Long-Term Ownership

Read these Motorcycle Collector readers' letters about 1980 XS1100G, On Any Sunday, Honda CB160s, and much more.

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by Len Borbridge

I wanted to weigh in on your query about faithful rides (Shiny Side Up, March/April 2021). In late 1979, I was looking for something bigger and faster than my 1976 Yamaha XS750D. While durable and dependable for the highway, having taken me on the Pacific Coast run (Vancouver Island to Tijuana), I still needed a little more. I couldn’t resist the shiny new 1980 XS1100G smiling at me from the showroom floor and the long-term relationship was sealed. I dressed her up with a Vetter fairing, Cyclesound and Krauser bags and I was mobile. The wide powerband makes highway riding a breeze no need to whack ‘er down a couple of cogs to pass that semi, just roll on the power and that 18-wheeler is looking at my taillight disappearing over the horizon. So then, just when I was having fun, that thing called life caught up with me. Priorities changed to marriage, buying a house and raising a family (none of which I regret for an instant). High insurance costs and a company vehicle rendered keeping the bike on the road an unaffordable luxury. Under a tarp it sat, biding its time with rubber rotting and rust flecks blossoming for 19 years.

Once life provided me the latitude to lift the tarp to see what was left, I was posed with a significant restoration project. As I hadn’t stored it properly, I was happy to find that it hadn’t seized and turned over easily. All rubber components needed replacement, from the tires to CV carb diaphragms. I also found a DIY-install seat cover that looks great. Known second gear issues have been dealt with. I found a complete transmission from a 1981 model in Alberta. As we’re both getting along in age, there probably won’t be any more highway marathons, but I’m more than happy to be upright, wind in my face and feeling the exhilaration of acceleration. 90,000km and going strong!

Len Borbridge/Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada  


  • Updated on Oct 4, 2021
  • Originally Published on Apr 1, 2021
Tagged with: 980 XS1100G, all-white, CB160, On Any Sunday, reader letters
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