1981 Yamaha XS650 - Project Bike #6

rbirkey

TriumphBonneville.org
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After rebuilding 2 previous XS650s (a 1977 and a 1981), I'm back with my third project. This is another 1981 that a friend of mine purchased from a buddy who bought an old house in Madison, WI to flip, and this bike was in the garage under a pile of junk. From the license plate, it appears to have been sitting since 1991. It has 5400 original miles and the engine was not seized... still has relatively clean-looking oil in it.

I am planning on a much more aggressive cafe racer mod this time, removing the frame tail section, welding on a loop with integrated LED lighting, a shorter brat-style seat, and fenders from other bikes I had laying around. The rims are too far gone, so I am having new Sun alloy rims laced on the hubs, both 18", by Buchanan's. You can see that I'm using low drag-style handlebars, and I will add two small 2.5" gauges along with a new headlight bucket and mounts.

The exhausts were too rusted to keep, so I am also planning to use the chrome 2-into-2 exhaust system with the tapered exhaust cones. I really like how these sound on the 1977 I did. I'm using Triumph Bonneville rear 13" shocks to change the stance and am modifying the chainguard to fit. I plan to have the frame and all the former black-painted parts powder-coated.

I plan to leave the gas tank the original Indigo Blue, and will clear-coat it again to protect it. The fenders I will either match paint or perhaps go with an accent color such as silver. I may add a center stripe down all three - fenders and tank.

Even though I am a Triumph Bonneville guy, you all have been super helpful in the past! I may have to find one of these to rebuild and keep for myself!

I'd also like to thank Jeff Stephens of Godffery's Garage for his help. He is a web client of mine here in Wisconsin and super knowledgeable about these Japanese-era bikes. https://godfferysgarage.com/

Here are some progress photos. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

Follow by project blog here: https://triumphbonneville.org/project/1981-yamaha-xs650-project-bike-6/
 

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AndersJ

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Excited to see follow along.
I’ll second the shout out to Godffery’s.
Jeff and I worked on a Kz750b twin for many long hours. Great guy and very knowledgeable!
If he asks, no it isn’t finished yet:whistle:
 

Adamc

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rbirkey, looking forward to your build. Your an old hand (experienced) at this so should be interesting. Crack on old boy.
 

rbirkey

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I'm losing my mind. I can't figure out why the OEM headlight brackets that I removed from this xs650 don't seem to fit either the original headlight bucket I removed or the new chrome one I have ready to install. The brackets appear to be approx. 6" apart when oriented straight forward. The headlight buckets appear to be just under 8" wide at the mounting points. Even if I angle them outward, they do not fit flat/flush with the sides of the headlight bucket mounting holes. How can there be such a great difference? What am I missing?
 

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