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Old 01-11-2013, 07:59 AM   #31
Grayghost66
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedo66 View Post
Mid '80's Honda 700 Nighhawk S.

Good style, plenty of power, and the simplest maintenance of practically any bike. Everything hydraulic, including the valves, and a drive shaft.
Yeah...I would agree, the only real maintenance chore (aside from fluids, air cleaner, and spark plugs - all easy) is to sync the four carbs. I never owned this bike so don't have first hand experience on how often you would need to do that.
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Old 01-11-2013, 08:06 AM   #32
TonyKZ1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Speedo66 View Post
Mid '80's Honda 700 Nighhawk S.

Good style, plenty of power, and the simplest maintenance of practically any bike. Everything hydraulic, including the valves, and a drive shaft.
Wow, after reading about this bike, thought that it sounded pretty good and just about what I'm looking for. Then I did a cl search and as it turns out there's one for sale somewhat locally to me.
Thanks for posting this, Tony
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Old 01-12-2013, 10:07 PM   #33
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Ducati Darmah - Ooooh yea. Too bad I'll have to save that one for my dreams. Expensive and rare. Beautiful machine though, aesthetically and aurally perfect.


Suzuki VX800 - Cool suggestion. Actually never heard of that one. The weird carb setup and the water cooling are the only big downsides to that, but if one pops up I will check it out. Not a huge fan of the sportsbike plastic, but it sure looks better than the comparable cruiser.


XS650s - Cult following means good parts availability but prices are going up like crazy in my area. A bit too similar to my KZ400. I've heard those XS650s have a good amount of character. The sound of a 360 twin doesn't do it for me... maybe with one of those 270 degree cranks. Why are all the great bikes that meet my criteria parallel twins??


I'm sort of surprised old Triumphs made it into this thread. I had the impression that old british bikes were prone to major problems frequently. The newer Triumphs are also pretty, a scrambler would be fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FR700 View Post
Plenty of options even for later sporties.
I would love to see just one picture of an EVO engined sportster with a centerstand if you can find one!! ( I think that is an old ironhead sportster)

Or perhaps I could buy a sportster and then find a place to mount a 2x8 and a long pipe for emergencies...


Thanks for the suggestions guys.

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Old 01-13-2013, 12:59 AM   #34
JohnDL
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I'd agree with you on the Sportster - I may be biased as I have one!

I went from an airhead to a 2006, last of the carb 883 and haven't regretted it. Easy maintenance: single carb, hydraulic valves and belt drive with bags of character. Fast enough for me and limitless accessories available!

The biggest pain if you have spoke wheels with inner tubes is a roadside puncture, but I'm not sure I'd be bothered to try and remove the wheel at the roadside even if I had a centre stand.

There are plenty of lifts available for use at home once you get towed!

Regards

John
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:51 PM   #35
El Guero
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Originally Posted by Eddy Alvarez View Post
I vote for any 80's 650 Nighthawk with hydraulic valves, hydraulic front brake/clutch, shaft drive and centerstand. Give it one day of love in the garage every six months and it will give you 20+ years of faithful, quiet service.
This guy here has the right idea. Any of the Hondas with hydraulic lifters and shaft drive are going to be about as maintenance free as you will find a motorcycle. Any of the other ideas you are having about bikes older than 20 years are a bad idea if you are looking for less work, just for the fact that older bikes have issues period.

Also, lol at the guy recommending an old Triumph
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Old 01-14-2013, 06:56 PM   #36
Claytonroy
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Originally Posted by El Guero View Post
This guy here has the right idea. Any of the Hondas with hydraulic lifters and shaft drive are going to be about as maintenance free as you will find a motorcycle. Any of the other ideas you are having about bikes older than 20 years are a bad idea if you are looking for less work, just for the fact that older bikes have issues period.
+1 to that...

My vote goes to the Honda VT500 Ascot
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Old 01-14-2013, 08:42 PM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Guero View Post
This guy here has the right idea. Any of the Hondas with hydraulic lifters and shaft drive are going to be about as maintenance free as you will find a motorcycle. Any of the other ideas you are having about bikes older than 20 years are a bad idea if you are looking for less work, just for the fact that older bikes have issues period.

Also, lol at the guy recommending an old Triumph
Meh, I really should have phrased the thread title better. I want a bike that is easy and enjoyable to work on, not a bike that doesn't need much maintenance. I love working on simple motorcycles, even if they have to be worked on every weekend. I hate taking off plastic, draining coolant, having to wriggle wrenches into tight spots, etc...

