Crusty n Rusty


XS650 Member
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Heathfield UK
Crusty” my ‘81 US Custom
Rusty, my ‘76 Roadster (a US import)

Ok heres my story, never done this before so here goes
“My XS650 build thread”
4 weeks ago I got furloughed from my job so had time to finish a few jobs around the house and garden and then started the hunt for a nice easy project to keep me sane, I saw this bike which grabbed my attention, a 1981 XS650 US Custom and its a UK bike but clearly unloved and very crusty but I’ve always fancied an old twin and it was well within my £1000 budget so i thought yeh why not, that’ll make a nice little scrambler type thing.. so i replied to the ad and bid him right in the nuts, he LOLd so made him a better offer, he accepted and i arranged to go pick it up Asap,

Now then, Southampton is 2hrs away from me and my pickup had just run out of MOT but hey ho.. off i go, i get there and see he has about 6 what looked like ‘barn find’ (or pond find) bikes lined up, all looking very “Rust-ic” there were 4x Honda 4’s, then ‘my bike’ and another XS650, he explained how he came about them and how he’d got Divorced and his ex wife had dumped them all uncovered around the back of the garage 7years ago blah blah blah.. so i said OK i am interested in that other XS, turns out its 1976 US import with all the papers in place, ok i says and so made him a bid on that one too.. so now ive bought both but i only have a little pickup so i arranged to return to collect the second one the next day.. good job i love driving that old VW so much.. Ok so at the end of day 2 i get back home and start to have a closer look, firstly at the ‘76 import, it was imported in 2010, looks all standard at first glance and I have no idea when it was last on the road but with the rear tyre dated 2005 and it still looks like new, I’m guessing that was around when it was last used, lots of surface rust but not too shabby at all, a wipe with an oily rag and she’ll be good to go.. so then i had a good look at the 81 bike and could see clearly that it’ll be a much bigger project and will have to wait.. so i started stripping the ‘76er to clean and service it.. the tank, not too bad.. carbs, brakes etc will all need new seals and fluid.. possible plugs and points.. points, what points.. there aren’t any.. so i do a bit of research and found its been completely rewired and the ignition changed for a Pamco electronic set up.. so i fiddled about and put power to the single coil to find theres no spark.. so i root around and see there a lot of loose ends and wires going nowhere, so i trace and connected a few but still unsure about this ignition and finding that the coil is well and truly shot, i start shopping for parts and i see a complete twin coil and points setup for sale on ebay, OK i thought, the seller is ‘2 wheel spares’.. i know them, i trust them so bit the bullet and decide to buy them and go back to a points setup.. the parts came yesterday so i installed all that stuff and powered it up.. now i have a strong spark, Yaay..! so i rig up a temporary fuel drip from an old gravity spray gun bottle, some sticky back plastic, a toilet roll tube and a broom stick and give her a few kicks, she farts and back fires but alas that was all i could get out of her, so i thought id see if the starter works, just to give the motor a bit more spin and get the air and fuel flowing.. so i wired it up and pushed the button, great, it works.. but ahh battery is almost flat.. so i put that on charge at 7 pm and decide to call it a day

Well at least i achieved my goal and got that knot of excitement in my tummy, now I’m waiting for some more bits so i can continue, i need to check the points and set everything up, then ill hook it up to some jump leads and give my bruised foot a rest.. trainers and kickstarters ain’t the way it was meant to be.. ah well i got a⚡️and a which is a good start i suppose,
Looks like fun, diesel pickup? cool! Those things are rockets. ;)
If on today's attempts she just backfires and never attempts to run, swap points sides. the real fix is the advance rod is off 180 degrees but swapping points wires will get you to brmm brmmm.
If those muffler are what I think they are, perfect for caber tossing practice and not much else.
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Hi All, I've been laying low for a while and not really getting up to much but this thing is slowly come together, now runs sweet and is almost ready for the road, So here are some more pics of my quick wipe over with an oily rag shabby chic restoration


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