The 'leftovers' project - XS650

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
It all started with a minor oil leak....

The head of my XS650 has 2 stripped tappet cover studs, which I've tried to repair to no avail. Thus it leaks minor amounts of oil from around those covers. No biggie but given I completely rebuilt the engine with new pistons etc. it bothered me.

So I started looking for a new head to use, and I stumbled across Ryan at 707 Racing and ended up getting a tricked out head with titanium valves etc, and went down that path of building a whole new engine with a 750 kit, rephased crank/cam, the works and plan to take the XS650 Cafe to the BUB Speed Trials in August.

That's the never-ending XS650 cafe racer project I started shortly after launching DO THE TON back in 2002.

http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=448

The desire to not tear into my current stock engine led me to buy a complete XS650 for $150, specifically for the engine. This got me to thinking... hey.... I've got a whole 'nother bike here and I've always wanted a bobber. Maybe I'll hard tail the new XS frame and slap my old engine in it.

Some further reading into hard tailing and a few phone calls to the Ministry of Transportation Ontario along with my insurance broker convinced me that hard tailing a frame is not for me. But... then I met David from Voodoo Vintage who makes some wicked frames for the XS650. Calls to the MTO and my insurance broker confirmed I can register and insure a full custom frame NO PROBLEM :) and David's frames are a small incremental cost vs buying a hard tail kit and having it professionally welded. For an extra $400 you're into a full custom frame done on a jig and fully legal vs. a hard tail kit and questionable legality, at least here in Ontario.

Push come to shove.... I've dropped the hammer on an MK4 XS650 frame from Voodoo Vintage.



Next I needed some wheels. I didn't want to use the stock 16/19 mags from the XS650 I bought, so I started thinking about the 19/19 set of wheels I built for my SR500 project, but those are both disc brakes and I wanted drums for this bike. I was going to use them anyhow, and started asking around for a set of SR500 mags to use on that bike, but I found Noel had a set of wheels that would be good for this project.

Stock 18" rear XS650 wheel and a 21" XT500 front wheel with the drum brake. Might not be a super-stopping machine but it will do the trick for around town. I'm not doing the 'fat tire' thing with this bike, as cool as that looks - wanted a more traditional timeless look, so the skinny 21" front will work out well.

Off to the races!

So the current lineup of work on my bikes is:

BMW R75/6 - lacing up new wheels for it at the moment and needs new tires - just the wheels then can tune the Mikuni VM34's I put on it 2 years ago but haven't ridden yet

SR500 - Ready to start re-assembly in my garage - need to make some time and get on it.

XS6(7)50 Cafe - waiting on the crank/cam from Ryan (shipped - should be in my hands in a few days) - gotta go get the engine out of the donor XS, soda blast the engine cases and start putting it together

XS650 Leftovers - David is picking up the tubing and plate next week - frame should be waiting for me in Buffalo NY to pick up sometime in February :)

And the 1966 Honda CA95 is sitting all in one piece in my garage waiting its turn.

Good times :)
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
BTW - the drawing is Voodoo Vintage's mockup of what the bike could look like on the frame. I'm likely doing a very small tank, either sitting up proud on the back bone or low and sleek following the curve of the spine, simple seat on springs, stock XS front forks, battery just sitting there out in the open. Form will follow function on this build, no fancy paint or powdercoat. Might even let the engine keep leaking oil ;)
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Got the donor engine torn down tonight, which is actually for the cafe's Bonneville run but it will make my current engine available for this bike. Who knew there were so many little parts in the bottom end :D
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
This is the latest mockup from David with wheels closer to scale.



Last night up at Paul's shop we pulled the engine out of the donor XS and tore it down. More pics later of the engine in bits, but it's COMPLETELY disassembled. Down to the last nut and bolt. Engine cases going for soda blasting hopefully this week.



 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
BTW - the engine was pretty clean. 22K KM on the clock. Hole in the right piston and bent front forks. Hard to say what happened or in what sequence :) But the bottom end was clean clean clean, and had never been opened. Top end was very well oiled.

