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XS2 scrambler build

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by ramer0909, Jun 19, 2021.

  1. 650Skull

    650Skull SSSSSSSSSlither Top Contributor


    I think the 400 would be a better bike to cafe. Mainly because the XS2 does pose a few problems and extra costs due to it being the early type, (pre74 the engines are different to the later 74-84 ones), and the XS2 has a one year only front end, (forks hub brake rotor), so parts will be harder to get if you need to replace any of these parts.

    Read Mailmans excellent restore thread, he has a contents list on page one so you can go directly to parts of the restore that are of interest at the time.

    On the XS2.........Having a title, and having the bike in running condition would make it a more valuable selling prospect. Then again if the bike has been made reliable, Electrics/charging/brakes, and a clean tank with petcocks and carbs rebuilt and synced, with new rubber and a bit of a tidy up the bike can be used and ridden around. may not be a big cost and it can be sold or advertised a a running bike. You don't have to do a chrome paint restore.after it is made reliable a clean up with WD40 makes it look a million $ even in a rough state, and keeps it from deteriorating..........also has the look of a well used original bike

    Unless money dictates, it might be prudent to sit on both of the bikes for a while to get a feel on what is the best way forward for yourself, after deciding what advice bes suits and doing some research on here.................cant get a better site than this one for information and hands on help.
  2. ramer0909

    ramer0909 XS650 Enthusiast

    So far he has found both keys for the bike. Haven't heard about the titles yet. On the XS2 I started soda blasting the carbs and put the tank to soak in vinegar. I think for it to "run" but not move I should need maybe 50-100$ worth of parts. I am still not 100% on which one I am going to keep. I do like the 650 but looks like it will need more work than the 400. And yes I am 15 so another issue is funding, I have about 400$ saved up for them so I'm not in a huge rush to immediately sell one. Luckily my dad is into fox body mustangs so I have a garage full of tools. Anyways thanks for all the replies. Hopefully, when the first batch of parts gets here I should have a running bike.
    kshansen and Mailman like this.
  3. cra-z1

    cra-z1 XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    It's nice to see someone your age interested in these old bikes. You will learn a lot digging into how the bike operates. These are the bikes we learned on. I was about 16-17 when I started my first chopper CB750 and 18 when I bought my 73 TX650. Keep us posted on your progress.
    kshansen likes this.
  4. X77S

    X77S Let's do this!

    I wish I was where you are at that age, I was lucky to have a bicycle. Also a Dad that's into cars is going to help a ton. I'd say look for a rear wheel for the 400 at swap meets/ craigslist. Who knows someone here may have one cheap. It seems to be the better of the 2 for modifications. The XS2 is pretty rare and being mostly complete could be worth more than parting out. But they are yours and you have to decide the best route.
    lakeview likes this.
  5. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    My :twocents: on your question would be to recommend that you sell the 650 to fund the 400 build. Based on some of the limited info you have provided, I feel the 400 may be better suited to you. As a first motorcycle the size of the 400 would be a good learning bike. Also as you have stated, since you have limited funds, I think the money you could make selling or parting out the 650 would go a long way in providing you with funds to build the 400 to your liking. As other have stated, the 72 650 is a desirable collectable bike, but also has some unique one year only parts that are hard to come by. Keep in mind, the value of a restored xs650 is often far less than the amount that their owners have invested in restoring them. Another thing to consider though is your physical size. I know some 15yr olds who are over 6' tall. If you are a tall lanky young man, then the size of the 400 may not fit your physical stature. All things to take into consideration. In the end, you will have fun building whichever you decide on. Many of the patrons here are of retirement age and know these 650's inside and out, and likely were buying these bike when they were new at the dealerships. Either way you are in a great place to be learning valuable information. Good luck and keep us posted of your decision/progress.
    lakeview, Mailman, Jim and 1 other person like this.
  6. ramer0909

