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Online Papa Lazarou

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Review Your Old Bikes
« on: June 30, 2014, 03:01:27 PM »
Bikes that you've sold or may have still because they're old.

My first bike was an utterly awful Triumph Tiger Cub 200. I think it was a 1966 one.

It was actually and really a barn find. My elder brother took over one of the family farms. There it was, leaning against a wall in a house that had no roof and was built hundreds of years ago and had been used as a barn.

The wheels went round. The brakes were rusted shut. It didn't start.

It was 1971. I'd left school-my parents had run out of money to keep me there (Stowe)-and I had to leave two years early. At least I had four university places and a place at Trinity, Cambridge (which I turned down. Idjut).

I got a job as a gardener for a lawyer in Aberystwyth and statred to rebuild the bike. I had some experience of making old tractors work but noe of bikes, tho a friend had a BSA C15. Which worked but he broke his toes on it by hitting things with his feet. His parents were worried but his sister fancied me.

I was 16 and clueless. My father wanted me gone-I was the second son and therefore an extra.

I rebuilt the engine and gearbox by guesswork. I put oil in it and it didn't leak.

It fired up! I never managed to fix the brakes-I didn't know how. They were rusted up and stuck. I put my feet down to stop. I think it made about 40 mph, so feet were okay.

I never insured it or taxed it. Didn't realise I needed a license. I rode this piece of rubbish around mid-Wales for three months until my father threw me out of home. I left it with my brother, who gave it away.

It was one of the worst bikes I've ever had, although to be fair to it, I was probably its worst owner.

Description:

THE 199cc T20 TRIUMPH TIGER CU

The T20 Tiger Cub brief was clear and straightforward. It was to be a small bike with BIG pretensions. Or, if you prefer, BIG aspirations. A bike that filled a gap at the low end of the range. A bike that capitalised on the appeal of Triumph’s established muscle machines (the 498cc Speed Twin and Tiger 100 and 649cc Thunderbird), but with lightweight, commuter—and even boy racer—appeal.


The T20 Cub was also intended as an antidote to the fog of British two-strokes smoking up British streets. Which was no small consideration in view of the Great Smog of December 1952 which quietly—and perhaps not so quietly—murdered around 4000 people.

Triumph supremo Edward Turner, typically, oversaw the project and wanted to kick BSA’s Bantam into touch. But it was Turner’s right hand man (and “pencil”), Jack Wickes, who translated the raw engineering numbers into a motorcycle that people actually wanted to swing a leg over.

And there were plenty of takers. Between 1953 and 1969, Triumph built and sold 113,671 Tiger Cubs (including Terriers) and mobilised thousands of teenage tearaways desperate from relief from the gritty poverty of a Britain still reeling from the victory of war.

With its svelte looks, its simple unit-construction engine and affordable price tag, it was a bike that could shamelessly nudge up to its bigger brothers at the local transport café, and stay with the pack all the way to around 65mph, given favourable conditions.

It was frugal too, returning around 100mpg; an important marketing lever in an age where a young man’s wage was typically around £3-£4 a week with petrol costing around 4 shillings (20 pence) a gallon.

 


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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #1 on: June 30, 2014, 03:48:22 PM »
Since there have been no replies, I shall continue the story.

I had cars-a Ford Thames van (shit) and several Minis (also shite) until I only needed public transport. I did have a BSA Batam 175 at one point.

By 1976, a friend had bought a CZ250. I was stuck in Birmingham in the very hot summer of 1976 and I was jealous of his being able to get out of that dreadful town. At the time, I was doing my PHD in Mycology (and so was he, in Chemistry) and living with Aidan (CZ250) and a bunch of Provisional IRA. There were fights.

A friend, who was Tirkish and had fled the draft over there (he was put to work as a stoker in a destroyer) was kindnapped from his digs by the Turkish Secret Police. What a waste. Never heard from him again.

When the Provos bombed the Rotunda in the Bull Ring, all my Irish friends lost their jobs. Except the man who had a business in the Rotunda-he received a call telling him to be out by 5pm. The the bomb went off, causing awful carnage amongst young innocent English people.

I left Birmingham because things were not right at home, I couldn't fix it, my father threw me out, and I went to Sussex.

Where I bought a Panther 600 more later...

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Offline mxvet57

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2014, 04:07:56 PM »
We didn't reply because we knew there was more to it.
At the risk of encouraging him, I agree with Cookie.   "Bomber"

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Online Black Hills

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #3 on: June 30, 2014, 04:44:36 PM »
Every bike I have had since I was 16 (new XL600R) has been the best bike for me at the time. as the bikes and my riding preferences changed my bikes were upgraded to the best bike for my needs at the time. I have now come full circle and I am back at a big dual sport, although twice as big as the old XL but then so am I... ;)

Once I could afford what I wanted I never really had a crappy bike (several of them before the XL though). No wif I could just afford more bikes I would be happy, happy, happy..
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2014, 04:52:46 PM »
We didn't reply because we knew there was more to it.

You are very kind. I ended up telling my life through bikes. And I have several decades to go.

