Archive for November 2011

XS650: Voltage Drop Troubleshooting Tips   Leave a comment

Was rooting around in some old technical stuff. Found this. Some basics tips for troubleshooting Voltage Drops. Mess around with XS650s for long and you will know all about these.

Voltage Drop Troubleshooting Tips


page 01


page 02



page 03


You will need at least one of these…


multimeter – volts ac/dc – ohms


Freaky shit? Need a tutorial? How to use a multimeter.


XS650: TCU Calendar Voting   Leave a comment

The Chopper Underground has opened voting for their TCU Top Chops Calendar for 2012. Closes Nov 30 2011. 47 bikes on offer. You choose your favourite 24. Something there for everyone.

Most of you will realise by now chopping is not my thing. Still, I found 17 worth my vote. Some nice builds there. Kudos to all builders.

Seems like XS650s featured well. Have taken 7 from 24 spots. Provisional results.


1 .. looking like a winner ... also my top choice

looking like a winner … also my top choice



2 .. seems popular at 3rd

seems popular at 3rd



3 .. featuring well at 5th

featuring well at 5th



4 .. 11th ... whats that stand all about

11th … whats that stand all about



5 .. running 12th

running 12th



6 .. did well at 17th

did well at 17th



7 .. nice 8 ball finishing 18th

nice 8 ball finishing 18th



Posted November 20, 2011 by xscafe in XS Pics

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XS650: Winter Tyres   Leave a comment

I don’t fit my neighbour’s norm. They’re all old. Mostly their kids never visit them. I have long hair. Work from home. Look after the kids (preschool) while my wife goes to work. Listen to ‘loud’ music (means: non volks-musik, non schlagermusik). And ride motorcycles. As do most of my friends. They really don’t understand that I choose to ride the whole year. Also in winter!

Mostly the weather is user-friendly. A few days of snow. Melts in a day or two. What really gets up my nose, literally, is the fucking salt. You don’t see it (until the bike begins to rust). But, you sure can taste it. Give me fish’n’chips any day. No vinegar.

The last couple of winters were snowy. Last year was particularly cold. And I got caught a couple of times. 100-200mm fresh snow. Just as I was about to head home. A 20 minute trip took 3 hours. Mostly I laid the rear wheel in the gutter for traction. Driveways were a killer. Off-camber corners deadly. Rising and dropping slopes a challenge. Both feet skimming the ground. Tyres crunching virgin snow. Pedestrians and cagers both, jaw-dropping unbelievers. The worst were the last 200m. Our street. Never cleaned by the city. Underlaid by ice.  !!FUN!!

2010 the German Govt made winter tyres compulsory. Or did they? “ bei winterlichen Straßenverhältnissen geeignete Reifen zu verwenden sind ” by winter road conditions appropriate tyres are to be used.

  • winter road conditions … Glatteis, Schneeglätte, Schneematsch, Eis- oder Reifglätte … black ice, hard-packed snow, snow slush, ice or heavy frost
  • appropriate tyres … winter or all-weather tyres, marked M+S, M.S  … basically these have a higher silica content, hold better at lower street and tyre temps, deeper profiles
  • penalty … minimum €40 and 1 point … in practice this probably wont be controlled except if involved in an accident or your machine is left stranded
  • interesting perspective here … there is provision for road-tax reclamation for the days you are not able to use your machine if tyres are not available for it

Problem is, these are hard to find. Many bikes are simply not catered for.

For the XS650 I found Heidenau K60 Snowtex. 4.00/18 64S for the rear. 100/90-19 57H for the front.

The SR500 was more of a problem. Heidenau K60 Snowtex 4.00/18 64S for the rear (same as the XS). Heidenau K37 3.50/18 62P for the front (drum brake). Profiles don’t match but are a TÜV accepted match.

Not even bothering for the SRX600.

I found these tyres on offer in the internet. was offering the K60 for €71 and the K37 for €68. I went to my local branch to see if they would order them. Wanted €134 for the K60 and about the same for the K37. Just for the K60 – over €200 mounted! Cash up front. And they wanted to data-mine my name and address – said it was for warrantee purposes. What a croc-of-shit! All I need for that is the receipt. Needless to say I walked. Got back on the internet – €127 delivered. Total price. For both. From someone else.

So – Reifen.comgo fuck yourselves!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am interested to see how these perform. Good that I had an extra set of wheels for both.



1 .. K60 Heidenau silica

K60 Heidenau silica



2 .. K37 Heidenau silica

K37 Heidenau silica



When you get them make sure they have the MS sign on them. Summer and winter profiles are identical.

It’s been a while since I rode with enduro style tyres. The difference was startling at first. Especially the front. Until the block edges began to wear the wheel wanted to track straight. I literally had to slown down, steer and consciuously use my body to negotiate corners. A bit like sidecar riding. This didn’t last. But I wasn’t prepared for it.

And I’m still waiting for the snow!


