Kickstart Only: Installing An XS650 Starter Delete

To Read The Full Article, Go To:

Article And Photos By: Daniel Donley –

Originally Published In The June 2018 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine


The Yamaha XS650 has been gaining popularity over the years as an affordable, customizable motorcycle. There are many different styles that can be made from this platform including Café’ Racer, street tracker, resto-mod, or even a hardtail chopper. One of the problem areas with the Yamaha XS650 is the electric start. It is cumbersome by design and typically does not work well. Even when rebuilt, the performance from the electric start system is typically lackluster. At which point a popular modification is to delete the starter and do a kickstart only engine. So, for this month’s tech, I am going to run you through the procedure on how to delete the electric starter motor from the XS650 engine.

The starter delete can be installed with the engine in the frame. You will want to disconnect the battery positive and negative. Put a drain pan underneath the engine. When you remove the starter, this will drain the engine oil. (Good time for an oil change anyway) Next, you will be able to remove the four bolts that retain the starter to the engine block.

Now you can remove the starter from the engine block. Make sure that your oil pan is catching the draining oil.

This is the electric starter motor seal. It seals the starter motor to the engine block. We will be removing this later.

Now on to the other side of the engine. You will remove the six fasteners that hold the starter gear cover in place.

Yamaha must have glued the starter gear covers on or something like that. They are difficult to remove. I have found using a punch or a wooden dowel from the back side through the starter motor seal and lightly tapping with a hammer to break it loose.

With the cover seal broken loose now, the cover can be removed. Be careful not to drop any of the parts into the engine. Also pictured are the parts that need to be removed.

You can easily remove the starter motor seal with a punch and hammer. You will want to get in there and clean out any leftover seal residue. Now is also a good time to clean out any gunk or crud, for some reason it likes to gather here.

Remove any gasket material from the engine and the cover. I like to use a razor blade or an old used credit card be careful not to scratch or gouge the surface.

This side of the engine block is very sharp. Use a deburring tool and a piece of sandpaper to lightly chamfer this edge.

I then like to clean the area up with Acetone and a clean paper towel. This will help ensure proper sealing.

Now we can install the starter delete. I like to use some ThreeBond sealant on the sealing edge of this. We don’t need any leaks here.

You can use a socket and extension or a piece of tubing to drive the delete into place until it is flush with the outer surface. On a side note, I have used other companies’ starter delete that are too large, making them unable to install. I have the proper sized starter delete available. Let me know if you need one.

Now you’re ready to install the starter gear cover. Be sure that the locating pins are in place.

It is always good practice to make sure your gasket surfaces are clean. I like to use Acetone to do this. I also use ThreeBond sealant on both sides of the gasket to make sure there is a leak-free seal. This is a leak-prone area on the Yamaha XS650. If you install the gasket dry (no sealant) its more prone to leaking.

Now you can install the cover; I like to use a removable thread locker on the fasteners.

Torque the six fasteners to 84-inch pounds using a crisscross sequence. This is a project that can be done in a couple of hours, and all that is required are some basic hand tools. It also will reduce the weight of your bike by 8 to 10 lbs. Even more, if you decide to get rid of your battery. So, if you need a starter delete that fits hit me up! If there is something that you would like to see me do a tech article on please call or email me with your idea.

If you have any questions, please feel free to call me at the shop anytime 419-576-6812 Daniel Donley Pandemonium Custom Choppers Facebook- Pandemonium Custom Choppers Instagram – pandemoniumc2 www.pandemoniumcustomchoppers. com

4 thoughts on “Kickstart Only: Installing An XS650 Starter Delete

  1. gidday from west ostraya. my starter is hit n miss. i don’t want to delete it. but want it to engage when starting motor. can u give me a ruff idea how to do a kwik fix on starter engaging please? HAPPY CHRISTMAS.

  2. Hey, if I do this, what about the electrical cables, can I just remove everything that wires the starter ?

    Got an XS650 1980
    I stil have the battery, that conversion comes later on. For now i just want to remove the starter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *