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Old 04-26-2013, 05:36 PM   #1
Jimmy the Heater OP
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Bikes you must own at least once

What are the bikes that you must own at least once in your life? The ones that are so iconic or greater than the sum of their parts that everyone should try?

Not just limited to street bikes since there isn't a generic motorcycle area.

My incomplete list would be as follows.

Honda Z-50 or CRF50 Probably introduced more kids to riding than any other bike in history

Suzuki SV650-The definition of "Just Right" for a streetbike

Suzuki DR650-Just look at the traffic of that thread in Thumpers, most visits by far, and for a reason.

Kawasaki C10-Made forever, an icon of Sport touring

Kawasaki Ninja 250-Amazing that so few cc can do so much

Yamaha R1-Not the first supersport, but the first with liter bike power in a light package, and the 09 with the crossplane crank

KTM 950-990 ADV- First big trailie with real off road suspension

Alright ADV-tell me how messed up my list is and what I forgot
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
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Honda CB350, because riding it - or watching someone ride by on it - is what started it all for a lot of riders.

Honda CR250 - the quintessential small-bore two stroke motocrosser. Not easy to ride well, wild top-end hit.

Honda CR500....so that you can prove to yourself two things: 1) the CR250 really is plenty fast, after all, and 2). There are better motorcycles to own if you prefer riding without casts on any of your limbs, which were caused by an unpredictable wall of shrieking, hateful power. .

Kawasaki Z1000 MK II. Just because it looks totally badass.

Harley Davidson Shovelhead. Any of them. They leak oil, lack power, and weren't produced during HD's finest hour. But when tuned reasonably well, nothing on earth sounds like one.

Ducati 916. Because its hilariously uncomfortable, sounds like angels sorting bolts into a glass jar, and changed the game for superbike styling single-handedly.

*edit* apologies to the OP, I read "must own" as "must ride". I probably won't own any of the above, but I've ridden them all at least once, and it's the list of bikes on which I crave another ride one day...
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:32 PM   #3
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Suzuki GSX1300R Hayabusa. Even non riders know what it is, its the ledgend.
BMW R1200GS
H-D VROD
BMW S1000RR
Honda CBX1000
Yamaha V-Max Gen 1 and 2
Suzuki GSXR750
Yamaha MT-01
Triumph Speed Triple
Triumph Sprint ST1050
Triumph RocketIII
Norton Commando
Honda Goldwing any one.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:41 PM   #4
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I fully agree with the ninja 250.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:47 PM   #5
kraven
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Quote:
Honda CR500....so that you can prove to yourself two things: 1) the CR250 really is plenty fast, after all, and 2). There are better motorcycles to own if you prefer riding without casts on any of your limbs, which were caused by an unpredictable wall of shrieking, hateful power. .
This hopped up in my brain when I read the first post.

You will have to keep it chained up in a safe room. All your friends will think "I can ride the shit out of that!" but they can't. No one can, unless they've got balls of steels and are all out of bubblegum.

The only time you can safely own this bike is when you keep it locked up, and I mean with a log chain through the frame and both wheels with two locks on it.
The only time you release it is when you've had enough of one guy in your peer group who won't shaddap about how great he is on dirt and want to see him either ascend to glory or take a dirt nap.

The CR500 is nothing but a harm to yourself and your friends. Everyone should own one until they finally have had enough and sell it to the next poor sumbitch. It is death on a stick. Sweet brap ring-a-ding death on a stick.
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Old 04-26-2013, 06:58 PM   #6
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I'll probably want to add or change this up in five minutes but as of right now, with no beers in the belly I'm thinking...

CBX
VFR
GS
KDX
KLR, DR, or XR/XL 650
Big KTM ADV bike W/21 front
ZRX1200
RT, FJR, C14, Blackbird or equivalent
Speed Triple
250 sport bike (Kawa or Honda)
WR or DRZ
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Old 04-28-2013, 11:44 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraven View Post

The CR500 is nothing but a harm to yourself and your friends. Everyone should own one until they finally have had enough and sell it to the next poor sumbitch. It is death on a stick. Sweet brap ring-a-ding death on a stick.
Owned one, raced one for three years. I still have the screws in my shoulder and a plate in my tibia to show for it. She was my Waterloo
I loved every second on that bike.
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Old 04-28-2013, 03:36 PM   #8
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Any airhead.
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Old 04-26-2013, 09:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unleaded

Ducati 916. Because its hilariously uncomfortable, sounds like angels sorting bolts into a glass jar, and changed the game for superbike styling single-
That is the most interesting bit of imagery I have read in a while...
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Old 04-27-2013, 04:06 AM   #10
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If you have never owned a scooter you don't know what you are missing.
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Old 04-27-2013, 06:18 AM   #11
kraven
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The Ducati 900SS (That's Hunter S. Thompson pictured with his famous review of it)


There's a lot of downside, to hear modern Duc owners and people who have never owned a Duc talk about the old stuff. Desmo is weird. Wimpy frame. blahbittyblahbitty-blah. Hold me, I'm scared.

I had one in the early-mid nineties. I sold it in 97' after 2 years of ownership. I still have dreams about it.

I fought with the carbs. I fought with the motor. I sucked as a mechanic back then, and probably still do (I've managed to control the compulsion for disassembling things to "see what's in there").

This is a bike built for triple digits and speedways. It's not a commuter. It's not a grocery getter. It's gloriously purpose built and reminiscent of that time when makers were feeling their way along in the sportbike market while Ducati was delivering what you needed to win races and hung a license plate frame on it.

If you will ever understand the mystique and draw of Ducati, you can most assuredly do it peeking over the gauges of this bike while doing triple digits.

