First Post by a Long-Time Member

Oldschool

XS650 Member
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Location
Fort Dodge, IA
Hello all. I have been a member for some years, but just a viewer as my riding was non-existent all the while. However, I am now retired and hope to revive some of the fun that I used to have on my various bikes. A short story of my background tells about all that is really needed. I am an Iowan for the most part with only a few excursions to other mid-west states for work. Now back in my hometown I am working on making my 1976 XS650C ridable again. It has simply suffered from non use.

I started out by purchasing an R5 350 in 1970. It was the most attractive bike at purple and white that I had ever seen. That feeling lasts to this day, except the bike is long gone. I had it until I purchased a new TX750 in 1973. That bike has been derided in all circles, but it served me well and provided great service for many years. But marriage and kids pretty much ended my riding time and it also had to go. But then I started traveling the mid-west for my job, and as we were moving heavy equipment around a lot, I had no personal transportation when I was on extended stays away from home. My wife was gracious enough to allow the purchase of a 1978 DT250. I could throw it up on the trailers, back of the pick-up, or wherever and have it with me when needed. That was a fun ride that I still miss a lot.

But my work changed in 1981 and I was no longer on the road, so to make it easier to bring my wife with me at times, I purchased a used XS 650, the one mentioned above. It has served well, but it has set mostly, so I have mostly just tried to keep it running these last 20 years. I have hauled and stored it wherever I went for work as I would not part with it as I had my others. The carbs are in rough shape, and the front braking does not work, but I'll get on those soon. I am not a mechanic, but I have done all of my own service on all of my bikes through the years. The information on this site will be a huge benefit in keeping that going. I can say, however, that I do not enjoy the wrenching nearly as much as I used to. It's just harder to reach those low spots and the transitions from sitting to standing take a bit of preparation. So I'll try to keep up with maintenance to a higher degree so that I can avoid some of that effort.

I won't have many months or years to ride it with age nipping at my heals, but I have been working on my balance and strength by riding my bicycle nearly every day. That really helps, but of course it can only do so much. It's the only bike that I have had that wasn't a Yamaha:).

This site is a great escape from the politics and hassles of our current environment. I appreciate the knowledge and giving attitudes of the members here.

I hope that I haven't screwed up this first post. I guess I'll know for sure once I hit the button to post it. Thanks all.

Roy
 
Had a new R5 in '72... the tangerine and black one. What I wouldn't give.....
Anyway, welcome from another old bastard. Since you've skulked here forever, you're well aware we love pics.... hint hint. ;)
 
Welcome Oldschool! I had a very similar back story, I had a string of Yamahas in my youth, then came a hiatus with marriage and kids, and got back into it later in life. It’s a pretty common story actually. I also started my retirement with an XS650 to restore. It’s a great hobby, you’ll pick up on the mechanics as long as you have the desire to. Good luck and hope to see more of you and your bike! ;)
 
welcome, seems like we are all "oldies" with to much time on our hands. I'm 64 and been riding my since it was legal. work on many different bikes before i finally got a Yamaha XS650 again after 45 years. One of my first "big" bikes was '75 XS 650, now i got 3 in the garage - 2 running one in the process. i was absent of working on bikes for 23 years (no time on hand), thus rode new HD electra glide and later a new BMW GS1200(still do) in lieu of wrenching. when i had my first XS it was new and didn't need to work on it - this is far the best group of members - always helpful hints and lots of knowledge + many good tech treads - probably saved me a lot of errors and taught me a lot of "tricks" on how to restore and work on these beauties. good luck on yours - if you have room suggest you spend some money on a real mc lift - something like this JEGS 87004 Motorcycle Lift [1000 lb. Capacity]$487.99JEGS High Performance$20 off $200+Code copied to clipboard$20 off $200, $50 off $500, $100 off $1000 JEGS High PerformanceSUMMERCOPYEnter code at checkout. Expires in 29 days. CONTINUE TO STORECANCELFor most items:180-day return policy

will be gentle on your back / neck and legs :)
 
Hello all. I have been a member for some years, but just a viewer as my riding was non-existent all the while. However, I am now retired and hope to revive some of the fun that I used to have on my various bikes. A short story of my background tells about all that is really needed. I am an Iowan for the most part with only a few excursions to other mid-west states for work. Now back in my hometown I am working on making my 1976 XS650C ridable again. It has simply suffered from non use.

