XS650 Special becomes a Vermont Backroader

Discussion in 'Old's Cool' started by bpeckm, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Got the soda blasting out for a light cleanup of the engine block and cases:

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    It came out "relatively better", as we weren't going for a showpiece...clean and workable.



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    ...and it starts going back together into the now-painted frame:

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    :D
    #41
  2. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    ...and the frame got painted.




    (no pics!)




    and the engine went back in.



    so we resume:

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    The wiring harness, without the stupid-extra crap, was reinstalled, with some re-located parts...

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    ...cut down the battery box, put in a new fuse box and terminal in an accessible location, hid the relays under the seat, and generally cleaned things up some....

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    and decided to build the new seat using the old seat pan... ripped of the foam, cut down the shape with the thought that I could always cut it smaller, so that little project began as well:

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    :wink:
    #42
  3. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    :evil


    Powdercoating....

    ......assembling.......

    This is FUN!

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    :D

    Had to come up with some way to support and hold the "new" tank in the right place....

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    ....and the seat started to take shape to go with the tank....'

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    #43
  4. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    At about this point in the whole thing, some "interesting" problems had to be solved...

    The DT tank is small, has a small tunnel, so wire routing was just done along the frame... BUT there was a conflict between the top motor mounts and the bottom of the tank, and the fuel tap was just wrong for the desired placement of the tank. I found another Yamaha petcock (have no freekin' idea what it's from, but presumed that the oval-O-ring and bolt placement was standardized among vintage Yammys, so I found one with a rear-facing outlet and tried that.

    Also, the front brake master cylinder proved to be a "challenge" to get bled out, but that got solved as well.

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    Will didn't want a 2-into-1 exhaust, nor a standard low system, so we ended up with Hoos Racing 1-3/4" stainless headers. Nicely made, but not polished or fancified in any way.

    With the headers bolted on, and a funnel-gasline for fuel "supply", I had the first chance to fire her up..... I checked valve clearances, turned on the fuel, and tried the electric kicker... pow pow pow... erratic, but she did fire! :clap

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    #44
  5. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    I had quite a time with the electronic ignition: sometimes it would fire right up, others there was nothing... no spark. With help from the XS650 crowd, and some interesting methodology for finding the culprit, I determined that there was some sort of intermittent break or no-go inside the TCI box...

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    There was a lot of voltage- and continuity-testing, and finally got it figgered out... I wrote a thread on the troubleshooting sequence, which is posted on XS650: "How to Troubleshoot the TCI Ignition System".

    An interesting thing that I used as a test-light was a 12V LED: because they react so quickly to voltage pulses, they can be used to read the "signal" at the TCI box output, a good thing to know when tracing whether there is a signal coming down the pike to the coils!

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    And this guy is worth its weight in platinum: a simple spark-indicator which hooks up in series, and flashes IF there is a spark... a LOT easier than pulling plugs and grounding them, and much less likely to cause coil damage than a dicey-grounding of a pulled sparkplug!

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    #45
  6. AtLarge

    AtLarge Been here awhile

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    Nice work. Good read.
    #46
  7. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    She got new brake shoes back aft, and new pads up front.....Everything was pulled apart, degreased and de-rusted, and re-greased

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    Just have to say here, after doing BMW's, that parts and stuff for the XS are so freekin' CHEAP (sometimes the price is cheap, sometimes the quality is cheap, sometimes both!.... but rear brake shoes from Mike's XS are $15 (yes, $fifteen!) whereas rear brake shoes for an airhead are north of $100...... And since they built tens of thousands of XS's, there is quite a selection of used parts, where those are appropriate!

    ...new chain...

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    ....starting to look and get ride-able....

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    ...found a pair of genuine British Muffler takeoffs, complete with lousy chrome, a tiny crack or two, and lots of real patina...

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    and the wonder of it all, the slid right into the new SS headers with a tight fit! Here she is with a trial fit:

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    #47
  8. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    :evil

    This bike really looked good with this combination of paint and bare tank, so this was major inspiration:

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    :eek1
    #48
  9. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    :cry


    The paint proved to be a "learning experience"..... I wanted to paint the stripes, not use tape, so it was an exercise in masking, then unmasking and painting, then... well, at one point I just took the paint stripper to it and started over......

    but, it was starting to look like what Will wanted, so, "we" persevered.....

