New guy! Old bike! New project…

Sawdust256

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Howdy y’all! I am sawdust and I just picked up what I think is a 1978 Yamaha XS 650 SE Special. Not 100% on that…having some issues finding the correct VIN listed that matches the title. Anyway, I drove to Tyler and picked up the bike from my brother in law, who had not ridden the dang thang since 1983!! He should be ashamed! Anyhow, I am getting ready to clean the tank, change the plugs and see what happens??? Right before he quit riding it the motor was rebuilt….so, crossing my fingers here! I am excited to have this as a project as the bike has sentimental value for my wife of 32 years. She remembers riding the bike with her brother when she was young. I plan on keeping it as original as possible. I will change the seat to a king/queen style seat. Any advice y’all have would be greatly appreciated!
 

motormike

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Toss some Marvel oil in cylinders.. kick several times... repeat as you address the carbs... clean ..clean... run a wire thru the passages .. jets... sometimes the ultra sound doesn't get everything out... ck the carb diaphragm .... change engine oil..... once running nice.. address all the other fluids.... check the tire dates on the sidewalls.... grease the swing arm .... if it's a keeper... replace the steering ball bearings with tapered... swing arm bushings... 😎
 

Sawdust256

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Ok! Great information! I took the tank off to clean it believe it or not it still has gas, or what used to be gas, in it! Smells like turpentine now! The tires are shot. I gotta see if I can find out what size to replace them with. I was surprised to see the front is a 19 with a tube and the back tire is a 16 tubeless. Also, the insulation on some of the wires are brittle so I will replace those as well.
 

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46th Georgia

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Ok! Great information! I took the tank off to clean it believe it or not it still has gas, or what used to be gas, in it! Smells like turpentine now! The tires are shot. I gotta see if I can find out what size to replace them with. I was surprised to see the front is a 19 with a tube and the back tire is a 16 tubeless. Also, the insulation on some of the wires are brittle so I will replace those as well.
Buy the tires last. If getting it running turns out to take longer than you thought, those tires will age any way. First clean fuel system including carbs. second, drain and replace oil and brake fluid. Third check everything electric and replace the battery. Look for bare wires and corrosion before you plug the battery in. Also, because it's been sitting a long time, you bight want to pull the spark plugs and put some Marvel Mystery oil in the holes and slowly spin the engine over manually. And most important of all, read through the many threads on this forum. There is enough great info from the experts (not me, I'm just an old painter) to keep you from making costly mistakes.
 

Sawdust256

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Allright y’all. I got the tank off put some screws and white vinegar in it and sloshed it around for a bit. Dropped the bowls cleaned them up a little, they did not need much of anything! Pulled the plugs, put some mystery oil in there, not much and a little more in the oil. Kicked it about 15 times, good compression…it seems??? So now just waiting for the tank to do its thing. The tank was not bad at all, I expected it to be a lot worse after sitting since 1983! I figure in a couple days I will drain it, rinse it and rinse again with gas and mystery oil to keep the flash rusting at bay. Put new plugs in it and see if it will give me any fire!! Hopefully it belches on the second kick! What do y’all think???
 

Jim

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Hopefully it belches on the second kick! What do y’all think???
As has been pointed out several times now... at minimum, pull the bowls off the carbs and have a good look. Trying to run it with junk in the bowls is just gonna suck it further up into the carb... making it twice as hard to clean em out.
 

Jim

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As has been pointed out several times now... at minimum, pull the bowls off the carbs and have a good look. Trying to run it with junk in the bowls is just gonna suck it further up into the carb... making it twice as hard to clean em out.
And that's " at minimum."
The best thing you can do is just go ahead and pull the carbs and proactively give em a good scrub
 

Sawdust256

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Day 2 of project hopeful- took the carbs off again. This time took them apart and cleaned, cleaned and cleaned some more. Ran wire through the passes and used almost two cans of carb cleaner. While the carbs were soaking I complied with the directions given to me by yall and kicked the bike about 20-30 more times. Put the carbs back together and put them back on the bike. The tank is still soaking with white vinegar and I have sloshed it about 50 times so the 70 screws would rattle around.
I am gonna need a right side air box, both side panels and a wiring harness for the blinkers. This may seem as a silly question to y’all but will the bike kick start without a battery? I also need the rear tire axle hex nut and a clutch lever. If anyone has any of these things please holler at me and tell me how much.
 

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Jim

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This may seem as a silly question to y’all but will the bike kick start without a battery?
In a word, no. Ignition needs 12v. The alternator is an automotive type. It needs 12v applied to the field before it puts out any power. Needs a battery both for ignition and charging.
 

jpdevol

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I am gonna need a right side air box, both side panels and a wiring harness for the blinkers. This may seem as a silly question to y’all but will the bike kick start without a battery? I also need the rear tire axle hex nut and a clutch lever. If anyone has any of these things please holler at me and tell me how much.
Yep; needs battery to run: spec is YB14L-A2.

You should place an ad in classifieds here for the air box and side panels. Axle nut and clutch lever are available reproduction at Mike's https://www.mikesxs.net/yamaha-xs650-axel-nut-rear-18mm-x-1-25.html
 

Kevin Werner

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Day 2 of project hopeful- took the carbs off again. This time took them apart and cleaned, cleaned and cleaned some more. Ran wire through the passes and used almost two cans of carb cleaner. While the carbs were soaking I complied with the directions given to me by yall and kicked the bike about 20-30 more times. Put the carbs back together and put them back on the bike. The tank is still soaking with white vinegar and I have sloshed it about 50 times so the 70 screws would rattle around.
I am gonna need a right side air box, both side panels and a wiring harness for the blinkers. This may seem as a silly question to y’all but will the bike kick start without a battery? I also need the rear tire axle hex nut and a clutch lever. If anyone has any of these things please holler at me and tell me how much.
I have a free clutch lever from an '81 for the postage...$9-$14. PM me if you are interested.
16886962408153760661823946672915.jpg
 

Jim

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Sawdust256

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I agree about the fairing!! It does not fit the bike at all! The previous owner even did some modifications to make it fit!!
 

Sawdust256

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Ok…Day Three of project hopeful- I was totally amazed at how three days of soaking the tank in vinegar cleaned that son of a gun up! Just bright shiny metal inside!!! After a few rinses I sloshed around some some gas an marvel in it and put it back on the bike. Now I am just waiting to buy a battery and see what happens!
I do want to thank you all for the tips and for helping me with finding parts for this project! Dog bunny has been amazing!
At this point I will be forgoing the air boxes and just placing pods on the bike. Thank y’all again!
 

5twins

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Well, with pods and those more open, freer flowing mufflers you have, you will probably need to tweak the jetting a little. Not much of a change, but one size up on the pilots and probably two up on the mains should do it. And you'll need to lean the needles a step as well. On the '78-'79 carb set, ANY increase in main jet size requires the needle change.
 

Sawdust256

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Ok twins now you are talking in a language I do not understand….can you redneck it down for me a little???!!
 
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