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Old 09-24-2012, 06:53 PM
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IanDMacDonald IanDMacDonald is offline
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To buy a non-running XS11, or a running XS11???

So, I got a guy that wants to sell me a '78 XS11E for around $700 with a solid engine. It also comes with an engine that has a second gear issue. The bike has been sitting, so the tires are hit, as well as the carbs being gummed up and the tank rusted inside. Missing side covers as well. Aftermarket exhaust. Or, I can buy a nice '79 XS11 that is running for about $1500. I dunno which I want to do. Make a winter project out of the cheaper bike and put a pain-staking amount of labor and money into getting it running, or buy the running bike and eat the $800 worth of labor that I would have put into the bike.

-Mac
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1979 XS1100F
2H9 Mod, Truck-Lite LED Headlight, TECHNA-FIT S/S Brake Lines, Rear Air Shocks, TKAT Fork Brace, Dyna DC-I Coils, TC Fuse Block, Barnett HD Clutch Springs, Superbike Handlebars, V-Star 650 ACCT, NGK Irridium Plugs, OEM Exhaust. CNC-Cut 2nd Gear Dogs; Ported/Milled Head; Modded Airbox: 8x8 Wix Panel Filter; #137.5 Main Jet, Viper Yellow Paint, Michelin Pilot Activ F/R, Interstate AGM Battery, 14MM MC, Maier Fairing, Cree LED Fog Lights.
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  #2  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:04 PM
CaptonZap CaptonZap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanDMacDonald View Post
So, I got a guy that wants to sell me a '78 XS11E for around $700 with a solid engine. It also comes with an engine that has a second gear issue. The bike has been sitting, so the tires are hit, as well as the carbs being gummed up and the tank rusted inside. Missing side covers as well. Aftermarket exhaust. Or, I can buy a nice '79 XS11 that is running for about $1500. I dunno which I want to do. Make a winter project out of the cheaper bike and put a pain-staking amount of labor and money into getting it running, or buy the running bike and eat the $800 worth of labor that I would have put into the bike.

-Mac
As a person who has been faced with that question, let me say this.
Unless you can get it for a lot less, I would pass. Yeah, you know what is missing, and add the replacement cost in there, but when you start in to fix it, you run into a LOT of unseen problems, and the cost keeps mounting.
If you start with the runner, you can always do the fixup, but on your schedule, with a runner in between fixes.
On the other hand, if you rather wrench than ride, the fixer-upper will give you hours of enjoyment. CZ
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:07 PM
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natemoen natemoen is offline
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I agree, with the list you said $700 is too much.
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1978 XS1100E
K&N Filter
#45 pilot Jet, #137.5 Main Jet
OEM Exhaust
ATK Fork Brace
LED Dash lights
Ammeter, Oil Pressure, Oil Temp, and Volt Meters

Green Monster Coils
SS Brake Lines
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:34 PM
JeffH JeffH is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IanDMacDonald View Post
So, I got a guy that wants to sell me a '78 XS11E for around $700 with a solid engine. It also comes with an engine that has a second gear issue. The bike has been sitting, so the tires are hit, as well as the carbs being gummed up and the tank rusted inside. Missing side covers as well. Aftermarket exhaust. Or, I can buy a nice '79 XS11 that is running for about $1500. I dunno which I want to do. Make a winter project out of the cheaper bike and put a pain-staking amount of labor and money into getting it running, or buy the running bike and eat the $800 worth of labor that I would have put into the bike.

-Mac
Just a couple thoughts:
I am still working on a 1978 1100E "Rescue" Project that I started in March. Going with a running bike in ride able condition is usually a better bet since it likely needing less wrench time and less money. With a junker you just don't know what your getting into. With a running bike you can better assess what you might need to repair and how much $$$$ it is going to take.

The real gamble with my "Rescue" 78E is that I had no idea if the Time and Investment $$$ was going to get me a usable bike. Tank was bad, Petcocks leaking, 3 quarts of gas in the oil, disaster carbs, rust destroyed brake pistons, tires 10 years old, axle improperly installed, brake rotors dragging calipers, messed up brake master cylinders, fairing and luggage was removed by PO, electrics unknown etc, etc.

I took the 'gamble' more as a challenge. When I started I knew the engine turned over but that was about it. I've got over $2,800 bucks into the bike plus the original $450 purchase price plus the cost of pulling a trailer from Atlanta to Louisville to pick it up. Kind of nuts but if I had not made the effort the bike would likely be in the junkyard.

Luckily I have ridden over 1,000 miles so far and I seem to have a real runner especially in the twisties. (yeah, I did spend $500 of the $2,800 on Traxxion Dynamics redoing the forks with emulators and yeah, I did go overboard with all OEM where possible). I'm riding the bike to XS Southeast this weekend so I guess it was a worthwhile adventure although a bit pricy.

