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Hi there all. first time poster. I have had my XVS 650 for about 3 months now. Loving it so far. A mechanic told me that I might have some trouble down the line with my intake manifold. I haven't really notice a difference in performance since I got it. It was somewhat neglected by the previous owner. Is there any way I can check if I truly needs replacing? It looks like this.


 

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they tend to get surface cracks in the plastic, but usually the cracks do not go all the way thru and create a vacuum leak.

If you have a propane torch take the bike for a ride and warm it up for a few miles, then park it idling in neutral, turn the gas knob on for the torch but do not light it - point the propane flow at the carb boots.

If the idle changes (speeds up) then you have a vacuum leak and they need to be replaced.

You can also use brake cleaner or wd 40 if you dont have a propane torch.

this comes up a lot, people see the surface cracks, freak out, and replace them.

you can also take a look at the spark plugs, if you have a vacuum leak it will be running lean, and the plugs will look white and burned.
 

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Hi and welcome!
I had a 650 before I got my 950 and it had those same cracks, but like les and KCW said, the outside is plastic. We’d love to see some pics of the whole bike, and we’re glad you joined us!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Welcome from Atlantic Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the advice and welcome messages! I will get out today and spray some wd40 on the cracks and see if there are any changes in idle speed.
Greetings back from Amsterdam, the Netherlands!
And here's a pic of my beaut as requested. I'm not mechanically inclined but I've been practicing on her. Changed the lens covers, brake lever handle, added a battery tender quick connector and been polishing her up pretty much everyday after each ride.
An oil change is in order but I'm just unable the get the drain bolt loosened with my spanner.
 

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Welcome from Columbus, OH! Many, many 650 riders here who will be able to assist with your questions. Buckle up as a ton of information is coming your way. When you find out if you have a leak you will find many helpful people who will help you further diagnose and repair your machine. Good luck!
 

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If you have limited experience a couple of really important things right up front:

1 if you dont have a torque wrench then do not work on the bike (ie change the oil) until you get one. Its unbelievably easy to strip out the oil drain plug, the spark plug threads in the heads, the little bolts that hold the oil filter cover in... and it will cause you incredible grief if you strip any of them.

2 the factory service manual for the 650 is available online from a couple websites as a free PDF download

3 if you are thinking of changing those intake boots, even just because they look bad, then wait till you do the next valve adjustment. You will have to strip the tank, intake box, and carbs off the bike for both, and it takes about 2 hours the first time you do it.

To get the oil drain plug off you can get a 6 or 12 point 3/8" drive socket on it, just barely, and then an extension to put a ratchet wrench on it. Put the wrench on and hold it tight counter clockwise, then tap the wrench with a hammer to shock/break the plug loose. As soon as you get one turn off you have to remove the socket, because it almost immediately starts to hit the frame when you unscrew it. You can also get it loose with a box wrench, but you will need the right size socket to torque it back on with your nice brand new torque wrench.

In general if you have a bolt or nut that is tight its better to tap the wrench than to try to brute force torque it off - tapping the wrench acts like an impact wrench, and is less likely to bugger up the threads.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you Redbird58. The positive energy on these forums on almost tangible! @KCW Thanks a ton for the tips! I will definitely to that as soon as I'm back home in a few days. You mention valve adjustment, when should this be done and what are some signs that the bike needs to be adjusted?

I went ahead and sprayed some brake cleaner on the boots as suggested by you guys and I'm happy to say that there was no notable difference in idle speed.
If I decide to change the boots anyway, would it be wise to buy them from aliexpress for €12? I only ask this because OEM is €106....each.

I also downloaded and read the owners manual. It states that the fuel valve is to be turned to OFF when you switch of the motorcycle. I've been doing this since I got it but does everyone actually do this?

Another nooby question.... My bike only starts with the choke on. If I leave it to warm up for 15-20 seconds and slowly push the choke back in she keeps running smoothly. Is this normal?
Thanks a bunch guys! You made me even more enthusiastic about this bike!
 

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turning the petcock off when the bike is parked keeps the gas from flooding into the carbs and then into the cylinders if a float is stuck low (open), or if someone bumps your bike and knocks it over

A cup of gas in your crankcase is more than enough to dilute the oil enough to destroy your bearings in a matter of miles

when the engine is over-night cold pull the choke out all the way

crank the engine to start with NO throttle

as soon a it starts push the choke in about halfway, so its idling normally (not fast, not lugging)

there is no need to sit and let the engine warm up - ride off and about half a mile down the road push the choke in all the way.

If the engine is hot you should not need any choke to start it - and again: NO throttle while cranking

if the bike has sat for 4 hours or more during the day then pull the choke out about half way to start it.
 

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because the choke enriches the fuel/air mixture exactly right with the throttle closed - its a very sensitive balance

if you open the throttle the mixture will be wrong, and it will also advance the spark timing
 
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