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Author Topic: First bike build - xs650 1980 / going to be a long one.  (Read 3573 times)

Offline CMJ

  • Posts: 12
UPDATE 8/5/18!!!
Well life happened and the project got put on hold for 6 years.   We just moved to a new house and I've decided it's time to get this bike back together.  I need to make room in the new garage and I'm tired of having parts stored everywhere.  More picks added below.  This is just a mockup, there is still a ton of work left. 




Hi Guys,
I've been lurking here for about 5 months without posting, so I guess it's time.  After a few years of working on my car, I finally have where I want it, now I'm project-less and going crazy.  I picked up a XS650 that was in bad shape.  It ran like crap and there were a ton of issues with it.  No lighting, no key, no fuse box, no air filters, broken tac, harness hacked in the fuse box location and bare wires twisted together for hot wiring.  It was in bad condition, the carb boots were cracked, so were the diaphragms.  The only thing that really bothered me were the missing air filters, I'm not sure how long it was run like that.  I checked the compression and got 150 on each cylinder, so it can't be that bad.  This is going to be a long process, but that's ok, I'm addicted to projects.  About the only time I can work on it are the weekends, when the 3 year old and the 5 month old are napping.

I decided to get the bike running so I could drive it around the neighborhood and see if there were any obvious issues I might have missed.  Started by cleaning the carbs and jets and rebuilding with JBM Industries diaphragms and JBM carb holders.  With new air filters, oil, carb holders and rebuilt carbs the bike started right up.  It ran a little rough until it was warm, but seamed ok on my trip around my neighborhood.  I've never worked on or even heard a running xs650 before, so I have nothing to compare it with.  I sounds like the timing chain guide will need to be replaced.  After I rode it for 15 minutes I began the tear down.
« Last Edit: Aug 05, 2018, 18:37:45 by CMJ »


Offline CMJ

  • Posts: 12
Re: First bike build - xs650 / going to be a long one.
« Reply #2 on: Apr 21, 2012, 01:46:21 »
When I went to pull off the left side engine cover I realized the shifter was welded to the shift shaft.  The shaft is pretty worn down, not sure what I'm going to do about this yet. 

Offline CMJ

  • Posts: 12
Re: First bike build - xs650 / going to be a long one.
« Reply #3 on: Apr 21, 2012, 01:51:40 »
Started using electrolysis on the tank to remove rust.  Also got the frame sand blasted and started grinding off big seat mounts.

Offline Caf'd Out

  • Posts: 319
Re: First bike build - xs650 1980 / going to be a long one.
« Reply #4 on: Apr 21, 2012, 11:22:34 »
Be careful grinding near your car like that.. The sparks will put permanent pits in your glass windows and such,. Just a heads up.

XS650 is  sweet bike. Great start!

Offline CMJ

  • Posts: 12
Re: First bike build - xs650 1980 / going to be a long one.
« Reply #5 on: Apr 21, 2012, 12:33:33 »
Be careful grinding near your car like that.. The sparks will put permanent pits in your glass windows and such,. Just a heads up.

XS650 is  sweet bike. Great start!

I almost never grind by the car.  I was messing around with my new phone and found that it had a built in delay timer, so I set it up and took a quick pic.  My wife about laughed me out of the house for taking a picture of my self, I thought is was a cool pic.

I made a bad mistake, using fiberglass for the first time.  I wanted to try and make a fiberglass seat pan, but I did not cover the frame with painters tape.  In the area I was fiberglassing, I only used aluminum tape.  I should have put down painters tape first, I could barely get the aluminum tape off after I was done and it left adhesive all over the frame.  I ended up using a torch to try and burn the stuff off, then I hit it with my grinder and a paint removal wheel.  There is still residue is some areas, I've tried carb cleaner and Xylene, no luck.  Anyone have any ideas?  It will be sand blasted again before powder coating, hopefully that will work.

The pan came out ok, it still needs a lot of trimming.  I left a little relief area at the back for the fender. I will still need to dent the fender under the seat, but not too much.

Offline Caf'd Out

  • Posts: 319
Re: First bike build - xs650 1980 / going to be a long one.
« Reply #6 on: Apr 21, 2012, 12:39:29 »
Seat pan came out clean. I just tried my hand at fiberglass yesterday.. ehhh not pretty but not too bad either. It really is an art form, working with fiberglass. What are the plans for the pan?

Offline CMJ

  • Posts: 12
Re: First bike build - xs650 1980 / going to be a long one.
« Reply #7 on: Apr 21, 2012, 12:41:48 »
After I drilled the rear rotor I started working on the caliper.  I was just going to clean it up, and paint it black.  Now I'm not sure, I think I like the bare aluminum look, too bad I don't have a buffer.  I hate it when I don't have the right tool for the job.  Right now I need a bench top mill, a mig welder and a buffer.  Buffers are cheap, but the other two are a little pricey.


Offline CMJ

  • Posts: 12
Re: First bike build - xs650 1980 / going to be a long one.
« Reply #8 on: Apr 22, 2012, 00:09:53 »
Seat pan came out clean. I just tried my hand at fiberglass yesterday.. ehhh not pretty but not too bad either. It really is an art form, working with fiberglass. What are the plans for the pan?

I'm trying to emulate the seats below.  But I also like the cafe style seats, I might make two versions that I can swap depending on my mood.  I just picked up an XS750 tank too.  Trying to figure out how I can swap that back and forth with the stock tank too.  I still don't have a complete vision of the bike, but I'm pretty sure I will be powder coating the frame matte bronze.

Offline sxecafe

  • DTT SUPPORTER
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  • Posts: 1690
  • You think the Carpet Pissers did this?
Re: First bike build - xs650 1980 / going to be a long one.
« Reply #9 on: Apr 22, 2012, 02:19:58 »
Looks like you're making some good progress. That last pic of the 1100 is one bad mo-fo.