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Just inherited a 1975 xs650

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by Santa, May 11, 2021.

  1. Santa

    Santa XS650 Member

    Right Side.jpg

    Hi all, I'm brand new around here. I just inherited a 1975 xs650 from my grandfather that's been sitting in his garage since '81. It's only got 2k on the odo and he even splurged for the backrest and windjammer III back in the day. Planning to try and fix it up and get her roadworthy. She's in barn find condition right now (Grandad was kind of a hoarder if you can't tell from the background), but we're taking it a step at a time.


    The inner gas tank looked kind of rusty inside so I pulled it off to try and put some Evapo-rust through it. I got to find out that it still had half a tank! 40-year-old gas never smelled so good. Luckily dumping the gas out took a lot of sludge with it. I rinsed it with some vinegar to try and loosen anything else up, and after it dried I put a gallon of Evapo-Rust in. This week has been the slow process of turning the gas tank at every angle to make sure to remove the rust from every nook and cranny.

    tank untreated.jpg

    The tires still hold air, but I wouldn't trust them more than a jog down the street. I got one cylinder to fire on ether so I'm pretty sure she'll run. Planning to change the oil and sump filter before I turn her over again. Would change the other filter, but it's out of stock on Mikes :(. I know you technically don't have to change them, but they've been sitting in the same oil for 40 years and I just think it's time for that sort of thing.


    Right now my plan is to get fuel moving and oil clean, I've been looking at a lot of the learning posts and it's been a huge help. Any tips on what to focus on to get this bike running would be awesome. Hoping for the best!
    Raymond, RC4MAN, RustiePyles and 11 others like this.
  2. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

  3. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Both oil filters are technically just screens. You don't replace 'em, you clean and reuse 'em. You should also drop the carb bowls and have a good look. If they're nasty (most probably), your best bet will be to take the carbs apart and clean 'em.
    RustiePyles, Team Junk and gggGary like this.
  4. 5twins

    5twins XS650 Guru Top Contributor

    It's best you look into the carbs, at least pull the float bowls off to see if it's all gummed up in there. Trying to start it if it is will only clog things up worse.
    RustiePyles and gggGary like this.
  5. Jim

    Jim Beyond the edge is the unknown. Here be Dragons XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    A Windjammer done up in factory '75 colors is a nice (and rare) touch too.
  6. cra-z1

    cra-z1 XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    Looks like its in pretty good shape.
    gggGary, Mailman and Jim like this.
  7. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Welcome, from another 75 owner. You’ll find everything you need here. Be sure to utilize the search tool. If you get stuck, just ask.

    MaxPete gonna chime in here soon I bet. That looks like his bike with that Jammer fairing.
    gggGary, Mailman and Jim like this.
  8. Santa

    Santa XS650 Member

    gggGary, Team Junk, GLJ and 1 other person like this.
  9. Mailman

    Mailman Hardly a Guru Top Contributor

    Welcome to the forum Santa! I hope you hang around and share with us your adventures with your new bike.
    Doing a legacy restoration on an inherited bike is a great project! I highly recommend posting your questions and updates right here on this thread you’ve already started, it helps us be able to see where you’re at and what you’re starting with , and we love to see photos as you go.
    I’d offer this tip to you, before you start removing parts off of your bike, take reference photos, lots of them showing how and where things go and come apart. You’ll thank me later! :thumbsup:
    Good luck with your bike!
    Raymond, RustiePyles, gggGary and 3 others like this.
  10. bosco659

    bosco659 XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    Welcome, nice bike, great project. I’ll keep an eye on your progress. Tons of expertise within this forum.
    RustiePyles likes this.
  11. mick71b

    mick71b Electric start is nice. XS650.com Supporter

    Welcome! I just bought a '75 about a month ago. Yours looks promising and in good shape.
  12. JRay77

