My current two wheeled love affair is a 2002 Honda XR650R. I know I know I know, it’s not a vintage street bike – but I’ve certainly had plenty of those!
Adventure biking has really sucked me in lately and this is my do-it-all-everywhere machine.
I picked it up in Denver sometime in October of 2009.
When I’m old and grizzled I want to be just like this guy.
Phil Funell from British Columbia. He’s somewhat famous in the BMW circles and attends all the ralleys. He has lots of great stories and tons of fantastic home brewed bike contraptions. In this video he talks about taking his bike across the Ice Road in the middle of winter.
Here is one of his crazy contraptions! He has more…..
I just found my old XR650R up for sale on a Russian Auction site. That’s me in the photos.
I sold it last year to an exporter who ships bikes to Japan. I’ve sold many vintage bikes to such outfits, but never encountered an exporter who dealt in dirtbikes (or modern bikes for that matter).
Speedway racing has really taken off in Japan and the bikes are just flat out incredible. They are one of the only series that allow for twin cylinder motors. Most of them are these AR600 race motors built by Yamaha specifically for the track.
I’ve been trying to figure out why they use external dampers on the forks. Seems strange to me. Any ideas?
I watch way too many motorcycle videos online, here’s a few I like.
The Higgspeed expansion chambers for GT750’s give the most incredible sound! I want!
Another incredible sounding bike – the Honda RC166 250cc 6 cylinder.
This is some serious touring on tiny little Honda z50’s. American’s get too fixated on the size of their ride~!
This is a gorgeous BMW /2
Some day I will own a CJ750 Side Valve with a sidecar. Not the matte military versions though.
Haha! Cool trick!
Here is Motolaw’s vid:
Amazing motocross national battle between James Stewart and Ricky Carmichael. The whole racing season that year was incredible because of these two. I remember watching this race on ESPN (or where ever) at the time and being transfixed by this battle. The best motocross season I’ve ever seen. I wish this video was in HD.
Anyone else like watching Japanese speedway racing on Youtube?
Their speedway bikes are crazy. Most country race regulations only have single cylinder speedway brackets, but Japan obviously allows twins – 2 strokes no less! Check out their custom bent handlebars!
Yes we finally finished all the body Modifications this Bicycle! we have stretched it further and lowered the seat, moved the peddal cranks forward, adding a freewheel so when und3er petrol power feet and enjoy the ride.
Where the peddals used to be is right side of bike 2 chain wheels one connects to relocated pedals the other to rear 7 speed freewheel. Okay here is fun part starts… on the othe side of bike on this same axle location (Bottom Bracket) is another freewheel with innerchangeble gears 18, 20, 22T this connects to engine, letting engine coast while peddaling. Neat huh?
Engine is an Automatic so I can shift now with hand lever (located high beside tank to clear legs ) I need to get wiring Diagram for this bike to enable me to add Rectifier and Battery (6Volt) and to wire in all our lighting we have done.
I will try to attach picture of bike before engine is added Tank is from a Honda Boss and also uses Honda Front fork/suspension rear is still “Hard Tail” Writing on Tank in Thai says “Thai One On…”
Maybe this will get picture loaded ….. if this system is simple….ha! I must be simple minded!!
Well almost finished. Still need help with wiring.
Is system AC ar DC Voltage?
Is Light system AC or DC voltage??
Is system full wave or 1/2 wave rectification??
All of these I need answers for to rebuild wiring circuits and harness ( would like to boil the Ba-ls on the Mechanic who removed all these components instead of repairing. Shure bike will run off magneto… but it would really be nice to know I have lights, don’t have to worry about the time and who is riding the Chopper… Ya Know what I mean??
Here is the tricks to a safe motorized ride. (At least they worked for me)
(1 at crank, 1 at engine connection to bike gearing, last at rear wheel)
we moved crankgear and pedals (BB) forward 18.5 inches lowered seat 14″, used original BB for double gearing.. Left side freewheel to connect to engine… Right side stacked gears (2) 1 on inside connects to crank gear freewheel/Pedals. 1 on outside connects freewheel at rear wheel.
