Wretched XS

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pchast
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Danger...

#221 Unread post by pchast » Wed Jan 20, 2010 5:52 pm

I know you are tempted to use those tires but they are hard now, not as sticky. Get new ones, even cheap ones. You will be safer.

I ran 10 year old tires on my Midget and spun out several times in normal driving. Ok Ok I had a lead foot. Its still not very safe to depend on old tires.

IMHO

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#222 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Thu Jan 21, 2010 9:07 am

Thanks, pchast. Here's the thing: $180-ish for insurance + $30 for plates + $70 for battery + $140 for new helmet = $420 or so to get the bike on the road. Add another $300 for tires? I might not even do the new helmet, to try to keep it under $300.
1979 XS650F -- "Hi, My name's Nick, and I'm a Motorcyclist. I've been dry for four years." (Everybody: "Hi, Nick.")

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#223 Unread post by pchast » Thu Jan 21, 2010 11:28 am

Yes, I've been there and not too far from it now. You just need to be verrry aware of the hazard. My insurance is only 80. I got a walmart battery for 40 and, if you hit the bike shops for a closeout, you can sometimes find a helmet for 85-90 around here in NYS.

good luck,
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Re: Wretched XS

#224 Unread post by jaskc78 » Mon Mar 01, 2010 9:59 pm

How goes the number-crunching, Noodle? Looking forward to seeing more updates as the MI riding season looms ever closer. Being a native Michigander--born and raised in Kent City (about 20 minutes N/NW of Grand Rapids) and attended CMU for a year--your blog feels more personal to me than the others here. Us trolls gotta stick together, right?

If you need anything ordered for your bike, let me know and I can price it out at the shop I work/hang out at. Can maybe work you some pricing deals to help make the riding a reality this year.

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Re: Wretched XS

#225 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:50 am

Hey, jaskc78! Number-crunching goes well. I've pinged my wife a couple of times, and it still seems on for legalizing the bike. Probably not until April, as I don't expect to have more than two days I could feasibly ride in March, what with the freezing and all.

So, I expect I'll have to take most of a day some weekend to pull the bike out of the garage, clean it up, change oil, etc, etc, etc, and actually make it run -- but I've got no real worries that it won't do it. It's spent years outside under a tarp before, and started up after that.

Now, if I can convince my wife that it'd be way less hassle to just buy a new ZX-14 -- as it will COME with new battery, sparkplugs and tires -- I'd be home free, right? :righton: :whistling:
1979 XS650F -- "Hi, My name's Nick, and I'm a Motorcyclist. I've been dry for four years." (Everybody: "Hi, Nick.")

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Re: Wretched XS

#226 Unread post by Wrider » Tue Mar 02, 2010 12:46 pm

noodlenoggin wrote:Now, if I can convince my wife that it'd be way less hassle to just buy a new ZX-14 -- as it will COME with new battery, sparkplugs and tires -- I'd be home free, right? :righton: :whistling:
Not to mention it's got FI, so less winterizing. It'll also be very reliable, and highly comfortable for two-up trips! Plus it'll let you get home faster in case she calls. :laughing:
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Re: Wretched XS

#227 Unread post by jaskc78 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:18 am

good luck with the ZX-14. let me know how that one turns out. on a semi-related note, if i can actually make it up to michigan this summer like i've been planning to after the surgery and all, i'll be bringing at least one motorcycle with me and will probably drop you a line on the boards here so we can set up a ride or something. i'll let you know later this week when they schedule my hip surgery for as that'll determine what the rest of my summer looks like (crutches, crutches, and more crutches).

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Re: Wretched XS

#228 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Mon Apr 12, 2010 9:01 am

One Step Closer

Welp, I took a (little, tiny, baby-) step toward getting the XS on the road. I took yesterday evening and cleaned out the garage. Mostly, my goal was to rig the garage for spring and summer -- winterized the snowblower and pushed it to the back; pulled out the lawnmower and made it accessible; swept up a winter's worth of salt, dirt and dead leaves, etc.

As part of the entire ordeal, I swept the broken beer bottles from underneath the bike --

-- wait, that needs explaining, I guess. Really a non-event, but Michigan has a ten-cent deposit on bottles and cans so I've been piling our bags of empties in the back corner of our garage. I picked up one bag and it started dumping out the contents...including one Guinness bottle that shattered on the cement. --

-- and pulled it up to the front of the garage so I can work on it and actually get it out if/when I do start riding. Yes, I did sit on it and go "brrm-brrm" once or twice. So far as I can tell, the tires are soft, the chain is loose, the oil needs changed, as do the spark plugs. The gas was Sta-Bil'd, but should probably be drained and refilled. The battery needs charged or replaced, the valve clearances and timing chain tension probably need to be adjusted, and the entire thing needs a serious cleaning. I've probably already said all this, but what the heck, I never claimed to not be boring.

