New XS650....new to everything and a battery question

Maine_dad

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I just picked up a 78 650 Special. It has been sitting for 30 years. I hope to rebuild it with my son (for as long as his patience lasts anyway). In any event, I am a total noob here. New to bikes, relatively new to vehicles (I putter on some cars and "figure stuff out"). As such, if you respond please assume I know nothing.

So, we picked it up this weekend and I took apart the front brake line and fluid reservoir and succeded in fixing the front brake (which makes it easier/safer to move around). I decided to see if the kick start could move but it wouldn't. We put a little marvel into the plugs. I still couldn't move it (was only using half pressure as I didnt want to break anything). There is oil in the case, and I can get the kickstart moving with the clutch handle pulled in. I am guessing that means seized engine.

My hope is to get it started before I start tearing in to it, if possible. So my real question is actually about the electric system. I read through a bunch of posts on this site and see a battery is needed to start it. I will have to fix a couple wires the mice used as chew toys before I do that. But I would like to know why the battery is required. It seems as though it has something to do with the starter maybe? I am just curious on the starting process that would get power to the starter(?) at the exact time I try to kick start? Hopefully, that question makes sense. I am just looking to understand the bike's starting process, specifically as it relates to the kick starter. I imagine there are more than a few people here that can answer that off the top of thwir heads!

Thanks in advance

Edit(update) after typing this I went to go play a bit and tried @pamcapote suggestion of turning the 17mm bolt on the alternator (I had to google where it was). After just a little pressure with a standard ratchet it turned! The kick start is no longer stuck and makes the sound you would expect to hear. Now on to the electrical, drain and fresh gas, battery, and start attempt. Still curious about the "how" on the battery electrical.
 
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jpdevol

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Welcome! I hope congrats on the father/son project.

The system design requires a battery to supply power to ignition in addition to starter, etc.
 

5twins

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Before attempting to start it, drop a float bowl and have a look inside. If it's all gummed up with gas residue, the carbs will need a cleaning. Attempting to start it like that will suck that gunk up into the carbs and plug them up big time.
 

jpdevol

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Just now caught the edit (index doesn't update). Success!, I'm glad it freed.

The how: The XS (most street bikes) has a kickstarter as a feature, but unlike most off-road bikes does not have a permanent magnet alternator (stock) with capacitor discharge ignition nor a magneto generator. The system starts with an electro magnet (field coil) that rotates inside a stationary winding (stator) to produce AC current that is then converted (rectified) into DC current that charges the battery. The field coil actually needs power from the battery to even begin producing electricity. Without the battery, the whole system is dead regardless of a kickstarter. More?
 

Kevin Werner

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Wiring, rodent chewed. etc. Go here.. https://www.xs650.com/threads/some-wiring-diagrams.61/ Down the page a little is the schematic with color coding for every year. Many contributers have put the tech section together. This section on wiring has the colorcoding in the schematics. Look at this on a laptop or PC, a phone might not have a big enough screen to follow through the schematics.

Welcome to the madness...😎
 

BluzPlayer

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Welcome aboard!
You are definitely in the right place.
Tons of information and how to videos in the tech section. Approach one system at a time. Members are very knowledgeable and usually go out of their way to help you solve any issues. Great idea to check with the forum before ordering any parts. Depending on the parts, some vendors are better than others. Never hurts to ask. The forum loves pics and the eagle eyed members here can sometimes identify issues that you are unaware of. Great bike with good availability and should make a great father and son project. Hope you both enjoy it.
 

Maine_dad

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Before attempting to start it, drop a float bowl and have a look inside. If it's all gummed up with gas residue, the carbs will need a cleaning. Attempting to start it like that will suck that gunk up into the carbs and plug them up big time.
Can you help with a more detailed response of what "drop a float ball" is/means? Thanks! (Update. There is this really crazy thing called "google" and it helped me figure out what you are talking about, and I should have known as I just yesterday was watching a video on rebuilding carburators. Any tips on process appreciated!)
 
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Maine_dad

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Just now caught the edit (index doesn't update). Success!, I'm glad it freed.

