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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last Thanksgiving I was at my girlfriend's house meeting a handful of her friends for the first time. Got to talking to one of them about how I was really interested in getting a motorcycle and she says "I have a motorcycle that you can have."

:shock:

Fast forward to March 11th, and I finally got the bike in my possession. As far as I can tell it's bone stock, and in relatively good shape. It'd been sitting under a rain cover for something like five years, so it's going to need some TLC before I try to start it up. Definitely needs new tires and probably inner tubes before it's road safe. Oh yeah, and the keys are missing. So that's first hurdle.

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Stylistically, sport bikes are not really my thing. But among that ilk, this one is actually sort of a classic. My plan at this point is just to get it running again and use it to learn to ride. After taking lessons and getting my endorsement, that is. I'll probably sell it after my CL360 project is finished.

But what can I say, the price was right! :D
 

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Sounds right to me. You can never have too many bikes, running or not.
I have both kinds, running and not.
 
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I have been trying to find a good condition one locally for a few years. The year and low cc make them nothing to insure in Ontario.

Pull off all that fairing and make a nice cafe racer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have both kinds, running and not.
I only have the latter. :lol:

Pull off all that fairing and make a nice cafe racer.
This is a tough one for that kind of style, given the way the frame is shaped, and the water cooling. But if I still have it by the time I get myself a welder, then god help us all. ;)
 

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Nice little bike, and the price was very reasonable. Save some money when you change your tires, as this bike's wheels are suitable for tubeless tires.
 

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I was thinking the same thing, most likely no tubes in there from the factory.
 

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Most cast aluminum wheels are suitable for tubeless tires. I have two 1978 Yamahas with cast aluminum wheels, but they require tubes. From 1979 onward, Yamaha made all of their cast aluminum wheels suitable for tubeless tires. DOH!!!
 

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Actually, the black Yamaha is an SR500 single cylinder that is kickstart only. Your Ninja is in nice shape, and very original. You might just change your mind about selling it once you get it running and riding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ah! I totally didn't catch that. Those are rad bikes, too. Before I bought my CL360 I considered lots of bikes, and any XS or SR was always up at the top of the list.

And you may be right about the Ninja. I've heard nothing but good things about them. Might just be a case of modding it in the winter months and such. Who knows, but I'm definitely excited to have it.
 

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Not to tell you what to do with your bike, but it has been my experience that stock bikes seem to retain their value better than those modified to a person's particular taste. When I bought my XS650 Special, they were a dime a dozen. The Special was the Rodney Dangerfield (no respect, I tell ya) of the XS/TX650 line, and as such, many were cut up. I have had my XS for over 20 years and three changes of address. It has under 6,400 miles on it. I will eventually sell it to help fund the purchase about 4 acres adjoining my property.
Hijack over, now back to your thread already in progress...
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Spent a good amount of time with some disassembly and cleaning on this bike over the last two days. Trying to get to a point where I can put some oil in the cylinders to try and turn it over by hand. Man, they really put the spark plugs in a hard-to-reach place though! I had to remove all the front cowlings just to get enough working room to get the plugs out and be ready to take the side cover off. I was thwarted by not having the right size socket wrench handy, but that will be the next step.

Getting deeper into this bike though, it is a lot dirtier than I initially thought it was. I'm really thinking it's not going to be a simple get it running and then ride it situation. This thing might be in need of a full rebuild. And if that ends up being the case, I also have to consider whether it's worth the extra time to turn it into a street tracker/fighter project or not. Keeping it stock might be best for long-term resale value, but one of the cowlings and one of the turn signals are broken already. It wouldn't be that hard to replace the dashboard with a modern compact gauge display, and the headlight with a simple fork-mounted setup. I could either make custom cowlings to cover some of the tubing and electrical, or maybe just find a way to tuck that stuff in tighter. The ugly coolant reservoir could be replaced with stainless can or something, which could look pretty cool.

Anyway, I'd rather be working on my Honda, but since it's in storage, this one will have to do. Next stop is the hardware store for some replacement stainless bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hahaha! Yeah, I definitely use the term a bit tongue-in-cheek.

It's been weird for me being into classic British and UJM bikes, then getting this sport bike for free. I started looking at more sport bikes and how they evolved over the years. You can start to see this through-line from cafe racers to sport bikes. So then when you take a more modern looking sport bike and devolve it backwards in styling, you end up with this beastly, very aggressive looking thing. And I guess that's what people are doing and somehow the term "street fighter" came about. It's one of those things that you love or hate, and most of them are pretty terrible. But I'm trying to sort of create my own thing and end up with a bike that is unique.

Along those lines, I ordered a new headlight and turn signals from 4into1. The gauges I want are backordered, presumably due to their ridiculous popularity. But the front end remodel is fairly straight forward compared to the seat and back end.
 
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