Every bike I have had since I was 16 (new XL600R) has been the best bike for me at the time. as the bikes and my riding preferences changed my bikes were upgraded to the best bike for my needs at the time. I have now come full circle and I am back at a big dual sport, although twice as big as the old XL but then so am I... ;)

Once I could afford what I wanted I never really had a crappy bike (several of them before the XL though). No wif I could just afford more bikes I would be happy, happy, happy..

Many of the bikes I've had, I've hated.  Some of the bikes that I have loved, were shite. A few of the the bikes I've had were actually pretty good. So, lucky you.  :thumbsup:
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Online Black Hills

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2014, 04:54:30 PM »
mine were always great, but eventually I would ride something better and then I had to upgrade. I guess ignorance really is bliss?
the above are merely the ramblings of a hamfisted fuckwit who has broken too many helmets.

Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2014, 05:10:07 PM »
I managed to leave Birmingham. The only good thing about Brum was the food.

I couldn't complete my doctorate-in part, my father had seen to that and sabotaged my relationship with my professor (but I'd found out his attempts to fuck my sister (thanks mother for protecting her) and he had a breakdown-my father eventualy came out as gay-another long story. And, yes, he was a war hero). my professor never forgave me but I could never tell him the truth.

Thrown out of home, yet again, I went down to Sussex. I had to have a job with accommdation-after all, I had been street homeless through most of 1972, and I didn't want to repeat that.

 I had been grass track racing a 600 Panther outfit above Nanteos (it was here that I found Mr Griffith's Y13, which I have lusted after ever since-he now has dementia) , near Aberystwyth, so I untied the old sloper from its chair and rode it down.

It leaked oil. I upgraded to a Panther 650. It leaked even more oil. I had a NSU 250 scoote (1957)-a total death trap. Small wheels, no brakes, too much power (it did 80 mph). I threw it in a hedge. Likewise the Norton Domnator 500-it broke down-in a hedge it went. And a BSA 650 A10. Someone-Twon-in his kindness, gave me a Velosolex, which I fucked within a few weeks.

I played for a while with the Hells Angels.

More next.l


This slighly out of time order history comitunes.

As I remember it, I didn't get the Panther 650 sloper until I got to Sussex. Not the NSU scooter, nor the Velosolex. Memory plays tricks. Sorry.

Anyways, I had escaped home/ been driven out and I was given a variety of machines. This being the latter half of the 70's, few of us thought these 20 year old piles of crap would ever be worth what they are now.

The NSU scooter scared me. It went into a hedge and was left there.

The Velosolex caught fire-into a hedge it went.

I think I sold the Panther for about £10.

I had a Norton Dominator 600 for a while. Into a hedge it went, after repeated breakdowns.

By that time, I was friends with a number of Hells Angels in Sussex. Now, these were the old English Hells Angels, who were, let us say, pretty English. When the Stones farm,ed out security at Hyde Park in 67, these were the people they got. A different story when they did the same at Monterey-those American HAs were a different lot altogether.

I used to hang out with Mitch and the Sussex HA at the Northumberland Arms in Brighton. Mitch was huge and bought the first Honda CB750-he's still got it. The Arms is still there but it is now a night club. Pah.

It was around thios time that the real HA charter was brought over by Fred Buttons. I met him a couple of times and he was not a nice man. The unofficial chapters were absored or destroyed. There was a peace meeting with the Windsor chapter and the All England in the New Forest: the Windsor lot had a black Hells Angel and the All England did not approve. Needless to say, people got cut up, killed and shot. I was not there because I wasn't stupid. The last time I saw Fred was in 1979. He was a major drugs dealer and utterly paranoid. I was relieved never to see him again.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2014, 03:21:14 PM by Papa Lazarou »
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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2014, 05:22:15 PM »
Is this story of any interest? If not, I'll stop.
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Online coho

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2014, 05:41:09 PM »
You are forbidden to stop.  :nono:

Interesting doesn't begin to cover it.
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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #9 on: July 01, 2014, 06:15:50 AM »
Interesting isn't even in the ST.O rule book (if any).
Please feel obligated to ramble.
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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #10 on: July 01, 2014, 07:34:57 AM »
  The one that started it all for me. The 1973 Kawasaki 350 S2 Triple. It was no Z1, but I was 18, and I bought it for a less than a dollar a cc. It had modern disc brake, oil injection, and a tail piece. The candy orange paint radiated pure joy. The racing stripes were carefully applied by geisha girls with the utmost care. Mine came with the original owner plugged reserve petcock, so I learned to appreciate the light weight of this bike when I found that out. I also became very familiar with the kick starting lever, as I had looked and there was gas in it.

  When it ran, it made the greatest multi-cylinder sounds that would cause any young lad to become tumescent. That fun usually ended about 90 miles into the tank. It may not have been the best handling, fastest and definitely not the smoothest, but it was the perfect vehicle to fan the fires of two-wheel desire and feed the dreams of long days on the road and the path to becoming a crusty old road warrior.

If I found one in a barn today I would buy it in a heart-beat. 

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Offline chornbe

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #11 on: July 01, 2014, 07:51:52 AM »
Review Your Old Bikes

We haven't got the time to go through my list.

I'll pick just a couple of standouts...

Yamaha Special-II 400cc something or another. Oh my god, what a galactic scale piece of shit this bike was. Handled like a wet noodle, stopped like... well, the brakes were a suggestive after thought. Went well enough after about a 3-day warm up period, and was the most lack-luster, least enjoyable thing I've ever ridden.

