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  1. #1

    Default 78 XS750 chop first bike build

    Started building my bike a few months back, and decided now that I should start a build thread to keep track of what I've done and hopefully get some tips, recommendations, and constructive criticism since this is my first build. So I picked up a 1978 XS750 back in November of 2017, $400 non-running no paperwork. Figured I would tinker with it and get back on a bike... well I got her running and that was enough for me to tear it apart and start chopping it up. Not 100% sure where I want this build to go, it's a low budget, learn how to build a bike kind of build. My plans for the bike are as follows:
    Hardtail, no rear stretch
    stretch downtubes 2" or 3" not sure yet
    12" over girder frontend from an old Harley
    21" spool wheel up front
    King queen seat I plan to fab up
    Complete rewire of the bike since it's a mess
    Rabbit Ear bars?

    Hoping to be riding this bike ASAP and take a trip up to Canada in late July. Time for pictures

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	82990 No ramp? No problem

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ID:	82991 Removing the motor for the first time, kind of a pain but I figured it out

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ID:	82992 Chopped some of the frame, still had no idea what I was going to do at this point

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ID:	82993 Had my buddy weld the lower portion of the hardtail, his welding skills are far beyond mine

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ID:	82994 Made some rear mounts out of spare tubing I had laying around, not the prettiest but they'll work

  2. #2

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    Some more pictures...
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	82997 Sleeved the neck to fit the harley frontend, messed up with measuring so I'll have to drill the sleeve out a bit to fit the neck cups.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	83001 mocked the bike up with rear wheel attached... sits pretty high up in the air but I had tacked the rear portion so it sat lower originally and ran into clearance issues with the frame hitting the shaft drive housing. At least I won't have to worry about scraping on anything right?

    That's about all I've got done right now, funds are super low as I'm in school full time and only working Saturdays. I ordered a complete gasket kit for the bike so I'm going to do that and while I'm at it I will sandblast the cases and valve cover. Can't decide whether I want to polish or paint them but I've got plenty of time to figure that out.

    I've been thinking about doing a jockey shift/foot clutch but have no idea what or how to go about it, any ideas or tips would be greatly appreciated. Oh and foot peg mounting, drill through frame, weld in some threaded bungs and bolt the pegs on? Not sure what I want to do yet for those. Thanks for looking, I'll try to keep this updated as I get work done.

  3. #3
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    It looks like you have a pretty good plan with a list of parts.
    Here is a XS650 with hand shift/hand clutch as an idea:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    An idea for forwards - from TC Bros:
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    How is the wheelbase? Saw a thread that mentioned swapping the driveshaft from a different bike which was about 2"longer...
    You said,"$400 non-running no paperwork." Did you get any paperwork for it since you got it in November? Just wondering if you have a solution for insurance and registration.

    An example of a XStriple chop:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://allbestmoto.com/yamaha-motors/yamaha-xs750/
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    and,
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    Thread: Gonna try my hand at a xs750
    http://www.clubchopper.com/forums/me...and-xs750.html

    Ya might get a few ideas from here too:
    https://www.dimecitycycles.com/yamah....html?cat=2109
    and
    Thread: just picked up my XS750 Yamaha;
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7208
    and
    Thread: Yamaha xs750, first chop
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15903
    Good luck on your build!
    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 04-05-2018 at 12:12 AM. Reason: added chopcult links

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    It looks like you have a pretty good plan with a list of parts.
    Here is a XS650 with hand shift/hand clutch as an idea:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	83004

    An idea for forwards - from TC Bros:
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	83007

    How is the wheelbase? Saw a thread that mentioned swapping the driveshaft from a different bike which was about 2"longer...
    You said,"$400 non-running no paperwork." Did you get any paperwork for it since you got it in November? Just wondering if you have a solution for insurance and registration.

    An example of a XStriple chop:

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	83005
    http://allbestmoto.com/yamaha-motors/yamaha-xs750/
    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	83006

    and,
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Thread: Gonna try my hand at a xs750
    http://www.clubchopper.com/forums/me...and-xs750.html

    Ya might get a few ideas from here too:
    https://www.dimecitycycles.com/yamah....html?cat=2109
    and
    Thread: just picked up my XS750 Yamaha;
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7208
    and
    Thread: Yamaha xs750, first chop
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=15903
    Good luck on your build!
    Thanks for that picture of the hand shift/hand clutch that'll give me some ideas, and those forwards. Going to try to fab up as many parts as I can since I'm broke, and I think it would be awesome to really build most of the parts. The wheel base isn't too bad I wanted to stretch it but now that I've already welded in the lower portion of the hardtail I think I'm going to stick with what I've done and see how it works out. The high ground clearance will be different than most for sure, I'll have to test it out and see if it'll be practical though!

