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  1. #21
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    While not exactly on topic, this is the story of how I found my XS that I'm currently working on. It's good for a laugh and it took me a while to write so I might as well post it. If it reads a bit weird, it's because I wrote it over 2 sittings.

    At the beginning of November the search had begun, but in a revelation that will surprise no one here, local searches turned up mostly empty. Either people thought they were sitting on gold or they just weren't selling in November. One day however I came upon a listing that sounded promising. The ad stated that a motorcycle shop was going out of business and for 20+ years it had specialized in XS650s with 8+ complete bikes, 10+ running motors and thousands of parts. I figured this was perfect so I called the number and started asking questions. The person on the other end of the phone told me he was actually listing for a friend who didn't internet but he was very familiar with the collection and was a motorcycle collector himself. So I asked him if all or most of the bikes were in running order. He stated that most of them probably needed a battery but we could fire some up. Next came the inevitable question, "How much is he looking to get for a running bike?" He said "$500" which in running condition I thought was a great deal so I arranged to meet up with this guy and owner of the bikes.
    The location was a few hours away so I called 2 buddies to see if they wanted to go for a ride and maybe pickup a bike themselves since they were also in the market. They happily agreed and with a quick stop at the bank we were on our way.
    2 1/2 hours later we finally pull up to the address given to us on a dirt road off a dirt road. What we see is a house that looks like it hasn't seen any upkeep in 20 years and a yard that hasn't been cut in probably twice that. Quickly this trip starts to seem like a bad idea as we see a guy walking toward that looked all beat to hell with rotting teeth and messed up skin, great a Methhead. The dude proceeds to tell us that the place where the bikes are is down the road a bit and we will have to follow them. (Them?)
    A minute later another guy walks out of the house, he looks pretty much normal, no messed up teeth or skin, just long hair and a beard wearing a leather jacket. Ok, now I'm feeling a little better, I can deal with a grizzled old biker, then I see what's in his hands, multiple long ass pistol mags and what looks and sounds to be a coffee can full of ammo.
    Methhead, "ok guys follow us, we're going to take you to the bikes." We got in the truck and immediately started to debate the merits of just blasting the opposite way and heading back home, but in the end curiously and a the threat of a wasted trip spurred us on.
    The second part of our story picks up with our heros following a beat ass pickup from dirt road to dirt road, then the safety of town only to quickly leave civilization to do another 10 miles on questionable roads, some that seemed little better than a herding path.
    During our drive we had a lot of time to plan our strategy and possible escape plan and in turn the rolls we would play. Myself, since I had set up the deal I would be hence known as the Negotiator. Nick, who had a little Rugar 380 in his coat, took on the alias of the Gunner, (not that he or any of us would last long against Glocks with 30 round mags.) Ryan, who is a distance runner and can put down a sustained 6 minute mile was tasked with going for help while the Negotiator and Gunner acted as cannon fodder and was deemed the Runner.
    The gray pickup finally slowed and turned onto a rutted driveway that lead up a hill. Ahead we saw a small single story home on the right and a workshop and wood shed on the left with a guy working a tractor between the two. The guy on the tractor didn't even seem to notice or care that we were there which we thought was quite odd since we had driven all this way to see him.
    We get out of the truck and start walking toward the guy on the tractor, but are immediately stopped by Methead asking where we are going. "I thought we were here to talk to him about the XSs?", I said. "We are," he says, "but that isn't him, he doesn't live here, he lives further up the property." (WTF is going on, now there are 3 people involved and not one actually has anything to do with these bikes?) Methead points to the top of a hill at the end of the clearing on the property where we see an old yellow school bus next to a small even older tow behind camper. The two had a small roof that bridged the gap while surrounding the whole area was a junkyard full of shit.
    As we reach the top of the hill I see some kind of sport bike on a make shift lift under a canopy in front of the school bus. (Great, so this is the "shop".) Behind it is stands the "shop" owner, Izzy. To describe Izzy as a crazy, backwoods, separatist might be too kind. Tucked into his duck boots were a pair of heavy wool pants covered in safety pins and secured by a piece of rope. Clipped to the waistband and pockets of the pants were not one, two or three, but four knives of varying sizes and a holstered pistol. (It turns out that he actually had a second gun in the small of his back that I couldn't see.) Around his neck looked like some kind of medicine bag that contained many things, including more bullets. Looking to his head he had a long unkempt beard, greasy, tangled hair and the craziest goddamn eyes I have ever seen.
    Introductions were made and I finally got to take a good look at the XS graveyard and realized just how bad we'd been conned. The eight or so bikes were sitting on rotten pallets, only one had a gas tank, several were missing a least one wheel and all of them looked like they had been parked longer than they had run. (The Gunner actually saw a mouse climb out of the intake port of one of the engines.)
    After the intros, Izzy immediately goes into sales model and says "so you guys want 3 bikes right? Pick 3 out and we'll get you set up with some extra parts." The 3 of us looked at each other and it was pretty obvious we are all thinking the same thing, no one wants anything to do with these POSs and we just want to get the hell out with our skins. I finally break the silence and tell him, "honestly, these are all a bit more work than we wanted, we kind of expected complete, running bikes." Izzy a little more intensely this time, starts showing us a few extra parts he has lying around including a 21"dirt bike wheel and a new Metzeler Marathon to go with it and says, "look, just pickup something you like and we'll find all the parts you need in the shop (the bus) because THIS IS HOW YOU BUILD CHOPPERS KIDS." (This line got repeated probably 20 times on the ride home so it's worth highlighting here.)
    Again, mostly silence from us, then Izzy says,"what do you guys expect to get for $800, a bike in perfect condition?" At this point I"m starting to get more pissed than nervous and ask what happened to the $500 for a running bike. Izzy looks at Methead and they proceed to have a heated talked away from us. Izzy comes back and says, "fine $500 then for a bike." Annoyed me, "sorry but these just aren't in the condition we expected for the price, I think we'll have to pass." Izzy makes one more push for a sale, but this time leaves the price open to negotiation after I find something I like.
    For the first time I actually start seriously considering his offer, not just because I think I might be able to live with the crazy purchase, but that I get to live by making a purchase from a crazy. The first bike I look at, has some extended forks, raked trees and 3-4 risers, the tubes on forks are pretty rusted, although I completely missed that at the time. The bike has no tank, carbs or exhaust. I go to kick it, but no luck, it's stuck, big shock. The next best bike I look at has carbs and an exhaust, trees but no forks or a front wheel. When I try to kick that one, the pedal immidiatley goes to the floor. "Just a busted spring, cheap fix" Izzy says. He tells me to hold on a sec and runs to his shop (the bus) and grabs some tools to pull the side cover off to turn the engine by hand. Sure enough it does turn and sounds like it's got compression, not that sound means shit without a compression test, but that wasn't happening in the field.
    Ok these are the 2 best bikes here so if any kind of deal was to be struck, it had to be on these. After a bit of back and forth I gave him his $500, but I took both bikes, the 21" aluminum drum dirt bike wheel and the new Metzeler to mount on it.
    With the deal done the guy on the tractor came up the hill and helped load the bikes into the back of the truck since they weren't exactly rollers.
    As we were walking toward the truck to get the hell out of there, Izzy called to us to come back, wanted to show us something. (Great, just when we thought we were going to make it out alive.) He runs into his house (the tow behind trailer) and retrieves a couple of self proclaimed sniper rifles to show the Gunner. Somewhere during the last 30 minute's exchange Izzy had asked our feelings on guns which the Gunner mentioned a feigning interest just to break the silence. Before we could leave Izzy made him handle, exam and comment on each gun in turn. (The Gunner would later have nightmares about leaving his prints on a gun owned by a crazy separatist.)
    The ride home actually pasted rather quickly as we examined and retold the story to ourselves and to our wives and girlfriends who had been trying to reach us since we had been out of cell coverage for several hours.

