Ignition Timing with xscharge kit


XS650 Member
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Vancouver, BC
I created a post a while ago about how me xscharge kit wasn't giving any spark. With that problem solved I moved on to getting the bike running. I found the fuel lines leaking, and after I pulled the airbox to replace the lines I found that the shop the previous owner used, spliced in a regulator/rectifier incorrectly and destroyed the harness where the R/R shorted out.

Anyways, after replacing the wiring harness the bike fired up for the first time I owned it. But obviously timing was off and it was sputtering a little. I got the timing light out and with the ignition plate fully retarded, the timing line is lining up with the advance mark. (Has the original alternator, not PMA)

I have read a few forums saying that this could be caused by a worn cam chain, or potentially a jumped tooth. The bike has 53k KMs on the odometer, so the chain could be the problem. I want to find out if its truly the chain before I start pulling the engine apart.

The engine sounds healthy, at least with the ignition plate full retard. I couldn't hear any chains slapping, or valves ticking. But if I have to do a chain replacement, anyone have a parts list that would be required for it, and anything else I should do while I'm in there.

Cheers, and thanks in advance.
Have you adjusted the valves and timing chain, a must before you set timing.
Are we talking a bike that has been sitting a while and then now offers some sensations at first startup
Ignition wrong I would hear knocking if to advanced or shooting in the exhaust to late
1- 3 tanks through the carbs can change things
and re tightening hose clamps and intake manifold bolts and other leak tests
spraying something on the outside.
Intake boots ??
Exhaust bolts checked ??
The Bike was running before but was misfiring due to the electrics being all messed up. The bike runs, It is struggling to idle (1200rpm) because the ignition is advanced all the way, but I cant retard it anymore. Carbs were rebuilt and synched earlier this summer and I don't think this is a fuel/air problem. Its is making the "woofing" sound, where it pushing back through the carbs.

Previous owner replaced pretty much everything rubber, but didn't have the time or knowledge to diagnose the electrical problems. The previous owner said he static timed it with the points. so this doesn't quite make sense with the huge timing discrepancy.

I guess I will start with adjusting the timing chain, valves are in spec. It really seems that the chain has jumped a tooth or 2 because is at least 20 degrees of timing with the plate fully in the retard position.
OK If you say so
It can happen it jumps a tooth but is rare as far as I know and there was a Member I believe in Indonesia that had a routine to jump it back without
taking the engine down.
Pictures would as always help
Perhaps a video of the running machine .some throttle blipping

AFTER the valve play check especially of the intake valves so they are not open
" I couldn't hear any chains slapping, or valves ticking "

You should be able to hear the valve ticking at a cold start some have them loose not to burn valves

as per # 2 I would turn the engine over and repeatedly measure not looking at the marks ensuring valve play

I Would try higher idle setting at this point in time 1500
Away from the "files" but with rotor at tdc these a notch on the cam that should be facing straight up. I'm sure someone will be along in a bit with a pic.
So I just got around to checking the cams now, at TDC the alignment pin on the advance side is straight down (see Pic). I don't see a notch on the cam facing straight up. I have not checked the tensioner yet, but I'm about to do that. Edit: the tensioner is within spec according to the mikesXS adjusment video.


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So I Emailed MikesXS originally about the build quality of the units, where the wires coming out of the unit were soldered to the wrong outputs on the board (Green on black/ black on green). I re-read this email and they mentioned they never had a problem like that, but they have run into timing issues. These timing issues resemble the problem that I am having. They said it can be fixed with a different advance rotor.

Hopefully Mikes can get me a new rotor that works, or something along those lines. I just want to ride it this spring.