Guzzi Breva 1100. The sweetest, most enjoyable, lovable bike I've ever hated owning. LOVED riding it, when it ran. Hated owning it when it didn't.

CBR600F4i. The most natural, think-n-do bike I've ever owned (Ken Denton's MTS620 is THE most think-n-do bike I've ever ridden). This thing was a technical marvel in its day and still rivals many bikes for "it just works" naturalistic operation.

Harley-Davidson 883, 2008. Fuel injection second to none. Throttle response that was crisp and eager. Very well handling, enjoyable bike once I did some suspension updates. I'm sorry I ever sold it.

FJR1300 - GEN II. The most overall perfect bike I've ever ridden or owned. I'll be getting another at some point. Yamaha got it right, and all other ST bikes continue to be challengers that fall short (in my opinion, for what I like in that class of bike).

Concours 1000. So disappointing. I had a lemon. I recognize that. But with all the shortcomings seemingly engineered into the bike, it amazes me that the cult following for this heap of underdesigned shit is so big. It's a neat bike, but how it lasted 20 years continues to be a mystery.

2005 Shadow Sabre. It's only standout feature is how utterly bland and boring the bike seems. It does everything you need a cruiser to do - and better than most. Which only speaks to how bland and boring the entire genre is.

1995 Honda Magna. V4, baby. There are reasons I've owned two. Great bike, all around, even for a cruiser.

I have probably dozens that I'm not mentioning... the list is staggering when I think back on it.
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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #12 on: July 01, 2014, 07:55:13 AM »
I have probably dozens that I'm not mentioning... the list is staggering when I think back on it.

You missed the FZ6.

Sounds like you need a Honda V4 Sabre.
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Offline chornbe

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2014, 07:58:49 AM »
I have probably dozens that I'm not mentioning... the list is staggering when I think back on it.

You missed the FZ6.

They got another bike right. Slap some suspension updates on that, and it might be THE perfect middleweight do-everything bike, supplanting the SV650 from that role. Yes, It's THAT good.

Quote
Sounds like you need a Honda V4 Sabre.

No, I really don't. They're an amazing straight line bike, but, like the C1000, if you don't do a laundry list of things to them, they're just pretty much the scariest thing on two wheels once you try to stop or go into a turn.

Nope.
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Offline Max Wedge

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #14 on: July 01, 2014, 08:02:09 AM »
I have probably dozens that I'm not mentioning... the list is staggering when I think back on it.

You missed the FZ6.

They got another bike right. Slap some suspension updates on that, and it might be THE perfect middleweight do-everything bike, supplanting the SV650 from that role. Yes, It's THAT good.

Quote
Sounds like you need a Honda V4 Sabre.

No, I really don't. They're an amazing straight line bike, but, like the C1000, if you don't do a laundry list of things to them, they're just pretty much the scariest thing on two wheels once you try to stop or go into a turn.

Nope.

Really. That surprises me. I haven't ridden either the Magna or the Sabre, but I figured if the Magna was good, having a better seating arrangement and a larger tank (and better looks IMO) would be a gimme.
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Offline chornbe

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #15 on: July 01, 2014, 08:05:42 AM »

Really. That surprises me. I haven't ridden either the Magna or the Sabre, but I figured if the Magna was good, having a better seating arrangement and a larger tank (and better looks IMO) would be a gimme.


Oh, I wouldn't give you a nickel for the first or second gen magna. I'm all about the 3rd gen.

1994 - 2003.

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I've never found the previous generations too terribly enjoyable, and it's all because of frame and geometry and such.
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Offline doc4216

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #16 on: July 01, 2014, 08:55:52 AM »
I want to hear more of Papa's life story through bikes!
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Offline CosmicCowboy

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #17 on: July 01, 2014, 10:43:08 AM »
Yamaha Special-II 400cc something or another. Oh my god, what a galactic scale piece of shit this bike was. Handled like a wet noodle, stopped like... well, the brakes were a suggestive after thought. Went well enough after about a 3-day warm up period, and was the most lack-luster, least enjoyable thing I've ever ridden.

Is it weird that I agree with you on everything about the Special, but I had an absolute blast riding it around?

for my own:

1983 Honda Shadow 750. I hated this bike. Ergonomics really sucked for me, and handling wasn't great. Doesn't help that mine never really ran right in all the time I owned it.

2006 V-Strom 1000 is about the best all around bike I've owned. Doesn't really exceed at anything, but for a bike that will handle highway, curves, and dirt, this is it.

2007 Yamaha FZ-1 is so far my favorite out of the bikes I've ever owned. For me, even the stock seat is comfortable enough for long rides. It's not going to handle the dirt roads or the two tracks the way the Strom did, but oh well, I have to adjust less than 5% of my riding.

Offline 2RR2NV

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #18 on: July 01, 2014, 02:33:16 PM »
I guess "old" is relative...

My oldest bike was the 1992 Honda CB750 Nighthawk.  a good beginner bike. AWESOME mpgs. nary a problem until i realized it was gutless. took me two years.
2002 VFR800 - SWAWESOME bike! Loved that bike. only thing lacking, as all say, was power. it really didn't lack that much, but when you buy an 02 Busa and keep the VFR, the VFR seems kinda slow. Kick myself for selling the bike, but couldn't handle the payments of 2 bikes.

