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Old 08-31-2017, 03:44 PM
dansmith65 dansmith65 is offline
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hello from a new member

Iíve been lurking for a few weeks now because I was considering buying an xs1100SG. I finally did the deed and bought it, so I figured itís time to introduce myself because I plan to stick around.

I took a bit of a risk and paid for this SG before seeing it in person. I only had this picture and videos to go by, along with some basic info from the owner:



https://youtu.be/qqReA8CgLV0

https://youtu.be/BkpJEtumnOE

Hereís what I (think I) know about the bike:
  • current owner had it for 4 years, only rode bit, mostly just sat (in the garage)
  • rear break doesnít engage
  • exhaust was repaired via welding in one spot
  • ~35,000KMís
  • fuel was recently dumped, tank filled with premium, rode around the block a few times
  • has a new seat (I assume itís just the cover, but not sure)
  • it appears to start easily and run (the videoís are recent)

The bike is still south of Calgary, Alberta. The previous owner is going to get it to a local mechanic for me. My plan is to have him make it safe for me to ride it 400kmís home, since I donít have a truck to transport it myself. Luck would have it that the local mechanic remembers working on these things back when they were new.

The model was confirmed by looking up the serial number from the engine on this site. There seems to be a discrepancy with the front brakes and possibly the speedo? I suspect I've got a bit of a frankenbike, with parts from a few different years on it, but not sure yet.
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:33 PM
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Welcome to channel XS11 dansmith65. I don't know what you paid, but the bike does look nice.
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Old 08-31-2017, 04:44 PM
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Welcome! lets start with the brakes, as stopping is MUCH more important than going fast!
Rear brake probably needs the caliper cleaned out. The mechanic will need to pull it apart, compressed air or try using the brake pedal once it's off the bike. He will need to remove the square "O" ring and CLEAN/SCRAPE the grove it goes in. Clean the "O" ring with new brake fluid, re-install and bleed the system.
IF he doesn't want to go through the carbs, and you don't want to spend the $200 he'll probably charge, dump a LOT of SeaFoam or Berryman's B12 into about 2 gallons of REGULAR gas. These bikes are designed to run on regular, and will carbon up if you run premium.
Check the date code on the tires. If they are over 6 years old, replace BEFORE riding ANY distance. 4 to 5 years are iffy, but work OK for an easy ride of 400 miles.
Be aware the bike will NOT run well as you get close to reserve. I can't say all specials do, but all of the ones I've know are that way. Once you do spin it onto reserve, they run well again.
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:01 PM
dansmith65 dansmith65 is offline
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Thanks skids. I paid $1000, which I thought was a good price considering the decent-looking condition.

Agreed DriverRay, rebuilding the brakes is my first order of business. Thanks for the advice on the calipers. One of the things I'm looking forward to is wrenching on this thing myself, so I wasn't planning on having the mechanic work on the carbs unless necessary to get it home. I did find a page somewhere here about SeaFoam, and was planning to do just that. I've never heard of premium gas causing carbon build up issues, though. That concerns me because there is a local gas station I can get ethanol-free gas from, but only their premium is ethanol-free. In that case, what's the lesser of two evils? Thanks for the tip on reserve; hadn't heard that one.

I just noticed something new in the video; the front left rotor is slotted.

I forgot to mention, but my goal is to get Collector Plates on it: http://www.icbc.com/vehicle-registra...-vehicles.aspx. This mostly means I need to make it look good and keep it mostly stock, or use era-correct accessories. Can anybody tell what kind of windscreen and luggage rack/sissy bar are on it?
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansmith65 View Post
I just noticed something new in the video; the front left rotor is slotted.

Can anybody tell what kind of windscreen and luggage rack/sissy bar are on it?
The right front rotor is from a different XS1100, or an XS650. Slotted is correct.

Your windshield is a Slipstreamer, likely the S-03.
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Old 08-31-2017, 05:54 PM
dansmith65 dansmith65 is offline
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Originally Posted by jetmechmarty View Post
Your windshield is a Slipstreamer, likely the S-03.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. It looks to me like the S-03 stops a littler shorter than mine does, heading down the forks. I'm not sure if it has the exact same shape, but the S-00 looks closer:


Do you know if these windscreens have any markings on them? I'm wondering if there will be a number stamped into it somewhere that can take the guesswork out of this for me.
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Old 08-31-2017, 06:03 PM
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jetmechmarty jetmechmarty is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansmith65 View Post
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. It looks to me like the S-03 stops a littler shorter than mine does, heading down the forks. I'm not sure if it has the exact same shape, but the S-00 looks closer:


Do you know if these windscreens have any markings on them? I'm wondering if there will be a number stamped into it somewhere that can take the guesswork out of this for me.
Many parts for these are universal.
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Old 08-31-2017, 07:23 PM
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Hey Dan,

The Specials have a vacuum controlled fuel valve we affectionately call the Octy because it has so many hoses going to and from it, looks like an octopus. They can get corroded or gummed up and stick, not open all the way when the bike is running. The engine vacuum from the #2 intake boot port actuates it, but if gummed/corroded, it may not open all the way and so you can get reduced fuel flow while running. SO...putting the petcocks on PRIME bypasses the OCTY valve and allows fuel to flow directly from the tank to the carbs via just gravity feed.

