XS650: Tappet Covers   Leave a comment

Was ratting round in my spares shelves/boxes. Found a 3-bolt tappet cover with slots instead of bolt holes – wtf?

Then found three more

Ah so! Early XS1 covers. No O-ring grooves. Gasket pure.

tappet covers … early 3-bolt, slotted, gasket, … 4-bolt decompression cover, XS2, holes, gasket … 3- and 4-bolt cover, holes, gasket … 3- and 4-bolt covers with holes and an o-ring groove cut – 1 set alu, 1 set chromed


here you can see the flat gasket faces and the grooved o-ring covers


Posted October 15, 2015 by xscafe in Motor - Head

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XS650: School Time   Leave a comment

Our boy turned 9 the other day – how time flies!!!

He loves riding. Sidecar or as solo pillion – no problem – gotta have wind in face.

Looking for a birthday gift – Lego is always a winner. Stumbled across a bit of XS memorabilia that guaranteed not many have.

We have summer school break at the moment. 6 weeks of it. He had a week of football camp with Real Madrid and another week with his rugby club. The rest I have him on my construction site.

Anyway, to cut a short story long, I was looking for birthday stuff – school in mind – just the stuff kids hate. And found this …

kool XS2 Pencil Case


with 2 pockets


Sure it’s used. Has a name inside with a post code that doesn’t exist anymore. But, hey, for a kid that goes to school in a sidecar it’s kinda fitting.

Posted August 20, 2015 by xscafe in General

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XS650: Fork Lowering   Leave a comment

Some time ago I posted ‘How to lower those Forks‘. Have always had misgivings about this method – it reduces the ammount of fork travel. OK if you dont push your bike.

It is true that our XS650s do suffer from posture. Front is a bit high/rear a bit low.

My blue rat runs an SR500 front drum brake. One of my SR500s runs with an XS650 fork.

Comparing the XS650 and SR500 upper yokes you can see marked differences. And similarities. Fork width and tube diameters are the same. Yoke height isnt. SR500 front sits lower as the yoke is flat.

unpainted SR500 upper yoke – painted XS650 one … (SR500 yoke has been a little modified-handlebar has been solid mounted and instrument cluster mounts have been removed) – apart from that the geometry matches


you can see that the XS650 yoke mounts higher than the SR500 – translates to the fork tubes sitting lower and the front higher


here you can see the same – the difference is about 27mm or so

Can definitely gain over an inch (ca 27mm) height change very easily without compromising fork travel.

Posted July 15, 2015 by xscafe in Frame - Forks

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XS650: Ants’ PMA   Leave a comment

Sourced and installed the parts from an RD350LC PMA into my blue rat some years ago . Used. Old. And still good. Very happy with it.

A year or so ago I picked up a nice low mileage 77 D. Ridden a few miles every year. Complete paper record. Had some charging issues.

About this time Ants from the British XS650 forum began providing new PMA units for a good price. 200W. Complete with rec/reg, a rotor cone key that fit the original XS650 crankshaft and timing marks. (if trying the link dont be put off if you get a blank page – simply reset and it will appear – dont know why it does this but it happens to me all the time)

Ants’ PMA kit

Was pretty busy for a while and it sat. Eventually got a chance to blow the dust off and begin.

Checking that the stator screws were loctited in – Yes.

Sometimes this locating pin just wont come out. Easier to quickly modify the backing plate.

The pin sits at 6 o’clock so a simple line perpendicular to the horizontal gives the position.

Backing plate didn’t sit properly over the crankshaft seal boss so got busy with a file. Would have been quicker to head off to the workshop and chuck it in the lathe. Naya.

Took a little while.

Sits perfect now.

Cut-out and reshaping will be now be done during production.

Phase wires held in place with a clip. Used another on the plate screw to the right just to keep clear from the chain and secured cable with a frame tie just below the rear engine mount.

Also removed the blue neutral indicator wire from the old loom, resheathed it in 4mm isolating sheath and reconnected to the original position. (Plug connector upper left in next pic)

This is the original regulator. Remove it. The rectifier too. Sits under the battery box.

Remove the battery to release the rectifier.

Made a plate to mount the new 5 wire rec/reg in the original reg position so the fins didn’t block the airbox inlet. Would have welded tabs directly to the battery box but had run out of wire for the MIG. The 3 screws with nuts create an air space under the rec/reg for cooling and better air flow to the filter-box. Packed with rubber bushes they dont rub against the underside of the rec/reg.

Fits snug between the tool box and filter-box. Cables separated, resheathed and fitted with original connectors.

Release the original connector blocks by inserting a small flat bladed screwdriver into the recess beside the pins. Simply push out.

Make sure the tangs are reset before reusing.

All connected. Added a 20 Amp flat bladed fuse holder in the positive battery feed. Just for security. This wire is too long and will be reworked.

The rec/reg, when mounted on the plate, interferes with the sidecover. Modified an old sidecover. Rattlecan-blacked it and it’s mate. Be a shame to mess up a good set of covers

Just got to put some kms on her now to road test before installing a 750 kit that’s been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years.

Had some charging issues in the beginning. Went through and checked the new wiring. Not quite sure what was wrong but the issues disappeared.

More than happy with this.

Update … almost killed my second rear tyre now – no problems – running sweet

XS650: Reserve Lighting Device   Leave a comment

Back in the days when Tech was a gimmick rather than a means of financial theft Yamaha designed and installed the Reserve Lighting Device (in the wiring diagrams it’s called the Reserve Lighting Unit). It sensed the resistance across the headlight’s lo-beam filament. If the light blew it automatically switched the headlight circuitry to light up the hi-beam and lit up a white idiot light in the instrument panel.

As if you wont notice your light has failed.

The device sits under the seat just behind the battery box. Early ones were black. Later were grey.

They are easy to remove. Pull the plug and throw the thing away. Wire a bridge between the Blue/Black and the Blue/Yellow wires.



rlu – early black .. later grey



RLU – under seat, behind battery box


rlu - tools

remove the RLU … build a bridge, i used a spare connector block, crimped female spade fittings on a short length of wire and inserted them into the connector so that L/B to L/Y (blue/black and blue/yellow) were bridged



bridge … L/B to L/Y … blue/black to blue/yellow



bridge in place



XS650: TX650A Owners Manual   Leave a comment

TX650A Owners Manual

TX650A Owners Manual .. 1974

TX650A Owners Manual

Posted May 1, 2015 by xscafe in Manual - Owners

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XS650: Yamaha Sales Hand Book   Leave a comment

Found this the other day. 1972. Kool hand drawn diagrams.

Yamaha Sales Hand Book

Yamaha Sales Hand Book … 1972

Yamaha Sales Hand Book








Posted April 2, 2015 by xscafe in Manuals

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