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Wannabe Cafe Build - '81 XS650 Special

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Old 12-23-2012, 07:48 PM   #1
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Wannabe Cafe Build - '81 XS650 Special

So I picked up this decent, running '81 XS a few weeks ago and had been riding it up till about a week ago.

on the way home:


The mufflers were hacked up and drilled out so they were super loud and looked terrible. I ended up loping those off for the time being. I also found out the bike had no air filters in it after the purchase. :banghead:

So instead of buying those overpriced replacement filters, I opted for some pods. Ordered up some Mikesxs pods and some extra jets. While waiting an eternity for mikes to ship, I began cutting the bike.

First came the home made rear sets.



Waiting on the rod ends to finish up the install.

Then the hideous seat had to go...

some before pics.









and after the cutting









That was as of last night, I have since finished the seat pan and mounted the tail light under the tail.



Going to try and get the seat covered this week, I already carved up a piece of foam that looks kinda like a seat

Next will be the rear set linkage, carb reassebly, and to ride it! Some day i'll do some nice paint on the tank but for now this will do.
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:52 PM   #2
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ntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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That is a pretty cool build. Excited to see the rest of it. I've been keeping an eye out for one of those.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:13 PM   #3
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Thanks, at this point im just kinda winging it, hoping it turns out looking ok. It's getting pretty hard to find an unmolested XS nowadays, even mine was already pretty messed up by stupid previous owners (read random duct tape wire connections ).
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:20 PM   #4
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I'm in for this one...
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:16 PM   #5
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ntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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Yea they are pretty rough most of the time
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:05 PM   #6
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Just picked up some mufflers on Craigslist. No pics yet but let's just say they will go along with the dirt bike fender looking tail section ill post pics when I actually pick them up on Wednesday.
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:10 PM   #7
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t4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shedt4r4life is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Subbed, this should motivate me to get my cb750 done lol
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:24 PM   #8
steve o 77 [OP] steve o 77 is offline
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Subbed, this should motivate me to get my cb750 done lol
Haha yeah my dad built one of those when I was younger, I really liked it.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:23 AM   #9
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Small update. Finally picked up the bike's future exhaust.



They're off a 2006 Honda CRF250R dirt bike which came with a pointless dual exhaust. The thing with these mufflers is that from the factory, they had different inner diameters left to right to even out the flow on the single cylinder engine.

This poses a problem with my twin not running a 2 into 1 (because it ruins the twin sound IMO) because each cylinder would have different flow characteristics making one run a little richer than the other.

Luckily I managed to find another guy selling just the right side muffler so ill be running the same muffler side to side. All is well and I can hopefully get these things installed when I get back to Socorro next week.
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Old 01-02-2013, 09:41 PM   #10
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Alright I finally got back into socorro today and imediately got to work on the bike. the 40 days and 40 nights waiting period to recieve something from MikesXS was finally over and I had the jets/throttle shaft seals waiting for me.

Once the carbs were all back together and sorta synched using the "look at a bright object through the throttle plates, making the amount of light passing through equal" method, I got to work on that exhaust.

Found out that 1.25" OD tubing fits absolutely perfect in the CRF mufflers, and is close enough to the stock exhaust size to just butt weld it on. So I bent up some tube and made this!

sorry for the terrible quality, camera phones suck.







It sounds exactly like 2 450f dirtbikes right next to eachother, the resemblance is crazy. I love the sound, super quiet at idle and nice deep tone through the revs. cant wait to get the rear sets back together and take it for a spin!

edit: forgot to mention I still need to make some exhaust hangers, definitely not running it as in the pics
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:10 PM   #11
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Here's a video showing just how much quieter these are at idle than the straight pipes. Sorry I didn't get a vid of reving with the new mufflers. I'll get one next time with the good camera.

Note, I did still have an intake leak (didn't tighten the intake manifold clamps on the carbs) in this vid causing the hanging idle,

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Old 01-02-2013, 10:25 PM   #12
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Thanks Eddie.

Oh by the way, cleaning the pod filter rims with carb cleaner to get the oily residue off made it way easier to get them mounted right. mine don't have a rim that needed any grinding though
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Old 01-02-2013, 10:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eddie209 View Post
Hm maybe they stopped making them with that lip, there's a whole thread on that issue over on xs650.com.
hmm, ill go check it out.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:11 AM   #14
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ntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shedntilehman is one of the sharper tools in the shed
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looking good man. Those mufflers look killer.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:19 AM   #15
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gooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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I've got a '79 xs650 that I'm trying to brat. The rear part of the fram was chopped off by the previous owner, i put on some new exhaust tips and heat wrapped them, now i'm working on cleaning up my shortened frame and making a seat (skateboard deck)

good luck!
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntilehman View Post
looking good man. Those mufflers look killer.
Thanks! I agree.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gooch14 View Post
I've got a '79 xs650 that I'm trying to brat. The rear part of the fram was chopped off by the previous owner, i put on some new exhaust tips and heat wrapped them, now i'm working on cleaning up my shortened frame and making a seat (skateboard deck)

good luck!
Sounds like a cool build, always liked the brats. The seat has been by far the hardest part of this build because I suck at upholstery.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:22 AM   #17
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gooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve o 77 View Post
Thanks! I agree.



Sounds like a cool build, always liked the brats. The seat has been by far the hardest part of this build because I suck at upholstery.

I'm excited for my seat, i'm not great at upholstry either, have helped a couple guys do golf cart seats but that's it. My plan for my seat is just a shortened flat seat and then wrap it with the leg from a pair of firefighter bunker pants. If I can pull it off It'll be pretty sweet.

What are you running for hand controls? I'm trying to figure out what I want to do, I'm getting rid of all the switches because I won't be using any turn signals. I'm thinking just basic Dirtbike perches and throttle tube.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gooch14 View Post
I'm excited for my seat, i'm not great at upholstry either, have helped a couple guys do golf cart seats but that's it. My plan for my seat is just a shortened flat seat and then wrap it with the leg from a pair of firefighter bunker pants. If I can pull it off It'll be pretty sweet.

What are you running for hand controls? I'm trying to figure out what I want to do, I'm getting rid of all the switches because I won't be using any turn signals. I'm thinking just basic Dirtbike perches and throttle tube.
Nice, that seat should come out pretty good. Once I get my seat pan/fender painted I'll wrap the seat on and post some pics.

My bike came with no turn signal/headlight switches and uses a dirtbike clutch perch which works well. The throttle side is stock, but the threads where the throttle cable enters the tube are stripped out so I JB welded it for now. I'll probably be getting rid of it and running a dirtbike throttle tube later. Just need to wire up the starter switch somewhere cool.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:46 PM   #19
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gooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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For the time being I'm going to run without elec start, kick only. Let's see how quickly I get tired of it but I'm keeping all the stuff I need to re wire to elec start one day. I'd throw the key somewhere off the bars. I've always been fond of keyed starter switches down behind the pods, like in your side cover. Or if you want to get rid of the key and get tricky, you could wire in a hidden touch switch for the starter, be like Biff in Back to the Future "I'm the only one that can start this car"
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:47 PM   #20
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gooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shedgooch14 is one of the sharper tools in the shed
 
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how are you going to mount the seat?
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