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Off to the Shop!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's been a long time coming. After two seasons off, the bike is going to be revived. Once again, it takes a birthday and awesome friends.

This past weekend the bike was trailered out to the 'burbs by our friend Jim in his cool enclosed trailer, and just today it was picked up for service. Not long now until she's back on the road, smoking it up.

I will post findings and repair info as I get it. Stay tuned!


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Yahoo! Yamaha R5 Group Bike of the Month

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Unless they're fooling with me (it is the first of April after all), my bike has been crowned Bike of the Month for April 2008 on the newly renovated Yahoo! Yamaha R5 Group.

For the unaware, this Yahoo! group is populated with folks who are most knowledgeable in all things vintage Yamaha. Without their help many of the problems with and parts missing from my R5 would never have been sorted. I thank them very much!

Be sure to check them out, and to sign up if you haven't already!


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Rebuilding the Carbs

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Finally got a nice Saturday with no real plans - except tackle the R5's nagging problems, of course!

Drained the oil and transmission fluid, cleaned the carbs, and right now the bike is slowly coming back up to charge. We'll see how I did soon enough...


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Sunday, March 18, 2007

There is much progress across the pond (just look at all the innards there!) as Stephan Morris continues the renovation of his '72 R5C.

His work is getting me motivated to sort my bike out. Right now, the battery is holding a charge (so that problem is finally fixed) but the bike won't start. I just keep kicking until gas starts leaking out of the exhaust. Not good. Picking up a tune-up kit (points and condensors) very soon...

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Thursday, September 21, 2006

I was challenged on Motortopia by a 1976 AMF Harley. We tied. It doesn't even run. Sheesh.

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Motortopia Featured Bike

Monday, August 07, 2006

My R5 has recently been featured on the Bikes section of Motortopia (see previous post about the site). Here's their short writeup:
This really nice 1972 Yamaha R5C is owned by Motortopia member lotoole3. Be sure to check out his photo album, and the link to his weblog detailing the entire restoration.

Here are links to the Feature and to my R5 profile.

Thanks guys!


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Saturday, July 29, 2006

Motortopia has launched - a cool, MySpace-like site for cars, bike, planes and boats. The site is really well-designed, and lets you upload photo albums, make friends and challenge other owners in style, performance and overall coolness. Check it out... there aren't a lot of bikes on there yet, so get posting!

My R5 can be found here:

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Stock Right Hand Mirror

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

After a few months of searching, I was finally able to locate a mount for the stock R5 right-hand mirror I picked up. It didn't quite fit, but with a little Loctite and some swearing I made it work. I can finally see behind me!

The stock left mirror that came with my bike is convex, so it gives me a greater viewing area on my passing side, while the right mirror is flat and just gives me a direct view of what's behind me. Nonetheless, it's already been a great help.

You can also view the mirrors in my R5 Flikr set.


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Rear Set Installation

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Finally, here it is! The rearsets go on! I documented everything while doing it, getting the camera nice and oily in the process. I apologize for the picture quality, as the lighting in the garage is not studio-grade, and I was one-handing most of the shots!

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Bend that Kickstart Lever!

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Last night I went over to my friend Brian's house (fellow rider and business partner in PRIMER), where he graciously lent his vise, torch and shutterbugginess to my ongoing quest of mounting rearsets to the R5.

To recap, I got Raask rearsets for the R5 from friends for my 30th birthday. However, when mounted, the relocation of the rear brake lever impedes the full travel of the kickstart lever, meaning if I put 'em on I wouldn't be able to get the bike started easily. This required heating and bending the kickstart lever to clear the brake before mounting. I got a spare kickstart off Ebay a few weeks ago, and finally got the chance to start bending things into shape last night.

Here, Russ (in background, fellow Yammie rider and also a member of PRIMER), Brian and I take turns heating, bending, and swearing at the lever in Brian's basement workshop. It was quite fun, I must say. The process was well-documented by Brian himself:
Stay tuned... there's more to come on the saga of the R5 rearset install...

