Yamaha XS 650 - 1981

Kiyutrryuiii 028Kiyutrryuiii 031

as I was surfing the net, killing time in my office watching the clock goes by, I came about a strange little add for an XS650. It said something along the following lines: Basket Case Bike, used to ride well, took it apart 6 months ago to have the frame powder coated but lost interest, title in hands, looking for few Benjamin Franklin, the bike use to look like this:

not very pretty but for that price worth giving the guy a call. Did not have much hope cause the bike had been posted for more than one day and I was leaving to europe the next day at noon which did not give me much time but what the f.... Surprisingly enough the bike was still for sale but it was located about 2hrs away and did not have much time. So I offer to come and pick it up immediately but tough luck the guys could not make it in the evening. He was only available at 6am the next day. So, fuck it, woke up at 4 and drove up there. The bloke was a nature freak, he lived in the middle of the forest, protected by millions of fucking mosquidos. Anyway, to make long story short, I picked up the bike from a dark shed, and drove home. Good thing I had my 4x4 cause I got stuck trying to leave the bloody place.

Then I store everything in my workshop, so it will be ready for some serious work when I return from holidays.

Now am at the airport so you won't hear fm me again for the next few weeksI was left with my longhaul XS650 project. To start with, it wanted to get rid of the tank holder.

So I used the angler grinder to get it off. And then I took bits and pieces off which I know I won't need

And as you can see, I try to put the engine back into the frame and fucked it all up. After approx one hour of battle, I gave up and decided it was time to go to bed. I will need to figure out how to put it back in or alternatively buy a mobile crane.First I needed to pick up the motor which was still laying on the floor. So with help of my son I brought it up on the bench.

Then I said to myself, let clean the fucker...

and so I started.

For some strange reason the previous owner has painted the cylinder and made a mess of the lower case. It really looks bad.

So I decided I would try my miracle product. This tips was given to me by some BMW builder who used Aluminium BBQ paint color to pain cylinder. It does f..g work and make parts looked like they have been sanded or repainted. So I tried on the XS. and yeahhhh, it works too.

So I put the engine up and cleaned it some more. Now I wait to receive the engine stands so I can put it up and start working on it.

Alternatively, I will buy the mobile crane, put the engine in and work on the mock up. The purchase of the house will dictate.


Just a quicky today. Decided to go back in the workshop and cleanup my mess. Picked up the motor and made it stand up and took the grinding machine and chop some of the leftover from previous owner, so I could start with a clean sheet.

It took a while to get this s.. out, and even longer to grind the frame to clean state. But aftre couple of hours of hard labor, looks like the frame is ready to start the mock up. I have kept the back fender plate holder in case I need it but if not I will just cut it and toss it away.

Now am face with same issue. I need to get the bloody motor inside the frame. Considering I got no life; hence no friend, looks like I'll have to buy one of those mobile crane at Harbour Freight to get it in. Let me sleep onnot much as happened on the XS 650. I played around with it and purchased few items but have not done much except mounting the front end, the back wheel and some leftover to see what it could look like.

Well the shape's all right. I purchased a faked oil tank for TC Bros to hide the electric as well as a 2 gallons gas tank.

I want to give her a moto cross look so I also purchase some half and half tires.

I have a head light which bought few years back from See See Motorcycles in Portland Oregon which I have had on my shelve for a while,

and bits and pieces laying around such as weld-on gas cap from LA Chop Rod which will look good when finished.

.  I was spending some time in the garage, I decided to play a little with the XS. I am still too weak to put the engine inside the frame, so I did a small mock up without the engine.

. Considering I will be moving out of my rental house soon, I dismantled everything and started moving gradually to my new house. So the only thing I hv done over the last 3 weeks was getting the frame ready for a proper mock-up and then for painting.

I tried to put the motor back in the frame for the 3rd time, I welded some part which had only been point welded.

When this was done, I went back into the exercise of putting the engine back in. And third time is a charm. I finally managed to put the engine back inside the frame and with the help of my son who helped me put the bolt in. It is now bolted in allowing me to do a proper mock up. I still had to grind some part but it worked.

I could now start working on alignment, spacers

and try different scenario to reach that one.

well still work in progress, got get the front and back spacer now, and fix the fenders. Will have to work on the "future" wiring system. And then, it will be time to dismantle everything and rehaul the motor I am still inches away and it frustrate the shit outta me. Guess I'll have to wait..

Then I started working on the seat mechanism. As it turns out, the weld on bungs were too big for the rear seat suspension, so I had to grind them before placing them on the bike and welding them onto the frame.

And then try to bolt on a peanut tank.

I am still unsure which gas tank I will end up usingAm still working on the mock-up. So picking up where I left off, I started working on the back fender. To start with, it needed to be cut off to allow the chain to go thru.

Then I needed to do the bung so I could fix the fender to the frame.

Then considering the tank is not very big and that I might change the carb or rebore the cylinder I decided to fix a safety tank to the frame.

and while I was using my voltemeter for my shovel I then decided to look at the stator and as it turn out, the stator will need to be changed

in normal circumstances it should read 5 to 7 when the voltemeter is set on ohms 200. Then back onto the back fender

then I needed to work on the strut but it turn out the one I had was a bit too short and therefore needed to fabricated some extension.

when I was more or less satisfied I worked on the back brake, but as it turn out I will have some serious issue with having the exhaust so since I was already thinking of building my own exhaust, it looks like I will have to choose that option if I put the back brake the way it is suppose to be

I was then more or less finish with the mock up. I need to work on few things and then weld some more parts, but the overall idea is there.

