devil/ Gravity Defying Carb Balancer
This is my VX 800 Sabrina; she's either a '91 or a '93. I bought her new several years ago when I was working a job out of San Francisco. When I returned to Seattle she lived behind the Zeitgeist and in Todd Darrow's garage for a year or so. It was cool to have ready-to-roll transpo in the Bay Area when we went and visited. Then in April 1997 I went down for a long weekend ride, planning to bring her back to Seattle.
I hit a deer in east-central Oregon outside of Madras on the Warm Springs reservation. Twenty years of riding off and on, I should know better than to ride on a country road at dusk in the rain... yeah yeah. Well, shift happens.
Weird little town, Madras. Had to leave the bike in Warm Springs and spend the night in Madras. Had a hell of a time getting a ride back out to the "rez". Finally did though and got stuff pried out enough that I was able to ride it into town. This guy Jerry I met on the reservation led me to Stan's house where Stan and the rest of the folks at Picket Fence Cycle were very helpful and I got more stuff pried out enough so that it could make the rest of the ride. Not only a damned fine pony, but a tough one as well.
So I rode the rest of the way up 97 and over I-90 with bent handlebars and the headlight all smashed in. Got trailed by a State Trooper coming over '90, and he looked me over for a good ten miles before blowing off ahead of me; I guess a headlight rimmed in deer fur is a pretty good alibi for driving without a headlight.
A Vix sits high and is surprisingly responsive. It's set up like an overgrown scrambler (reminds me of my first bike, a Suzuki X6) and feels very "light"; that is, until it falls over on your foot. Then you realize it weighs 550 pounds. I've heard people complain about the PWR but I don't have any complaints. Seems plenty fast to me, even at altitude. Understeers a bit; I'm definitely scrubbing the side treads on the front tire more than the center. Got the Progressive spring set in the forks now, and that seems to help a bit.
After the deer hunting expedition, she got a new paint job to cover up the dents in the tank and the crack in the front fender that I repaired with fiberglass. The forks were fine, but basically everything in front of the forks was toast. New handlebars, instruments, headlight; took almost three months to get the parts. There aren't a lot of these bikes in the 'States. I fabricated the "horn bracket" out of fiberglass and mounted an auto horn on the side of the headlight. In the front view you can see the wires but the horn isn't there.
I painted the new instrument housing flat black and put round mirrors on because they remind me of that X6. ;-) And I fixed the heated grips (Kimpex) that were originally courtesy of Todd, who's a Beemer nut.
At the end of August 2002, while legally parked in the Pike Place Market in Seattle Washington, Sabrina was run over by an unoccupied fish truck whose owner apparently failed to set the parking brake. One of these days I'll put up a page about Stan Fuller of Stonehenge Farms in British Columbia, Canada: "..never had an accident.." yeah, RIGHT! Stan doesn't return phone calls and refuses to accept a registered letter. ICBC, the so-called insurance company, is a big waste of time, too. I may sue him yet. (Any lawyers out there who want to take it on?)
I liked the bike so much though that there was only one thing to do: I bought another one!
rev. date: 12-Mar-2008
rev. by: Fred Morris