Anyway, thanks for the help guys. I posted on a Harley forum and got some pictures of an evo engine frame from below. I think it won't be too tough to custom fit a centerstand down there, which pretty much settles it unless I decide I hate it. One of those old Guzzi's would be even better, but they're just so rare and out of my price range.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:51 AM   #38
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This picture also helped my decision:


http://www.lainefamily.com/GB1200R.htm
You can remove all the cruiser with just a seat, tank and bars.
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Old 01-15-2013, 11:49 AM   #39
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The Harley Sportster is a truely great bike.

Get one from 1986-1994. 1986 was the first year for the Evo motor and after 1994 the electronics get exponentially more complicated every year newer. Ones in that year range sell fora bout $2000 in my area, which is pretty cheap but about 2x as much as a 1980s UJM...

Pre-1992 will be a 4 speed and post-1992 will be a 5 speed. Personally, I prefer the 4 speed since the final drive ratio in top gear is the same... so your highway RPMs are the same with a 4 or 5 speed. It has plenty of torque, so I prefer the less shifting and simpler tranny mechanics of the 4 speed. Its bullet proof.

Its a Harley, so cheap parts are everywhere. It only has one carb, which hangs off the side for easy access. It also has hydraulic lifters, so younever have to adjusta valve. Older ones are chain drive, which I prefer, and easy to maintain.

They have very reliable alternators, solid state regulators, and electrinic ignitions that last forever. Did I mention how cheap and easy parts are to get? I have seen centerstand kits for the Evo Sportster, but the factory only offered a centerstand on sportsters from 1957-1978.

The early Evo sportsters are as simple, bullet proof, and easy to maintain as it gets. Plus, they are a ton of fun.

Get some taller shocks and knobby tires and they do ok off road too!


I also love the xs650. My only problem with the xs650 is that their stock charging systems suck and are very expensive to get parts for. Even one in good shape will barely charge your battery below 2,500 rpm.... so do not sit in a traffic jam for too long. Newer perminant magnent alternators can be easily adapted or bought as a kit and you will have a very solid bike. A nice XS650 will run you about as much as an older Evo sportster, about $2000 in my area. Stay away from really beat ones. After you fix the carbs and charging system you will have spent more money than if you bought a nice one to start with.

The yamaha xt500 is about as simple as it gets, and tons of fun... but might not make enough power for you. I weigh 150 lbs and can comfortable cruise on my 1978 xt500 at 65 mph with a -2 tooth rear sprocket installed. Again, these tend to cost more than the average UJM... but I guess its expected that you will pay a bit more for true greatness...
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:22 PM   #40
retiredgentleman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sidecar Jockey View Post
The Harley Sportster is a truely great bike.

Get one from 1986-1994. 1986 was the first year for the Evo motor and after 1994 the electronics get exponentially more complicated every year newer. Ones in that year range sell fora bout $2000 in my area, which is pretty cheap but about 2x as much as a 1980s UJM...

Pre-1992 will be a 4 speed and post-1992 will be a 5 speed. Personally, I prefer the 4 speed since the final drive ratio in top gear is the same... so your highway RPMs are the same with a 4 or 5 speed. It has plenty of torque, so I prefer the less shifting and simpler tranny mechanics of the 4 speed. Its bullet proof.

Its a Harley, so cheap parts are everywhere. It only has one carb, which hangs off the side for easy access. It also has hydraulic lifters, so younever have to adjusta valve. Older ones are chain drive, which I prefer, and easy to maintain.

They have very reliable alternators, solid state regulators, and electrinic ignitions that last forever. Did I mention how cheap and easy parts are to get? I have seen centerstand kits for the Evo Sportster, but the factory only offered a centerstand on sportsters from 1957-1978.

The early Evo sportsters are as simple, bullet proof, and easy to maintain as it gets. Plus, they are a ton of fun.

Get some taller shocks and knobby tires and they do ok off road too!


I also love the xs650. My only problem with the xs650 is that their stock charging systems suck and are very expensive to get parts for. Even one in good shape will barely charge your battery below 2,500 rpm.... so do not sit in a traffic jam for too long. Newer perminant magnent alternators can be easily adapted or bought as a kit and you will have a very solid bike. A nice XS650 will run you about as much as an older Evo sportster, about $2000 in my area. Stay away from really beat ones. After you fix the carbs and charging system you will have spent more money than if you bought a nice one to start with.

