It's past time to start XS2 Resurrection

GLJ

Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly.
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Finished up the BMW. It had been parked for 11 years. New tires, brake M/C cylinders, rebuilt the calipers, pads, pulled trans to grease splines, changed all fluids/filters, rebuilt carbs, set valves and a few other things. It runs again. Rode it yesterday on street in front of house and got the clutch to break loose. Motor seems good even idles OK. Few minor things to do to it during the winter but it doesn't need to be on a lift.
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Now it's time to start on my XS2. I bought it from my brother when I was 18. Rode it till around 1983. I quit riding it because I had bought my first BMW a 79 R100T. Loaned it back to my brother around 1985 or so. He rode it for a few months and then I parked it. Never intended to leave it set for 30+ years but kids/divorce/work and general life side tracked me. Reason I never sold it was because I always loved that bike. Had a lot of fun on it. Rode it hard and it never complained. It did get a little revenge on me one day. Ended up in the hospital for 4 days. Bike never got a scratch, it rode me for 3/4s of a block. Totally my fault. It may be a lightweight bike compared to some but it's damn heavy when it's on top of you. Oh well enough of that.
This it what it looked like when I brought it out of storage/parked.
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Now it's resting comfortably in it's new home
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I know 72 is somewhat of a one-off year so a few months ago I picked up one that runs.

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Kind of a wild paint job.
Should have anything I need. I may need a major part. The engine cases. My brother warned me when I bought it it had an oil leak. Nothing easy like a seal or gasket. The engine case was cracked. He said it was normal. He said it was like that when he bought it. I think it was from hole shots and wheel stands. I didn't care. Brake clean, carb spray, sand paper and JB Weld you could stop the leak for a month or so.

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Never tried to weld the crack because back then I could not weld. A few welding shops said they could do it but the engine had to come out and be apart. Didn't want to do that.
Came up in a thread recently that a person needs a goal when starting a project. My goal is going to be a little different. It won't be a full on restro. Nor will there be any sawzalls involved. I want to get it back to how it was when I was young and rode it. I want it mechanically in good shape. Not going to be a rat bike. No rust but if the paint or chrome isn't perfect I can live with that. I want it to be what it is an old bike that has come back to life. I have nothing but admiration for what some of you have done to bikes making them look better than new. That's not for me.
I may have some questions down the road. I will try to search for the answers before asking questions.
There is no time table for this.
I do hope the polish bug stays away. If I don't use up enough parts off of the "wild thing" bike it could be another project.
 
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Mailman thx.
I think I own 3 of the top 5 best looking bikes ever made.
The airhead RT I think is a great looking bike. Excellent fairing. Enough hp for a cruiser. Brakes and handling never could could find fault with either.
The Triumph Hurricane if you don't like it's looks you don't have a pulse. Who cares about performance when you got the best looking girl at the dance. She's a show off plain and simple.
The XS2 didn't just have looks it also had performance for a twin in it's day. Raced many a sportster back in the day. 900s and 1000s. Not many could hang with me getting to 110. After that their cubic inches would get me. Only thing harder to beat than cubic inches is cubic dollars. It handled okydoky and the brakes were fair. Actually on gravel roads it would slide around pretty good. Did OK on dirt too.
The last 2 on my list would be the 70 and 71 XSs.
In the last half of my top 10 would be my Enfield. Last year when I decided I wanted to ride again (now or never) the GT was the only current bike that tripped my trigger. It is fun to ride and like the 650s there's quite a few aftermarket parts you can get for it. I've got cams, valves and springs to go into this winter. Next winter maybe a stroker kit. Also like a 650 it has character
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Quick update.
It's in pieces.
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Working on de-greasing and cleaning parts. Thinking about having frame powder coated. Got some feelers out to find somebody that's does good work in the area. I really don't want to try and paint it in my shop. But if I have to I will. Going to try to save the rims. Pretty rusty in spots. Trying a rust remover I've had some good luck with on rusty chrome nuts and bolts. I know the only way to make them perfect is to re-chrome or replace. I'll settle for presentable.

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It’s really surprising how much better you can make rusted rims look. Much of that rust is just laying on top of the chrome. You get it all cleaned up and it’s just small spots.
You can make them very presentable.
 
