A bit of a change.


New Member
I bought this bike just over two years ago. It was in terrible condition: Not going, missing a few bits, very little compression, badly oxidised, damaged and rusted out. I have had some fingers fused, others have replacement joints due to RA, So, my hands don't work very well anymore and every job takes 10 times longer than it should. I have great trouble using screwdrivers, spanners and the like and only use a hammer if I have no option - extremely painful. I can never ride the bike so I'm in no hurry to finish it, it's really only a testbed for some of my mods: Single points conversion, PMA conversion, oil cooler conversion, spin on filter conversion and so on.

I do all work myself and never buy anything I can make: Machining, polishing, painting, mechanical, electrical, fabrication, upholstery, welding, designing, spoking, anodising and so on. Some of the stuff I've made: Tail light, seat pan, headlight brackets, side panels, PMA mount, point cam, backing plate, spin on filter mount, cooler mount, instrument mount, risers, exhaust, battery box, exhaust brackets and clamps, brake anchor and actuating train, cable splitter.


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New Member
Some of the damage.


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New Member
Here's some risers I made to mount drag bars. Couldn't find any I liked so I made my own.


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New Member
The crankcase was badly damaged by an errant chain when I bought it, so I bought new, second hand cases, ground the number off and punched the original number on it. Compression was down around 70, so I had it re bored and bought new pistons, rings and gudgeons. Bought a carby kit and new manifolds fixed the carbs. Cam chain was stretched and guides damaged, so they were replaced, valves and seats were badly pitted , so I reground them. Crank was within spec and bearings ok, so all reused. Replaced a selector pin and a couple of selector bearings in the gearbox I'd lost and replaced the starter gear spring. I had the rocker nuts, point/advance covers and oil pipe re chromed and bought a new auto advance unit.

Cases, head and rocker cover were then blasted and painted silver and and side covers, breather box, dipstick, cam chain adjuster, carb tops and float chambers and valve covers were all polished. I bought new gaskets and seals and stainless Allen's, stuck it all together, started it up and synced it. Ran like a beauty, but, the motor looked rather dull, so I pulled it all apart, blasted it again, painted it black, stuck it back together and stated it up again. What a difference, looks neat with polished ally.

Later on I converted to a PMA, made a single points cam and backing plate and linked the carbs with a cable splitter I made.


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New Member
Single points conversion.
I wanted to simplify the points system, but I do like mechanical things, so decided to convert the twin points to a single points system. There was a cam available for this conversion, but apparently they weren't very accurate, so I decided to make my own. First order of business was a backing plate which I made from some 3mm thick steel, shaped it on the lathe, filed cutouts for the mounting screws and drilled and tapped the plate for points and lube felt.

Next I turned down some stock to 18mm, bored it 8mm, filed the ramps, then cut the keyway. Nope, timing was way off. Did it this way for a few attempts without luck. So, I decided to do it in reverse: Cut the keyway, mount the round stock on the advance rod, time the engine, gap the points, set the points at the midway position and mark where the heel of the points touched the cam, then filed the ramp. Success, I managed to get the timing for number one cylinder spot on with the correct dwell after only a few files. Next I rotated the cam 180degrees and did the same for the other ramp, success again. The timing was a little out in these pictures, but I later finessed it a little with a nylon fibre wheel and got it spot on.

The original coils don't work for this conversion, so I bought a dual output, CB750 coil, made a mount for it and hooked it up. I drilled the top of the points bucket and routed the cable straight to the coil, rather than have the cable come out the bottom and snake it's way through the fins - looks a lot neater. The condenser is just a Bosch unit I sourced on eBay.

When I eventually finished the other mods and fired it up, it ran beautifully.


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New Member
PMA conversion. Starting and stopping the engine all the time while I worked on it resulted in a flat battery, so I decided on a PMA conversion. The price of these conversion kits is ridiculous, so sticking with my 'make it, don't buy it' ethos I put one together myself.

I found a new rotor for a Banshee on ebay, plus a new stator and reg/rect for an XV for $120. Apparently, a banshee mount will fit with a bit of bodging, but I didn't like that idea, so I bought a slab of aluminium and spun up a mount for the rotor on the lathe.

The Banshee rotor has a 6mm woodruff, whereas the TX has a 5mm key, also the available woodruff keys are a different diameter than the slot on the TX crankshaft, so I turned up a 6mm wide piece of stock to the required diameter, cut it in half for a half circle and finished it off with a file, next I mounted the woodruff on the lathe and stepped it down to 5mm to fit.

Timing was next. To set the timing, I installed the stock alternator again, timed it, then carefully removed it and installed the new PMA. Next I made a timing plate, bolted it to the cover, installed the cover then scribed lines on timing plate an rotor.

When I fired it up, I got a steady 14.5 volts. The stock alternator is an electro magnet type working on brushes, so at idle there is very little output, the output rising with the revs. A PMA on the other hand, has max output right from idle, so no more flat battery.


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Staff member
Beautiful work. Reminds me that I have most/all of a PMA setup in a box somewhere for my long overdue XS project (my second XS).

You should sell those adapter plates, although by the looks of the machining they must be pretty time consuming to make.


New Member
Cable splitter.
The TX650 is fitted with a twin cable throttle, one cable for each carb. Syncing is provided by a fiddly, inline, little adjuster. Had Yamaha put the adjuster in the throttle, syncing would have been easier.

To make things easier, I bought a single cable throttle and looked around for a splitter, couldn't find one that could be mounted, so I made my own.