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Parts are coming in...

Friday, April 28, 2006

Finally got the right set of rearsets from Omar's. These were a gift for my 30th from my friends, just about all of whom ride. At first I had gotten the wrong set, but the right set (shown above loosely mocked up) has arrived.

It's amazing how light these things are. All major components are made from cast aluminum, and have lightening holes wherever possible. They look great!

I haven't mounted them to the bike yet, as doing so requires that I bend the kickstart lever. So until I can do that, the stock foot controls will have to stay. I picked up a used kickstart lever from Ebay so I can keep one in reserve for when/if it needs to be switched back. Or if I screw up bending it!

I tracked down and purchased a NOS right-hand mirror from Roland via the Yahoo! R5 Group. Finally I'll be able to see behind me completely! It just arrived, but I need a bracket to mount it, so I'll have to do more digging to scrounge one of those up.


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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

So after so much speculation as to what could possibly be wrong with my bike (condenser? points? coils?), it turns out that the battery was shot and wouldn't hold a charge. Mike over at Hiway Cycle was nice enough to fill up my new battery with acid and charge it up... and first kick she roared back to life!

Apparently, the ignition on the R5 relies completely on the battery for spark. So, a bad battery = poor spark. A good, fully charged battery should be able to run the bike for a few hours or so, with no lights on.

Anyways, looking forward to a nice long riding season.


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Rearsets! Rearsets!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

For my Big-Three-Oh-Birthday-Bashtacular, my super-cool friends decided it would be best to mark my three centuries of non-stop-rocking this planet with some cool vintage rearsets for the R5! How freaking cool is that?

They haven't arrived yet, probably because there's not much demand for obscure early 70's Yamaha model rearsets at the moment... but I was awarded the instruction manual so I can drool over those puppies until they actually get here. Photos of said sets, installation and all their shiny, rear-set-y glory will be posted as it all goes down. Stay tuned...

Uber-special thanks to Brian, Michelle, Jim, Angela, Russ, Jessica, Lee and Jenna!


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Grips and Mirrors

Friday, September 30, 2005

JD wrote in to ask a good question about the bar and grip setup on my R5:
I noticed that you have bar end mirrors, do you also have stock grips? If so how did you install the mirror on the throttle grip - just cut a hole?
Here's the deal. I replaced the stock bars for lower, somewhat uncomfortable, but much better looking cafe bars. In order to get the clutch lever off the stock bar, I had to cut the stock grip. I tried not to, but the sucker wouldn't budge. Once the one was cut, well, I went ahead and replaced them both with open-ended ProGrip 698XL Superbike grips.

Well, sorta.

The 698XLs I ordered wound up being closed-ended, despite the description on the site I bought them from, and they didn't carry the open-ended ones. That's OK, though, as I discovered that I really wanted the 699 Superbike grips... same company, same material, just a cooler grip pattern. And supposedly open-ended. So I exchanged for those.

And, of course, they arrive close-ended. So at this point I simply took an Xacto to them and trimmed myself a hole. Both grips, as I had mirrors on both sides.

The grips are excellent. They really dampen the vibration of the motor. However, the bar-end mirrors, while looking rather trick, no matter how much tightening and adjusting, they just never stayed put. The one thing I could count on was a good view of the ground behind me or my armpit - not good when you actually need to check your background for a quick lane change.

So, I decided to remove the bar-ends, replace the original black plastic caps that came with the cafe bars in their stead, and mount the original dental mirror. While it's only on one side, I really like the look of it. Plus, due to the lower speeds of the bike while cruising, I'm usually in the right hand lane anyways. I may keep an eye out for a NOS mirror for the other side too... might not look bad with both on there...

For more info, see posts titled Mirror Swap (5/31/04) and Hmmmm... (7/13/04), below.

