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  #16  
Old 06-27-2009, 09:13 PM
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TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
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We don't get no respect!

Hey Grinder,

What's wrong with the world is that people don't respect people anymore!

Another word that could be learned is "tact".

BTW, Mr. Bob Jones passed away this year. Many of us respect his devotion and admiration for our beloved machines. He did some interesting mods to many of these bikes, and some of them IMHO were not that impressive in their styling, but that's a matter of personal taste. But did I try to write to him and tell him that I thought they were UGLY mods, no...out of respect!

The XS's and XJ's are built to American average height standards of the 1980's, and that's about 5'8" IIRC. I'm 6'6" and 225lbs, and my bike looks like a minibike when I sit on it! I like sitting UPRIGHT, not hunched over the gastank, and so I like the way the bars sweep back to reach me without having to have my arms stiffarmed straight. I made some mods to mine so that I could stretch out my legs, feet position for cruising and long distance riding, but I kept the OEM pegs and controls because I like the security and feel of my feet directly beneath my butt when I'm negotiating the twisties.

These machines are durable, but any machine if abused will wear out or break down. They are not 20K rpm sport bike engines, they redline at 8500 but with their age, valve springs, etc., it's suggested that folks don't take them past 7500 too often. Due to their age and the shaft drive design, you can't put a very wide tire on the rear without some major modding...see chain drive conversion. They were only made for about 4-5 years, the XS11's and 1 year for the XJ11, no where near as long at the GOLDWING ie, and so aftermarket parts are quite rare. The XJ's ignition system is also more advanced than the XS's, but more of a pain to repair or replace if it fails.

So...unless you're a great mechainic, fabricator, painter, etc., then you will have very limited success in trying to beautify your ugly XJ11 without laying out a fair more amount of $$.

Hope you find what you're looking for, but I also hope you learn to show a little more respect to whatever bike/forum you end up relying on to help you with your bike.
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81SH "Godzilla" . . .1179cc super-rat.
79SF "The Teacher" . . .basket case!
History shows again and again,
How nature points out the folly of men!
  #17  
Old 06-27-2009, 11:21 PM
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DGXSER DGXSER is offline
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Wow.....I could spend the time others have wasted trying to point out the errors of your ways, but I see you learn very slowly and the hard way. So I'll just put it bluntly...shove off and do not expect help from me! You have insulted my friends!! And that earns more than you can get on an internet forum from me.
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81 XS1100 Special - Humpty Dumpty
80 XS1100 Special - Project Resurrection


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80 XS1100 Special - Ruby
81 XS1100 Special
81 CB750 C
80 CB750 C
78 XS750
  #18  
Old 06-27-2009, 11:49 PM
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fredintoon fredintoon is offline
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Hi G3 & welcome to this list,
If it runs good, all the parts are there, the chrome & paint are not too bad, don't immediately need new tires and has it's papers $1,300 is fair market value.
You can't see it when you are riding it and all other folks see is it's rear end so don't let the aesthetics get to you.
But if you think it's so ucking fugly whydja buy it?
But about the bike:-
Treat it right and it'll last forever.
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  #19  
Old 06-28-2009, 01:35 AM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder3 View Post
..... The only problem I see with it is that the styling is well, butt ugly....

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?
Heh heh.... yep, some of these guys are a bit thin-skinned. The styling? Sure, it's 'different'. The XJ was the extreme of the XS/XJ styling, and probably not to everyone's taste. But you won't meet yourself on the road, that's for sure. But I will say this: if the bike you're looking at is a nice, unmolested original, don't hack it up. If you do, you'll pretty much destroy it's value.

Reliability? Properly cared for, these things are nearly bulletproof. Gearbox issues is a semi-common problem, but if you can wrench, it's a cheap and easy fix. Dirty carbs is the most common problem, as many of these bikes have sat. Carb overhauls can be tedious. Look carefully for signs of poor maintenance.

As far as 'comfort', hey, that's different for everybody so you'll have to decide that. But these are one of the best high-speed touring bikes you'll ever find.

Performance? Yeah, there's some tweaks available but they're really not needed and you won't gain that much anyway. This IS a legit low-12s bike when running right after all. Don't try any serious corner carving; the suspension isn't up to it.

Parts.... the real weakness of these. Standard maint/tune-up parts are generally easy to find, but some stuff can be nearly impossible. Cosmetic parts are the worst, followed by some electrical bits. Pretty much zero is available new in the aftermarket for accessories, so you'll be looking for good used or NOS parts, or build/adapt it yourself. A lot of these guys have at least one parts bike; that tell you anything?

