XS Adventure


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I'm new to XS650.com and you guys have some really cool stuff here. I've been fooling around with other bikes for awhile, but alway wanted an XS. I've been on this project for some time now so here is a bit of history and the mods to date. I hope you like it:bike:

A friend gave me a 1979 XS650 2F a few years ago that was sitting outside. It had no title and hadn't run in many years ... Just the way we like em

My brother and I picked it up and drug it back to my place. Getting old junk bikes is like Christmas morning for me and I can't wait to find and the rodent nests and spider webs packed into it. Under the seat on the XS it has the plastic document holder like a lot of the old bikes. Inside was the title signed off and notarized in the 80's

I ran down to the title bureau this next morning and I was the legal owner of this gem.


She's a beaut ain't she

The truth is that after I got the title I let it sit in my garage at home for a couple years promising myself I would not touch it until I had an actual plan and time to do it. I've done some other bikes and opened up a new shop for work since then. Also had many ideas for what the the 650 should be in its new life. Initially it was going to be a street tracker, then a bobber, thought about a cafe for awhile too. I really like the street tracker XS650s and that was it until I was searching Craigslist one morning and happened upon this jewel.


A 1987 YZ125 basket case. After seeing a few pictures of a YZ650F that someone made I was hooked. An XS650 adventure bike it was.

I put that YZ in the garage for a bit while I was working on my F11. Then the owner of a regional motorcycle paper, Midwest Motorcyclist, mentioned that if I wanted to run a series of articles on a motorcycle build he would be happy to support it. That was late Spring / early Summer. We talked about what to do and he liked the adventure bike idea and a possible second set up for supermoto duty. We are in the middle of this now, but here is what we have after the bulk of the suspension mods.


A hybrid of the XS650 frame and motor with the YZ125 front and rear suspension, monoshock and wheels.

Most of the YZ suspension linkage was used as is, but I could not mount the lower frame mount for the linkage far enough forward on the XS frame so we had to mock up a new dogbone. A friend with a CNC mill is making a new one with the original specs and the 3 mounting points from the mock up here:



To mount the triple tree to the XS frame we had to cut the stem out of the original lower tree, re-machine it and the upper and lower trees from the YZ and press them together. BTW I think the 1989 YZ490 trees that I picked up since will be a much easier swap:banghead:



To fit the resevoir for the rear shock the right rear frame support had to be moved and the side cover lower mount modified and relocated:




Extended the kick stand. Twice, as the first time was too short:laugh:


Here are some other mods that have been done so far:

Top shock mount and electrical box.


520 chain conversion to match the YZ rear sprocket.



The 2 into 1 modified exhaust to get it up above the frame rail obviously still in progress:)


Relocated the foot pegs lower and further back:



Sectioned the brake pedal to clear the exhaust with the new peg locations:


Modified the original air boxes to fit with the monoshock:




We're going for a dual setup on this bike. The stock tank and shorter seat for regular riding but we also wanted an MX style tank and longer seat for reduced weight and the misplaced thought that this bike will have significant off-road duty:wtf:

To do that both tanks had to be able to be mounted and not affect the other tank. The stock tank was easy and we found an old MX125 tank that mounted to the front and postioned the rear mount so it would not interfere with the stock tank.



We also have another set of wheels that will be laced up for supermoto duty.

For some rough specs it has a wheel base of about 62", front suspension travel of 11", rear suspension travel of 9", 10 to 10 1/2" of ground clearance. I don't know about the weight yet, but we're going for as low as possible.

That's about where we stand on this one. The next step is to make 2 fiberglass seat pans, one for each tank. After that we need to finish off the exhaust. Then we can finally tear everything down for final welding and rebuilding everything:doh:
Wow cool stuff. its great to have friends with nice tools. I have a buddy with a small machine shop in his garage that has helped me on other projects.
Wow cool stuff. its great to have friends with nice tools. I have a buddy with a small machine shop in his garage that has helped me on other projects.

Yeah. I couldn't have tackled this without that help. I can cut and weld a bit, but I don't have any machining capabilities. Also have another friend who is going to paint it when we're done:thumbsup:

Not to mention my other buddy who gave me the bike in the first place:D
Wow. This is just cool. How do you think the suspension components from the lighter bike will hold up?

Statically they are okay, but once we get some motion I'm sure they will be too spongy. I plan on fitting the spring from the YZ490 shock (it is almost 1mm thicker than the YZ125 spring) and I think that will be a good starting point for test riding. I will probably need to get a heavier spring still though.

For the shocks I can get a set of Progress springs from a DR650. They have the same OD, are a few mm longer and have nearly twice the spring rate as the YZ125 forks. I also have the YZ490 forks and I have not checked their spring rate.

In all it is certainly a balance to get the wieght down on the bike and get it sprung to match. I won't really know until we start riding it.:bike:
Honestly I wanted it done last Fall. I'm hoping now for some initial test rides by April, but that probably won't include the supermoto set up.

Did get some work done putting gussets on the foot pegs over the weekend:)
I haven't been keeping the posts up too well here, but I finally got around for an update.

I had to find some place to stick the coils since the bracket had to be removed to fit the MX tank.


I almost mounted them by the air boxes, but then I decided to check the Pamco ignition instructions that is getting installed. I'm glad I did because the Pamco requires a single coil with dual outputs. :deal That changed the coils all together. I went with a Dynatek coil for a Harley because I could buy them individually and not waste a coil.