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Mirror Swap

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

I had bought bar-end mirrors for the R5 and installed them when I put on the clubman bars. While I love the clubmans, the mirrors really got on my nerves... No matter how much tightening and adjusting, they just never stayed put. The one thing I could count on was a good view of the ground behind me - not good when you actually need to check your background for a quick lane change.

So, this past weekend, while polishing the stinker to a high shine, I decided to remove the bar-ends, replace the caps in their stead, and mount the original dental mirror. While it's only on one side, I really like the look of it. Plus, due to the lower speeds of the bike while cruising, I'm usually in the right hand lane anyways. I may keep an eye out for a NOS mirror for the other side too... might not look bad...

Now I'll have to change the header image, as the bike has had some changes since...

Had a bit of trouble with the battery this weekend - it had gone totally dead... after two days on the charger it came back to life, but while riding, if I used the turnsignals, the bike would stall. Don't know what that's all about. Either the battery is bad, or the voltage regulator and/or rectifier units are bad...

Anyways, that's it for now... bike is due for inspection soon, so hopefully all this can get sorted out.

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Relocating the front turnsignals

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

One thing I remembered doing to my bike that I neglected to mention before was relocating the front turnsignal pods when putting on the aftermarket cafe bars.

When I got my R5, the front signals were mounted on the forks on factory-looking washer-like mounts located just under the top fork nuts:

Sorry the picture isn't very clear - these were taken by the previous owner and posted as part of the eBay auction. But at least you can see that the signals are not attached to the sides of the headlamp, but further back by the forks. You can see the bolts that hold the headlamp on just in front of the signal lenses. See the pic below for comparison.

Anyways, the problem was this - when I mounted the new cafe bars, the hand controls would not clear the turnsignals - there was just no way to have them both in the same spot. I had seen the front signals on other R5s mounted on either side of the headlamps, and in fact, there is a depression in the metal that is the same size as the end of the signal arm (I think there were holes for the locator pins as well - you can kinda make them out in the photo above). So with a little fineggeling I moved them there and ditched the mount washers:

Is there any reason to why some bikes have the fork mounting location and some are mounted on the headlamp ears? Model year difference? Is this something owners did for better clearance, or what?

Anyways, just something to keep in mind if your bike is set up the same way...

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Yammy Causes Hit-and-Run!

Monday, April 11, 2005

This weekend, I had parked the R5 at Brian and Michelle's house, while Brian and I went to oogle Russ' new Mini. While we were there, apparently some guy in a primer-grey pickup with a snow-plow was driving down the street, and the driver was oogling my bike. Oogling so much that he hit a car parked on the opposite side of the street. So the driver gets out, surveys the damage, and - get this - gets back in the truck and drives away! While witnesses look on! Nice one, tool!

Yet another person that should be locked in a Port-a-Potty, set on fire and pushed off a cliff.

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Spring is in the air...

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

And with it came the irresistible urge to get the bike out of the house and running again...

I dunno, perhaps it was the umpteenzillion bikes I saw today, including the usual Tuesday gathering of exotics in my neighborhood (see below*), or maybe all the distant wails of sportbikes zooming off in the distance...

At any rate, I got home tonight a little early from the gym and decided to push her out. With little help from Kendra (boy, she is strong!), we maneuvered her down the stoop without too many swear words... it sure is easier to get out than get in... I ran down to the gas station for a gallon of gas (which really confused the attendant) in my little red plastic container, and after adding the contents to the tank, topping off on oil, and aiming the pipes AWAY from Kendra, the house, the general public, etc, I let her rip...

And she roared to life (ok, I'm exaggerating) in a great plume of whitish smoke (ok, I'm not exaggerating)... and with only three kicks...

So she lives! Wintering indoors treated her well, as did the lining of everything with WD-40... from what I can tell, she just needs a bit of polish and some air in her tires, and she'll be ready for the open road once more...

