Email Password
  1. #1

    Default XS650 Project from WNC

    Hi all, left the cult for a while because I traded my sportster for a touring bike. I recently got the itch for a bar-hopper. Something not as heavy, something easy to park, something that I can cut up and have fun with. I just wanted a project. I've been posting my progress on I figured I'd post it here as well since the guys on that forum seem to be into different styles than myself. I'm wanting to start updating on both sites, so here's an abridged version of what's going on up until now. Full story can be read at aforementioned link.

    My original plan was to go simple hardtail but I've since changed my plans to get it running for summer and ride it as a cafe or a brat for a summer or two while I hone my welding and fabbing skills.

    Anyway, here are some pics.

    Day one after rescue. All parts on but nothing running yet.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	6yGPGCEl.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	65.8 KB 
ID:	83885
    __________________________________________________ _________________________________________

    wiring was a nightmare. PO hacked it to shit and nothing worked. Took a multimeter to everything and decided I'd be better off ripping it all out and starting from scratch.

    This is the diagram I used. It's a pretty popular one but I changed a couple of things. I also deleted the neutral light because I'm no dummy!
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	d2wS58fl.jpg 
Views:	4 
Size:	62.4 KB 
ID:	83887

    Got very impatient and did the minimal amount necessary to get it running
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	PnVTUlHl.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	65.5 KB 
ID:	83888
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________

    It finally fired and I was very excited. I had a couple of short sections of fuel line sticking up from the carbs and filled them up with a syringe.
    don't know why I can't embed a video here. It's not that interesting, I'll understand if you skip it. Audio is shit because I have a cheap ass phone.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________

    Before I completed the wiring, I figured I needed a box to stuff it into. So, I made one.

    measured, cut tacked
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	VnOL8ovl.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	33.2 KB 
ID:	83889

    Almost done
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	RrNJfYhl.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	33.7 KB 
ID:	83890

  2. #2


    And done for now
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	JSiaHO0l.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	30.4 KB 
ID:	83891

    Did a quick test fitting of the components
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	k9sJ1O8l.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	68.7 KB 
ID:	83892

    I wish it still looked that tidy.

    Then I welded on a tongue so I could bolt it on. I'm not sure if everyone has these two holes on their bike or the PO put them there. Either way they were perfect for this application.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	zbhntahl.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	52.0 KB 
ID:	83893

    And what it looked like when I was done. On the side is a key, start button, and killswitch.
    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	batYE6Ll.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	48.7 KB 
ID:	83894

    I took it for a quick run up and down the street and it ran like shit. Something to do with the vacuum petcock system on the tank. I was planning to ditch the tank anyway so I figured that would be the next project to tackle.

  3. #3


    This is pulled from the xs650 site:

    okay, backlog of work to document here. I've been busy with finals but i did manage to sneak a few minutes in to do some work on the bike. I'm pleased as punch with what I accomplished, so here's a run down.

    Removed the carbs and gave them a thorough cleaning. They weren't that dirty, but i got in every nook i could. Before I reassembled them, I adjusted the floats. Then I tested them by blowing into the fuel line and slowly turning them upside down until the flow cut off. After I got them back on the bike the left carb will still flood and leak if i don't shut off the petcock but only if it let it sit for a few minutes. Neither are pissing all over the engine like crazy, so I will count that as a win. especially for the cheap ass pwk carbs that they are. I've decided once I get the bike healthy I will get a vm34 kit from hoos racing or somewhere. whoever has the best deal really.

    Next up, the tank. So I was very excited to get the tank on after getting it running just using a small amount of fuel line filled with gas. I get everything plumbed up with the vacuum petcocks and dumped in some gas. I started it up and went to the gas station and back and the bike was running like a pig. I decided to look into rebuilding the petcocks but quickly changed my mind. A rebuild kit it cheap enough, but since I didn't plan on keeping the tank I figured I'd go ahead and order the tank I'd been pining over. (the xs750 tank will be for sale as soon as i can find a box to ship it in.)

