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Justjim75
Justjim75 SuperDork
2/25/21 10:31 a.m.

Is it decently quick?  It looks like it might be small and light enough to be a good around town bike with enough power for stop and go to be fun

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/25/21 10:40 a.m.

In reply to Justjim75 :

No idea yet, I took it around the block once, it had a tiny battery in it that won't even start it. I am grabbing one on the way home. Plan on a test ride tonight. 

FMB42
FMB42 New Reader
2/25/21 11:39 a.m.

I rode a bunch of those XJ550s back in the early '80s when I was a Yamaha dealership mechanic. And I don't remember them being slow or sluggish in the turns. Not sport bike of course, but not a slug either IIRC. That was a long time ago, but I would probably have remembered if they were sluggish. They were also very reliable IIRC.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/25/21 12:00 p.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

I haven't heard any horror stories about them mechanically, mostly peoples piss poor diagnosis skills . 

Just going around the block it didn't feel under powered. 

FMB42
FMB42 New Reader
2/25/21 12:38 p.m.

Hey Prof; I just remembered that those, and other Yam models back then, were known for fuel filler cap vent blockage issues. The cap vents on those were not just your everyday 'old school holes'. So you may want to throughly clean the cap/vent. Btw, this issue was somewhat common on both new and used Yams.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/25/21 12:56 p.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

When I bought it, it had no keys so ignition switch and gas cap is new. I did take the old one apart to check it out. It was kinda wild with the springs and balls and plates. I probably should take the new one apart and make sure it works. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/25/21 4:42 p.m.

Got me a new battery. 

 

Dumped some fuel into it and took it around the block. Started to run like ass after a few minutes, need to verify quite sure the tank vent is not working. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/26/21 12:39 p.m.

Update: doesn't look to be a fuel cap issues, lost spark on one and four. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/26/21 1:03 p.m.

Found my lost spark on 1 and 4

pres589 (djronnebaum)
pres589 (djronnebaum) PowerDork
2/26/21 1:07 p.m.

Looks like you found evidence of previous owners.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/26/21 1:19 p.m.

In reply to pres589 (djronnebaum) :

Compared to my GS550 this this has been a pud run wiring wise. 

FMB42
FMB42 New Reader
2/26/21 4:17 p.m.

Well, at least they've been sorta soldered. Just a half step above the 'twist and tape' wire rework that we all dread...

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/26/21 4:41 p.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

Per the marks on the underside of the tank they where grounding out. 

 

 

Also, took it on a 20 mile jaunt. It runs stout. Has zero issues getting up to speed limit. If you stand on it in second gear going around 30 it will spin. 

FMB42
FMB42 New Reader
2/26/21 6:14 p.m.

OK, so a PO took the time to sorta solder the wires, yet failed to tape the bares. Or, maybe the tape fell of some years ago? Either way, we're glad to hear that you've got that vintage machine running strong. Yamaha, as you probably know, has a long history of producing so of the very finest IC engines in history (think Toyota 22R for instance).

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/26/21 6:44 p.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

Id be willing the bet it never got taped. No residue from old tape I could find. 

It truly is a smooth running machine. 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/26/21 6:46 p.m.

FMB42
FMB42 New Reader
2/27/21 12:51 p.m.

Ya, I don't see any tape res either. BTW, how miles does the clock show? Sorry if I missed the miles in prev post. Sure do like that it has a chain final drive (the larger XJs, IIRC, were shaft drv). Not sure, but I think that seat was a Yam upgrade. Either way, as I recall, those XJ550s had no evil vices like a few Yams did back in the day.

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/27/21 4:33 p.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

19k and some change on the clock. I also like the chain drive. I believe 650 and bigger are all shaft. 

 

 

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/27/21 7:50 p.m.

Did some more miles. Devolped a oil leak at timing chain tensioner. Also did a nice burnout for the kids. 

FMB42
FMB42 New Reader
2/28/21 12:04 p.m.

19K isn't much for Yam of that era. Had friend who had over 90K on an early 80s XV twin (can't remember the displacement). That was back in the early 90s and, unfortunately, I haven't talked to him since. Anyway, have you checked the valve clearances by chance? If not, be sure to have some good name brand gasket remover on hand when you do (the cam cover gaskets were a real pain to remove back in the day).

Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter)
Professor_Brap (Forum Supporter) GRM+ Memberand UltraDork
2/28/21 3:58 p.m.

In reply to FMB42 :

I have not, but plan on doing it when I do my timing chain tensioner gasket also. 

New to me rear seat bracket on

Ordered intake boots also since one is kinda ate up. 

Simi long post incoming. 

Got the bike tore down, adjusted the valves, all where within spec. No pictures, didn't bring my phone out. 

Moved to removing the carbs to get to the cam chain tensioner. Got down to it and put my fingers down there to knock some goo off and the nut spun. Wonderful. 

Got the timing chain tensioner off. and pulled what look like a brand new gasket off. And found this underneath. Some people's kids I swear.

 

​​​​​​

While I had the carbs off I also ordered new carburetor boots, since the old ones were cracked. 

Got it all back together and fired up and set the idle and took it for a quick spin just around the block because of this tire. 

My new tire should be here this week so that's pretty exciting overall the bike is cleaned up really nice. 

Once the new tires are on, and get some miles on it, I plan on painting the tank and side covers. 

 

Justjim75
Justjim75 SuperDork
3/5/21 11:10 p.m.

You know I'm waiting patiently for the day I have money and you have one of these old bikes mechanically ready to rock and roll but want to get rid of it quickly so you can get some other toy, right?  I have the Sporty so street is covered, next bike will need to at least be scrambler worthy, so try to keep that in mind, LOL!!!

I admire that you do such a thorough job with what appears to be your biggest investment is time and effort

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