Hi folks, been away for awhile, but I've always considered this place "home" and it is populated by the most knowledgable motorcycle people on the planet. So, I'm coming to you because if there is a way to do what somebody here will know.
Here's my situation.
I bought a 2000 KTM SXC 400 for my son so we could do some motorcycle camping. Well, it is not sparking and looks like the stator is the culprit. This bike has a very odd, and notoriously fragile ignition system. "SEM" it is called. The stators are expensive and failure prone. In the spirit of "don't replace a weak link upgrade it" that I learned here in my XS650 years I want to replace the entire ignition with automotive components.
Its off-road only so lights are optional - it's just solid reliable sparks I'm after.
I recall some one here fashioning a system from Chrysler parts, HFI if memory serves.
What are your thoughts for sparking this old thumper?
thanks for the reply Max. Actually I solved my current problem. The stator contacts were corroded; I emery papered them and put on a smear of dialectic grease. POP! started second kick.
But I'm interested in "upgrading" in the XS650 Garage tradition.
I remember when Pamco Pete created his now famous Hall effect points eliminator here - originally using a baby food lid - and when Mr Riggs cast a stator mount for RD350 rotor based PM systems - I think I bought his first one - way before Hugh of Handbuilt fame could even spell "PMA".
I'd like to tap into this brain trust to fashion an ignition system for the unreliable units on the early LC4 motored KTM's, using junkyard/auto parts store components -- MAD MAX!!!
I learned pretty much everything I know about working on motorcycles here at this Garage; I'm no mechanic or expert of any kind - that's for sure - but I love old motorcycles and the culture of "fix it/ improve it/ride it forever"
I doubt that would be possible with a modern bike that probably has an ECU with input/output that is additional to the ignition/spark function, trying to separate those out and get it to run isn't going to be as easy (relative here) as replacing a mechanical points system as per XS650.
If the stator is the known weak link then someone out there will know not just how to refurbish but solve (by the use of upgraded components/materials) the underlying weakness, I don't think "backyard engineering" is a practical or possible solution.
+1 on Max's advice. The old XS650 is a 1950's German design that passed through the hands of two other Japanese companies before Yamaha pulled it out of a drawer and dusted it off in a crash effort to produce the most c.c.'s per dollar available at the time. That's why, from the 360* crank timing up, the XS650 motor bears no family resemblance to the rest of Yamaha's 4-stroke motors; the child was adopted. And that's also why upgrades are so plentiful--there's a lot there to improve on. And that's also why many of us love the old beast--it's a challenge to rise to.
That KTM is another thing entirely--a 400 c.c. thumper putting out 42 bhp, right out of the box! That calls for some serious sophistication, and messing with it calls for even more.
Now that you have the KTM running, you can probably sell it for more than you have in it. If I were you I'd do exactly that, and put the proceeds into a well-mannered, bulletproof, Kawasaki KLR650 single. Those things are tough, cheap, and nimble, the iron of choice for many adventure touring riders.
Thanks folks. "not worth the effort" seems to be the lesson of the day. Upgraded stators are available on the aftermarket. I think I'll get one and keep the stocker as a back-up.
I'm thinkin' a lot of the bad press the SEM system gets (judging from the one I just dealt with) is due to it needing a little maintenace that it isn't getting. The unit in this bike is 16 years old and worked fine after a little emry paper attention to the contact surfaces.
I bought this bike for my son so we could do some motorcycle camping. My d/p bike is a '94 DR350 Suzy. The Suz is the pumper-carbed (TM33) dirt model with a Baja lighting kit and dialed-in suspension. The bikes are intended for woods/single track and are trucked to the camp site. Both are street legal but will rarely see pavement.
I looked at KLR's when I was thinking "Adventure" i.e. road-trip to camp site. But I decided I'd rather be FJ1200 mounted for my road rides.
The KLR650 weighs in at 430 lbs at the curb, the KTM is 265 dry and the Suz is 300 wet. While the KLR is the better choice if you plan to ride the bike a significant distance to the camp site, at 430 pounds it is not going to be much fun in tight woods.
