Monday, October 15, 2012

XS750 Restoration, Part 1 -- Inventory and Front Brakes

When I purchased the Yamaha, it was in rough shape. It was dusk as I was looking the bike over, so I didn't notice all of the details, although I did get a pretty good idea of the overall condition of the bike. However, before I got started working on the bike, I decided to do a more detailed inventory. needs work. A lot of work, actually.

Here are the "before" photos:
The Grand Overview.

The front brakes are inoperative;
The banjo fittings on all three brakes are corroded;
Yeah, I drove home at 70MPH on these tires. If I had only known...
This is just cosmetic. I'll probably fix or replace these, but it will be one of the very last things I do on the bike, since it will be rideable even with the dents and dings in the gauges.
I knew about this one before I left Eagle River...
...but I didn't know that this one was also busted (it was bungeed to the rack).
There's some corrosion on the swingarm, and check out that classy muffler bandage :)
...and that makes me wonder how bad the muffler is underneath the sheet of tin.
Small ding on the front fender.

Starting is optional, but stopping isn't. Consequently, once the inventory was complete, I decided to start by taking a look at the front brake. I dug out a Philips screwdriver and...couldn't get the brake fluid reservoir lid off the front brake master cylinder. With a little pushing, pulling and swearing, I was finally able to get the lid out of the way, even though I couldn't completely remove it, and -- oh. So that's why the front brake wasn't working. Isn't there supposed to be fluid in there? And what is that odd colored powder all over everything? Is that rust, or dried-out brake fluid?

With the help of a flat-blade screwdriver, I pried the reservoir off the master cylinder, and found that it was pretty corroded, as well. You can see the fluid passage on the right is completely blocked.

I had already decided to replace the twenty-five year old brake hoses with stainless steel. I have ordered brake parts from Blair at SV Racing Parts in the past, and he's a great guy to work with -- I highly recommend him (and no, I don't get a kick-backs from him for saying so or for linking to him here :) so I queried him about getting some custom brake lines. He confirmed that he could get a set of Galfer brake lines for my bike, even though it was neither an SV nor a DL. However, after seeing the condition of the master cylinder, reservoir and associated fittings, I decided not just to replace the brake lines, but to also replace the master cylinder rather than try to clean up all the corrosion on the stock parts. Blair sells a really cool system for Suzuki riders, but it was outside my budget. In fact, it was nearly equal to the purchase price of my entire bike (okay, that isn't nearly as bad as it sounds, but still...) Fortunately, I found a brake lever perch, master cylinder, reservoir and brake lever off of an old FZR750 on E-Bay for $44.95 plus shipping, so I bought it. Unfortunately, that meant brake work had to stop until the parts arrived. Gotta resolve those dependencies before proceeding with the installation, even IRL :)


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