    ramer0909 XS650 Enthusiast

    I found a wheel for the 400 that comes with the brake and a tire that looks decent for 80$ with shipping on eBay. Wednesday the tank should be done soaking and the key will be here for the 650. I will get some pictures so you guys can maybe make an "assessment". The main thing I can say is that the tank has no dents it just has some minor rust on the outside but nothing to cause leaking, The exhaust mufflers have a ton of rust on the sides facing the rear wheel. And the seat is not factory and maybe the same for the handlebars. I haven't touched the 400 yet mainly because I and my dad were too tired to get off the trailer. I am about 5'10 160 pounds when I ride the CB550 ( weighs 20 more pounds than the XS2) it deferentially feels heavy but I don't feel like I am too small to ride it. Also, another cool reason to keep the 400 would be I have a bike called a Yahama rx50 witch basically a mini version of the 80s viragos. Here's a pic

    Attached Files:

    Mailman likes this.
  7. cra-z1

    cra-z1 XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    The stock seat for the XS2 will be hard to find. There may be aftermarket pans / or seats but I haven't looked in a while. At this point it may be wise to sell the XS2 complete and concentrate on the 400 as the XS2 will drain your current and probably your future funds.If the inside of the XS2 tank is not very rusty that is a big plus.
    Mailman likes this.
  8. jetmechmarty

    jetmechmarty What should I put here? XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    That 50cc Special is a rare bike and desirable. Hang onto it.

    Keep in mind that your XS-2 will likely have more value as it is than if you attempt restoration and fail. Of course, there's nothing wrong with having it running.
  9. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    I don't know how things work Now days ( Exactly ) and even less how it is in USA
    But back then here No one and I am saying NO ONE
    Would leave a 650 bike for a 400 --- Not a single soul.
    It was a thing of Macho and Hair on the Chest .Thing ---Being a Man ..Some tattoos on the upper arms could be seen.
    Nothing wrong with the folks working people.
    But downsizing would be a No No.
    Shipping the 650 without us have a possibility to assess it
    Can be a mistake regretting it for many years.
    Being a Young man right Now will as the saying goes . Change / Get better with the years
    Come 2 or 3 years. That goes quick
    Everyone here then wanted a bigger machine.
    I have never heard of anyone --- literally never .Go from large to small.
    So what I am saying here. Is keeping the 400 and selling the 650 Now
    2-3 years on if you are interested in this and want to keep on
    You have a 400 that would be hard to sell ( As it was here then )
    Wanting a 650 ..that here can be difficult to find bordering to Impossible.
    A 650 that we like and have kept pretty much all our life.

    It was the same with cars take the Ford Mustang
    6 cylinder --You can keep it Not interested.
    V8 -- OK lets hear the Price.

    I know that it is about freedom people do what they like ,But if advice is sought after I am just saying a likely scenario
    the 650 even is regarded / bordering to a " Girls Bike " by some.People ..But not so many.
    If you gonna hang out ..The hobby is more rewarding if you are ( was ) in the zone so to speak.
    Again I am speaking of how it was here then . And people have different preferences .
    nj1639 likes this.
  10. ramer0909

    ramer0909 XS650 Enthusiast

    My key somehow got here in 2 days (not complaining). I went out and checked for spark and nothing. I cleaned off the points, disconnected and reconnected all the wires, and sanded some rust off the grounds and I am now getting a bright purple spark!!!! Tonight I am going to make a parts list of everything I think I will need for it to be street-worthy. And then make a decision on what bike I am going to focus on. I am also going to get a walk-around video of it and post it.
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2021
  11. ramer0909

    ramer0909 XS650 Enthusiast

    Here is a link to the video. any advice would be nice Sorry for the lackluster camera work
  12. nj1639

    nj1639 Paleo-simplistic Top Contributor

    I'm with Jan_P, keep the 650.
    The 400 is anemic compared to the 650 but it is your choice and I would imagine the vultures are waiting for you to put it in the market. Get rid of either one if you have to but keep the 650......lol......besides, it would be a treat to see a young'un grow on this forum.

