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Finding my standard...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by willis, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I'm going to look at adding a 2nd XS to my stable tomorrow. I found a '77 Standard in Bountiful Blue for a very reasonable price (IMO). Looks to be all stock except having taller bars added. There is some rust (spokes, shocks, bars) as he said he pulled it from a clean but unheated barn where is sat for some years. Claims to run good and not leak with just shy of 23k miles. The gentleman selling it is a retiree who fixes and flips bikes regularly. I have spoke to him over the phone a couple of times and have a pretty good feel about it. This one would be a straight clean up with maybe mild resto-mod. I have lots of extra parts on hand too help offset my costs. Fingers crossed that it will be as good in person as the pics i have seen. Biggest issue is (other than explaining it to my wife..) the incoming snow storm we are expecting tomorrow bringing anywhere from 4-8 inches. I am driving down (30 miles) on my lunch break to have a look and possibly lay some cash in his hand. I don't want this one to slip past me if its a good deal. Anything specific I should look out for while looking this one over?
    Greyandridin and MaxPete like this.
  2. lakeview

    lakeview XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Hope that works out for you, you are probably up to speed on the ownership/title imperative.
    Greyandridin likes this.
  3. jradvantage

    jradvantage XS650 Addict

    I bought a 78 Standard from the same kind of guy. Bike had 27-28,000 miles on it. He did just enough half-assed stuff to it to make it run...barely. I was excited just to find a standard. I bought it. It was a mess. Did a ton of work on it. Love the bike, but if I had to do it all over again, I would have walked away (or worked a little harder on the price).

    I wouldn't believe a word he says, but I'd look it over thoroughly with a very critical eye.
    Good luck, tomorrow!

    Greyandridin and MrBultaco like this.
  4. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I intend to. I have no problem walking away if I need to. My ideal bike would be a 75, but I’ve been watching my area for years and not had luck. I’ve learned so much with my 78 special project that I feel well equipped in knowing what this one will need. The down side of buying in this weather is not being able to rest ride. I’m just going to follow my gut instinct when I get there tomorrow.
    jradvantage likes this.
  5. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    The '77 Standard is one of the most desirable models. If it's decent cosmetically, and the price isn't bad, I'd grab it. You can fix the mechanical stuff. And speaking of that, a '77 would be a little more advanced and refined than a '75. You'll get the 35mm forks, new style disc, and better linked carbs. But, it's still old enough so you won't get the auto-on headlight and still have an on-off headlight switch on the bars. You also won't get the always-on tail light.
    JRay77 and nj1639 like this.
  6. nj1639

    nj1639 Paleo-simplistic Top Contributor

    23k is a lot of miles.
    The least you should do is check compression and ohm the charging rotor.
    Pack along a charged battery and a quart of gas.
    '77's a good year as far as all the improvements but no stupid safety stuff.......lol. You can always snag a '75 tank or at least the decals to make her look the way you want.
    Good luck and post some pics if ya score.
  7. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I’ve actually already got a black star tank and some black side covers. Tank has some dents and scratches but is presentable enough for me as a rider. I personally don’t think 23k is a lot of miles. Especially given its 41 years old. When I opened up my 78 with 18k it all looked great, with the exception of the cam guide. I just honed it and put new standard rings in.
    Attached is a pic of the potential purchase.
    Greyandridin, Boog, MaxPete and 5 others like this.
  8. nj1639

    nj1639 Paleo-simplistic Top Contributor

    Have the cash on hand, see if he'll come down any. That's not a bad looking bike and considering you have the experience. If I didn't have mine already...........lol
  9. YamadudeXS650C

    YamadudeXS650C Central New York XS650 XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    The "Formula Turbo" front tire might be worth the purchase,
    but what is your idea of a "reasonable price"?
    $50?..$500?..$5000?.....it all "depends".
    Greyandridin, MaxPete and robinc like this.
  10. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Since the picture I posted was taken, he said he’s replaced the tires, forks tubes (see rust in pic) and seals, points and battery. There are 2 busted spokes on the rear wheel, but those need changed anyway. As far as the price, let’s just see how the chips fall tomorrow.
    Greyandridin, Mailman, robinc and 2 others like this.
  11. spectra

    spectra XS650 Enthusiast

    After tomorrow please say a price..........I couldn't touch that thing where I am at for under 1500.............been looking for a decent project but the prices are outrageous.

