Crazy or Stupid: Fly & Ride on a $1k ebay bike.

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by motorcyclefanatic, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. motorcyclefanatic

    motorcyclefanatic The name says it all

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Christmas, FL; Blue Ridge, Ga
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]When I hatched this plan I was one month into post-op from a badly broken distal radius. Without much else to do, I'd been spending way too much time pouring over the ride reports on ADVrider, and the used bikes in the flea market, as well as on craigslist, and ebay. It didn't help that we were scheduled to leave on our planned epic Blue Ridge Parkway trip three days after my accident. My wife and I had been planning that trip since the fall of 2008 when we'd ridden the FJ to Mt. Pisgah and Barbie decided that the next time we were on that road she'd be piloting her own bike. Now the year was winding down and I was seeing my opportunity for a road trip slipping away. [/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]I had always been fascinated with quirky motorcycles, and lately a certain air-cooled v-twin from Yamaha's past had caught my interest, the XV920. But not the Americanized cruiser version. The 'R' model, or 'euro' as it was called. Standard ergos, a comfortable seat, an enclosed chain, and that big lazy lump of a motor. I'd convinced myself that I had to have one. It was mid-October, and based on my interpretation of what the doctor and my therapist were telling me, I figured my wrist should be ready for a good long ride by the end of December. So the search was on for a suitable fly & ride candidate.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]I found this one on ebay, a 1982 Yamaha XV920RH, in Jasper, Texas. It looked clean, but had a repaint, and an after-market exhaust. Two strikes already, but I spoke with the seller on the phone and satisfied myself that the bike was in good enough shape to ride the 1500 miles home. He agreed that should I win the auction, he'd store the bike until December when my wrist would be healed enough for the ride. Then I pulled out the atlas and loosely plotted a course that would take me south from Jasper to the Texas gulf coast, and along it through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and across and down Florida to our home in Christmas.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]The XV920 as it appeared in the original ebay ad.

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]My limit was $1200, but I won the auction at $1125. Now my planning began in earnest. The three-times-a-week visits to therapy took on a new meaning now. I was in training! Since as you can imagine flights into Jasper, Texas are not easily bought, I at first looked to Greyhound, who I soon found out also didn't have Jasper listed as a stop. But they did go to nearby Lufkin, a mere 26 hour bus ride from our nearest station in Titusville, Florida. I'd taken a similar bus trip at 16, but now at 51 years old, I wasn't sure there was another long torturous bus trip left in me. After some more searching I settled on a 2 1/2 hour flight to Houston, then a short 2 hour bus ride from near the airport to Lufkin, when the seller promised to pick me up for the 1 hour ride back to his shop, where the bike would be waiting for me. Nothing left to do but plan and wait.[/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT]​
    #1
  2. Highside>Lowside

    Highside>Lowside Hairier Than Thou

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,091
    Location:
    ChiTown
    Moar!


    RE: Crazy or Stupid

    Why not both? In my personal experience they tend to go well together. :evil
    #2
  3. GaryHarris

    GaryHarris I bent my Flounder

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2010
    Oddometer:
    192
    Location:
    H-Town Texas
    I'm in Houston Texas and will be following this one.

    But, you know about Jasper right?
    #3
  4. motorcyclefanatic

    motorcyclefanatic The name says it all

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Christmas, FL; Blue Ridge, Ga
    Yeah, I had heard about it in the news, but didn't put it together until the Jack reminded me about it. Sad story, I didn't spend too much time there.
    #4
  5. motorcyclefanatic