    Break out the elbow grease and start cleaning her up, I think you'll be surprised. Could you imagine bike night with a kid rolling in on it as a survivor? Only the hardest posers wouldn't stroll over for a look see......
    X77S likes this.
  13. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    I hate to say it but I agree. I was probably smaller than you when I got my XS2 in 1976. Rode the crap out of and then parked it for 35 or so years. Few years ago went through it and made it a daily rider. When ever I stop somewhere on it people come up and want to talk about it. Earlier this year @gggGary and I road to the Ozark Rally on our bikes. Me on my and XS2 Gary on his 70 XS1/B. Every time we stopped somewhere people came up to look at and talk about them. Big part of that is because they are stock. 1700+ smiles and no problems.
    If you decide to keep the XS2 take your time and make sure everything mechanical is in decent shape before riding it. I've removed quit of few rear wheels from bikes that sat for 20+ years and had the linings fall off the break shoes.
    If you decided it's not for you PM me.:rolleyes:
    T Rex NZ, nj1639 and gggGary like this.
  14. ramer0909

    ramer0909 XS650 Enthusiast

    You are right about cleaning it up. I used a steel wool pad on the front wheel and headlight and it looks 20 times better it's not a showroom but I will take it. Next up I gotta learn to polish aluminum. I have heard it can be a hassle. I think I am going to stick with the 650 I am just going to start slow and if I hit any roadblocks hopefully someone here can help. I guess it's time to start a build thread...

    Attached Files:

  15. ramer0909

    ramer0909 XS650 Enthusiast

    How do you like the rear shocks? I have seen them a ton on scramblers/cafe racers.
  16. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    Much better than stock. Good deal for the money. Got them on Amazon for less than 50 bucks. Only thing I don't like about them is they look too modern.
  17. willis

    willis xsive compulsive disorder XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    Be careful using steel wool to polish. It can cause scratches and the steel can imbed into the metal you are polishing. Sometime steel wool is required to lift heavy corrosion though. If it’s not heavily corroded and you want to polish to a nice shine, try starting with aluminum foil and vinegar. Blue Magic is a great aluminum polish too for when you get the surface smoothed out and ready to shine up. Several threads here on polishing will save you serious elbow time. But I would highly encourage you to focus on the mechanicals before making it look pretty.
    gggGary likes this.
  18. GLJ

    GLJ Never go faster than your guardian angle can fly. Top Contributor

    jetmechmarty and gggGary like this.
  19. Jan_P

    Jan_P XS650 Junkie Top Contributor

    Took a quick look at the video
    some first quick thoughts
    The main question I would ask is the odometer reading true . I believe it is
    looking at other things
    Then I would ask myself why has it been parked after such low mileage.
    And take the precautions before turning it over. I use oil in the cylinders but there are other better alternatives
    We had that discussion a while ago
    If the engine is OK and we are talking a running bike with 7000 miles
    That would be a massive factor for me
    Best case scenario. Not needing to open the motor at all Saving time and costs.
    Keep on polishing well see what comes out.
    Perhaps not even washed yet
    And be careful with the startup procedure not forcing things to move without oil present.
    Getting it to run and then over the years improve Is a good plan if possible

    This may be as good as it gets for a start -- being this old machine
  20. gggGary

    gggGary On the road of life I'm a speed bump. XS650.com Supporter Top Contributor

    I'll say it; Easy to do a lot of damage as a first timer, start with the 400 where a few oopsies along the way won't hurt much, the education you will receive will make the second bike you do light years easier. And the 2nd bike always turns out much better cuz of what you've learned. This kind of work isn't for everyone, lots of projects get abandoned, again the complete as it is 72 is worth more than a fuggled "part done" project.
    Steel wool would be a case in point. I've done many old bikes don't own ANY Steel wool, haven't for decades.
    Tubs of Blue magic on the other hand, go through a couple a year......
    Butt tons of rags and paper towel. Search dico wheels for rough aluminum, then buffing...
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2021
    T Rex NZ, GLJ and jetmechmarty like this.

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