People who have only ridden modern bikes or Japanese L4 bikes kind of stand back afterward like the Grinch looking down on Whoville Christmas morning muttering "but it did it without traction control. It did it without a map. It did it without Ohlins, multi-valves, or CAD." And then your heart will grow two sizes bigger, and you will never be the same again.

Every time I walk up on one of these things now, it's like a metal version of the Hallelujah chorus plays while a 20 year old Sophia Loren stands waiting for me in a slinky dress and rolling her eyes like she knew I'd be back sooner or later.
That crazy ex you can't help but think about in the wee hours, that's what this bike is. It's a ticket to awesome town, and I think everyone should ride/own this Italian bird at least once. Whether she loves you back or not, you'll have a hard time not understanding the appeal.
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Old 04-27-2013, 07:54 AM   #12
bk brkr baker
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The ones that have shaped me.
Honda 50 Step-thru. My first bike and the bike I started racing trains on. Beleive me , when you have your head down and the throttle pinned, 45 mph on the #2 gravel that makes up the service road beside the track and the train is swaying right beside you, well that's pretty exiting for a 13 year old.

Honda 350 G. The first time I was leagal on the road. !0,000 miles in a year and my first out of state trip, 7 states in 2 weeks on $115.00. Had to love the 70's.

Suzuki TM 400. The bike no train could keep up with.

Kawasaki Z-1B. I rode this bike so much that if I saw someone I knew while I wasn't riding, they'd say "Where's your motorcycle? You don't look right without it. "

Ducati 860. Bought used in '79. Changed a lot of my ideas of what a motorcycle should do for you.

Ducati 250 Scrambler. Much modified, Desmo head, 36 mm Del'orto , meagaphone and clip-ons. Raced to an AHRMA national championship in 1988.

Ducati 900 SS 1991. My first "modern" bike. In that it had 17" wheels , triple discs and Radial tires. Still an air-cooled 2 valve motor though.

Can-Am Sonic 500 Ridden on hills and trails where walking would be difficult.

'92 KLR 650. Just ride it .Everywhere.

There are more, but this gives you the main idea.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:37 AM   #13
vicster
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I've owned/had in the family garage a lot of the bikes listed here;
250 Ninja
'97 Speed Triple
DR
Rocket III (2 of 'em)
750 Honda K1
'54 Panhead (all original)
'70 BSA Lightining
etc. etc.

I've got to get a Ducati in there somewhere.
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Old 04-27-2013, 08:00 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kraven View Post
The Ducati 900SS (That's Hunter S. Thompson pictured with his famous review of it)


There's a lot of downside, to hear modern Duc owners and people who have never owned a Duc talk about the old stuff. Desmo is weird. Wimpy frame. blahbittyblahbitty-blah. Hold me, I'm scared.

I had one in the early-mid nineties. I sold it in 97' after 2 years of ownership. I still have dreams about it.

I fought with the carbs. I fought with the motor. I sucked as a mechanic back then, and probably still do (I've managed to control the compulsion for disassembling things to "see what's in there").

This is a bike built for triple digits and speedways. It's not a commuter. It's not a grocery getter. It's gloriously purpose built and reminiscent of that time when makers were feeling their way along in the sportbike market while Ducati was delivering what you needed to win races and hung a license plate frame on it.

If you will ever understand the mystique and draw of Ducati, you can most assuredly do it peeking over the gauges of this bike while doing triple digits.

People who have only ridden modern bikes or Japanese L4 bikes kind of stand back afterward like the Grinch looking down on Whoville Christmas morning muttering "but it did it without traction control. It did it without a map. It did it without Ohlins, multi-valves, or CAD." And then your heart will grow two sizes bigger, and you will never be the same again.

Every time I walk up on one of these things now, it's like a metal version of the Hallelujah chorus plays while a 20 year old Sophia Loren stands waiting for me in a slinky dress and rolling her eyes like she knew I'd be back sooner or later.
That crazy ex you can't help but think about in the wee hours, that's what this bike is. It's a ticket to awesome town, and I think everyone should ride/own this Italian bird at least once. Whether she loves you back or not, you'll have a hard time not understanding the appeal.
Got one of those sitting in my shop at this very minute. It no longer belongs to me. My 25 year old nephew now owns it and I doubt he'll ever sell it. Whenever I hear that bike, from any distance, I know what bike it is. It makes the most beautiful noise any bike has ever made.
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Old 04-27-2013, 09:23 PM   #15
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Kraven, very poetic, you should try riding one of the fast ones, those old 900s aren't the fast ones. The 4valvers are a whole 'nuther nut altogether.

CR500s. I've had 2. 65hp. 220 lbs or so, claimed. You guys either didn't try very hard, or you didn't practice enough. I rode short track, TTs, hare scrambles and an Enduro on mine. You learn throttle control. You shift earlier. They aren't bad to ride at all. They are not explosive. They aren't pipe or peaky at all. They can be a bitch to start. They are extremely reliable. I'm going to buy another one, we'll see if I can still start one.

OK, must owns. Well, I've got a CT-70. I've had Kawasaki Triples. The thought of owning them is actually more pleasant than really owning them. They sound cool though. Had a Sportster. Another bike that the thought of owning is much better than actually owning. Piece of junk. Old Z1, had a couple of those, I like them. Ninja 250? Someone gave me one once. Pure beginner bike, nothing more. Gave it to a beginner. Old Triumph twins. If you don't know how to work on a bike, you soon will. Had a couple of those. I'd get another. Now I'm looking at an old TT500. As for other old bikes, I've had a bunch, not really sure what else I want, maybe an RD and a Tuono V4. And an RC51.
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