’82 Yamaha XV920RJ bobber
Years back, 1981 to be exact, I was looking for a new motorcycle. I don’t remember why, but I was looking. I strolled into my local Yamaha dealer, this was decades before the ‘Motorcycle Superstores’ that we’re so used to now, and staring at me was this big 8″ headlight. It was the new Yamaha XV920RH. Good looking V-Twin motor hanging in the chassis,a nicely sculpted gas tank, comfy looking seat, a kind of ugly rear fender though, and an enclosed chain final drive. It was a beautiful red, very European styling, and all I wanted to do was ride it. I didn’t care if it was a good motorcycle or a piece of junk, I wanted it. The dealer hadn’t serviced it yet, he thought someone might be coming to buy it and he didn’t want to send it on a test ride unless he was sure I was going to buy it, yada ,yada, yada. UM, Ok.
Fast forward a couple of years and I meet a guy that had bought one and he let me ride it. I was riding a 1980 Honda CB750F at the time and this guy was thinking about a new bike for himself, “hey let’s swap bikes and go for a ride?!”. We took off on a day long ride that convinced me I still wanted an XV920RH. Now remember, this was not the ‘cruiser’ Virago style, it was almost like a factory cafe racer. Yeah, it had its flaws but none of those were flaws that I couldn’t live with. The engine had good power, the right feel and, the right sound. The chassis was adequate at best, my Honda handled much better, the rear tire was a bit on the skinny side both aesthetically and functionally, and the rear end of the bike was still ugly. I didn’t care. Sadly by that time Yamaha had stopped selling the Euro Style XV and was focusing on the Virago and the new friend I made that had one didn’t want to sell it.
Now, fast forward about oh, I don’t know…thirty five years…and, I find one for sale. Low miles, great condition and better than that, a really great price. Sadly, by time I was getting ready to go look at it and more than likely buy it, it was sold. Sometimes things work out the way they are supposed to because, not too long after that I found my new two wheeled love, a 1976 BMW R90S, another bike I had been secretly lusting after for many years.
That whole story brings us to the bike I found on ebay. a 1982 Yamaha XV920RJ (the difference between the H model and the J model? The year.) However, this XV is not the Euro style sport touring bike I thought I couldn’t live without, but it’s a pretty cool bike. It’s been ‘bobbed’. Now, some bob jobs ( no, this doesn’t require a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon ) come out not so good, but this Yamaha looks pretty good bobbed. It still needs a few details, but it works. The owner has swapped out the stock tire sizes for an 18″ in the front and a 16″ rear, stuck on a different gas tank (looks good) and put a classic solo seat on it. It still has, what looks to me, the stock exhaust system on it painted black…for the true look, it needs a different set of pipes. Here’s the good thing about this bike, it also comes with the original Euro style body work (well, most of it) as part of the deal. Sweet. This is an interesting bike that if you’re looking for something of a winter project that doesn’t require massive amounts of time and $$$ or maybe you just want to change your image…this could be a good bike for you. Click on the pics below for a bit (not much) more info. One more thing..the Yamaha XV920 motor is a rock solid piece and with the right pipes sounds bitchen.