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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Posts
    2

    Default My 1980 XS650 Build

    My name is Nick Pullin, and this is the story of my XS650.

    On July 11, 2020 I purchased my first motorcycle, a 1980 XS650 Special-II. It was 40-years-old, a little beat up, and ran like crap. But it was my problem now, and I sure love a good project!



    First on the list was to get it running better and get some tags for it. I bought a bunch of parts for the wrong carbs because I had no clue what I was doing Then had to wait a month to get tags because the MVA was appointment only. But eventually I got the thing out on the road and started shaking the cobwebs off of it. I rode it around stock until it started to get cold, and then I brought it into the shop for winter.



    I quickly stripped it down and hacked the frame in half. This was a bit nerve-racking, considering that I have zero experience with this. However, I have been fucking my own cars up for over a decade so I'm no stranger to that feeling



    Put the motor back in, squared up the hardtail and tacked the shit out of it. Pulled it back out to finish all the welding, and put the wheels back on to get a glimmer of hope.



    Cut off all the unnecessary crap and smoothed out the front half of the frame the best I could.



    Blasted the frame to get nice and clean.







    Polishing these 40-year-old boat anchors was a nightmare, but I just got it out of the way so I didn't have to do it later.



    I also shaved the tops of the carbs, but didn't get back to polishing them until later.





    I went after the motor armed with an assortment of wire brushes, a steam cleaner, and a whole shit load of new hardware.



    Anyone who has ever had to do the push rod bushing on an XS knows how stressful this is



    I put the motor back in so that I could start working on the frame.



    The stock XS axle was too short, and the adjusters were too wide. After buying a bunch of shit that didn't work, I finally found an axle and adjusters from an 80'-something CB that fit.



    Tacked the front and rear seat mounts in place.



    I got some TC Bros forward controls, but when I mocked them up they were too far forward. I wanted to bring them more in line with the frame.



    Had to make some spacers to bring the pedal brackets back to level.





    I made up the linkage for both pedals and was really digging how they came out. Only problem was that I had eliminated the center support that the TC Bros controls have, and they felt a bit flimsy.



    After a bit of head-scratching and chin-stroking I was able to fit a cross brace between the pedals that stayed within the frame.



    Rear brake linkage was a tight fit between the frame and the fender, but I was able to make it work with a small spacer off the pivot.



    I liked how the original linkage was easily adjustable in the factory design, so I made this nut to fit my new linkage that copied the original design.



    After throwing a few ideas in the scrap bin, I decided on this for the lower fender mount...



    ... and this for the upper mount. I am really happy with how they came out. I think they flow well with the design of the tail.



    Which leaves us here. I have the tank, seat, and fender tacked in place. Next step is to mount all the electronics, and take the bike back apart to weld everything. I will leave that for another post. If you made it this far, thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed the first part of my XS build.

  2. #2
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    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,157

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    My first "chop" was a 650, nowhere near as cool as this one

  3. #3
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    Join Date
    Dec 2017
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    2,630

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    some nice details, good job.
    For your rear brakes, check to see how well they work...leverage is your friend. That pivot by the back of the engine has a short tab in from pedal, and a long one out to the drum...may need to switch it around for long in, short out...same idea as at your foot pedal.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by NickP View Post
    I hope you enjoyed the first part of my XS build.
    Yes, Very much so.
    Thanks for sharing.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Posts
    415

    Default

    looks great.

  6. #6
    Senior Member

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    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Posts
    210

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    Righteous!

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