Tuesday 4 August 2015

Project XS 850

So I spent some time getting to grips with the XS 850 project today. It's a mixed bag.

It still has an American licence plate dating from the mid '90s. It was cost effective to import bikes from the 'States into Ireland then so that makes sense. American bikes tended to be well looked after whereas the Irish bikes on the second hand market suffered from a lack of maintenance and bodged repairs. Unfortunately, this bike has spent the last 20 years here and is also suffering from lack of maintenance and bodged repairs!

The clocks were showing 20,000 miles which I was pretty happy about but upon inspection it turned out that the inner cable of the speedo has been removed so the indicated mileage is very likely inaccurate. However the seat and footpeg rubbers are in reasonable condition so maybe it's not too far out.

I did a compression test and all three cylinders were consistently low, Squirting some engine oil down the plug holes didn't change the reading which suggests that maybe the valves need adjustment. I'll see about getting the correct valve shims over the next few days. If the compression comes back up, I'll proceed with the project. If it doesn't, I'll write it off as a bad gamble.

On the plus side, the engine looks like it was never opened so with a bit of luck, it just needs the valves adjusted.

Also on the plus side, there is no evidence of crash damage and most of the parts I want are there apart from the front mudguard.

However, the wiring loom is fucked. This is pretty typical of bikes of this age that have spent time stored out of doors in Ireland. I can't imagine that the bike would ever run with the wiring in this condition. Me, I'm not too bothered about this - I enjoy wiring and I'm comfortable to wire it from scratch.

The only real disappointment is that the forks are pitted and so will either have to be re-chromed or replaced either of which is a relatively large cost compared to the purchase price of the bike. I'll have a think about how best to approach this if the valve adjustment fixes the compression issue...

Mercenary Garage - Project XS 850
Does this make my bum look big?

Mercenary Garage - Project XS 850
It's mostly all there except for the mudguard.

Mercenary Garage - Project XS 850
The clocks will probably clean up well.

Mercenary Garage - Project XS 850
These are the bits I'm mostly interested in.

Mercenary Garage - Project XS 850

#YamahaXS850 #Mercenary #MercenaryGarage

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