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ex-cop 85 XJ750: budget sports tourer build

Discussion in 'Modifications and Projects' started by llewellyn, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. About six months ago, after getting my unrestricted license, I sold my Honda CD250 for $1400 and went hunting for my first big bike. I wanted to get something in the 400-600cc range, preferably a twin or a single, something with a bit more power than my 250, but something that was still light and easy to maneuver in heavy traffic, as I commute every day. Then I saw an ad for an ex-police Yamaha XJ-750 for $900. It was a 750cc inline four, with about 83 hp when new and with a wet weight of about 250 kg (100 kg more than my 250). It was basically the opposite of what I was looking for, but I fell in love with it and bought it anyway.

    It needed a fair bit of work. It was running and licensed (thank fuck we don't have roadworthy inspections in WA, but the paint was rubbish (a few dodgy white paintjobs on top of each other), it was running like shit, the fork seals were gone and the valve clearances needed doing (shim over bucket). It was also missing the cop fairing and cop panniers, although it still had the very cool calibrated digital cop speedo (or Yamaha police meter as it says on the label).

  2. One great thing about the bike was that because it cost $500 less than what I got for my CD-250, I had a little bit of cash to fix it up. I am a student working part-time with 3 kids so my budget was fairly strict. One of the first things I bought was an emgo bikini fairing. I am normally not a fan of fairings, but this bike has extremely fugly gauges, and I didn't want to replace them because they have a fair bit of useful information (oil warning, blown globe warnings, battery electrolyte level, fuel gauge, etc). The faring looks pretty good and covers up the gauges, but it came in black, so I either had to paint it white, or the rest of the bike black. I decided that given how bad the paint was on the rest of the bike, I would be better off getting the rest of the bike painted black. I was just going to do a rattle can job on it, but my father in law said he knew a guy from his work who painted bikes and he kindly offered to pay to get it done for me for my birthday. The guy was going to paint the tank fenders and side covers, but I had to do the bodywork. The guy ended up being a complete fucknuckle who after telling us the bike would be ready in a week, screwed us around for 3 months. Finally after several threats he gave my father in law the painted parts back. He was supposed to paint them in 2 pack paint (which he didn’t) and the paintjob isn’t fantastic, but to be honest, it is probably better than I would have done and at least my father in law didn’t have to pay. The one upside of the guy taking so long was that I was able to finish most of the other work I wanted to do. The list of work so far is:

    -installed bikini fairing (also required longer headlight ears)
    -replaced indicators with smaller Honda hornet indicators
    -replaced ugly plastic mirrors with cheapo generic round chrome ones
    -rebuilt forks, stripped white paint off forks and semi-polished
    -painted triple trees, handlebar risers and headlight bucket gloss black
    -replaced mini-ape style handle bars with lower superbike bars
    -rewired a whole heap of dodgy wiring
    -replaced paper filter with oilable unifilter (in airbox filter, not pods)
    -Added cheapo saddlebags. I usually don’t like saddlebags but this bike really needed saddlebags or panniers. The cop XJ-750s have the tank and sidecovers of the XJ-750 seca (eurosport style) and the seat and rear fenders of the XJ-750 maxim (cruiser style). This creates a really weird transition between the side covers and seat/fender area, which is normally covered by the cop panniers.
    -Gave it a major service myself, including valve clearances (shim type) and carb balancing which is a pain on this bike because you need to install a special rod in the engine which blocks the YICS passages (passages between the inlet tracts, which supposedly make the fuel and air mix better, but make it impossible to take vacuum readings of individual carbs)




  3. Now that's a blast from the past. The 650 was a neat bike, but I never knew anyone with the 750.
  4. Nice work mate. The XJ was ugly when it was born but that cop version was criminally ugly. I hope you get many happy K's of it.
  5. cheers Ged. The speedo Goes back to zero at 100 000 kms, so I have no idea how many kms it has done. The motor still seems to be going strong though.
  6. Keep the oil changes up to it and it will probably go forever. UJM's have a lot of down sides, but they are pretty darned reliable.

    I had an XJ650 for a while in a past life and it was entirely forgetable.

    I doubt they would have done much pursuit work on the XJ's! They had XS11's for a while over here which I always thought would be pretty funny if they had a real pursuit on their hands. You can get a road train through most corners faster than an XS11.
  7. Mike Hailwood once got one round the Isle of Man in a time that would have been fairly impressive in pukka competition. With a pillion :shock:.

    Apparently the pillion ride was a prize in a Motorcycle News competition. Wonder if it included fresh trousers :LOL:.

    As for the build, it's looking pretty good. I've never been a huge fan of Yamaha's smaller fours, on the grounds of blandness, but I have to admit to having been tempted myself by the extreme cheapness of ex-cop XJ750s over here. Plain black renders even the most dodgily styled motorcycle handsome. I've seen it work on CX500s and Kwak LTDs so making the XJ750 look OK is small potatoes for the King of Colours :D.

    Your experience with the paint job sounds fairly typical of mates-rates jobs. Having had a few serious disappointments in this regard, and seen plenty for other people, I won't touch 'em with a bargepole these days. I either do it myself or cough for a proper pro job, because if I'm paying I have a right to grizzle, complain and hammer on the counter until I get what I want to a standard that is acceptable.
  8. I love it. There's something so tough about a mid to big UJM. And the black is fantastic.
  10. Dunno. It was well before my interest in bikes developed but was still surfacing as a little bit of IoM legend a decade later in the bike press.

    Maybe getting the passenger to stay put was part of an early advertising campaign for the then-new superglues :D.
  11. I seem to recall the XJ750 being raced in the Castrol Six Hour here back in the day too, if memory serves.
  12. Yeah, I definitely wouldn't do it again. I was going to do it myself, but this guy was supposed to have a set up for spraying with 2 pack paint which would have been a lot more durable than the rattle can job I was going to do. In the end it was a pretty awkward situation because I wasn't in a position to complain given that my father in law was going to be paying the bill.

    cheers matt
  13. Did I happen to see this bike heading up Greenmount Hill this morning?
  14. Nah, I wish. I've been looking after the kids all day and haven't had a chance to get out on it.
  15. I always liked XJ's,obviously! the UJM at its best.
    Just in case you dont know, pretty much anything XJ can be found here
  16. Mini update: I just put some new grips on and recently bought a fender eliminator style bracket so I could relocate the indicators to next to the number plate, clear of the saddlebags. Apart from a broken universal joint in the driveshaft about 6 months back the bike has been running great and has been getting used daily.