    Enter stage left - Lowbrow Wassell Tank.
    Very solid, very thick, very cheap. I ordered the tank, a cap, 2 petcocks, set of tophat bungs, set of leather washers, and a new throttle so i can ditch the old cluster. They were kind enough to include a bag of peanuts.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	oQeTmyPl.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	32.2 KB 
ID:	83896

    I couldn't get this on there quick enough! It did take me a while though. I took off my top motor mount and threw it in the box of leftover shit. Luckily enough HHB was having a birthday sale so I got a new (non-windowed) upper motor mount at a discount! Go me! Unfortunately I didn't get very many pictures of it as it will be a small visual component.

    When I finally got a weekend for the project i jumped on it. Here's a pic of the test fit/placement.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	4hR4mw6l.jpg 
Views:	2 
Size:	73.9 KB 
ID:	83897

    Just barely fit in every way possible. Just barely above the engine, just barely on the straight parts of the backbone, just barely wide enough. I'm not sure if it's luck or what, but from here on out I'm calling it "precision."

    The process from here was pretty straight forward but challenging. I centered up a leather washer where it needed to be on the mounting tab and used a centerpunch. I bought a centerpunch specifically for this project and i'm glad i did. I put the tank in the final position i wanted it, drilled a pilot hole in the tab and then through to the backbone. Once this was done I removed the tank and used a stepper bit (also purchased for this project) and drilled it to accommodate the bolt+paint+breathing room. Then i used some motor oil and the stepper bit to drill into the backbone. Point of no return, there's now a giant hole in my backbone.
    Once this was done I assembled the bung, bolt, and leather washers onto the tank and fit it into the hole i just made.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	bZqn6Jjl.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	38.5 KB 
ID:	83898

    I had to do a little extra work with a file to get it to fit, but when it fit, it was snug.
    Since that was holding the tank firmly in place i could move on to the rear mount. Repeated the same process. Punch, pilot, step, file, test fit.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	wybGqekl.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	60.3 KB 
ID:	83899

    Here's the final test fit before welding.
    And the holes.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	JdzEI8Ol.jpg 
Views:	2 
Size:	70.1 KB 
ID:	83900

    This looks incredibly sketchy, but after the bungs are welded in it should be stronger than before. Also pictured: HHB upper motor mount. At this point i used a paint stripper thingy from advance auto and prepped the area to be welded. I also used a set of files to deburr and clean up the holes.

  4. #4


    Unfortunately I didn't get a pic of the coolest part because my welding room is tiny and having a bike in there had me in compromising positions. I also had to do some shaping to the top of the bungs to match the mounting tabs. Here's a pic of the tank loosely bolted on.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	RheKE2Fl.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	53.3 KB 
ID:	83901

    Another thing to note is that i found two random (properly sized) bolts from other projects and used them inserted to keep the threads from warping. I placed two tacks, front and back, check straightness in all directions, two more, left and right, check straightness. weld 1/4 jump to opposite side and weld another 1/4, jump to opposite side again and weld 1/4, jump to final side and weld final 1/4. repeat for other bung. Left it to cool for a bit, rolled it out, taped it up and used a self etching primer and high heat gloss black to repaint the backbone. I also used the scrap bolts for this process to keep paint out.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	ZrtOqP6l.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	98.7 KB 
ID:	83902

    HHB upper motor mount clearance

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	JG0gmb8l.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	54.5 KB 
ID:	83903

    I did get a jam nut to bolt the top of the mount on, however it was still too wide. I imagine if I moved the tank back a bit it might've fit better, but i just took a flap disk to it and took off little by little. Then i used some loctite and cranked that bitch down. Keep in mind the wiring will be cleaned up eventually.

  5. #5


    Fast forward a few days and i'm getting antsy, i have my tank on, filled up and ready to go. I charge my battery for about an hour and go start it. All of the previous pigishness in the engine is gone. I'm assuming the vacuum petcocks were causing some sort of issue. Switching to straight gravity feed fixed all of that. I also had to block off my vacuum lines, but that took about 2 seconds. Rode to the gas station and back and man what a ride! ran it through all the gears a few times. I think I put on about 10 miles all together. Got back home and did a little fiddling. got antsy and decided to push my luck.

    bad idea.

