Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

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Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Excess XS

I found what appears to be a great '71 Yamaha XS1B. Thank goodness for ebay. Over the years I have bought and sold a number of items on ebay. I've had good success in general with only one negative experience.
Ebay has made a significant difference for people like myself. I live in a rural area and don't have access to a lot of specialty shops without going into the nearest big city. Since it's a bit inconvenient to go there I don't do it very often. It would be very difficult for me to work on the vintage machines I rebuild without a good source of parts. When working on a Yamaha DS7 I found a piston in New Zealand. I'd never have known about that, nor would he have found a buyer in rural Wisconsin, had it not been for the internet.
So now I am waiting for my friend to deliver a 1972 Yamaha XS2 he rebuilt to the east coast. He will pick up my new machine on the way back. Mark, my friend, restored a '71 XS1B and it is beautiful. I like the red and white '72 but not as well as the drum brake earlier models. For me the honey and white '71 is the most beautiful of the lot. Second best I like the blue/gold '77D. My D is original and far from a show bike. It's a great rider and I use it quite a bit. Actually it isn't all original. I have Sportster mufflers on it and have converted it to dual disc front brakes.

I have a '71 that I got from a burned house years ago. Things happen and I ended up selling it. Later I had a chance to get it back. I had gotten it to run and painted it when I had it but had never thought about doing it original. It's yellow with kanji symbols for Ya Ma & Ha on the tank. It has wrong gauges and switch, an incorrect year seat and tail light. It's a driver but not much to look at. When I saw Mark's '71 finished I fell in love. Because of its condition and it's history I don't really want to restore the '71 I have. Long story but I like it as it is.

I have attached a picture of Mark's '71. My new project has a long way to go before it gets to look so tasty. Luckily Mark is only 9 miles up the road and always a good source of conversation. His shop/studio (he's a professional artist) is one of my favorite places to hang out when I'm in town. Between us we may eventually have one of every year of the XS roadster. Luckily we have tolerant wives.



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