Posted November 14, 2011 by xscafe in Frame - Handling, Frame - Tyres

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XS650: Ice and Snow   Leave a comment


Back in the day I was a geologist. Used to take winter contracts in the Yukon and NWT. I’m a night-owl. Just as well. The days are short. Winter contracts also solve logistical problems: lack of roads and abundance of water. Snow and Ice. Snowmobiles can go anywhere and there are no bloody bugs. You have to be somewhat ‘special’. Cabin Fever is a real problem. Violence and murder are real risks. For women-so is pregnancy.

One of my fascinations was the Trans Canada Snowmobile Trail. Had a lot of fun exploring this.


1 .. trans-canada snowmobile trail

trans-canada snowmobile trail



2 .. everyone needs a distraction

everyone needs a distraction


My distraction was Ice-racing. Had an old Jawa. Similar to a speedway bike. Longer wheelbase. More rigid frame. 2-speed box. And spikes! Around 90 in the front. 200-250 in the rear. Up to 30mm long.


3 .. ouch!!!!!




4 .. screw heads

screw heads



5 .. more screws

more screws



6 .. sensing a theme here

sensing a theme here



7 .. for more normal snow-ice riding these claws are handy

for more normal snow-ice riding these claws are handy



Longer guards are mounted. Affords a modicum of protection.

Riding style differs from flattrack. The spikes (or studs) bite. No drifting around corners. Need to lay the bike down. Handlebar almost scraping the surface.



8 .. feel like you're going to crap out

feel like you’re going to crap out



9 .. a leaning sidecar outfit with leaning wheel ... takes some getting used to ... hard to keep the lean in a corner ... need to coordinate effort righting as you exit the corner

a leaning sidecar outfit with leaning wheel … takes some getting used to … hard to keep the lean in a corner … need to coordinate effort righting as you exit the corner



10 .. more conventional sidecar setup

more conventional sidecar setup



Believe me. That air is cold. Wind chill factor XXX. You don’t feel it til later. As you start to warm up again.

Was chatting with Jukka from the XS650 Group in Finland. Asked if anyone was ice-racing an XS650. Thought maybe there was a vintage class running.

From Jukka…

    • Greetings from the north
    • The snow is still over 1000 km northward, but slowly approaching every day. This autumn has been abnormally warm (means between +5 … +10 C), but forecasts expect cooling closer to freezing point at the end of next week.
    • Anyway I just put my XS650 for a winter sleep today. The garage season is at least as important for me as the riding season. I have some plans….not big things but minor modifications as usual.
    • For a real-thing-ice-racing I think XS650 is much too heavy and underpowered. There have been some sidecar buildups but sidecar ice racing is almost nil. Mostly they use lowered motocross bikes here for solo ice racing.



11 .. the beast!

the beast!



    • But we have some tongue-in-cheek ice races also. To keep speeds down studs are forbidden. I attached some pictures and videos from 2005. That year we gathered leftover XS650 parts and built a project bike for a local fun games on snow & ice.



12 .. # 47 ... ready! set! ....

# 47 … ready! set! ….



    • First it was real a pain in a ass to get it started after hauling it 40 km on open trailer at -15 C. Even if we had an infra red heater. But first it started run with one cylinder only and we managed to keep it running until it heated enough the cylinder block to start the other cylinder too. After that we kept it warm all the time.
    • But it was too heavy to handle and power pulses made it impossible to steer even one meter to one direction. (I did not dare even try to ride it.) Starts were so slow that everyone was already in the first curve before xs650 was on the move. 47 is the number of our brave rider.
    • Since then the project bike has been taken to pieces and returned to owners.
    • But we also have one local winterized xs650 nut living countryside nearby. At
    • you can see him driving his XS2 around the used-to-be-cowshed, january -21 C temps. He managed to adapt motocross tyres with studs to his XS2 and says it’s perfectly rideable in snow. Bare ice is still a bit problematic.
    • He also build a “newer” version (of XS650) this year.
      • We can only wait for the winter modifications to be seen.
        • Jukka sent me some short video clips. When I figure out how to upload them I will.



cool XSice


XS650: Primary Gear Lash Tolerances   Leave a comment

This too has been posted. Again interesting enough to warrant its’ own post. Something that, in all the years I’ve been playing with motors, I’ve never really considered.



1 .. 285-1 ... primary drive, driven gear lash tolerances

285-1 … primary drive, driven gear lash tolerances



2 .. 285-2 ... primary gear lash tolerances

285-2 … primary gear lash tolerances



Posted November 4, 2011 by xscafe in Motor - Clutch, Motor - Crank, Motor - Gearbox

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XS650: Gearbox/Gear Spacing   Leave a comment

This was interesting. So I’ve given it it’s own post. Yeah, I know. It’s in the previous post too. However, if you’re doing a search, you will most likely miss it.



1 .. 259-1 ... gearbox spacing

259-1 … gearbox spacing



2 .. 259-2 ... transmission axles and gear spacing

259-2 … transmission axles and gear spacing



3 .. 259-3 ... spacing, gearbox

259-3 … spacing, gearbox



4 .. 259-4 ... spacing, transmission axles and gears

259-4 … spacing, transmission axles and gears




Posted November 4, 2011 by xscafe in Motor - Gearbox

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