    motorcyclefanatic The name says it all

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Christmas, FL; Blue Ridge, Ga
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]The day had finally come. I'd packed up all my gear and shipped it off to Jack, (the seller), a week ago. My wrist had taken a sudden turn for the good the past couple of weeks. Up until then I'd begun to wonder if I was really going to be ready. But now the swelling was way down, and the strength was beginning to come back. My therapist reluctantly agreed I was up for it. I fact, I was feeling so good, my camping plans were back on. But the weather wasn't looking so good. I'd been following it closely for the last month or two. I'd even gone so far as to program the cities along the way in as 'favorites' in our Weather Channel account. Looks like I'd be dodging rain the whole trip. Oh well, I had the gear for it. And I was going![/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]My flight being scheduled for a departure at 6:40 am meant my wife dropped me off at the airport at 5, but I didn't sleep much the night before anyway. I quickly worked my way through security and made my way down to the gate. I had plenty of time since my bus didn't leave Kerrville, ( a short taxi ride from the Houston airport), until after 12. My first clue that things weren't going to go as planned came to me when we were escorted back off the plane at the gate in Orlando due to ice on the wings. We were in the middle of a record cold spell in Orlando, and the morning's dew had frozen on the plane's wings. Since there was no de-icing equipment in Orlando, we had to wait for the sun to come up and melt the ice before we could leave.[/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]By the time we finally took off it was nearly 10:30 and I knew I was going to have no time to spare in getting a cab to the bus station. Of course the cab driver couldn't find the station, but fortunately my iphone could. Any other time I could have excused him for not knowing where it was, it didn't really stand out.[/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]
    Once on the bus, I could relax, so I started reading the book my wife had gotten me for Christmas, 'Ring of Fire', about motorcycle racing, and the riders that make their living at it. I love a good book when I'm on an epic journey.[/FONT] [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]

    Jack met me at the bus station in Lufkin at 2 pm as we had arraigned. Maybe this trip was going to work out after all. On the ride back to his shop in Jasper I began to have second thoughts. That's when he started telling me all the things about the bike I wished he'd mentioned before I had bought it and planned the trip. Jack began to elaborate, "it's kinda hard to start in the morning..." , "the jettings a little off, but I've got it tweaked pretty good...", "the starter fix I told you I was going to do didn't really fix it...". Oh well I thought, good thing I'd packed all those tools.[/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Jack and his friend, Jonathon taken with the XV right after I'd packed her up. Jack, on the right, seemed to be fairly amused about the whole thing.[/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG]

    [/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]I went through the bike briefly before packing up; checked the oil, the air in the tires, made sure it was charging, generally looked her over. I wired up my Zumo and found a suitable mounting position on the bars. She started a little hard, and the starter made one hell of a racket, but once running she sounded good. I put my gear on, and got ready to go. My journey was about to begin, and I was thrilled to death.[/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]Me and the XV, ready to go.

    [/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG]

    [/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]I was getting a late start and figured there was about an hour and a half of riding left before it got dark, and it was at least three hours to Sabine Pass, my planned stop for the night. I filled up at the first station I saw leaving Jasper and headed south on US96. About 35 miles south in Buna I turned away from Beaumont onto CR62 and headed towards Bridge City and rode on through to Port Arthur. By this time it was dark and a little misty, but not too cold, maybe high 50's. I turned south on CR87 through the bayous and refineries. It was pretty with all the lights shining from the derricks and platforms. My plan was to ride on down to camp on the beach at Sea Rim N.P., but with it already dark, and the forecast tonight and tomorrow calling for wind and rain, I chickened out and decided to stay at the Sabine Pass Motel. Tomorrow I'd start my journey proper, headed across the Louisiana gulf coast towards Grand Isle.

    [/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]The XV parked for the night in front of the Sabine Pass Motel, Florida temp plate showing proudly.

    [/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT][FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica]One more pic for prosperity.

    [/FONT]
    [FONT=Trebuchet MS, Arial, Helvetica][​IMG][/FONT]​
    #5
  6. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,400
    Location:
    Tejas
    subscribed
    #6
  7. Dabears

    Dabears Long Timer

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,434
    Location:
    Atlanta
    Sounds Like an interesting trip- hard starting, iffy starter...Subscribed!
    #7
  8. MIOB

    MIOB Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    1,175
    Location:
    A cold, wet, flat place
    subscribed!
    #8
  9. ddavidv

    ddavidv So money, but doesn't know it.

