Should I ride it or not?

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2/5/2017 10:53 AM

I need some opinions for something that's been screwing with me. Let me give you a nutshell history of my riding history as it will tell you where I'm coming from.
I grew up in SoCal and rode desert since I was a kid. I never raced, but with family and friends we did the weekend riding, shooting and 4wheeling trips.
In 1978 at the age of 15, I bought a brand new YZ125E. The bike was the most beautiful piece of machinery I had ever seen back then. I was in paradise every time I was riding this bike. The memories of those days riding with my brother all over those deserts will never be forgotten. Since those days I've owned several bikes from Montesas to CR500's.
Four years ago I wanted to relive those days on the same similar year/style bike. I found a 79 YZ400F (2stroke) which I bought private party. I realized that I had found a bike that was a "time capsule" and was so absolutely impeccably mint, near perfect that I decided I shouldn't ride it. This bike is absolutely 100 percent as it came from the showroom floor and almost never ridden. Every original sticker is on the bike including the rear fender warning stickers. There is not a scratch on the plastics, pipe, muffler, wheels or anything. The original DID wheels and tires are on the bike and perfect. I seriously don't think the bike has even been broke it. It's as though it was ridden once or twice lightly and then put away. I rode it once to test it by running it through all the gears and then put the bike away. I have started it a few times over the years. My urge to ride this bike and relive those days is killing me but the rarity of this bike in this perfect condition has held me off. I thought about changing out the plastics with DC plastics and the tires/wheels and pipe just to ride and enjoy the bike and then I would have the parts to one day put back on the bike and keep it looking new.
What would you guys do?? Keep this bike as an original show piece or say screw it and ride it? Thanks, Doug. Photo

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2/5/2017 12:17 PM

1X vote for riding it.

It was meant to be ridden, fulfill its destiny!!!

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2/5/2017 1:14 PM

Ride it, ......give it some tlc, .......Ride it ,...........give it lots of tlc, Ride it,........give it lots of tlc, repeat, repeat, repeat!!!

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2/5/2017 1:18 PM

Ummmmm.......that thing is freaking gorgeous.......I think I wanna stare at it but dont want to be rude.....Is it Illegal to stalk a motorcycle???? w00t

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2/5/2017 1:34 PM

yes, ride it! Go with the DC plastics, look for a spare pipe, I would make sure crank seals and intake boot are not dry rotted, no air leaks from sitting so long. Would"not be looking for a rocky mud race though! I have a pretty decent stock pipe if your interested in a spare..Photo

Here is mine, DC fenders, original side panels.....

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2/5/2017 4:35 PM

I would keep in a time capsule and go buy another one to race. Because what you will spend to fix it (or close to it) after you race it you could of bought another one to race.

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2/5/2017 5:07 PM

Garand1 wrote:

Ummmmm.......that thing is freaking gorgeous.......I think I wanna stare at it but dont want to be rude.....Is it Illegal to ...more

Oh no, It's never illegal to stalk a bike!!!

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2/5/2017 5:12 PM

anniebertmojo wrote:

I would keep in a time capsule and go buy another one to race. Because what you will spend to fix it (or close to it) after ...more

I don't plan to race, I just desert ride. It's a hard decision because you want to ride the dam thing but yet it's rare to find a bike like this that's almost fresh off the show room floor and parts are becoming extinct.

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2/5/2017 5:16 PM

sandman768 wrote:

yes, ride it! Go with the DC plastics, look for a spare pipe, I would make sure crank seals and intake boot are not dry ...more

Thanks for the advice. The intake is good. I have a brand new DG pipe for it boxed up. I also have a new set of OEM plastics never used.

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2/5/2017 5:17 PM

anniebertmojo wrote:

I would keep in a time capsule and go buy another one to race. Because what you will spend to fix it (or close to it) after ...more

I agree.

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Earn it!

2/5/2017 5:23 PM

They're only original once. You can bet those tank stickers will be wiped off in the first hour of riding. A decent bike in it's day, you won't find another one like that.

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2/5/2017 5:28 PM

Do you still have this piece on your bike ?Photo

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2/5/2017 5:30 PM

Hold that thing pinned, Good times>bike sitting in garage

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2/5/2017 6:14 PM

project racer wrote:

Do you still have this piece on your bike ?Photo

Cable guide! I believe so, the bikes never been apart. I'd have to take a close look for it.

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2/5/2017 10:19 PM

Ride it!

I don't see the point in looking at it forever. They are old dirt bikes and except for maybe a few special models in that condition most are not worth enough money to not use.

My grandfather's 79 yz 400 was very low hours but not as nice as yours...I started racing it a couple times a year 3 years ago. The old yz is the most reliable trouble free vintage bike I ride. It's never lost a bolt and starts in the first couple kicks after sitting 6 months at a time. New air filter, fork seals, shock rebuild and tires. I love the motor. I get lots of comments on how good it sounds compared to the 465s on the track.Photo

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2/6/2017 1:12 AM

Get another and race that.
A great looking one to admire an drool over everyday, a dirty one out of sight for the occasional weekend.

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2/6/2017 3:05 AM

Old Shoe wrote:

Get another and race that.
A great looking one to admire an drool over everyday, a dirty one out of sight for the occasional ...more

this. deffo this.

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2/6/2017 9:15 AM

anniebertmojo wrote:

I would keep in a time capsule and go buy another one to race. Because what you will spend to fix it (or close to it) after ...more

I concur 100%.