* BTW, I finally found out what goes on every Tuesday at a Belgian pub in my area (from the Moto Guzzi National Owners Club):

Come join us every Tuesday night at 7:00 P.M. at The Abbaye, 637 North 3rd (3rd and Fairmount), Philadelphia, to socialize with like minded riders and have dinner, if you wish. Rain or shine! For more info call: 215-432-4229

That would explain the wonderful assortment of non-Harleys lined up every Tuesday... I'll have to gather up my posse and head down one of these weeks...

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OBB's Reader Ride

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

I recently submitted the R5 to the Reader's Rides section of the Old Bike Barn, a purveyor of all things motorcyclic... and was accepted. You can see the old girl in all her glory here.

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Friday, January 28, 2005

While the bike was indoors, I was fiddling under the seat and located the bolts holding the seat strap. Not particularly liking the strap, I removed it... what do you think?

BTW while I was under there, I found an ancient rubber "bungie"-type tiedown wedged between the foam and seatpan. Cool.


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Bike is indoors!

Saturday, December 04, 2004

And it's been called "a work of art"... gotta love that!

Took a friend and I, a long 2x4, much grunting, some profanity and a few tense moments, and it was in.

I rather like it inside, it really is a conversation piece. I find myself sitting on it regularly.


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Problems... solved?

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

It came time for the annual DelVal ABATE Toy Run, and after giving the car a much-needed washing, I tried to get the ol' Stinker started. No dice. I changed plugs, nothing. Plenty of gas, oil, petcock open. Nothing. Noticed the idiot lights were pretty dim. That might be it.

Got around to getting a battery tender/charger, plugged it in and clamped it on. In about an hour, voila! The foulest mix of gas, oil and crud came spewing out the pipes all over the pavement. Took a good while to clean. But the bike was once again running strong. So that might be the problem!

Perhaps this winter, once I get the bike inside (weather has been too nice these past few weekends... can't bring myself to do it!), I'll tear everything apart, get a good cleaning done, and see if I can suss out the problem with the electricals.


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Getting a few more rides in...

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I got a message from a member of a friends' scooter club, Neal Friedant, and thought I'd pass this on:

One of the local scooter people forwarded your website and I found your email and wanted to ask you if anyone you know may be interested in buying my project 1970 R5, purple and white. I have it in my warehouse at Frankford & York. It runs and is complete, but needs crank seals on left hand side of the motor. I have a clear title and the bike has 20 on it, asking $400.00/OBO. By the way I saw your bike on 3rd street yesterday. It is sweet. Thanks if you know anyone that is interested.

If anyone is interested, let me know, and I'll put you in touch. Thanks, Neal, for the kind words.

Got the bike out on Sunday for a trip to the supermarket - a few items needed for a late breakfast. She ran spectacularly. Probably because she's feeling it might be time for hibernation...

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End of summer...

Monday, October 04, 2004

I entered the Yammy (alongside Russ') in the Hot Rod Hoedown... first time I've entered anything in any sort of car show! Great stuff there, including a handful of tasty kustom bikes in the show and a whole slew of them parked just outside. A few of 'em are shown below. Good stuff.

After that we rode out to the Lansdale Bike Show... and by gosh I have never seen ANYTHING that enormous EVER. There were easily 60,000-70,000 people there. And just as many bikes! Not too much interesting stuff, mostly cruisers and such, but there were a few gems here and there and some really well-done examples, even for Harleys. Mike from Hiway had a booth set up. Stopped by to say hello.

Since then I've been riding sporadically, as the Yammy has been quite temperamental. She'll go a whole day, 130 miles or so, without a hitch, and the next day she won't make it around the corner. Plug fouling seems to be the culprit, and I haven't been able to figure out what's wrong. Got her going a little yesterday, that was fun. I'll keep her going as long as I can, until it gets too chilly. Then she'll come inside, where I can admire her all winter.

Here are a few snaps from the day:


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Pictures posted

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

This past weekend, while putting in a little wrench time, I was able to snag a few photos of the bike. She looks a little different from the images posted in the auction...

