What have you done to your XS today?

Went for about 50 mile ride today.
I think it's been about three months since I had it out.
It started right up with two and half kicks.
Stopped for a burger near the house.
 

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After a few days away from the bike, a bit more progress today. Stripped the right side switch gear this morning and as expected it was found crusty as a crusty thing. Both the kill switch and the starter button are salvageable though. Had to order a couple of small springs for the kill switch which unfortunately are Chinesium but needs must. Be a few days for them to get here and clear customs so that is holding up further progress on troubleshooting lack of sparks at the plugs. I suppose I could temporarily jumper the kill switch out for testing. I will think about that. Thread with more discussion here - https://www.xs650.com/threads/right-side-switch-problems-repair-or-replace.66387/post-840268

Fitted new rubber isolators to the recently painted footrests and refitted them. Really happy with how they have turned out. Picture -

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A bit more progress today. Left and right switchgear now clean and lubricated but with the kill switch shorted temporarily.

With battery voltage of 12.8v, I get 12v at the kill switch. At the red/white wire feed to the coils I also get 12v. So there's a bit of voltage drop most likely in the ignition switch but not downstream of that.

Where the red/white terminal splits to each coil, the bullets are a bit manky and the connection could be tighter. I'm going to clean and tighten that connection up.

Cranking shows sparks present now at both plugs but I'm not overwhelmed by the spark intensity. With 12v at the coils I was expecting better.

I have new plugs, caps, HT leads, condensers, points. Just the coils are old but they measure well. I am mulling over the fitting of a fused relay to get as close to full battery voltage onto the coils. The alternative is of course after market electronic ignition. But I want to get the bike running on points before doing that. Picture -

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A bit more progress today. Left and right switchgear now clean and lubricated but with the kill switch shorted temporarily.

With battery voltage of 12.8v, I get 12v at the kill switch. At the red/white wire feed to the coils I also get 12v. So there's a bit of voltage drop most likely in the ignition switch but not downstream of that.

Where the red/white terminal splits to each coil, the bullets are a bit manky and the connection could be tighter. I'm going to clean and tighten that connection up.

Cranking shows sparks present now at both plugs but I'm not overwhelmed by the spark intensity. With 12v at the coils I was expecting better.

I have new plugs, caps, HT leads, condensers, points. Just the coils are old but they measure well. I am mulling over the fitting of a fused relay to get as close to full battery voltage onto the coils. The alternative is of course after market electronic ignition. But I want to get the bike running on points before doing that. Picture -

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Sounds like you are pursuing an excellent troubleshooting plan. Often as not poor running is a death by 1000 cuts chain. Keep eliminating "maybe" trouble spots and you will end up with a solid reliable runner. Points systems can be very reliable with a good running bike, but fact is a good electronic system will produce a stronger, more consistently timed spark.
 
Sounds like you are pursuing an excellent troubleshooting plan. Often as not poor running is a death by 1000 cuts chain. Keep eliminating "maybe" trouble spots and you will end up with a solid reliable runner. Points systems can be very reliable with a good running bike, but fact is a good electronic system will produce a stronger, more consistently timed spark.
Thanks, my thinking too.

I've never failed to get home with a points ignition. I have had two aftermarket ignition kits go bad. Maybe quality has improved but I'm not so sure with 99.9% of anything electronic being made in the far East and I'm not meaning Japan or South Korea.
 
If you haven't done so already, you should "service" your ignition switch, take it all apart, clean, and grease it. I'm sure it needs it, and I'll bet the contacts are dirty or corroded, judging by what you found in your right switch assembly. Here's a "how-to", see post #8 ......

https://www.xs650.com/threads/locks-and-keys.60861/
 
Hooked up the innovate wide band sensor. Had to use a spacer to avoid sensor overheating. Let the tuning begin
 

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More progress yesterday afternoon and this morning. Cleaned and lubricated the ignition switch as suggested. Was pretty clean already and hasn't made a huge difference to the voltage at the ignition coils. I conclude that the voltage drop I'm seeing at the coils is a result of multiple 47 years old crimps and bullets. So, a big effort to go through and replace them all. After thinking about it, I've decided to use the red/white switched live to the coils to switch a relay and send battery voltage to the coils. I can't get a better spark from the coils than that. I've ordered what I need to do that. Should be here Tuesday. Meantime, I tapped into the red/white and put a temporary voltmeter I had into the circuit. The voltmeter is broken despite it being unused. I am not a big fan of Chinese electronics. (I have bought two relays for my ignition circuit mod. So I have a spare in my pocket should the installed one fail).

This morning we have a very sunny and warm day. The only one so far this year. So I've sprayed the mufflers rusty areas previous treated with Jenolite rust treatment. There's a real rust trap where the mufflers mount to the rear footrests. And the underside generally has a fair bit of rusty patches. I want the original mufflers to last as long as they can. So treating the rust and spraying the areas with barbecue paint is a sensible option, I think. Some of the painted black area will be visible but I'm not too bothered about that.

One snag that I also spotted. The lower chain run is eating into the exhaust cross over tube. It's maybe 50% of the way worn through. I have fitted a stainless steel worm drive clip over the area where the chain rubs. I need to trim the tail off the clip, I'll do that before refitting the mufflers. At the moment the black barbecue paint is curing in the warm sun. Should be nice and dry after lunch.

