$50 mod thread

Yeah, that's the one, even from the place I got it. Worked like a charm and really helped the looks. I wired the red kill button to use as the starter button, on the '72 XS650 all the button does is ground the starter to complete the curcuit.

J'ville, Fl.
anarki650 said:
I did something similar on my kz650 build. I removed the cluster completely, bought 2.25" mini gauges from www.mikesxs.com, flipped my headlight bucket upside down so it had room inside for the key switch, then I installed a single LED for the oil light (being the only idiot light I cared about keeping from the stock cluster). Here's a couple pics of the process and complete set up. Total cost....$0!!!!



did you have to get a different ignition? i'm going to mess with my bucket since it has a little crack on it. i'm just trying to get clean and simple look no clutter
brewtown16 said:
well, i finally have something worthy of sharing, but i dont know if anyone else has brought it up. Plasti-dip, its rubberized tool dip that costs about 7 bucks a 14 ounce can, and comes in a crap ton of colors. ill list off the applications. i took my levers and chopped the ball ends on the front brake and clutch, then dipped them a few times in the graphite grey for a real racy look, and it slips when you want it to, and grips when it needs to! ive also used these for when making custom wire looms, i literally dip the whole wire grouping in a 1" cookie sheet, then keep turning it like a rotisserie and hit it with a blowdryer. you can also use this to repair cracked clutch or throttle cables. when i swapped out my muffs on the 360 i lost the rubber stops for the bottom of the can where the kickstand hits. i taped off a square on the can, then used a paintbrush, and built it up. ive also used it on my seat mounts, because i am running 4 steel tabs off the top of the frame to where the fiberglass mounts. all i did was paint it on the top and it really makes the diffrence! they have many diffrent kinds from course grit to smooth and shiny. it also helps if you have areas that rub together, and tend to become rusty. clean up the area, dip or paint! this stuff is also semi sand-able, so go nuts!

i'm interested in this because my housing is cracked on the throttle cables and what not. i was going to do the chrome jrk style but would like to see how this looks did you just wrap the 1'' cook sheet around the cable and painted it with that plasti-dip
IMOALE said:
The spring doent need to compress much for the retainer to come off or on. That is a nice tool though just wouldnt be too usefull for me to keep laying around though, and it does look easy to make. The clamps are all plastic an have a nice thin front lip which hold okay.

using those clamps is a great idea. does this work with the casing aswell.
Terry said:
I got tired of looking at the big black plastic switches on the Yamaha XS650, Man what ugly crap things they are!! so I replaced them with switches from a Brit Bike shop. For about 20 bucks I got a reproduction switch called a TriCon. It has the horn button, a high/low dipper, and a red kill button that I used for a starter switch. It all fit on the left side between the grip and the lever perch, and they really cleaned up the bars. I also dumped the right side that had the on/off, and starter button, now I just run a key switch that I mounted under the tank. After getting rid of those chunks of crap and the stock instruments the head stock area really opened up and looks a lot better. I also used a Amal style thottle tube to replace the Yamaha tube.

J'ville, Fl.

This sounds sweet, but what are you doing for turn signals?
chris73cb175 said:
any idea on if this will work for honda cb 175. i'm assuming it is universal.


Yes, It's a universal switch. All I did was match up the wires from the switch to the wires coming from the harness using a wiring diagram for the XS650. When you have the switch in your hand it's easy to see which color wire goes to which part of the switch. I then cut off the multi connector from the stock switch leaving about 4"-5" of wire still connected to the stock multi connector, then just soldered and shrink wrapped the new wires to the correct color old wires and plugged the connector back up to the harness inside the headlight shell. This worked fine on the XS, I'm not sure about a CB because the horn and kill button just ground to the handlebars to complete the curcuit. Since the bars on the XS are rubber mounted I had to add a small ground wire to the stem of the handlebar mounting perches.

J'ville, Fl.
dcwp said:
This sounds sweet, but what are you doing for turn signals?


