Some Updates I Overlooked

Jun 9, 2023:

So I have another problem, a minor one to be sure. The rubber grommet thingy for the upper rear mounting point of the side cover on the right has gone south. Looking at the fiche online, I can’t find side panels that look like mine.

CMSNL has two models listed for 1980, the XS650 and the XS650S. Here are the relevant bits of the diagrams they show there, First, the “standard” model:


And then, the XS650S:


But my side panels don’t look like either of those. The first one is completely wrong, and the second really isn’t “right.”

Here’s what I’ve got:


And here’s the front rubber thingy:


The missing rear part seems to have been exactly the same as the front part circled above.

It’s going to be hard to buy a replacement if I can’t find a part number or proper nomenclature. Gah.

I found what I thought was a correct part on CMSNL, but the link has rotted so I’m not sharing it here.  It didn’t look exactly the same, and without measurements I was not sure how to tell.

Continued searching led to this:

As of right now (August 2023) the link is still good.  I measured my existing part and came up with the largest diameter at about 19mm; the part shown here is about the right size, if not perfect. And at $6.99 with free shipping for a pack of 4, it’s a cheap enough bet for me. Ordered.

June 10, 2023:

I got in a test ride a day after rebuilding the clutch, and the clutch worked absolutely perfect. Still feels crappy but it works fine. HOWEVER… evidently I didn’t get the case sealed. I had a lot of trouble positioning the gasket, and I don’t know what exactly I did wrong.

I could have taken it apart and done it over again, but honestly I have neither time nor patience left. So I took it to a local guy who specializes in vintage bikes, and I expect to have it back in a couple of weeks. He’s good, and he’s reasonable, and I can’t ask for more than that.

June 20, 2023: forum member 5twins shared a link for the correct side cover grommet:

“Yes, those side cover grommets can be difficult to figure out because the diagrams are incorrect. This is the one you need, thicker on one side than the other…”

I had already ordered (and received) the cheaper eBay part mentioned above, for installation when the bike returned from the mechanic.

August 24, 2023:

So, an update. As I said, I took the bike to a local guy who specializes in vintage bikes of all kinds and he fixed my screwup. I had picked up the recommended O-rings literally years ago that seal the valve covers, but had never installed them; I took the baggie with me and he did that too, and only charged me about $160.00 for the whole job. Considering my incompetence at preventing oil from leaking, I felt like it was a good deal.

Incidentally… this is the first time since I got this bike that a had someone else work on it. I’ve done all the other wrenching. I certainly can’t say that about my 1980 CB650. The forum makes working on the XS650 a science; there is no equivalent place for the CB650 SOHC models. The forum I do participate in for that bike just does not have the technical depth that the members of have with respect to the XS.

Anyway… when I got the bike there was no easy way to get a replacement gas tank seal, but now Mike’s XS has them, so I ordered one there, and a set of four of the eBay side cover grommets from here:

No, they aren’t exact replacements, but they are about half the price. I found a rubber plumbing washer I’ve had lying around for years and put it on as spacer. Works fine, and makes me happy with the cheapness.

I got some shifter rubbers with the order from Mike’s and will probably replace the slightly chewed-up unit that’s presently on the bike. Somehow I tear them up, and then the metal tears up my shoes.