    Looks like a great candidate to me.
    Greyandridin and Jim like this.
  12. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Hi Willis,
    My bike is a '77 also. I was also looking for a clean standard when I bought mine. After searching a three state area on Craigslist I was starting to believe it was hard to find an unmolested original. I bought mine in a neighboring state ( Colorado ) sight unseen , just an online ad. I was promised a roadworthy, ready to ride bike, which turned out to be anything but , if you've ever read my blog. I overpaid because I thought it was ready to go. Having said that, it was about 24,000 miles and had pretty much every problem known to these bikes, numerous oil leaks, carburetors that needed a lot of love, a charging system that needed a total overhaul, a totally new ignition system.
    After about a year of pretty steady work , my bike is a really solid runner. The motor has never had to be torn apart (yet) and I enjoy it more every day.
    The bike you're looking at seems to have good original paint and chrome, the seat is easy to recover. I think it looks like a very nice bike. I'm looking forward to see if you buy it. Good luck.
  13. JRay77

    JRay77 XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter

    I know exactly where that bike is...... Haha. We don't live to far apart. I'm still learning about these XS650's but I've had over a dozen and only one with a working charging system. I always plan on a new PMA and ignition system. About $4-500 upgrade. Just me tho.
  14. spectra

    spectra XS650 Enthusiast

    Me to you gave it away :laugh2: to far for me to travel though.................not a bad deal if you ask me.
    Greyandridin likes this.
  15. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Thanks Mailman, I have watched your thread since it started and have enjoyed it thoroughly. I fully expect there to be some issues at the price. It seems I may have let the cat out of the bag a little early. Several others know of the exact bike I am speaking of. If he sells it before noon today, then oh well and it wasn’t meant to be. I still have my tracker project that hasn’t been finished yet. If I buy this it will be a long term project anyhow.

    Spectra, is your profile pic your current ride? I’d love to see some more pics of it.
    Greyandridin, Mailman and spectra like this.
  16. YamadudeXS650C

    YamadudeXS650C Central New York XS650 XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    If you want the bike (I would), figure out a way to get over there way before noon.
    I bought most of the 10 or so XS's I've had within two hours of the Craigs ad being posted.
    Concerned about paying too much? Heck, its only money; you'll find more money.
    You may not see another XS like this for 5 more years.
    good luck.
  17. spectra

    spectra XS650 Enthusiast

    That was my last build and the wife liked it so much it is hers now. Its a XS400 I could not find a 650 local at a decent price. She wanted that look and we all know make the wife happy right..........not a lot of pics of it finished and well are they ever done ? I want to pull the motor and clean it up a bit more as I have 2 extras floating in the garage.


    Hopefully you get that bike I would love to find something like that local to me.
    Boog, Mailman, Jim and 2 others like this.
  18. YamadudeXS650C

    YamadudeXS650C Central New York XS650 XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    A few years ago I saw an ad (30 minutes old) for this '77 pictured below. No photo, yet, in the Craigs ad, but I told the guy I would be over in 20 minutes.
    He was asking $1500. I offered him $1200.
    He said "15"
    I offered him $1350.
    He said "15".
    I paid him 15, and swallowed my pride; wasn't really that difficult to swallow.

    XS650.1977done 017.JPG
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2018
    Greyandridin, Boog, peanut and 6 others like this.
  19. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Update.... I drove down and met him and gave it a good looking over. He had it on a lift table and I was able to give it a good inspection. There was significant rust on the frame, particularly on the welds. It could have been cleaned up, but would have been a big job and in my opinion really needed stripped and redone. The chrome was pitted and scratched from him trying to clean it up, as were the engine covers. There was evidence of a leaky head gasket at some point and was gummed up around the cam tunnel. Almost all the hardware was rusty, some of it really bad. The rims were straight and would clean up with some significant elbow grease, but the spokes were shot and a couple broken. Sheet metal was decent for a rider, but had a decent sized dent on the side. He had red-coated the inside. The one side cover had corrosion, likely from the battery. We took it outside where he started it. He had a new battery but didn't want to start. I gave the benefit that it is February and cold out. I made sure it was cold and not started prior to my arrival. Got it started but was only firing on one cylinder. A fouled plug. He had told me previously that he put new points in, but now the story changed and he just cleaned the old ones. He said there was maybe only 30 miles on the oil and plugs. Why is it fouling???? New plug in and it fired up. I rode it around the block and seemed ok. The clutch was a little soft, but I attribute that to sitting so long. After all this i made an offer. He was asking 1200. I offered a grand which he firmly said no. He told me he had another guy calling back at 3 to see if it was still available (tactic?). My gut was telling me to walk away, my greediness was saying to buy it. I was short on time and was trying to calculate in my head everything it would take to make this a presentable bike, and it was not adding up for me. Mailman's story was echoing in my head.... I walked away.

    This bike is worth his asking price. Ultimately it came down to me doing the work to get it where I want it. Driving home I re-affirmed myself that I should really just concentrate on finishing the project I already have before diving into another mess. Will I kick myself for not grabbing it? Probably so! Of all the bad decisions and impulse purchases I have made in my life, it's time i start listening to my gut instinct. If anyone is interested, here is the craigslist add.

    Boog, JRay77, spectra and 4 others like this.
  20. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Yamadude, at $1500 i would have grabbed that one in a heartbeat too !!!! That is far better shape than the one I just looked at.
    MaxPete and YamadudeXS650C like this.

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