2002 Busa - no complaints. well, it was a fat pig and a major workout on the track. sold it without thoroughly talking to My Honey. who's the D-ass...  this guy.

2004 GSXR750 - great bike on the track, not near as much fun on the street. still had a blast.

2007 FJR1300 - great all around bike except a soulless bitch. after the first month, nary a smile. couldn't wait to get rid of it.

2011 GSXR750 - awesome bike but sold it because of wrist and Boss comfort issues. wish I could have kept it for future track days, but having it as a single bike was not working out. traded it for the current ride.
previous rides: 2011 GSXR750, 2007 FJR1300, 2004 GSXR750, 2002 Busa, 2002 VFR800, 1992 Honda Nighthawk CB750

Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #19 on: July 01, 2014, 02:37:33 PM »
I want to hear more of Papa's life story through bikes!

You'll have to wait a bit. Intyerview tomorrow, wife's father just died, and I'm 60 today.
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Offline doc4216

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #20 on: July 01, 2014, 02:41:49 PM »

I want to hear more of Papa's life story through bikes!

You'll have to wait a bit. Intyerview tomorrow, wife's father just died, and I'm 60 today.

I'm very sorry to hear about your FIL and happy to hear you have made it another year. Take your time, I'll be hear.
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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #21 on: July 01, 2014, 03:41:18 PM »
Happy Birthday Ed Papa!

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #22 on: July 01, 2014, 06:04:53 PM »
Cymru am Byth...........


I've owned close to 30 bikes over a 46 year riding career, kinda hard to pick a favorite. My first bike was a Hodaka Super Rat, then a Yamaha RT360 MX, then a 380 CZ GP Rep. all of which I motocrossed with some success. My first street bike was a Kawasaki KZ750 twin which I bought with my getting out of the Navy savings.

My two favorites I suppose were my '85 K100RS and my '02 Triumph Trophy 1200, both of which I put over 60k on and both of which I lost through circumstances, the Beemer was when my daughters were born and the Trophy got hit by some street racer assholes

I had 2 1200 Bandit S Suzuki's, an '01 and an '04, which were a lot of fun and a real workhorses, I had an '06 T100 Bonneville which was fun, I've owned a total of 8 Harley's of various styles but they're not something I'm interested in anymore.

I had an R1200 GS which I loved and foolishly traded off and a VFR which turned out to be fraught with electrical problems and I couldn't wait to get rid of.

Right now I'm enjoying the hell out of my Super Tenere and can see keeping it for a long time. There's plenty of other bikes I'd love to own so I'll see how things go.
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Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #23 on: July 01, 2014, 06:40:39 PM »
Every bike I've owned has been old. I have 2 right now. My '86 K100 was a keeper. Unfortunately a Guatemalan maid who didn't speak or read English and worked for a lawyer made a left turn in front of me. I escaped with my life. And I'm thankful for that. My R80ST is the one bike I wish I still had. Alas, I had to sell it because I needed the money. Same with my '81 XL500R. Bought it new when I left the service. Upgraded the front end with an '85 XL350 (thus giving me a disc brake). That's the one I owned the longest. Sold it in '09. We rode all over Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, New Mexico, Arizona & Colorado.

My '99 VFR is like my stereo or camera equipment; I'm holding on to it to the very last fingernail. It does everything I need. It's a little ragged but she's a bitch and doesn't care. The /5? My dad and I raced that bike for many years from the late 80's to late 90's in AHMRA and WERA. I'll probably pass it on to my son. It's been retired from the track and lives the life of a former Derby winner.

Suzuki TS185, Penton 250, Ducati Monster, R80GS.....meh. Not really worth mentioning.
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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #24 on: July 02, 2014, 12:52:58 AM »
 Don't have the riding history of most here, but I'll chime in anyway.

 1987 ZX600A: The bike that taught me how to ride for the most part. Better than it's tube framed variants, but still pretty flexible. 20K per head gasket. Wonderful power curve for a 600 despite the lack of overall power. Looked better when I sold it than it ever did while I was riding it. Much sanding was required.

 1993 GTS1000: heavy literbike with a long reach to the bars, and the oddball hub center steering. No point in taking the RPMs above 6K. Didn't care about bumps, but lacked front end feel. That was part of it's demise. Lots of bodywork, but relatively well engineered. Miss it dearly even though I still have the remains.

 1998 VFR800: The best of the 2 previous bikes combined without the chassis issues. Some electrical issues that were easily solved. More comfortable than either. 4 pieces of major bodywork i.e. get her naked almost as fast as a cheap whore. Aftermarket suspension solved the minor handling issues. 100 HP is enough for me. The VFR has the pull of the GTS at ZX RPMs with better road feel than either.

 1994 VFR750: This 20 year old bike has me grinning in my helmet every time I ride it despite the weak brakes, and 127K miles on the clock. Similar to the 98, but smoother throttle response, and a little lighter. Almost too easy to ride fast (PO did some suspension work). Not as easy to wrench on as the 98 due to the overly fiddley, and fragile bodywork.

