PDA

View Full Version : Your best (and worst) bikes....


Valentine One Radar Detector

Eric
09-06-2007, 06:34 PM
In thinking over some of the bikes I've owned, there are a few standouts, good and bad.

One of the best was an '82 Honda XL250 I used to have... that bike was surely unholy because it simply would not die. Abused, thrashed, not well-maintained (even submerged, once) it kept right on running - and started every time. I loved that bike.

I've also become quite fond of my newest bike - the '03 ZRX1200. It fits me wonderfully and can really move out, too. Yes, there are faster/better handling bikes - many of them. But I get happy just looking at the Rex, which is worth a few tenths on a road course - and 20 mph on the top end, even!

Have you got any memorable/standout bikes? Or bikes you'd prefer to forget?

Kwozzie1
09-15-2007, 12:04 AM
In thinking over some of the bikes I've owned, there are a few standouts, good and bad.

One of the best was an '82 Honda XL250 I used to have... that bike was surely unholy because it simply would not die. Abused, thrashed, not well-maintained (even submerged, once) it kept right on running - and started every time. I loved that bike.

I've also become quite fond of my newest bike - the '03 ZRX1200. It fits me wonderfully and can really move out, too. Yes, there are faster/better handling bikes - many of them. But I get happy just looking at the Rex, which is worth a few tenths on a road course - and 20 mph on the top end, even!

Have you got any memorable/standout bikes? Or bikes you'd prefer to forget?



Yep....... , but not sure if it classifies as a bike A Suzuki RV 90 ....little sqaut thing.
It was fine in the dry but in a muddy paddock with a trailer with a couple of sheep in tow, it was lethal, especially if the sheep moved around a bit

http://www.bikepics.com/suzuki/rv90/

Traded on a Suzuki TS185

http://www.bikepics.com/suzuki/ts185/07/pics.asp

Eric
09-15-2007, 07:37 AM
Neat little buggers!

I'd like to get an RD350 at some point; I think MIke said he had one ....

mrblanche
09-15-2007, 03:33 PM
Neat little buggers!

I'd like to get an RD350 at some point; I think MIke said he had one ....


Indeed. It was capable of being a pretty decent commuter bike, but could keep up with most 750's of the time. The A model (1974) was the best, in my book.

robmcg
09-16-2007, 06:14 AM
I rode an RD350 and there was nothing over the handlebars...

Bad bikes? All Harleys.

Eric
09-16-2007, 07:29 AM
I rode an RD350 and there was nothing over the handlebars...

Bad bikes? All Harleys.


I don't like Harleys much - mainly because they're not my style and because they have become the two-wheeled equivalents of the Disco Machines of the '70s... all about posturing and posing and being "trendy" (as well as over-priced and under-performing). Twenty or so years ago, most of the guys you'd see on Harleys were real deal "bikers" - serious dudes who knew their machines, how to ride - and didn't do things like trailer them to 10 miles outside of Sturgis before donning their brand-new leathers and riding into town like rhinestone cowboys... .

It's funny how different the worlds are; sport bike riders and cruiser riders ....

DonTom
09-16-2007, 07:49 AM
"and didn't do things like trailer them to 10 miles outside of Sturgis before donning their brand-new leathers and riding into town like rhinestone cowboys... ."

I was surprised to see that in Sturgis. It was so common that such was filling up the RV parks, which were charing $160.00 per night.

I guess they were afraid their Harleys couldn't make it more than about ten miles.

I guess it's true, what my dad once told me. Those who own Harleys, will own a Harley even if they have to always push it (or tow it).

BTW, after being in Sturgis, I dislike Harleys a lot more than I used to. Our ears still have not recovered from all that noise!

BTW, how come Harleys always sound like they are way out of tune? They sound like junk, IMAO.

-Don- (SSF, CA)

Eric
09-16-2007, 08:10 AM
"BTW, how come Harleys always sound like they are way out of tune? They sound like junk, IMAO."

Part of the appeal (to those who like them) of Harleys is the rumble/rattling of the V-twin engine that defines them. I don't like the sound they make, either. But Harley guys dislike the sound of a high-RPM Japo sport bike's engine just as much!

mrblanche
09-16-2007, 08:25 AM
The same guys who revere Harleys are also big fans of Peterbilts. They "look right" and "sound right." But Harley has gone through a number of incarnations. In the last five years or so, they have made amazing strides in comfort and dependability. There is even a water-cooled and fuel-injected Harley, the V-Rod.

