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-   -   New rider (http://www.xs11.com/forum/showthread.php?t=23256)

Grinder3 06-27-2009 12:38 PM

New rider
 
Hello everybody, I just joined this group after discovering the XJ1100 for sale on craigslist.
First I'll explain who I am before asking my questions.
I'm 6'1'' 200 lbs and just took my motorcycle safety course, they said they were impressed that I'm a new rider and honestly I felt very natural on a bike. This has led me to believe I should go for a bigger first bike so I don't get bored too quick, I can practice riding for as long as it takes to be proficient before I take it out in traffic.
I'm interested in a midsize cruiser with the best engineering I can get for under $5000, pre-owned of course.
I found the XJ1100 for sale for $1300 with 20000 mi, and then found this website. I must say that the specs on the bike are phenomenal, no other bike I've seen has what this bike has. The only problem I see with it is that the styling is well, butt ugly - although I think it would make a great concept bike, something kind of Blade Runner, or Heavy Metal Magazine - sci-fi. Don't get me wrong, I love retro looks and odd stuff that no one else likes, but this is definitely a niche bike from a specific period, hard to make it sexy by today's standards. But it's not all about looks, it's about performance.

Here are my main questions -

How acurate are Bob Jones' claims for long life? I know there are many factors that go into this, but can anyone tell me how long and far their bike has ridden?

I don't see his book available online, is it hard to find?

With the previously stated deal on the bike - $1300 (which is kelly bb value) and 20000 miles, even if the bike is running well presently, are there any common or uncommon quirks or red flags I should look for? Say the present owners have it running ok but it did indeed sit for years....

How will someone my size fit on the bike? At 6'1'' and 200 lbs, I'm average to large but not overly so. I'm sure I'll fit, but the close proximity of the controls is what concerns me the most. Is that really a comfortable riding position for long hauls? What about the seat?

How much performance modification/enhancement will this bike take or does it need?

How hard is it to find parts?

What is the mileage/range I can expect to get?

Again I'm more about function than fashion. I'd have fun tweaking the XJ1100 or giving it a full-on overhaul for style, can't beat the price but will it truly last me a lifetime? I have been ravenously researching bikes and this is by far the most impressive set of specs I've seen. It's obvious the values that went into it are no longer used in the marketplace. I saw an '06 Mean Streak with 50000 mi on it for $3000 (half of kbb) and wouldn't touch it.

An example of what I like is the suzuki m50, it's got some good specs and an original funky look, I would most likely lower it and try to jack the power. I like things that look offbeat but I want something that has the guts to hold up to my abuse. I plan to really ride the heck out my bike. This is the only one that seems to fit the bill, almost all other bikes currently on offer seem to fall short in one category or another. I just want to make sure I know what I'm getting into. Any and all advice is greatly appreciated.

latexeses 06-27-2009 01:44 PM

Welcome Grinder3,

These bikes have been around for 30 years. That's a lifetime for some of the members here. Bob Jones had nearly 215,000 on his 78.

I think if you treat them right they will last as long as the rider. I've seen a couple of local bikes that look like they have been stored in a hog pen but they sound great.

I suppose you could modify or enhance your XJ as far as your money will go. There are no rules as far as I know...

Except maybe putting a V-twin in one.

The search button at the top of the page will be your friend.

There are others here with much more information than I.

Again, Welcome.

Rodger

tw1980 06-27-2009 02:28 PM

Butt ugly?Hard to make look sexy by today's standards?I think you just offended.:(

cueball 06-27-2009 03:28 PM

Sexy
 
Sexy by todays standards usually means a SWIP (**** wrapped in plastic) crotch rocket. XS's & XJ's come from an era when planned obsolescence (falling apart after about 5 years) was not a concept in the designers thoughts. After a few years they realised that if they continued to make bikes as good as th XS & XJ series that they would be out of jobs. Bikes that don't wear out do not generate sales of new bikes. Personally, I think that to attempt to make one "sexy" by todays standards would be to ruin one of the best models ever made.:cool: However,as always on this site, MHO ( my humble opinion) is just that, feel free to disagree, plenty of others have:p:D.

Grinder3 06-27-2009 03:52 PM

Please forgive me....
 