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First real outing!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

This past weekend I went to pick up the bike from my boss/friend's house. He had been holding it there since the weekend before when I left it after his party.

Well, rather than just coming and getting the bike, we decided that we would all go for a ride. Me on the 72 Yammy, Michelle (Brian's finacee) on her newly-acquired 72 Honda 350, and Brian and Kendra on the his first bike, a Yamaha cruiser-type. The Triumph is still in the shop over at Hiway.

The plan was simple... Michelle had to drop something off at her parents' house in Plumsteadville. After getting to Brian's house in Abington, we would all ride out first to Russ' house, possibly recruiting him, and then on to the parent's house, and back.

We got to Russ's house, and after a few minutes he arrived and we persuaded him to go for a short ride. He pulled out his caffeinated Yamaha, and we were off... on the way there, Michelle's mirror glass liberated itself from the mirrorpost and went sailing through the air.

We got to Michelle's parent's house, marveled at Norman (a bat who had taken up residence behind a wooden sign on the outside wall), had a Coke and a smile and were off again. This time to Van Sant airport for a little glider-watching. Just as we pulled in a orange glider landed silently on the grass runway... after a few minutes of poking around, looking at the old open-cockpit trainers and such, and watching another glider go up, we were headed out again, this time down to Dilly's for some eats.

Even though it is August, the weekend was surprisingly chilly. I had two shirts on plus the jacket and was slightly shivering. Going in and out of the tree shadows really had a big impact on comfort. The sun was setting when we approached Dilly's.

We pulled in, to a small crowd of children's amazement. Russ departed, heading back to his projects at the house. We ordered a whole trayful of greasy goodness, scarfed it down, remounted and pulled away past a bunch of Victory riders. Cool.

Lots of hand waving, nods and thumbs-up. Very much like the MINI, although there are a lot more bikers that we came across, especially in that neck of the woods. We rode back down the main drag in New Hope, in slow traffic, beaming at all the stares and finger-pointing...

Speaking of hands, boy mine were sore. That clutch is not an easy thing to keep squeezing for six hours. Eventually we got back to Brian's, where Kendra dismounted and got back into her car for the long ride home.

All said and done, the trip was about 7 hours and 140 miles. Not too shabby. The bike was great, except for that constant-speed bucking thing, which I've learned to keep under control with clutch usage. The bike was even smoking a lot less by the end of the day. Felt a lot more confident, especially in slower traffic.


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NOT a flood victim...

Monday, August 02, 2004

... unfortunately the cars didn't fare as well...

I had ridden the bike out to the Hatboro Car Show. The morning was spent wrenching with Kendra, adjusting the cafe bars and mirrors and replacing the oil tank side cover, whose original paint had flaked off. A good cleaning made her look great. Brass brushes work wonders on rusty chrome!

Arrived at the car show, left when it got crazy crowded. Afterparty was at Brian Isserman's, and after a few drinks and facing the long ride home in the dark I decided it best to park the bike and leave it there.

Good thing, as the corner of our street flooded with 4 or more feet of water. Had the bike been chained where in it's usual spot, it would have been lost.

You can read a little more about what happened to the cars here...


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Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Managed to get off the awful sissybar. The bike looks a lot sleeker now. I'll hold onto the sissybar, simply because it's so, well, awful!

Also managed to get on the new bars, grips and mirrors. Will take some fiddling to figure out the best position. On the ride today, couldn't see anything out of the mirrors but my pits.

All that's left now is a good cleaning and replacement of the flaking sidecover.


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Finally home

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

So it’s here.

My MINI had to go into the shop tomorrow (to get a check up before this weekend’s track event), so Kendra grabbed my jacket and helmet and met me at the dealership. Then, we made our way back up to Hiway to collect the bike. After a short wait as Mike finished up with another customer, the R5, in all her glory, was rolled out to the street. After gathering up paperwork, making sure everything worked, putting a little oil and gas in it, and paying the man, I hopped on, kicked her over, and stalled. Whoops. Another kick, and I was speeding out into the gathering dusk, leaving a thick greasy plume of blue smoke behind me. Poor Kendra - she was following in the convertible.

