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Old 10-02-2016, 09:22 AM
OverMyHead OverMyHead is offline
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Was offered a free project... too far gone?

A friend was gracious in offering this project to me, a 1980 Special. It's obviously been sitting a long time. He took the head off and it's been sitting out in the elements like this. There's a bucket-o-parts and he says everything is there. I'm guessing it could take anywhere from $1k-$2k just to get it going again, not to mention many hours, so I'm curious if you folks think it's worth the investment. I'm a better than average shadetree mechanic but this would be new territory for me.











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Old 10-02-2016, 09:42 AM
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3Phase 3Phase is offline
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With the slotted rotors and black ring on the alternator cover it's probably an '81SH but it's a lot of work whatever it is and $2k might be a little conservative.

That engine's close to toast but why was it torn down in the first place and does it have a clear title?
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Old 10-02-2016, 10:32 AM
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Investment? No! Making that thing nice is going to cost thousands. $2K might be conservative for getting it going again. It might be a candidate for a custom build, and it certainly has a lot of good parts.

Water might be everywhere, even down inside the frame. This is for someone passionate about doing a rescue. There is no possibility of a return on investment.

I agree with Scott. It's a 1981 XS1100SH. They aren't exactly sought after. The fans of this bike are mostly right here.
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Old 10-02-2016, 11:23 AM
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Yard Art -- It can be done but think about it.


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I don't know why but the more I look at it the more banjos I hear playing, not the throaty, growling roar of an XS1100 in full song even if it does have a one-year-only 4R0 TCI.

You could pull the piston rings, then stick the jugs and head back on and leave the valve cover off. Fill the valve pockets with bird seed and put the cams in so the birds have somewhere to perch. It'll give that Gold Lab something to chase.

Or put a water pump in the sump and run a line up the chain tunnel to the top end and make a nifty rollable waterfall.
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Old 10-02-2016, 12:31 PM
OverMyHead OverMyHead is offline
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You guys are cracking me up, and I thank you for being so blunt!
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Old 10-02-2016, 01:06 PM
motoman motoman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Phase View Post
With the slotted rotors and black ring on the alternator cover it's probably an '81SH but it's a lot of work whatever it is and $2k might be a little conservative.

That engine's close to toast but why was it torn down in the first place and does it have a clear title?
.....agree, definitely 81Special.
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Old 10-02-2016, 01:18 PM
OverMyHead OverMyHead is offline
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Just found a '79 Special on CL for $1500, gorgeous bike ready to go. So no, definitely not putting the time into this "yard art."
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Old 10-02-2016, 01:59 PM
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Nevermind, took too long to look and itemize and post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OverMyHead View Post
You guys are cracking me up, and I thank you for being so blunt!
Title == bike

No title == bird feeder

If you really want to do this, lose those moss-covered (Sorry, T.C.) GREEN TIRES!

If the case didn't fill with water or just sit outside too long and ruin the crankshaft or the internal ball and roller bearings, I'd just ditch the jugs and get another set with matching pistons and rods. Send a P.M. to forum member Andreas Weiss (click to play) or check the XS and XJ 1100 parts for sale forum to see what he's got this week.

Lap and reseat the valves, soda blast the head and case then repaint with your favorite aluminum paint and it'll go back together and run but it won't be pretty.

The frame looks dull but not badly rusted.
Replace the windshield or take the mounts off the handlebars.
It needs a right-hand mirror, a set of carburetors, the rest of the air box, a tach, and a new front fender; no idea about the rear fender.
The electrical system needs work and at least a new fuse box.
Some of the signals and at least part of the headlight shell are still on it.
The brakes lines are shot but the rotors are still good. You can get new brake pads and clean up and rebuild the masters and calipers.

No idea about the steering head bearings, front forks, wheel bearings, rear shocks, swing-arm bearings, and the middle and final drives.

Another seat wouldn't be too difficult to find but a clean gas tank that doesn't look like a doily inside might be a little more difficult.