    As of right now I haven't gotten any paperwork yet...my sister lives in NH and I should have asked her to get it registered for me before I started building it but I'm just going to finish building it and then have her do that. NH doesn't require paperwork just a bill of sale and VIN check to make sure it's not stolen ( I've checked a few VIN sites and it didn't pop up as stolen so I'm crossing my fingers) I've had a few bikes I had to get VIN checked and came up clean. Almost all of those links you added are threads I've been looking through and getting inspiration from, thanks for posting them again I'm going to go back through them and see if I can learn anything else from them!

  5. #5

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    Does anybody know if the head bolts are considered stretch bolts? Just took my cases off and wanted to sandblast them, was thinking of doing the head as well, just want to know if I will have to order new head bolts or not. Click image for larger version. 

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    Just realized they're studs not bolts... Oops. Anyways I don't think I feel like taking the head off, it looks to be an interference motor and the last time I messed with one of those I bent the valves. I suppose that could have had to do with too much beer while setting the timing and it being my first time.
    Last edited by Rjcinelli; 04-05-2018 at 4:17 PM.

  6. #6
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    Following for sure

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Exit39 View Post
    Following for sure
    Picking up some more argon for the welder today hopefully some updates coming in the next few days

  8. #8

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    Could anybody tell me what kind of foam they use in this writeup? Having trouble finding it, figured I would start ordering parts for what I'll need for the build since I'm at a standstill until I get the neck sleeve machined at the shop. Inside diameter is 1" but I need more like 1 1/4" ID for the neck cups, step drill bit with 1 1/4" max just isn't cutting it. Spent about an hour and a half trying to drill it out and barely got to the max step, not nearly deep enough to fit the cups. http://draftcycleworks.blogspot.com/...-from.html?m=1

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rjcinelli View Post
    ...I'm at a standstill until I get the neck sleeve machined at the shop. Inside diameter is 1" but I need more like 1 1/4" ID for the neck cups, step drill bit with 1 1/4" max just isn't cutting it. Spent about an hour and a half trying to drill it out and barely got to the max step, not nearly deep enough to fit the cups.
    I was confused when I saw your photo and description of the sleeve you installed in the neck, post #2 above, "Sleeved the neck to fit the harley frontend, messed up with measuring so I'll have to drill the sleeve out a bit to fit the neck cups."

    The outside diameter of the bearing races are 1.85" top and 2.165" bottom; I was thinking you could just machine a couple of sleeves, to press fit on the harley bearing cup, to fit the cups into the neck of the frame.

    Japanese Bike Steering Stem Bearing Sizes
    Yamaha XS750 ALL (77-79)

    Upper: 25 x 47 x 15 (47mm = 1.850")
    Lower: 30 x 55 x 17 (55mm = 2.165")
    http://www.dotheton.com/forum/index.php?topic=20951.0

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    Where to buy different types of foam? Here are a few ideas:
    http://diymotorcycleseat.com/foam-types/

    Thread: where to get seat foam?
    http://advrider.com/index.php?thread...t-foam.253952/
    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 04-12-2018 at 6:41 AM. Reason: added foam info

  10. #10

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    Thanks for the info TriNortchopz I'm going to look at those links. As for the sleeve issue, I had found this thread and figured I would so the same but did not have the Harley neck cups when I measured so I kind of set myself up for failure with that. Hopefully some time next week the sleeve will get machined and I'll be rolling again.

  11. #11
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    A set of these would have been even easier - no harley cups required:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Part Number 22-1004
    $33.90
    Tapered Steering Bearing Kit; XS750 77-79

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    A set of these would have been even easier - no harley cups required:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Part Number 22-1004
    $33.90
    Tapered Steering Bearing Kit; XS750 77-79
    Would these have enabled me to run the harley front end with the stock xs750 neck? Don't think I would be able to run them now since I've cut the neck up a bit

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rjcinelli View Post
    Would these have enabled me to run the harley front end with the stock xs750 neck? Don't think I would be able to run them now since I've cut the neck up a bit
    Almost; you just need to get a set of 'cones - the bearing part - to fit the springer neck, or get a set of bearings from your local bearing guy and machine some press-fit sleeves for the bearings, or get a springer neck machined to fit the bearings...just need to know what ya got (neck sizes - of frame, and of springer neck post), and figure out what you need - measure and research - using online bearing catalogs, or call a bearing supplier; they can tell you what will fit, what won't fit and with knowing your measurements, you can figure out what you can make fit; metric/inch conversion calculator very handy to prepare for the discussion

    Here is a thread from CC that discusses installing a springer on a XS 650 (bearing sizes are: Upper: 25 x 48 x 15.2 and Lower: 30 x 48 x 15)
    Thread: Putting a 1" springer on an Xs650 (no cutting/welding)
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=236

