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Old 07-17-2008, 10:28 AM   #1
bpeckm OP
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Location: Road Island
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60/6 Cafe project, Or, be glad you didn't find this on YOUR project

It all started innocently enough, talking with a friend after I had ridden his 75/5, and he had ridden my 50/2.... Both of them gorgeous bikes that we had taken up to Vech's place in MS in late April for his Vintage BMW Rally.

My 16 year old son had just gotten his endorsement, and it would be fun to have two bikes that we could ride together, and .... wouldn't it be fun to do a cafe....

Didn't want to "ruin" a beautiful and original bike, and since I have a mostly original /2 with some personal touches, we wanted to find a bike that would not offend the purists of the world. And so began the look for something in the '70s, preferably.........My friend told one of his friends, who had heard of an old bike, and did I want to take a look at it with him? He called the next day, said it invovled way over what he wanted to tackle, but the price was right... (mid 3 figures).... could we see it in an hour and by the way he would bring his pickup and we could throw it in the back and take it home.

This is me and Randy on the Natchez Trace on that fateful day
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
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bpeckm screwed with this post 07-17-2008 at 04:56 PM Reason: Title change
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:37 AM   #2
bpeckm OP
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No battery, no tools

Of course, the bike had no battery, we had no tools, but the seller pulled the plugs. We put it in gear and turned the rear wheel: engine turns over: check. Slop the rear wheel: some play, seems OK: check. Pulled the shift up and down to feel the tranny and spin the wheel in gear a few times: seems OK: check. Does the bike jack come with it? Yes?: check. Off the centerstand, front end seemed squishy, but what the hey........

So, check was made out, TITLE (!!) was handed over, we wrestled the ole girl into the pickup (both tires held air, and still have their air in them , but that's about all the good I can say about the tires.) Got home, wrestled it out of the truck, and parked it.

Oh s*%$, how am I going to tell my wife....that I bought THIS:
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:02 PM   #3
bpeckm OP
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Plusses and Minusses

So we got the bike home, I have to get back to work, and figure out a way to tell the fam damly that I will probably be rarely seen in the evening for some time in the future

I am thinking to myself that I have this wonderful /2 that is gorgeous, runs perfectly, I can take a nice ride anytime I want, and, I will just take this nice and slow....... The home addition is finished (or at least finished enough that we can live in it and it doesn't glare at me anymore). So let's take a look at the scorecard......



+ + + + + + + + (plus signs)

1. It's a BMW.
2. Most parts seem to be there.
3. Tires hold air.











Hmmm.... guess that's about it........





- - - - - - - - - - (minus signs)

1. Bike has had no visible maintenance.
2. Bike has sat for some time, haven't a clue how long
3. Haven't a clue whether it will run
4. Everything that can leak oil, leaks oil
5. Some things that shouldn't leak oil, leak oil
6. Everything that is rubber is rotten
......a. Tires
......b. Fork boots
......c. Cable ends
7. Everything that is paint is sunburned
......a. Tank top is down to green primer just from sun
......b. Front fender top and sides
......c. Rear fender sides
8. Everything that is (was) chrome is rusted and pitted
......a. Handlebars look like crap
......b. Tank fill cap has chrome blisters, worse than crap!
......c. Turn signal stalks, seat trim, fender trim, etc.
......d. Exhaust system is a nice rust color, every single piece
9. Seat pan is rusted
10. Instrument pod
.......a. Missing tach needle
.......b. Both glass covers falling-off loose
.......c. Who knows if it works!
Etc etc etc etc etc

You get the picture... lots of work, but first have to find out if there is anything there to work with.........

Plan of attack is to find a battery so that I can turn it over to see if compression is OK. Need something more than this:










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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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bpeckm screwed with this post 07-17-2008 at 12:11 PM
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Old 07-17-2008, 12:07 PM   #4
datchew
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Sounds like a good candidate for a sandblast-it rat bike cafe.
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Old 07-17-2008, 01:29 PM   #5
bpeckm OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by datchew
Sounds like a good candidate for a sandblast-it rat bike cafe.
Yeah, does! But, I must say, as we got into it more and more, it started looking better and better, and the bar keeps moving...

Anyway, one more post before I punch out from my busy workday. So, I bought a battery after doing extensive research at WalMart: got the biggest AGM that would fit in the box. Yessir, no waiting for a battery for this guy with lots of time and going to take it easy.......

Took the battery home, hooked it up that evening, and

amazingly enough

some lights on the dash came on. I had a neutral light (switch=OK!), a gen light, and a very bright turn signal light that stayed on.... No oil pressure light. High and low beams work, in spite of the broken lens, and is amazingly bright. Horn works! Bump the starter

turns over !!

Get out the compression gauge, hook it up, hmmm. Good compression left side, even better (?) on the right. Look up values in book: right side must have some carbon buildup or something, higher than range should be.

Cool! No time to do anything else that day, but at least we have GO condition for the bike, right. Next step: see if it will start....

The next step made for a way-too-BIG surprise, and required a fire extinguisher used in a full adrenaline rush. (more than a little embarrassing)

PS I am trying to post a photo with each post, so here is a photo of the novel way in which the rear shocks were attached. Yes, that IS a nut driver, and the right side had a 1/4" socket extension, both valuable additions to the tool chest.......
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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Old 07-17-2008, 02:07 PM   #6
Justinmarque
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Nice to see some pics

That driver in the shock mounting bolt hole is priceless!