Ok....people.
I KNOW the bike is engineered well.
I KNOW they don't make them like this anymore.
I KNOW the esthetics are from a different era.
I stated all of this in my post.
I also stated that I like things that look funky and would love to do something interesting with this bike.

Please forgive me for ruffling your feathers, but if you are going to bother to post a reply, can you please make it constructive?

Show me one person my age that thinks this bike looks great and I'll take back the "Butt ugly."

I'm 36, when this bike was new I was seven years old, what do you think I was wearing then? I'll tell you. A polyester snap down shirt and corduroy pants, my hair was parted down the middle and feathered. AC/DC was in the top 40 and Atari was awesome stuff. We have come a long way since then.

No one my age is going to say this bike looks beautiful. But the smart ones, like myself, just might appreciate what it does have and find a way to make it stylish again.

So please, if you are going to reply, may I ask that you have at least one piece of pertinent information to share? That is what this forum is for.

jmnjrpa 06-27-2009 04:51 PM

Temper, temper
It will get you nowhere. These people are the best. They go far out of their way to help (ie--be constructive). What you think the bike looks like really does not matter to them. Give your thread time and you will pick up some valuable advice. BTW, one's trash is another's treasure. These bikes take a lot of devotion and patience. But they give more than they receive. Hey, what a novel concept!

John 06-27-2009 04:54 PM

How about three people younger than you who think the XS-XJ is a damn good looking bike. We'll start with Hobbyman...20 YO and he and his dad have 6 of them. Kermit77...20 YO and is totally enamored with the XS he is restoring. Montreaux Blue...early 30's and rides a nice bobbed Special.
The list goes on.
Oh you wanted 'pertinent info'? Here's some...Most of us old farts don't care much for folk that jump in here and start talking smack like that. You know something, I, along with many others here are full of 'pertinent info' But after that last response, I'll be damned if I share any with you.

Bigfoot 06-27-2009 05:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grinder3 (Post 218421)
Ok....people.
I KNOW the bike is engineered well.
I KNOW they don't make them like this anymore.
I KNOW the esthetics are from a different era.
I stated all of this in my post.
I also stated that I like things that look funky and would love to do something interesting with this bike.

Please forgive me for ruffling your feathers, but if you are going to bother to post a reply, can you please make it constructive?

Show me one person my age that thinks this bike looks great and I'll take back the "Butt ugly."

I'm 36, when this bike was new I was seven years old, what do you think I was wearing then? I'll tell you. A polyester snap down shirt and corduroy pants, my hair was parted down the middle and feathered. AC/DC was in the top 40 and Atari was awesome stuff. We have come a long way since then.

No one my age is going to say this bike looks beautiful. But the smart ones, like myself, just might appreciate what it does have and find a way to make it stylish again.

So please, if you are going to reply, may I ask that you have at least one piece of pertinent information to share? That is what this forum is for.

I am only a year older than you and I love the looks of the XJ. My first bike was an XJ. I still have it as well as an XS.

To answer some of your questions. These bikes are fairly bulletproof. Treated right, they will treat you right. The XS's were slightly more powerfull than the XJ. The XJ's were only sold in the US for 1 year so parts can be hard to find. Luckily alot of the parts are interchangeable with the XS.

About the only problem that I know of is that some of them have a problem with first or second gear. Usually first in the XJ. It is an easy fix if you have a decent set of tools, a little mechanical aptitude, and can follow simple instructions. This was also an issue with the XS's.

Welcome to the forum and good luck with whatever bike you end up getting.

Russ79 06-27-2009 05:15 PM

Here is another vote for the younger crowd. I am 32 and have 3 XSs one of them is a totally custom restored Bob Jones original. Sentimental reasons aside, I think it is the neatest best looking motorcycle every made. As Bigfoot said, they are just about bulletproof, and designed to last a life time. As for your sense of style, why don't you stop tearing down my bike and go get yourself a V twin, like the rest of the followers. At least you will look cool as I blow you off the road.

Russ79

b.walker5 06-27-2009 05:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by John (Post 218431)
How about three people younger than you who think the XS-XJ is a damn good looking bike. We'll start with Hobbyman...20 YO and he and his dad have 6 of them. Kermit77...20 YO and is totally enamored with the XS he is restoring. Montreaux Blue...early 30's and rides a nice bobbed Special.
The list goes on.
Oh you wanted 'pertinent info'? Here's some...Most of us old farts don't care much for folk that jump in here and start talking smack like that. You know something, I, along with many others here are full of 'pertinent info' But after that last response, I'll be damned if I share any with you.