You planning on riding it home makes me think you are not new to bikes, you have your license and know how to ride. BUT street riding is quite different than dirt riding if that's your experience? ALL of the cagers are out to get you, won't see you and run you over every chance they get!

Okay, aside from whether the Canadian police will require you to replace the right front rotor with a slotted one, you could swap the solid one to the rear, and put the rear slotted on the front, would look more balanced, and might be able to bluff the inspectors and not have to buy a slotted rotor that way?

The rear shocks look OEM. The OEM shocks don't have much expansion dampening affect, and with the driveshaft design of the drivetrain, getting on throttle causes the driveshaft to try to climb the rear wheel, this pushes the swingarm up which pushes the frame/rear of the bike upwards. SO....wanted you to be aware of this bucking bronco type affect when getting on the throttle. IF you don't want to experience that, then you'll want to look into getting some newer shocks. Even the inexpensive shocks from places like Partsnmore and MIkesXS have much better expansion dampening that essentially stops the bucking bronco affect.

Another common problem with comfort on the specials is the buckhorn handlebars. They are poorly designed, and put too much of a bend angle on the wrists. Many folks replace them with old Gold Wing styled bars, they are very similar to the special with rise/pull back and are a little wider and grip positions are at a more ergonomic angle for the wrists. Now JetMechMarty likes the buckhorns, but he also has them positioned very low just barely clearing the tank/seat which sets the wrists angles differently...YMMV!

T.C.
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Old 08-31-2017, 08:08 PM
dansmith65 dansmith65 is offline
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I guess I didn't really say much to introduce myself, so I'll do that now... I've been riding off-and-on since 2005. I started by taking the MSF in the San Francisco Bay Area, then learned on a 1991 Kawasaki EX500. Switched to a 650 V-Strom in 2008 (pics and more pics), which I sold in 2015 since I had two young kids, a new house, and never rode. This year, I decided I didn't want to live without a motorcycle after-all. In all my planning/looking at bikes, my wife decided she wanted to learn to ride, so we bought a Suzuki GZ250 for her, which I've been riding while I looked for "my" bike. Other than that, I rode a few motorcycles as a kid, and my wife's uncle took me on a trip in Japan on a Honda XL250.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCatGr58 View Post
...putting the petcocks on PRIME bypasses the OCTY valve and allows fuel to flow directly from the tank to the carbs via just gravity feed.
Thanks, I'll remember that for the ride home.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCatGr58 View Post
ALL of the cagers are out to get you, won't see you and run you over every chance they get!
I know, right! I've noticed a big difference riding this little 250 vs my V-Strom with the side bags, reflective tape, yellow helmet w/ reflective smiley (which I sold with the bike). All that stuff I had on there really helped me get noticed... which I don't have going for me anymore.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCatGr58 View Post
...you could swap the solid one to the rear, and put the rear slotted on the front, would look more balanced, and might be able to bluff the inspectors and not have to buy a slotted rotor that way?
That's a great idea! I hadn't though of that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCatGr58 View Post
...getting on throttle causes the driveshaft to try to climb the rear wheel, this pushes the swingarm up which pushes the frame/rear of the bike upwards. SO....wanted you to be aware of this bucking bronco type affect when getting on the throttle. IF you don't want to experience that, then you'll want to look into getting some newer shocks. Even the inexpensive shocks from places like Partsnmore and MIkesXS have much better expansion dampening that essentially stops the bucking bronco affect.
Thanks! I had read about the rear end rising on acceleration (and dipping on deceleration?), but hadn't realized that could be helped by replacing the shocks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCatGr58 View Post
Another common problem with comfort on the specials is the buckhorn handlebars. They are poorly designed, and put too much of a bend angle on the wrists. Many folks replace them with old Gold Wing styled bars, they are very similar to the special with rise/pull back and are a little wider and grip positions are at a more ergonomic angle for the wrists. Now JetMechMarty likes the buckhorns, but he also has them positioned very low just barely clearing the tank/seat which sets the wrists angles differently...YMMV!
I'm actually a little worried about those handlebars. My wrists are typically already sore/worn out from working on a computer all day. To qualify for collector plates, I may not be able to switch the handlebars so I intend to try angling them down like you mentioned, if they do bother me.
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Old 09-01-2017, 04:43 AM
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donebysunday donebysunday is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansmith65 View Post
Hereís what I (think I) know about the bike:
  • current owner had it for 4 years, only rode bit, mostly just sat (in the garage)
  • rear break doesnít engage
  • exhaust was repaired via welding in one spot
  • ~35,000KMís
  • fuel was recently dumped, tank filled with premium, rode around the block a few times
  • has a new seat (I assume itís just the cover, but not sure)
  • it appears to start easily and run (the videoís are recent)

