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Old 01-16-2011, 11:50 AM   #1
motorcyclefanatic OP
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Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Christmas, FL; Blue Ridge, Ga
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Crazy or Stupid: Fly & Ride on a $1k ebay bike.

When I hatched this plan I was one month into post-op from a badly broken distal radius. Without much else to do, I'd been spending way too much time pouring over the ride reports on ADVrider, and the used bikes in the flea market, as well as on craigslist, and ebay. It didn't help that we were scheduled to leave on our planned epic Blue Ridge Parkway trip three days after my accident. My wife and I had been planning that trip since the fall of 2008 when we'd ridden the FJ to Mt. Pisgah and Barbie decided that the next time we were on that road she'd be piloting her own bike. Now the year was winding down and I was seeing my opportunity for a road trip slipping away. I had always been fascinated with quirky motorcycles, and lately a certain air-cooled v-twin from Yamaha's past had caught my interest, the XV920. But not the Americanized cruiser version. The 'R' model, or 'euro' as it was called. Standard ergos, a comfortable seat, an enclosed chain, and that big lazy lump of a motor. I'd convinced myself that I had to have one. It was mid-October, and based on my interpretation of what the doctor and my therapist were telling me, I figured my wrist should be ready for a good long ride by the end of December. So the search was on for a suitable fly & ride candidate.I found this one on ebay, a 1982 Yamaha XV920RH, in Jasper, Texas. It looked clean, but had a repaint, and an after-market exhaust. Two strikes already, but I spoke with the seller on the phone and satisfied myself that the bike was in good enough shape to ride the 1500 miles home. He agreed that should I win the auction, he'd store the bike until December when my wrist would be healed enough for the ride. Then I pulled out the atlas and loosely plotted a course that would take me south from Jasper to the Texas gulf coast, and along it through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and across and down Florida to our home in Christmas. The XV920 as it appeared in the original ebay ad.

My limit was $1200, but I won the auction at $1125. Now my planning began in earnest. The three-times-a-week visits to therapy took on a new meaning now. I was in training! Since as you can imagine flights into Jasper, Texas are not easily bought, I at first looked to Greyhound, who I soon found out also didn't have Jasper listed as a stop. But they did go to nearby Lufkin, a mere 26 hour bus ride from our nearest station in Titusville, Florida. I'd taken a similar bus trip at 16, but now at 51 years old, I wasn't sure there was another long torturous bus trip left in me. After some more searching I settled on a 2 1/2 hour flight to Houston, then a short 2 hour bus ride from near the airport to Lufkin, when the seller promised to pick me up for the 1 hour ride back to his shop, where the bike would be waiting for me. Nothing left to do but plan and wait.

motorcyclefanatic screwed with this post 01-17-2011 at 11:43 AM
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:13 PM   #2
Hairier Than Thou
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RE: Crazy or Stupid

Why not both? In my personal experience they tend to go well together.
00 M944,95 620RXC,82 FT500,85 V65 Sabre,01 1150GS,82 XJ650r,91 XV920r,82 V50 Monza,77 TT500, R75/6, etc...
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:17 PM   #3
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I'm in Houston Texas and will be following this one.

But, you know about Jasper right?
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:23 PM   #4
motorcyclefanatic OP
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Originally Posted by GaryHarris View Post
But, you know about Jasper right?
Yeah, I had heard about it in the news, but didn't put it together until the Jack reminded me about it. Sad story, I didn't spend too much time there.
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:27 PM   #5
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Day One

The day had finally come. I'd packed up all my gear and shipped it off to Jack, (the seller), a week ago. My wrist had taken a sudden turn for the good the past couple of weeks. Up until then I'd begun to wonder if I was really going to be ready. But now the swelling was way down, and the strength was beginning to come back. My therapist reluctantly agreed I was up for it. I fact, I was feeling so good, my camping plans were back on. But the weather wasn't looking so good. I'd been following it closely for the last month or two. I'd even gone so far as to program the cities along the way in as 'favorites' in our Weather Channel account. Looks like I'd be dodging rain the whole trip. Oh well, I had the gear for it. And I was going!My flight being scheduled for a departure at 6:40 am meant my wife dropped me off at the airport at 5, but I didn't sleep much the night before anyway. I quickly worked my way through security and made my way down to the gate. I had plenty of time since my bus didn't leave Kerrville, ( a short taxi ride from the Houston airport), until after 12. My first clue that things weren't going to go as planned came to me when we were escorted back off the plane at the gate in Orlando due to ice on the wings. We were in the middle of a record cold spell in Orlando, and the morning's dew had frozen on the plane's wings. Since there was no de-icing equipment in Orlando, we had to wait for the sun to come up and melt the ice before we could leave.By the time we finally took off it was nearly 10:30 and I knew I was going to have no time to spare in getting a cab to the bus station. Of course the cab driver couldn't find the station, but fortunately my iphone could. Any other time I could have excused him for not knowing where it was, it didn't really stand out.

