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I've lurked these forums a little and thought I would wait to post until I actually got a bike. Well that time has come. Just picked up this 1975 Yamaha xs650. I've got a few plans for her but mainly just getting her running right at first. The left cylinder backfires pretty bad and the bike seems to hesitate when I try to get on it. Anyways here she is
. I'll try to show pictures of the progress as she goes along.
 

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welcome.

Check your carb manifold boot on the left side. Spray carb cleaner on the outside of the boot and see if the idle increases. If it does then you have an air leak which is causing a lean condition and a backfire. before that, check the plug, you might have a fouled plug. If it is then clean it and reinstall and see if she fouls again.
 

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Thanks Geeto. I'll try those things in the next day or so and report back. Also it wont go into neutral while running, only when I turn her off. Is it clutch replacement time or just an easy adjustment?
 

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not familar with the xs bikes and neutral hunting but it sounds like you could stand to adjust the clutch cable a little. Usually when the clutch goes it slips and the bike will rev up and go nowhere.
 

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I know this post is a little old but i can give u some tips for this.

1. Use the cable adjuster on the clutch lever. Put the bike in first and pull the clutch in. Adjust the screw until the back wheel moves as little as possible with clutch in.

2. Next option to consider is to replace the clutch cable. not too hard to do really.

3. Option three is to replace the needle bearing and thrust washer in the clutch hub. mikesxs says a symptom of a worn bearing is not being able to find neutral on a warm engine.

i know this stuff but i had the same problem and it was obnoxious but i did steps 1 ans 2 and its all good now.
 
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