 Some bikes I haven't owned, but had/have at my disposal:

 2002 R11150RT: Great touring bike that had potential, but manufacturer arrogance/incompetence ruined the experience. Wonderful power/handling, but hard to wrench on. Serious design flaws. Expensive to maintain, and repair.

 2004(?) Ninja 250: Stupid little bike with 27HP put a big grin on my face in the twisties. Kinda reminded me of an ultra-light version of my old ZX.

 2001 ST4: Light, torquey, and vibey. Overall quirkey. High maintenance Italian. Almost as bad to wrench on as the BMW, but the comedy of construction makes it more fun. Needs suspension upgrades, but what stock bike doesn't? I prefer the more refined nature of my VFRs, but the Duc always puts a grin on my face until I scrape the hard parts. The Duc may best the VFRs in a drag race, but until it gets some suspension the VFRs will leave her behind in the twisty bits.

 I have never bought a brand new vehicle, and likely never will.

Offline coucours grad

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2014, 10:11:21 AM »
1977 Kawasaki KE-100    I remember taking this little enduro down Barnett Shoals Road in Clarke County to see how fast it would go.....with 1/2 a tank of gas, synthetic oil in the tank and with me laying down over the gas tank I got her up to 62mph......Nirvana.... We was wide open, layed out and hauling ass!!! During the 3 years I had that one I completely disassembled it twice to clean it up and tweak it. Carb cleanings were required weekly to allow the bike to outrun my Brother on his 175. (Its not all the bike, its 70% the driver!)


I traded it in for a brand new 1978 Kawasaki KZ-250 thumper and took it straight out to Barnett Shoals Rd after the break in period, layed down on the tank and hit a glorious 71 mph! She was a nimble little thumper....would wheelie without Herculean of effort and kept me busy for 2 years making tht 47 dollar a month payment. But when I got her payed off I sold her for 750 bucks and bought a 1972 Mustang(first car) who's trip down Barnett Shoals Road yielded a 102mph run.(although anyone who knows the car knows that at 91 mph the front end floated straight up and the steering was now no more a suggestion.) 



1982 found me in Charleston, SC living on the Good Ship Dewey (DDG-45) and without wheel's...Dad insisted I sell the Mustang before I left for boot camp and as an E-4 I couldn't really afford a car note AND the beer I was drinking. Soooooooo.....A trip to a motorcycle shoppe on Spruill Ave yielded a brand 1983 new Suzuki GS-650G model and a whopping uncomfortably large 117 dollar payment....She was air cooled shaft driven (almost there!!!)....decent in the twisties and a good interstate bike. First trip home I took her out to Barnett Shoals Rd and yeilded a 118 MPH pass first try! I never had to buy anything other then wear parts for the bike and she never failed to start. This was first motorcycle LOVE....I shoulda kept her. But.....the need for windows and a heater because of shore Duty orders in Norfolk VA caused me to think I needed to sell her so I sold her to my brother who wrecked her then let her rot in his front yard.(Never sell vehicles you like to family)


Got out in 1987, found a job, found a wife....made a couple of babies and payed the mortgage till 1994 when a fellow at work put a 1992 Concours up for sale on the board in the break room. The soul less  Ford Festive in the driveway had 141k mile on her, the budget was tight and the 4500 asking price was on deposit in the bank....I bought it. When I went home and told the wife that the owner would be over tomorrow with the bike she asked me if I wanted a divorce. I told her it was a cash deal and that it was done. The next 3 weeks of the marriage were the quietest EVER and it took me another 6 months to get her on the back of the bike....I havent been able to get her off of it since! :)

Now, that 1992 C-10 needed an updated clutch spring cause the lever was bumping me from the day I bought it but the dealership took 6 weeks to get one in my hand.NEVEER WENT BACK TO A DEALER FOR SERVICE!!!!!!EVER!!!!! She wasnt the quickest quietest or most comfortable bike on the road but for 141 thousand miles she took me to work, the mountains....beach.....the Natchez trace twice and got my cherry on the Dragon. In 2003 I took her down Barnett Shoals Rd and went down it at 121mph...When she died a horrible death by stretched timing chain I was miserable.... She was an old steady friend that loved a good time.


   But by then the C-14 had come out and I didnt really connect with it so the ST1300 was bought....She blew down Barnett Shoals road at 148 MPH.......


   Your supposed to get smarter as you age??????
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Offline Blunder

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #26 on: July 02, 2014, 01:01:26 PM »
I want to read more of Papa's story. Living with IRA members and AWOL Turkish sailors in a time of National strife? That's all good stuff right there.

Myself? I grew up in post "On Any Sunday" NorCal and even on the SF Peninsula you could find open fields for kids to ride dirt and minibikes. I never had a bike of my own, but friends never had a problem laughing at me when riding their's. Good fun. Oracle HQ now stands on that land. A fckg shame.

1978 RD400. Paid $850 dollars on the day after my 17th birthday. College student I bought it from owed $800 on it. I went to his bank, paid the loan off and handed the owner $50 and the receipt. He was not pleased. Fck him. The bike never ran right, always having a mid-range stumble. At full throttle it ran great, but trundling through town was always a bother. Then I found Gordon Jennings famous book on Two Stroke tuning. Probably made things worse, but for a few years I had some great piston art ashtrays.
Torque is cheap.

