Popping my XS650 cherry, the Journey so far.

SpookyWizard

The real magic is that I haven't blown myself up!
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So about a year ago I purchased a "1980 bobber project"
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I had to gather some tools and make sure she had plenty of time to get settled in (11 months) so in the meantime I decided to do some warm up jobs, restoration of a fuel tank and make a rear fender!

I have a little fiberglass experience so whipped up a fender using a spare wheel to get the rough shape, cleaned then filled and faired the fuel tank, after that a nice coat of paint, nothing fancy here just whatever was in the paint cabinet at work 😅
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After a long time of just looking at the bike and wondering how to start i took the plunge, no idea and therefore no worries!

I manhandled the engine out and propped it up on some scraps of wood which was a nice visual representation of how I was propping my hopes up for having a running XS650 at the end of this!

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The previous owner was kind enough to strip some of the screws saving me the trouble of doing it myself!

Following along Two wheel workshops video s on YouTube and a workshop manual i got the top end off surprisingly easy, though a few missing bolts and nothing torqued up helped speed things along!

I did drop the camchain into the crank case which I tell myself is just motivation to do the bottom end.

A few quick inspections and everything seems In fairly good nick, rocker box is free of any signs of wear, pistons were really covered in carbon and oil but seem to be good underneath it all, gudgeon pins and conrods have minimal play etc. I still need to check the tolerances but hoping a rebore isn't needed. I have however given myself a fun challenge of working out which piston came from which cylinder...

I didn't get many photos of this bit but I'm getting it all vapour blasted so will upload some when it's looking nice and clean.

Moving on to the bottom end, again following along Two wheel workshop's excellent video series I managed to remove all the gubbins and the sepperate the crank cases, I followed the guide on bolt order but found that it was kind of redundant as only half of the were torqued up so I really hope the cases aren't warped or damaged!

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Pulling the crank and gear clusters out was the last thing I did tonight, which gave me great satisfaction as barley a fortnight ago I had never touched anything engine related much past topping up oil but now I had stripped down and engine!




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I have lots of cleaning, organising and inspection to do before starting my attempt and putting it all back together again in the correct order and hopefully getting her running!

I will try to update this as I continue, this is about 2 week's worth of occasional evenings working on bits.

If you managed to get through all of this then well done and thank you for taking the time to join my journey into madness...I mean motors!
 
Nice!

You DO realize that once you complete this project - and I have no doubt of that - you will find you have embarked on a full-blown addiction. You'll constantly be on the lookout for basket case bikes, places to store them, tools and parts to fix them, time to ride them, money to fund all of the above...
 
Nice!

You DO realize that once you complete this project - and I have no doubt of that - you will find you have embarked on a full-blown addiction. You'll constantly be on the lookout for basket case bikes, places to store them, tools and parts to fix them, time to ride them, money to fund all of the above...
I should walk into my garage and get a photo as reinforcement of DE’s comment. I’m 40 years with one. Today there are four or more in my too small garage.
 
Nice!

You DO realize that once you complete this project - and I have no doubt of that - you will find you have embarked on a full-blown addiction. You'll constantly be on the lookout for basket case bikes, places to store them, tools and parts to fix them, time to ride them, money to fund all of the above...
Haha I'm quite partial to hording parts for projects and buying stuff on a whim! And I have to admit to already seeing other bikes and thinking "I could do that next" 🤣
 
So update time.

I didn't spend much time the last week due to work being so busy, but I did finish stripping the bottom end and my valve spring compressor Arrived so I managed to get that job done, 2 were seized but only took a gentle tap from a mallet and they dropped out, it was just caused by corrosion on the exhaust side as the pipes had been off for years I think?!

I dropped all the parts off to a local vapor blasting guy to get done and whilst chatting he very kindly offered to powder coat my engine brackets satin black for free so I can see if I fancy the whole frame being done!

I now have to find some jobs to do in the meantime. I'm thinking this ...

1. clean and organize my inventory of parts.

2. Find replacement parts for anything that needs replacing, so far both oil strainers need replacing as they were torn, I'm on the fence about getting an upgrade set to make it into a spin on/external filter system.

3. Work on the frame, forks and wheels. I have a bunch of jobs to sort out like calipers, electrics, tank mount, rear fender mount.

As far as the internals. Camshaft, crankshaft and all the bits to go with it, what are the main jobs I can do to these. Cleaning bearings and clean all the sepperate parts?

Anything that's on the list of things to definitely check?
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Sorry I didn't really take any photos but when it's all vapor blasted and shiny I will get some nice pictures

Oh but here is a photo of me finding out that I'm not doing any welding anytime soon! 🤣 🪺🐣

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Congratulations! Looks like you are going to be a father of two, perhaps three by tomorrow...:hump:

I really like how nice your tank and fender came out. The reflection is so clear I can see the lace holes on your boots!! Can't wait to see how the fiberglass fender works out...:bike:
 
So I managed to get some time tonight and took a look at the carburettors as they were just in the bottom of a box of parts that came with the engine, and I think they are probably the cleanest bit of the bike!
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Congratulations! Looks like you are going to be a father of two, perhaps three by tomorrow...:hump:

I really like how nice your tank and fender came out. The reflection is so clear I can see the lace holes on your boots!! Can't wait to see how the fiberglass fender works out...:bike:
Update, there are 5 eggs now, invites to the gender reveal will go out shortly 😅
 
After spotting that external circlip on your carbs a question popped into my mind. How do sizes work when ordering new external circlips? When a label says 4mm does this refer to ID or OD? Are stainless steel circlips any good or do they lack springiness? My carbs need new external circlips (E-type).
 
@SpookyWizard, you mentioned an upgrade set to make it into a spin on/external filter system?

I invested in one from Smedspeed. Folks have got me convinced that bikes have made most progress in the last forty years due to better engine oil, and modern oils have detergents etcetera that make them best suited to an ultra fine filter. I'm happy to embrace modern oils, spin-on filters and regular oil changes.
 
Slow going recently so no updates, I'm on a back burner untill the engine cases get back from vaporblasting....maybe I shouldn't have told him "no rush" 😅

I guess the main thing I'm working on is electronics 🫣


I've got the new-second hand loom and got the basic components for rewiring a barebones bike, lights brakes maybe indicators?

I have some components which were seeming missmatched at first but after some advice on here I'm taking the electric start bit off the stator and everything else should fit easy.

I was abit stumped at how to get it off untill a moment of clarity hit me and I ground a slot into each rivet/screw and just used a flathead to unwind them easy peasy!

Oh I also treated myself to a new engine stand and got some bolts matched up to mount the engine on it to make it better for putting back together than just balanced on my bench!
 

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Update time!

So I've got the motor back and it's all lovely and shiny!
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I've now started my journey back to an engine in 1 piece!

I'm waiting on some replacement bits and bobs, split pins, washers etc but going over everything and dry fitting some bits I'm pretty confident with it going okay!

As usual my bench is chaos but that's the way I roll 😎

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I've also got a bobbed frame, spoked wheels and some xt500 forks cleaning up but that's another story! 😂
 
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