The coil used the original bracket modifiied and relocated where the reserve lighting relay was. Now both tanks can be fit without interfering with the coils and it is protected from the elements.

On to the muffler:

I finished welding the 2 into 1 header that was reconfigured from the old MAC that came on the bike. That was a lot of fun welding the pieces together at the bends where the metal was stretched to begin with. :baldy After that was sealed up and test fit I still did not have a muffler to put on when another one of my buddies donated an aluminum can muffler from one of his projects. :clap


The bracket would not work, the pipe diameter was too large and the bend angle was wrong, but it was free and I think it will look good intalled. It should work well on the 650 too. I think it was off of an SRX600 single, but I'm not sure.


I had some straight pipe that was just larger than the MAC single pipe so it was a pretty easy swap with the original muffler inlet.









The bracket still needs to be positioned, but all the clearences work. Iwill need to put a turn back on the muffler tip to get the exhaust to the rear, but it is aluminum and I cannot weld that. There are a couple of buddies who can though.

Rear Fender:

The rear fender has had me puzzeled for quite a while now. Originally it was going to be a standard motorcross fender with a small LED brakelight, but it did not really fit with the XS rear loop. Also, there was still a problem of the license plate. Today I decided to through a bit of kawi into this hybrid and adapt the rear frame section from a defunked 1974 F11 with a bent frame.


It will be an obvious Kawasaki duct bill on a Yamaha, but I really like those, it leaves plenty of tire clearance and I can get a bigger taillight further back on the bike. It also lends itself to tuck the license plate up it and give me a bit more fender.

The XS rear loop woul have to come off.



With the mono shock there is no need for the upper shock mounts, but I still need some strength there to support the back of the seat and the taillight, license plate, etc. The F11 tubing was about 0.020" too big to fit inside the XS tubing so I spent the next 45 minutes with a grinder and 120 grit flapper wheel trying to fit them together.

I did get them to fit so there would be about 1 1/2" of lug into the XS frame. There is also a small triangular support that I used from the F11 frame that should give plenty of weight bearing support.




It is just held in by the lugs right now. It still needs to be set in straight and welded in place. I mis-judged the angle on the gusset so it will take some work to get that fit prior to welding, but I'm pretty happy with it so far.

Other items that got done were adding the steering stop so it works with both tanks and adding gussets to the new foot pegs.
Very cool build. I have thought of something like that, but not quite so intensive a build. No mono shock just regular duals.
Keep up the good work.
It is a Sunday morning here is Toledo and I got a few hours free to come down to the shop and get some work done on the XS. It is still too early to fire up the grinder so I am prepping some parts to connect the F11 inner fender to the one I modified from the XS.

The radii between the 2 inner fenders was different so I ended up fitting them separately and hopefully I'll be able to fiberglass the 2 together. Never tried it before.

I have a cardboard template made up to support and shape the fiberglass.




The other project for today is building a bracket to fit the F11 tailsection and hold the taillight and license plate. Just got the layout done so far.


Just past 10:00AM so I think I can make some noise now :bike:
Got the tailligh and plate bracket roughed in.





Added a top support to lock it in.





And Finally:


Had enough pictures yet? :yikes:
interesting project looking good, however you will want to replace those old glass tube fuses, they are a problem waiting to happen ... #10 post here is a good automotive fuse replacement http://www.xs11.com/forum/showthread.php?t=11786

"Had enough pictures yet?" no such thing as to many build pics

Nice. I have a shop and I haven't found a decent replacement from any of the suppliers. You can get accessory blocks, but not replacement fuse blocks.

I wonder what the dimensions are.
Got started on the inner and outer fenders. I hate working with fiberglass::mad:

First I had to connect the inner fender from the XS that was modified around the monoshock to the inner fender from the Kawasaki F11 that holds the duct bill.






And a little support from the underside:


With the inner fender shape established I could form the 1st seat pan. I am starting with the small MX tank thinking that I can use the same form and just cut it back when we put on the stock XS650 tank to make the second seat.






I didn't take a picture, but I used 7mm plug wire taped around the frame to give the seat some separation and allow for upolstering. That is 4 layers on the first seat and where I left off last night. I still need to incorporate the mounting and get the rubber inserts to get the seat up off the frame a touch. It will probably need another 4 to 6 layers to make sure it is solid, but now that the form is set I can remove it and form the shorter seat for the staock tank.
I was able to separate the first seat with 4 layers of fiberglass (plain old duct tape worked well and released well). 4 layers was not going to be thick enough, but I wanted to get the shorter seat form done as I could add layers later.

Here is the 1st pan for the small MX tank. I needed to do a better job forming the sides so the next layers will have to be better and I formed the tape on the frame for a better mold for the shorter pan with the XS tank.


Working with the fiberglass is tough in the shop. The fumes are bad so I can only do it after we close and I usually need to get back to the family. Things were slow at home last night so I headed back to the shop to get the forms done.

The form was already modified for the stock XS tank so I just had to precut the fiberglass sheeting and stage the resin. Here is the shorter form for the stock tank and the 1st pan on the bench waiting for additional layers.


After 10 sheets of fiberglass:


And an additional 4 sheets on the 1st pan:


Everything was dry this morning and I was able to separate the second seat pan (although with 10 sheets it took some work). Both pans are plenty strong now. Tomorrow I'll get the excess cut off and shape the final pans. Then it will be adding the rubber mounts to sit on the frame and making the front and rear brackets to attach each seat.