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Old 06-03-2013, 05:44 PM   #1
JerryH OP
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New in this sub forum

Hey, I'm new in the Old's Cool section. I was not doing so well in the Road Warriors forum, because I absolutely hate most newer bikes, both the technology and the "transformers" looks of new bikes. Specifically I do not like any bike with a computer, FI, ABS, etc. And being 54, and having grown up with late '70s/early '80s bikes, I love their simplicity and looks. Unfortunately I do not currently own a really old bike, but hope to acquire one soon. I have an '85 Goldwing 1200LTD, a '94 Yamaha XT225, and an '02 Vulcan 750, designed in '85. I also have a Genuine Stella 2 stroke scooter, a copy of a vintage Vespa. Oldest bike I've ever owned was a '66 Triumph Bonneville. I would still own it if I'd had a clue what was going to happen to bikes in the future. At least none of my bikes have electronics, though two are liquid cooled.

I have read several threads here and like what I see. I would like to get a '70s/early '80s Japanese bike, but am concerned about parts. An older BMW or Harley would also be nice. Unfortunately the '60s British bikes I really like are priced out of my reach for a decent one.
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Old 06-03-2013, 05:48 PM   #2
joexr
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No electronics? What do they use for ignition , a flint?
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Old 06-03-2013, 07:16 PM   #3
JerryH OP
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I don't mean electrics, I mean computerized digital electronics. I like points and coil ignition, CDI and pulse triggered ignitions are ok, as long as there is no computer, ECU, ECM, etc. involved, like what is used to control FI and ABS. I like old tech bikes from the early '80s back.
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Old 06-05-2013, 01:48 PM   #4
zap2504
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I would think that any Honda 350 twin (I'd stay away from the 360s), or in-line 4 would work as Honda still carries many parts (and so does the aftermarket - except for the Scrambler exhausts). Or a Yamaha XS650 twin (see www.mikesxs.com for parts).
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Old 06-05-2013, 04:00 PM   #5
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The obvious choice based on your criteria would be a 70s BMW airhead because they are fixable, relatively simple and you can still buy parts (or at least order) at your local BMW dealer. If I were in your place I would get the bike I really wanted to buy in my early riding years. Practicality should always take second place to pure lust - the key to motorcycle happiness. Pick a bike that has a loyal following and you will always be able to source parts.
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Old 06-05-2013, 08:26 PM   #6
JerryH OP
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I found this on the local Craigslist. Any opinions? I have never owned a BMW before. Does this particular model have any problems to be aware of? I've heard the '74s sometimes have transmission issues. http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/mcy/3846931265.html
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:07 PM   #7
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Looks good in the picture. Airheads are generally robust and age well because of the quality of the components. At the time they were the most reliable motorcycles on the road. The R90 was a good model and did not suffer from any significant problems related only to it. All airheads will suffer from rear spline problems over time, rear main seals can leak requiring removal of the tranny to fix, rotors can fail, and center stands and kick stands can break. Compared to other motorcycles of the 60s and 70s they are paragons of reliability. You have to ride one though for a period of time to see if you can jell with it. Suspensions are very soft and there is a jacking motion related to the driveshaft. If it speaks to you and the price and condition of the bike is right you really can't go wrong.

If the bike has been sitting for some time and if it was not owned by an enthusiast then you will probably need to replace the usual rubber items, maybe rebuild the carbs and sort out minor issues so you might want to acquaint yourself with airhead parts prices before considering a buy so that you know what you are getting into.

kaput13 screwed with this post 06-05-2013 at 09:13 PM
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Old 06-05-2013, 09:40 PM   #8
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Yamaha XS650 would be good for you

You may want to look for a Yamaha XS650. They are easy to work on, and parts are readily available. A real fun bike to ride, and lots of personality.

This is a pic of my 1978 XS650SE. It had points ignition, but I have changed over to electronic (Pamco).

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Old 06-06-2013, 10:26 AM   #9
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isn't it a federal crime to NOT ruin a xs650 by turning it into a bobber or cafe racer?
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Old 06-08-2013, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
I've heard the '74s sometimes have transmission issues. http://phoenix.craigslist.org/wvl/mcy/3846931265.html
40 year old bike and you want one that's maintenance free. right on.
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Old 06-08-2013, 02:29 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
...
I have read several threads here and like what I see. I would like to get a '70s/early '80s Japanese bike, but am concerned about parts.
...
Searching or better hunting for parts is part of the game and can be very interesting too.
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:19 PM   #12
JerryH OP
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Originally Posted by nachtflug View Post
40 year old bike and you want one that's maintenance free. right on.
Maintenance is one thing. So are repairs, to a point. I had a '66 Triumph. It required a lot of both, and you never went anywhere without some spare cables. But it never had transmission problems, and I never had to split the cases. Not really interested in going that far. I do actually want to ride it.


I may have struck gold. The seller still has this bike. http://phoenix.craigslist.org/cph/mcy/3841615909.html

But I can't get my hands on any money until Monday, and it will be just my luck that it will be gone by then. I can't believe it's still there, unless it has major issues. People tend to snatch these up to turn them into bobbers and street trackers.

Here's a pretty good example of a street tracker, but it's just not my style. I prefer stock. http://phoenix.craigslist.org/nph/mcy/3832225408.html
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Old 06-08-2013, 07:34 PM   #13
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I'm pretty sure that will still be there monday for 3300 bucks. That's a pretty optimistic price in my eyes.
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Old 06-08-2013, 09:25 PM   #14
JerryH OP
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Originally Posted by c1skout View Post
I'm pretty sure that will still be there monday for 3300 bucks. That's a pretty optimistic price in my eyes.
For most Japanese bikes that old, in a lot of places it is. But bikes are not cheap in AZ, and unmolested XS650s, even the Special model, are few and far between. It has less than 6000 miles, and even has the original tires on it. That is a rare find indeed. And unlike many Japanese bikes, most parts, especially engine parts, are readily available for the 650.
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Old 06-08-2013, 10:57 PM   #15
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Xs650

The asking price is high. Offer $2000, but don't pay more than $2500. You would want to do a compression test, before buying, to be sure the engine has at least 140 psi on each cylinder. Also need to confirm that all 5 gears are working.

His claim that the 33 year old tires have lots of tread, means the seller knows zip about tires. Once tires are over 6 years old they deteriorate rapidly.Those tires are junk.

The exhaust pipes are double walled. Its not a good sign that the outer pipe has over heated and turned blue.

He says the oil filter (1) was cleaned, but there are 2 filters in the engine, so again its shows his lack of knowledge of the bike.
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