Mileage? Typical for a jap multi; 40 mpg or less. Sure, some guys manage a bit better, but don't be surprised with low 30s either. If you enjoy the available power often, look for the lower numbers.

'78E original owner
  #20  
Old 06-28-2009, 05:13 AM
Grinder3 Grinder3 is offline
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Thanks guys!

I really appreciate the positive feedback.....
To the ones I've unwittingly offended I'll apologize with the clarification that not once did I ever make a personal attack or insult to any of you. You might have taken it personally but I don't even know any of you so how could it have been intended that way?
The statement I made about styling might have seemed brash and un-pc, but it was made by someone looking at bikes for the first time and without any form of malice. And honestly guys, it was one semi-negative phrase, more of an offhand comment than anything (depending on how you chose to look at it) within a largely positive post. For some reason, half of you have picked that piece out and focused on it while completely disregarding everything else. The positive stuff.
Personally, once I do have experience, and if someone showed up new and green and wanting to learn. I'd help them with anything I could, like I do with everything else in life, because that's the kind of person I am. I wouldn't take an offhand remark by a newbie as a declaration of war. That would be, well, just silly.

In hindsight, I shouldn't have said anything about styling at all, because it barely applies. What I really want to know about are mechanical issues. I had no idea of the personal feelings people had for these bikes. Unfortunately, I was attacked on a personal level and it kind of does hurt my feelings - I never meant to hurt yours and I think if you thought about it rationally for a moment, instead of reacting violently, you'd realize that.
I do hope to make friends here or I wouldn't have signed up. And of course I like the bikes, they're the best right?
I just might end up riding one.
Keep the positive replies coming and I'll gladly return the favor.
  #21  
Old 06-28-2009, 06:04 AM
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oseaghdha oseaghdha is offline
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Ugly, much like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
Seriously, a lot of guys here have done all kind of things that they think look good, but not everyone will agree on a color, much less style.

Do what you want, make it how you like it.

However, that having been said, if you voice your opinion that someone's bike is ugly, they will likely return the favor.

There's a photo thread around here somewhere, you can see for yourself that nothing's really sacred.
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  #22  
Old 06-28-2009, 06:27 AM
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Wildkat Wildkat is offline
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Well... it wasn't the one negative comment you made that set everyone off.. it was this post that came across as a bit... ummmmmmmm... obnoxious...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Grinder3 View Post
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.
When you post here... you get the bad with the good... so while it may not seem pertinent to you... it may be important to someone.... and they've been here a lot longer than you and have become part of the family... One thing you'll find about the members here... while they may seem overly sensitive to you.. many of them would drop what they were doing in a heartbeat, to help another member... and we are VERY sentimental about our bikes...
The comments directed to your first post were not offensive... but anyone who comes in to the forum talking about changing the look of their bike gets them... Your reaction to those comments was a bit... over the top in some peoples' opinion...

That being said...

Bob Jones' book is still available through some of the members that worked with him as well as through his wife... I'll pass on the info to them that you're looking for one... or you can use the search engine... a few recent posts regarding the book should help you out...

Many of the standard problems with these bikes are well documented.. the best place to start (if you haven't seen it already) is here:

What to look for in a neglected XS/ XJ

Honestly... $1300 is a bit expensive for one of these bikes unless it's immaculate... XJ parts are VERY difficult to find due to the short manufacturing time frame...

The bike should fit you just fine... Many of the guys here are about your size and other than a few exceptions... don't seem to have a problem...
The one thing that I do hear a lot of complaints about on the XJ is the seat... I guess you're a bit locked into your riding position (I ride an XS... so I don't know)

I think they get around 30 - 35 MPG.... and the range is much farther than the Specials (thanks to a huge gas tank on the XJ)... so when riding with a Special... you're range will be about 100 miles...


Many of us have done the 750 Final Drive conversion on our bikes... You'll find this in the modifications forum... also, many have bored their engines to either 1179 or 1196...

Hope this helps...

sooooooo
Maybe a fresh start is in order

Welcome to the forum
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Last edited by Wildkat; 06-28-2009 at 07:18 AM.
  #23  
Old 06-28-2009, 07:47 AM
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Trainzz Trainzz is offline
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my 2 cents

people chill and grab another latte.

Grinder welcome to the forum. Just a small piece of advise. Most of the folks here have sweated blood restoring these classic machines. Dealing with limited parts off the shelf, hours of tweaking and tuning, fabrication ....sheesh the list never ends.

That being said. Don't spend time just looking a these massive behemoths, plant your butt on one and see for yourself what they are all about. These are not some big-boobed,empty headed, saturday night pickups. They are that plain gal in glasses with a slight weight problem, who gets nasty beyond your wildest fantasy when the lights go out.

in a world when style supersedes function, I understand why you maintain you ideal of beauty. I am one of the lucky ones who decided to not run with the pack.

