And so it begins

| October 29, 2011 | 0 Comments

I’ve always wanted a motorcycle.  It’s never been a high priority, but it’s something I’ve always planned on getting.  A buddy of mine really got me thinking about one years ago when he purchased a KTM dual sport.  I’d spent a good portion of my life so far wandering back roads and high deserts, so it just seemed a logical next step.

Then I met my wife, and with her came an instant family. A motorcycle was put on hold as my priorities changed drastically.

Fast forward 6+ years to now.  I’m a bit older, hopefully a bit wiser, and I’m still open to new experiences. I’ve started really noticing motorcycles again, in particular the Cafe Racer.

I can’t explain why, and so I’ve quit trying.  I just want one.  It’s enough of a want that I began obsessing.  I’ve read blog after blog after blog, talked to those with one, and finally decided it was time (with my wife’s blessing of course).

Since I’ve never driven a motorcycle, I decided to start things off right.  I signed up and took the Basic Riders Course at Utah Rider Ed .  I took the two day course, and was up and riding within hours of the first class.  It became obvious to me very quickly that I was meant to ride.

Utah has a tiered license system, and this course was setup to have you certified up to 649cc.  To be licensed to ride a bigger bike I needed to test on something 650cc or larger.  Last day of class I passed my written test and both riding tests, then finished up at the DMV with their written test to get an unlimited license.  Kick ass!

Okay, so now I needed a bike.  Not just any bike though.  I needed something I could tear down and rebuild myself.  A project bike.  My search began at Ebay, Craigslist, and the classifieds section of www.ksl.com .  My price range, $300-$500.  Bigger than 650cc, but not a monster. It didn’t have to run since this was to be a winter project. It took about a week of checking all three sites 30+ times a day ( easy for a programmer ) to find a guy out of Payson selling a ’78 Yamaha XS750SE for $250.  It had been sitting in his back yard since he bought it in ’09.  He never got it to run, said it had electrical problems. Even though he didn’t even have any pictures up yet for it, I just new this was it.

A couple texts and a phone call later and it was waiting for me.  That was on a Wednesday, and Friday I was heading down I-15 with my wife and a U-Haul motorcycle rental trailer swinging back and forth behind us.

Kevin ( the bike owner ) met us at his place of employment in American Fork for the switch.  With the much appreciated help of one of his coworkers we were able to roll the bike out of the back of his pickup truck, down our makeshift ramp, and into the trailer.  Money was exchanged, and I was now the proud owner.

Even though my wife knew that I was looking for a project bike she still could not hold back a rolling of the eyes as I climb back in the SUV.  She decided this was a good opportunity to get me to agree that if the bike sat in our garage for longer than a year without being touched it would be sold or salvaged.

So back home we went with my prize in tow.  I rambled on and on as I described how I was going to proceed, and she did her best to listen.  I can understand how something like this could be a bit daunting to some.  I don’t think the reality of what I’ve committed to really hit me until it was parked in the garage.

A brief search around the web brought me to a forum dedicated to my platform: http://www.yamaha-triples.org .  These guys cover everything from restoration to modifications.  From here I found the most recommended service manual to be made by Clymer.  Amazon had it to me in 3 days.

And so today I begin my project.  Here are a couple bikes I’m using for inspiration that I’ve found online:

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