Offline Blunder

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #27 on: July 02, 2014, 01:25:56 PM »
Around Christmas in 1980 I traded the RD for a 1980 Honda CB750F. The only Honda I've ever owned, and when I look back, the only Honda I've ever ridden. Beautiful bike, and at the time the finest handling machine you could buy, though the Suzuki GS machines were right up there.

These where high times for my riding development. After eschewing my two stroke tuning skills (see the above RD post) I got on with learning to ride and maintain a motorcycle. I started acquiring more ATGATT gear. The shop dispatcher at the Mercedes Benz dealership I worked at was an AFM 125GP racer. He kept his little Honda 125 in his kitchen. It was the easiest place to store it as he lived on the 3rd floor. While he didn't impart any skills he did give me, through osmosis, an attitude towards motorcycling.
Torque is cheap.

Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #28 on: July 02, 2014, 03:22:28 PM »
This slightly out of time order history comitunes.

As I remember it, I didn't get the Panther 650 sloper until I got to Sussex. Not the NSU scooter, nor the Velosolex. Memory plays tricks. Sorry.

Anyways, I had escaped home/ been driven out and I was given a variety of machines. This being the latter half of the 70's, few of us thought these 20 year old piles of crap would ever be worth what they are now.

The NSU scooter scared me. It went into a hedge and was left there.

The Velosolex caught fire-into a hedge it went.

I think I sold the Panther for about £10.

I had a Norton Dominator 600 for a while. Into a hedge it went, after repeated breakdowns.

By that time, I was friends with a number of Hells Angels in Sussex. Now, these were the old English Hells Angels, who were, let us say, pretty English. When the Stones farm,ed out security at Hyde Park in 67, these were the people they got. A different story when they did the same at Monterey-those American HAs were a different lot altogether.

I used to hang out with Mitch and the Sussex HA at the Northumberland Arms in Brighton. Mitch was huge and bought the first Honda CB750-he's still got it. The Arms is still there but it is now a night club. Pah.

It was around thios time that the real HA charter was brought over by Fred Buttons. I met him a couple of times and he was not a nice man. The unofficial chapters were absored or destroyed. There was a peace meeting with the Windsor chapter and the All England in the New Forest: the Windsor lot had a black Hells Angel and the All England did not approve. Needless to say, people got cut up, killed and shot. I was not there because I wasn't stupid. The last time I saw Fred was in 1979. He was a major drugs dealer and utterly paranoid. I was relieved never to see him again.
Putting the laughter back into manslaughter

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #29 on: July 02, 2014, 07:16:17 PM »
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Offline Jet-A-Pumper

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2014, 11:22:08 AM »
Here's what started me down the hiway.

A buddy bought a white one used and cheap. My mom would let us throw it into the back of her Datsun B210 and haul it out to an area where a freeway was planned, but never constructed.
We spent an entire summer beating the hell out of it every chance we got.

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2 years later (summer of '78), I bought my first one.

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Qapla'!

Online viffergyrl

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #31 on: July 03, 2014, 01:51:05 PM »
Your mom was very cool; I hope she still is.

More please Papa (and you too Blunder - I think you both have more stories to tell)

:popcorn:

My motorcycle stories:

1980-something Kawasaki 305 CSR. Buzzed around the University of Illinois and the cornfields. Hated the buckhorn handlebars. Sold to put a clutch in my Mazda GLC. Do not miss this bike. It was a good first bike though.

10 years pass

I move to San Diego and get re-licensed. Bought a 1994 (?) Yamaha Seca II. The first bike I took on the freeway.  :eek: Rode to the Laughlin River Run on I-10 with semis and wind. Decided I needed a heavier bike. Sold the Yamaha and bought...

1999 HD Sportster - had a some good fun, went on some group rides but hated going 80 on the thing. Started thinking about the next bike... couldn't see myself on an HD big twin. Then boyfriend had a Road King..... and a BMW. He took me to the BMW dealer and I test rode an RT and an RS (I think). Gelled with the RT completely. Went looking for a used one and bought...

2002 R1150RT - the one M.Brane reviewed. This bike opened up my motorcycling world - comfortable at speed and twisties and can take all my female luggage. It was awesome and I rode it all the time. Except that the servicing, surging, design flaw, and weight just tipped the scales the other way eventually.

In the meantime, another boyfriend let me ride his Goldwing (very cool but too much bike) and his V4 Sabre (that was interesting - I was a wreck the whole time - too tall, brakes felt like they were not there - ack! - get me off!). But these experiences got me into the Honda camp. We bought a 1999 Honda VFR together which he then spruced up with a Scorpion slip-on and a Power Commander and thrashed it up Palomar Mountain. He then wanted something faster so I bought him out and he got a Yamaha R1 which I rode one time - OMG I did not know the pavement could move so fast! Yowzaa!

I could probably tell my motorcycle stories by the men I've dated.  :facepalm:

In any case I moved on from the relationship and kept both the BMW and the VFR for a number of years. I took the Power Commander off the VFR and returned it to stock. Replacing the air filter with a K&N got me 4 more hp and the bike didn't stall at altitude. I guess those Honda engineers know a thing or two.

