it back and popped open the seat and the top of the fuse block is off. I'm pretty sure it shorted out on the seat pan and blew fuses. So we fover the cover and put it back on and said third times the charm. (Buddy followed me with car and trailer) Third time it ran pretty good and made it back from the 5 mile trip under its own power. The RPMs hang a bit it doesn't seem to drop rpms that fast when shifting gears.

    Thus is my 1st bike anyone have any suggestions??

    Today I am taking it to get inspected, but I will say it looks good out of the garage (picture below).


    Tim
     

    Attached Files:

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  19. RustiePyles

    RustiePyles Semper Fortis XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Couple of things right off the bat, you should be kickstarting the bike in neutral not in gear. If the ignition fuse is popped it wont start with the kick starter any more than it will with the electric starter. Hanging idle could be a few things 1. Vacuum leak 2. Damaged slide diaphragms 3. Carburetors out of sync. It could be two or all three of the above.
     
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  20. ElCamMan515

    ElCamMan515 XS650 Enthusiast

    I tried kick starting it in neutral, but it wouldn't grab. If I put it in 1st and pulled clutch in and went to kick start it, bike would want to roll. I have gotten clutch adjusted now so it does do that anymore.

    Thanks for the info on the carbs.

    Tim
     
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