  2. #22
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    I had the pleasure of joining Ato on that very journey. To say these cats were out there is an understatement. That said, I'd do it again just for the laughs we have gotten out of it.

  3. #23
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    No homo... but I bet you'd be s helluva lot of fun to get drunk around a campfire and tell stories with. For some reason your writing reminds me a lot of Patrick F McManus from Field and Stream...

    Sent from my SPH-L710 using Tapatalk

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by spidr View Post
    Few months back I rolled into a gas station on the Cb400. As I'm filling the little tank, and old guy walks past, stops, turns around and his eyes welled up a little.
    He smiled and says, nice bike....Honda? I said yup, and he says.

    "Years ago I had a cb750 in a denvers frame with a twisted springer. 14 over and kick only. I rode that everywhere, everyday, up until I crippled my ass up. And my dumbshit kids sold it on me, instead of keeping it and riding it. I think someone stripped it down and built some piece of shit billet barge out of it.
    I'll never talk to those shits again."

    I kind of chuckled, put the gas cap on, and kicked it over, the old guys had made his way over to his truck, and as I let out the foot clutch his eyes lit up, and I nodded to him and off I went.

    I bump into him every once in a while,. Despite the generation gap, (he's almost old enough to be my grandfather), we've always got something to say.
    One of these days I'm gonna take that old fuck for a drink and listen to some stories, hes one of those guys you just know has a head full.

    I realize its not about someone coming back to their bike, but I dont buy built bikes, and I dont leave them as is, so I'llnever have those stories. But that little honda gets nods, I've had people drive on the sidewalk to get beside me and talk, people smile and wave, or they yell at me about how evil I must be. Either way, it seems to get to the root of who someone is, just by rolling past on the throttle and grabbing another gear.
    More often than not the people who would stop and say something or show their appreciation for my old piece of shit XS chop were old guys. You could just see it in their eyes - either they had one when they were young or rode something like it or wanted one. Really interesting effect to watch on people that's for sure. I'll also never forget watching a guy almost rear end the car in front of him at a light just so he could lean out his window and get a picture of my bike going by for whatever reason. It looked ratty as hell but people dug it I guess.

  5. #25
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    You Mofo' is representing on this sum-bitch.

    I was sure this thread would fizzle, but instead the community surprises me again. You just never know what you will get in this box of chocolates.

    Great stories! I'm enjoying the laughs and lack of dick measuring and insults that seem to turn up from armchair warriors all to often.

    Genuine thanks to dudes that are taking the time to string some words together. After all we are all contributors in this place.

    -Bear

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