    JRay77 XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter

    That lower sump filter gets a hole blown in it. Buy a new one and do the mod described on this forum. Bearings and seals all have a life span. Even with low miles, look into them. Clutch plates stick. Fork seals. Brake pads. Hydraulic brakes need flushed and maybe replaced. Parts are so reasonable for these, take your time and go thru it all. Massage it back into shape and develop a relationship with it.
    Edit: I wouldn’t use any type of synthetic oil. Makes the clutch plates slip. Even the simplest task look up on here.
    Last edited: May 12, 2021
    RustiePyles and GLJ like this.
  13. lakeview

    lakeview XS650 Guru XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Sawzall will get rid of all that rusty stuff!
    GLJ and gggGary like this.
  14. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty Project collector XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Nice! Windjammer &sissy bar is just how they looked back in the day. You'll need a denim jacket to complete the ensemble. Welcome aboard!
    JRay77, GLJ, lakeview and 1 other person like this.
  15. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Nooooooo....! Lakeview....you are a tease. ;)

    Congrats Santa on the bike - I've always felt that the '75 had about the classiest colour scheme of any XS650 year. That old gal will shine up just great and there are loads of experts on this forum to help you. The key thing is to post lots of photos and ask questions - BEFORE buying any stuff for it. Chances are that somebody somewhere has the parts you are seeking or that a better alternative is available.

    ...oh, and welcome - from Canada's sunny southern coast in Windsor, Ontario (just across the river).

    GLJ, lakeview and RustiePyles like this.
  16. RustiePyles

    RustiePyles Semper Fortis XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    75 is my favorite XS650, nice bike. Be aware that vinegar and evapo rust will not touch varnished gasoline. So if you have a layer of varnish in the tank the evaporust will not neutralize the rust under the varnish. You need to get all the varnish out with acetone or some other solvent before can use vinegar or evaporust. I found this out the hard way.
    Santa and GLJ like this.
  17. MaxPete

    MaxPete Lucille, Betty, Demi & Gretel: I ask, THEY decide. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Agreed - and BE SURE to install fuel filters on the two hoses above the carbs before running the bike. Those carbs are extremely reliable instruments and will work perfectly for years - once they are cleaned out - but only if they stay clean.

    Installing fuel filters on an XS650 is surprisingly challenging due to the cramped quarters right above the carbs - but if you buy the smallest filters you can find, it can be done.
    Santa, GLJ, RustiePyles and 1 other person like this.
  18. member28833

    member28833 Race the wind Top Contributor

    The original in tank filters are still a good design and strain fuel very well if they are still in good condition. It's more the aftermarket fuel petcocks with inferior screens which benefit from the added in line fuel filters.
    Those transparent small cone shaped inline filters will just fit...
    PS- Yes, Lucky find on a 75 :)
    Mikey and RustiePyles like this.
  19. JRay77

    JRay77 XS650 Junkie XS650.com Supporter

    Denim jacket and jeans = Canadian Tuxedo
  20. 59Tebo

    59Tebo 59Tebo Top Contributor

    Welcome to the party, Santa! I always wondered what you did the rest of the year.... Sorry for your loss. What a terrific grandfather you had, to have left you his motorcycle. Indeed, the '75 had IMHO the sharpest looking paint schemes of them all. And you could not have found a better place for asking questions. There are some legitimate experts (and geniuses) on this site, who will be happy to impart their wisdom (and occasionally poke fun, all in good humor). For instance, on your bike's chrome, you might try some wadded up aluminum foil and a light machine oil (like 3-In-One). Squirt some oil on the tarnished chrome, and rub it with the wadded up foil. It's not anywhere near a re-chrome, but it'll look a damned sight better. Don't forget to check all those 40+ year old electronic components, like points, voltage regulator & rectifier, and ignition coils & plug wires. And, best you can, all the wiring. These bikes are amazing. They can't not run! And, with like, no miles on it, it'll last another 45 years. Good luck! Keep us updated, and yes please, send lots of pictures (we like pictures!), and again, welcome! :rock:
    Santa, Mikey, MaxPete and 1 other person like this.

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