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TOPIC: Re:XS650's
#718917
cike (User)
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XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  
killing the winter time playing on the internet checking out xs650 builds and was wondering what you guys that own/have owned/ have ridden think of them.
mainly thinking hardtail bobber bar hopper style. they have plenty of aftermarket parts for them.
power? do they rev way high at 55 or 60 mph?
 
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#718930
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Re:XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  
I borrowed a friends & went camping w/ it back in the late 70's. It cruised down the highway very nicely @ 70+ mph's. Nice bike
 
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#718938
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Re:XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  
I've had a couple & there's a reason they're still popular after being discontinued 30 years ago.
Just a really nice power to weight ratio in a mid size engine, decent handling, great gas mileage.
Like almost every bike on the planet, someone will complain about the RPMs being to high at freeway speed. If that's an issue a simple sprocket change will make a difference but don't expect it to sound like a Road Glide with a 6 speed in high gear. In stock form they have enough torque to get a 200 pounder around without too much complaining.

The only consistent issue with the engine is the clutch shaft seal on the left side of the engine. They eventually all leak but it's an easy fix. The original design requires you to split the case to replace it (PITA and I don't mean the 'organization'. You can chamfer the outside edge of the seal after popping out the seal and grease it up to push the new seal in from the outside. There are tutorials online for this.

I sold my completely restored 82 XS650 Heritage Special a couple years ago but still have my 77 hardtail. The 77 is still in the ingredient stage since it spent the last couple years in storage after my divorce but now that I have my own place again I'll resume screwing around with it.
I may even finish it some day.

TC Bros is probably the best place to get bobber parts, great selection & very decent prices. Good guys to work with too & they answer questions quickly. I've never heard anyone complain about them either, that's fairly rare in the custom bike parts business, especially when they specialize in parts for discontinued models.
 
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Last Edit: 2013/12/16 14:27 By BubbaKahuna.
 
This fits in here, right? I mean, I can make this fit in here ... right?

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#718939
AWDimprezaL (User)
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Re:XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  
my brother has a ratty one hes working on turning into a bobber. Quck little bike.
 
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#718945
jd750ace (User)
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Re:XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  
They are not interstate geared. They are happiest around 45-50 mph on a 2 lane road, and in reality that's about all she'll take in a hard tail without shaking itself apart. They vibrate considerably, and when everyone starts taking off all the rubber bits and suspension it gets worse. For those who do not understand high cycle fatigue, it's an exercise in trying to pay attention to when something falls off, and make sure you pick it up so you can try to gob another weld on it. There's no smoothing a 360 degree twin out without a re-phase of the engine. It is what it is, and I respectfully let mine remain mostly stock. Seen too many people over at XS650.com bitching about their stuff cracking or things falling off and wires breaking all the time.
That's not to say that some really nice jobs are not done occasionally, but a lot more get cobbled up into a rolling mess it seems.

An example of how nice they can be, if you have 3-4K to put into one:



$0.02
 
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#718954
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Re:XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  

that looks almost just like what I had in mind. I really like the Cole Foster style gas tanks.
Looks like I was too late for both of the good deals I found. Sounds like it would be fun and fairly cheap to build one, but not sure if I would just be putting money into a bike that was to small (even as a bar hopper) and after a couple rides I'd be ready to sell it and move on.. they do look cool though.
 
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Re:XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  
Oh, and the "other" issues are, the front chain guide disintegrating over time, #1. Mine's none too healthy now. Additionally, the charging system is weak, the wiring is brittle, the ignition system is weak and inaccurate (PAMCO fixes that) on the pre-1980 bikes, the front end is not especially strong, Mikuni BS series carbs earn their designation, the swing arm has plastic bushings in it, the rear is under damped and over sprung, the front is under sprung AND under damped, the front brake master cylinder is too big on the single disc models, and the seat pans rot readily.
Other than that, great old bikes.
 
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Re:XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  
cike wrote:

that looks almost just like what I had in mind. I really like the Cole Foster style gas tanks.
Looks like I was too late for both of the good deals I found. Sounds like it would be fun and fairly cheap to build one, but not sure if I would just be putting money into a bike that was to small (even as a bar hopper) and after a couple rides I'd be ready to sell it and move on.. they do look cool though.


Cut down like the one in that pic, it loses enough weight to be pretty fun to ride. Besides, when is the last time you rode something with decent torque that weighed less than 500 pounds? Light bikes are FUN.
 
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#718977
cike (User)
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Re:XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  
my Vulcan 800 was like that. it was a blast to ride, just a little on the cramped up side for my legs even after I made fwd control extensions. defiantly fun to ride though.
 
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#718987
BubbaKahuna (User)
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Re:XS650's 3 Years, 11 Months ago  
cike wrote:
my Vulcan 800 was like that. it was a blast to ride, just a little on the cramped up side for my legs even after I made fwd control extensions. defiantly fun to ride though.


Nice EVH paintjob!
 
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This fits in here, right? I mean, I can make this fit in here ... right?

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