WJL AKA Wrenchjohns Legacy 70 XS1 in gggGary's hands


If not now, When?
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Baraboo, WI, USA
Got the bikes unloaded. Replaced the parts I removed to get them both on the trailer, Rode Madness for a bit then installed a new pair of baseball bats on WJL ( WrenchJohn's Legacy) 1970 XS
Fired it up, fiddled with some carb adjustments. Runs and idles fine now. Added some gas and rode it 'round the country block. All seems good to great. Engine is quiet, revs freely, clutch is working fine, tranny shifts well, saw an indicated 70+ several times. Handling, suspension, brakes all seem "period correct". Love it.
Bike was sitting and idling for these pics. So far it's a "one easy kick" starter.
Allison took a great little video of me riding it but it's phone sideways and apparently modern computers no longer know how to do such complicated things as turning a video 90 degrees. :zzz:
More to do, mostly clean adjust check the usual, but it seems ready, even anxious to try some local trips.

Luckily we have some good weather for the next few days.
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So, what exactly is the story on this "WrenchJohn's Legacy" bike? I don't recall seeing you mention anything about it before, unless I just missed it.
WrenchJohn has posted about this bike here on and off for several years, he has owned it since about 1976. It had been taken apart for a chopper build then got moved several times finally he rescued the parts and boxes from his brother's basement and returned it to stock with much hard work and many new parts.
It was for sale in the classifieds and the story unfolded there and in the 2019 VYR thread that's been active the last few weeks.
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Geez your bike is closer to turnkey than mine..was....:(

Yeah only about 5 hours of labor so far and with another 20 or 30 hours and continued raiding of the parts stashes maybe 1-2 thou worth of parts it should be good til I decide to go into the motor. To all; I'm not complaining this is exactly what I was expecting, if anything the bike is better than WrenchJohns presented it. Caveat I do know a little bit about the care and feeding of XS's and other old bikes. As an example the 1999 Royal star I bought with only 10,000 miles took about 200 hours and 2,000 before it was "road trip" ready. If I wasn't "a bit handy with wrenches" it would have been well over 5,000 in maint. and it had a 1,500 service done just before I bought it.
Max you should reread this thread you started.... Then look at all the other threads you started and the near unanimous opinions about old bikes and maintenance, suggestions made about what bikes a "non maintainer" should be looking at. Then pay attention here as i document the journey on this bike.
I'm going to throw some of WrenchJohns' posts in here to bring much of the history to one place.
The for sale ad.
speedo shows 25,224 Engine is not touched since before my ownership 1976. Was off the road, stored in an occupied house late 1977 until 2013 when it came back for restoration. Since resto, has been ridden about 500 miles. $3000.00 is minimum and only available to forum. I am in Maryland. Mostly original with Mikesxs Dunstall copies, Mikesxs repop wiring harness, repop XS1 tail light base with NOS lens, Asian repop seat (the issues have been ironed out), 135 mains, Halogen headlamp, original points ignition, original charging, newish paint and matching numbers. PM with telco and we can talk.


Posts from 2014
Long story, in late 1970s while redoing my xs1 the wife somehow got in a family way so I gave the xs1 project bike to my brother. His wife gets in the family way and the xs1 got lost in his basement. Fast forward to 2013, brother now races a 67 VW, I ride 2007 FLHRC. Now I find the xs1 in my garage and after about 45 minutes tinkering it starts on 2 kicks and runs ok. My plan is restoration but I have a problem, the tires (Conti K112 & RB2) still look brand new, the K112 (never touched the street) still has nibs and the paint stripe on tread. I've been an auto mechanic for years and know that car tires should be replaced when dry rotted, worn out or after 10 years, but I've never personally hit timeout on car or bike. Any chance these tires are kinda safe?
tins primed 2day, next week taper stem bearings and maybe paint then around the block. (note tires replaced)

in this restore,seems every step of the way i'm running into small roadblocks. i first thought the stem bearings bad, taking apart and find what appears to be looseness between slider and tube. are there bushings available anywhere?

