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Bikes I have owned part 2...

As a teenager I knew a guy who had a Yamaha SR500. One of the first ones with the black tank and gold pin striping on the tank. When I saw his SR500 I loved the look of that big single engine. I knew one day I would have a SR500....

Now roll forward a some years. I still have the GSX250. It was blue to start with, now it is red after a bad accident. It has a rebuild engine. And yes I took all 8 valves out and put them back in too. I meet the woman who is to be my wife. After riding around Sydney on dates with her on the back I knew the poor 250 will not take us on the freeways. So I went hunting for a bigger bike. A single if I could get one. My heart was working overtime and I was not thinking straight. It was love you see. So when I saw a SR500 I had to have it.

Did I do any form of mechanical check? No! I paid cash and off I went. I had to learn to kick start the thing. Yes it did sprain my right ankle starting it once. It had shot swing arm bearings. And the top end was on the way out. So off the road she came. Back onto the faithful GSX250. I replaced the shot swingarm bearings. I had the head rebuilt and she needed a rebore. I did all the tear down and assembly. But I got distracted when I was putting the cam chain sprocket back on the cam shaft. I came back and forgot to tighten it up. So you can imagine what happened. The engine started ok. Sounded good too. All for about 2 kilometres.

Several hundred dollars later I had a Wiesco high compression piston put in and a new camshaft. She would pull wheel stands in 1st and 2nd gear. Shot flame out the open exhaust pipe on over run. And then she died again. Something in the engine. So I sold her for a song. I was sick of rebuilding the engine.

Roll forward a few more years. Married and one child on the way. I had a beautiful little CB125 single. I loved the look of the engine.

Time to go up an engine size. I bought Honda CM250. Belt drive cruiser styling. Nice little bike. Belt made a funny noise. We had no other transport. 1st daughter was born and we needed to get about. So we bought a second hand Virago XV1000 with a HRD 1 ½ sidecar. I had rung Ron when he ran HRD sidecars looking for advise on what bike to buy to haul a chair. He had a mate who was selling his outfit so we meet. Price was right. Ron taught me how to ride the outfit and off we went on our 3 wheel journey.

The XV1000 took my then wife, daughter who was then 18 months old and me to Queensland via inland NSW. The previous owner had fitted a 20 litre jerry can in to the fuel system so she had a good range.

In the end I ran the XV1000 into the ground. She needed new piston and rings and was plagued with an incurable misfire that made her un-drivable. So instead of pouring money down the cylinders I went and bought the last model VX1100 Virago.

In part 3 of My Bikes more on the XV1100, my wife gives me money to buy a Classic bike and I get the MZ Traveller.


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