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Can an amateur change the exhaust?

3543 Views 18 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  Ews
Just joined the forums!

Today I bought a Yamaha XS750 cafe racer project bike. It needs a new seat, some work on the brakes, and a new exhaust. First question, which I'm sure I will have many, is:

Can an amateur change the exhaust? The current exhaust has been cut. I saw this on ebay, and from the photos, it almost looks as simple as needing some bolts to be attached. Is that the case, or is it actually much more complicated. I've been having trouble finding answers and/or tutorial videos.

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Shitty pods and cut headers? Run away at all costs - that motor is probably fried from running lean.

To answer your question - fixing THAT exhaust is not something an amateur could do.

When you say fix THAT exhaust, do you mean repairing the current one that is on there is hard to do? Or just putting a completely new one on is above my skill level?
Fixing that one is not possible for a newbie.

Putting a new one on is probably within a newbie's skillset - as long as you use an actual XS triple exhaust and there are still muffler mounts on the rear of the frame (usually hipster molesters remove these).

I see you've already bought this thing - does it run??
That Mac exhaust will work fine, but the header nuts can be tough to get off without breaking the studs. Lot's of rust breaker, proper fitting wrench and patience. As Hillsy said, you need to do something about the cheap pod filters, find a proper stock air box for it if you ever want it to run properly. If the header pipes are discoloured (blue) you may have problems from burning lean, check the compression. If the PO has hacked the frame up beware.
Wow. what a first question. Talk about coming in at the ground level.

You should have come here and asked before you bought the bike.

But since you already have, if you want my advice, take a big picture of it, let us see what you are dealing with. Let us know if the bike runs. And tell us what your experience and your motorcycling goals are.
Then put on your flame suit.

If the bike is chopped up already and doesn't run, I'd say sell it ASAP and buy a running bike.

Learn basic maintenance, ride.

A nonrunning odd ball bike like the xs750 is the perfect way to ruin your fist motorcycling experience.
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BTW, post a pic of the build that was your inspiration for choosing the Yamaha triple.

Just for shits and giggles.

This was mine-
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I regret I ever set eyes on that thing. So does my wallet...
I'm such a dumbass...
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Thanks for the responses everyone!

As far as inspiration, the look is pretty close actually. This is a Honda, but visually something I am shooting for. Land vehicle Vehicle Motorcycle Motor vehicle Car

It currently runs, and I snatched it for what seemed like a fair price to me ($750). He did say it needs some idle adjustment. I've done some work here and there on my car, but haven't messed with motorcycles. I figured at a low price like that, it would be worth a shot.

As far as goals JCW, I still need to put a seat on, which I imagine I need to get a tail loop for, in order to attach a brat style seat? The exhaust obviously, and then any other necessary things. But seat and exhaust would be the priorities I'd think.

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Cant tell if the muffler mounts have just been removed or hacked off.

Looks like a Special (well, the tank is, anyway).

Plus side is you already have clubmans!

What's your experience with motorcycles? Ever own one before? Is this your first?

The Honda sohc you picture as inspiration will probably end up costing you $4000 to get somethin that nice........and maybe a year or two of tinkering. And if it's your first street bike and your first experience on the street....then runaway from that over priced pile like someone was chasing you with a Crocodile Dundee knife.

I guess before I say any more.....fill out your bio and let us know a little about we know your experiences, skillsets, etc.
Plus side is you already have clubmans!
And also the old yamabaug wheels looked like Lester wannabes......nice.
Are you sure it runs? Like have you tried to start it and were successful?

I am very suspicious of craigslist sellers that say, yeah it runs, but **** is missing so I can't start it or you can't ride it right now. But it ran when I parked it.
Yeah right.

Your bike has the calipers conveniently hanging loose and there looks to be damage to one of the forks.
He did one hell of a job on the frame from what I can see. putting in his own center section and drilling holes in the frame for likely a homemade cover.
Tabs are gone for the exhaust, he even cut the back 1/2 of the rear master mount off. Why? Rear master cylinder rod doesn't seem to quite reach the master cylinder piston. Doubt you have any of the three brakes at the moment working.
Rear subframe has been hacked off and he's attached his own rear fender to something back there.

The wiring is a mess. He's really "made it his own" there.

Tank is dented pretty bad. pod filters probably block some of the ports and that was what was messing with his idle.

To get it rideable you would at least have to sort the brakes, forks, pods/carbs, shocks, wiring and probably the exhaust if you want to keep your neighbors from hating you. That's assuming the engine is in good working order with good compression. Worrying about a seat hoop and skateboard seat is the least of your worries.

For a bike where many parts are no longer available, you are looking at a whole lot of searching ebay and such.

If this is your first bike project, I'd cut my losses and just get it back together and sell it.
Nothing on the bike is worth much either except the engine and carbs if in good shape.
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It's a shame new guys post here after they buy the POS instead of asking first.
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You're right that I should've posted before buying. It's easy to move fast though when multiple people are contacting the seller (allegedly haha).

It does run, the seller started it up for me and let it run for a minute or so. I took a crappy phone video that may be able to shed some more light. Neighbors hating me, as far as noise goes? ;)

The back brakes seem to work. We unloaded it from a trailer down a plywood ramp and once it hit the ground moving pretty quickly, he braked it.

I expected to put some money into it, but figured being half the cost of some other bikes I had seen, it would even out. I'd feel pretty silly selling it immediately after I got it haha, but if that's what it takes for a noob to learn, than so be it.
"I expected to put some money into it, but figured being half the cost of some other bikes I had seen, it would even out. I'd feel pretty silly selling it immediately after I got it haha, but if that's what it takes for a noob to learn, than so be it."

Hello Nicolas and welcome to the forum. Though it's to late to steer you away from the purchase you made at least from here out you can get some sound advice from folks who actually DO know what they are talking about. The previous owner did ALLOT wrong to that bike and unless you want to spend countless hours and money undoing what can be undone only to get you back to a starting point then the "get rid of it" idea might just be the best thing you could do. That idea might sting a bit now but you'll be happy you did later. Given you had to ask if you would be able to replace the exhaust yourself (commendable by the way) tells me that machines issues and your skill set are not well matched. There's a good reason it was half the cost of what you had seen. A good ride able starter bike that you can modify in a positive way to improve it's abilities would be a much better use of your time and money. IMHO. Good luck with whatever you decide to do. Cheers.
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I will offer some positive vibes here. Nothing is impossible if you are willing to screw it up a few times before you get it right. Best thing to do, find a scrap bike and take the exhaust off of it, maybe put on some new mufflers and call it good.
Even better, contact the previous owner immediately and ask him for all of the original parts that he took off your chopper. Pay nothing extra for them, you already paid enough. Add working front brakes and full lighting to your high priority list.
… and don't leave it fenderless, that is just a stupid thing to do to a street bike.
Yep, getting whatever "extra" parts the previous owner took off is a good move. Years ago, I bought an old Triumph Tiger 750 that had been "customized". No front fender, different seat, pullback handlebars, cocktail-shaker mufflers, no turn signals, 16" rear wheel, and it burned oil and had a bad knock in the motor. Luckily, I asked about the original parts and he had them all, other than the 18" rim and handlebars, and the frame hadn't been hacked. I rebuilt the engine (pistons and rings worn badly, but the bottom end was good), and with the exception of some superbike bars and the 16" rear wheel, put it back to stock. It was a pretty bike. I rode it a few years and sold it - never did get around to replacing the rear rim.

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… and don't leave it fenderless, that is just a stupid thing to do to a street bike.
Pffffft, fenders, I prefer to get hit in the face with rocks coming off the tread
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