Motorcycle Classics

Long-Term Ownership

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

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  

Remembering On Any Sunday

When I read the On Any Sunday article, I felt so fortunate to have grown up in those times. I remember the motorcycle that set the path for me and thousands of others, the Yamaha DT-1. Motorcycles were freedom and I will ride until my body says no more. That movie truly captures the motorcycling fraternity and I’m so proud to have been a part of it and for so long. I always look forward to your latest issue. Thanks.

Jeffry Carruthers/Calgary, Alberta

Hi Jeffry,

Thank you for the note. We’re all lucky to have motorcycling as a part of our lives, and OAS was the beginning of that for many of us. — Ed.

All white CB160?

I just received my first issue of Motorcycle Classics (March/April 2021). Very impressed. The issue featured an article on a restored Honda CB160, a motorcycle I much admire. In the article was a statement about available colors — red, black, white, and blue as were various other Honda models of the time. However, there was a curious statement that white CB160s were all white including the fenders and side covers. Is that true? Is there a way to verify this? It conflicts with the Honda identifier book that lists all 4 colors as having silver fenders and side covers.

Ralph/Poulsbo, Washington

Hi Ralph,

While we found several secondary references to all-white CB160s and CB77s, we’ll open this one up to our readers. Does anyone have firsthand knowledge of or materials that mention or show all-white CB160s coming from the factory? If so, please email me at — Ed.

Response: All-White CB77 and SL350 Honda Ownership

Remembering an XS2

The All In The Family article in the March/April 2021 issue conjured up lots of great memories for me. This 72 year-old bought his shiny new 1972 XS2 in July 1972, from a small dealership in Gwinn, Michigan. Their slogan was “It’s got to be from Artibees.” I was finishing up my stint in grad school when something happened to the tranny in my ’71 Yammie RT1. Stranded without a ride home to the suburbs of NYC, I traded the 360 in on the 650. I had to finish my course work and clock a thousand miles on the odometer to get it checked for the warranty.

August found me riding solo from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to New York’s Westchester County. I logged 700-plus miles the first day, stopping in a flea bag off I-80 near Youngstown, Ohio. I wheeled the bike into the room for the night when no one was looking. The next day I crossed the GWB, traversed the Cross Bronx Expressway, and made it home. I kept the bike 20 years, and logged 90k miles. The only times it stranded me were due to flat tires. (The most harrowing was on the Cross Island Parkway in Queens, at 6:30 a.m. during rush hour. It had picked up a 3-inch sheet metal screw in the rear. Bike tracked straight though!). I would have bought another when that one tired out, but, alas, they were no more, so a new 1992 HD Sporty 1200 took it’s place. I would have loved to hang onto it, but three kids under 10, a mortgage, and a teacher’s salary … A familiar tale.

Thanks for the great article and pics.

Campbell Whitford/Stormville, New York

  • Updated on Oct 4, 2021
  • Originally Published on Apr 1, 2021
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