Stacked gear is attached to solid hub so either motor or pedals will coast or connect with rear wheel. Our engine Yamaha Y80M is a kick start semi automatic 3 speed… needs no clutch. If you need to pedal to start engine then install solid hub on left side instead of freewheel. Then you must have clutch and a way to lock it engaged to be able to use pedals, when released it engages motor.
I used 100% Motorcycle sprockets and chains. I chose to use 420 style links as it seemed here I had the option for a 43t chainwheel for my crank. 428 style link chain/sprockets did not seem to have this option. I also found 4 bolt freewheels that my sprockets bolted rightup to. (See photos)
All I have left to do is exhaust and seat. Minor adjustments in wiring as I changed from 6V to 12V, Kept Neutral light, added highbeam indicator, changed fuse to Master plugin and 4 circuit fuses.
2: Tail Light,
3: Indicators includes horn,
4: Brake Lights
I got a lift out to Arizona this weekend and picked up this Yamaha XS1100e.
I managed to lose my camera on the trip so I only have these low res cell phone photos for now.
It’s a 1978 model with 49,000 miles on it. Just had the valves refreshed and the cam chain replaced.
It’s idling slightly rough, but runs and rides pretty well otherwise. It has a few highly desirable mods for this particular model. The coolest is the replacement of the final drive gears with the gears from an XS750 triple. This reduces the highway cruising RPM’s by about 700 and improves gas mileage. You can also swap out the XS850 gears. They are not a direct swap, but simple enough that it is becoming common to do.
It also has Honda 3 ohm coils which removes the need for the ballast resistor. And the Yamaha Venturer auto cam chain tensioner swap.
It also has new fork springs, wheel bearings, fuse panel, and a few other pieces.
A good solid bike. It needs a little tuning still, but it hums down the highway beautifully. I’ve always liked these XS1100s.
Better pictures to come!
Here’s a photo of a XS1100 primary drive and chain. Look how beafy that chain is!!
I ordered up some superbike bend handlebars to swap onto the XS1100. I have put the same bend bars on many of my bikes over the years and always like the look and comfort level – I have long arms. I also ordered some new grips, oil filters, and air filters. This bike is going to be ready to haul some serious miles!
Here are a couple others I put the same bars on.
I’ve been out putting lots of miles on the Yamaha XS1100. It cruises so nicely.
I adjusted the clutch cable today and it really cleared up some hard shifting symptoms I was having. It seemed to be in adjustment originally, but these bikes like them set a little tight.
I cruised up the coast tonight – it was beautiful out:
I tinker and seem to have an unnatural draw to anything that’s no longer factory supported with replacement parts (I bought a polaroid camera the day before they announced that they would no longer be making film)
So I bought this bike a few years ago. It ran alright (had charging issues). I rode it into the ground and then stashed it in a garage for 18 months.
Now I’m learning how to fix things on it. The tank was a barrel of rust flakes and so I pulled and cleaned the carbs, patched a few holes and evaporust / por-15’d the tank. Now I’m dealing with some cross-threading issues with the spark plugs.
with bicycles the best way to chase squirrely threads is to come in from the side that hasn’t been buggered. Any reason this is different here? The plan is to tap them from the inside out. I’m also worried about all this black crap in the cylinders. Is there a good way to safely clean that out while the thing is apart? I’m not entirely sure I want to get any deeper into this engine at the moment (if I can get away with that)
Also – I’m replacing bolts as I come to partially stripped ones. Any materials I should avoid with the replacements?
p.s. loved the “just boil the hell out of it” carb article. unfortunately I had already pulled everything apart and cleaned it with carb cleaner, but I did boil the gummed innards of an old Eskimo desk fan from the 40’s that had stopped oscillating. Worked like a charm.
So I have the mechanical bits back together and nothing happened. I’m going to start trouble shooting the electrical problem, but I’m thinking I unplugged something (everything) essential when I was flipping the bars (rookie mistake)
I was going to rewire it down to nothingness, but I took a closer look at the diagram you posted for Cafes and choppers and I’m not sure I want to be that bare. I’m totally into gauges (at least the spedometer) and a bit nervous about my rectifier having 4 wires coming out of it.