I started out by purchasing an R5 350 in 1970. It was the most attractive bike at purple and white that I had ever seen. That feeling lasts to this day, except the bike is long gone. I had it until I purchased a new TX750 in 1973. That bike has been derided in all circles, but it served me well and provided great service for many years. But marriage and kids pretty much ended my riding time and it also had to go. But then I started traveling the mid-west for my job, and as we were moving heavy equipment around a lot, I had no personal transportation when I was on extended stays away from home. My wife was gracious enough to allow the purchase of a 1978 DT250. I could throw it up on the trailers, back of the pick-up, or wherever and have it with me when needed. That was a fun ride that I still miss a lot.

But my work changed in 1981 and I was no longer on the road, so to make it easier to bring my wife with me at times, I purchased a used XS 650, the one mentioned above. It has served well, but it has set mostly, so I have mostly just tried to keep it running these last 20 years. I have hauled and stored it wherever I went for work as I would not part with it as I had my others. The carbs are in rough shape, and the front braking does not work, but I'll get on those soon. I am not a mechanic, but I have done all of my own service on all of my bikes through the years. The information on this site will be a huge benefit in keeping that going. I can say, however, that I do not enjoy the wrenching nearly as much as I used to. It's just harder to reach those low spots and the transitions from sitting to standing take a bit of preparation. So I'll try to keep up with maintenance to a higher degree so that I can avoid some of that effort.

I won't have many months or years to ride it with age nipping at my heals, but I have been working on my balance and strength by riding my bicycle nearly every day. That really helps, but of course it can only do so much. It's the only bike that I have had that wasn't a Yamaha:).

This site is a great escape from the politics and hassles of our current environment. I appreciate the knowledge and giving attitudes of the members here.

I hope that I haven't screwed up this first post. I guess I'll know for sure once I hit the button to post it. Thanks all.

Roy
Okay, it's time to give this picture thing a try. I have two pics of the '76 below. It's setting as it has for many years without the care that it needed. But it was always inside, dry and out of the elements. The tank is in bad shape with a couple of major dents. I have secured a replacement for it several years ago, so it's just a matter of transferring and/or replacing the hardware. The side tins are in great shape with no dings, but the paint is really rough on the top of them as rust has a secure hold on them. If I get it going soon, as I hope, I'll plan something with the paint next year. I'll try the pictures now. Roy

1656781810225.jpeg
1656781833478.jpeg
 
Okay, it's time to give this picture thing a try. I have two pics of the '76 below. It's setting as it has for many years without the care that it needed. But it was always inside, dry and out of the elements. The tank is in bad shape with a couple of major dents. I have secured a replacement for it several years ago, so it's just a matter of transferring and/or replacing the hardware. The side tins are in great shape with no dings, but the paint is really rough on the top of them as rust has a secure hold on them. If I get it going soon, as I hope, I'll plan something with the paint next year. I'll try the pictures now. Roy

View attachment 217903View attachment 217904
Looks like it will clean up quite nice.

Bet that big dent in the tank would come out pretty cleanly as well.

I just sold mine last week. Probably regret it at some point. I feel it’s the heaviest of all the XSs I’ve ever owned and was a very nice bike to ride.
 
That tank dent suggests a sudden change to "soprano". :)
It was an embarrassing development, but one not quite so dramatic. I was cleaning the tank in preparation for coating it. I gave several hard shakes with some ss nuts inside, and it slipped out of my hands. But that tank's time was limited anyway as the mounting land for the right petcock had been completely corroded away and rebuilt with JB Weld. It worked to keep it usable for many years, but it did need some serious attention. I have a replacement tank with only a couple of minor dings.

Roy
 
Welcome! I'm looking forward to reading about you riding your bike again, which I'm sure will be the case. The motorcycle 🏍 lift suggested by Niels B is an excellent idea. I don't have the room for one, but I do use a little stool on either side of the bike when working on it. It saves the back.
 
1656951664205.png
I have this lift. I snagged it at a garage sale for $50. It sits under a shelf in Summer with only the hydraulic jack end sticking out.. It does roll around on a smooth concrete floor nicely with an XS650 on it.. At $120 new it would still be worth it to me.. Scour craigs list maybe.
 
View attachment 218043I have this lift. I snagged it at a garage sale for $50. It sits under a shelf in Summer with only the hydraulic jack end sticking out.. It does roll around on a smooth concrete floor nicely with an XS650 on it.. At $120 new it would still be worth it to me.. Scour craigs list maybe.
I have one of those lifts also. Harbor Freight came in handy at the time. But I have never trusted it fully with the bike in the air, so I slip a wooden platform under each wheel and strap it down. If I need to rotate either wheel, I can lift it just enough to make it happen. It's not as handy as a full platform lift, but I don't have the room to store one of those either. I'm sure I first came to know of this lift from this site, just as you have shared it with me. Thanks, TW, this is a great tip.
Roy
 
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