Memory Lane

Shelby

XS650 Addict
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Martinsburg WV
Back in the 90s I had a 1982 XS 650 Special that I stripped to the frame and rebuilt, then later an '83 Heritage Special. Had some health issues and sold them both. Still riding, but mostly a 2014 Yamaha VStar 250. Fun, nimble little bike, but I'd never take her on the interstate like I used to the 650s.

Found an '83 on FB Marketplace last week and it followed me home. Possible spark on temporary insanity? "Not running" doesn't quite cover it -- just this side of a barn find. She's been sitting for more than a decade, tank drained, carbs drained. Everything easily removable (tank, seat, front fender) is off. New battery, now and she'll turn over. Not even attempting to start her yet -- just trying to get the oil off the bottom and up where it can do some good.

Couple projects to work on -- besides massive amounts of cleaning. Tires were new when she was last parked. Stored off the floor, center stand and a jack, underinflated (10 pounds). No signs of dry rot, holding air at full pressure, and they feel pliable, but I'm not sure I should trust them... Headlight and license plate lights not working. One broken fuse holder, previously repaired with a new end spliced in. Fell apart at the splice soon as I touched it. Will unplug down to the main wiring harness and check each section for bad connections. Any suggestions for replacing broken fuse holders? Clutch won't engage, can't get her out of neutral. Hoping it's just stuck. Cable moves freely in the sheath. Current plan is to pull the side cover plate and check the clutch end of the cable and make sure nothing's sticking there. Found a couple tutorials on that, many thanks! Replacement headlights don't seem to be easy to locate either (Hopefully it's just wiring). Been 25 years since I tackled a project like this. Any suggestions appreciated.
 
Welcome to the forum!! Pics or it didn't happen. ;)

On the later models, yours included, the engine needs to run before the headlight will work. Or more correctly, the alternator needs to be charging. It sends a charging signal to the safety/headlight relay to turn on the lights.

For fuses, many of us install a more modern, aftermarket blade type fuse block. There's a ton of 'em out there to choose from.


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If you get a blade fuse block, make sure it's the kind with separate inputs and outputs for each fuse. You don't want one with one input that feeds all the fuses.
 
Fuse box -- guys this is awesome! I grew up in a hobby shop, so wiring in a new fuse box shouldn't be a problem. For now I got an inline replacement. Now I know why the headlight still wouldn't work. /headdesk. Thanks much! Likely should have remembered that, but hey. 25 years... Do the license-plate lights work the same way? Everything else seems to check out.

Any suggestions on unsticking the clutch? I bookmarked a video on you-tube. Not torn the side off yet -- garage is too cold ATM. :D
 
The kicker works through the clutch on these bikes. That means that pulling the clutch in (disengaging it) should disconnect the kicker from the crank and it won't turn the motor over. So, if the clutch plates are stuck together from sitting, you can usually free them up by pulling in the clutch and kicking the engine over a bunch of times. This will usually eventually break the plates free and the kicker will just push through it's stroke without turning the engine over. It may take lots of kicks though, like 10, maybe even 20, lol.
 
Another, easier (IMHO) method of freeing the clutch plates is the Fred Flintstone method: sit on the bike, hands on the handlebars. Get it into second gear gently. Pull in the clutch (engine is off) and sit on the seat, pushing the bike forwards and backwards while in gear. Eventually, the clutch will free up.


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If you get a blade fuse block, make sure it's the kind with separate inputs and outputs for each fuse. You don't want one with one input that feeds all the fuses.
Was going to ask about that. The terminal blocks I looked at first all had main load and ground posts. Found this one looks like it should work.
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My original thought was to replace each of the four fuses individually with single inline housing units for glass fuses (found on Mike's.) I do remember the originals had a bad habit of needing to have ponytail bands added on the side of the road... These are rated at 20 amps, though. I like the idea of using bullet connectors, making them easy to replace.

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Thanks! I'll try both clutch methods. Pretty sure it is just stuck. Husband managed to get it into neutral to get it off the trailer, though it took him a dozen tries. Now it wants badly to stay in neutral. (He's 'most a foot taller than I am... sometimes very helpful).
 
It's usually pretty easy to get first or second using the "rocking" motion mentioned above. Sit on the bike and rock it back and forth while pulling up into second. It'll usually jus' pop right in.
When are we gonna see pics of the bike? We love pics here. :geek:
 
It's usually pretty easy to get first or second using the "rocking" motion mentioned above. Sit on the bike and rock it back and forth while pulling up into second. It'll usually jus' pop right in.
When are we gonna see pics of the bike? We love pics here. :geek:
Bike's in pieces all over the garage ATM. So far been tearing down, testing, and making a To Fix list. And getting the title straightened out.
Here's the shot from FB MP where I found her. Orange spot on the rear fender's a PA Inspection Sticker expired 1988. Left fork, PA sticker expired 1992.
Pretty sure she's been sitting (tank and carbs drained, tires deflates) for at least 20 years. Today's mission to to tear down far enough to extract the fule lines, which are a collection of band aided patch-together pieces with no clamps whatsoever..

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Found a glass fuse block with screw terminals and did this on a radian, an XS would work the same way.
Mikes XS sells a complete replacement glass fuse block also
https://www.mikesxs.net/yamaha-xs650-fuse-box-with-connector-plugs-cover.html

Found a glass fuse block with screw terminals and did this on a radian, an XS would work the same way.
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oh, nice! If my wiring harness had plugs I'd be there in a heartbeat.
 
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I had one that was finicky about shifting when I got it. Once I started her up everything worked and shifted freely. Actually one of the easiest shifting bikes I’ve ever had…
I remember my first '82 as being really smooth to shift as well, though it was real easy to slide right thru Neutral and end up in 2nd.
 
Did that model have the clutch and side stand " safety " switch... ? .... I bypassed mine on my 82' ,,,, it was one of the reasons mine wouldn't start after I purchased it.... 😎
I remember stalling out /kill switch I assume if I tried to hit first with the kickstand down as a thing with most of my bikes (All Yamahas) thru the years, but I can't say when that started. I need to take the side stand to a local shop and have it heated and torqued to about 15% -- it's near straight now, can't trust it. Turn the wheel wrong, she's going down. I'll look when I get under her. I assume there's a you-tube for that. :D
 
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