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Motorcycling in the Lower Hudson Valley

1063 Views 9 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  saddlebums
I'm most likely one of the oldest "Newbies" on this forum, but a Newbie nonetheless.

I read the "Read First" post and I like zeitgeist of this website (and promise never to use that word again on this forum).

After ridin' and 'renchin' motorcycles for years I completed my first café racer build this past summer. I lean toward oddball Japanese bikes and found one of the oddest balls in the basket – an '82 Yamaha XZ550 Vision –*to base my build on. Everyone – and I mean everyone – in my small but knowledgeable motorcycling community I find myself in here in the Lower Hudson Valley of NY/NJ advised against it, some kindly and some not so. But I've always loved the look of that DOHC, V-Twin water-cooled engine and couldn't resist.

After searching the web and finding no really good Vision Café Racers I decided to forge ahead, undaunted. Reading in an old British MC mag that the Vision just might be the "worst Japanese motorcycle ever built" (or words to that effect) only strengthened my resolve.*

If you've read this far I won't bore you any more. I've posted a photo album on this site of my build, and you can find a video at

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I'm most likely one of the oldest "Newbies" on this forum

Hi Steve and welcome to the zoo. I'll bite, how old are you? I'm 64 and still needed, feeded and loved, or so I'm told.
You got me by four, Mark.
I'm less needed (thank goodness), "feeded" perhaps a little too much, and ditto on the third.
Rumor has temps reaching a balmy 45º F here in the Northeast US today so I have to get out for a (short) ride.
You grab your opportunities while you can.

Lots of nice riding in the Hudson valley. One of my favorites is route 218 from Cornwall to West Point, then on to the top of Perkins Memorial Drive at Bear Mountain. While I'm there I'll hit the twisty roads that end up at route 17. Weekends are bike Mecca at the top of Perkins and my vintage buddies usually show up with a big variety of old iron. I'll be looking for you in the Spring! Not familiar with your bike, but I used to own a NT650 Hawk V-twin and always liked the the Ascot Twins. Current ride is a '71 Yamaha R5.

Jim B
I dug up a U tube video from about 5 years ago of me & the Hawk on 218 between West Point and Cornwall...

Jim B
I don't mind West Point... my problem is it's full of West Pointers...
I like your choice in motorcycles.

You look familiar (even with the helmet on!). We ride the same roads, so I'm sure I've bumped into you (figuratively) at some point.

My Vision Café is a recent ride for me. Before that I was mostly on my Suzuki XN85 Turbo.

New Year's Day -- the monthly Bikes and Breakfast meetup at the 9W Market in Palisades, NY. A well-attended gathering of the like minded -- as long as the temps stay above freezing.

I've posted a photo album on this site of my build
Just had a peep and I think it looks quite nice. The swastika wheels might not make you many Jewish friends but they fit in with the quirky look of the bike and keep it a bit off the beaten track in terms of spotting what it is straight away.

Good work!

Welcome to the site btw.
Nice bike. I don't care for most '80's cast wheels but I don't see swastika's in yours.... Looks like a Triton tank & tail.

Jim B
Ha! Now I kind of see it. And to think I bought the bike from a Jewish owner! Glad the bike is an XZ550 and not a a SS550.
Tank is custom. I designed it in florists' foam and had it fabricated in aluminum. Tail is also custom. Again, I carved it in florists' foam and then fiberglassed over it.
You can find a video of the build here:

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