My Motorcycles

Click on any picture to open a slideshow.

1980 Yamaha XS400 Special
I started riding motorcycles in 1998. I had always wanted to ride, and finally at the age of 30 I bought my first bike, this 1980 Yamaha XS400 Special. This was a good first bike, and with the help of friends I learned some motorcycle repair and maintenance, including replacing the starter clutch.
I only owned this bike for a few months, but I'll always remember it, just as I will my first car. The circumstances which allowed me to start riding will always be fondly remembered.

This was a good first bike to learn how to ride on. It had a low center of gravity and wasn't too heavy.

The only problem was that when I would stall it the starter wouldn't always work. That's when I learned how to replace the starter clutch.

I learned that getting parts for old bikes was pretty easy. If the Yamaha dealer didn't have the part in stock, they could usually order it. Even for an 18 year old bike!

This bike ran really well. It was a parallel-twin engine that produced 36hp.

In July 1998 I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation RiderCourseŽ.I highly recommend it for new and experienced riders alike. The skills I learned in the course made me a better rider, and helped me to avoid trouble.

1982 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim
The XS400 was a little small for my long legs. A coworker had posted this 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Maxim for sale and I got it for a good price. Being just two months into riding, it was a little intimidating at first, but it definitely handled better than the XS and it didn't take long for me to be more comfortable on it.

The XJ was powered by an inline four cylinder engine that made 71hp, and had shaft drive.

Here is a later picture of the bike with a new Mac 4into2 exhaust, and the shield. In two years I hadn't done any maintenance other than changing the oil. I sold the bike in Fall 2000 since I wasn't riding it very much due to time constraints.

1995 Kawasaki Concours
The following Spring I had the itch to ride again, so I purchased this 1995 Kawasaki Concours. I bought it in Morris, IL and trailered it home. I liked the bike, it handled well and had a LOT of power, but in 6 months I only put about 500 miles on it. So I sold it.

The Concours was a sport-touring bike. It had a 1,000cc liquid-cooled engine and was shaft driven. Lots of power, great handling, and a 7.5 gallon gas tank meant it was made for open road distance riding.

I liked having the locking hard bags on the sides. I could run errands, have a place to put my helmet when I stopped, and could carry things without a backpack.

Here I am giving it a complete detailing. I also did a fair amount of work on it, changing the fluids, brakes, all the fairing screws, and installed riser blocks on the handlebars.

It was fun to ride, but it was quite a bit heavier than my previous bikes.

Heading out for a ride.

Mom & Dad stopped for a surprise visit.

Back to Top      My Home Page