    I made it pretty far around my backroads loop. I was having an issue with sticking idle (carb boots are leaking). Then it started sputtering really bad. I reach up and flip my headlight off and suddenly the sputtering is gone!

    yeah, that's an oh shit moment.

    Finally the bike died all together under throttle load. I pulled over and let it sit for a minute trying to think of what i could do. Eventually i manage to kick start it and i take off like a bat out of hell hoping it will charge some at higher rpms (i usually like to cruise at lower rpms). made it a couple more miles and it dies again. Kick started it again and made it about a half mile when it died going downhill in gear under throttle. There was no kicking after that. It was done. I did get a pic before girlfriend showed up with the truck though

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Fkd8beHl.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	88.4 KB 
ID:	83904

    What an awkward sexy machine that is!
    So yeah, I'm disappointed in my machine at the moment. More electrical gremlins to sort out. The rotor is testing good, the brushes are a good length. I'm thinking the charging system may not have enough juice to charge the lithium ion battery that's in it. For some reason it seems like I read that they require higher charging volts before they'll actually take in charge. I'm not sure. The battery is 2 years old and was flat from the owner. I'll do more diagnostics and report back.

    The real part 2. starts here.

    I tried to keep oil on my tank so it wouldn't rust. One week later it's rusting. So I decide to jump in to another area i'm not comfortable with. Paint!

    I dread painting almost as much as I dread electrical work. It's never turned out good when I paint. I have zero patience for painting. However, I did it anyway because I'll be damned if I let anyone else work on this thing.

    Overall it turned out better than expected.

    I converted my shed into a paint booth and tied it up with some mig wire.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	CqtZ0Lgl.jpg 
Views:	0 
Size:	23.6 KB 
ID:	83905

    I used a self etching primer until i couldn't see metal anymore, then I used duplicolor white pearl. It looks good in daylight but in pictures it looks like grey primer

    Anyway, I put on some clear coat and tried to wet sand it and smooth it out, then finished with two more coats of clear. Let it dry, put it on the bike, then rolled it into the sun for a day to let it cure.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	4xzN0Kzl.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	62.7 KB 
ID:	83906

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	eRV93dil.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	73.9 KB 
ID:	83907

    Cameo by big brother.

    Again, the damn paint looks like grey primer in the photo. maybe because i'm using a cheap phone. I don't know. But it's a nice white with a little pearl and some flake in it. Maybe if I get brave one day I'll put some designs on it.

    I also got a set of lightly used ya mama's from a user on the forums ( this will clear up the footpeg region and get the exhaust off my toes.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	oaZ6UC4l.jpg 
Views:	1 
Size:	72.2 KB 
ID:	83908
    (these were very annoying to put on)

    So this is where it stands today. I need to go through and test the charging system which will be a pita without a tach. I'm hoping it's a simple fix.
    I need to get this thing into barhopper shape!
    __________________________________________________ ____________

    Did a little more work today, changed out the frayed clutch cable, changed shocks from 12.5" to 12" because they were free. Installed shiny new exhaust gaskets, fixed my bent shift peg, and checked my oil filter just to make sure it was in there. I also have a leak somewhere on the underside of the engine, but couldn't find anything loose. oh well.

    I tested my battery and charging system as well. Brushes are 14mm long, rotor had around 5ohms resistance, stator was getting 11.1. ac/v at idle, i did find a loose wire going to the nuetral safety nipple(?) on top of the engine case. charge got up to the low 13s while idling but still doesn't raise when i rev the engine higher. it also continually drains with the light on at idle which is normal i guess? i also noticed the battery jumps down to 4-5v when i start the bike. even though the battery has held charge all week, i think it might be done for.

    the plan now it to ditch the old electrical box and build a new one that will fit a full size lead acid battery.

  6. #6


    That's all I have so far. Plans as of now are:

    -Find some shorter shocks
    -Cut off the top seat rails off, smooth them down, and reverse them to get the look of a visual impact brat kit
    -Make a new box to hold a full size standard battery +electronics
    -Ditch those shitty clubmans
    -Make a tag mount because I don't want to buy one because I do what I want.
    -Ride it more

Share This

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

Log in

Log in