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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello from Fairbanks

Hi all - newbie here. I bought a crashed 2013 v-star 650 and am trying to put it back together. It turned out to be in pretty rough shape, but I nearly have it fixed and will post some pictures when/if it runs :smile:.
This is is the first motorcycle I’ve ever worked on so I’m learning a lot!
 

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Welcome to the forum from Atlantic Canada. The 650 is a great bike and well worth fixing. Post any questions you may have and you'll get answers from our knowledgeable members. How about some pics?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the welcomes and the links! So I bought this bike sight unseen (unwise - won't be doing that again), and though it looked decent in the pictures, it actually had some pretty big problems. It has 2k miles on it. Here it is right after I picked it up:

https://i.imgur.com/9OUkXZg.jpg

Turned out the frame was quite bent near the kickstand, there was a hole in the bottom of the crankcase, a hole in the generator cover, a couple large dents in the fuel tank from the handlebars (because the stop had sheared off), various bent things, and quite a bit of scratches on most of the chrome.

I tried all sorts of things to straighten the frame (hammers, jacks, etc), but the tube just collapsed instead of bending back. So I cut out the damaged section, got inner sleeves, salvaged the bushings, and had a friend weld them back together. After quite a bit of grinding it turned out ok.

Here's the before:
https://i.imgur.com/dmhwNHt.jpg

Here it is welded up and cleaned a bit:
https://i.imgur.com/2ex13kA.jpg

And after painting:
https://i.imgur.com/4FsKzus.jpg

Here's the original sheared handlebar stop (just behind the shattered headlight):
https://i.imgur.com/o3nIyUc.jpg

I cut a tab out of stock, cut the old one off, and had my friend weld it. I cleaned it up, and painted it, and it seems to be functional again. Amazingly, the rest of the forks, tripletree and surrounding parts seem to be straight, and was able to get the wheel aligned.
https://i.imgur.com/hbBPIZz.jpg?1

Here's the tank just off the bike:
https://i.imgur.com/uwVkWDB.jpg

I used a bent metal rod to pop out what I could from the inside with some heat (tank filled w water), then used a really cheesy dent removal kit (the type with glue tabs). It took a ton of hot gluing, but eventually I was able to got most of it out. Next plan is to do a bit of bondo smoothing, then paint. Maybe next week.
https://i.imgur.com/wIBteOQ.jpg

Here's the bottom of the engine right after filling the holes (can't find the before picture of the hole, but it wasn't huge). I used high temp metal filler (the jb weld epoxy putty), made sure to get it really clean, and pushed it in. The top spot wasn't a hole, just some gouges. Not proud of this fix, but can't really afford a new crankcase. I was going to completely disassemble the thing and get it fixed right, but my welding friend advised me against it due to the metal type. I'm sure glad I didn't try that, because I can't imagine the engine going back together smoothly for me. I guess I'll just have to keep a close eye on it, and hopefully it doesn't leak over time.

Prepping my novice paint booth:
https://i.imgur.com/duBmXVS.jpg

Here's the engine after paint:
https://i.imgur.com/oNdWnqV.jpg

Same procedure with the generator cover, though I was able to epoxy both sides, add high temp silicone sealer to the inside, and I haven't figured out how to fix the damaged chrome on the outside. I think this hole was caused by the shifter pedal and footrest. You can see in the picture that it's bent way too close. New parts are on the way for those.
https://i.imgur.com/yhLm29p.jpg

A couple weeks ago I started reassembly. Was not feeling very good about finding where all the bolts came from at this point. I took it apart a year and a half ago and got distracted with other life things. I relied on the Yamaha exploded diagrams and the shop manual pretty heavily. I sure wish I would have taken more pictures when I was taking things apart, or at least had better organization with the bolts.
https://i.imgur.com/4k8Zktj.jpg

Here's where I'm at currently:
https://i.imgur.com/us1zZqN.jpg

I have a long ways to go but I'm feeling a lot more optimistic. A couple wires have me pretty stumped, so I might reach out for help on those if I don't get it shortly. Unfortunately, it won't be a 'pretty' bike any time soon because of all the scuffing, but hopefully it will be ride-able and safe.

Thanks for looking!
 

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Wow, that's quite a project but it looks like you're on track to have her ready for spring. Thanks for the pics and I hope all goes well with the repairs. There's a lot of knowledge here and I'm sure someone here can help with your electrical issues. Keep us posted!
 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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Great project. Very good progress. From years of similar projects I now bag and tag each thing I take off anything. And I mean everything. Guess the memory isn't as good as I think it is 😁. Keep us informed and pictures coming.
 

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Curious how much you got the bike for, its taking a lot of work just to make it ride able again.

Double check all the bolts that go into the engine - there are a few places like the oil filter cover, the clutch cover, the alternator cover... where the cover has two or three different length bolts. If you put a long bolt where a short one goes it can hit something inside the engine.

