Monday, May 24, 2010

And The Winner Is................

Me......This turned out to be the best deal I think I ever made for a Motorcycle. And I have bought and sold a lot of bikes. After selling the XS, I  bought the FJ1100 you see pictured here and had a hundy left over. Actually, the ad for this bike prompted me to list the XS. The seller had it listed as a one owner twenty one thousand mile bike that ran fine over two thousand rpm but would not idle due to lack of use the last couple of years. The ad also stated that you should bring a trailer with you to take it home. As usual, he had only one picture, but it was a clear one and the bike looked good.
I figured the jets were gummed up and a good cleaning was all that was needed, so I set a time to check out the bike. I gave Jimmy Jam a ring and asked if he would be interested in accompanying me to check out this bike. Being a complete bike nut like me, he signed right up. We borrowed the Sargent’s trailer and made hay to the sellers place. When he opened his garage door I had a difficult time staying cool. This bike was ten times nicer than I thought it was. He indeed was the original owner, and stated this bike had never been ridden in the rain or even down a dirt road. He wasn’t kidding, because there in his garage parked right in front of me was the nicest and cleanest twenty five year old bike I had ever seen. This bike may even bee the nicest 1985 FJ1100 on the planet. There isn’t even any dust on it, not under the seat, around the motor under the gas tank, anywhere. It’s like this guy bought it, sealed it in an air tight room and did not ride unless it was the clearest and brightest day of the month. And for that I thank him, this is basically a new bike.
I could have probably rode it home because the ride was expressway for the most part. Just as he stated in the ad, it would not idle, but ran like a really fast sewing machine once the rev counter swang past two grand. We made a deal, rolled it onto the trailer and set sail back to the old garage. J.J. and I took the tank and side covers off and proceeded to check the carbs over. The Slug showed up about this time and we pulled the carbs. Once the float bowls were off the main jets were indeed a little gummed up. We cleaned them with carb cleaner along with the needle jets, blew a bit of compressed air though the works, threw the enchilada back together and presto, it now idles just fine.
I believe the ad stating to bring a trailer with you may have scared off most of the potential suitors and allowed me to get my dirty little hands on this bike. You see these types ads all the time, ran great when I parked it, it won’t run, but I think it’s an easy fix, I bought the parts and never got around to installing them. And if you have ever had the courage to follow up on most of these ads what you will usually find is a lump of shit that would make a better boat anchor than a motorcycle. I took a chance on this one and was rewarded with the absolute best used bike I have ever had the pleasure of purchasing at a price so low I still can’t believe it and I gave him his asking price. So the moral of this story is, if you wade through the shit listed on Craigslist, hidden between all the turds and toilet paper, there are a few rare gems out there to be had. I am now going to take my new sweetheart for a blast up Woodward to Wide Track and back, Life is good.

Till Next Time..................

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Changing Horses in the Middle of a Stream.

I finally finished the XT, promptly listed it on Craigslist and within an hour I had a buyer. I really didn’t feel the connection with that bike and lost interest in it in a hurry. It took two years to complete, largely because of time issues. But mostly because I felt removed from the project, had no passion for it. It’s not that it was a bad bike, but it really lived up to the turd part of the blog tag line. Plus I really like XT's, just not this one, It was a real shit box by the time I got my hands on it. I put quite a bit of time into her to get her where she is today. As you can see, I never did get the side covers, but the buyer said he would pick up a set. So I do have a bit of satisfaction that is a functioning bike now and is in the hands of someone who appreciates the XT Yamahas
That leaves us with the XS. After deciding to leave the bike stock because I believe to take this vintage XS and modify it into a street tracker would have been doing a disservice to bike. I should have picked up a ‘80- ‘84 special for a project like that. The ‘70 through ‘79 models hold a special place in the hearts of those who covet these bikes.
I liked the old ‘77 well enough, and it was fun to ride. But it just didn’t get my blood pumping like inline four liter bikes do. When I think about certain bikes in this displacement range a certain spell falls over me. I strange grin spreads across my face and to outside observers, it looks like I entered a catatonic but euphoric state. When I ride these bikes it takes me to another world, there are few things in life that make me happier, and y’all can probably guess what at least a couple of them are.
This brings me back to the matter at hand. While perusing craigslist the other night I came across a sterling example of a Yamaha FJ1100 of the 1985 vintage. I also found a BEAUTIFUL ‘89 ZX10 with only twenty six hundred original miles on it at a very reasonable price. Well I looked over these bikes with a glazed eye and some bovine perspiration on my upper lip area and my legs started twitching and my face went red. Some drool rolled down from the edge of my chin as I spied the condition these bikes were in. I rubbed my chinny, chin, chin, and said my, my, my what sort of offer must I make to score one of these fine rides. So I put in first gear, got the front wheel in the air and asked how many ponies in there. Needless to say that I have always loved both of these bikes.
I thought about keeping the XS and having the best of both worlds, but knowing myself as I do, I knew that she would languish in the corner of my garage and only get to stretch her legs on rare occasions. I would devote almost all of my attention to the liter bike. So I prepared another ad for craigslist and within an short time frame I had myself an interested party. We arranged a time to see the bike and presto, another bike was in the caring hands of a gatekeeper of the marque. There wasn’t the usual sellers remorse with this bike either. While I was really fond of this bike, it was comforting to know that the person that purchased it, has a deep seated passion for vintage XS’s. He would give her the love and care she deserved.
So I’m off to test ride a couple of vintage superbikes, and if the ads are correct, I will probably be bringing one home with me today.

Till Next Time...........................

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Looking for a New Seat?

To complete that project bike you've been working on? As always, Craiglist is a treasure trove for those hard to find parts.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

It's The Little Details

Curly is making progress on his bike. Getting the small pieces right is taking a bit of time though. The battery box and the fender struts and front mounts are now complete, he can turn his attention to the rear brake setup and where to mount the pegs and controls. He is closing in on the finishing touches and is getting close to completing the build. Here are a couple shots of his progress so far.
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