They are falling from the sky


XS650 Addict
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Fredericksburg Va.
Picked up another project this morning. A Craigslist listing that I knew I shouldn't have drove down to see. I already have one going full force in the garage.
Damned if this one wasn't located about 3 miles from the first one in the same adjoining County. Another 1980 with 19K on the clock. I brought a compression tester and charged battery along to make sure I wouldn't buy it. It was in an estate where the PO had passed and Son was disposing of the property. The bike hasn't been started or ran in years but always stored indoors. Compression came up 135 on both cylinders even with the carbs frozen, hooked the battery up and nice pretty blue spark on both plugs with a spinning starter. Chrome is decent, paint is so so, and the tires have great tread but are age cracked. Seller wanted $650 so I offered $400 since it does have a clear title, and oh crap he took it. Well it is in the garage, and next on list after the first one is done. I just hope they don't breed when no one is looking, I am really short on free time and even more pressed for garage space. First up I am going to have to find an ignition switch since a small screwdriver is the current key along with a locked gas cap with no key, life has to have some speed bumps just to make it interesting......

It might be a '79 Special. A little bit of work and it would look really good, in part because ofthe seat style.
Looks like some nice aftermarket rear shocks on there, S&W I think. You might get lucky and find a N.O.S. pre-cut key on eBay, there are several sellers. For 1980, the 4 digit key number should still be stamped on the top of the lock cylinder .....


Popping one of these gas caps open without a key is easy using one of these mini pry bars .....


Simply slip the flat, slightly curved end under the cap and push the latch open. It goes easier if you push down slightly on the cap to relieve the spring pressure on the latch .....


If not, I think we decided one time you can remove the spring loaded pieces from the lock cylinders and use practically any key. Actually with the cylinder out but still together a good locksmith couldd probably make a key for it pretty quickly. And -- a really good locksmith might know of a master key that will fit them all.
Well, you can gut the lock and then use any key, even a blank, as long as that key will physically go into the lock. But the thing is, Yamaha used no fewer than a half dozen key styles on these bikes. Some are offset left, some right, some have a groove down the offset, some do not. On the ones with grooves, the grooves align side to side on some, on others they are offset .....

I went down to the local locksmith with the code off of the tank lock and ignition and they said they could duplicate the key. I had my doubts because the young lad who waited on me must have looked at a every blank on the wall before picking one. Twenty bucks later I was out the door with a key which I was 50/50 on working. Stuck it in lock and it turned like butter revealing a tank that looked like brand new on the inside with some real nasty arse gas floating around. Ok I know it goes against every principle of bringing one back, but I figured what the hell. I checked the oil, nice and clean and on the mark, so I turned the petcock on prime, jumped an auxiliary battery and the damn thing fired up shooting mouse turds and nesting material half-way across the garage. Of course I shut it down immediately since both carbs were dumping gas all over the floor. I have a good feeling about this one, maybe a good carb cleaning, oil change, and allot of elbow grease will reveal a decent motorcycle. I also started the motor detail on number one this afternoon, they seem to getting along quite well. I am beginning to think I may keep one as a knock around, run to hardware store, or drive to work occasionally ride. I am having fun...........
With all the things that get changed and fixed on these bikes, it just amazes me those funky handlebars often don't, lol. I see you have matching front turn signals there (they're all bent, lol).