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  1. #1
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    Default Dream Build: 1980 XS650

    Ok, maybe not THE dream build but I've always had a fancy for building an XS for some reason. So I woke up from work one afternoon (I work nights) and the Ol' Lady comes in the room and says, "Take a look at what I sent you and tell me your honest opinion." and there it was. A Facebook Marketplace link of a "1979 XS650 Project" in all its glory. so I immediately said "yup" before even clicking the link. After giving it a look over, it was listed as a 1979 but turned out to be an '80 (TDI ignition) with a David Bird hardtail already installed. Me being a welder, I am always kind of wary when it comes to already hard tailed bikes and didn't have real high expectations when I asked who did the hardtail and the seller said "I did". Anyway, I set up a time to go take a look and as soon as we pulled into the driveway, I knew this kid was legit and had an idea of what he was doing. So the bike was a full roller with the motor in the frame along with a 2 or 3 boxes of parts that he said "Everything should be there to finish it." Yea, everyone says that. So I talked him down on price as one does and took it home. Couple days go by and I finally get a chance to go over the whole thing and the box of toys that came with it. I was delighted to find that he was mostly right, but a few things were missing from the "Everything There" box. He already had the HHB PMA system installed, but in the box I found a brand new PAMCO ignition as well as a Sparx Cap which was perfect because that's the route I planned on heading down anyway. I was unaware that the '80 was a TDI ignition system so I'm currently hunting down the advance rod and governor timing plate. Anyway, that's where I'm at right now. I did drill out the HHB solid riser bushing to accept a 1/2 bolt and cut up some extra Harley risers I had laying around. Wiring is about the only thing I can currently do, then I'll make a pair of bars for it. I've got some plans in my head and can't wait to get this thing sitting how I imagine and riding this thing down the road. Heres a picture dump of when I first got her home and me playing with handlebar and fender mock up.

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    Last edited by WannaBeFabrication; 02-22-2020 at 10:47 AM.

  2. #2
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    Great start already!! looking forward to seeing this thing progress

  3. #3
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    Also.. that thing is LOW!!!

    Doesn't look like the tradition lines of a TC Bros hardtail either.. looks modified for sure. I like it better then the TC.

    Cool short chop.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelowlife View Post
    Also.. that thing is LOW!!!

    Doesn't look like the tradition lines of a TC Bros hardtail either.. looks modified for sure. I like it better then the TC.

    Cool short chop.
    Yea it’s a 3 inch drop with zero stretch. I’m trying to source an 18” rear wheel with a disc brake and probably just lacing a 21” to the front hub along with +6 tubes. That should raise it up a bit.

  5. #5
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    I like it as is!!

    Maybe put the 21 up front and the 18 with a disc but I love how low it is

  6. #6
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    That blue fender kicks ass!

    J E A L O U S

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hatchet54 View Post
    That blue fender kicks ass!

    J E A L O U S
    Yea I scored it from a swap meet. Dude just gave it to me but I don’t think it fits this build. I’ll find something to put it on.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by thelowlife View Post
    I like it as is!!

    Maybe put the 21 up front and the 18 with a disc but I love how low it is
    Yea I’m all for low bikes but I love leaning in some twistys too. My buddy actually went down and snapped his leg because his frame was too low so I’m not trying to do that

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WannaBeFabrication View Post
    Yea I scored it from a swap meet. Dude just gave it to me but I don’t think it fits this build. I’ll find something to put it on.
    Yeah agreed different fender on it

  10. #10
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    Had a few minutes to get back out in the shop today. Made a quick run to the hardware store and picked up a bolt to mount my Capacitor, a bunch of electrical connections, and some other random shit. Found out one of my buddy's has a little XS650 graveyard so he found me an Advance Rod and all the other shit I need to make a spark, along with a few extra points sets just incase I fry the PAMCO and I ordered the bushings that go inside the cam cavity. All that should be here tomorrow. Got all the wiring mocked up and I'll be starting the long, painstaking process of soldering and heat shrinking all that wiring before my buddy shows up with the advance rod and such. Fingers crossed I get some spark and don't blow anything up. Also, got the fencer mount bent and cut, going to weld that up tomorrow as well. Here's a little ass shot of the fender I'm going to use. And I think I'm going to go with a Black and Purple color scheme, but we'll see.
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  11. #11
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    Also, The hardtail isn't TCBros like I thought. It's actually a David Bird.

  12. #12

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    Cool bike, digging the ribbed rear fender, nice choice.

  13. #13
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    Rad score man. Should turn out killer with what you have planned.

  14. #14
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    I’m about to have a full day out in the garage and hopefully my buddy will be here this afternoon with the advance rod. If not, I gotta drive up to philly to pick it up which isn’t too far, just an hour or so drive I really don’t want to make. Fingers crossed I get some fire breathing into this thing.

  15. #15
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    Got everything wired up and had to make my way up to philly and back but didn’t make it to the hardware in time to grab 1 self tapping screw for the ground of my cap and rectifier... one self tapping screw... Did end up taking the carbs off, found out they’re Mikuni’s and the rubber cap on the low jet fell off into the float bowl. But that’s a fun project for another day.
    Last edited by WannaBeFabrication; 02-23-2020 at 6:35 AM.

  16. #16
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    WE GOT SPARK! Got new plugs and a few other small things I’ve been needing and hot damn if everything seems to be lining up. Got the carbs real clean and blown out, just waiting for those little passage plugs for the carbs and hopefully get some gas in her and try to fire it up. In the mean time, I need to get that fender mounted then I can focus on getting it down the road then paint.

  17. #17
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    ok.... So we don't have spark. After everything was wired up, I believe I got spark a few times, now nothing. I've got power throughout the whole system except for out of the Coil to the spark plugs. My coil is testing well, and the plugs are new (NGK). I tested with the stock coil with the same result. Resistance between the two spark plug caps is normal as well. I tested at the PAMCO board and everything tests well there also. I'm at a loss. I do have a set of DYNA 5 Ohm coils I have yet to try but they're for my Old Lady's CB350four Cafe project so I'm trying not to break them up. Any ideas? Carbs are tuned up, floats are set, gas is waiting, just need the spark to get this thing running.

  18. #18

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    If you have a 12v logic probe (got mine from SnapOn) you can check and see if the pickups are actually triggering the coils or not. My recollection from my XS build is that those electronic ignitions are fragile and easy to pop. As long as it's sending a ground pulse to the coil(s) and you've supplied the necessary 12v, they should be sparking. I assume you have a good spark tester?

  19. #19
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    I’ve followed all the correct ways to check for spark with the pamco ignition and not blow the unit. Made sure I didn’t leave the killswitch on or the ignition on. I’ve got a buddy sending me a points plate to test if I got spark with that so I guess we’ll see. I’m leaving for vacation in a few days so I won’t know until next week sometime.

  20. #20
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    Fuck yeah this build is gona be awesome

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