In my view it depends on how much you might want to spend fixing up a totally unknown bike. Maybe you could get it up to the standard you want for $500 bucks. Maybe it is $1,000 bucks. Maybe it is $1,500 bucks. Problem with an unknown bike is once you start spending money you are committed to finish. After I tested and found good compression I just kept going (and spending money) step-by-step till I got the bike where I wanted it. Plus I feel good about saving this classic machine from certain doom from rust.

Just a few things to ponder. Good luck with either choice. As you known, these bikes are really awesome once you get them dialed-in.

Jeff
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:38 PM
crazy steve crazy steve is offline
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Offer the guy $200 for the non-runner, come up to $300 if needed (but no more). That gives you $1200 to do the rebuild; for that much money (and some careful shopping), you can pretty much re-do the whole bike.

Most $1500 bikes will have issues too, so don't expect that to be the total cost....
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'82 XJ rebuild project
'80SG restified, red SOLD
'79F parts...
'81H more parts...

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  #6  
Old 09-24-2012, 07:41 PM
mikubuilder mikubuilder is offline
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hey there, I got a non runner for $400 and I feel I overpayed
there are plenty of running bikes in this area for around a grand....check out metro CL, you will find them
I'm actually contemplating a 83 Venture for $800, has not ran in 8 yrs...
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1979 XS11 F,Yamaha fairings w/hard bags, TC's fuse box, K&N air filter

1982 Virago 750 (it's alive!)

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  #7  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:12 PM
motoman motoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikubuilder View Post
hey there, I got a non runner for $400 and I feel I overpayed
there are plenty of running bikes in this area for around a grand....check out metro CL, you will find them
I'm actually contemplating a 83 Venture for $800, has not ran in 8 yrs...
........and until after 85 had the gear issue also..........and is WAY more involved to to get that shaft out to fix gears. Just to give you and idea, the airbox on those is a nightmare to get out compared to the XJ's.........just a thought.
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  #8  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:26 PM
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haywardguy929 haywardguy929 is offline
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I'd get the running bike myself, you still have some riding time and sounds like a lot of work and parts hunting. I doubt the project is going anywhere soon so maybe get it a lot cheaper later.
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  #9  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:28 PM
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trbig trbig is offline
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This time of year, bikes start getting cheaper. I'd offer $1000-$1200 for the runner and $300 for the non-runner, and hopefully end up with everything for the 1500 or less. If they get offended then walk away. There's other bikes out there and they'll probably sit on them a while and call you back. People are selling this time of year, not buying much.
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'82 XJ1100 Completely stock fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Bagger fixer-upper
'82 XJ1100 Motor/frame and lots of boxes of parts
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  #10  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:47 PM
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Catmaigne Catmaigne is offline
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OP, you said the engine of the non-running XS11 was solid, but how is the bike not running? Do you mean not road-ready? If the thing fires up and it's apparent that there are no major mechanical issues then the bike and spare motor are probably worth the $700 asking price.

Here's my bike... She was $681.



Mind you, the bike was an 81 Special that was pretty much bone stock when I picked it up (except for the king/queen seat and a lined gas tank). It had 31k on the clock, a few dents in tank, a few scrapes, and had been sitting in a barn for 16 years, but the thing still fired up with a bit of starting fluid and went through all gears on the centerstand without a problem (couldn't take it for a ride b/c a caliper was seized). After a few hours of polishing brake pistons, re-bending the petcock spring washers, an oil change, a thorough carb cleaning, and a lot of harmful aerosol chemicals in my eye, I've been riding it nonstop. I had the bike road-ready by late July and I've put on 1500 miles since. One of the best purchases I've ever made despite being a little rough around the edges. It's a work in progress.

If you're mechanically inclined then opt for the project bike.
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  #11  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:49 PM
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Rickabie Rickabie is offline
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Cool Running XS11 vs non running XS11...

Quote:
Originally Posted by IanDMacDonald View Post
So, I got a guy that wants to sell me a '78 XS11E for around $700 with a solid engine. It also comes with an engine that has a second gear issue. The bike has been sitting, so the tires are hit, as well as the carbs being gummed up and the tank rusted inside. Missing side covers as well. Aftermarket exhaust. Or, I can buy a nice '79 XS11 that is running for about $1500. I dunno which I want to do. Make a winter project out of the cheaper bike and put a pain-staking amount of labor and money into getting it running, or buy the running bike and eat the $800 worth of labor that I would have put into the bike.

