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New Member, Ben

988 Views 22 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  Youtube_Zombie
Hi I'm Ben getting back into biking after having to take a couple of decades off, due to a sick wife.
Went down to my farm today and pulled my old Yamaha XS650 out of the dirt.
It will be my cafe racer.


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Welcome. What a great set of parts to start a rebuild project. For forks and other parts you have choices if you want to stick to stock looking parts. Frank's is a great start, but check for parts. I use their stuff for other bikes all the time.

You could also go with say a set of early Yamaha R6 forks which are conventional looking but much stiffer and lighter and that would make a brake upgrade easier.

Talking of brakes, there have been many XS brake upgrade options over the years from large diameter rotors to multi piston calipers. Lots of options to drive you slowly mad working out what you want to do.

You have a lot of work ahead but it's realy just a strip, clean, inspect, re-finish, build process. Styles have changed a bit over the decades and for my taste the ideal look for an XS is the tracker look. They also look good as conventional sixties style cafe racers a.k.a. Manx Norton look. Or make it look stock and surprise people with the sleeper approach.

The so called Brat style fortunately seems to be falling out of favor which is good. The latest style trend seems to be muscular naked street bikes, which are in many ways a modern street tracker look.

You have a great starting point for sure.
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There are companies who specialize in repairing and replating fork legs. It is a hard chrome process not show chrome and is used extensively to repair all manner of shafts. But replacement fork tubes are most likely less expensive.

And a more modern set of conventional looking forks can represent a good upgrade at a reasonable cost. Early yamaha R6 are an example of larger diameter forks with adjustable damping and preload and looks period appropriate. Or almost any similar looking forks such as FZR400 with cartridge emulators are also a good upgrade. FXR forks are not exactly growing on trees but they are thinner wall, larger diameter and much lighter than most other forks on old bikes.
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