Any suggestions for new bike build?

Vee

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Hey guys just picked up a 1975 xs650 that's been sitting close to 40 years. This will be my second. I want to turn this one into a tracker style bike. Sort of akin to the dirt bike look alot of guys and gals are doing with the Harley Sportster. So a couple of things; first off unlike my first bike this is a non runner at the moment. The person who sold me the bike said it was running when they put it in the basement back in the '80s. What should be my first plan of attack mechanically to get this thing running?(has good compression). My second question which is in vital at the moment but down the road with my bill will become important is how can I raise up the front end on this bike to make it sit tall? I've been looking into fork swaps all over and can't really find a reliable donor. There's a few places where they said Yamaha YZ forks would work. I looked on some of the popular aftermarket websites and they sell extended forks but they're all for 77 and later. Does anyone know why the 75 can't take these extended aftermarket forks? As always any help appreciated. Just trying to learn through pulling my hair out and asking the XS gurus for advice.
 

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That looks like a nice 1975 bike and I for one would be loath to hack it up. However, it's your bike. I can't quite understand your plans and would not have thought a tracker needs longer forks, I'd more likely be looking at longer shocks to get the desired stance? There was a change of forks from 34 to 35mm but I think that was earlier than 1977. No matter what you want it can be done - only the cost varies.

There are lots of threads and loads of good advice about starting a bike after it's been sitting for years. Have a search but for starters here's one: https://www.xs650.com/threads/resurrecting-my-79-xs650f.64846/post-807388

Take a look at the tank and proceed depending how clean or rusty it is. Then we're talking clean petrol, carbs stripped and cleaned, new battery, fresh engine oil, service items - valve gaps, cam chain adjust, oil filters check and clean. Make sure the ignition system works and is timed correctly. I wouldn't ride it without servicing the brakes and fitting new tyres - irrespective of tread. This is not an exhaustive list . . .

You've got the Massachusetts winter to get it all done and by Spring, you will know the bike a lot better.
 
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I am up on the north-shore /Southern NH area Tim. Yeah Raymond I was thinking of trying to totally restore the bike but at the end of the day I figured it would be more tedious and too time consuming for someone like me. Thanks for the leads.
I'm also open to selling it to someone on this forum if anyone is trying to save it and it's original integrity.
 
Yes I am with Raymond there ..
It is about freedom so everyone does what he likes .But we are talking a 50 years old machine.
That by first look does not appear to have any dents or major problems.
Building something else is an expensive way to do something you will later regret ( as I see it )
But again people are different.

A wash and a Polish on the pipes see how they look . And then reevaluate perhaps
What is on the Odometer ?
 
I have a weakness for keeping these old ladies original as possible, looking at your model - it looks like you have less work laid out finding parts as it all seem to be there. Here is a pick how the bike looked when I bought it and two after I restored it. I honestly spend very little money getting it to look nice, a lot of polishing / buffing and time. Had to find side covers (non modified) airbox, carbs and exhaust. Rebuild carbs, new gaskets new oil tires and seat cover plus a few other rubber / plastic parts. Was lucky to get a brand NOS gas tank among a bunch of parts and bikes I bought, otherwise no new paint or chrome - all cleaned up.
The previous owner had plans of making a cafe racer - I feel lucky to have spoiled that attempt.
Unfortunately you are almost as far north as I’m south on the east coast otherwise I would have entertained the idea of helping it off your hands or trade you for another ‘75 have sitting around however with quiet a few missing original parts :). Good luck whatever you do - did I mention “ nice find”
 

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Those look awesome Niels! I'll post some more close up pics later when I'm off my plow shift o_O. I was honestly planning a full restore originally and when I got it home yesterday I started to get a bit intimidated by a rusty inner tank, mouse chewed wires, etc. but everyone here is starting to persuade me to try and give it a go on the restore.
 
Yes I am with Raymond there ..
It is about freedom so everyone does what he likes .But we are talking a 50 years old machine.
That by first look does not appear to have any dents or major problems.
Building something else is an expensive way to do something you will later regret ( as I see it )
But again people are different.

A wash and a Polish on the pipes see how they look . And then reevaluate perhaps
What is on the Odometer ?
Odometer is 20xxxish. It received another '75 replacement engine in '81by a motorcycle shop. I even have the receipt for that. Pretty wild.
 
I have a weakness for keeping these old ladies original as possible, looking at your model - it looks like you have less work laid out finding parts as it all seem to be there. Here is a pick how the bike looked when I bought it and two after I restored it. I honestly spend very little money getting it to look nice, a lot of polishing / buffing and time. Had to find side covers (non modified) airbox, carbs and exhaust. Rebuild carbs, new gaskets new oil tires and seat cover plus a few other rubber / plastic parts. Was lucky to get a brand NOS gas tank among a bunch of parts and bikes I bought, otherwise no new paint or chrome - all cleaned up.
The previous owner had plans of making a cafe racer - I feel lucky to have spoiled that attempt.
Unfortunately you are almost as far north as I’m south on the east coast otherwise I would have entertained the idea of helping it off your hands or trade you for another ‘75 have sitting around however with quiet a few missing original parts :). Good luck whatever you do - did I mention “ nice find”
It would have been a tragedy to take an angle grinder to it. I have recently acquired a 1977 survivor. It's about 99.9% original. Unfortunately the original tank paint is beyond saving but I'll do my best to keep the whole bike as a survivor without being stupid over it.
 
Those look awesome Niels! I'll post some more close up pics later when I'm off my plow shift o_O. I was honestly planning a full restore originally and when I got it home yesterday I started to get a bit intimidated by a rusty inner tank, mouse chewed wires, etc. but everyone here is starting to persuade me to try and give it a go on the restore.
I replaced the wiring harness - you can get one for about $60 - lot cheaper than buying wires and do it yourself - plus color code is matching original pretty well.
 
I was convinced too not to repaint - got a green ‘78 that had its patina but after some cleaning and polishing it turned out pretty good after all. Before and after
 

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Personally I’d stay away from a PMA. There are some other options. Not to say they don’t work, but I hear more issues with them. VAPE sounds like the best option for PMA’s if you do go that route, but JIM here on the forum rewinds factory alternators for a very reasonable price at a fraction of the PMA cost. Just my two cents.
 
Along with new wiring harness do you guys think I should be putting a PMA type alternator and an aftermarket ignition system in?
I would stick with the stock points ignition. Simple enough. If it won't charge, Call Jim, he does rotors real reasonable.
 
Yeah... going PMA isn't really an upgrade. The factory alternator might be a tad marginal at low revs, but it's dead simple and reliable as any when properly sorted. Not to mention expensive. I'd stick with the factory one and spend the money elsewhere.

Just going by the one pic you have... it's just beggin' to be a well sorted survivor.
 
But if your going to change it from original to a tracker Or just don't need the luggage rack / sissy bar I would be interested
And since I already have a 75 I'm kinda partial to the original look
But it's your bike.....
 
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