On a totally different subject, I have a '90 FJ1200 that I bought as a parts bike to back up my '89 daily driver. Well, the '89 never breaks and the '90 is "all there" with just cosmetic issues. So, I'm thinking of mounting a side hack to the '90 in a sort of Mad Max/Iron Butt kinda way.
Any helpful hints in that direction are appreciated.
r80rt: :)This is a splendid write up, THANK YOU!!!!
Dec 26, 2015 16:54:05 GMT -5
mashermoto: What the what is this shoutbox for? Or should I shout, WHAT THE WHAT IS THIS SHOUTBOX FOR!
May 12, 2016 22:22:21 GMT -5
motormike: Good Day ...just a FYI.. Wild Cat is this Labor Day weekend. Still go'n on. A few 650's still make the scene. Various rides at different skill levels each day.. awards dinner sunday eve. BS in the park'n lot after dinner.
Aug 23, 2016 7:57:01 GMT -5
lsettle: First post in over 6 years!
Aug 28, 2016 19:45:17 GMT -5
kardon: Wow quiet here, where did they all go.
Oct 7, 2016 2:18:13 GMT -5
gggGary: XS650.com LOL
Feb 16, 2017 20:49:02 GMT -5
buell88: Anybody have any idea who built the xs650 tracker used in the Draggin Jeans Ad on Pipeburn?
May 16, 2017 16:24:09 GMT -5
joshua: The regulator/rectifier unit I got from Mikes PMA has closer hole spacing than original. Are we supposed to mill the holes to fit?
Jun 7, 2017 19:25:58 GMT -5
joshua: My bad. I found the bracket they supplied to mount the rectifier/regulator... Uh oh. How is this meant to work? Which way is it meant to mount? Looks like I have to use some spacers or something. Good instructions would be nice.
Jun 7, 2017 22:09:52 GMT -5
craig8johnson: Not sure if this is the right spot or not but oh well...
Jul 11, 2017 18:04:15 GMT -5
craig8johnson: I'm checking the charging system. I'm afraid I might have fried the last battery. With the solid state regulator (after market) what should it be charging at. The book says, I think, 15 volts. I'm hitting 17 when revved. Is that too high?
Jul 11, 2017 18:06:19 GMT -5
gggGary: Yes 17 volts is too high, about 14 volts is max, sounds like you don't have the right regulator or it's wired wrong.
Jul 13, 2017 6:54:33 GMT -5
dean: Just saying Hello, new member who is going to fix up a 79 XS650 that has seen its better days. I will definitely have lots of questions coming up.
Jun 23, 2018 16:45:32 GMT -5
tt650: Trying to breathe life into a 1980 that's been stored (indoors) for 25 yrs. Air filters are dry rotted. Have cleaned carbs but she only runs briefly on choke then stops. Need jet setting info and other ideas that might help her idle and rev.
Jul 3, 2018 19:15:19 GMT -5
trix13: Hey everyone! New to the forum and am fighting those gremlins!! New charging system, ignition switch, coil and fuse box. Resistance is higher than normal on the ignition pick up so I'm trying to find one. No such luck yet.
Aug 16, 2018 8:50:48 GMT -5
trix13: Also, even though all of my connections are clean, I cannot seem to find out why , when at higher rpms, I hit the signals and the rpms pulse with the signals...hahah. same with the brake light. I appreciate all input!!
Aug 16, 2018 8:55:08 GMT -5
bob99: how do I post a question. I am new to the forum
Jun 6, 2019 10:52:10 GMT -5
adlpc: Hello all! Been enjoying your edifying posts and discussions - and as a fan of the XS650 since my early teenage years happy that I now own a 1980 Special which I plan to turn into a vintage half faired racer. Thank you all for being here!
Oct 1, 2019 0:58:56 GMT -5
jimothyj: Hello everyone, I just joined & wish would have known about this site in 2014 when I brought my 1974 TX650A back from the grave. I have spent a good deal of $$ and alot of time on it. Just painted it and working on electrical, I will post pics soon,
Apr 10, 2021 2:14:13 GMT -5
louisvan: trix13 - I had a problem with my 1975 SX650. When I got to highway speeds, the engine lost power. The problem was in the connectors. At a certain vibration and the wind pushing on the wiring loom, the connector lost continuity. A bad crimp to the wire.
May 20, 2021 1:19:09 GMT -5