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Legit goon
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1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So. To start things off for those who don't know what you're dealing with here:
I'm an 18-year old highschooler from Estonia. That means that my budget is rather low
and its a bitch to get most of the parts out here.

My bike is an '89 Yamaha XJ600. I lack any skills whatsoever (wiring, mechanical etc). But I'm raging with hormones and got a boner for sweet looking 2-wheelers, so how bout you help me turn mine into one. Really eager to learn new stuff so anything that I could be able to do in the privacy of my own yard, I'd be more than happy to (with a detailed walkthrough, of course).

The last guy left me with an owner's manual but I've been told that's not enough so I'll be hunting for a Haynes and any other sorts of manuals I can get my hands on. Found this helpful site: http://www.carlsalter.com/motorcycle-manuals.asp so currently downloading an 84-92 600 j, xj, fz, yx manual package and we'll see how that turns out.
Edit: I got my hands on a 251-paged repair manual. Hope that'll be enough, for it seems thorough.

Right. The bike has been in 2-3 crashes according to the last owner and the right side is a bit more affected by this. I got the bike in the start of July. Since then I've changed the oils, fuel in the tank and some filters. Got a new battery and new plugs. I also cleaned the carbs with the help of my dad's friend who is kind of a veteran but I wouldn't like to bother him much with my little problems in the future. Also sawed off the end of the clutch lever to match it with the front break lever (which probably deformed in one of those crashes) and managed to fix her a bellypan.

Step1: To tear down the cowling, change the headlight and flashers.
I ordered a round headlight, side-mountable brackets, 4 flashers and a led relay a week ago from Germany. They said it should take 'bout 3 (perhaps even 4) weeks to get here. I was planning on commuting the bike to school so I wouldn't want to get her naked before the new headlight unit is here with the other little bits.

Therefore, I don't think there's any real progress pics to come for the next week - atleast. Never the less, I was told to start this build thread for I was becoming sort of a spammer with all my inquirings in the beginner questions and the welcome thread.

I've been tossing around some thoughts on what to do with the rest of the bike. So here's the list of things that have been bugging me, but I haven't made up my mind about them just yet: gauges, bars & handles, tail and the paint. I've got a nice overall understanding of my options thanks to some helpful lads on this forum (All suggestions are ofcourse still warmly welcome!).

Bars
Haven't decided whether to go clip-ons, dirty bars or even flat drag bars (suggested by cbrrrt - cheers Jon). I'd definitely like to change my current ones because I don't like the riding position they offer. I'd like my hands to position a bit lower, level to the tank perhaps. Is there much of a difference in the feel while riding between these 3 types of bars? I've also been told that I might have to change my triples in order to put on new bars. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.
Not so sure but with the new bars it'll probably be best to change the levers and handles aswell, right? My clutch lever is loose (meaning I can move it up and down a bit more than I'd like to) and I've gone over the issue and there's not much to be done about it. Will there be any/a lot of wiring involved in replacing the handles and how big of a task is it? I'd also like to have metal grips. Anything I should know bout em or are they just the same as rubber grips?

Gauges
After I'm done changing the light I think this will be the next step. I'll try to change the angle on my current gauges for they'll remain too high ..I'm guessing. I might avoid getting new ones and try and work something out with the ones I have now - perhaps get some chrome back covers and just keep the tacho and speedo. I'd really love the classical/vintage looking gauges instead of the so popular digital ones.

Tail
Probably the part I can change the least atm and yet the one that would have (one of) the biggest affect on the overall look. At first I was thinking of chopping the tail and turning it into a cafe/bobber kind of a seat but thanks to Kaos I've realized the benefits of having a longer tail that I so badly need at the moment. So, is there any way I could perhaps make the tail-section a bit less "fat" ? (With minimal effort, of course, heh) I believe one of the ways would be to chop the tail frame (/sub frame?) and bolt on or weld a new slimmer tail frame (if I made any sense) ? Trouble with that though would be the availability of a new frame piece and my 0-access and skill to any welding equipment. I think the tail will just have to sit as it is for now until I gain some confidence. Perhaps I'll do something about it over the winter or in the early Spring.

Paint
Haven't looked too much into my options here but as far as my understanding goes, a quality paint has to have many coatings of it and a lot of prepping before the paint is applied? I might just rattle can something on it to make the bike look better at first
(as I understand many have done for their first bikes :D ) and then later when I've saved up
some take it to have it painted.

Almost forgot - the part I'm afraid most of is messing around with engine and anything performance-wise. Yet I'd love to keep her running smooth for years to come as I'm not planning on selling her any time soon (if she'll be in any state to sell after I'm done with her anyhow, lol). Are there any minor tweaks I could make/check up on to keep her at good health or should I have someone with more experience take a look at her goodies under the clothes?


Aaaaaaand finally some pics!







To sum things up:
1) Low budget, not much of an availability of parts.
2) Lack of skills but a hunger to learn!
3) Not really sure on my final concept of the bike but I'll work it out step-by-step.


----
PS! Sorry for my English and any grammar mistakes.
 