    Joined:
    May 10, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,523
    Location:
    Elizabethtown, PA
    Neat bike; can't say I've ever seen one. Let us know your thoughts on how it rides, power, etc. I'm along for this one.
    #9
  10. Chip Seal

    Chip Seal Long timer

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2004
    Oddometer:
    2,676
    Location:
    Western Orygun
    The XV920 RH is a pretty good bike.
    The starter ring gear is loose. There is a fix. It involves some tack welding. The shaft Virago's of same vintage have similar troubles.
    It will make a racket but I wouldn't worry to much about it.
    You can bump start the bike in fourth. Oh yeah, there aren't any hills where you are riding, are there? LOL
    The rear mono shock is an air shock. Since it is at least 28 yrs old, probably won't hold air pressure more than a few days. 10 to 12 lbs with a hand pump will really help handling. Air fill from gas station isn't recomended.
    It has a 630 chain in a lithium grease bath. You'll probably never need to adjust it. It is hell for stout.
    Notice a supertrap muffler and most likely a Mac two into one exhaust. Stock exhaust is an odd design. Muffler on left side was prone to rot at the front. Difficult to repair and stock ones, if you can find are ridiculously priced. Aftermarket is good here. Plus you can get plates for supertrap to adjust volume of noise/silence.
    The rubber mounts for the carbs can rot, so good idea to update them.
    Front end with dual discs, gas tank and instruments are the same as the XJ650 Seca for 1982.
    #10
  11. Dalmatino

    Dalmatino Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    401
    Location:
    Prison Planet Earth
    Hmmm....hows this

    Attached Files:

    #11
  12. Dalmatino

    Dalmatino Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    401
    Location:
    Prison Planet Earth
    or this

    Attached Files:

    #12
  13. Dalmatino

    Dalmatino Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Oddometer:
    401
    Location:
    Prison Planet Earth
    one more....Oh the days of funn and creativity..I no longer have any of them but how much I wish I did.

    Attached Files:

    #13
  14. jagred

    jagred Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    Oddometer:
    110
    Location:
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    I think this will make for a fantastic ride report! That looks like a great bike. I might be tempted to try to turn it into a V Twin Cafe Racer :evil

    Don't hold us in suspense too long. I can't wait to hear the rest of the story.
    #14
  15. RonkoRider

    RonkoRider Wrong Island, NY

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2006
    Oddometer:
    1,750
    Location:
    Middle of Suburban Hell- Long Island, NY
    :lurk

    One request, right justify your text. Center justification hurts my eyes. :lol3
    #15
  16. motorcyclefanatic

    motorcyclefanatic The name says it all

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    838
    Location:
    Christmas, FL; Blue Ridge, Ga
    [FONT=&quot][​IMG]
    [/FONT]
    #16
  17. allroadrider

    allroadrider Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2009
    Oddometer:
    277
    I have a 81 XV920RH that Iav had since new, the starter is an almost unsolveable problem but the bike is awsom, I would love to have the covered chain and stock wheels. I hit a 4x4 laying in the road and bent both wheels and installed wire wheels off of a XS650 on mine
    Allroadrider
    #17
  18. Stewart5533

    Stewart5533 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2008
    Oddometer:
    342
    Location:
    North Pacific Paradise.
    This is going to be good, I feel it..:lurk am in....
    #18
  19. GB

    GB . Administrator

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2002
    Oddometer:
    65,645
    :thumb

    :lurk
    #19
  20. Dark Helmet

    Dark Helmet Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2006
    Oddometer:
    915
    Location:
    You'll know when I know...
    Yo fanatic,

    You've got me psyched! I am leaving this Saturday for a fly and ride myself. Going to Denver and can't wait for my 1,500 mile ride back. My last one was from Galveston Island TX and the first half hour it poured buckets!

    I see you have a place in Blue Ridge Ga. I do as well so we'll have to connect up there.

    I am subscribed:ear
    #20