Emma’s first ride out

We finally got schedules to coordinate, got some good weather, and were able to get Emma out on her new Yamaha XS400 for the very first time.  Now, I had a suspicion she was just a bit intimidated to try out her fancy new bike on the street, though she claims ‘she ain’t afraid-a sh!t’.  Even more intimidating is the fact that it’s a kick-only bike right now; the starter hasn’t been installed yet.  Even I dont really like riding kick only old bikes in traffic.  So, we headed just a bit out of town to where the traffic was very light and the roads twisty and scenic.  She learned to kick it herself, and by the end of the day was getting it done on the first try!

Considering that this is her first street bike, she did awesome!  She has been ripping around town on her scooter, so her mad skillz had been improving.  I think the time she spent on her Honda CRF dirt bike didn’t hurt either.

There’s Rusty and the XS getting ready to go.  They’re sort of brother & sister bikes; they’ve been sharing garage space for a long time now & the XS was heavily inspired by Rusty:

Here’s Emma out on the open road.  She noted that she’s ready to find a much hipper helmet, the scooter lid isn’t going to cut it for long.  But she’s not into the spin cycle bowling-ball-head look either…

We cruised through Tumalo State park and enjoyed some of the warm spring weather:

We puttered around a couple of neighborhoods first, but it wasn’t long before she was ready to hit the open road.  We did a nice loop north of town through some farmland with some twisty bits mixed in.  After that she was ready to head it into town.  We cruised the Old Mill district, grabbed some Ben & Jerry’s, and celebrated a successful first day on her very sweet new ride.  High fives all around!

There’s the very stoked new owner:

Here’s a little video of her about 30 seconds into her very first ride ever.  One of these days we’ll have to get the GoPro’s out and film some decent footage.  We have access to several of them, but we’re just too lazy to do it.  Pulling the iphone out while riding down the street is so much easier…yeah.

Hopefully, this is just the first of many great rides Emma gets to enjoy with the Spin Cycle crew.

After the riding was over, we decided to check to see if a flat bar option like Rusty wold be a more comfortable riding position for Emma.  We installed the flat bars and the stock bar holders.  After a quick spin around the block, we all decided that the riding position wasn’t really any ‘better’, just different.  And, since the flat bars look quite awful on the XS, we opted to switch it back to the clip-ons.  It was a little surprising how the cool, flat bar look of Rusty was so very lost in translation on the XS.  Weird.  Subtle differences in the proportions of the bike really made it look bad.  We forgot to snap a photo with the flat bars, but even if we had, we probably wouldn’t have posted it!  We disliked it that much.  The bike is awesome with the clip-ons.




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  • 13 November, 2014 at 5:11 pm // Reply

    This bike has inspired me to build one of my own, sorry if I copy some things you did. what kind of welder do you use? the last tool I need to buy

    • 13 November, 2014 at 5:22 pm // Reply

      We used a a simple, cheap MIG welder on this bike. It was a Hobart that we borrowed from a friend. Since then we have upgraded to a much nicer Miller Matic 200 MIG / TIG. Though is till do most work with the MIG; it’s quick and easy.

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