Have continued to work on the engine. To start the valve. So I took the valve apart, clean them and did the grounding.

Then when this was done, I did grind the jug and the top cylinder

Then time for cleaning and painting of the jug, cylinder and rocker head

Then I move to the primary and remove the oil filter to realise that the cam tensioner who had taken a ride had left over some parts.

and then I started to clean the primary

and finally I moved on to the front brake.

That's all for now carried on working on the mock up till I was fairly satisfied.

When this was done, time to dismantle everything and start working on the chassis, and the motor. To start with, we take everything apart

then I moved on to weld the parts that were only tagged on the frame.

and then after cleaning and grinding some part I started to put the primer on the frame and other parts

Then I moved on to the clean and check the carb.

And when the carb was cleaned, and checked, it was time to move on to the motor

Idid struggle to get the piston out of the jug but overall they were in good condition. But the combustion chamber and the valves were heavily covered by carbon.

and then time for clean up.

So this is where I am now. Will keep you posted.  I wish I could tell you that I have managed to finish and start the engine but that ain't the case. So where were we? Last time I wrote I have just finish to mount the jug back. So following that excercise, I install the brand new stator and rotor that I got fm Mike XS.

I used a straw to find the TDC and a screw driver to do the marking on the rotor and the engine. Then I moved on to the ignition.

I was damn proud with myself at that point. Anyway, when this was done, I adjusted the cam chain tensioner and move on to do the valve clearance. 0.06 for the intake, .15 for the exhaust as indicated on the manual.

still f.. good. Than move on to installing the ignition kit

by that time, I am really fucking excited, everything is going as planned.

looks good, just few more thing before I can start the bloodie thing. Found myself a nice battery, got myself some engine oil and gasoline. I am lining up everything, am telling everyone not to disturb me for the next hours, cleaning the sweat and dirt from my forehead and hands, and if I was still smoking I would have burn a malboro or two. Anyway, picture the scene, everything so far as gone to plan. If the engine start, I am only left with painting the tanks and fender and mounting everything back together. So, I start pouring 2 quart of 10w40 engine oil, and first shit happen. The oil is leacking like there is no tomorrow. so back to the basic, putting the engine on the side and redoing the gasket, but this time I put some serious gasket sealant to avoid the problem so after 2 hrs of shit, I am finally ready to kick start the engine.

And guess fucking what? I soon as I step on the kick the engine stand bounces on the side and the engine take a dive on the side breaking the sparkplug. At this point of time. I said fuck it

I will get myself a electric starter and mount it on the engine so I can start/check the engine without the use of force. I have left the engine in the garage now until I receive my solenoid.

see you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 before I rephase the engine, I did some painting. I sand, clean and degrease the parts before applying some primer and paint.

Then I used my new paint gun to paint the frame.

Then it was time to get to the engine. At first re-installing the piston. I made sure the ring were well positioned and slided them inside the cylinder before putting the in.

Then I put the valves back in, and the jug before putting the cam and the chain and recovering everything

and finally I changed the clutch seal. Next is to torque everything and put in the stator, rotor, and charging systemit's been a while and guess what I have been extremely occupied and lazy. So, picking up on where we left off, I got my hands on a solenoid

and try to get the bike started with a proper electric start.

but as you can expected it, nothing really worked. It sounded like the ignition was way off. This is where I know it was time for me to call for back up. So I call Travis who came to my house to pick up the engine to check it out. First diagnosis was not really good, the compression was only at 90psi on both cylinder cold, when it should be at 110-125psi. This will require the cylinder to be bore. At the same time, one of the spark plug was quite loose and will need an helicoil. So after a first look at the engine, that was the verdict. Once the engine gets open, few more surprises might be coming my way. Well, will seeSo, as for the XS who is the good hand of Travis. Well, it turns out that right cylinder with piston wear measured .0038 and the left .0047 meaning I had to order 1st over bore piston and rings.

Will need professional advise. Luckilly for me Travis was done with the XS650 engin. He brought it home and we tried to start it up. We did not manage but it did fire which was a good sign. We agree that I finish to build it up, he will come over to do the final tuning. I put the engin in the frame

and started on the painting job.

The idea with the painting job is to give it to a professional artist and let the artist do what he wants. Originally I wanted to used my cousin who is a professional street artist but he resides in France and it just takes took and has too much risk to ship everythng to him and ship it back to the US. His work is simply amazing

but I met another french artist in Houston who was willing to give it a shot. So I did the prework and the first layer and dropped it at Emilie's to let her magic work worked a bit on the XS by doing all the electricity

I also ordered a lowering kit for the front fork from Mike XS which I will mount sometimes over the summer while I wait for Emilie to come back with the painting of the tank and fenders. I also pick up the painted wheel from the painter who sandblasted them and painted them gloss black.

thI was to board the plane to fly back the the Great State of Texas, I got a msg from Emilie advising me that she was finished with painting the tanks and fender for the XS.

And what a beauty.





So, now its time to get it clear coated, have ACE workshop to check all my poor work, mount everything back together and finally have it states inspected


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