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More progress yesterday afternoon and this morning. Cleaned and lubricated the ignition switch as suggested. Was pretty clean already and hasn't made a huge difference to the voltage at the ignition coils. I conclude that the voltage drop I'm seeing at the coils is a result of multiple 47 years old crimps and bullets. So, a big effort to go through and replace them all. After thinking about it, I've decided to use the red/white switched live to the coils to switch a relay and send battery voltage to the coils. I can't get a better spark from the coils than that. I've ordered what I need to do that. Should be here Tuesday. Meantime, I tapped into the red/white and put a temporary voltmeter I had into the circuit. The voltmeter is broken despite it being unused. I am not a big fan of Chinese electronics. (I have bought two relays for my ignition circuit mod. So I have a spare in my pocket should the installed one fail).

This morning we have a very sunny and warm day. The only one so far this year. So I've sprayed the mufflers rusty areas previous treated with Jenolite rust treatment. There's a real rust trap where the mufflers mount to the rear footrests. And the underside generally has a fair bit of rusty patches. I want the original mufflers to last as long as they can. So treating the rust and spraying the areas with barbecue paint is a sensible option, I think. Some of the painted black area will be visible but I'm not too bothered about that.

One snag that I also spotted the lower chain run is eating into the exhaust cross over tube. It's maybe 50% of the way worn through. I have fitted a stainless steel worm drive clip over the area where the chain rubs. I need to trim the tail off the clip, I'll do that before refitting the mufflers. At the moment the black barbecue paint is curing in the warm sun. Should be nice and dry after lunch.

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your bike has a cross over pipe (that is standard?) my bike does not have that. i wonder when that was dropped? Jay
 
(I have bought two relays for my ignition circuit mod. So I have a spare in my pocket should the installed one fail).
I raided the local scrappy for Bosch relays after some cheapy cheerful ones started to fall apart on me.
Amazing really; 30 year old Bosch ones still working perfectly and a quid each.
 
I raided the local scrappy for Bosch relays after some cheapy cheerful ones started to fall apart on me.
Amazing really; 30 year old Bosch ones still working perfectly and a quid each.
About 20 years ago, I bought a 25-pack of Bosch relays. It was some kind of an auction and I think I paid $25 (USD) for it. At a dollar per relay, I did not argue!
I still have a few left in the box and not surprisingly, used one on the XS for the ignition RFID system. :)
 
you mentioned that the chain was catching, what about the center stand? Is the pipe infront of the centrestand pivot? jay
The chain isn't rubbing on the cross over pipe now I've tensioned it. Previous owner clearly hasn't been 100% diligent in keeping chain tensioned properly, hence the rub on the cross over tube. The hose clip I've installed is just to prevent further deterioration should I also let the chain run a bit loose at some time. I don't want a hole in the tube. I want the original silencers to last as long as possible.
 
The chain isn't rubbing on the cross over pipe now I've tensioned it. Previous owner clearly hasn't been 100% diligent in keeping chain tensioned properly, hence the rub on the cross over tube. The hose clip I've installed is just to prevent further deterioration should I also let the chain run a bit loose at some time. I don't want a hole in the tube. I want the original silencers to last as long as possible.
that's cool, my bike is 78, American import, but i don't think the exhaust is the original and no crossover pipe (balance pipe). jay
 
that's cool, my bike is 78, American import, but i don't think the exhaust is the original and no crossover pipe (balance pipe). jay
Mine is also US import, 77 XS650D. Whether the cross over tube is a universal feature on all years of XS650 and for all markets, I don't know.
 
Not a lot of time this morning, so just finished bolting up the mufflers to the headers. The matt black barbecue paint that I used was left in the sun yesterday afternoon. It got so hot I definitely couldn't touch it. So it is well cured and ready to start. I dare say it'll still smoke a bit on first start up though.

I was surprised how expensive the circular gaskets are that fit in the muffler to header joint inside the castellated nut. So I bought some 3mm square exfoliated graphite packing and used that. Dirt cheap compared to the muffler gaskets for sale out there. It's used on superheated steam and the like so it's definitely suitable for the exhaust temperature.

I have noticed that the slightly longer shocks I have fitted are causing the lower shock bolt head to just touch the muffler on the right side. I need to put a couple of mm spacer in there to give a bit of clearance. The left side has tons of clearance there.

One last thing today, I noticed one of the 5mm threaded holes where the round alternator cover is held on with two screws has been cross threaded. That explains why the screw head was chewed up when I came to remove it a while ago. I think I can save the thread if I carefully put a 5mm tap through the hole. I'm replacing all the cross head screws with stainless allen screws throughout the bike. I have some 5mm screws for there.
 
Electric bits delivery is tomorrow, so just a couple of things sorted out this morning.

Carburettors and air boxes prepared for refitting, all new rubbers etc.

A 3mm thick horseshoe type spacer made to slip between the right side rear footrest mount and the frame. Gives a bit of clearance between the lower rear shock mount bolt and the muffler. With the longer shocks and the bike on it's centre stand the muffler was just touching the bottom shock absorber bolt. It's clear now by about 1mm. Only an issue with the bike on it's centre stand anyway. Left side is already about 2mm clear and doesn't need a spacer.

The awaited 3mm x 10mm springs to repair the kill switch are in the post from China. I guess it'll be early next week by the time they clear UK customs and arrive here. Kill switch will be temporarily shorted until I fix the switch.
 
Reworked the seat. Stock height flows better aesthetically and gives this old boney ass a bit of padding,
Feet are a bit higher off the floor though there seems to be a bit more flickability in the twisties.....center of gravity there.....Yamaha engineers ftw again.
I'll be vinyl patching some holes on the cover.
Threw the Commando muffs bolts into the baffles to check any noise or performance differences. I didn't notice any great difference in noise and performance is as good as it's been , pulls strong. I'll leave them in.
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