Motorcycle Club » The Yamaha Shop Talk

I don't want to ride a lawn tractor...

7 posts from 4 voices
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  1. Callibjkian

    So, I've been thinking a lot about how much fun I had rejetting/installing my pipes. I'm also a big fan of, "If it's not broken, don't fix it." I've seen and heard many times that I should buy an old lawn tractor and fix that up, getting it running or doing tune-up items. Though this is perfectly sound advice, a lawn tractor is not nearly as much fun to ride to work.

    I've seen plenty of people post here about taking on old yamaha projects and the replies, a lot of times, say that it will be expensive and the parts will be a bitch to find. So, my thoughts were...and no Mikey I'm not starting another bash thread...Since HD has been riding on the same ole designs for many years, would buying an old Sportster/Softail/etc. be relatively easy to get parts for or would I be paying an "HD tax" in trade for difficulty in finding metric parts? I also figured that if I only just end up with a bike that runs like crap and leaks, well then I've at least succeeded in learning something and I have a running base for making it better. Thoughts, ideas, opinions, maybe even suggestions on a good Yamaha that would be a good project to find instead?


  2. Hacgzav

    I also figured that if I only just end up with a bike that runs like crap and leaks, well then I've
    Agreed...If you can "restore" an old HD, and get it to run like crap and leak, then you have an HD in show-room condition!

  3. MigejCojode

    I love old iron, I don't care who makes it. As for buying an old harley I'm all for it. You stop paying HD tax when you stay away from the dealerships. Look for an old shovelhead, parts are cheap. My favorite place for old harley parts is, you can't get much off their website but their cataloge is free. I've never seen a vintage bike that doesn't leak and rattle, just part of being old, parts are looser and you can't always keep your fluids in.

    If you really want a good working bike and have the coin to spend look at a bike kit from ultima or bikerschoice. They'll cost as much (or more) as your raider when you are done tho.

    Stay away from old british bikes unless you want to learn a whole new kind of engineering and buy new tools. They have their own different kinds of fasteners plus you end up with weird things like Iso-elastic suspensions, where your engine is part of rear suspension. Save the weird and wonderful world of british bikes for when you are looking for a real challenge.

    Finally Jap bikes. I love to see an old xv done to the nines. My only issue is that parts are getting harder and harder to find. I've got 3 projects me and a buddy just picked up: 2 yamaha 500cc twins and a 750 twin 4 frames and numberous junk that are gonna make 2 great bikes and a go-cart. Parts are proving difficult tho. All part of the fun.

  4. MigejCojode

    There's a few old Yamaha's on ebay. Look at your local craigslist too. If you wait long enough the right deal will come along.

  5. Callibjkian

    thanks, I was just thinking since my dad was up on sunday. We discussed a lot about my bike, projects done already and the fab of the controls. Naturally things moved onto old bikes he had back in the '70's. Like old panhead, lots of bikes he's chopped, etc. I always sorta thought of having something like this to do, but I don't want to get down a dead end road. I'll look. Haven't even decided on the type of bike I wanna try, or if I wanna chop it or just "restore" Time will tell, but good thing I have such a great resource here to ask questions and learn.


  6. vannajamaha

    About six years ago a good friend and I thought we would buy some old Brit bikes like we grew up with off ebay. Prices seemed right and we thought about how cool they would be.

    Then we started reminiscing about how they really were when we owned them brand new. Hell new they weren't much above junk. Milwaukee vibrators have nothing on old Brit bikes. I could go on and on about the electrics, quick top end wear, suspect lower ends, etc. Yamaha made a jap triumph that is about as bullet proof as possible but it too shakes like a pig with parkinsons disease.

    And shoveheads, please, they were either good or bad depending on luck of the draw when new. Head core shift on many had valves trying to swap holes in as little as 4k miles. Chrome rings may or may not ever seat.

    If you absolutely have to have an old bike be sure to ride it or know exactly what parts and pieces you are getting. To me this means seeing the bike before buying and trying my best to know its history.

    I still have a weakness for iron head sportys because the several I owned caused me no grief. Doubt I will actually buy another one though.

    Do what you gotta do but think it through first.

  7. MigejCojode

    Talking about brit electrics. Trying to wrap your head around a positive ground can really be tough, especially when trying to wire in LED taillights. Like I said wierd engineering by todays standards.


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