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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys, I’m new to motorcycles and want to here opinions on a bike I’m thinking of buying, it’s a project bike, I’ve wanted to build a bobber for a while and I found a Yamaha XS1100 bobber project that I’m very interested in, I’m working on a limited budget and am looking for advice on if this could be a good buy or not. I’m weary of the “engine runs but bike needs fuel lines and some other tlc” does anybody have any tips for when I go to check out the bike to help me make and informed decision and how to tell if the bike is mechanically sound? I’m not completely dumb to mechanical work but I’m not super knowledgeable either.
 

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I agree with your concerns. As a new rider, you probably don't want to be dealing with mechanical issues before you know what feels normal, and you want to focus on riding more than wrenching. Also, that bike isn't what most folks consider the ideal beginner bike.
I'd recommend looking around for a smaller displacement bike in completely working condition.
 

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If you are not mechanically inclined I would pass on it.
The motors are good, the handling not so good but acceptable. I do not get the bobber concept, and that might make the handling worse.
There are lots of used bits in the dead bike yards, and new bits available. No one makes exhaust systems anymore.

Old bikes will amaze you with the variety of things that can fail. But as above, if you can fix stuff, you might be fine.
I just rode one home from darts night at the golf club. Nice to notice I changed the head light a while back, for a much brighter unit.

UK
 

· Ace Tuner
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Just needs a battery???

Lots if guys have brought bikes in they bought that only needs a battery.
Few if any only needed only a battery. Could happen but... Most of the time they needed much more than a battery.
Also, you'll be getting in on the middle of a "custom job" that was given up on. :surprise: Catch my drift?
 

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It might be a cool extra fun toy to have, but I wouldn't buy it to use as my everyday rider. Unless like Unkle Krusty said and your really good mechanically inclined.

Personally, I would pass on it and try to find one with a vtwin or a thumper.

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I dont have a ton of bobber experience but I have gone to look at quite a few for sell. In my own experience it seems people just cut **** off and add pods without jetting and can't figure out why it doesn't run then try to sell it.

As for Yamaha xs models, I know it's not as simple as rejetting the carbs and setting psi. There's a special tool that is inserted into the block while setting psi and I lost interest as soon as I found out Yamaha wanted to be "special"

That being said, there is a super knowledgeable Yamaha xs forum, can't remember the website, that will help you every step of the way if you decide to go that route
 

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XS11.com

My 79 is an XS11 Special, not an XS1100 Standard like my 81.
The 11 is in reference to the sub 12 second quarter mile run, and the 1100 cc.
The Special has a smaller tank and different front end geometry. The Standard has a more normal size tank. The models after the XS series handled better. They all squiggle a bit. By all I mean the the XS 400, 650, 850 and 1100. I also have an XS400.
If you never ride a bike with decent handling, like most modern sport bikes, you will not notice the mediocre handling of an XS.

UK
 

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The XS11 does not have the YICS. My XS400 does.
Beware of special tools. The special tool to set the float bowl height for the XS400, is a piece of clear plastic tubing.
The carbs can be set on an XS11 without the use of special tools. However I have not done it as my XS11 runs fine. Also my way of doing is made difficult by having 4 into 1 pipes. I made a needle height change of one notch.
Many folks start their tuning at the idle end, while the tuning guide says to start at the WOT end, which is what I do.

UK
 

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I think this is a real good rule of thumb:

If its your first motorcycle it needs to be running when you buy it.

Regardless of make or model.

Of course there could be exceptions to the rule.

Like if your dad is buying it for you and he is going to fix it.

Or if you are just gonna hang it on the wall anyway.

Or if you really just want to be able to tell people you have a motorcycle, but really are not interesting in riding one. This gives you a ready excuse as to why no one has ever seen you on it; "It's not running right now, I'm not done with the build". Seems like a lot of guys that work game booths at the carnival use this. :nerd:
 

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I like your rule!
The last thing a new rider needs is a temperamental project bike that sort of runs but needs .....
Save that for your second bike if you want to tinker, lot's of fun, but you need something at just runs to learn on.

I think this is a real good rule of thumb:

If its your first motorcycle it needs to be running when you buy it.

Regardless of make or model.

Of course there could be exceptions to the rule.

Like if your dad is buying it for you and he is going to fix it.

Or if you are just gonna hang it on the wall anyway.

Or if you really just want to be able to tell people you have a motorcycle, but really are not interesting in riding one. This gives you a ready excuse as to why no one has ever seen you on it; "It's not running right now, I'm not done with the build". Seems like a lot of guys that work game booths at the carnival use this. :nerd:
 

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I agree. Nothing will ruin the enthusiasm for riding like a bike that won't run.
And buying someone else's junk is the worst place to start.
Buy something that runs....something that runs WELL! Go out and ride it and enjoy it!
I don't understand the whole "bobber" thing anyway. They take a perfectly good bike and cut it up into a piece of junk that is almost unusable.
No fenders, so the wheels pick up every bit of mud and dirt and deposit it on YOU!
No storage for your extra jacket for when it gets cooler.
No windshield of any sort to protect you from the bugs and dirt, or to let you relax at highway speeds. You'll get real tired real fast at 70mph with no shield.
No rear suspension so you get a shot in the ass with every pothole or manhole cover you go over.
And then they chop off the exhaust system to make it as loud as possible.
Wait 'til you see how fatiguing that gets after an hour or so.

Even if that bike runs, you won't be going very far on it.
....or maybe you never intended to go far on it, just down to the bar to sit around and pretend that you're a biker. :devil::devil::devil:
 

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Yep, If they screwed it up by putting pods on it they probably screwed it up elsewhere too.

Not that you can't use pods, it's just that there is a better way of gaining Lots Of Airflow.
Would you care to elaborate.

I have foam filters on my XS400. Stock it had different size main jets due to the air box shape. I had to switch main jets many times to get it right. It runs sweet now. It also has after market mufflers.
Many said it would not run properly unless I used stacks of about 2 inches long. That was not the case for me. I think many folks are not keen to replace jets as required, and or do not know what they are doing. These days tho, there are tuning guides, and plug reading guides online.
Foam filters are used a lot on dirt bikes.

We did not use filters on the bikes for the tack.

UK
 

· Ace Tuner
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Would you care to elaborate.

I have foam filters on my XS400. Stock it had different size main jets due to the air box shape. I had to switch main jets many times to get it right. It runs sweet now. It also has after market mufflers.
Many said it would not run properly unless I used stacks of about 2 inches long. That was not the case for me. I think many folks are not keen to replace jets as required, and or do not know what they are doing. These days tho, there are tuning guides, and plug reading guides online.
Foam filters are used a lot on dirt bikes.

We did not use filters on the bikes for the tack.

UK
Well I'll try again later!
After I wrote the whole damn thing some add popped up and I lost the whole damn thing!
If that happens again, no dice !!!

Too bad, it was good :mad:
 
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