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    :evil
    #49
  10. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    I wasn't smart enough to save some of the original frame paint (which was a 2-part paint that is tough, and I applied using the little Preval sprayers....) came out "okay".... but not great. So, I found a close match in a Rustoleum Pro color that I used for the tank, and I had already used the gloss-black Rustoleum Pro, which I found quite workable.

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    This was the first try at putting the tank on the bike to see how the paint would work out with the frame and bike colors....

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    ...not exact, but PDC......



    :1drink
    #50
  11. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    :evil


    While the trials and tribulations of "why won't it spark today?.... it ran perfectly yesterday..." were going on, the seat was literally lashed down for the up- and down-the-street-we-go trials.

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    I talked to a couple of upholstery shops to find out how they could fasten the covers over what I had... and since I had used the original metal pan, I thought I had better do something to provide for staples, since drilling/riveting a cover would be sorta ridiculous, I thought.



    So, being the boatbuilder/fiberglass/carpenter/wrench that I am, I came up with this brilliant idea:

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    I had already bonded the top and bottom of the metal seat with a slurry of epoxy and thickeners, so I cut some wood strips and loosely clamped them onto the edges with some thick epoxy (gotta love that Cabosil!) to fill the gaps, and then stapled the second row over that with some more epoxy/bonding, and then filled in the edges....

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    The seat cushion/foam was glued on with regular spray adhesive, btw.

    :eek1
    #51
  12. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Shaping the wood edges/epoxy thickener was a piece of cake with a small disc sander, then it was painted black and clearcoated.

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    #52
  13. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    :D

    I got the local sign painter to make me up a Yamaha graphic from a digital file that I shamelessly appropriated... this blue is a little off, so he is re-doing it in a better-matching color, but this was son Will's request:

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    Once we got that figured out, it was time to wetsand and clearcoat the bare-metal tank and the rattlecan Rustoleum, with remarkably good results!

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    ...as a matter of fact, I ended up rubbing the gloss down with some rubbing compound, as it was just too freekin' shiny :eek1

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    :lol3
    #53
  14. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    The clearcoat that I used this time, and that I used several years ago for my cafe'd BMW, is a two-part clearcoat that comes in a rattlecan. It is a S L I C K product. I found it at R&E paint supply, but you can probably find it elsewhere.... It has a button on the bottom of the can that you push, which injects the catalyst into the paint, then shake and use as any rattlecan. The can has a pretty good nozzle, it has a shelf life of about 24 hrs once activated. The nice thing is that it is a very quick-setting product, so you can get several coats on, wet-on-wet, for a great chemical cure.

    I used it over several years on the other bike, with gas spilled on it, sitting in the rain/sun/weather etc and it stood up beautifully.... not bad for rattlecan!

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    This is a shot of the product that I took when I did the cafe....

    Product is Spray Max 2K ClearCoat. Try it, you'll like it!!!

    :lol3
    #54
  15. philp38

    philp38 Long timer

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    Very NICE job....:thumb
    #55
  16. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    Yes, I am all smiles these days... and as soon as this freeeekin' slush goes away (tomorrow?) I want to get out and ride a little...

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    :D
    #56
  17. ferals5

    ferals5 Long timer

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    Nice Job :clap
    #57
  18. bpeckm

    bpeckm Grin!

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    :evil

    Last Saturday was a banner day... got the seat back from upholsteryman, and got the pipes tweaked.....

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    The pipes from Hoos are called his Street Tracker pipes. They are 1.75" unpolished stainless steel, and are, I think, a helluva value! He builds a couple of different styles... these come pretty much straight back at the sides, so I cut them to the length I wanted, and then cut a notch in the top of the pipes right under the pegs, and had the welder weld 'em up so that there is a slight kickup.... came out nice!



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    #58
  19. AC909

    AC909 Great Job!

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    What great work! The XS650 is one of the greatest most versatile dependable bikes EVER made.
    #59
  20. Prmurat

    Prmurat Long timer

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    Nice job!!:clap:clap:clap
    Dis you spray the miracle clearcoat over the bare metal? Do you know if it will work on an alloy tank (XT500)?
    Thanks and congrats on a great job!!
    #60