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Cant leave shit alone!
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1,320 Posts
As long as you are willing to learn, there are many many many EXTREMELY knowledgable people here that on any given day will walk you through step by step to your goal. As long as you don't act like an ass you will be just fine. Great write up and good luck with the build.
 

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Legit goon
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1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just noticed something weird whilst out riding today. I can remove the key from the bike's ignition while the bike is running. That shouldn't work that way, now should it? Are there any reasons why I should fix that asap or can I just keep it like that for now? Kinda cool to see the bike running without anything heh.
 
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Legit goon
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1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
You gotta share all the nifty tricks with me now!! Make me your XJ-apprentice !
 
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watches you sleep.
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Just noticed something weird whilst out riding today. I can remove the key from the bike's ignition while the bike is running. That shouldn't work that way, now should it? Are there any reasons why I should fix that asap or can I just keep it like that for now? Kinda cool to see the bike running without anything heh.
I could do that on my first bike, a GS500. Older bikes, after a while can run into that problem. The tumblers in the cylinder are wallered out like a loose snatch. Nothing too serious to worry about.
 

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DoOmie
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14 Posts
also throw those mirrors away and get some bar ends. and the first thing to go on these bikes is the plastic / rubber that connect the carbs to the heads on the block make shure there arnt any cracks in em to keep her running good. pz
 

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Legit goon
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1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm STILL waiting on my headlight unit (single round) and small led flashers.. Slowly dying as the downfalls of living in Estonia for a rookie fighterer are becoming clear to me. They said it could be up to 4 weeks to receive them - jeeesh! I promise to get her naked (and ofcourse - tons of pics) once I hear anything of the parts, because she's my daily ride to school.

Scad could you tell me more bout the plastic/rubber stuff and break it down as noobishly as you tolerate :D

Cheers for the opinions, I'll definitely be looking into those bar ends! Just hope I manage to find them at a local shop and won't have to wait for another 4 weeks -.-

All other types of critisism are warmly appreciated ofcourse, so keep em comin!

Cheers,
Andrew

PS! I'm on my phone and in my last class of the day. Didn't bother to check the spelling. Sorry if it bothers ya
 
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Registered
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I'm 18 but I graduated last year :p
Nice bike though, it's in a little bit better shape than mine is.

Not sure if I want a single or dual round headlights. I like the look of the large single but I feel the duals are more practical.
 

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Legit goon
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Estonia's got a bit of a fucked up education system compared to other countries heh. Some of us start school at the age of 5 here oO (Most ~6-7 though) and some stay in primary school til they're 21.. ?!
 
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Legit goon
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Oh and also glad to see you're the same age. I'm hoping you lack experience aswell :D
The single round has been my view of a classic bike ever since I dreamed of having one
(around 8 years of age). Are the duals that much more practical?

Andrew
 
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VVItapdatassVV
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292 Posts
First, as for the rubber issues, what is being talked about is the bolt on rubber intake boot between the carbs and the cylinder head. Ispect all 4 VERY carefully to make sure they are not weather-checked and cracked. If these intake boots crack too badly, they allow un-filtered air into the motor behind the carbs, making a vacuum leak that leans out your motor, making it run hotter, and also making it far more difficult to tune the carbs.

Second, the headlight issue, between duals and singles, the only real difference is personal preference, duals aren't any brighter than singles.

Nice lookin' start to the bike! When I clicked your thread, I expected to see a SECA II instead of the XJ you've got, as in the U.S., the SECA II replaced the model you have for 1989. Cool though, for sure. One thing you might want to check out is the XJ650 SECA Turbo models, they were factory built Turbo bikes and are more common than you'd expect, maybe give you some ideas for making more power?!

You can also scavenge parts, such as gauges, from other make/model/year bikes and modify them to fit as needed.

Good luck with the build!
 

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Legit goon
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1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Cheers for the info, Sweeper! Its the last week remaining for me to receive my parts. Each day I'm checking my gmail account with tingles in my pants hoping there's a notification for me to go pick em up at the local bike shop.

I'm not sure I'm ready to tamper with the engine and performance just yet. Perhaps I'll get into that sometime before next season, when all the playing around with the bodywork has given me some confidence.

Luckily the single headlight is the only headlight for me so no questions there! :D
And I've decided to let this build progress with "baby steps" as some of you say 'round here. So I'll be considering new handlebars, grips, gauges, etc. once the new headlight is mounted so I could see the overall pic. I asked xtasyarmada make up a chop for me so perhaps that'll give me some ideas before I get the parts and I can start shopping for the other parts faster.

I for one am reaallllyy freakin anxious to start workin on her. Fingers crossed for some naked pics and progress updates soon!

Cheers for following,
Andrew
 

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PhotoChop Master!
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115 Posts
Waiting to see where you go with this. Anxious to see her with her clothes off. I think that would look good as a bare seat bike. Although I am considering chopping whats left of the subframe off to make it look flush in the back.
 

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Legit goon
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1,466 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
UPDATE!!!
Well... no. Atleast not anything bike-related. I got my first ink today and thought
I'd share (the image is just a quick webcam snap so sorry bout the quality)

(It's a Hei Matau for anyone interested)

Andrew
 
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