A Sportster 883 is probably as good an all-round bike as Harley makes, and is competitive in price with the same size of Japanese cruise, less than $8,000 out the door.

A number of localities (Denver is the most vigorous in its enforcement) have passed noise ordinances, specifically aimed at Harleys.

Dave Brand
09-17-2007, 09:39 AM
I'd like to get an RD350 at some point; I think MIke said he had one ....


Only bike I've ever wheelied......my mates racing 350 Powervalve......in the paddock at Snetterton circuit. Now that's what I call a powerband - nothing at 5,900 rpm, lots of powerat 6,000! :o

mrblanche
09-17-2007, 11:17 AM
And much to the disgust of Rob, they were racing in and winning in the 750 classes.

Michael
10-03-2007, 08:52 PM
Y'all,

Best: I would have to be my 1989 NT-650 Honda Hawk GT. I bought mine used in 1994 for $2800 with 9000 miles. Now it has 58,000 miles and it looks great, runs great, and costs nothing to operate. 52-55 mpg. Damn little thing runs and runs and runs. Folks I ride with say I ride it just as quickly as the VFR. The world's most user-friendly bike. Exceptional.

Somebody with connections at Honda please tell those folks to re-introduce it. Suzuki's selling zillions of SVs. PLEEZE, Honda!

Worst? Bultaco Lobito. Long story.

Michael

Eric
10-04-2007, 08:33 AM
Y'all,

Best: I would have to be my 1989 NT-650 Honda Hawk GT. I bought mine used in 1994 for $2800 with 9000 miles. Now it has 58,000 miles and it looks great, runs great, and costs nothing to operate. 52-55 mpg. Damn little thing runs and runs and runs. Folks I ride with say I ride it just as quickly as the VFR. The world's most user-friendly bike. Exceptional.

Somebody with connections at Honda please tell those folks to re-introduce it. Suzuki's selling zillions of SVs. PLEEZE, Honda!

Worst? Bultaco Lobito. Long story.

Michael




Honda built many superb bikes in the mid-late '80s; the Interceptor, of course, is a classic! I had a CB550 that was a great all-arounder; like your Hawk, it got 50-plus mpg and hardly ever required maintenance. It had shaft drive - and did not require periodic PITAS valve adjustments, either. And it was air/oil-cooled, so no hassles with a radiator...

My wish is that Kaw would bring back the ZRX - with updated (maybe Ohlins) suspension and around 150 hp.

I'd sign up tomorrow!

Kwozzie1
12-30-2007, 05:01 AM
Bad bikes? All Harleys.


Kiwi friend her has bought one...

I sat on it and started it...... A Lanz Bulldog tractor didn't vibrate as much

Then I burnt my leg on the exhaust... Stick HDs righ up yer.... ;D

Eric
12-30-2007, 02:13 PM
Bad bikes? All Harleys.


Kiwi friend her has bought one...

I sat on it and started it...... A Lanz Bulldog tractor didn't vibrate as much

Then I burnt my leg on the exhaust... Stick HDs righ up yer.... ;D


It's interesting how polarizing the Harley vs. Other thing is.

I love motorcycles and riding - but Harleys do nothing for me at all. By the same token, I'm sure there are Harley guys out there who feel the same about sport bikes.

You'd think there'd be commonality - or at least, common ground.

But to a very great extent, these are worlds that dare not collide!

Kwozzie1
12-30-2007, 06:48 PM
It's interesting how polarizing the Harley vs. Other thing is.

I love motorcycles and riding - but Harleys do nothing for me at all. By the same token, I'm sure there are Harley guys out there who feel the same about sport bikes.

You'd think there'd be commonality - or at least, common ground.

But to a very great extent, these are worlds that dare not collide!


Perhaps tarred by the same brush comes to mind...... some HD owners here are associated with gangs of the criminal kind

Eric
12-30-2007, 06:49 PM
It's interesting how polarizing the Harley vs. Other thing is.

I love motorcycles and riding - but Harleys do nothing for me at all. By the same token, I'm sure there are Harley guys out there who feel the same about sport bikes.

You'd think there'd be commonality - or at least, common ground.

But to a very great extent, these are worlds that dare not collide!


Perhaps tarred by the same brush comes to mind...... some HD owners here are associated with gangs of the criminal kind


That used to be true; but nowadays, most Harley riders are middle aged businesssmen types.

Ken
01-10-2008, 05:15 PM
Bad bikes? All Harleys.


Kiwi friend her has bought one...