I've a 1970 XS1 that could be had for the right money. Was stored indoors since early 1980s, now its back in my garage. After minor work, its a 2kick start. New mikesxs harness and a couple other parts. I was thinking of restoration. Lots more info if you have interest. If interested, reply then we can work with pm. js
loud music, beers and fitted dampers on side covers. straighten bent headlight rim, allballs stem bearings, prepping for reassembly when chrome comes back. lord knows i really want to run it around the block its only been 40 years since i rode the xs.

edit- further up in thread is a link to a teflon bushing for a Honda shock, it might have worked but somehow it got effed up on attempted install.
seems the top race is very loose in the neck radially, about .050" loose, anybody had this issue?
cut a 50mm X 48mm X 10mm bushing with 6061 aluminum, it fits snug with no wobble in the neck and feels like it is going to work.
gggGary asks; did it work?
It did work and I have been riding even at speed, no wobble. Turning the bushing took about 5 hours. It may have been quicker if I had even touched a lathe since 1970. john
paints back

polished the left engine cover, looks good. then went on to grease the worm, it's cracked! and it's three screw. ordered a later 4 screw unit from mikesxs and am hoping it can be used since it seems to be the only game in town.


today, ran tygon f4040a fuel lines with filters, mounted the tank and ran the engine. 2 kick start. the worst thing about this "garage find" project is that I'm actually the PO, 40 years ago my taste and skills may have been somewhat lacking
Replaced the 40 year old new conti rear with a new new k70 rear, polished the brake and changed some hardware. Then went for another shake apart ride, kinda aggressive this time (I think we saw 80 mph). I think all the bits are still on.

The xs1 runs nice but, after hot, sometimes while down shifting 5 4 3 2 N. Now its stuck in neutral can't get low, kick into 2 just fine then punch hard can get low. All's ok till it decides to do it again. This may have happened with this bike back in the '70s or maybe my oldass brain is remembering wrong. The clock says 25,000 miles but I remember before putting this away I had 2 speedometers so mileage is likely wrong.

Ok, I'm gonna beat this clutch slippage this weekend. All the new bits are here, 7 fiber and 6 oem steel clutches, NOS cable, +20% springs, replacement stock type screws for the tension springs. With all this, what's the next shoe drop bringing.

put a very nice used early 256-21611-00-93 rear fender on in place of the 40 year old aftermarket chrome

Gathering parts for the XS1; correct rear fender (polished up nicely), correct tail light lens, NOS fender mount speedo and brake cable bracket, NOS grey clutch cable, grey tach cable still enroute.

I got the stupid idea that tightening the side stand bolt might improve the lean angle, OOPS! The blasted bolt broke, I guess its really a good thing that the modified '77 main stand works. Maybe get it fixed next weekend.

I use K70's and balance beads on the XS1, they handle fine and don't add to the normal vibration. That being said, back in the day iirc we just put the tires on without balance and just rode. john

today, installed a new side stand to replace the old bent and broken one. then put a new repop left handlebar switch required some rewire. then a steam problem arose damn, no more steam! must be nap time john

got busy on the XS1. Changed fuse from glass to ATO, changed tach cable from black to grey, put cable guide on front fender, new bulb in tail light, Pledged the paint I'm Going to say that this XS1 is better than it was in 1977 when it came into the house.
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Then pay attention here as i document the journey on this bike.


Old motorcycles aren’t for everyone and as my Gramma used to say, “if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen”. Just because a bike looks pretty and even if it starts readily, that doesn’t mean it is “done”.

In fact, there is no “done” with these nifty old machines.

They take constant maintenance and care and thus, (as Gary points out), no small amount of time, effort and money to keep running reliably and safely. I’d say that most people on this forum - be they experts like Gary or duffers like most of the rest of us - get that and relish the whole process and derive a great deal of satisfaction from getting them running, and keeping them running.

I’ll be watching and learning from this thread with great interest - and that is why this one rates no fewer than three popcorns.
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I cannot take issue wwith any of the criticisms directed at me.. It is my own fault for ignoring the most obvious and wishfully thinking i could be ahaed of the curve...Actually i am way ahead of the curve..The bike is really a fine example and is mostly there..i just need to wrap my head around the fact that what you all say is true..I hope i can learn to work on this bike..i have some serious shortcomings in that regard...My sincere apologies for sounding like the whiner i am...
I cannot take issue wwith any of the criticisms directed at me.. It is my own fault for ignoring yhe most obvious and wishfully thinking i could be ahaed of the curve...Actually i am way ahead of the curve..The bike is really a fine example and is mostly there..i just need to wrap my head arpound the fact that what you all stste is in fact the truth...My sincere apologies for sounding like the whiner i am...
You do have some legitimate beefs, there's background work going on.
Start an IV !! High-octane, wide open flow... stat!!! :laugh:
How long does the plastic last before it starts to break down? I've been looking for something to use as a temporary test tank, that I can fab up using "junk" I have laying around ('cuz I'm cheap!). Now, where did I put that plastic pipe....