So yeah, I ride an out of date, non-streamlined, massive black, butt clenching thirty year old machine. I've got no problem with you opinion of my bike. Just wondering if you have ridden much. I 'm an old guy don't remember if you said so or not. If not, a couple of pieces of advise. These bikes are like an old steam locomotive, massive and pondereous. At slow speeds they wallow like a pig in sand and can dump you in a heartbeat. Right Tod? These old girls do not do not run 160 mph at 15,000 rpm. Mine is happier at 110. What they do have is an implacable, unrelenting presence and movement that bespeaks massive power lurking behind paint and chrome. They don't wail like a screeching ninja, the don't rumble like a harley. They just growl like a spactic, stressed out badger waiting to rip your face off and eat your soul.

If you are not prepared to help preserve a very small important slice of motorcycle history, and treat it (and its owners) with some modicum of respect, by all means, carry your ass outta here. But if ya'll really want one of these, the price doesn't matter. In the end,like anything worthwhile, money never matters.
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I am my inner child!!

I have no idea how you managed to make that connection within your brain, but I applaud whatever cellular mutation just took place.

1980 XS11 Special-"Thunder Pig"
1980 XS11 Special-"Crazy Trainz" (project bike)
1979 Xs1100 Standard ( parts,parts,parts)
  #24  
Old 06-28-2009, 08:04 AM
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trbig trbig is offline
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I am somewhat your age at 41, and think the curves and styling of the XJ are one of the best out there. The XS styling is unquestionably 70's, and the XJ is unquestionably 80's styling. Most people growing to adulthood in an era usually like the things from that time frame, so I love the 80's bikes, and I love the 80's hair bands. (The music.. not so much the looks.. lol)

I grew up wanting the bikes from that time.. my favorite being the 80's Honda V65 Magna. My XJ has many of it's features but not the one where the cams and cranks are gone at 40-50k miles. I ride the hell out of mine, but don't expect it to last 200k miles before rebuilding. And don't listen to the people that say these bikes won't handle or corner. They obviously haven't ridden with me. I'm not going to go there in this thread, but have found the tires and fork pressure to be the biggest denominator in the handling.

The seat... is great for trips 50 miles or less. The way it's curved, it has constant pressure on your tailbone no matter where you sit. There are pads out there that help.. I recently did over 800 miles in one day and think I could have gone to 1000 to get the iron butt award thingie.. but that's for another day.

My thoughts on your entrance here...

Imagine a large group of family and friends gathered in a circle.. talking, laughing, and having a good time.. all with the commonality of loving these bikes. You.. the new guy.. walk up and immediately offend about a third of the group calling their bikes butt ugly, saying only the smart ones (Like yourself) can find a way to make the styling great again. You don't have to personally know someone to feel like you're being attacked... as stated by you saying your feelings were a bit hurt. How?? We don't know you?

With all the time, effort, and money most of us have spent on our bikes, what you did was the equivilent of saying, "Man, your kid is butt ugly!" You think we over-reacted. Possibly... but that happens sometimes when you're passionate about something. From the comments I get just going to the store.. to bike gatherings, when people walk by all the 20-30k+ dollar bikes and come look at mine.. guys my age... and tell me "Nice ride" or.. "Good looking bike. I remember those and those SOBs are FAST!" It would seem to me that your opinion is most definately in the minority. I was taking this pic for a calendar and had SEVERAL people stop and ask what kind of bike it was and said it was sharp looking. What you'll find is that most of the people I have talked to that really love the bike.. ARE our age.

My bike


We love helping people out here, but when you jump in and offend a bunch of people in our family.. the rest of the family usually jumps in and gives back what it's been given. If your feelings were hurt.. touche'.. because you hurt a few on your entrance.


Tod
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Try your hardest to be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

You can live to be 100, as long as you give up everything that would make you want to live to be 100!

Current bikes:
'06 Suzuki DR650
*'82 XJ1100 with the 1179 kit. "Mad Maxim"
'82 XJ1100 Completely stock fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Bagger fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Motor/frame and lots of boxes of parts
'82 XJ1100 Parts bike
'81 XS1100 Special
'81 YZ250
'80 XS850 Special
'80 XR100
*Crashed/Totalled, still own
  #25  
Old 06-28-2009, 08:08 AM
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TopCatGr58 TopCatGr58 is offline
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Wink Fresh Start...thanks MOM!

