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Alex Gets A Motorcycle

Alex's 1990 Yamaha FZR-600

June 28, 2007

My son Alex bought a motorcycle. I have mixed emotions about Alex getting a motorcycle. It certainly is somewhat risky riding a motorcycle and it would be terrible if anything happened to him. On the other hand, I had a great time riding a little bit with him last year and am looking forward to doing again now that he has his own bike.

Also, he's learning a lot. He learned about getting the title transferred and getting a registration and getting insurance. He learned how you can get gipped.. he surely did in a way (the bike has a salvage title, which he didn't know until after he bought it - he asked the guy if it had a clear title and he said yes. It doesn't have any liens on it and so from that standpoint its "clear." But Alex meant did it have a salvage title. Anyway, he's learning.

Now that its home, we see that its leaking some oil. Also the turn signal isn't working correctly now, so that needs to be fixed. He needs to change the oil and that will be a learning process too, I'm sure.

I think I will also have a restoration project for the winter. I'm excited about that. We can make this bike look much better than it does now.

July 1st.

We had to go retrieve the Fizzer with the pickup truck. Long story made short, he ran it low on fuel, used the choke to get it to run long enough to get the gas station and tank up. Then forgot to turn the choke off and rode around and fouled the plugs. Then when he got ready to leave the party and come home it wouldn't start. So the next day we went with the F250 and hauled it home. I puzzled around a bit and finally guessed that the plugs were fouled (they sparked but poorly outside the cylinder). Cleaned them up and it fired right off.

Once that was resolved, we changed the oil and corrected the mounting of the radiator. In the process of working on the plugs, I needed to take the radiator out and discovered that it wasn't mounted at all correctly - just one bolt half holding it in place. Probably held by the hoses more than anything. So, we drained the cooling system (it just had water in it) and corrected the mounting of the radiator which included fabricating a rubber grommet for the top mounting.
The photos were taken this morning. The right side faring is off because we still have some work to do on the mounting for it.

The left turn signal comes on solid all the time so something is wrong there. I suspect the tail light wire is cross over onto it.

July 7th, 2007

We finally got the right spark plugs (the ones that were in the bike were resistor plugs and they should not be). The bike is still running way too rich, so I think the next step is take the carbs out and inspect. Since its consistent across all four cylinders, I have to believe its something that the previous owner did intentionally, like put in oversized jets. As of today, its running (ratty in the midrange) but I'm going to be gone next week, so we decided not to tear into it now.

October 5, 2007

I'm starting the repairs. There is some damage in the front caused by a wreck. See the details in the damage assessment.
The carburetors need to be straightened out. Its running too rich.
The body panels need some work so that they mount a little better.
The turn signals are goofed up. I think making the repairs in the front will straighten that out.

July 20, 2008

Its finally back on the road. I had the repairs I was doing complete back in March. Alex started working on the body when he got home from school and we finally got it all back together and on the road tonight.

September 13th, 2008

SOLD! Alex sold the bike. It looked pretty good with the new paint and stickers on it. It wasn't running, but the buyer wasn't too concerned as he intends to turn it into an electric machine. That should be interesing. I told him to bring it by when he gets it done. I'd like to see it.

The photo below was taken just minutes before it was hauled away. The photo at right was before the stickers were applied, just after it was painted.