Welcome to Ten by Two (Tennessee by Two Wheels). Here I'll share the ups and downs of rebuilding and modifying my 1977 Yamaha XS650, and then the twists and turns of exploring the East Tennessee area.
Let's start with a little about me. I've been on two wheels for the better part of my life. I got my motorcycle endorsement when I was 19, way back when and many miles from our current home in Harriman, Tennessee.
My first motorcycle was a 1981 Honda CB750K. While not exactly an inspiring motorcycle, it was, nonetheless, a motorcycle! Two wheeled heaven!
From there, I went on to buy my first project bike, a 1969 Triumph Bonneville. Well, parts of it were 1969 Triumph. A Tiger, to be exact. But the Tiger was the same as a Bonneville, but with a single carburetor. Besides, the engine my little box of bits came with was a 1973 Bonneville 750 engine with the 5-speed transmission. Other parts included in the pile of bits included extended forks, the remains of what was supposed to have been the seat, and a toaster. I tossed the toaster in the trash.
Once I rebuilt and reassembled the Triumph, I sold the Honda. Many a mile was put on that Bonneville as I toured the hills and valleys of rural Maryland. I learned a lot along the way, too. I learned all about keeping bolts tightened because the vibratory tendencies of a vertical twin tried to loosen them. I learned that diesel fuel, even once it has soaked into the pavement, is very slick. And I learned how to modify and upgrade things that seemed less than adequate on the bike, including the ignition system (upgraded to electronic), the clutch (converted to hydraulic), and the carburetors (swapped out for Dellortos).
I still have the Triumph, though it's in roughly the same condition as when I first purchased it some thirty-plus years ago. Well, except there's no toaster hidden in the box of bits.
Other bikes I've enjoyed over the last thirty or so years have been a 1979 Suzuki GS1000E, a 2001 Harley Davidson Dyna Glide T-Sport, a 1990 Suzuki VX800, a 2006 Honda Shadow 750 Spirit, and a 1982 Yamaha 550 Seca. I met my wife on the GS1000, and we enjoyed a lot of miles getting lost in the Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Virginia area.
And now it's time to build something fun and reliable. Plans include a re-phased 277° crank, electronic voltage regulator, a larger tank, and a seat with rear cowling. So stay tuned!
Keep the shiny side up!
William K Elliott