Well said John, Some of these young bucks need to learn respect for knowledge and wisdom, and stop thinking that their generation knows better.

Ya know what Grinder, you might try doing a little research on this site first, about it's members and about the tech tips at the top of the page. We will try and help anyone who put's a little effort into helping themselves first but dont think that being here 5 minutes and being a smart arse is going to help you. Talk about the "way to earn friends and influence people" NOT:( If the style of the bike offends you that much, don't buy it. Leave it for someone who truly appreciates it for what it is and go buy something else to cut up, a Hardly maybe or someother POS that no one here cares about.

Grinder3 06-27-2009 05:43 PM

Amused
 
This is actually the problem not only with America, but the entire world -

YOU CAN'T DRAW CARTOONS OF MY GOD!!!!!

I'M SUING BECAUSE HE INSINUATED MY DOG WAS SMALL FOR IT'S BREED...

YOU INSULTED MY FREIND, I'M NOT TALKING TO YOU EVER AGAIN!!!

I can't believe that you guys would jump me so hard for one line out of 100. I think the bike is ugly, so what, I'm still interested in having one. Sheesh.
I'm angry? You guys are wound so tight it only takes one short phrase to unravel you completely.....get a grip. THE BIKE IS UGLY.
I'm not taking any of it seriously, I think it's funny that someone once built a decent bike and that there's an entire trekkie following that will bite someone's head off if they look sideways at it.
What are you doing to see that there will ever be a decent bike produced ever again? Have you written to any manufacturers lately - like Bob did?
HHHHMMMMMMMMM???????
UGLY UGLY UGLY

John 06-27-2009 06:00 PM

There's one in every crowd
 
And let me present ours!
Looks like the boy suffers from Crainial Rectumitis!
Where you from, boy? Don't they teach manners or respect there? You might as well go join the XJ site. Maybe someone will talk to you there. Just don't mention what an ugly bike it is.

b.walker5 06-27-2009 06:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Grinder3 (Post 218440)
This is actually the problem not only with America, but the entire world -

YOU CAN'T DRAW CARTOONS OF MY GOD!!!!!

I'M SUING BECAUSE HE INSINUATED MY DOG WAS SMALL FOR IT'S BREED...

YOU INSULTED MY FREIND, I'M NOT TALKING TO YOU EVER AGAIN!!!

I can't believe that you guys would jump me so hard for one line out of 100. I think the bike is ugly, so what, I'm still interested in having one. Sheesh.
I'm angry? You guys are wound so tight it only takes one short phrase to unravel you completely.....get a grip. THE BIKE IS UGLY.
I'm not taking any of it seriously, I think it's funny that someone once built a decent bike and that there's an entire trekkie following that will bite someone's head off if they look sideways at it.
What are you doing to see that there will ever be a decent bike produced ever again? Have you written to any manufacturers lately - like Bob did?
HHHHMMMMMMMMM???????
UGLY UGLY UGLY

The polite way might have been to say that in Your Opinion they are Ugly, but I promise you that your opinion is not shared by many, if any, here, and some things are better left un-said. In light of your response to the initial relpies I think you are going to find it very difficult to win any friends and get good advice here. We are not wound tight, we just show each other courtesy and respect, perhaps you could too. And if you want my honest opinion, I am happy to invite you to engage in some sex and travel anytime you feel like it, preferably sooner than later.

randy 06-27-2009 06:13 PM

OK, let's talk about oil now. Or tires:p

MindWebs 06-27-2009 08:26 PM

Hmm?
 
Gents,
i think you scared him off.
i'll admit he came across poorly. but some people you have to take with a grain of salt....

i think he simply needs to do a search to find what he's looking for.
i know i've seen many moding threads.

Grinder3, these gents take pride in restoring these bikes and appreciate them
for what they are. i've been made fun of fun years because of my tripple 250
it smokes more then i do.. (ALOT MORE)

so, please search the site and do your homework, (anything worth doing takes time and effort).

and if you have any questions about tuning or repairing the engine. this is the
right place.

good luck.


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