I had been feeling dejected about it. Easter weekend the car stranded me at the grocery store -- I drove there, got my frozen pizza and sour cream, walked out to the car and *click* nothing when I turned the key. Just nothing. Several days and 600-odd dollars later the car has a new starter, but I figured that burned up the money that would've gotten the bike going. I said so to my wife and she gently corrected me..."Do you NOT want to ride the bike or something?" was her tactful way of putting it, if I remember correctly.

So, as I get time around work, family and grad school, I guess I'll pick away at getting the bike running and roadworthy. If nothing else, it's not buried behind bicycles and under pop-cans and I might be able to take a decent picture or two of it.
1979 XS650F -- "Hi, My name's Nick, and I'm a Motorcyclist. I've been dry for four years." (Everybody: "Hi, Nick.")

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Re: Wretched XS

#229 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Wed Apr 14, 2010 10:37 am

I Can Tell I've Been Away For A While

On my way home from work last night, I pulled into the Honda/Yamaha dealer on a whim to see if they had any sales on helmets. Upon entry, the showroom looked rather empty. There were about 9 bikes, and they weren't new, and I thought "Hunh" as I walked across the open-ness to look at helmets -- all "G-Max" brand, which I've never heard of.

So I asked the guy at the counter -- "Looks awfully empty in here."
"Yeah, we haven't been a dealer for over a year."
(awkward pause)
"Oh, that sucks, man."
"We can still order Yamaha parts, and we have chemicals on hand, and we're getting some bike sales through consignment."

So, it kind of points to the length of time it's been since I've set foot inside that dealership.

On the other hand, the bikes they had in the showroom were neat! They had a 2003 KZ1000 that had, among other things, a Muzzy pipe and a 40-horsepower nitrous shot added. (!) They had a nice Honda 919. They had a Can-Am motocross bike -- do they even still make bikes?

Then there were the Honda's. They had a new-looking Honda 90 step-through, they had a CX650 and CX500 sitting tail to tail...

...and they had an absolutely pristine, time-capsule-looking, 4800-mile, mid-1980's Interceptor 500. Oh, the Interceptor 500...back when I was a teenager, and I rode all over creation on my 1971 Honda SL125 enduro-bike, I lusted after the brand-new Interceptor 500. I pored over the reviews in Cycle World, and I drooled on the one that was at the local Honda dealer every time I went there for parts for my old bike -- which was fairly often: they knew me at the parts counter on a first-name basis. I even remember dragging my mom in there once and trying to convince her that the bright, red-and-blue sportbike would be perfect for my next motorcycle. (She went for it about as much as you'd expect.)

So it was a nice trip in the wayback-machine to sit on one yesterday -- the riding position is so much more upright than today's uber-sports models, by the way. I'm not in the market for a 500 -- my 220+ lbs is a bit much for the 650 that I already have -- but there is part of me that wants to scrape together however much money I'd need and just squirrel this bike away in a corner of the garage.
1979 XS650F -- "Hi, My name's Nick, and I'm a Motorcyclist. I've been dry for four years." (Everybody: "Hi, Nick.")

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Re: Wretched XS

#230 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Thu Apr 15, 2010 11:35 pm

Image

Well, there she is, the Wretched XS. Dirty, dusty, but moved to the front of the garage where I can actually do something with her.
1979 XS650F -- "Hi, My name's Nick, and I'm a Motorcyclist. I've been dry for four years." (Everybody: "Hi, Nick.")

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Re: Wretched XS

#231 Unread post by Wrider » Fri Apr 16, 2010 12:47 am

Lets start with the little things and work up... Right grip = throttle, Right lever = front brake... lol Just kidding bud, I'm glad you're getting it on the road this year! No more sticking your head out of the driver's side window going vrrrrooommmm!
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Re: Wretched XS

#232 Unread post by jstark47 » Fri Apr 16, 2010 9:44 am

Wrider wrote:Lets start with the little things and work up... Right grip = throttle, Right lever = front brake... lol
I dunno, Wrider....... a bike that old might have right side shift or even a jockey shifter!! :lol:

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Re: Wretched XS

#233 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Fri Apr 16, 2010 10:13 am

Oh, you two are killin' me! :laughing:

But... you don't happen to know where I could find some acetylene for the head-lamp, do you?
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Re: Wretched XS

#234 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Wed May 12, 2010 2:34 pm

Getting Itchy

Man. Here it is, mid-May, and the bike sits where I left it. It's not the money, it's the time. I haven't had time around work, family and studying to do any rehab on the bike. :wallbash:

Then again, while we've had some really nice days to ride, we also had snow last Saturday, and the mornings are still pretty frosty. So even if the bike was ready, I might not be getting to ride it anyway. Yeah...that's the ticket... :moodswing:
1979 XS650F -- "Hi, My name's Nick, and I'm a Motorcyclist. I've been dry for four years." (Everybody: "Hi, Nick.")