I met M.Brane in 2009 when he had just bought the GTS and was fixing up the Ninja to sell. Sadly I was the one who loaned him a Metzler front tire which was one of the factors that led to the demise of the GTS in addition to poor front-end feel. It's still a joke between us.  :inlove:

In October 2009 he bought the VFR and in December was going to come down to San Diego to do some rides with me. The VFR decided to have its electrical issue just then, so he drove down and rode the BMW and I rode the VFR. Having two bikes really helps sometimes.

Fast-forward to last year when I decided to sell the BMW and we found the Ducati. I'm still gelling with this bike but I do like it lightness and the torque. Still toying with getting something else at some point. I've yet to get it all in one package.
The world is a mess. It has always been a mess. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.  Joseph Campbell

Offline kneescrubber

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #32 on: July 03, 2014, 03:00:31 PM »
...I've yet to get it all in one package.


 :eek:
Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Online viffergyrl

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #33 on: July 03, 2014, 03:22:30 PM »
:lol:
The world is a mess. It has always been a mess. Our job is to straighten out our own lives.  Joseph Campbell

Offline Cookie

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #34 on: July 03, 2014, 04:18:41 PM »
My first
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I loved this machine. It would do anything I asked it to do including rip through the water on the beach I lived on when I was young and stupid.

My second

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Sweet and sexy, It was a joy to push. Sold it for $500.00 worth of cocaine. The guy I sold it to gave it some love and sold it for a stinkload of money. Again, young and stupid.

Third
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Rode it all sorts of places I shouldn't have. No clue what happened to it. I think I was drunk and forgot where I left it. Yup. You guessed it, young and stupid.

Next was something like this
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I rode it some, it didn't leave an impression.

Then
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Rode it everywhere. Loved it.

...and

Customed HD Low Rider
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Late twenties, still stupid.

Had one of these
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 Briefly to teach my (ex)wife to ride. She drove it into the house and that was that. It is still out in the woods full of 762X39 holes.

Some where in there a co worker gave me one of these because it was a piece of shit that he couldn't get to run.
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Brought it home and put a battery in it and kept it as a spare (remember, I rode a Harley. An AMF Harley at that) for years. Tried to teach my wife again. She dumped it in sand and again, that was that.

After a long hiatus during kids and such.
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Picked it up for $300.00. It sounded like two skeletons fucking in a dumpster.

That was enough to get me hooked again though so I bought the Bandit.
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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2014, 02:29:30 PM »
I have been remiss in not reviewing the bikes that I have mentioned.

NSU 250 scooter. I think it was called the Prima. Manufactured in 1957. Capable of around 85mph, with its four stroke engine. Little wheels, little drum brakes, very overweight with metal panels.

This made this machine very frightening. It would do silly speeds-for a scooter-in a straight line and then could neither stop nor go around a corner. Deathtrap. These days, worth £3-4K.

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« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 02:50:54 PM by Papa Lazarou »
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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2014, 02:37:47 PM »
Norton Dominator 600. In good nick, a very lovely bike. My first Dommie was not in good nick and frequently broke down.

Vertical twin, displacing 600cc. Roadholder forks (fab) and a slimline Featherbed  frame (very fab). Cornered as if it was on rails-just like the adverts said. Single rear drum, front single drum. Stopping was slow.

The gearbox was far superior to the Triumph Bonneville's. The bottom end of the engine was stronger than a Triumph. But the top end wasn't so good and was a bit weak. A Bonny would make 45BHP, a Dommie much less. I think mine was capable of 85-90 between breakdowns.

These breakdowns were frequent and associated with shite electrics and a worn out barrel and pistons. It was pretty old when I bought it (for £5). I hated it so much and threw it in a hedge. Value today: £4500-6000.

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« Last Edit: July 04, 2014, 02:52:27 PM by Papa Lazarou »
Putting the laughter back into manslaughter

Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2014, 03:03:26 PM »
And a Panther-these are all old stock photos. I seldom took pics of my bikes.

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Now a Panther was a brilliant side car tug. I think the 650 made around 30BHP but was a torque monster. Very, very fine bikes. But it was the fact that mine leaked so much oil that I ended up buying my first Japanese bike. But not before the 650 threw me over the top of the handlebars (thankfully into a bale of hay at the back of a barn) at 5.00am, when i was too asleep too start her with the proper attention. These things can break ankles.

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2014, 03:20:49 PM »
I then started on my ill fated purchases of Japanese machines. In the main, they were truly horrible.

In 1978, I spent £800 (in real terms, the most I've ever spent) on a Yamaha XS250.

What an ill handling slug.

I had my first proper accident on this POS. I was coming back fron work, doing around 60. It was dark. I was going around a blind corner near Moon Farm, when I met two cars racing each other-on both sides of the road. I took the grass verge. I was only bruised and shaken but the bike was an insurance write off.

I managed to write this bike off three times in all, The second time on purpose-a bad day and I hated it-the third time when I went around a corner near Llandovery into a set of road works. The local kids had thrown the warning signs over a hedge. I hit the road works at 74-it's still engrained on my memory-and rolled. kicking the bike away. I lost most of both knee caps and did srerious damage to my right leg-I was told I'd never walk again. I did, so feck you doctors for all the help you gave. It took me seven months.