Hey again Grinder,

I/We accept your apology, and as in my previous post, have tried to provide you with some of the information you were looking for. IF you'll just take a look at the recent threads over the last day or so, there have been 3 or so NEWBIES that have arrived here, and you can see that we have welcomed them with open arms and minds. Attitude is everything, and we just got ours out of adjustment with your early posts. We know that these machines are not Sportbikes, and comment and belittle their attributes all the time, like saying that the transmission shifts like a russian tractor.

But just like the brother with a homely sister, he still loves her, and if anybody else says she's ugly, he's gonna get his comeuppence!

As has been mentioned, some mods that folks do...like making a hardtail out of one can garnish some severe IRE from folks that have been around bikes almost longer than bikes have been around...right Fredintoon!

In the end, it'll be your bike and you can do whatever you want to it to make it fit your style, personality, riding ability, etc.! And when/if you post photos of your work, you'll receive all sorts of comments, some good, possibly some not so favorable, but they are all just opinions, take them for what they are.

BTW, KAT is JOHN's SWMBO, so you can see we ARE at times just one big FAMILY. Speaking of Family, take a look at the IVAN HOSPITALIZED thread in the MEMBER's LOUNGE to see how we treat our family, same for the thread about SAILOR in the Memorium Forum, and you'll see that we are passionate, perhaps to a fault, but once you actually get to ride one of these machines, you'll possibly understand it a bit more!

Hey, I've got a name for your machine....UGLY BETTY!
T.C.
  #26  
Old 06-28-2009, 08:10 AM
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Trainzz Trainzz is offline
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hmmm

Am I the only one who notices that these pictures only show the left side of the bike................???!!!!

uh-huh
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I am my inner child!!

I have no idea how you managed to make that connection within your brain, but I applaud whatever cellular mutation just took place.

1980 XS11 Special-"Thunder Pig"
1980 XS11 Special-"Crazy Trainz" (project bike)
1979 Xs1100 Standard ( parts,parts,parts)
  #27  
Old 06-28-2009, 08:23 AM
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trbig trbig is offline
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Well.. until last weekend, I could have showed you the right side.. Since then, I've gotten a few boo-boos. One in particular is sorta down south of my hip.. and was wondering if you could kiss it and make it all better for me..

Tod
__________________
Try your hardest to be the kind of person your dog thinks you are.

You can live to be 100, as long as you give up everything that would make you want to live to be 100!

Current bikes:
'06 Suzuki DR650
*'82 XJ1100 with the 1179 kit. "Mad Maxim"
'82 XJ1100 Completely stock fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Bagger fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Motor/frame and lots of boxes of parts
'82 XJ1100 Parts bike
'81 XS1100 Special
'81 YZ250
'80 XS850 Special
'80 XR100
*Crashed/Totalled, still own
  #28  
Old 06-28-2009, 07:56 PM
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DGXSER DGXSER is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trbig View Post
One in particular is sorta down south of my hip.. and was wondering if you could kiss it and make it all better for me..
Why am I reminded of a story about a snake bite and "doctor says, your gonna die."
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When your work speaks for itself, don't interrupt.

81 XS1100 Special - Humpty Dumpty
80 XS1100 Special - Project Resurrection


Previously owned
93 GSX600F
80 XS1100 Special - Ruby
81 XS1100 Special
81 CB750 C
80 CB750 C
78 XS750
  #29  
Old 06-28-2009, 09:43 PM
garbnod627 garbnod627 is offline
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Smile

your right guys ,some people are better left out of the conversation.
well, i could not be happier, just got my 80 special running today
and took my first ride on a 1100 .nice!!! love it. could not have
done it without the help i got from this website, many thanks to
everbody at xs11.com!!!

garbnod627 (freebie)
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  #30  
Old 06-29-2009, 05:36 AM
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catdna catdna is offline
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Posts: 74
I'm 39 and *love* the look of these bikes - there are very few new bikes these days that I'd actually consider owning (maybe an XJR.... oops, that's based on the XS ;-)) or a GSX1400 - but again, these are *real* bikes, not something wrapped up in $$$ worth of plastic and ridden by power rangers.

However, I've not noticed any hostility towards me and my XS1100 trike - the only part of the XS on it is the engine and wiring loom, and the guys here have gone above and beyond to help me out with my sometimes ludicrous posts ;-)

Now I've got an XS11 *two wheeler* as well as the trike and I absolutely love it - after riding chops / hardtails for the past gawd knows how many years, it's nice to have a 2 wheeler with a bit of comfort, and grunt, and I can throw it around bends if I want, or ride like I'm driving miss daisy ;-)

The people on here are fantastically helpful and very knowledgable - if you decide to go for the bike (hey, why not chop it ! ;-)) then you won't find a more helpful forum.

Cheers
Chris
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XS1100 F - with an SG engine
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