garage stuff

Rain and thunderstorms this morning, so I thought I'd might as well get a start on the '79 XS.
The to-do list includes forks seals, tapered steering bearings, bronze swing arm bushings, chain and sprockets, wheel bearings, and a lot of cleaning. I'm going to do some paint touch up on the frame. The bike has the typical rust in the battery area, so I'll be sandblasting and painting the battery box, and will get a sealed battery to help prevent that from reoccurring.


Shikoku CCM

From the latest Sportster meet in Japan.


My XL1200






I got some of the maintenance items done this morning on my "new" XS650. I adjusted the cam chain and valves, and changed the oil. No surprises on it, and it seems like a very healthy engine. A proper oil change on an XS650 is a bit more involved than some bikes. The "filters" on these are just screens, so it's important to do it right and change the oil regularly.

Here is what I got from MikesXS, a new sump filter and gasket, the right hand cover filter and two gaskets, and new copper crush gaskets for the two drain plugs.

Pretty much what you'll always find on the stock sump filter is a tear in the spot shown below. This one may have never been cleaned or inspected before.
The new improved filter from MikesXS fixes this. I've heard of quality problems with some of these Fuji filters, but this one looked fine.
Afterward I went for a nice ride. I stopped for lunch, and then hit some back roads. The bike handles excellent, and is great fun to ride, even with the sketchy front tire. Other than the front tire, the bike needs all the typical things like chain and sprockets and fork seals, but this late in the year I'll just wait until winter to do all that.


horse tradin'

I did a bike swap on the Labor Day holiday. I've owned this GS850 for about 3 years, and it has been a great bike, but began thinking of getting something lighter and more fun. I've been wanting a '75-'76 DT400, or something similar, so listed the GS for sale or possible trade for an old Yamaha enduro. I got an email asking if I'd be interested in trading for a '79 XS650 Special, with pictures of the bike. Not at all what I was looking for, but certainly interesting. We talked, and both bikes being close in value, looked like a deal if everything checked out. I rode the GS Monday afternoon to take a look at the XS.

We did the swap. He was a Goldwing guy, so really liked the shaft drive Suzuki. Here's the XS650 on the way home. I was really nervous about having seller's and buyer's regret at the same time, trading a solid bike for something unknown, but the Yamaha ran like a top on the 50 or so mile ride home. XS650's have both characteristics of my SR500 and Sportster, so just right for me. I love 'em.
Here it is at home. The most horrendous seat possible and horrible handlebars, but those are quick fixes.

It does have some rusty bits, but nothing too bad.
I don't know the bikes history, I didn't ask, but a bit of a hint of the bikes past with this sticker. The title lists California as the previous title state.

I ditched the tiller bars for a more standard set. I think these were from a '75 Suzuki GT250. They are a little higher than what I'd get if I bought a new set, but I'll give them a try.

Looking better already.
The seat pan was in decent shape...
...so I removed the backrest part. I then sandblasted and painted the pan. The early XS650 Special models have more in common with the standards than the '80 and up models do. One is the seat that is hinged on the side. My '75 project XS650 came with a '78-'79 Special seat on it that had a decent Saddlemen cover on it. I'd removed it to use the pan for the scrambler seat I'm making for it (more on that in a later post), so I used the foam and cover on this pan. It worked out great.
Now it looks like a motorcycle.
It came with a new Shinko SR712 on the rear, and a old Bridgestone on the front, so I'll get another SR712 for the front. It's a 90/90-19 on it now, but I'll get a 100 to better match the 130 on the back.
I've still got to do a full maintenance on it, and some detailing and touch-up. It is far from pristine, but a decent 32 year old survivor, so just going to keep it stock.