Engine Rebuild

XS650 engine rebuild step by step

Strip Down Sortout Rebuild


Article originally appeared on Bikerworld UK now offline


Lorenzo's Yamaha XS650 has languished unwanted and neglected in a damp cellar for just over five years. Once used as regular daily transport, the bike went sick during one daily commute and had to be recovered by the RAC. Despite several weekends tinkering Lorenzo was unable to diagnose or fix the problem, and eventually resorted to alternative transport. As weeks turned into months the bike began to disappear under the inevitable piles of old carpet and cardboard boxes that accumulate in cellars everywhere, and fixing it slipped off the agenda. Over the years the bike has cropped up in occasional conversation until eventually I spent a Saturday morning helping Lorenzo dig it out with an eye to putting it back on the road.

A late model SE (originally badged "US Custom" on our shores), the bike was looking rather sorry with advanced furry mold creeping across the alloy, scratched and oxidised paintwork and the expected seized calipers and flat tyres. The exhaust had seen better days too, though encouragingly the engine turned over on the kickstart and even showed some signs of compression. After several cups of tea and careful weighing of the piggy bank Lorenzo decided to opt for exploratory engine surgery to see if life could be breathed back into the bike. And so it was that after much heaving and dragging, we eventually manhandled the bike onto my workbench and the stripdown commenced.