The past few days have been packed with work on the Yamaha XS650 bobber project. It has been getting nice lately, and I decided that I really needed the bike in ride-able condition so I can get out and ride when it’s sunny.
Wednesday and Thursday I spend pouring over wiring diagrams, cutting, soldering, and routing wire on the bike. It was a big task, one that was fraught with problems early on in the process. My brother Neal and I were unable to get the bike to run after two wiring attempts, and I was unable to run it a third time after that. Some diligent internet research and some XS650 forum troubleshooting helped me to find the problem (grounded stator that should have been ungrounded) and make the bike run.
I put the bike in a truck and got it back to my house to finish small things, like protecting and hiding wiring, and plumbing the fuel system. But that wouldn’t be the end of issues: leaky fuel system, wrong petcock for the fuel tank, and bad plug wires were all left to deal with. I spent the better part of yesterday truing the 21 inch front wheel and getting the tire mounted, and I spent all day today dealing with the plug/wire and fuel situations. At one point, my brother Seth and I took the bike for a ride to see how it would run. We made it 15 blocks down Division, only to have the bike die. One cylinder was dead firing, and the carbs were way too rich. After diagnosis, we figured out the plug wires were the culprits, and I bought new plugs and wires, and re-jetted the carbs (again…).
But all the hard work payed off. I re-charged the battery tonight, gave the bike a hard kick, and it jumped to life. I mobbed it to the top of Mt. Tabor to see how it was running. At one point, I was worried it was going to die again, leaving me stranded, but I realized the fuel valve was off. Bullet dodged.
In the end, riding it puts an enormous smile on my face. I’m hyped. Now I need to pack some stuff on it, strap a tent to the sissy bar, and go camping.