The bike is still south of Calgary, Alberta. The previous owner is going to get it to a local mechanic for me. My plan is to have him make it safe for me to ride it 400kmís home, since I donít have a truck to transport it myself. Luck would have it that the local mechanic remembers working on these things back when they were new.
Your bike sounds like it needs a good carb sync and pilot jet (low speed) needle adjustment. Thing is if the carbs are dirty even with good fresh fuel you may still have some junk in the float bowls so it could be just the carbs are still dirty. Doubtful but draining the float bowls empty and then flushing them may clear some of the bad fuel and debris out. After draining dump that little bit of fuel on some weed you don't like . Put the container back under one of the carbs with the drain on the float bowl open turn the fuel valve to pri (prime) for a second to flush that bowl clean.
Most of the plastic food containers will hold the fuel for some period of time before melting. You could cut one of these down with a scissor to slip under the carb to drain into or maybe you have some thing the right size like one of those ash trays that's only about an inch or 1 1/2" tall ?
One more thought (I had this) if the bike sat long enough to evaporate some of the fuel that was left and it dried inside the tank fresh fuel will slowly dissolve this fuel residue and cause problems for weeks even though you clean the carbs many times it will seem to be cursed or cause you to curse ?
Luck to You ! Don'e
P.S. NICE BIKE and a GREAT DEAL, how many miles on it ?
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Old 09-01-2017, 11:44 AM
dansmith65 dansmith65 is offline
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I was hoping someone would chime in on how it sounded. It sounded a little rough to me, but it also sounded awesome/raw/powerful at the same time. In most of the video, I think it was still cold and the choke was on, so I'm hoping it'll idle at a little lower RPM once it's warmed up.

What do people here use for syncing carbs? Carbtune, build your own?

Good idea to drain the bowls; maybe I'll ask the mechanic to do that to prevent debris from clocking jets, etc. on the ride home.

For the ride home, I'm going to try to stick to ethanol-free gas, to prevent breaking up potential deposits throughout the fuel system. But I am aware that some issues may come up after riding it for a bit, that weren't there from the start, due to things like you mentioned. Once I get it home, I plan to spend the winter giving it a good going-over getting it ready to ride next year.

~22,000 miles on it
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Old 09-01-2017, 06:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansmith65 View Post
I was hoping someone would chime in on how it sounded. It sounded a little rough to me, but it also sounded awesome/raw/powerful at the same time. In most of the video, I think it was still cold and the choke was on, so I'm hoping it'll idle at a little lower RPM once it's warmed up.

What do people here use for syncing carbs? Carbtune, build your own?

Good idea to drain the bowls; maybe I'll ask the mechanic to do that to prevent debris from clocking jets, etc. on the ride home.

For the ride home, I'm going to try to stick to ethanol-free gas, to prevent breaking up potential deposits throughout the fuel system. But I am aware that some issues may come up after riding it for a bit, that weren't there from the start, due to things like you mentioned. Once I get it home, I plan to spend the winter giving it a good going-over getting it ready to ride next year.

~22,000 miles on it
Welcome ! from another newbie listened and yes choke was on and sounded a little better when it was off.

Bring a few tools with you and you can pull the carbs yourself. Get some cleaner and have at it yourself. They are not that bad to deal with.

The one I just picked up ran but when I pulled the bowls 2 of them had green crap all over the floats and jets........so I am sure there will be something in there for you to deal with.

As for syncing I picked up a 4 gauge vacuum one off of amazon. Seems to work but its all I know. I know on the little 400s that I have all the guys make there own. Not sure how that would work though on 4 carbs.......

Good luck with your project and jeep us posted on how things go.
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Old 09-01-2017, 07:59 PM
ThrottleJunky ThrottleJunky is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dansmith65 View Post
I was hoping someone would chime in on how it sounded. It sounded a little rough to me, but it also sounded awesome/raw/powerful at the same time. In most of the video, I think it was still cold and the choke was on, so I'm hoping it'll idle at a little lower RPM once it's warmed up.