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Re: Wretched XS

#235 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Fri May 21, 2010 7:33 am

Gettin' Close!

Whoo! My tuition reimbursement from work just hit our checking account, so I officially have the $$ to get the old XS on the road! My wife just checked with me this morning to be sure that I'm still planning on doing that this year -- like that was ever a question.

I just need to steal a weekend day from schoolwork to make the thing actually run.

And...the Yamaha dealership changed since the last time I was there. Downside: they're not on my drive home anymore. Upside: Big new dealership (in the old Mercedes-Benz dealership building across town) to check out, maybe they have specials on helmets or something.

Question...should I go nutz and buy clubman bars, bikini fairing and maybe different mufflers so I can pseudo-cafe the bike while I'm making it run? Or should I just stick to the basics and be done with it?

And on a tangent...I have a week-long residency in Lansing on the last week of June, which should suck the last remaining morsels of life out of me... then we just booked a VAY-CAY-SHUN for two weeks later! We're going to spend a week in Atlantic Beach, NC. Found a 2-bedroom condo for the six of us on Ebay for less than $300 for the whole week. We'll have to sit through a 2-hour sales presentation, but that's easily weathered: "This is the 3rd year running we've stayed at a timeshare for less than $300...why would we pay a mortgage and a yearly maintenance fee?"
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Re: Wretched XS

#236 Unread post by Wrider » Sat May 22, 2010 3:21 pm

JUST GET THE THING RUNNING! haha I vote just get it running and go ride the thing! You can always pseudo-cafe or cafe it later on like this winter.
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Re: Wretched XS

#237 Unread post by jstark47 » Sat May 22, 2010 9:35 pm

Wrider wrote:JUST GET THE THING RUNNING! haha I vote just get it running......
He doesn't remember how to start it ........... :mischievous: :mrgreen:
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Re: Wretched XS

#238 Unread post by noodlenoggin » Mon May 24, 2010 9:12 pm

Wow, I just looked at the beginning of this blog, and I see I started it almost four years ago. Essentially, for the entire four years I've been a member of this forum...I haven't had a functional, legal motorcycle for a single day of it.

And, with today's news that my daughter needs $2,000 of orthodontics and my son will need triple that...it doesn't now look like this will be the year, either.

I don't know what I'm doing here anymore. I'm not a rider. I'm a poser. And posers $uck. I'm tired of posting this stupid, "I might ride the bike...I can't ride the bike" bull$hit. I'm tired of it, I'm sure you all are tired of it, and I'm going to give you all a break from it. I've got nothing more to say here unless it's either "I'm riding again" or "bye."
1979 XS650F -- "Hi, My name's Nick, and I'm a Motorcyclist. I've been dry for four years." (Everybody: "Hi, Nick.")

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Re: Wretched XS

#239 Unread post by Wrider » Tue May 25, 2010 1:47 am

Coming from the certified motorcycle mechanic that hasn't owned a motorcycle since 2007, give yourself a break buddy. Seriously, you're good people, and we like having you around here! Doesn't even have to be about motorcycles, we just like having your company.
And besides, in a few years you can sell that 650 as a collector's item and make some serious bank off of it!
Come on back, you know you can't stay away from us!
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Re: Wretched XS

#240 Unread post by jstark47 » Tue May 25, 2010 3:26 pm

Noodle-

Yesterday, a co-worker to whom we'd sold a bike we used to own came and told me she had sold it in turn. She owned it 4 years, probably really rode it for only 1 year out of those 4. I asked her, "why sell?" Her daughters are about 10 and 12, between being mom, having a professional job, and a marriage and all, she has no opportunity to ride. She sold the bike because it was just sitting in her garage. She says she'll get back to riding some year, but this just isn't the right time.

Sometimes riding isn't where someone can be. You've got young kids - they come first. I'm 54, my stepkids are 27 and 29, so I have freedom from that phase of life. When I was in my 30's, there was no way I could have had a bike. Didn't have the money for it back then.

As far as your XS goes, you've got it pretty stabilized, right? Stored indoors, de-fueled, fresh oil, removed the battery, etc. No reason it can't sit for awhile. It will need fluids and fresh rubber when you get back to it. Probably some folks here can give you tips for long-term storage.

Your non-motorcycle writings in your blog are very enjoyable to read - don't be a stranger. Good luck and best wishes!
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