For my first ever ride in traffic, I opted to take Street Road all the way over to State Road as my way back to the Northern Liberties. I didn't think I was quite ready for I-95, plus that route also goes directly past the house in whose garage the R5 had been lanquishing these many years. All was good - the R5 is a bit jerky, doesn't really like cruising at a steady speed. But the brakes are good, and acceleration is pretty good. When feeling brazen, I could keep up with everyone at 50mph no problem (hey, what do you expect for my first ride?)

Street Road was fine, I stayed right and no one gave me a problem, or rode my tail or anything. Surprising, actually. The bike smokes quite a lot of stinky stuff, and it got pretty bad at the intersections with long lights. Didn't stall at all after the first few times coming out of Hiway's driveway (!) getting used to the clutch.

Got to State Road. Starting to get dark. This is another first. Nothing to do but grin and bear it. Kendra is still behind, somewhere in the smokescreen. It's taking a while because I'm going relatively slow. We wind our way along the river and eventually get to the more thickly urbanized areas of the Northeast. Almost home. Then, all of a sudden, we're stopped at Aramingo - repaving the whole thing. Damn! OK, turnaround and try some of the side streets. No go. Pretty much lost now. Everything leads to a dead end. Finally after some backtracking, actually manage to get onto Aramingo, before the repaving. They're letting people thru that way. OK. But then I notice everyone merging into one lane. Now, eveyone is cutting me off and snaking around me as I sit in traffic. Smoking like hell. Getting hot in my jacket and helmet. Once I finally am able to stop the hemmorraging of cars in front of me, I start moving... only to happen upon Aramingo completely torn up for resurfacing... exposed tracks, manholes, everything. Screw this. One minute later, I'm on 95.

And it's fine. The bike is up to 60 or so. Running strong. Felt great. Got off an exit later. Finally home. About four hours since I started. Absolutely exhausted. Forearms hurt slightly, a little from the clutch, but mostly from the vibration of the bike.

Lock her up. Cover her up. Go to bed, cuz I'm doing it all again in the morning!


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Getting close!

Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Stopped by the shop yesterday to check up on the bike... all the parts are here - front tire and float needles. Mike and Mike (the Japanese bike specialist) worked on the thing last night and today... it’s inspected and ready to go! As an aside, Mike (aforementioned Jap bike guy) told me to hold on to this bike, as it will be worth something. Agreed.

However, as the bike sat with a full tank, everything got flooded up with fuel again, making it hard to start. Mike disassembled everything again and cleaned out the exhaust baffles. He wants it to sit overnight to be sure it will start and everything works well prior to my picking it up.

Got a chance to look up close at the paint on the bike when I was there last night. Most notable is the bubbling on the cover on the oil tank. Right now there’s a prime example of a whole tank, cover, emblem good paint and all, on eBay, so hopefully I can get that replaced.

Got the 699 Superbike grips... and, of course, despite UPPER CASE EMPHASIS on the order form, still received closed-ended grips. Not that it's hard to cut out the end of gummy rubber grips, but how hard is it just to get what the heck you order?

The Hiway show was rained out last weekend, and is postponed to this weekend. I can’t attend, however, as Kendra and I will be at a PDA track day up at Pocono Raceway. Kendra got a helmet this past weekend, for the dual purpose of attending the track day and riding passenger on the Yammy. Perhaps (and this is her suggestion) she can move to getting a bike of her own...

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Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Got the call from Langel that my title had finally been posted this past Friday. Got the plate and registration today! Heading over to Hiway now to drop it off and check the status of the Yammy.

Also ordered an M2R MR-25 replacement shield (scratched the original up pretty bad), Progrip 698XL Superbike(!) grips for the clubmans (open-ended to accept the bar-end mirrors), and a Kryptonite New York Chain (so you can’t take her, thank you very much). All from motorcyclesuperstore.com.