Electronic ignition on the 1983 model which is going in the trash.
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Just working with David on the final details for the frame - it's on the jig - hoping to get some pics soon.

Also think I've selected the tires for the bike - at least for the moment. I could go all 'Firestone' on it, but not really feeling that at the moment. But I do like the vintage tire look, and recently I've been liking the more aggressive treads. So for the time being it's Shinko SR241 dual sport tires for this one.

They come in all manner of sizes and are up to P rated for 94 MPH - plenty fast enough for this bike and those tires. And they're CHEAP - $100 for a set.

Will be a 4.00-18 on the rear and a 3.00-21 on the front.

 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Also ordered a slew of bits from MikesXS for the engine build, which is freeing up my current engine for this bike. And found the best deal I could ask for on an endless cam chain - $22 on Amazon for a Tsubaki BF05M x106 cam chain. Seeing as I have the engine completely apart I can avoid the master link business that one normally has to do to replace an XS650 cam chain. $42 shipped to me - way less than anywhere else and Yamaha wanted $75 for one up here.
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Off to Soda Pro tomorrow with the engine cases and other bits to clean up, so I can start putting an engine together.

Going to spend some quality time with the SR500, to get it up on two wheels and more portable so I can work on all these things more easily in my cramped space.
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Couple of weeks - it will be shipped to Buffalo and I'll drive down to pick it up. Shipping across the border gets silly when you start involving UPS etc. on something this big. 3 hour round trip.
 

AzHonda

New Member
Excited to see this frame as well. Funny about the Shinko tires. I am running those on my XL250 build. Cant beat the price and the more aggresive tread looks good too.
 

scotch

Who put coffee in my morning Baileys?
are you getting the Shinko's shipped to Canada, or picking those up in Buffalo as well? I've had a tough time finding them in Canada or shipped reasonably from the states.
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
Haven't sourced them yet. Just called Gnarly Parts in Vancouver, which is where I ordered my Shinko 705's from for the SR500. They can get them - $75 for the 4.00 - 18 rear and $50 for the 3.00-21 front. Free shipping on $150 orders so I'd toss in innertubes and rim strips and probably top it out. Plus I think you only pay the 5% GST portion as they're shipping outside BC and don't do business in other provinces.

US prices are about $30 less for the pair, but then you're into shipping etc. etc. etc. A big difference in terms of percentage ($125 vs $95) but that's the price of living in a country with 1/10 the population and it's not $1250 vs $950 :)
 

Tim

Administrator
Staff member
It's tempting to go with the SR244 series, as the rear is available in wider sizes - all the way up to a 5.1 inch 18 rear, and are S rated for 115MPH vs S rated 94MPH, but the 21 inch fronts are still all S rated and I prefer the more traditional tread of the 241.

4 inches is wide enough for this bike anyhow.
 

leggers

New Member
Tim said:
Haven't sourced them yet. Just called Gnarly Parts in Vancouver, which is where I ordered my Shinko 705's from for the SR500. They can get them - $75 for the 4.00 - 18 rear and $50 for the 3.00-21 front. Free shipping on $150 orders so I'd toss in innertubes and rim strips and probably top it out. Plus I think you only pay the 5% GST portion as they're shipping outside BC and don't do business in other provinces.

US prices are about $30 less for the pair, but then you're into shipping etc. etc. etc. A big difference in terms of percentage ($125 vs $95) but that's the price of living in a country with 1/10 the population and it's not $1250 vs $950 :)
I really like the look of this tire especially for the price! :) I will soooo be getting one of these for my project. Thanks for posting this info!!!
 

DTT Bike Of The Month Gallery

DTT Light or Dark

www.cognitomoto.com
https://www.townmoto.com
www.speedmotoco.com
www.jadusmotorcycleparts.com
www.lostapostle.ca/
www.sparckmoto.com
Top Bottom