What do people here use for syncing carbs? Carbtune, build your own?

Good idea to drain the bowls; maybe I'll ask the mechanic to do that to prevent debris from clocking jets, etc. on the ride home.

For the ride home, I'm going to try to stick to ethanol-free gas, to prevent breaking up potential deposits throughout the fuel system. But I am aware that some issues may come up after riding it for a bit, that weren't there from the start, due to things like you mentioned. Once I get it home, I plan to spend the winter giving it a good going-over getting it ready to ride next year.

~22,000 miles on it
I'm using the Morgan Carbtune Pro and love it. I also have a Colortune as an aid for the mixture screw adjustments as my ear isn't very good on multiple cylinder engines.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:20 PM
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TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
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Hey again,

Have the mechanic put some little lawnmower inline fuel filters to help catch /filter rust and such from the gas tank. Putting on NEW fuel lines if they are several years old wouldn't hurt either.

Some folks get the 4 vac. gauge sets, other use just 2, and swap them from one pair to the other and then to between 2-3 for the final balance.

The idea of taking the carbs OFF while there isn't bad, because you can do a rough cleaning and a BENCH SYNCH that will get it fairly close enough to be able to drive home. Then you can do the proper full tear down , clean, tune and synch process.

BTW, make sure the mechanic checks the MIDDLE and FINAL drive units to make sure they have adequate Hypoid oil level, they sometimes can develop a slow leak, and we've had a few folks report of locking up the rear on the highway due to the middle drive running dry and burning up!

I run seafoam in my bike almost ALL of the time, helps keep the ethanol from gumming things up, so you might be better off doing that with the Regular octane ethanol fuel vs. the non-ethanol premium.

With regards to the rotors, the OEM bolt locks are these funky curved plates that span 2 bolt and the corners get bent up to lock the bolts. Once you pull them all off/out, you can just use some lock washers, and if you're worried about it, some blue locktite solution. Those locking tabs are still obtainable, but a bit more $$ than lock washers!

T.C.
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Old 09-01-2017, 08:44 PM
dansmith65 dansmith65 is offline
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Thanks spectra. I was planning on taking some tools, but I was thinking more of fixing it if it stops vs. preventative maintenance before I left. I don't have much experience working on motorcycles. I'm generally pretty handy, and have fixed various items on cars, but pulling/cleaning carbs would be a learn-as-I-go experience and I don't really like the idea of doing that on the side of the road. I do plan on bringing what I need to do that, if it's necessary, though.

I've been skimming the manuals I downloaded from http://www.ringler.us/family/mybike.html, but they don't seem to list bolt/nut sizes, or screw types. Would Philips and flat-head screwdrivers be sufficient in the screwdriver department? Or does it use others? It doesn't use JIS screws, does it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ThrottleJunky View Post
I'm using the Morgan Carbtune Pro and love it. I also have a Colortune as an aid for the mixture screw adjustments as my ear isn't very good on multiple cylinder engines.
I haven't looked into it much, but Carbtune sounded decent. Cost is about the same as the one's I can get on amazon.com/amazon.ca. It looks convenient to store. My brother made one for his v-twin and it's a monster that must be kept upright or it will spill. My small garage has enough things hanging on the wall as-is

I was considering Colortune too. Since I don't have an ear for this stuff at all yet, something like that could help train my ear; that's how I see it, at least.



Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCatGr58 View Post
Have the mechanic put some little lawnmower inline fuel filters to help catch /filter rust and such from the gas tank. Putting on NEW fuel lines if they are several years old wouldn't hurt either.

BTW, make sure the mechanic checks the MIDDLE and FINAL drive units to make sure they have adequate Hypoid oil level, they sometimes can develop a slow leak, and we've had a few folks report of locking up the rear on the highway due to the middle drive running dry and burning up!
Thanks! Just added to my list of stuff for the mechanic to do.


Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCatGr58 View Post
I run seafoam in my bike almost ALL of the time, helps keep the ethanol from gumming things up, so you might be better off doing that with the Regular octane ethanol fuel vs. the non-ethanol premium.
That's a new idea I hadn't considered... My issue with putting ethanol in an old bike that's been mostly sitting for 4 years is that it might break up deposits that would otherwise stay where they are and not clog something up. I wonder what seafoam actually does to ethanol fuel???


Quote:
Originally Posted by TopCatGr58 View Post
With regards to the rotors, the OEM bolt locks are these funky curved plates that span 2 bolt and the corners get bent up to lock the bolts. Once you pull them all off/out, you can just use some lock washers, and if you're worried about it, some blue locktite solution. Those locking tabs are still obtainable, but a bit more $$ than lock washers!
Thanks for the heads-up.
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