The how: The XS (most street bikes) has a kickstarter as a feature, but unlike most off-road bikes does not have a permanent magnet alternator (stock) with capacitor discharge ignition nor a magneto generator. The system starts with an electro magnet (field coil) that rotates inside a stationary winding (stator) to produce AC current that is then converted (rectified) into DC current that charges the battery. The field coil actually needs power from the battery to even begin producing electricity. Without the battery, the whole system is dead regardless of a kickstarter. More?
That is helpful; thanks again! How does the electrocal system know I am kick starting the bike to know when to get the field coil to begin producing electricity? Or is it always doing it once the bike is in the run position?
 

Maine_dad

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Welcome aboard!
You are definitely in the right place.
Tons of information and how to videos in the tech section. Approach one system at a time. Members are very knowledgeable and usually go out of their way to help you solve any issues. Great idea to check with the forum before ordering any parts. Depending on the parts, some vendors are better than others. Never hurts to ask. The forum loves pics and the eagle eyed members here can sometimes identify issues that you are unaware of. Great bike with good availability and should make a great father and son project. Hope you both enjoy it.
Thank you! Pre and post first bath pictures attached for the pic lovers. :)
 

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Maine_dad

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Wiring, rodent chewed. etc. Go here.. https://www.xs650.com/threads/some-wiring-diagrams.61/ Down the page a little is the schematic with color coding for every year. Many contributers have put the tech section together. This section on wiring has the colorcoding in the schematics. Look at this on a laptop or PC, a phone might not have a big enough screen to follow through the schematics.

Welcome to the madness...😎
Thanks!
 

Downeaster

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Welcome!

Where in Maine? I'm Downeast, between Ellsworth and Milbridge, east end of coastal Hancock County.

If you're not too far away, I'd be happy to do an in-person assist.

As you've already discovered, there's a great deal of knowledge and help here.
 

jpdevol

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That is helpful; thanks again! How does the electrocal system know I am kick starting the bike to know when to get the field coil to begin producing electricity? Or is it always doing it once the bike is in the run position?
The kickstarter turns the crank (through the clutch) that the rotor (field coil) is attached to. If the key is on, the circuits align to produce electricity. The points in the ignition system time the spark by features on the camshaft. The electric starter spins the crank too. In, short, with key and kill switch on the electrics do everything automatically.
 

Kevin Werner

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Someone should talk to you about tools. These fasteners are not Phillips head. They are JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) and a Phillips screw driver will weiner them up.
A thumb driver like in the picture will ease removing the bowls while the carbs remain on the bike. Some of us are frugal and modify a Phillips driver by grinding the tip rounded. It works well. I have replaced most of my fasteners with SS allenhead cap screws.
16600531924471238325587739312401.jpg
 

Maine_dad

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Someone should talk to you about tools. These fasteners are not Phillips head. They are JIS (Japanese Industrial Standard) and a Phillips screw driver will weiner them up.
A thumb driver like in the picture will ease removing the bowls while the carbs remain on the bike. Some of us are frugal and modify a Phillips driver by grinding the tip rounded. It works well. I have replaced most of my fasteners with SS allenhead cap screws.View attachment 221405
REALLY helpful; thank you!
 

jpdevol

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When ya get to that point, post pics of "rat chewed wires" it'll help us assess and advise
 

Maine_dad

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Your bike is a good basis for a survivor restoration; all original parts present, including the sissy-bar that is original factory Yamaha accessory.
There is some heavy rusting at the inside corners at the welds, but otherwise cleaned up nice. Did the sissy bars come with a backrest? I saw two holes (ine on each side about halfway up) that looked like they might be to put a screw through.
 

Maine_dad

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Welcome!

Where in Maine? I'm Downeast, between Ellsworth and Milbridge, east end of coastal Hancock County.

If you're not too far away, I'd be happy to do an in-person assist.

As you've already discovered, there's a great deal of knowledge and help here.
I am near Portland.
 

jpdevol

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A backrest was available. IMO, looks better without it.
 
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