So, brother, where art thou? Bike? Bird feeder, or bird bath?
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Old 10-02-2016, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OverMyHead View Post
Just found a '79 Special on CL for $1500, gorgeous bike ready to go. So no, definitely not putting the time into this "yard art."
The '79 Special will need plenty of service and repair, as all of them do. A nice one is the way to go. You have about 51 weeks to get it ready for XS Southeast 2017.

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Old 10-02-2016, 02:53 PM
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I agree. If you're looking for an XS, look for the most complete example in the best condition you can find. $2k will get you a pretty nice XS, but it's not going to turn that pile of rusty metal into a nice bike. I'd pull the good parts out, and I'd keep the frame if it's titled (somebody always seems to be looking for one of those,) and the rest I'd take to a scrap yard.
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I think I have a loose screw behind the handlebars.

'79 XS11 Standard, Jardine 4/1, Dyna DC1-1 Coils, 145 mains, 45 pilots, plastic floats - 25.7mm, XV920 fuel valves, inline fuel filters, speed bleeders, Mikes XS pods, spade-type fuse block, fork brace, progressive fork springs/shocks, manual petcocks, 750 FD, Venture cam chain tensioner, SS brake lines
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:00 PM
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If the frame has a clear title engines are fairly cheap. Swap in a good engine and go for it.
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80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BA80 View Post
If the frame has a clear title engines are fairly cheap. Swap in a good engine and go for it.
Yes, free beats fifteen-hundred if it has a clear title! If it doesn't....
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3Phase View Post
Yes, free beats fifteen-hundred if it has a clear title!
Or $2500 for one with issues.
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Greg

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

― Albert Einstein

80 SG Ol' Okie;79 engine & carbs w/pods, 45 pilots, 140 mains, Custom Mac 4 into 2 exhaust, ACCT,XS850 final drive,110/90/19 front tire,TKat fork brace, XS750 140 MPH speedometer, Vetter IV fairing, aftermarket hard bags and trunk, LG high back seat, XJ rear shocks.

The list changes.
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Old 10-02-2016, 08:58 PM
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3Phase 3Phase is offline
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Oh, yeah, like the Energizer Bunny of problem generators. It's working out but it's been a lot of work. I really like the bike though, it totally wails and handles like it's on rails. Un-freakin' believable.


OverMyHead,

What BA80 is referring to is my latest acquisition, a low-mileage 1982 XJ1100 from the local dealership for $2,500 that looked great but had a busted frame along with some other expensive hidden problems; made me miss the trip back East to North Carolina this year for the XSSE rally.

So that '79 Special you're looking at for $1,500 can wind up costing you more time and money than your buddy's straight-up offer for the free range bird bath: title or no title?
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1982 XJ1100J: "Baby" SS Brakes, '850 FD, ACCT
1980 XS1100G: "Columbo" SS Brakes, '850 FD, ACCT
1979 XS1100SF: "Bush" W.I.P.
2018 Heritage Softail Classic 117 FLHCS SE: "Nanuk"
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  #15  
Old 10-03-2016, 10:45 AM
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Radioguylogs Radioguylogs is offline
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What do YOU want?

OverYourHead:

The only thing missing from this discussion is the rewarding feeling of bringing something useless back to something that is so enjoyable.

You CAN make it run. The guys here will help clear any hurtles that come up. We see worse bikes come back to life.

I don't think the cost to make an ugly bike run is not much worse than the cost to completely go through a nice looking bike (carb kits, petcock kits, wheel/steering bearings, new brake parts, gaskets, clutch plates, cables, etc.). The incremental parts are rings, head gasket and maybe engine bearings.

But, if it were me, I want reasonable cosmetics because my bikes are not daily riders. I agree that rounding up a good set of cosmetic parts for that bike might be so vast and costly that it might be wise to start with a better carcass. I think it depends on what you expect when it's done and if you are going to keep it and enjoy it.

Do what you feel that you want to do!
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