I sat on it and started it...... A Lanz Bulldog tractor didn't vibrate as much

Then I burnt my leg on the exhaust... Stick HDs righ up yer.... ;D


It's interesting how polarizing the Harley vs. Other thing is.

I love motorcycles and riding - but Harleys do nothing for me at all. By the same token, I'm sure there are Harley guys out there who feel the same about sport bikes.

You'd think there'd be commonality - or at least, common ground.

But to a very great extent, these are worlds that dare not collide!



It was a Harley that got me back into biking about nine years ago. My younger bro' bought a 1200 Sportster with special 'Tabacco' paint job - yeah, I know, he's a poser! After taking my 85 year old mother (a wonderful pillion passenger) for a birthday ride he said 'Hop on' and took me for a spin. After a couple of miles he pulled into a side road and said 'Take her for a run'. It was noisy, it vibrated, rattled and rolled, the brakes were average and the top speed was nothing a good 250 couldn't manage - BUT - after that twenty minute ride I got the biking bug again and bought a Suzi GS500E. That it why a Harley will always have a special place in my heart - Ahhhhh!

Ken.

Eric
01-10-2008, 05:22 PM
"It was a Harley that got me back into biking about nine years ago. My younger bro' bought a 1200 Sportster with special 'Tabacco' paint job - yeah, I know, he's a poser! After taking my 85 year old mother (a wonderful pillion passenger) for a birthday ride he said 'Hop on' and took me for a spin. After a couple of miles he pulled into a side road and said 'Take her for a run'. It was noisy, it vibrated, rattled and rolled, the brakes were average and the top speed was nothing a good 250 couldn't manage - BUT - after that twenty minute ride I got the biking bug again and bought a Suzi GS500E. That it why a Harley will always have a special place in my heart - Ahhhhh!"

I'm not one of those sport bike guys who hates Harleys - as such. I actually like some of the old iron (XLCR "Cafe Racer" is a favorite).

What I don't like is the way Harleys have become, to a certain extent, the bike for poseurs and "trendy" types - you know, the guys who trailer their bike to within 5 miles of Sturgis, then ride into town with their $3,000 outfits and doo rags....

This, in turn, has caused the prices of Harleys to escalate like McMansions - and dealers to become (not all, but many) snobbish dickheads who treat you like ass if you're not "in" with them.

Ken
01-12-2008, 12:32 PM
I'm not one of those sport bike guys who hates Harleys - as such. I actually like some of the old iron (XLCR "Cafe Racer" is a favorite).

What I don't like is the way Harleys have become, to a certain extent, the bike for poseurs and "trendy" types - you know, the guys who trailer their bike to within 5 miles of Sturgis, then ride into town with their $3,000 outfits and doo rags....


To my eyes it certainly looked good, and from its spec, was a nice bike apart from the small, 2 gallon, gas tank and the four speed box. However, upgrade that concept to utilize the new Buell (Rotax) 1125 engine , an aluminum four gallan tank coupled with a smooth six speed box and modern brakes and I think one would have a very nice sporty 'semi classic' ride even in this day and age. Despite my small criticisms, a top speed of 112mph was quite handy in the 70s.

Ken.

Eric
01-13-2008, 08:19 AM
I'm not one of those sport bike guys who hates Harleys - as such. I actually like some of the old iron (XLCR "Cafe Racer" is a favorite).

What I don't like is the way Harleys have become, to a certain extent, the bike for poseurs and "trendy" types - you know, the guys who trailer their bike to within 5 miles of Sturgis, then ride into town with their $3,000 outfits and doo rags....


To my eyes it certainly looked good, and from its spec, was a nice bike apart from the small, 2 gallon, gas tank and the four speed box. However, upgrade that concept to utilize the new Buell (Rotax) 1125 engine , an aluminum four gallan tank coupled with a smooth six speed box and modern brakes and I think one would have a very nice sporty 'semi classic' ride even in this day and age. Despite my small criticisms, a top speed of 112mph was quite handy in the 70s.

Ken.


Definitely!

My old Kz900 ('76) does quite well, 32-odd years later... when I ride it, it often lulls me into complacency because it feels so modern - in some ways, anyhow.

However, reality asserts itself when you touch the single disc front brake a bit too firmly; or press the feeble tires (modern but incredibly skinny and riding on pretty but not perfectly balanced spoke rims)... or worst of all, encounter the head shake that comes on around 120 mph....

Ken
01-13-2008, 10:38 AM
My old Kz900 ('76) does quite well, 32-odd years later... when I ride it, it often lulls me into complacency because it feels so modern - in some ways, anyhow.

