I need to find a new (old) bike for the summer, my R80ST could really use a little down time, the push rod seals need doing again, the cam chain needs looking at, and I would like to have new valves fitted sometime soon. But as I only have a bike for personal transport no car, I am loathe to take it off the road right now.
R80ST at Caversham Bridge
Now due to unforseen circumstances, and losing my job, at the end of last year, I had to let my Guzzi Ambo go, which only left me with my Beemer on the road, so now I need to find another bike. But I am fussy! I like my bikes to have a certain cool factor, I suppose this makes up for the fact that I myself have none.
So I put the word out, mentioned it to a few friends that I was looking for something old’ish, but something with character, and useable. Well one of my friends had just the bike, sitting unused in his workshop, would I like to pop round and see it. Hell yes, was the reply to that question, and so I did, and sitting in the corner, covered in dust was a cool old 1977 Yamaha XS650, so I grabbed a quick (poor quality) picture on the phone and made arrangements to go back when it was convenient to pull the bike out for a better look.
Well that day was yesterday,
On pulling the bike from the shed, and parking on the side stand, I was a little concerned to see oil dripping from the left side exhaust joint where it is attached to the silencer, but this oil turned out to be an oil petrol mix!
So next I pulled the dip stick, and sure enough the motor was full of fuel and on checking, it seems to have been parked up with a fuel tap slightly open, and all the fuel had migrated south. No big deal really, so out with sump plug, out with the spark plugs, and a few minutes later, I had a nice clean flushed out motor
Next while the sump was draining, I fitted a new battery (supplied by the owner, Richard) cleaned and refitted the spark plugs, and then replaced the sump plug, and refilled with new semi synth oil (again, supplied by Richard) Ignition on, and two kicks later it was running like a watch, smoke everywhere as it burned off the oil residue in the exhaust and cylinders, but it sat there with a perfect tick over. all it needs now is a clutch cable, and a tacho cable, to be back on the road
So if all goes well, I should be picking it up in a week or two, just the right mixture of age and coolness for a summer bike. And my first ever Yamaha too.