Can't wait to see this thing come together.
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:03 PM   #7
bpeckm OP
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Carbs pretty crappy

You would think that, looking at a carb like this, one would have the sense to not even think about trying to start it. But, sometimes optimism does strange things.... the good compression really got me psyched and I was going to get this girl going quickly........

Yeah, right!
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:50 PM   #8
bpeckm OP
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I have fire.

Been thinking about whether this should get admitted in public, but here goes....

I had an hour to kill, had a fresh battery, engine cranked and had spark when I took the compression test: it just might start, right? The bike is in the garage.

So, I pour some gas into the tank, having turned off both petcocks. All is well, until I look over to the right side and see the gas pissing out all over the place....since I have an asphalt floor in the garage, I quickly find a plastic bucket to catch the gas. No problem.

Optimism reigns.....Hmm, maybe it will start.....

So, I fire it up: bang, backfire, bank, tries to start. Encouraged and excited to hear the popping, I grab the can of ether (dumb, I know....). Well, backfiring and ether= trouble, big trouble

So, a little dribble of gas catches fire, drips down into the plastic bucket under the carb, and voila! I have fire.

Oh shit shit shit....reach in to grab the burning bucket with my hand (I know, dumb...) and yank it towards the door behind me. Of course, the burning bucket of fire stops exactly 1.5" from the door jamb: flames are jumping up, the adrenaline is kicking in big time, oh shit shit shit shit

So, I kick the bucket (literally) out the door. (I know, I know, dumb, dumber....) Do you know what happens to liquid in a bucket when you kick it?



So now I have little balls of fire splashed all over the place, not least of which is my sons 14' Hobie Skiff (tank of gas, etc etc)which we had just painted this spring. "Now, I know I have an extinguisher, and this would be a good time to find it"... the thought takes a millisecond, the extinguisher is in the hall closet, inside, so I run in and grab it and come out and unload it.........

Have you ever seen what comes out of one of those small dry chemical extinguishers... they do put out fires, I can attest......but they also make an ungodly mess.

Excitement over. Stress test passed. Lesson learned.... I HAVE PLENTY OF TIME -- NO HURRY, MON!! Do it right you dingbat. You are older, you should be wiser. I know, I know.






PS Forgot to take a picture of that step.




But I do have a charred print of the specs for my /6 which will be framed and placed somewhere quite visible. And a charred cover of my Haynes manual. And I keep finding dry chemical in the oddest places.
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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Old 07-17-2008, 08:54 PM   #9
bpeckm OP
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Guess which petcock was leaking while "OFF" in the post above.....
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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bpeckm screwed with this post 07-18-2008 at 07:40 AM
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Old 07-17-2008, 09:02 PM   #10
Bloodweiser
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my kinda guy, this guy
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:27 AM   #11
bpeckm OP
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Time to rebuild 2 carbs, and 2 petcocks.... pretty easy project. Tip for the unwary: one of my petcocks was on "reserve" when down, "on" when up... WTF? Tip is this: those straws just pull out, swap short for long, an presto! Hucky has (in stock!) teeny tiny, very-fine copper gauze gizmos that serve as a first filter for tank gunk: I put them on, time will tell if they turn into a pita.

Carbs... It is truly amazing how much gunk can be dissolved with one spritz of aerosol carb cleaner...A couple of cans of that stuff, toothbrush, gasket kit, quality time with the wire wheel, and the carbs were looking like new.
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
__________________
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:48 AM   #12
bpeckm OP
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Next up: install rebuilt carbs, install rebuilt petcocks.... This time, s-l-o-w-l-y add gas to the tank while looking at both petcocks.....

All OK. Time to hit the starter...



You've all done it: cough, spit, sputter, bang, tweak; cough, spit, sputter, tweak; etc.




Got er running! Not as nice as Randy's 75/5, but hey, these are the cheapo Bings, not the high priced spread.

Exhaust, in spite of all external appearances, sounds like Randy's 75/5: not a hole, hiss anywhere. But now, if rust made a noise, these would have been unreal.................

Decided to brave the neighborhood streets.. shift into gear, ease the clutch (it works!), and off we go. Try brakes: front brake a joke unless I really squeeze, rear brack locks up the back end. OK, I can deal with that. Speedo seems to work, tach has no needle. I had installed a new oil pressure switch, solved that problem: light on with ignition, goes out upon startup.

Pulled the valve cover gaskets and started her up.... OMG, lots of pumping oil! (I am used to not-so-much on my /2) so that, too, is good.

Looks like we are good to go on the "let's take off a few parts and just spruce it up a little bit" project.....
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__________________
XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
__________________

bpeckm screwed with this post 07-18-2008 at 09:51 AM Reason: forgot phot, duh!
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Old 07-18-2008, 02:30 PM   #13
Ge-Mini-gun
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bpeckm
... Yes, that IS a nut driver, and the right side had a 1/4" socket extension, both valuable additions to the tool chest.......
I would try to find a way to keep that on there...talk about a conversation started.
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Old 07-18-2008, 09:02 PM   #14
bpeckm OP
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Strip er down....................she has lovely bones
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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Old 07-19-2008, 04:16 PM   #15
bpeckm OP
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Stripping out is just work: dirty, greasy grimy work, on this bike. Found a lot more careless (negligent!) maintenance. The bike did run, though, so it says a lot for the toughness of these ole gals.

Take of the front cover: greasy, grimy, but basically all there. Diode board tested OK, rotor had an open, so it was nfg, stator status is up for grabs... it can all be cleaned up
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XS650 becomes a VT BackRoadRunner
Loving the 80ST
I love projects that take twice as much effort as should be needed. Should be an Airhead motto. (disston)
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