-Mac
Hi Ian,
No offense to other answers you got but it all comes down to one thing: is it a '' I want it now as is project '' or '' I will have it like I want later ''... I bought mine for $800.00 ( 1981 XS SF ) and rode it all summer without serious problems. I had plans for some changes ''later''. October is almost here and it is time to do my homeworks. I'll spend some time AND $$$ but it'll be as I like when spring comes. I don't have unlimited budget but since I don't go out in bars and the likes, might as well work a little over time and treat myself good. I'm no mechanic but I figure out stuff and I'm lucky enough to have friends around when the going gets tough. At this time of the season you can't go wrong with a running bike of course but a '78 is a cult bike(almost)... I'm looking for one as a serious futur project. Good luck to you.
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  #12  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:09 PM
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Nightengale Nightengale is offline
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its all in what you want out of it.

like everyone else has said, its all up to what you want. i got my bike (non-runner) for $300.00, so far i have put $700.00 into it and i have a great running and fun bike for right around $1000.00 total. the up side to the fixer uper is that when you are done you know everything about the bike and what has been done to it, and the runner you only know what you are told. but the fixer uper will take a while to get it where you want it. it took me almost a year and i am still doing things here and there, but it is to be expected for a bike over thirty years old. so again it all depends on how soon do you want to be riding?
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  #13  
Old 09-24-2012, 09:22 PM
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IanDMacDonald IanDMacDonald is offline
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Hey Guys, thanks for the replies. I had my '78 XS750E that I bought as a runner, and eventually had it just about perfect including a custom paint job, etc., before it was stolen right out of my driveway and wrecked. I love these bikes and feel confident in my mechanic skills that I could bring life to a non-running bike. What I meant by the engine being solid was that the guy bought a second engine and took it to my friend's shop and had it completely tore down and rebuilt. However, he let the bike sit for a few years after his father passed, allowing the carbs to become gummed up. I know it sounds petty, but, what really has me pushed away from this bike is the fact that the exhaust is not original, tires are garbage, no side covers (big for me), needs a battery, etc. Having done a frame-up resto on the 750, it is very time-consuming, and that was from a running bike! I do not like surprise electrical failures, etc., lol. So yeah, maybe spending that extra $800 on a well-running bike will be worth it. Hell, I have spent hundreds of dollars on Morgan carbs tunes and color tunes, etc. So, worst case if the bike needs a carb sync or whatever, I'll be ready. Thanks for the advice fellas. I always appreciate a fellow XS'rs advice!
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1979 XS1100F
2H9 Mod, Truck-Lite LED Headlight, TECHNA-FIT S/S Brake Lines, Rear Air Shocks, TKAT Fork Brace, Dyna DC-I Coils, TC Fuse Block, Barnett HD Clutch Springs, Superbike Handlebars, V-Star 650 ACCT, NGK Irridium Plugs, OEM Exhaust. CNC-Cut 2nd Gear Dogs; Ported/Milled Head; Modded Airbox: 8x8 Wix Panel Filter; #137.5 Main Jet, Viper Yellow Paint, Michelin Pilot Activ F/R, Interstate AGM Battery, 14MM MC, Maier Fairing, Cree LED Fog Lights.
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Old 09-25-2012, 06:53 AM
pbaker27 pbaker27 is offline
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Buy the working bike, you will still find projects to work on it for fun. I made the mistake of thinking yah, I have the time and patience to work on a rehab bike. Wrong. Now I just want to sell mine and buy a working one.
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  #15  
Old 09-25-2012, 07:41 AM
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IanDMacDonald IanDMacDonald is offline
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Yeah, I'm settled on buying a running bike before the snow touches down. Now, the problem exists of choosing standard over special. On a 750, hands-down the Standard wins for looks and sportiness for me. However, on the XS11, because the engine fills up the whole frame, they both look damn good.

If I were to buy the standard, I would swap out the square headlight for a round one from a special. I have found three different standard within a State of me that I would be willing to drive for the price. But, I gotta admit, throw some Euro bars on a special (all of the one's I'm looking at are 1980 for some reason, and black), and it looks equally attractive. Ughhh, I hate deciding things like this!!! What will ultimately make my life easier is when I am about to buy a bike and I start sending off emails and phone calls, and a lot of respond stating that the bike is sold.

I know it's a stupid question to ask, as it's preference, but, Standard or Special if you were to do it all over again?
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1979 XS1100F
2H9 Mod, Truck-Lite LED Headlight, TECHNA-FIT S/S Brake Lines, Rear Air Shocks, TKAT Fork Brace, Dyna DC-I Coils, TC Fuse Block, Barnett HD Clutch Springs, Superbike Handlebars, V-Star 650 ACCT, NGK Irridium Plugs, OEM Exhaust. CNC-Cut 2nd Gear Dogs; Ported/Milled Head; Modded Airbox: 8x8 Wix Panel Filter; #137.5 Main Jet, Viper Yellow Paint, Michelin Pilot Activ F/R, Interstate AGM Battery, 14MM MC, Maier Fairing, Cree LED Fog Lights.
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