81 XS650 hard tail build thread

miketweedie

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I am arguably the worst welder on this forum, but yesterday I spent many hours trying to get some things together on the frame. Seat is mounted, kind of, and more old tabs removed. My ego tells me I was "welding and fabricating" but the reality is I was mostly using the angle grinder to remove stuff I don't need and clean up my disgusting welds. After what felt like a marathon of failures I needed something to cheer me up, so I pulled the cafe build out of the corner and took it around out into the sun. It's amazing how just firing it up and letting it rattle for 10 minutes can change your mood. It isn't an XS, so I wont bore you with details, but here's a pic of the before and after just for fun.

nVFNadZ.jpg


6SiMDJZ.jpg


OZbXpwX.jpg
 

Scripto VU

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I am arguably the worst welder on this forum, but yesterday I spent many hours trying to get some things together on the frame. Seat is mounted, kind of, and more old tabs removed. My ego tells me I was "welding and fabricating" but the reality is I was mostly using the angle grinder to remove stuff I don't need and clean up my disgusting welds. After what felt like a marathon of failures I needed something to cheer me up, so I pulled the cafe build out of the corner and took it around out into the sun. It's amazing how just firing it up and letting it rattle for 10 minutes can change your mood. It isn't an XS, so I wont bore you with details, but here's a pic of the before and after just for fun.

nVFNadZ.jpg


6SiMDJZ.jpg


OZbXpwX.jpg

Now that bike has "Street Credit" ------Chill is an understatement !
 

fred nurk

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Spent some time over the weekend cleaning up the forks. Shaved the tabs and got them lowered with a Hugh's kit. They're off to the lathe this week for proper smoothing out, and then I can rebuild them. Man, I wish welding was as easy as grinding, haha.
vJvFBAv.jpg


Also may have made another poor financial decision...
BNpcypV.jpg
my pappy used to say if you need a grinder to make a weld look good. then your a grinder and not a welder.
 

jetmechmarty

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OK, time for a bonehead question...

I'm reassembling the forks, and it occurred to me that the spring is wound tighter at one end than the other. Can anyone confirm which end is the top? haha.
The tighter windings go on the bottom. Those are progressive wound springs.
 

miketweedie

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Got the forks done and reassembled, thanks again @jetmechmarty

Upon taking a closer look at the progressive springs, it appears they had already been cut down some amount. I put a Hugh's 2" lowering kit in, so I had to cut 2" off the springs, but the fact that they are already cut was concerning. Much googling and procrastinating later, I finally committed and went for it. My forks are the later style, with the pre-load adjuster in them. Once assembled and filled with oil I can compress the fork about 1" with absolutely no pre-load, which seems very wrong. With the adjuster in the middle there is barely tension, and at the lowest setting there is sufficient preload, but that doesn't seem right to me. Does anyone have input on this? It might be safest to buy a new set of springs and cut those 2" to fit.

For now at least it is back together and I can get going on my rear brake etc.

Pic of the stance, I'm pretty happy with it.

hcMlbCP.jpg
 

jpdevol

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XS650SG manual calls for spec. on stock spring free length of 482mm (19").
 

miketweedie

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XS650SG manual calls for spec. on stock spring free length of 482mm (19").
That is good info, thank you. I should probably pull the springs back out and check the length. I would think that some level of pre-load is necessary and with the adjusters at the top there is literally zero. I guess that's just how it is with buying other people's stuff, I have no idea what was done to these springs before.

It looks like a new set is only about $80.
 

jpdevol

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You're welcome.
Back to your front wheel; life will be much better if you stay with the stock 17mm axle. You may want to contact Lowbrow and get the OD & width spec of the bearing set-up that comes in the hub. You can then search for a bearing that (hopefully matches) those specs with a 17mm ID. Many HD wheels run a 52mm OD bearing, but IDK about the aftermarket spool hubs. 17 x 52 x 15mm bearings can be had.
 

jetmechmarty

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My recommendation would be to contact Traxxion Dynamics or RaceTech. Explain that you need springs for your hardtail bobber. Those springs will be shorted than what you need, so you'll just ad the appropriate spacer (a piece of PVC or aluminum Pipe) to correct your laden sag.
 

miketweedie

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How much ground clearance do you have to the bottom frame tubes?
It is absolutely pissing rain outside, so I don't want to go out and get an accurate measurement, but two stacked pieces of 2X4 are enough to hold it upright. I guess less than 3". In the picture above it is gently leaning against the wall, the boards aren't making contact.

I also haven't checked the tire pressure in a VERY long time, so that might bring it up to about 3"

Frame is a David Bird 3" drop/zero stretch hard tail and the forks are lowered 2"
 

RustiePyles

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It is absolutely pissing rain outside, so I don't want to go out and get an accurate measurement, but two stacked pieces of 2X4 are enough to hold it upright. I guess less than 3". In the picture above it is gently leaning against the wall, the boards aren't making contact.

I also haven't checked the tire pressure in a VERY long time, so that might bring it up to about 3"

Frame is a David Bird 3" drop/zero stretch hard tail and the forks are lowered 2"
Generally 4" tends to be about the minimum ground clearance to keep it from dragging in corners. Your kickstand is gonna reduce that even further making it near impossible to make a left turn. Hard to say from a picture but your forks look more like -4"
CA5EC5BF-A8A3-4416-B11F-DA73A16F6D9B.jpeg

For reference these forks are pushed up 2” in the triple trees. But the distance between the bottom clamp and top of the fork tube should be the same. I know it’s kinda hard to tell with gaiters and black lower lower legs but they have substantially more travel.
 
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miketweedie

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Thanks @RustiePyles that's good info. This is my first build of this nature, and my lack of riding experience definitely contributed to the "lower = better" mindset, as that's how I've built all my cars. I'll fill the tires up and see where it sits, and I still need to figure out the kickstand.

I am also pretty sure the P/O modified the springs to adjust the forks, so now I've inherently cut them too short. If you can measure your distance from top of the fork lower leg to bottom of lower tree, that would be super helpful. I used the Hugh's 2" kit and cut exactly 2" off the spring, so it shouldn't be more than 2" lower unless the springs were already cut too short.

If Derek Zoolander taught us anything, turning left is important. Not sure I want to end up having to explain to people that I am not an ambiturner.
 
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