Once on the bus, I could relax, so I started reading the book my wife had gotten me for Christmas, 'Ring of Fire', about motorcycle racing, and the riders that make their living at it. I love a good book when I'm on an epic journey.

Jack met me at the bus station in Lufkin at 2 pm as we had arraigned. Maybe this trip was going to work out after all. On the ride back to his shop in Jasper I began to have second thoughts. That's when he started telling me all the things about the bike I wished he'd mentioned before I had bought it and planned the trip. Jack began to elaborate, "it's kinda hard to start in the morning..." , "the jettings a little off, but I've got it tweaked pretty good...", "the starter fix I told you I was going to do didn't really fix it...". Oh well I thought, good thing I'd packed all those tools.
Jack and his friend, Jonathon taken with the XV right after I'd packed her up. Jack, on the right, seemed to be fairly amused about the whole thing.

I went through the bike briefly before packing up; checked the oil, the air in the tires, made sure it was charging, generally looked her over. I wired up my Zumo and found a suitable mounting position on the bars. She started a little hard, and the starter made one hell of a racket, but once running she sounded good. I put my gear on, and got ready to go. My journey was about to begin, and I was thrilled to death.Me and the XV, ready to go.

I was getting a late start and figured there was about an hour and a half of riding left before it got dark, and it was at least three hours to Sabine Pass, my planned stop for the night. I filled up at the first station I saw leaving Jasper and headed south on US96. About 35 miles south in Buna I turned away from Beaumont onto CR62 and headed towards Bridge City and rode on through to Port Arthur. By this time it was dark and a little misty, but not too cold, maybe high 50's. I turned south on CR87 through the bayous and refineries. It was pretty with all the lights shining from the derricks and platforms. My plan was to ride on down to camp on the beach at Sea Rim N.P., but with it already dark, and the forecast tonight and tomorrow calling for wind and rain, I chickened out and decided to stay at the Sabine Pass Motel. Tomorrow I'd start my journey proper, headed across the Louisiana gulf coast towards Grand Isle.

The XV parked for the night in front of the Sabine Pass Motel, Florida temp plate showing proudly.

One more pic for prosperity.

motorcyclefanatic screwed with this post 01-17-2011 at 11:51 AM
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Old 01-16-2011, 12:47 PM   #6
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:11 PM   #7
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Sounds Like an interesting trip- hard starting, iffy starter...Subscribed!
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:13 PM   #8
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Old 01-16-2011, 01:51 PM   #9
Thrifty not cheap
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Neat bike; can't say I've ever seen one. Let us know your thoughts on how it rides, power, etc. I'm along for this one.
'04 Wee Strom
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Old 01-16-2011, 08:25 PM   #10
Chip Seal
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The XV920 RH is a pretty good bike.
The starter ring gear is loose. There is a fix. It involves some tack welding. The shaft Virago's of same vintage have similar troubles.
It will make a racket but I wouldn't worry to much about it.
You can bump start the bike in fourth. Oh yeah, there aren't any hills where you are riding, are there? LOL
The rear mono shock is an air shock. Since it is at least 28 yrs old, probably won't hold air pressure more than a few days. 10 to 12 lbs with a hand pump will really help handling. Air fill from gas station isn't recomended.
It has a 630 chain in a lithium grease bath. You'll probably never need to adjust it. It is hell for stout.
Notice a supertrap muffler and most likely a Mac two into one exhaust. Stock exhaust is an odd design. Muffler on left side was prone to rot at the front. Difficult to repair and stock ones, if you can find are ridiculously priced. Aftermarket is good here. Plus you can get plates for supertrap to adjust volume of noise/silence.
The rubber mounts for the carbs can rot, so good idea to update them.
Front end with dual discs, gas tank and instruments are the same as the XJ650 Seca for 1982.
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:53 PM   #11
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Hmmm....hows this
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:55 PM   #12
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or this
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Old 01-16-2011, 09:57 PM   #13
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one more....Oh the days of funn and creativity..I no longer have any of them but how much I wish I did.
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Old 01-17-2011, 08:59 AM   #14
Gnarly Adventurer
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I think this will make for a fantastic ride report! That looks like a great bike. I might be tempted to try to turn it into a V Twin Cafe Racer

Don't hold us in suspense too long. I can't wait to hear the rest of the story.
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Old 01-17-2011, 10:34 AM   #15
Wrong Island, NY
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One request, right justify your text. Center justification hurts my eyes.
Rob VB
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I I took the one less traveled by, And now where the fuck am I?
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