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"Welcome to Southern California......the mecca of motocross racing." ~ Jason Wiegant

2/6/2017 12:28 PM

Who would you be saving it for? The next generstion of riders that think Jeremy McGrath invented the motorcycle? So when your gone it gets sold on Craig's to a kid down the street for 75.00 to do wheelies up the road? Or you could put it on a shelf next to your wifes Hummel collection.
Ride that effin thing.
Or put it on ebay for 5k and buy a more current YZ250 to ride in the desert

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2/6/2017 1:10 PM

project racer wrote:

They're only original once. You can bet those tank stickers will be wiped off in the first hour of riding. A decent bike in ...more

Those stickers are still holding on for life. Have yet to see any exact duplicates. They're either too short, letters never exact size, or the white is too white.

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2/6/2017 1:41 PM

MaxPower wrote:

Who would you be saving it for? The next generstion of riders that think Jeremy McGrath invented the motorcycle? So when your ...more

Yeah your right. I know it's not a rare bike by no means, it's only a rare super clean original. I'm not rich where I can have a collection of flawless vintage bikes and another collection that I ride (I have a small collection). Therefore I try to hold on to this bike, but yet nobody sees the bike but me, I don't have a museum to show it.
I know if I sold it, someone else would ride the crap out of it, so why not me. But then again parts are rare or some non existent so why damage such a clean original. Then I think, I'm not getting any younger so why not relive the past and turn that throttle. What's more important? Knowing I have a super clean bike under that cover or riding across the desert I like don't give a fuck.

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2/6/2017 2:57 PM

I think I understand your doubts.
If someone (collector?) would pay enough or trade a restored race ready bike, I would do that to save it.
otherwise I would ride it and keep it in good shape

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2/6/2017 2:58 PM

Sidecar wrote:

1X vote for riding it.

It was meant to be ridden, fulfill its destiny!!!

Dam not sure its so dam clean in and out you know what screw it ride it .wer heer once ride brother ride

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2/6/2017 6:32 PM

If you're not short on bikes to ride, I'm gunna go against the grain here and say keep that cream puff behind glass! I dunno, I guess I'm just a geek for this kind of stuff... but it sounds like this bike has a special place in your heart. If you were to ride it now, you'll be riding on eggshells trying to not screw anything up. Do you have anywhere in your home or office to display it, maybe with some framed pics of you with your old one??

Ok fine, you can ride it. in an airplane hanger.

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Positively, absolutely 110% obsessed with anything MOTO.

2/6/2017 9:16 PM

anniebertmojo wrote:

I would keep in a time capsule and go buy another one to race. Because what you will spend to fix it (or close to it) after ...more

I agree with this. I had a very similar dilemma a few years back, found a 90 YZ 125 that had been locked up in a storage unit for 25 years. Almost perfect, unrestored, paint not even worn off the frame or cases. I indulged myself with two easy track laps on a very dry day. Had my kid take pics, then put it back in the garage. In some ways, owning a "unicorn" is a burden unless you are collecting. I ended up trading it to someone who was more collector oriented and it has remained preserved, he even entered in a vintage show. So I'd say don't ride it...it's easy enough to find a rider in that same age bike (although pistons are apparently very hard to come by for that model!).

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2/7/2017 2:05 AM

F150Motocrosser wrote:

If you're not short on bikes to ride, I'm gunna go against the grain here and say keep that cream puff behind glass! I dunno, ...more

Yeah your right, I probably would be riding on eggshells. I can't display the bike now but that could change in a few more years after retirement and a move.

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2/7/2017 2:15 AM

anniebertmojo wrote:

I would keep in a time capsule and go buy another one to race. Because what you will spend to fix it (or close to it) after ...more

mark_swart wrote:

I agree with this. I had a very similar dilemma a few years back, found a 90 YZ 125 that had been locked up in a storage unit ...more

I would rather see guys sell these bikes to collectors as well, when they're "time capsule pieces" and buy another one. It takes too much to bring them back to their original state. I won't sell this bike either way. Yeah the 79 was a 1 year motor so pistons are harder to come by, but they're out there.

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2/7/2017 4:53 AM

I say don't ride it--it's too perfectly original. It's less common to find a time capsule example of a model that was a good racebike--it's more often a model that was obsolete or uncompetitive or otherwise flawed.

My recollection of those 77-80 Yamahas is that they were hard to keep looking fresh when new, like losing the tank stickers as someone mentioned. Something about all the blacked-out surfaces. And I think you have a good example of why a 100-point restoration is often only a nice facsimile of the real thing: It's not the same paint sprayed with the same tools, the same plating done in the same place, same mold release on the plastics, all those surfaces that have never been seriously dirtied and cleaned even once, or worn, and so on. There's something synergistic about one like yours, where every last bit is the original real thing in virtually new condition. Maybe I don't look at enough top restorations, but your bike just glows with authenticity in that photo, and I wouldn't want to be the owner of a 100-pt. restoration parked next to your bike.

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2/7/2017 5:46 AM

socalsand, mind if I ask how you came across this time capsule? What's the story?

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Positively, absolutely 110% obsessed with anything MOTO.

2/7/2017 7:14 AM

anniebertmojo wrote:

I would keep in a time capsule and go buy another one to race. Because what you will spend to fix it (or close to it) after ...more

OW38B wrote:

I concur 100%.

100%. There's plenty of bikes like this out there you can ride, why add another one to the crap refurb pile? Get another cheapy to ride and keep this one mint!

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