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Monday, June 21, 2004

A license and MSF endorsement are MINE.

A title, however, is not.


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Good ol’ PENNDOT

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

So it’s been 60 days since I sent for a new title. Of course in that 60 days, nothing has happened. I call PENNDOT and oh-so-friendly-and-ever-so-helpful Reuben says, glibly, “Oh, that title has been purged from the system, since it was inactive for so long. We need to find out more information.” That’s what they’ve managed to do in 60 days. So now I have to wait until Thursday to call back and see if anyone else has a clue over there. Now I’m wondering if I’ll even get to ride this bike this year.


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Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Still waiting on the state to send me the title for the bike so I can get it registered and inspected...

Stopped by yesterday to see how things were going, and Mike had discovered upon properly inflating the tires that the front had a huge crack running along the sidewall. Rather than replace the front with original-style ribbed, I opted to go modern. Most likely Dunlop F-11.

Also looking for a battery tie-down, as the original disintegrated when pulling the old battery.


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More stuff...

Monday, May 31, 2004

Picked up some Clubman bars a few weeks ago, to see how I like them on the bike. Just won an auction for a pair of bar-end mirrors too.

Started my MSF Rider Course, had one classroom session and one riding session so far. Not as hard as I thought it would be... only problems I've been having are with wide slaloms... practice, I guess...


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Wise investment?

Sunday, May 23, 2004

It will be interesting to see how this auction for an R5 identical to mine turns out... bidding already over $3500, though it is in a smidge better condition than mine... at any rate, seems my $550 was well invested...

UPDATE - Winner took it home for $3900.

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Parts are here

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Received my shifter yesterday, and dropped it off at the shop. The shift rubber arrived today. Mike assured me he’ll be taking the bike out for test runs this weekend.

Also, wound up buying a jacket as well. Knowing the way I sweat even on cold days, I opted for mesh one. I have read a lot of good things about them as well, being just as good as leathers. Originally thought I wanted a Joe Rocket Reactor or Rio, but after trying them on at the Philadelphia Cycle Center, I was disappointed at how high they rode up in the back, even when not in a riding position. I did however try on a Fieldsheer Titanium.Air jacket, and loved the way it fit and looked. After reading this review, I felt confident enough to snag my own.

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Took a peek...

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Stopped over the shop after work yesterday to take a peek at her. Mike got her started up, and yup, she smokes... nice bluish crap billowing out the pipes. Should be good after a few more starts and a good hard run (the old “Italian tune-up”). She actually has a deeper, throatier sound to her, granted not a H-D, but a lot better than the "ring-ding" I was expecting after reading so much about it...

Anyways, waiting for the shifter and rubber, was shipped on Tuesday.

Russ brought out his cool Yamaha XS1100(?) Franken-racer, complete with self-fabricated hand-laid fiberglass tank and seat and rearsets. Sweet.

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Got me a shifter!

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Won the auction for the missing shift lever. I’ll be picking up the rubber from Speed and Sport. Now I’ve got my sights on a pair of clubmans...

In the meantime I’m getting some things together to sell on Ebay, including some parts I don’t need... stay tuned...


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It’s alive!!!

Friday, April 30, 2004

Got a call from Mike over at Hiway tonight... after a thorough carb cleaning (and almost smoking him out of his garage) the old R5 is purring like a kitten! All she needs to keep going is a new battery! Oh yeah, and that shifter, and some new tires and cables, and inspection and registration... ugh... well, the big question has finally been answered at least...

When the bike was put away, someone had the sense to drain the tank of gas and coat everything in WD-40. Mike commented that after he had cleaned out all the gunk in the bottom that had accumulated over the years, she started up on her first kick.

