I'm totally new to the board, and I only joined because this thread is the best source of vintage XL info I've found during hours of scouring the interwebs.
I'm just getting into riding, and I needed something cheap and reliable, so I bought my neighbor's 1981 XL185s. I want to commute on it (10 miles each way) when the weather is good, and ride fire roads when I go camping/hunting. I'm a little guy (150lbs), so the 185 seems to have all the power this newbie needs.
The bike runs and shifts great, but there are a few things I need to fix before it will be street legal. I'm drooling over the full XL restores some of the inmates have done, and I wish I had the time/money for that. Alas, I'm just trying to get going, so vintage, stock, prettiness, etc., is not what I'm aiming for (yet).
Here's what I have to do before I can use this bike as a daily putt-putt:
1. One of the rear turn signals is falling off. It's that rubber piece that's hard to find now. I plan on fabbing one out of an old flip-flop.
2. The blinkers don't flash, so I guess I need a new 6-volt flasher unit.
3. The headlight case was smashed up. I took it off (man, what a rat's nest of cables behind it) and epoxied it back together. There is a chunk missing along the front (about 1"x2"), so now I need some Quick Steel to fill that in (unless you can recommend something better).
4. The battery is dead, so the horn only works on the power from the stator. At idle it's a low raspy tone, but it sounds nice revved up. I'm not sure if it will pass safety inspection like that.
I would like to upgrade the lights at some point, and I've seen some helpful posts here on that topic. It will take me a while to read through all 80+ pages of posts, but I intend on it.
One more question: Which shop manual is best for XLs? Clyburn or the Honda? The more clear the pictures and directions, the better for me.