Dirksland, an apple and an egg + a euro – column

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Purchasing classics there

Within the circle of friends and acquaintances we try to get along pleasantly and help each other where necessary or possible. And perhaps your grandmother, more blessed, already said it: "Whoever does good, meets good."

And so an email came from Dirksland

“Look what I've got. Every offer – as real gentlemen we don't talk about money, of course – over an apple and an egg is seriously considered. The thing in the picture was unloved enough to want. But lack of space did not really make the purchase urgent. I offered an apple and an egg, plus a euro as a deterrent. And an apple pie. Dirksland immediately answered: “I agree!” And then you are a victim of your own cleverness.

I picked up our collective cart and Ernie from Comrade Ernie

We went to Dirksland, which in good weather and favorable winds is only a few weeks' travel from behind Arnhem. We had anticipation. Because the purchase was one of the kind that ex-Mr. Yamaha (he now does, after retirement, in higher end classic cars) reported:

“It was a stubbornly constructed motorcycle with many different construction details. At the time, we had received a 'pre-production' copy well before series production. With that I had to go to the indoor MX in the Ahoy halls in a van. During the motos I have to drive into the midfield with this XZ550, after Bob de Jong had had his say I had to drive away again. And then he wouldn't start anymore 😱 I feel like all eyes are on me, that was not nice. At the last click that the starter motor still wanted to turn, it started. Literally and figuratively a false start for this striking motorcycle in the Netherlands.”

At Garage Hesselink Kees also has a love for free-range animals

In the rustic Dirksland BXsen, air-cooled two-stroke crossers, tuned Mantas and other peripherals. But the Yamaha didn't fit his frame of mind. He also has a DS for sale. It's been waiting for better times for 25 years, and now it's getting in the way. Oh, yes: Kees is looking for air-cooled (Honda) crossers. We'll just report it. Because in our hobby it's not about who you are, but who you know.

So the XZ was not for Yamaha, nor for Kees

Because there were more problems with things besides Mang's near-death experience. So my new acquisition was waiting in Dirksland. An engine with a story. Kees had taken over the thing from a fellow villager. The lady had invested heavily in the Yamaha and the twin had been to two bike shops in succession to get it fixed. Those two entrepreneurs had been paid, but nothing solved. This made the lady so emotional that she had deregistered Yamaha from the RDW. She didn't even remember the license plate number. So I had bought a neat, non-functioning, unwanted classic without papers for little money. But it is neat in the paint and on new tires.

Comrade Ernie and I looked at each other with great satisfaction

We are satisfied with our unique purchasing policy. The deal also included a set of extra carburettors, counters and indicator light bar. The impressive bunch of keys that came with it was largely unsuitable and for the time being the buddy can't get off for a while. One day but to Joost Woesthoff. He still has a box with a few thousand unsorted keys. And maybe a left side cover too. And for that side cap there is an auto parts store in Eerbeek where they make color spray cans. Now it's Ernie's turn again to do something pleasantly pointless: he's looking for a Ural or Dnepr (project) with an Ugly Duck, Ami or Visa engine. Offers may go to the editor.

The approach is to first see what happens when there is gasoline and electricity

And it is useful to know what the unsurpassed Ben van Helden emailed: The hoses under the tank are often the culprits. And starting after a period of standstill is usually better after removing the tank and air filter. Then stuff a wad of textile over the carburettors and restart until it has drawn sufficient vacuum again.” Who says Japanese bikes have no character?

There was even an encouraging message from the incredible Maarten Poodt, the man who builds a factory-quality Yamaha special just about every year. One of those machines had once started its grueling life as the XZ550. Look, those kinds of texts, they help you. And will that happen this summer? Because the Ural and the Chang Jiang also require attention. Fortunately, the Guzzi is problem-free!

Read more columns through this link.

More stories about classic engines through this link.

A typical attic in Dirksland


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The new purchase settles in

XZ Maarten Poodt

And this is it, according to Yellowrider Maarten Poodt. The bike is now at a valued acquaintance… In the living room. Just ask if Maarten has a left side cover


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  1. In the series of 'obscure Yamaha's' such as a TX750, TR1, XS850, SRX600 and SZR660, I also had this XZ550 under my butt for a short time. Curiosity must have been the factors of purchase, but it turned out not to be a cheap commuter bike. Because even pushing didn't always give results.
    But it steered fine, despite – or because of – the rearward-displaced front axle, perhaps unique for solo motorcycles in motor country. And with gas shut-off I still had the dark rumble of a Duc V-twin in my ears, for much less money. There was also quite a bit of spice in the thing, but I didn't enjoy it for long because while suddenly I saw an exhaust bend bouncing into the verge, which made an economic end to a not so economical two-wheeler. I believe there is only one Dutchman who has driven more than a ton with this infamous model, simply through inventiveness and sheer perseverance.
    Knowing this, leaving every Yamaha dealer far behind, often with complete amazement.

  2. I was once the victim of my so-called nonsense. Was on Vehicle and still in the golden age. A stationary petrol engine was offered. Such a block is of no use at all. The man asked 65 guilders. Well, I told the man, I would like to have it for 20 guilders. All right, said the man.
    Then I had to be a guy. Gave the 20 guilders and I was a block richer.
    I kept the block for at least 30 years. On the tech. I entered bingo as a prize.
    Someone happy again.

  3. If that's to be a disaster, what's up with that Ducati 999, brand new presented and hailed in the press with an ode to the equally brand-new engine management designed by an Italian spark-maker factory? The neighbor 2 houses away had bought it new. Didn't want to do a tour even a week after that. After only two starting attempts, the battery was already completely exhausted and it became clear that the fresh Duc was no longer available. The following week he was transported back to the dealer. I rarely saw him after that.
    Talk about a disaster.

  4. Unfortunately, I also had such a disaster. It was difficult to get it going during the test drive, but bought it anyway and it hasn't gotten any better after that. With a lot of effort that thing sold again on installment and that took another year and a half. Better do some stuff like that but no more. That is called becoming wise through shame and harm.

  5. Dolf I wish you a lot of fun with the xz it's just an engine with potential I speak from experience. He's different and that's the nice thing about it

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