I got sniped last minute on an auction for a used shifter (dang!). Another one has popped up however (NOS too - good ol’ Ebay!), so I’ll pay more attention this time an hopefully pick it up. Part numbers are as follows:

  • Gear Shift Pedal - Part Number: 278-18111-00-93
  • Gear Shift Pedal Rubber - Part Number: 132-18113-01
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    My Plans

    Monday, April 19, 2004

    Plans for the bike include:
    - remove the sissy bar (even though it is kinda cool)
    - install a solo seat (something like this) -OR-
    - install a solo seat cowl (like this) and retain stock seat -OR-
    - just retain and clean up the stock seat (most likely)
    - tail light blinker
    - clubman, drag or superbike bars (clip-ons too expensive)
    - bar-end mirrors
    - new grips (will need new ones with above mirrors anyway)
    - (perhaps) debadging
    - (perhaps) rear sets (if I can find them to fit, or make them)
    - (perhaps) a café fairing (ultra-small, like this one)


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    A little history...

    Thursday, April 15, 2004

    A friend of my boss Brian races a Suzuki GSX-R and has an enclosed trailer for hauling the bike to and from the track. Good thing it's enclosed, as it had been raining here for about four days straight. He picked up Brian’s 1971 Triumph Bonneville and his fianceé’s Yamaha (not sure of the model) before heading out to Trevose where my bike had been stored for the last 25 years.

    In the meantime, I brought over my money order and met with Albert, the owner of the bike. Extremely nice gentleman. He related the story of the bike to me. He is a builder by trade, and a friend of his owed him money and was unable to pay him. So he gave him this bike. Albert was interested in riding at the time, as he had friends who rode. He told me about this bike and how deceptively quick it is. He could beat his friend’s Triumph off the line up to 85mph! I didn’t even think this 350 could get up to that! At any rate, Albert got busy with work, and one day he parked it in the garage. One thing lead to another, and there it sat for 25 years. His youngest son Andy (who had posted the eBay auction, and whom I met when inspecting the bike before bidding) had swiped the shifter from the bike to put on his ATV a few years back, so that’s why this piece is missing off the bike. Other than that, the bike is as it was when originally purchased. Albert was even nice enough to include the shop manual for the Yamahas of that year. Excellent stuff, everything needed is in there.

    So we went over to the local notary, paid my $65 (sheesh!) to get the title transferred, and a few minutes after we got back Brian and Jim pulled up in the trailer. After a bit of ratcheting and securing the bikes, we were off to Hiway Motorcycles in Hatboro. Brian’s friend had just opened the shop, and has about 15 Harleys in various states already there. We unloaded the bikes, parked them in the garage, and now I await an estimate of what it’s going to take to get her running again.


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    I won!

    Tuesday, April 06, 2004

    I won the eBay auction for a 1972 Yamaha 350 R5-C motorcycle located in Trevose, PA, not far from where I work in Hatboro, PA. Here is the original auction description:

    The item you are bidding on is a 1972 Yamaha R5-350 motorcycle. It has a two cylinder two cycle engine and it has 3,000 original miles on it. The motorcycle is all original with original tires. The bike has been in storage for 25 years, ran prior to being parked and is being sold as is. It has a small dent on the gas tank and is missing the gear shifter, otherwise it is in very good condition. The color is orange and black. Any questions, please feel free to e-mail me. Local pick-up only unless prior arrangements have been made.

    I was the only bidder, and won the item for the opening $550 US bid. The bike came with the original owner’s manual and complete original toolkit. Everything was in amazingly great shape. Everything worked, no exterior rust, no dry rot, no cut wires, all the rubber was soft. Tires will need replacing though. Brakes worked fine, no rust in the tank and there’s compression... the engine sounded like it wanted to turn over! The pictures made the bike look pretty good, but it looks even better in person! A few hours with some chrome polish and wax and she’ll look like she just came off the showroom floor.

    I’ve made arrangements to pick it up and trailer it to a shop near work on Wednesday, April 14th. There it will be looked over and I’ll get an estimate on what it needs to become road-worthy once again.


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