Wednesday, February 26, 2014

XS650 Walk Around

I've been taking a break from motorcycles to concentrate on finishing the longest kitchen remodel in history. We're planning on selling in April and it's go time to finish the house repairs and updates. So in the meantime, here's the XS running.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Grade "A" Bad Assery

The '62 Triumph... RUNS
The '65 Honda Dream... RUNS
The '50 BSA... RUNS
The '76 CB750... RUNS
The '74 RD350... SMOKES!
even the little '74 XL70... RUNS!

And now the '80 XS650 RUNS AGAIN

This is possibly the most running bikes I've had at one time. Feels good, man.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Lose some weight, fat ass

After chasing different possibilities on the XS for 3 days, Occhio Lungo Pete suggested I try removing the seat to see if I'm pinching anything. That's crazy, I DID have that issue before, but I solved it already. But I decided to try it... yup, that was it. My fat butt was compressing the seat affecting the kill switch. It is ALWAYS the simple problems that cause the longest problem-solving! Well, she rips now! I'm going to keep an eye on the head torque and slowly take longer rides, no highway for a bit. Not legal right now anyway... hah!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

One little ball

I got everything tightened and set again and was about to embark on a test ride when I realized I couldn't find my gear lever. I've done a few Yamahas since this has been apart and I think I may have mistakenly gave away the lever. Luckily the RD had a spline that fit an I have a big foot.

When I went to go on a test ride it would sputter and die in gear. I figured the clutch may have stuck together since it was down for a year and a half. I spent the night reconditioning the clutch, but it seemed fine.

I had one idea left and pulled the left cover off and looked at the worm gear. There should be a 8mm / 5/16" / #10 ball bearing in there. It must have fallen out at some point. I'm going to hit up a bicycle shop to see if they have anything today. Amazing what one little bearing can do.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Started 3rd kick

I ran it for about 5 minutes; tomorrow I'll torque and valves, and take it on a short ride. Only took me a year and a half.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

All buttoned up

Going to torque it once a day, the hopefully this weekend putting it in the chassis and *GASP!* fire it up for 5 minutes!

Saturday, February 8, 2014


I tackled the rocker cover on the XS. It was a bit more of a challenge at first than I thought and have had experience with on other bikes. To remove the rocker, you unscrew the side screw cover, tap out the alignment rod, and then pull out the rocker shaft with a bolt.

This is my opportunity to get rid of the flaking black paint. Stripper did what it could, but i guess I need to get out my continuously clogging soda blaster next week.BR>

Friday, February 7, 2014

One On, One Off

I'm nearing the end of the XS650 motor assembly, but I decided to roll the Triumph up on the lift and get ready to pull the head. There just seems to be more and more oil leaking out of the head. I'm pretty sure I compromised the gasket seal when I switched out the thin washers for the thick ones. This gives me an excuse to examine for any other issues. Plus I have a new points plate for the mag, teh correct nut to install the fixed mag gear... and I might as well pull the crank case covers and tap the drain plug and fix the leaking.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


BSA SPLINED footrests, M20 / M21 / B31 / B33 or others. Even if not the right foot rests, I can make something off a good female spline.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Get'cher head straight

Decarbonized, lapped, polished and cleaned. Now to wait for some parts. Valve guide seals and brass head washers aren't included in the gasket kit.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Every time I open the garage

He climbs up, he gets the helmet, I just stand and hope his passion carries through his whole life.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Been a while

I think a year and a half is long enough for teh XS650 to be down. I ended up getting my barrels done a while ago. Their prices went way up, I think it cost me $175. The XS piston clearance is really tight, too. But they did a really good job. I ended up getting some pistons/rings off ebay for about 1/2 price. They are a Japanese made OEM style, without many reviews, but those that have seen them say they are good. Those cost $80. They are 2nd oversize. And I got a Vesrah motor kit for $50 this week. I can finally finish this!

I had a goal yesterday to get the barrels on.

Quick top polish, per manual.

Make sure you put the inner circlips on!!!

I don't have a ring compressor. I saw online a technique to put them in the barrels first. The XS clearance is reallllllly tight and it was a bit difficult, but all good. Couldn't imagine doing this if they were on the connecting rods.

Slide the head down, and rest on wood. Put the wrist pin in and connect the piston to the connecting rod. Amazingly, not that hard.

Took 2 hours, but got done just as the kid woke! Next up is the head.