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Love must be learned - column

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Recently I saw a very neat 650 Yamaha XS1977 at a befriended advertiser. I dreamed away. Such an XS is one of the few motorcycles that I have ever bought new. That was after ending a courtship. Of course it could have been a match made in heaven. But in the end it worked sub-optimally. In fact, we were still too young and inexperienced in love. On the plus side: Later I saw that period in my life as an apprenticeship: 'Lessons in love pt 2 ”or something.

Relationships take quite some time

Then when you are relational again, you suddenly have a lot of time to spend. And so I scored a new XS650 at Nico van de Kuinder in the Hilversumse Koningsstraat. I remember driving in the vicinity of the Nieuwkoopse Plassengebied while I freely sang to Manfred Man's Earth Band “Dolf is on the road again”. Apparently I had dealt with the breakup. The XS was a great machine. I thought the 1977'er was the most beautiful of all versions. The engine character, the sound ... Great!

A broken blob

Until the nylon worm gear with which the clutch pressure pin was operated broke down. There was a delivery problem with regard to parts and during an interim visit to Van de Kuinder I saw one Triumph T150V Trident standing in the back of the case. The first look was like a lightning strike the beginning of a new relationship.

Emotion as a guide: Risky

After an emotional negotiation process, Nico van de Kuinder had exchanged a ZGAN Yamaha XS650 with a broken plastic part for a Triumph of which he did not stop saying that I should not expect anything from the three-cylinder. That it was an impossible trade-in without even the slightest form of guarantee. That he actually didn't even dare to sell it. If I was really sure, very sure, what I was getting into? But love is blind. The Trident was given a neat delivery turn and was picked up when the broken Yamaha part just arrived at Van de Kuinder.

The first ride on the Triumph resulted in a near death experience because I had to get used to shifting on the other side. But after that, the Trident became a long-term relationship. The three-cylinder with its Norton S pipes was respectfully ridden and carefully maintained. Modern motorcyclists will not get it. But changing the oil every 2500 kilometers, checking the valves and ignition kept the Triumph almost 50.000 kilometers 'on the road' almost without any problems.

Mr. Jim as a youth

When the block was finished, it was overhauled by Paul Postma who now lives on in his thoughts and a then still very young, but now also legendary 'Mr Jim' '. After that, there came a while when I thought I needed to make a career and there were a few more courtships. Fortunately, my life came to rest by finding my ultimate Lief and the discovery of Moto Guzzi's and Urals.

The agreement between ...

By then I had already discovered the similarity between older bikes and women: As long as you give them constant sincere attention, love, care and respect, there will never be serious problems. If you fail to do so, you will have the most unexpected problems at the most unexpected moment. With the right approach, love can grow bigger and deeper. Anyway. An unexpected bunch of flowers for your Lief. Once a dose of Yellow Miracle Oil for your bike… “It's the little things that make it happen”. And when it comes to 'tension' in the relationship, tire pressure is also quite important.

By the way, the head photo was once taken by Frank Pekaar who still is Triumph rides and edited by FB friend Olaf Bok, who does this for hobby reasons. He also provides Photoshop training courses.



Give a reaction
  1. @peet I still have fond memories of my 70s and 80s motorcycle years. And who are we to judge the youth on their love of smartphones now? Different times, different preferences. I can still laugh with the anti-Japs scene of British machine drivers at the time. Everything changes and evolves. . . See Bob Dylan

  2. The XS 650 was my second motorcycle, after I first got my A driving license in 1978 and had driven an XS500 for a year and a half. Both used bought at Gebben op Staphorst and the first still at Gebben-Sr… Special man, he saw better with one eye than many of us with two working ones. A guilder change back, he could juggle anywhere today. In the year and a half that I had it, I only started the XS a few times with the push button, cranking was a piece of cake: without contact a few times with the choke on it, put it against the compression and all the weight on the kickstarter which had to be pedaled all the way to the end. Once (but…) I didn't, the kickstarter could just go back because I was already with my right knee against the steering wheel… It took a while before I had my right leg under control again, but the lesson was clear. The last six months (of the year and a half in total) I have mainly searched and tried to discover why the colossus was already able to get into cadence with a “speedwobble” at 70 km / h so that I sometimes dream of it when I'm in bed with the flu or something. Exchanged on a Laverda 1000 at Jos Jansen in Grave (then still on the Marssingel) and enjoyed it very much, but also replaced and adjusted a lot. I knew that in advance because he was 3 years old when I bought it but had clearly “been through something”. Completely tip-top I have had it for 39 years and when it comes to driving, it couldn't be better, words are lacking. Recently said goodbye and was lucky that he now ended up with a real enthusiast and technician. In the meantime found a lighter engine, again an Italian and again the sparks fly back and forth!
    The XS650 had a great engine, but the frame… it wasn't mine. If I had an XS (block) now, I think I was going to do something along the lines of Yamton or a Yamaha /Triumph intersection. The block is so good that Ton van Heugten at the time drilled it up to 1000 cc and hung it in his sidecar crosser. Everything also remained intact and they became champions with it. Says something too!

  3. Xs 650, in my experience a difficult starter. Waking up such a standing twin was very disappointing. When I had to leave, I often didn't get it kicked ... but when it started it ran perfectly with that nice throbbing sound!
    Idling warm on the centerstand resulted in a power play from the block via standard direction sidewalk that vibrated the relevant sidewalk tile in half ...
    Starting problems persisted, making me long for my trade-in: Honda v twin

    • @Peet: That's great. Whatever we have had: The memories remain in the ears And to think that a generation is growing up of which the entire world of experience has consisted only of smart phones

  4. In the sixties an ex-service mate lived on the Keizersgracht. His Fiat 500 had rotted sills and would help with the welding job. However, it was impossible. What a passer-by had also noticed. Sir …… ..fill with garden soil …… primroses in it, and you still enjoy it for years.

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