I don’t have a starter (ok, so I have one, but it doesn’t work – the chain has been disconnected and “something else” is wrong with it . . . and I don’t care enough about having a starter to try and make it work, or even figure out why it doesn’t)
so anyway – one of the rectifier wires is heading into the starter . . . why? (diagram for examples)
The other two go into opposite sides of the alternator via the voltage regulator – anyway. at the risk of sounding dumb (which is better than doing dumb things) do I need the voltage regulator? It looks like I can remove the starter line and run things anyway.
Also . . . I’m looking into ordering 16ga wire to rewire with . . . should I get larger (lower) gague wire? – McMaster Carr has some heat/chem/cut resistant wire – worth investing in or just eff it?
Wanted to do a Bobber/Rat but this just sort of happened?? Will be headed to Daytona with it next month for 2011 Bike Week.
Wow man, that bike sure is out there! I bet it turns heads everywhere. Big tractor seat, stove pipe exhaust, and bright pink to boot.
How did you go about painting the tank? Did you do it yourself or have a pro shoot it for you?
Thanks, Actually just got it done this winter have not had it out yet due to constant snow and ice! , I will ride my VStrom in some pretty tough stuff but not cold and ice.
I did have it out before final paint and details and yes, a few guys just about drove in the ditch looking over their shoulder as I passed by.
I did the paint work myself, wish I would have taken more time as it was my first job and it started off as a “rat” but I just couldn’t leave it there. I stripped the tank, etched primer (gray) , laid down pink rattle can, (applied a sticker lable from one of our wine bottles), then satin black rattle can, (removed sticker), then shot clear over with air gun w/hardner. Frame rattle can silver.
All the colors were chosen due to meanings (too much for here to list) associated with our fight with Breast Cancer.
The bike has a 10 speed tranny so in low/1st it sorta has “grunt” too. Lots of other parts came from local heavy truck supply place, led lights, head lights, etc.
There are a lot of little things I sorta “Ma-guyvered” along the way w/safety 1st then $$ 2nd.
I’m a farmer/trucker/Winery owner/Corn maze/Pumpkin Cannon kinda guy hence the way its done. My wife is a B.C. survivor, If selected for saftey crew I’ll ride it as an escort in the 2011 Cleveland 60 mile 3 day walk.
Wait till ya C the KZ650 when I’m done with it, however it will be more “traditional cafe'”
Awesome! Thanks for the details. The best bikes are always the ones with the most personal touches. It’s the whacked out looking ones like this that get the crowds around them at the rallies!
The paint looks quite nice in the video, especially for a rattle job. I generally avoid doing multiple colors because it’s hard to get the lines straight and balanced from side to side. You definitely did a good job there.
Ya know, it just sorta fell together, I’m not a real patient person on projects that was my biggest goal this go around (I got better). I used a lot of the lines that were already there in the tank design and just “went with them”.
If anybody else does this I wish I would have probably sanded a bit more and then pushed down harder on the tape on the edges more cause I got some “bleed-through” here or there. Buy a high quality masking tape (I bought crap from Big Lots, ) that has good glue, but get it off as soon as possible so you don’t lift the paint underneath.
I was going to use a “flat clear” but it was twice the price of gloss, (trying not to nickle and dime this project into big $$)
I maintain and care for my equipment but ride it hard too, this will not be a trailer queen,(except for the snow/ice covered miles between Oh and Fla.). Probably get scratched up, but I figure they’ll keep making paint!
I still give “hats off” to the pros, but if I’d have a “$ fancy $” paint job, I’d just drop the bike! I’m always going someplace I probably shouldn’t.
Hey Evan, I saw where you had done an 82 KZ550 so I thought you might be interested in seeing mine. Its coming along pretty nicely and it definitly has a unique look for a kz550. I can;t lie Im pretty happy with the way this bike is going. Let me know if you want any specifics! This pic is fairly recent, the newest ive got anyways.
Any comments good or bad welcome.
Hey Jon – killer looking 550. I love the KZ motors, they’re all great. If it were mine, I’d probably add on some handlebars with a little rise and bend to them. :devil:
What’s next for the bike?!
Hey. Bike me!
I have owned nearly every make and model of vintage Japanese motorcycle as well Europeans and more modern bikes. I do everything from simple fixes to full restorations. I also travel by motorcycle and race off-road. This is a blog about my bikes.
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