However, reality asserts itself when you touch the single disc front brake a bit too firmly; or press the feeble tires (modern but incredibly skinny and riding on pretty but not perfectly balanced spoke rims)... or worst of all, encounter the head shake that comes on around 120 mph....


That is a nice looking bike for 32 years old. I guess that you will just have to ride with a degree of circumspection and not above 119 mph. <g>

Ken.

Eric
01-13-2008, 02:04 PM
Thanks!

And I do! I will run it full out through the gears, but once I get to 100 or so, I back off. I have other bikes for that kind of work... ;D

I tore the thing down about two years ago and redid the engine with big bore (1015 cc) kit, which also included 10.75:1 pistons. I kept the stock cams, though. The carbs do use individual "pod" air cleaners and have been re-jetted. I also ditched the stock ignition for a Dyna set - huge improvement there.

Here is a shot of the "work in progress":

Ken
01-13-2008, 05:09 PM
Thanks!

And I do! I will run it full out through the gears, but once I get to 100 or so, I back off. I have other bikes for that kind of work... ;D

I tore the thing down about two years ago and redid the engine with big bore (1015 cc) kit, which also included 10.75:1 pistons. I kept the stock cams, though. The carbs do use individual "pod" air cleaners and have been re-jetted. I also ditched the stock ignition for a Dyna set - huge improvement there.

Here is a shot of the "work in progress":



Nice photo Eric, that is one spotless motor. Do you do your own bead blasting or get a pro shop to do it for you? One of these days, if the right bike appears, I'd like to get an old 'project' bike to do up for winter riding, nothing special an old Suzi GS500E or Honda Bros would fit the bill. I have a local shop that does bead and sand blasting, powder coating etc, just wondered what you did.

Ken.

Eric
01-14-2008, 06:59 AM
"Nice photo Eric, that is one spotless motor. Do you do your own bead blasting or get a pro shop to do it for you? One of these days, if the right bike appears, I'd like to get an old 'project' bike to do up for winter riding, nothing special an old Suzi GS500E or Honda Bros would fit the bill. I have a local shop that does bead and sand blasting, powder coating etc, just wondered what you did."

Thanks!

I sent the cylinder block and head out for machine work to a shop that specializes in air-cooled Japo bikes; they stripped it for me so when it came back it was basically clean aluminum with some light pitting. Prior to assembly I coated it with a hi-temp spray that approximates the bare alloy look but also covers light imperfections as well as protects the metal. I think it looks sharp - and so far, it has not deteriorated at all. Here's a shot of the cylinder block justbefore it went back onthe bike....

Ken
01-14-2008, 10:20 AM
I sent the cylinder block and head out for machine work to a shop that specializes in air-cooled Japo bikes; they stripped it for me so when it came back it was basically clean aluminum with some light pitting. Prior to assembly I coated it with a hi-temp spray that approximates the bare alloy look but also covers light imperfections as well as protects the metal. I think it looks sharp - and so far, it has not deteriorated at all. Here's a shot of the cylinder block justbefore it went back onthe bike....


That block looks good, they made a nice job of it and your spray finishes it off well. Just in case we can get it over here, what HTP spray do you use? the only one I can think of at the moment is Sperex VHT, (now branded as Simoniz). I haven't used it for more years than I care to remember but, back in the days when I used to tune the BMC transverse engines, I used to use Sperex on pipes, heads and blocks and it gave quite good results.

Ken

Eric
01-14-2008, 10:57 AM
Ken,

Try this:

http://www.superior-industries.com/thermal_kote_product_208.html?gclid=CLavt6OL9pACFU tyOAodsk371A

I'm assuming they ship to the UK (unless you have import restrictions on certain types of aerosols, etc.)

Ken
01-14-2008, 11:13 AM
Ken,

Try this:

http://www.superior-industries.com/thermal_kote_product_208.html?gclid=CLavt6OL9pACFU tyOAodsk371A

I'm assuming they ship to the UK (unless you have import restrictions on certain types of aerosols, etc.)


Thanks Eric, I have e-mailed them to establish the export situation.

Ken.

Eric
01-14-2008, 11:17 AM
Ken,

Try this:

http://www.superior-industries.com/thermal_kote_product_208.html?gclid=CLavt6OL9pACFU tyOAodsk371A

I'm assuming they ship to the UK (unless you have import restrictions on certain types of aerosols, etc.)


Thanks Eric, I have e-mailed them to establish the export situation.

Ken.


np!