The yamaha xt500 is about as simple as it gets, and tons of fun... but might not make enough power for you. I weigh 150 lbs and can comfortable cruise on my 1978 xt500 at 65 mph with a -2 tooth rear sprocket installed. Again, these tend to cost more than the average UJM... but I guess its expected that you will pay a bit more for true greatness...
I have to disagree with your comments on the XS650 charging system. Yes, you need to replace the stock rectifier and the stock regulator, but new replacement parts are inexpensive. I bought new rectifier parts for $15.00, and a NOS automotive regulator (VR-115) for $20.00. My bike starts to charge at around 1500 rpm, and puts out 14.2 volts all day long on the highway. Its normal for these bikes to not charge the battery at idle of 1200 rpm.
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:31 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by retiredgentleman View Post
I have to disagree with your comments on the XS650 charging system. Yes, you need to replace the stock rectifier and the stock regulator, but new replacement parts are inexpensive. I bought new rectifier parts for $15.00, and a NOS automotive regulator (VR-115) for $20.00. My bike starts to charge at around 1500 rpm, and puts out 14.2 volts all day long on the highway. Its normal for these bikes to not charge the battery at idle of 1200 rpm.
You are correct, the rectifier and regulator are cheap and easy to replace.

I guess I was unfortunate enough to buy a bike with a shot stator and rotor. The stator was about $120 and the rotor was about $100. I also have a new solid state regulator and rectifier. My bike only reads 12v under 1,500 rpm, and charges about 13v from 1,500 to 2,500 rpm. I dont get 14v charging until 2,500+ rpms. I agree, it is 'normal' for these bikes to not charge at idle.

The xs650 is an awesome bike. You just cant sit in stop and go traffic with your lights on or any electrical accessories running...
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Old 01-15-2013, 12:49 PM   #42
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I really like your bike!
Never noticed it before, but it seems to be just the sort of bike I would want.
Does it vibrate a lot at speed?

The seat looks nice and comfortable, the motor size is right for around here, its got a place to carry a tail bag, a disk brake on the front, maybe it just needs different silencers to sound good.

If I ever found a low cost one local, I think i would snap it up.

I do love the old Guzzi's though, who does not...



Quote:
Originally Posted by jordan325ic View Post


My rain or shine daily rider is a 1979 Kawasaki KZ400 that is as UJM as can be. I love the seating position, the luggage capacity, the aesthetics, the reliability, the fuel economy, the affordability of consumables.
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Old 01-15-2013, 01:14 PM   #43
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If my memory serves me well, a French journalist (Fenouil) used a couple to go to Tombuctu in the -70' and rode the Cote D'Azur-Cote D'Ivoire (ancestor of the Paris Dakar race). Could finf only this:
http://www.facebook.com/permalink.ph...65035316944385
http://www.kz400.com/Articles.htm

Fenouil was/is a crazy guy riding the brand new Z1 from paris to Marrakech, just to test it!!
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Old 01-15-2013, 02:09 PM   #44
jordan325ic OP
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@ sidecar jockey
Thanks for the info about the Sportster. I had sort of discounted the early evo sportsters because I assumed the 4 speed meant a higher cruising RPM. And I didn't realize that the post-94 models had different, more complicated electronics!

I wish Sportsters were that cheap down here in Texas. $3000 is pretty much a minimum to get a runner no matter what the year, even AMF ironheads. Cheapest well running sporty I've seen in the past few weeks was a mid 90s 883 with 83,000 miles, $2500.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NJ-Brett View Post
I really like your bike!
Never noticed it before, but it seems to be just the sort of bike I would want.
Does it vibrate a lot at speed?

The seat looks nice and comfortable, the motor size is right for around here, its got a place to carry a tail bag, a disk brake on the front, maybe it just needs different silencers to sound good.

If I ever found a low cost one local, I think i would snap it up.

I do love the old Guzzi's though, who does not...
No noticeable vibration, it's a pretty small twin and it's got a counter-balance system. Quite smooth. After about 5 hours in the saddle I start to notice a tiny bit of numbness in the hands. Those big UJM seats are pretty comfortable. They are cheaper to buy that comparable CB series bikes of the same vintage.
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Old 01-15-2013, 08:56 PM   #45
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You have to be really patient to find a good deal on any Harley in this part of the country. You also need to check CL several times a day and be ready to buy immediatley when you see what you're looking for. In a year of looking for an XL1200R, I missed one '04 with low miles that went for $3800 and then showed up again on CL the next week at $5800. That bike was only on CL at $3800 for about an hour. Finally found the '04 I bought about six months ago with only 3750 miles for $4300. A buddy of mine bought an '03 1200 with 23k miles for $3k the same day. He'd been looking for a long time also, and both of those were pretty good buys in this market.

You mentioned that some of the suggested bikes would be out of your budget, but I don't remember you ever mentioning just what the budget is. It might help narrow the field if you gave us some idea of what you're willing to spend.

By the way, parts are available for old Guzzis if you know where to look. The WIldguzzi.com forum is the best place to start. Also be aware that some years/models may have issues that are expensive to fix if they haven't already been corrected on the particular bike you may be looking at. Look to the same forum for that info as well.
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