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Old 02-05-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
ivantheterrible OP
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Joined: May 2009
Location: Hillsborough, NC
Oddometer: 507
xs650 special to standard xs650?

I'm thinking about buying a xs650 special and I have a few questions I'm hoping y'all can help me with.

First, any known issues?

And what I'm really wondering about, do the parts from the standard (don't know what else to call it) xs650 exchange with the special? I really don't care for the mags on the special, or the 16'' rear rim. If I found some 'standard' xs650 wire rims, would they swop?

Sorry if this has been covered before. I did a cursory search, but time is a bit of an issue, and I didn't find a definitive answer. Thanks
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Old 02-05-2013, 11:58 AM   #2
MightyChosen1
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I think the Special has a different frame but the wheels will swap. The tanks and seats are different and wont swap without some fabrication.


I looked for a standard for quite a while but ending up with a 81 Special that does have spoke wheels, but a 16" drum rear. A popular swap is to go with an 18" on the rear.
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Old 02-05-2013, 01:23 PM   #3
ivantheterrible OP
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thanks. I very much prefer the 18'' rear rim, as well as spokes. In fact, it would probably be a deal breaker if they wouldn't swop. I guess I'll look around (ebay?other?) and see what some spoke xs650 'standard' rims cost. Thanks again.
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Old 02-05-2013, 02:48 PM   #4
bpeckm
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I just wrote up my experience with converting an '81 Special to a backroads runner....

My Special came with spoke wheels, but the Special had a 16" rear, so we swopped out the rim for an 18" with new ss spokes. New longer shocks as well. Easy peasy. afaik the spoke and mag wheels are interchangeable, but with the caveat that at some point in the '80's they went to a rear disc as well.



Lots of good information on XS650 as well, if you want to research further.

Mike's XS has a bootload of new re-pop parts including wheels and spokes... some of the stuff isgood, some not-so-good. There are tons of XS' being rebuilt/broken up, so parts are readily available and pretty durn cheap. Check XS650 and eBay.....



Great bike, vibrates like a sonnnnabeee, but fun!!

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Old 02-05-2013, 03:32 PM   #5
ivantheterrible OP
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thanks bpeckm, your bike was an inspiration. Got me thinking about the special, instead of the (usually) high priced 'standard'. does anyone Have the proper name, so I can stop calling it the 'standard'? ; )
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:28 PM   #6
1f2frfbf
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Major issues?

Design wise these are the big three: charging system, the plastic swingarm bushings, and the loose ball bearing front end bearings. The swingarm bushings are the worst culprit. On my Special II (a special with spoked wheels)I swapped on a tank of a xs750 triple, got rid of the crappy k&q seat, and removed the airbox, tweaked the carbs and I just ride. The charging system is iffy on some bikes, fine on others. I fought mine for five years and finally bit the bullet and swapped it over to a permanent magnet system three years ago and not a hiccup since. Maybe someday I'll put on a 18" rear wheel and rebuild the front end, but I've been pretty happy with it so far and hate to park it (read: spend money) if I don't have to.

Other than that, go nuts. It's a robust engine with a very easy to modify frame with excellent parts support.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:15 PM   #7
ivantheterrible OP
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does a sr500 rear rim fit the xs650? I used to have a sr500 and I seem to remember some parts could be exchanged, but I'll be damned if i can remember which.
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Old 02-05-2013, 06:33 PM   #8
bpeckm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivantheterrible View Post
does a sr500 rear rim fit the xs650? I used to have a sr500 and I seem to remember some parts could be exchanged, but I'll be damned if i can remember which.
iirc we got a TX500 rear wheel and used the rim from that one... the parts fiches for Yammy are pretty good, and it can be cross-referenced with other models. Seems like the 40 spoke rims from the same vintage were interchangeable (with same/close rim widths, that is!)... I felt safe using wheels from a 5-800cc bike of the same vintage when I started looking. Also, new rims are becoming more and more available from Mikes' XS.

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Old 02-06-2013, 02:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivantheterrible View Post
does a sr500 rear rim fit the xs650? I used to have a sr500 and I seem to remember some parts could be exchanged, but I'll be damned if i can remember which.
Sr500 does fit, but due to the unique way the sprocket is held to the wheel, I'd suggest looking for other rear wheels, i.e. it's prone to wear out.

Hth
Greg
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:09 AM   #10
ivantheterrible OP
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I'm just dreaming up options. If I could live with the Mags, but couldn't live with the 16'' rear, I could exchange it for a sr500 18'' mag. The problem you mentioned, is this a fixable problem? Isn't it just a matter of changing out the bushing?

All of this is just speculation. bpeckm's and sos's xs650 specials got me reconsidering the special. I always wanted a xs650, but thought the specials.....weren't. Then those two build threads showed me the special could be.......special! ; ). Anyway, I've got a line on one and i think i'll pull the trigger if it's in decent shape. still waiting on pictures.

Thanks again everyone
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Old 02-06-2013, 01:11 PM   #11
hunter_greyghost
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Gearboxes [individual cogs] won't interchange between 'standards' & 'specials',
but you can interchange complete gearboxes between models - except for 256 motors which won't interchange with 447 or 556 motors
'70 - '73 = 256 motors
'74 - '77 = 447 motors
'78 - '84 = 'special' or 447 'new generation' standards
556 is a European model
Jump in & correct me if I'm wrong, models vary depending on what part of the world you're in!!!

'Kenny Krazyhorse' is a '75 [XSB] with a '74 motor [TXA], has a '79 'Special' gearbox with the higher [one tooth extra] cog in top gear, this is cog is available from MikesXS but can't be used in a 447 standard box, different teeth profile on the cogs between the two models.
Cheers
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