Finally got it running! My 81 XS Build Thread [Pictures and Video]

poorman9

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Well guys, I've finally done it! I went for my first ride this weekend.

Back in March I signed up for an account here after buying a couple box of XS parts, a chopped frame and a torn apart motor. Since then you guys have been here to answer questions and offer support anytime I needed it, I want to personally thank anyone who has helped me out with this project, I'd still be staring at a pile of parts in my garage if it weren't for you.

So in the spirit of sharing, I've made this video. It's a time lapse of me rebuilding my topend (for the second time:doh:) and my very first ride.




Now to the build info

I, like a lot of young guys had seen some cool looking bikes on the internet, like the ones from Wrenchmonkees and Deus Ex Machina and got inspired. I posted a want ad on craigslist for an 70-80 Japanese bike, and got this reply "Hey I have a 81 xs650 it's all disassembled but I have everything you need to put it back together.. If your interested in a good easy project bike let me know and make me an offer." $400 later I was the proud new owner of a heaping pile of parts.

It isn't finished, but it's getting there
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Info about what you're seeing in that photo above: *


This is how it looked when I bought it
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This is how to original owner once had it setup
It dosen't look that bad, but the things was not in good shape, the shocks were just about the break off the mounts, his "welds" were cracking, everything was rattle ran black, the fender had been cut with what looked like tin-snips...

IMG_0947.jpg



Things I'm still working on:
  • Need to clean up and wrap the wiring
  • Paint, Paint, Paint.
  • Hate my plastic blinkers that I bought
  • Temporary licence plate mount
  • I've rewired all my switches to one control on the left, so I could find a cleaner looking throttle without all the stock button.


As you can see I'm going for kind of a tracker/brat-style/dual sport look. If anybody knows a good way to describe this bike, please tell me, people ask, and I don't know what to call the style. After I got the car load of parts home, I started searching the internet for inspiration, other XS builds that I liked. I put together a document with of images and helpful text that I referred to often when making decision about style parts. I didn't plan on sharing it, but maybe it might help someone else out
MultiPage google Doc, with lots of XS images.


Now on with the Pictures!


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before-and-after.jpg



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Engine-rebuild-8364.jpg


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Mcnabb

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Man it looks pretty sweet!! I would be out riding iffy wiring skills didnt suck so bad lol. Very nice lookin bike tho

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Mcnabb

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Man it looks pretty sweet!! I would be out riding if my wiring skills didnt suck so bad lol. Very nice lookin bike tho

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willyguzzi53

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I don't know what style to call it either but I'm building almost an exact twin to yours. Same tank, seat, rear fender, headlight, etc. Even your little electrical box under the seat is the same. Mine's been mocked up and torn down and right now the bare frame is sitting on the floor waiting for a few finishing brackets to be welded on and then blasted. I'm in the process today of parting out an old golf cart that is sitting right where my build table need to sit. BTW, if someone offers to give you an old golf cart that "just needs tires and maybe batteries" run away just as fast as you can.
 

TeeCat

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Man... looks like you have all the skill sets covered! I admire that kind of autonomy... you can basically tackle anything! You have ventured to lots of places that I'd fear to tread. Nice project and documentation, too!

TC
 

132zed

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Praise the motorcycle gods. I am so happy for you dude. Good work man.

Now I just need you to ride down to Texas and help me with mine.
 

poorman9

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First off thanks everybody for all the kind comments, this is my first motorcycle, so it's nice to hear some other feedback for my peers. I do digital media work for a living so photos and video are my kind of thing.

I don't know what style to call it either but I'm building almost an exact twin to yours.

That's crazy man, well we need to come up with a name then, since we're originators :wink2: Bratstyle is too chopper sounding, it's not a tracker though, and definitely not a cafe....hmm

Man... looks like you have all the skill sets covered! I admire that kind of autonomy... you can basically tackle anything! You have ventured to lots of places that I'd fear to tread. Nice project and documentation, too!
TC

Thanks, I do kinda of live by the idea of takeling anything. But you know, this is it, I'll never get another summer of my 24th year, and at least I can look back and say I've done something. Now summer of last year, that was an adventure. Everything seemed really intimidating and confusing to me too, until I actually focused and started learning about or trying to do it. Besides, everybody's here to help.

nice, it seems like you got this thing up and running fast!

I guess you're right, at the time it felt like forever, but four months isn't really that bad.

That's epic I bet it is crazy fast.

Haha thanks, I haven't got it out of 3rd gear yet (it started raining again here in Portland) and I've got some charging issues (my next post), but atleast it looks fast! I'll report back when I find out how fast :bike:


What did you use to clean the aluminum parts? Bike looks great. Remeinds me a little of mine.

Well, here's a thread about my media blasting process, which was hilariously terrible. Besides that I scrubbed everything down with a red scotch pad.


Thanks again everybody, Now I'm half way through the Charging System Troubleshooting Guide trying to figure out my I'm never getting any voltage back to the battery, at any RPM
 

sgallaty

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As you can see I'm going for kind of a tracker/brat-style/dual sport look. If anybody knows a good way to describe this bike, please tell me, people ask, and I don't know what to call the style. After I got the car load of parts home, I started searching the internet for inspiration, other XS builds that I liked. I put together a document with of images and helpful text that I referred to often when making decision about style parts. I didn't plan on sharing it, but maybe it might help someone else out
MultiPage google Doc, with lots of XS images.

I dig on your approach so far, poorman. My bike is heading towards the same aesthetic that yours did. I suggest Bauhaus as an appelation for the style.
 

poorman9

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I dig on your approach so far, poorman. My bike is heading towards the same aesthetic that yours did. I suggest Bauhaus as an appelation for the style.

Hey 10 point for using the word appellation! Yeah Bauhaus or Minimalistic. Really even cafes, famous for being stripped down, have more added style than I wanted.
 

sgallaty

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How's this for crazy? Every single bike you posted in your multipage google doc was one of my inspirations as well. No kidding, every one.

The stripped down minimalist form follows function ideal, the dual-sport leaning tires, the similar sized rims front to back, the elimination and reduction...

I presume you removed and plugged your starter, since you're relying on a battery that can only run your stator?
 
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