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Still, my £800 made me £1100.

Value now: £700.
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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2014, 03:27:09 PM »
Next. I still had the crashed XS250-which I sole for £400 to some idiot. It worked. I'd been riding it from Cardiff to Bristol every day. Tank was dented and a rocker stuck-no problemo.

I bought a CG125-sold immediately. Fine bike.

Then, 5 Urals. Yes. 5. I bought them all from £25 to nothing. I needed 5 in order to swap engines when one blew up.

I discovered that thewy could do 50mph backwards. Fecking hilarious.
Putting the laughter back into manslaughter

Offline JonS

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #40 on: July 05, 2014, 07:41:39 AM »
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My first bike was a 1964 Honda sport 50. I loved it because it had 2 wheels. That bike had a hard life in the year I owned it. It was ridden all over, including on the frozen ice of lake Michigan.
My next was a 1965 Bultaco Metrella 200. That bike was both wonderful and awful. It handled great, which was something the Japanese companies didn't learn how to do til many years later. The Taco was also very light and fast. It could beat Honda Superhawks, which were supposed to be the fast ones for that time. On the other hand, the Spanish idea of an electrical system left something to be desired. Once a friend and I road our bikes to Madison in the night and all of a sudden, I was in complete darkness as all the lights blew. I had to aim at his tail light to stay on the road. I almost ran in to him as he slowed when he didn't see me any more. I had spare lights, as this was a regular occurrence. You also had to be patient after starting the bike, as it would foul the plug every time, if you took off too soon. I carried spare plugs too. Once another friend and I were riding to Northern WI and all of a sudden my bike stopped running. On the side of the road, I took off the motor cover where the ignition was and the flywheel fell to the ground, as it had sheared off the crank shaft.
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My next bike was a 1967 BSA Victor 441. I loved that bike! It could be ridden most anywhere and was a torque monster and a lot of fun. The British electrical system was a little better than the Spanish one so it seemed great. :lol:

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The next bike was a 1973 Kawasaki 500 Triple H1. That bike was a lot of fun and very fast. It was no problem to get to 80mph, in a hurry. On the other side, it was the worst handling bike I ever rode. After a few months, I traded it even, with a dealer, for a Kawa MX bike. I raced that for almost a season, til I smashed my foot in a poor landing.

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After healing from my crash, I bought a Yamaha 1976 IT400 enduro bike. That was a very good move! The racing was a lot of fun and I even placed in some races. When I moved to the San Francisco area in 1979, I sold it and a Honda CB 750, which was about my least favorite bike. It was like riding a 50 gallon drum and not very fast.

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In CA, I bought a Yamaha 550 Vision, which turned out to be nothing very special. Then one day, I stopped in a Motorcycle shop in SF and fell in love with a Green 1973 Norton Commando Fastback. It had clipon bars and a Dunstall fairing. On the tail piece, it said "The unapproachable Norton" in gold lettering. It was beautiful, but not that great to ride. Very uncomfortable and if it didn't start on the first kick, you had to wait about 20 minuted to try again.

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I sold the Yamaha and the Norton and bought a 1981 Honda CB750F. It was a vast improvement to those other 2. I ended up in a time loop and bought another 750 and later a CB900. So over about 12 years I basically rode the same bike. The photo is my 900 after changing it over the years. :inlove:

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I finally sold the last Honda and bought my current bike, a 2004 Ducati 1000DS Multistrada. It was a gift to myself when I retired. This is the perfect bike for me. It handles great and is comfortable for about 8 hours. I've done a lot of traveling on it and it always got me there and home, without any problems. The only thing I don't like is adjusting the valves :crazy:, which is a small thing compared to the pleasure.
The only 2 photos that are actually my motorcycle are the last 2.

« Last Edit: July 06, 2014, 04:14:22 PM by JonS »
You can't avoid aging, but you don't have to get old.

Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #41 on: July 05, 2014, 01:28:37 PM »
I never had a Norton 750 Commando. I was scared off by the isolastic frame and the need to rebuild the Fastback engine every few thousand miles. Now, the 850, I would have.
Putting the laughter back into manslaughter

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #42 on: July 05, 2014, 01:36:09 PM »
Putting the laughter back into manslaughter

Online coho

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2014, 08:55:41 PM »
An enormously funny film about the English HAs

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/legacy/adamcurtis/2010/08/the_hells_angels_take_a_mini-b.html


Quote
"...his best friend...on day leave from the mental hospital."

Quote
"...cars pile up behind them..."

 :rolf:

I also enjoyed that bbc.com's volume slider goes to eleven. :snork:
If it weren't for the therapeutic properties of the occasional off-camber decreasing radius downhill right-hander I'd almost certainly go completely sane.

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Online Papa Lazarou

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #44 on: July 06, 2014, 04:26:42 AM »
needs its own thread.
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Offline JonS

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Re: Review Your Old Bikes
« Reply #45 on: July 06, 2014, 06:42:00 AM »
I never had a Norton 750 Commando. I was scared off by the isolastic frame and the need to rebuild the Fastback engine every few thousand miles. Now, the 850, I would have.

You had good sense! The handling was very slow and the bike felt like it had a long wheel base.
You can't avoid aging, but you don't have to get old.