View Full Version : XS650 Craigslist Project: Worth it?

07-12-2017, 2:15 AM
Im currently riding an 02 Evo Sporty, it runs great and I don't want to change anything else on it for now so im looking for a cheap project bike I can mess with when I get the itch to do something motorcycle related.

Been checking craigslist and local Facebook for something old and cool. I found a 74 xs650 for cheap enough. But it has no title and the motor doesn't turn. Also needs carbs and exhaust.

I had an xs400 before that I sank way too much money into and it was constantly one thing after another messing up. Ending up selling it(practically gave it away) and lost pretty much everything I put into it. With this one it would be a long term project I could work on or get parts every now and then and not be rushed since it's not my main bike.

So a couple questions.
How bad is tearing the motor down and redoing everything on these?

With it not having a title, should I just hardtail it and get a custom build title?

Or should I pass and keep looking?

07-12-2017, 6:04 AM
Id pass, buy a runner with a title, hardtail it

07-12-2017, 6:18 AM
Id pass, buy a runner with a title, hardtail it
Kinda what I was thinking. Just not wanting to spend anything on it really since it's just for fun. Figured a couple hundred for a frame, front end and wheels wasn't a bad deal. And thought the motor might be salvageable. But yea I'll probably pass. Thanks.

07-12-2017, 11:01 AM
No title and the description equals organ donor or stalled project/doomed money pit.

Find a runner, or save yer pennies and do a second Sporty since you ride and are familiar with them. There's no "variety rule" where ya can't have two of the same family.

Better things to do:
More shop equipment, because owning a cow beats buying milk.

Save for a big twin. Note I didn't say "hunt down some fucked up basket case then empty your wallet into the thing".

Every project choice removes resources from other potential or real projects.

Some goober will always vacuum up the junk. You don't need to be that guy.

I had an xs400 before that I sank way too much money into and it was constantly one thing after another messing up. Ending up selling it(practically gave it away) and lost pretty much everything I put into it.

You learned the hard way as most of us do. In the 1980s we wouldn't consider anything under 650cc and just flipped that stuff as neuter commuter scooters. They are best obtained in running shape, used up then sold off.

Now you know not to do it again, so don't do it again. The superficial resemblance of a "motorcycle shaped object" to something worth fucking with is a trap. (My noob fuckup was BSA Victors, which suck even more and cannot be made not to suck.)

If money is tight, buy tools. That lets you save money fixing everything else you own. The world is full of used bikes and will remain so.

07-12-2017, 5:49 PM
Sound advice farmall. Appreciate it.

Yea I knew it was probably a bad idea. But i was holdin out hope that maybe somehow it might be easy haha

Normally yes, money's extremely tight. But been working nonstop for past couple months getting double time so figured I'd drop a little(and I mean a little) bit of money on some pile I could tear down to nothing and build back up. But I think I might set some aside unbeknownst to the wife and save up for something later.

Thanks for the reality check guys.

07-12-2017, 9:41 PM
No title in Arkansas is not a problem. You have a couple of options to title the bike. 1. Get separate bills of sale for the frame and the motor. It helps if you get them from two different people too. Submit to the DMV as an antique bike with proof of insurance and county tax receipt. Easy, done, get the title in 4-6 weeks. Make sure the VIN number is clean at this site https://www.nicb.org/theft_and_fraud_awareness/vincheck
Method #2: Use a recognized title service to get a bonded title. I recommend this company http://arkansasvehicletitleservice.com/. This is more expensive usually around $150 but they do all the leg work for you. The bonded title does not have any limits on buying or selling a vehicle and is not branded at all. It provides insurance in case some previous owner finds out you have fixed up the bike and makes a claim.
The 650 motor is pretty easy to repair and parts are readily available. The 74 is the first of the 447 motors which all the rest of the xs650 line used. The frame is pretty much the same as the rest but the forks are smaller diameter.

07-13-2017, 5:35 AM
Well shit haha. 555 that was the response I was hoping I'd hear but figured I was dreaming. Guess I'll have to reconsider it. Guy had it listed for 300. Now it's at 250. Ill have to go check it out and let y'all know what I end up doing. I appreciate the different advice.

Here's the bike. Looks like some rusted up stuff here and there but mostly complete.


07-13-2017, 8:51 PM
I looked at the ad. I would offer $150 and maybe go to $200 for it. He said motor won't turn which may or may not be a big problem. No carbs means $$$ for replacements. I'm pretty sure it is a 1975 based on the tank and October/74 manufacture date. It would be a true XS650 with the 447 motor and the larger stanchion fork tubes. An ideal project bike, but will need a whole lot of work. If you take your time you can build a nice and affordable bike. If you do buy it, get the title worked out first before you put anymore money in it. A title frame is worth what he is asking for the entire bike.

07-13-2017, 10:39 PM
Yea I'm back and forth on it. Started pricing replacement parts and it adds up quick. Of course there wouldn't be a rush on finishing it I guess. Be busy for next little while so when I get around to having a day off I might see if he still has it and offer that. I appreciate the help man.