One guy here did that and put a bolt into the alternator stator while fixing something else, and it destroyed the stator when he started the engine. (funny the spell check on a motorcycle forum thinks stator is not a word).
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Lesblank: 'Bag and tag' is a really good idea. I’m down to about 10 washers and bolts that I still have to find homes for. I think they’re related to the fenders and tank, but it would have helped a ton to keep better track of them in the first place. Someday I’ll get smarter..

If it’s ok I’ll keep posting pictures here as I make progress – if there’s a better spot please let me know.
Also, I tried to follow the sticky tutorial on how to post pictures, but they are still showing up as a link rather than a photo, anyone know how to fix that? I didn't see it on google but I'm sure it's there somewhere.
 

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let see if this works:

 

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Super Moderator "Loose Nut"
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A lot of people here use:
https://imgbb.com
Easy to use and free. Open site. Click Start Uploading. Select image and upper right corner hit done. Then upload on next screen. Need to select BBcode linked. Click copy. Now you can copy into thread. Sounds complicated but after a few times its really easy. I keep imgbb open in a tab itself to make it easier. We have a thread to test pictures:
https://www.starbikeforums.com/forums/38-testing-ground/

 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
KCW:
Wow, good tip on the covers, thanks! I didn’t even think of that. I did use the Yamaha diagram and a ruler to match up the cover bolts, but I’m not 100% sure on it. I have to take the generator cover off to install the new gasket when it gets here, so I will double check everything then. Before I start it, I’m also planning to hand crank the engine a bit to work the oil around since it has been sitting for a couple years at this point. I’m not sure this is necessary, but hopefully it will help catch any issues including bolt problems.

Yeah, so… I’m a bit embarrassed at the cost since what I thought was going to be a good deal turned out to be not so much, haha. I’m now trying not to think of it as ‘good deal’ and more of a ‘good experience’ and ‘motorcycle maintenance class tuition’. Even if I wanted to, I’m not sure it would ever be sellable given the questionable engine fix and the scratches. But I’m also really enjoying the process, so at least that’s something. I have $2,203 into it - here’s my breakdown so far:

875 Initial purchase (Copart),
393 Total auction fees (Copart),
185 Drive to pick up (FAI-ANC-FAI),
40 Etching primer for Chrome - was thinking of painting all the chrome black but haven't used it yet (Hi-Tec Auto Paint),
15 Metal for frame (C&R pipe),
156 Battery, Oil, Fork oil (Northern Powersports),
138 Front fender, tensioner gasket, misc bolts (Partzilla),
23 Stator cover gasket (Partzilla),
85 Headlight, battery tender and wiring (Amazon),
266 Lower handlebar holders, front left footrest assembly, shift rod, shift pedal, and misc bolts and nuts (Partzilla),
18 Chrome paint for the front cylinder cover (looks really terrible), JB Weld HighHeat Epoxy Putty (O'reillys),
9 Steel stock to make headlight mount (Lowe's)
0 Permatex Maximum Oil Resistance Gasket Maker for generator cover (left over from other project) (O'reillys)
0 Black single stage auto paint (left over from another project) (Hi-Tec Auto Paint)
0 Final Drive gear oil (left over from another project) (O'reillys)

I think that should be just about everything.

Oh it will also probably will need a new front tire. It’s the ’13 tire but it’s getting a small amount of dry rot on the sidewall. Not good.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
A lot of people here use:
https://imgbb.com
Easy to use and free. Open site. Click Start Uploading. Select image and upper right corner hit done. Then upload on next screen. Need to select BBcode linked. Click copy. Now you can copy into thread. Sounds complicated but after a few times its really easy. I keep imgbb open in a tad itself to make it easier. We have a thread to test pictures:
https://www.starbikeforums.com/forums/38-testing-ground/

Thanks - I'll give this one a try tonight. I like the meme! Truetrue!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
My God man. I would be in the fetal position on the garage floor with drool involved with a project like this. Kudos.
Haha thanks! I have definitely had moments of overwhelm, and can neither confirm nor deny the presence of drool/fetal positions.:grin:
 

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I got my Vstar 650 6 years ago, and within a year I was already thinking about getting a second bike. Not because I dont like the 650, but because I did not ride on the street till I was 55, and there were so many great motorcycles made over the years, and I missed out on owning.. well.. all of them. So for the last 5 years I have been looking around at bikes and watching what was on craigslist and other listings.

I have come to the conclusion that a solid motorcycle that is several years old, with less than 10k miles, that is well maintained and ready to ride for the next 10,000 miles is selling for about $3000 (at least around upstate NY where I live).

The weird part is it doesnt matter if its a honda 750/4 or a goldwing, or a Ninja or even an R1.. vstar 650 up to 1600 Road Star, once a bike gets to a certain age the prices for one you can buy and ride are about the same.

Every once in a while I would see an estate sale, or someone who cant ride anymore, or one that has been dropped and dented, but is still serviceable as low at $1500, but those are rare, sell quick, and I think most of the estate listings are just a formality and a nephew or cousin gets the bike for half its normal price.

