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Old 01-27-2013, 10:31 AM   #1255
Joined: Jan 2013
Location: Utah
Oddometer: 17
My first bike: '81 XL185s

Hey all,

I'm totally new to the board, and I only joined because this thread is the best source of vintage XL info I've found during hours of scouring the interwebs.

I'm just getting into riding, and I needed something cheap and reliable, so I bought my neighbor's 1981 XL185s. I want to commute on it (10 miles each way) when the weather is good, and ride fire roads when I go camping/hunting. I'm a little guy (150lbs), so the 185 seems to have all the power this newbie needs.

The bike runs and shifts great, but there are a few things I need to fix before it will be street legal. I'm drooling over the full XL restores some of the inmates have done, and I wish I had the time/money for that. Alas, I'm just trying to get going, so vintage, stock, prettiness, etc., is not what I'm aiming for (yet).

Here's what I have to do before I can use this bike as a daily putt-putt:

1. One of the rear turn signals is falling off. It's that rubber piece that's hard to find now. I plan on fabbing one out of an old flip-flop.

2. The blinkers don't flash, so I guess I need a new 6-volt flasher unit.

3. The headlight case was smashed up. I took it off (man, what a rat's nest of cables behind it) and epoxied it back together. There is a chunk missing along the front (about 1"x2"), so now I need some Quick Steel to fill that in (unless you can recommend something better).

 photo IMG439_zps020ded98.jpg

 photo IMG440_zps9a1fcdfd.jpg

4. The battery is dead, so the horn only works on the power from the stator. At idle it's a low raspy tone, but it sounds nice revved up. I'm not sure if it will pass safety inspection like that.

I would like to upgrade the lights at some point, and I've seen some helpful posts here on that topic. It will take me a while to read through all 80+ pages of posts, but I intend on it.

One more question: Which shop manual is best for XLs? Clyburn or the Honda? The more clear the pictures and directions, the better for me.
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