Starting with a small lump of aluminium, I cut it to size, then stepped it and drilled two mounting holes. Next I mounted it on the lathe, bored a 14mm hole through and tapped each end with a 5/8" UNF thread. I then turned up two end caps with the same thread, knurled them and drilled one cap with a 3mm hole, the other with two and recessed them 5.5mm for cables. I turned up a neat fitting brass slide, drilled three 1.5mm holes and recessed them 3mm to take the cable nipple. Later I used a slit saw on all three holes to fit the cable. When finished I assemble it, plugged the holes and dunk it in my anodising bath.

To make syncing easy, I made two brackets to fit to the top of each carb and turned up two 35mm long, stainless adjusters. Lastly I made up three cables and put it all together, started the bike and synced the carbs. Super easy.

All for nought though, shortly after the 46year old diaphragms developed a number of pinholes in them. I can't get replacements as JBM no longer post to Australia. So, it looks like an expensive pair of VMs. They are an improvement over BS38s, but at $600, they are damned expensive.


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New Member
Remote spin on filter and cooler.
This took a lot of work, I had to modify the right side engine cover, machine up a new cover for the now gone strainer, machine a spin on filter mount, fabricate some new engine mounts to hold the mount, fabricate a mount for the cooler, machine up a few stainless fittings for the mod, plus a few other bits and pieces.

I drilled and tapped the front of the sidecover. I hate jobs like this, there's always the fear of stuffing it up and ruining a part, but, all went well: drilled out the oil pump gallery to 10.8mm, tapped it to M12 x 1.25 for 40mm to cover the gallery to the old oil strainer, countersunk the top of the hole to allow for an O ring and inserted the stainless spigot I turned up, looks quite alright.
Whilst I had the cover off, I removed the kickstart mechanism and turned up a couple of bungs to cover the hole.

Next I binned the strainer cover and machined up a new one, which I think looks a lot better than just screwing a right angle, screw in fitting on the original part. Took a bit of doing this part as the outer side had to be angled to follow the angle of the side cover. Rather than use an ugly screw in fitting, I spun up a stainless barb and shrunk it in place.

Next came the spin on filter mount. I made this from a lump of 25mm ally, shaped it to the desired shape, drilled and tapped the side for mounting screws, then mounted it in the lathe to machine the oil gallery recess, once done I drilled a central hole for oil intake and a second hole through to the recess for the output. I then spun up a threaded piece on which to spin the filter, shrunk fit it into the housing, turned up a stainless, threaded barb, screwed it into the spin on filter threaded piece, sandwiching the filter mount between. There was insufficient space for a screw in output barb, so I spun up a barb for an interference fit and pressed it into place.

For my next trick I fabricated some new engine mounts on which to mount the filter mount and oil cooler. The engine mounts were basically the same as the original ones I made, the right has been extended downward around 25mm for the filter mount and both drilled and tapped at the front edge for mounting a cooler bracket.

The cooler bracket is just a piece of 3mm ally bent at a right angle so the cooler mounts on top. I had to cut some 10mm ally tube to fit between the cooler mounting fins and recess the mounting bracket holes a little so I could install some rubber grommets to insulate the cooler from vibration. To hold it in place I cut some 6mm bolts to size and spun up some threaded positive stop, ally T nuts.

Last of all, I polished everything - of course!


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New Member
While I had the right engine cover off, I removed the Kickstarter mechanism and turned up a two piece bung to fill the hole.


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Been Around the Block
I have a spare set of stock XS 650 carbs you can have. I am pretty sure the diaphragms are still good in them. I'll have to dig them out of my carburetor tub and take a look. They are yours if you want them.


New Member
I've got two sets, both with the same problem. That's the problem with 46 year old bikes, the rubber bits suffer. I'm in Australia anyway, so a long way to send them. I'm sort of sold on the VMs though, despite the cost. Thanks for the offer though.


New Member
Front end rebuild.
The front forks have seen better days: The seal area is badly gouged, has a piece chipped off and it is out of round, not much I could do there except clean it up and round the seal area. Stanchions were rusted around the lower tree, so I removed the rust, painted the area and installed gaiters. Both sliders had calliper mounts, but as the bike only has one disk, I removed the left side mounts and ground the leg smooth. While I had the forks apart I drilled two extra holes in the lower tube, supposed to improve fork performance they say.

Guard was shortened and guard tabs on the sliders removed. Lower tree was painted black and top tree and brake distributor polished. I made some risers, installed drag bars and added some aftermarket levers, master cylinder and switchgear. Headlight was replaced with a 7 ", and I made up some aluminium headlight brackets.

Front hub was badly pitted and oxidised, so I mounted it on the lathe, trued the flanges and cut away some of the bridge to aid polishing. The left disk mount cover was rusted away, so I made up an aluminium one and spun up some stainless spacers and aluminium dust covers and pressed them together. Disk was drilled, edge polished and disk mount bead blasted. Rims, like the hubs, were badly oxidized gouged with tyre levers and pitted, so I ground the edge of the rim to remove the gouges as best I could, hit it with a nylon fibre wheel and polished it.

Last of all, I bought some stainless spokes from an XS parts supplier in Sydney and laced the wheel, only to find I had 3mm of thread showing before the spoke after centring and truing. I removed a couple of spokes and sure enough the thread on the stainless spokes extends 3mm past the thread on the stock spokes. When I complained to the supplier, all I got was a series of abusive texts and emails, telling me I didn't know what I was doing. Seems both he and his 'professional' spoker think visible thread before the nipple is perfectly acceptable. Luckily, he didn't have any rear wheel spokes, so I ordered them from Heidens.


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