Ever notice that "Engine On / Off" switch on the right side of the handle bars? It just sits there. I turn it off sometimes when I am parked on a slope with the bike in gear to remind me so I don't start it before putting the bike in neutral. Sometimes I use it to turn off the engine so I can find the ever elusive neutral gear (green light). I think it's real purpose is so you can shut off the engine when a semi blows you off your bike on the Interstate. Just before you exit this world, you do the right thing and switch off the engine so the people who come to the rescue don't have to deal with a bike in flames with the engine running. Whatever.
That little switch can rob you of power. Yes it can. Over the past twenty years or so, it's contacts have been corroding. The little springs are all gummed up. The end result is high resistance. As much as 2 or 3 ohms. That's a lot. That means that you drop as much as a volt or so across the contacts. That means that your coils are not getting all the current they need to produce a good spark at the plugs. Hard starting. Rough idle. Missing at the top end.
So, every 5 years or so, you need to check the switch for high resistance and take it apart and clean those cheap brass contacts. If you can read any resistance at all with an everyday volt / ohmmeter, then the contacts are crap and need to be cleaned.
Or, for the cure to this problem, see my post on page 2.
Last Edit: Apr 1, 2007 17:04:34 GMT -5 by pamcopete
Its a little toggle, but now you have me thinking...It would be very easy to do using a small plunger type button...the only prob would be when I stand up or when my butt pops off the seat, the engine would cut out...
Post by bighairyralph on Jan 22, 2007 23:05:43 GMT -5
Removing or moving the kill switch is a mistake. It is there in case you have a problem with the throttle getting stuck or other problems of the same ilk. These bikes only have a single "pull" throttle cable and it happens. Having the kill switch on the bars is important so that way you can easily kill the motor without moving your hand off the grip. You should always use the kill switch to turn the bike off so that you know where it is and it becomes second nature.
A point well taken. But I am always prepared to squeeze the clutch lever, because a more likely scenario is that the engine will lunch a valve and lock up the whole engine / transmission rear wheel and I will end up where I don't want to be. The clutch squeeze will also fix a stuck throttle, at the expense perhaps of the engine, a small price to pay to ride another day. pamcopete
Last Edit: Jan 22, 2007 23:26:15 GMT -5 by pamcopete
After some sober reflection, I have to agree with "bighairyralph" and suggest that you should not disable the handle bar mounted "Kill" switch. If for no other reason, you are tampering with a standard safety feature that is on all motorcycles and there could be some bad consequences (like with your insurance) should you have a wreck due to a runaway throttle, regardless of whether or not you use the clutch grab to get around it. So, my original tip was to disassemble the kill switch and clean the contacts to reduce the voltage drop and increase the current going to the coils.
Last Edit: Jan 23, 2007 18:26:16 GMT -5 by pamcopete
PJ, I thought I was the only one that filled that hole with JB. We could start a club. Brotherhood of JB Weld Fixes Everything,Local #650. I nominate Dwayne Burge for president as he is the master of JB. He even spreads it on his toast and poops pellets.
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