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Things are never simple. I knew this resurrection would not be without a few challenges. Such is life. My good friend was over today for his weekly BMW therapy. I've been letting him use my other lift to do a bunch of service and repairs on his BMW. It's kind of fun to help him and spend someone else's money. Couple of days ago I took the frame and other parts to quarter (5 dollar) car wash to get some of the heavy grease and gunk of off things. Set it on lift and went to working on other stuff. While we were taking a coffee break he was looking at my 650 frame on the lift and said something doesn't look right. He was right. Damn frame is broke in 2 places. Plus upon further investigation it had been welded in another place.
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Hmmm. What to do what to do. I know what some of you are thinking. Broken frame and cracked engine case. Parts bike. Not an option. It's fixable. I have a history with this bike. I will ride it again. If I switch my efforts to the other 72 I bought for parts (which does run) it would be a cool bike but not the one I rode in my youth.
Question. Was that normal for these bikes to break frames? I did do a lot of hole shots with it. Ran 17/38 gearing so it accelerated well. I avoided wheel-stands. To heavy. Straight line it was fine. I do remember that in hard cornering the ass end sometimes felt funny. I always thought that was from the oversize tire I ran on the back compared to the front. I guess sometimes ignorance is bliss.
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I've thought of 3 ways to repair it. V and weld. Not good. V, weld, grind smooth and plate with half moon piece of pipe. Better. Cut out and section with new pipe with slugs inside. Probably best. Any thoughts?
On the plus side this gives me a good reason to buy a good welder.
 

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If it were me... I'd cut that broke tube out and weld in a new one. Those "welds" don't look right. Hard to tell from a pic, but they either look like silver solder or they were welded with a stainless or nickel filler rod. Neither of which would be desirable in this application.
On the plus side this gives me a good reason to buy a good welder.
Just curious, what's your experience level with welding? Only reason I ask is a bike frame ain't the ideal learning piece. It's kinda important they're done right.
 
I'm a little out of practice with welding. I used to MIG, TIG, stick, gas weld, silver solder and solder. With some practice I should not have a problem doing the welding on the frame. The aluminum engine case I may have another buddy of mine do. He's pretty good with aluminum. Any aluminum I ever welded that held oil was a pain to weld. Spark, pop, spark,pop. Hard to get oil out of porous metal. I agree the other welds don't look so good. But they did hold with the flexing from the other broken metal. Sometimes it's best to leave a sleeping dog lie.
 
Plus when I get it running I'm not going to ride it like I used to. Unless maybe another bike of it's vintage is next to me at a stop light. I know better than to bring a knife to a gun fight. My knee sliding days are long past. I always liked toe sliding better than peg scraping.
 
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If you look closely at my first 2 pics the backbone or spine is not centered between the frame rails. I know the gap from the breaks screw things up. I measured things and taking into consideration the cracks there is at least a 3/16 offset on the backbone. The frame rails look like they have the same offset. Was this normal?
 
Ha! 2M and I are on the same track.
I think you should repair and keep your original frame, it’s your number matching, and there is no stigma with repairing a break. I think it’s not so much a matter of abusing it in your youth, that caused the break. I believe it was just early in the learning curve for Japanese motorcycle manufacturing. Nowadays the frame would use thicker tubing , and computers to calculate stress points. I read an article about early frame development for the Norton Commando, they kept breaking up by the steering head. One of the engineers suggested a small triangular gusset and bingo! Problem solved.
As Jim stated, I think ideally, replace the entire tube. However if you choose to v out the crack and weld it, you will need to reinforce the entire area to prevent it from breaking again. I have repaired many broken truck and trailer frames in my youth as a fleet garage welder, and the formula was always the same, weld the crack, plate over it, reinforce it with gussets if it was near an intersection with an adjoining frame.
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When I bought the bike from my brother he told me about the crack in the engine case. Never said anything about the frame. Can't ask him about it now because he's been gone for almost 4 years. Give anything to talk to him again.
 
If you look closely at my first 2 pics the backbone or spine is not centered between the frame rails. I know the gap from the breaks screw things up. I measured things and taking into consideration the cracks there is at least a 3/16 offset on the backbone. The frame rails look like they have the same offset. Was this normal?

Yes. Several members doing hardtails noticed the downtube offset. Don't recall anyone reporting measurements.

Agree with Mailman on the weld repair. Maybe he can measure his XS2 frame's downtube offsets, and the more critical inner spacing of the swingarm bungs.

Edit: Also, be mindful of the drivechain paths if adding gussets down there...
 
As Jim stated, I think ideally, replace the entire tube. However if you choose to v out the crack and weld it, you will need to reinforce the entire area to prevent it from breaking again.
I'll add to that (should have originally stated) the replacement tube, in my opinion, should be a thicker wall. Maybe 50-100% thicker. You ain't trying to build a lightweight racer.... an extra bit here and there won't hurt a thing.
 
My plan is no matter how I fix it I'll bolt the engine case into the frame before tack welding the fix. Since my plan is to split the cases to weld the crack in them it should be the best way to locate everything. The engine case should get everything located correctly. The swing arm a different challenge. Post that tomorrow.
 
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