I did get a 2nd bike this September
<= photos of Ursa in the garage page over there - click on the link, then click on the thumbnails in the garage page to see the full photos.

That seems to be some constant in the universe. It was the same when I first started driving and was getting air cooled VWs with blown engines and other mechanical problems. I was 'bashing' two cars into one for a couple hundred dollars, and that car would last 2 or 3 years, then if it rusted out but the engine was still good, I could find another one with a blow engine or transmission for $100, and keep going for a couple more years. I was saving money compared to buying a new car, but I was putting my time into the vehicle. If I had to take them to a shop to be repaired I could never afford it. I also built up a stock of enough spare parts in my garage to build an entire VW beetle, minus only the frame and body.

The benefit of all that is I can take an air cooled VW apart and put it back together in the pitch dark, all by myself, with a handful of tools - because by necessity you learn everything there is to know.

Same deal with you: instant expert on your Vstar 650 once you get it running.
 

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Haha thanks! I have definitely had moments of overwhelm, and can neither confirm nor deny the presence of drool/fetal positions.:grin:
when I saw the photo of his motorcycle all taken apart in the garage, my first thought was: it looks like his 650 exploded and went everywhere!
 

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Discussion Starter #19 (Edited)
Hey all, sorry it’s been a while, but I thought I would give an update on my vstar project.

I think I mentioned that the tank was rusty inside. After a bit of research I opted for the muriatic acid route of cleaning. It worked great but I actually had to do it twice because I wasn’t careful enough to thoroughly dry out the tank after I finished all the neutralizing/flushing so it rusted again before I was able to fill it with gas. Kind of a lot of work, but now that’s all fixed and it’s shiny inside like it’s supposed to be.

Next I spent a while thinking of how to paint it. I had all sorts of fancy curved designs drawn up but ended up going with two simple pin stripes using a black single stage I had left over from another project, red base, and covering with more leftover clear. Probably not ideal, but it’s what I had. I masked off the red area, shot the black, then masked the black area and shot the red, then covered everything with the clear before things completely cured. I’m a beginning painter at best, so a huge thanks to our local auto paint shop - I would not have known where to start at all without them detailing every bit about which grit to use when, what settings on the gun, what type of tape, and on and on. Very patient people. There’s a few imperfections and it definitely doesn’t look like a professional paint job but from a couple feet away it looks good enough for me. 🙂

The last few things went back together relatively easy. Had to ebay new rear fender rails because I couldn’t get mine bent straight (despite trying a bunch of straps/levers/etc.).

Everything finally seemed good to go! I took it for the first test ride to check the engine/shifting and it seemed good at first but only made it about two miles before dying. I figured it was just low voltage so I push started it and got it home, only to discover a full battery. A few of you probably would have known what to check right away, but it took me the better part of a Saturday to check every component of the starting system before figuring it out (wiring, fuses, bench tested the starter, etc). After all that (and with help from this forum), I finally discovered a high resistance between the negative battery lead and the frame! Free fixes are the best. Side note: unlike my car, oil comes out when you remove the starter. This should have been reallyreally obvious after the extensive quality time I spent with the engine (with the generator cover off, looking at the gears no less), but I for sure learned it good now. Just goes to show how much I have left to understand at a more legit level. I moved the ground to a more solid spot on the frame and no problems since.

I put on new throttle cables, and possibly reassembled the throttle actuator incorrectly (not sure what that’s called - the side attached to the carbs) because the idle screw didn’t quite hit the plate where it’s supposed to - missing the center by maybe 3mm. Maybe it got slightly bent when I was taking things apart? After a lot of fiddling, and a little riding holding the throttle twisted just a tad so it didn’t die at stoplights (so dumb), I threaded two nuts on the end of the idle screw with locktite and it’s working great now.

I installed an amazon LED headlight, talked the DMV people into giving me some plates, and have been enjoying the heck out of it since the beginning of June. I’ve put just over a thousand miles on since then and so far so good. I hadn’t been on a bike for about 12 years, but things are gradually getting a little smoother each ride.

I have a few things left to do maybe this winter - I’m trying to make a headlight housing, there’s a small oil leak coming from the bottom of the crankcase gasket (about 2 drops/day, I think I’m going to call it good enough), front forks need a tiny alignment adjustment, and a few other small things.

Thanks to everyone here for the encouragement and help - I’ve been mostly lurking, but it’s been very inspiring to read what people post, and I really appreciate this forum a ton!! Also thanks a lot to KCW for figuring out my mystery wire problem - I was super stumped. There were at least two distinct times I was ready to load up the pile of pieces and take it all to the dump, but now I’m happy I didn’t and it’s been a rewarding experience overall. Going down the highway on a nice day has definitely made it worth the trouble.







 

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That looks awesome! Love the way you did the red stripes! Very nicely done and thanks for updating us, I’m glad you’re having fun with it, it may inspire someone else to do the same.


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