3/30/17: Been having truck problems lately (adding to a lot of stresses), and with the weather outside warming up I decided to purchase a motorcycle.
It is a 1989 Yamaha XT350 with 2727 miles on it. Off the line it got 50 miles per gallon and has a tank of 3.17 gallons (2.5 regular and .5 reserved). The original owner was a truck driver who used it to get around town when stopping. The second owner bought it for his son but it was too big. I’m the third owner since 1989 (same age as my brother Sam). I got it for $1450.
3/31/17: I went to the DOT Friday morning and passed my motorcycle knowledge test; getting my permit. While at the DOT I also got my title transfered over to me, new license plate, and registration. Then I went over to AAA and got insured (doing this within an hour, as I used my lunch time hour. It was a pretty quick process unlike California DMV wait times).
4/1/17: Saturday I went to 5 different motorcycle shops in Mandan on Memorial looking for a good helmet and riding jacket. I found my ideal helmet at the Indian Dealership. I really didn’t want one of those pop up jaws and wanted it to be fixed. This one also has the flip down shade and vents in jaw & dome.
The motorcycle jacket is a Victory brand with built in shoulder and elbow pads. It also had an inner liner that works as a regular jacket when taken out. I took mine out because it was already too warm outside.
I took it for a couple rides between General Conference sessions to get use to it. I’ve noticed if I open the throttle it seems to be losing power around 55-60 mph in 5 & 6th gear (5-7k rpms also in the lower gears). Not super familiar with bikes yet, so opinions are welcome.
I thought the sputtering was caused by lack of fuel and after setting it to reserve I rode home grabbed my wallet (was riding with just my permit, registration, and insurance) and went to the gas station. I had to replace the headlight bulb because only the highbeam was working. Pulled out the bulb and it was the original from 1989 and couldn’t find the same one anywhere. Finally ended up with a similar wattage bulb and modified it slightly with the metal tabs to work.
I’ve ridden about 70 miles since I bought it Thursday night. My goal is to ride it to work this week starting on Monday. I’ve registered for ABATE course the weekend of May 19th. I’ve been on the freeway twice now and as you can see from the picture rode up to Harmon Lake and back.
4/2/17: This thing is ancient (which would mean I am calling myself ancient as I was born in 87), have fun trying to find a replacement. Ended up with a similar wattage bulb and had to modify it with the tabs to keep it in the light.
4/6/17: Quite the morning ride to work, below freezing. Frost on everything.
4/15/17: Learning about my motorcycle by removing the seat to see where everything is. Corroded battery terminals. Cleaned them up and but protective red coating around the terminals to prevent future corrosion.
The Yamaha had its first bath.
4/22/17: The sun is coming up earlier.
5/20/17: ABATE Motorcycle training; May 19-21st.
This is the motorcycle (Suzuki 250) I rode for my ABATE course. After completing the course I went down to the DOT and got my motorcycle license.
5/22/17: Prepping the gas tank for paint, by covering the existing decals. Thought about new ones, but they were like $60 on eBay.
What the motorcycle looks like with out the seat or gas tank.
Painted black. I plan to get some black reflective tape to add to the motorcycle to be more visible at night. White is easier to see, but black looks cooler.
5/23/17: Got an oil filter today, now I can change the oil.
5/25/17: Got a new clutch lever from when I laid down the bike on Saturday. Forgot to take the key out of the gas tank cap after filling up and put in the ignition. Also didn’t pull in the clutch when kick starting it, so it lunged forward and I lost balance falling over with the bike. Only lost a little fuel from the carb overflow and the tip of my clutch lever.
Time to do an oil change. Looks like it hadn’t been replaced since it came off the production line. Doesn’t look like the oil filter has been changed since it came off the line in 1989.
Everything back together and oil filter installed. I also fixed the tension on my rear brake.
5/26/17: I was having a wiring problem the other day when my left turn signal stopped working. I stripped down the bike and found the switch had a bad connection and the next day my lights started having problems.
Light removed for better access to the wiring harness. Pretty simple wiring, minus the fact there are like 6 brown wires that are exactly the same for different pieces.
Traced a lot of the wires back to find other problems and found out why my brake light didn’t come on when I used my front brake lever. The wire was cut clean in two, so I reconnected it and now my brake light works.
I found that when my wheel is turned right my left turn signal will work, so I’ll work with it again tomorrow, but now the lights work again with the new switch.
Painted, oil changed, lights fixed, decals on, and ready to enjoy the Memorial Day weekend.
5/27/17: Restoring a 1973 Honda CL350 with Jimmy Blackburn.
I have now driven my motorcycle exactly 1,000 miles since I bought it on 3/30/17.
6/5/17: Getting ready to remove carburetor for cleaning. Carburetor (dual, but connected not separate). Carburetor removed.
Carburetor cleaned and ready to go back in.
6/7/17: Old & New (orange) flasher/turn signal relay.
New standard 40w bulb to replace temporary 60w bulb. I finally found one of these ‘ancient’ light bulbs.
Fiddling with the wiring and now my left turn signal works again. It would work when I turned my handlebars to the right, but not the left (very inconvenient I must say).
Also got a replacement air filter.
6/10/17: Old petcock ready for replacement. Old and new. Old one wasn’t terrible and still worked, but was getting hard to shut on/off. New petcock installed and now I can go fill my tank.