Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Decision made...

So I've been looking online, cruising the forums and auction sites trying to find what I'm after.  I came across a really sweet KLX400 with a set of motard wheels last week and after bidding to my max it went up another $400.  It's kind of a strange feeling bidding on a bike that you want, but hoping you don't win it 'cause you know you have better things to do with the money.  With a bit of tricky accounting I could buy a house with the money I would have spent on that bike.  Anyway, as my wife keeps telling me, there will always be more opportunities.

A couple of days later I came across this.  It's an 83 XL600R which is the beginning of an era.  It was the first time this engine was used and it was still being put into new Hondas 'till 2009.  That is saying something.  This has a new piston and rings and about 25000 ks but that has all been on a farm.  I did a heap of reading over a couple of days and decided that this is a good alternative to the newer DRZ.  A little simpler.  A nice long production run, so lots of parts.  And not too flashy so I wont mind cutting it up a bit to make something unique.  I might even pick up a spare one if one comes up, but don't tell the wife.

Anyway, I rang the guy up and after a bit of a chat we struck a deal over the phone.  He's going to drop it off at a local motorcycle shop to get it ready for the ride home from Ballina.  If it isn't too hard I might even get the blue slip sorted before the trip and rego it.

The really nice thing about this bike is it's basically the same as the one at the end of my last post.  I don't really want to go with the fiberglass tank that he has on his, as emptying it after each ride sounds a little too much.  I'll just keep an eye out for something a bit nice and see where to go from there.

Maybe I'll start with the headlight and tidying up the front end?  I even have a stealth trailtech dash left from my old DRZ (pictured above) which  I should be able to get it all working with the XL.  I'll just have to get an oil temp sensor instead of the water one for the DRZ.  Maybe I'll get some newer suspension too... the much newer XR front and rear all seems to bolt in.  Also, there will be a weight loss program...  So many ideas and so much to do.

Do you like this headlight?  It's the same as the one that is on the Tracker on my last post

 Just came across this review.  I hope I can say the same in 2025 : )

Friday, September 24, 2010

Where to start...

I've just turned 30 and I've owned bikes on and off my since I was about 14.  The problem is that I never get them quite the way I want them and if I get close I seem to get a stupid idea in my head and sell them.

I tracked my last bike down over a 3 month search and ended up with a really nice low ks DRZ400e with a motard wheel conversion on it.  I then put on some really nice accessories and brilliant exhaust from MRD and sold it.  I've missed it a lot since then, but I did sell this one for a good reason.  We had just had our first kid and I wasn't riding it and we really needed the money.  Then I got an office job about 2 months later, and I could have used the bike, since I no longer had to haul tools to work each day.  Only problem is the money is gone, or should I say 'reallocated'.

We've made it another 4 months now with only one car and my gorgeous daughter is 6 months old.  It's time to get another bike.

I thought about stupid little bikes like the Madass and the ct110 Postie bike as they are cheap to register and run.  But they don't work for anything more than commuting (even when you mod the hell out of them like the one below) and that isn't going to satisfy me on a sunny Sunday arvo.  I need more power and I need something that I wont be too embarrassed to be seen on.  I also need something that wont need heaps of money to keep it running and that I wont cry over if I do drop it while doing something stupid .

After deciding against the European bikes (too expensive to fix) and bikes with fairings (would cry if I dropped it) I'm down to two options and both have their pros and cons.

Option 1 is the DRZ400 again, but this time get the SM version.  It has nicer suspension and brakes and will take the left over parts from my last bike.  It is a bit underpowered but I can get the FCR39 carb and a set of hotcams from the US for not too much money - the Aus dollar is great at the mo.  The problem is that it is about $4K for one with quite a few ks on it and then I would have a hard time doing something really unique with it.  There are lots of these around already and they all look black on black with variation in stickers.

Options 2 was inspired by this - XL600 street tracker.  If you follow the links you can find his blog on here and the pics are great.  I really like the cut down style of it - the fact that it looks like a tank, an engine and a seat on wheels.  What do you really need to make a motorbike a motorbike?  It is based on a great engine and a simple frame.  I know how to weld and this is just the excuse I need to stop being so scared of getting everything wrong and to just get in there and have a go.  If I stuff it up and it looks ugly I can just start again and try something new.

What to do...