    Here is an example of different sized bearing cones to fit a springer on a XS650;
    Yamaha XS650 Springer Conversion Kit with Steering Neck Bearings
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    http://www.tcbroschoppers.com/yamaha...-bearings.html

    Do you have the harley bearing cups now?
    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 04-15-2018 at 3:05 PM.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    Almost; you just need to get a set of 'cones - the bearing part - to fit the springer neck, or get a set of bearings from your local bearing guy and machine some press-fit sleeves for the bearings, or get a springer neck machined to fit the bearings...just need to know what ya got (neck sizes - of frame, and of springer neck post), and figure out what you need - measure and research - using online bearing catalogs, or call a bearing supplier; they can tell you what will fit, what won't fit and with knowing your measurements, you can figure out what you can make fit; metric/inch conversion calculator very handy to prepare for the discussion

    Here is a thread from CC that discusses installing a springer on a XS 650 (bearing sizes are: Upper: 25 x 48 x 15.2 and Lower: 30 x 48 x 15)
    Thread: Putting a 1" springer on an Xs650 (no cutting/welding)
    http://www.chopcult.com/forum/showthread.php?t=236

    Here is an example of different sized bearing cones to fit a springer on a XS650;
    Yamaha XS650 Springer Conversion Kit with Steering Neck Bearings
    Click image for larger version. 

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    http://www.tcbroschoppers.com/yamaha...-bearings.html

    Do you have the harley bearing cups now?
    Right now I have the harley 1" bearings and cups kit yes, but I've already cut the stock neck (cut off the upper and lower bearing seats? I don't know the correct name for what I cut off)

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rjcinelli View Post
    Right now I have the harley 1" bearings and cups kit yes, but I've already cut the stock neck (cut off the upper and lower bearing seats? I don't know the correct name for what I cut off)
    Carry on...Good luck with your build.
    Don't forget to research and plan.

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by TriNortchopz View Post
    Carry on...Good luck with your build.
    Don't forget to research and plan.
    Don't forget to research and plan.[/QUOTE]

    I put a bid in on eBay for a 750 neck with paperwork, if I win it I will be doing what you suggested, thanks for that tip!

  17. #17

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    Okay so I won the bid on the neck & title, so now I should have no issues getting the bike registered in MA, and can use the method that TriNortchopz recommended to fit my Harley frontend. I also just ordered some foot pegs, 5/8" steel rod for the sissy bar, LED blinkers (trying to look somewhat legal since I'm not running a front brake), bungs to mount tank and seat pan, foam for the seat pan, a front tire, and a few other things I'm already forgetting.

    Forgot my buddy has a ton of leather from when we did upholstery so I'll be wrapping the seat pan in that, hopefully I should have the neck Saturday or so. I sandblasted my engine covers, now I'm working on getting rid of all the sand... Any good recommendations?

  18. #18

  19. #19

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    Could somebody help me out here, probably a dumb question but I can't figure this out. I got my neck in the mail, stock xs750 upper bearing and race fit on my Harley stem. The stem is larger diameter at the top (see attached picture) so how do I get a 7/8" bearing down over the stem when it's 1" diameter at the top? Am I missing something? Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	83394 bearing on bottom of stem in picture is a 1" bearing, which is too loose on the long portion of stem, fits snug on the larger part up top*

  20. #20
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    That is an excellent question, because you asked...I believe you have a piece of collectable history there - from the photo I recognize the bottom tree, the conical (barrel-shaped) spring and the rectangular linkage - I believe you have a Durfee girder - not Harley specific - I have a Durfee girder on my rigid Triumph.

    There is a set screw I see that holds the neck post into the bottom of the tree. On top of that is a spacer someone made - probably to set the distance between the upper and lower pivot points on the trees the same distance apart as the pivot points on the legs - which is the ideal setup.
    Durfee also had the pivot rod on the bottom tree a one-piece rod, which went through the bottom of the neckpost,so it may need to be lubricated and pressed out to remove the neck - depending on what the previous owner did, there may also be a nut on the bottom holding the neck post into the lower tree. Those top threads don't look great, but might be saved with a thread file of the proper pitch...depending if it will fit your frame...

    It is time to get a good measuring tool, like a dial caliper,vernier caliper or a digital caliper - to measure what you have to determine what you need - may need to machine a new neck depending on the distance between the tapered bearing cones in your 750 neck, and measure the bores of the upper and lower trees, they need to be perfectly round - top one is often out of round due to assembler having threaded portion through the top tree - the Durfee top nut and crown nut was not designed like a typical springer top and crown nut(think Jammer - see spigot on nut in Yamaha springer pic above) - Durfee did not machine a step into those nuts, so a precise size-on-size fit of the neck post needs to assured into both the top and bottom tree.
    Last edited by TriNortchopz; 04-20-2018 at 12:32 AM. Reason: answered question about removing bearing

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