MikesXS Review/Warning

Dan Brueggeman

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Wanted to share this cautionary tale about MikesXS. I ordered Keyster brand carb kits. Fought the bike for 6 months trying everything to get it to run, spending thousands of dollars chasing down an issue that was caused by them selling a kit that has jet needles that are 2mm too short! Also, it has the wrong size main jets in the kit. I put the stock jets and needles back in and it runs fine. When I let them know about the kits having the wrong parts in them, all they can say is “they’re aftermarket so the tuning process is different” wtf?! I advised them that they are being irresponsible by selling a kit that is known to have the wrong parts in it and it seems that they don’t care. They were not willing to do anything to fix the situation so no, I don’t recommend them.
 

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650Skull

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Hi Dan, welcome.

Unfortunately this is well known. It's not just mikes that sells these kester kits and for the life of me i don't know how they keep selling them due to the generic needles and non Mikuni jets.

I did a quick search with the search feature on here with "Keyster carb Kits" and here is what comes up
https://www.xs650.com/search/167563/?q=Keyster+carb+kits&o=relevance

Your here now so before you buy anything..........that's anything........... ask on here first. There is more than just MikesXS that supply parts, (and within that some of there stuff is good and other stuff not so good), with all the information either posted at least once before or in someones head ready to give the answer.

Post some pics of your bike and a bit of a speal about how you've come to have an XS650, or an intro in general
 

5twins

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Yes, this is the big reason aftermarket rebuild kits aren't recommended. Many have wrong size jets and needles, and they've been that way for years. And the manufacturers and sellers don't seem to care.
 

ThatXS650Guy

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Yes, this is the big reason aftermarket rebuild kits aren't recommended. Many have wrong size jets and needles, and they've been that way for years. And the manufacturers and sellers don't seem to care.
This^ Why people continue to buy "rebuild kits" is beyond me.
 

WideAWAKE

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I buy kits for the gaskets often times and sometimes float needles but don’t think I’ve ever used anything else in em.

What strikes me as odd with the rebuild kits is what I had happen with my cb160.

Carb bodies were worn out and wouldn’t run right (it happens) BUT you can buy $99 Chinese knock offs that work great. You can even swap out your original brass to the knock off carbs if you want with no issues. None of the jets are labeled with sizes in the Chinese carbs so it seems people often do this even though the carbs run just fine with the Chinese supplied brass. AND STILL, the rebuild kit brass does not work with the original carbs or the Chinese knock offs…
 

dps650rider

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Interesting. I have been suspicious about the replacement jet needles and needle jets I put in last year since I have had to lean out the needles more than expected to get the mix about right. Next time the carbs are apart I'm going to measure.
 

5twins

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Yes, needle length is very important. Moving the clip on a Mikuni needle changes it's height by 1mm, and this can have a big effect on how the bike runs. Trying to use a needle several MM's longer of shorter could make a huge difference, and usually not for the better, lol.

When I measure needle lengths, I do so from the top clip slot to the tip. I consider this the "working" portion of the needle. Here's a pic of the various BS38 needles compared. If you're going to try a different needle, best you match it's length to the one it's replacing. The length lines I drew are off a bit. The 4N8 needle is actually about 46mm long and the 4M1 about 45mm. Also, the 5O2 and 5Z1 are about the same (50mm) .....

BS38Needles.jpg


And speaking of substitutes, about the only one I've stumbled upon so far is the XS400 5Z1 for the '78-'79 carb set's 502. It's the same length but has a different taper (actually a double taper) and a sharper point .....

5Z1 Needle.jpg


5Z1 NeedleTip.jpg


It works well in the '78-'79 carbs and gives snappier off the line performance, probably due to it's sharper (richer) point. Although sustained slide lift doesn't happen on these CV carbs until rather late, say like 4K RPMs, the slide does bounce open initially for a moment when you grab a big handful of throttle. I think that's when this sharper, richer point comes into play, giving a richer shot of fuel and hence, the snappier performance.
 

Jan_P

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This is good information ..and important from many viewpoints
Firstly ( In general terms ) it is not clear that ..one legally can sell a product that is not usable for the Customer. Fraud here is a deception
con someone to do something they would not do otherwise.. the purchase of the carburetor kit
There needs also be a correspondence between Price and Quality.

Secondly it is not difficult to put a Intern at the Copy machine printing out a stack of paper enclosing a paper in the shipment " Read this "
saving a lot of problems and time.

At the moment with that enclosed paper .the buyer can go onto this site and find the solution

It is also a question of customer relations .. Myself have had good experiences with MIkes but the freight makes me buy closer
But this is a sure way to lose customers in the long run.
Here Motorcycling in many ways is a hobby ..and you don't want to get defrauded in a hobby giving bad vibes ..
Upsetting your nerves..
 

toglhot

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Unfortunately, Mikes isn't the only supplier who sell dodgy parts, for every seller there are some customers who are not happy, with some there are lots. They're in business to make money, not make customers happy! I bought spokes for the front wheel off our XS guy in Oz and ended up with thread showing before the nipple, when I complained all I got were a series of abusive texts and emails.
The rear wheel spokes came all the way from Heidens, same price as those in Oz even though they travelled halfway around the world to get here, they were perfect, no thread showing.
But I'm sure even Heidens have some detractors.
 

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grizld1

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We've warned about rebuild kits in general and Keyster in particular for years, and Mike's is well known for offering anything that sells, no matter how well documented the defects are. Folks, please read before you buy; if the vendors can't sell trash, they'll quit stocking it. If we want quality we have to insist on it by not giving our cash for junk.
 

dps650rider

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Been playing with tuning since the swap, had to go down 1 size on the mains to 132.5's, possibly because the needles are a bit shorter.
 
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