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XS650 diary of a cafe racer

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by thecptn, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. I bought my 1981 XS650 special of an old bloke about 3 or so months ago, the basic premise was that I was going to turn it into a cafe racer, how ever as most things in life, things are more than they seem, the electric starter gear was shonky and wouldnt engage most times, and the kickstarter would violently kickback at you if you didnt kick it right, some thing that proved very uncomfortable for a gentleman like me with shoddy knees.

    So for 3 months it sat, gathering dust in my garage, well after a while my friend convienced me to start on it again, put some fresh fuel and many times turning the motor over , its started, warmed it up all good, put it into gear *CLUNK SHUDDER!* engine turns off, turns out the clutch plates had stuck together from long period of unuse, so the first thing I am doing to this project is getting the bike reliable, that electric starter, new oil and filters, new drain bolts and gaskets, all of which are on there way from the US, ill post pics and commentry as my project goes along, to start it off...



    After removing all the footrests, gear changer and what not and taking out the old oil, we removed the side case to unstick the clutch plates, a lot of em where stuck together, after prying em apart, we put em back together and the bike could freely move when placed into gear! hooray!

    Tune in next time...new starter gear, bendix gear, oil, fluids and filters, will this bird fire up and run? lets hope so!
  2. Jeez, the rest of the bike looks to be in terrific nick, though :).
  3. Yeah she's real clean, the motor needs a few cans of degreaser though, its like an exxon valdez spill at the bottom.
  4. Update, the new starter gear is on, and im glad to say the electric start now works perfectly! excellent! carbies need a tune, just a step closer to that alluminium manx tank :grin:
  5. mmmmm shiny shiny manx tank :cool: :cool: Are you going down the wire wheel path as well?
  6. Yup you bet! wouldnt look good with the cast wheels, clip ons all heavy bits off, all fast bits on.
  7. This bike is gonna look great once you have stripped all the 1970's ness out of it. Looking forward to the end result :cool:
  8. Bought it from Southern Sydney?
    I think I called about that bike (saw it on www.xs650.org.au). The guy said someone had put down a deposit a few minutes before I called.
    I wasn't after a project just a commuter glad to hear it went to someone who will appreciate it.
    Keep the pics coming.
  9. Yup thats where I got her from! She resided for a short while in Cronulla, luckily she wanst in the salty air long enough for the rust grimlins.
  10. Well tomorrow I get her registered, the previous owner had told me up front that the engine is out of a Victorian police bike and that he couldn't get any history on it in which he explained why it had a P at the end of the engine number, a revs check revealed an engine id mismatch, how ever he seemed to have it registered before on the same engine number and that he no problem registering it, would I need any other paper work about this?
  11. If you have previous rego papers with the same engine/frame numbers as you have now you should be alright - at least you would be in WA, i probably shouldn't speak for the Eastern states

    one thing you must be certain of is the exhausts. exhausts can be a potential bother now that theres a massive greenhouse emissions crackdown. as far as i know if it has an original xs650 system they cant get you, but anything after-market will be checked with a fine-tooth comb

    thats my experience at any rate - the only thing ive had knocked back was a 750 Triumph bonneville with Dunstall silencers. once id fit original silencers (with less baffles and restrictions and more noise) i was fine

    that being said, good luck!
  12. Well I do have the previous rego papers and they all have the same numbers as the frame and the motor, I went for my blue slip and it passed no problem, when I went to get my ctp rip off slip..I mean my green slip, nrma was closed, bummer, have to do it tommorow, ever heard of the saying if it aint broke dont fix it? well I had a new gasket for the sump plate, thought it might be a good idea to change it...even though it wasnt leaking, scraped the old one off, put the new one on, add oil, and presto! it leaks oil! awesome! now my bike really has that authentic British touch :LOL:

    Ill ride her around for a week or so, see how she goes, if any problems need to be fixed, but I will real soon change things, its a add-on-as-I-go project, wire spoke wheels are the next thing to come. stay tuned!
  13. Shes registered, and boy am I happy, I have hardly been riding last few months or so, but my 650 hasnt proved so far to be friendly, in the past 24 hours or 350 kms that I have ridden, I have nearly lost 2 engine mount bolts, 2 engine mount nuts, my right hand side muffler!..which was than promptly flattened by traffic, all due to vibration! now im in a situation, I have no right side muffler, and me worried about leaning the engine too much and hurting it, wont ride it till I get it fixed, the other problem is, I hardly have any cash left from my rego costs, hardly enough till next pay, not even enough to get a second hander from the wreckers, I really feel odd about this, but maybe, could some one...kindly donate a muffler, im not asking for a nice shinny one, just some thing that could fit and works, im sure there is a fellow netrider has one laying around in the yard or garage some where and dont need it... I don't care if its banged up and rusted, your kindness shall be rewarded with ooodles of karma.
  14. If I had onem mate, you'd be welcome to it. Unfortunately vibration is the 650's middle name; by the time I sold mine the luggage rack was more weld than rack :LOL:.
  15. hahah, why am I not suprised? the bike is actually quite smooth, I feel no discomfort from the vibes it gives out, the gearing is a bit short on mine, dont know if its an xs thing, but at top gear at 100 ks its a bit revy, and im hitting reserve at 150ks, non the less, all this is a testing period of the racer, see how it performs, goes and all, so far, very happy, except with things falling off, once the testing is finished, ill begin moding it.
  16. at what rev-range does it vibrate?

    gearing is a prick of a thing on those yamahas - the oil feed is too close to the engine sprocket meaning you cant fit a larger one, and the sprocket on the back wheel is small enough as it is. a shame really; you have bucket loads of revs from an xs650, but its difficult to gear them to best make use of the power
  17. Can't help with the muffler. However, what I have seen done under desperate circumstances on a bike with a 2-2 with a balance box (CB250N), was for one outlet of the balance box to be welded up, converting the system into a crude 2-1. Looked horrible but the bike ran quite happily for as long as you can expect from any late 70s Honda made from cheese.
  18. So far it vibrates the most over 4.5 grand, gearing is much too short, feels like a 250 twin! loads and loads of low down torque, just needs better gearing...A friend of mine gave me some new straght commando style straight through pipes, in which id promised id pay em latter, sounds real nice now, a deep bark to it, how ever, my bike is running to lean now, heaps of backfiring on the left cylinder when throtling off, quite annoying actualy, so within the next two or so weeks, ill be taking it in for a good ole round tune, carbs will be rejetted and tuned up, took the plugs out, whittish brown, a bit lean me thinks...sigh. :( I really like this bike, hate when I cant ride her, ill post pics of the new pipes soon.
  19. Update, well thanks to Ebay, I found a rearsection that fits the 650 and ordered it, should be in by next week, cost me 190 beans too, and its all fibreglass too, cool!