If you look toward the bottom of the sterlingmotorworks.com web page for switches you'll see a 3 position turn signal switch. This is the one I used on the SR500, the XS650 is a 72 so it isn't required to have turn signals here in Fl. On the SR I just mounted the turn signal switch on the opposite side of the clutch perch from the DuCon, the SR doesn't have an e-start so a DuCon was all I needed. The switch is quite small, about the size of a quarter, and I'm running drag bars so there's plenty of room. I have to move my hand off the grip to operate the switch so I just complete my turn before I slide my hand over to turn off the signals. I'll post a pic later today of my setup.

J'ville, Fl.
Here are the pics of the switches on the SR500.

J'ville, Fl.


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Thanks Terry, that looks great! I'm going to need new switches anyway and this looks like a nice way to do it.

thanks for the tip. yeah bars look much cleaner than it would with the bulky stock stuff. thanks for the pictures i'll be doing a set up like this soon. i got rid of the horn and i'll ask my buddy to figure something with wiring for the kill switch. he is down for the cause with electrical. keep this thread going. its my bible hahaha
Homemade Spring Compressor


I was tired of looking for a place to compress my springs back onto the shocks. I found a place who'd do it for $20, but I thought to myself, "Heck, I can probably make something less than $20 that I can use over and over again." So I made this spring compressor and only spent $12. It is VERY VERY easy to make.

Here are the materials you need:
- 7 in. of 2x4
- 9 in. of 1/8th in. x 2 in. steel flat bar. (You can use 3/16ths thickness if you wish)
- Two (at least) 1.5 feet of 3/8th dia threaded Rod. I got two 2 ft rods for about $3 for both.
- Six 3/8th in. Nuts
- Six 3/8th in. Washers

I already had some 2x4 wood laying around along with the washers, so all I needed were the other stuff.

Cut a 7 in. section out of the 2x4. Next you need to put a notch in the middle of the 2x4 where the spring will sit. I used a mallet and a flathead screw driver to chip away at the wood. Then you need to measure how wide you want the rods to sit from the middle. Just make sure it's big enough to fit the shock in. Cut a 9 in. section of the 1/8th in. x 2 in. steel flat bar and measure accordingly where the holes should be. Make sure you drill 3/8th holes in the wood STRAIGHT!

Use a dremel to cut a wide enough slit in the middle for the shock. File and sand the edges once you're done cutting.

Next, insert the threaded rod in both holes and secure it to the 2x4 with washers and nuts.


NOTE: EXCUSE MY UGLY SPRINGS! Now, put the flat bar on the rods and put a washer and nut on each rod. I put duct tape to further protect the springs, even though they're banged up as hell. Compress the spring by tightening each nut. After that, it's pretty straight forward. When using this, the 1/8th flat bar bent when I was compressing the second springs. REMEMBER, this compressor works best when you can get the flat bar in between coil/loop 3 and 4 on the spring. Just place the bar closest to the top of the spring and it shouldn't require much to get the seats in. You also don't need to clamp it upright. You can lay it on the floor and compress the springs.


Here's a huge time/effort saver!

SEM has a product called 'Rust-Mort' that is really amazing at removing..well....rust.
SEM part number: 69508, It cost me $13.55 for a pint container.

In short, you want to knock off flakey rust and junk forst, then either brush or spray the stuff onto the rusted surface.
The bottle calls for three or four thin coats, after the final coat allow the piece to dry for 24 hours then rinse with water.
It kills the rust and converts it to a non-volatile that you can paint over(primer first).
I don't have any pics, but I use the stuff fairly regularly, especially in areas that are tough to get to or that have tight crevices that perhaps you can't get de-rusted any other way. If you have a tank that's got surface rust inside this is a spectacular treatment for that. Most recently I used it on a pair of stamped steel S90ss frames to clean the rus out of the inside.

It is 75% phosphoric acid so wear gloves and at minimum safety glasses when using. I use a full face grinding shield and a machinist's apron along with rubber gauntlets.

This chemical along with electrolytic rust removal plus the occasional sanding work should just about cover any rust removal you need....and for cheap!
Big plus on the phosphoric acid trick, its a good rust converter. Big plus on rinsing afterwards as well, probably wouldn't hurt to agitate the surface with a brush while your rinse, either. I know because the headers on my car don't look like beautiful, sleek, black tentacles; try whitish/black mouldy spaghetti and you'd be getting close.


- boingk
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