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Old 10-29-2008, 02:49 AM   #1546
BeachBum
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Location: Laguna Beach, Ca / Baja Mex / Madrid, Spain
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But it is in Euros so it probably would not be located in the UK either? Beautiful bike but still 3200 Euros seems a bit high for an almost 20 year old bike.
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Old 10-29-2008, 07:34 AM   #1547
Donkey Hotey
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Location: 20 Mule Team Trail (Palmdale, Ca)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tim
would Adventure Kitty be making room for the Heffalump at that price?
I agree: that is a bit steep for something that old. Adventure Kitty is blind to money. It's all about rescuing the baby heffalump. I'm a bit more selective. I think at that price I'd have to really want it as a collectible (that nobody will recognize or care about).

I'm a Dakar junkie. It's a Lucky Explorer Elefant. The price would hurt but, gawd, is that thing clean or what? I'm saving the pictures. The engine is gorgeous, the wheels and everything else look virtually new. That's the reason it appeals to me. Is it worth that much as a 'rider'? No. The final generation E900 is a far better road bike.

So if you're yearning for a Lucky Explorer, I don't think you'll find much cleaner and you'll have to pay what you have to pay (but I'd try to negotiate it down to about $3500 US). If you're buying it to actually tour on or use offroad, buy something else. It's too rare, too expensive and just not that great of a performer compared to other things you could buy in the price range.

As for me, that 750 would look great parked next to this one.



EDIT: I just looked at your Smugmug gallery. Yer' screwed. You've got the same addiction I do. Post more pictures after you've bought it.

Donkey Hotey screwed with this post 10-29-2008 at 07:40 AM
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:35 AM   #1548
Tim
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey
EDIT: I just looked at your Smugmug gallery. Yer' screwed. You've got the same addiction I do. Post more pictures after you've bought it.


I guess so, suppose I'll have to speak to Timwife tonight! SHe'll either or
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:19 AM   #1549
NOTAR_520
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Spotted again this AM at 8AM, Turning onto 900 E from Vine(5900S), Murray, UT.

Bike was turning, so no chunks coming from the tire,lol, and no Harley to pass so I didn't hear the rumble. I don't think the rider saw me on my little F650 turning West on 5900S.

Bike was dark red, rider had a matching helmet, black jacket with silver reflective tape.

Cold this AM, maybe 38deg F, so ROCK ON.

Elefant's are rare in these parts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by motomikedh
When was that, could have been me. I know there is another bike in Salt Lake here somewhere.

Did the bike sound badass?? (I have a CF pipe)

Was there rubber chunks flying off my rear tire?? (I run knobbies all the time)

If I was passing a Harley, then it definitely was me!!
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Old 10-29-2008, 04:24 PM   #1550
motomikedh
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Well, it wasn't me, I'm in North Dakota. I guess I need to ride around and track that elefant down. I gotta figure out who that is !!! Thanks for the spotting.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:05 PM   #1551
WzlTech
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Hey Donkey Hotey,

Seeing as you have both a 900 Elefant and a GSPD, I have an '88 1000GS with the optional PD kit for that year, was curious what differences you've noticed between them? You think one is better than the other in terms of street, dirt, reliability, etc?

I actually never take my GS in the dirt, I'd hate to scuff it, too pretty, but I love the look of the Cagiva/Duc and seem to have a soft spot for Italian designs. If the Duc is a better dirt ride that might be very tempting. I don't know that I'd ever give up the one for the other, but you never know...but then there are always those Africa Twins. When is Honda gonna get their act together and make a new version? Something to compete with the KTM 950/990s...are you listening Honda?

Thanks for insights you have.
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Old 10-29-2008, 08:42 PM   #1552
Donkey Hotey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WzlTech
was curious what differences you've noticed between them? You think one is better than the other in terms of street, dirt, reliability, etc?
Wow, you want to start a holy war, huh?

Honest opinion: I love all my kids equally; I just love some of them more equally than others.

The GS/PD is a fine motorcycle. It's insanely capable. It has much more flexible luggage/cargo options. Maintenance is really just tinkering. Access to the carbs and the valve adjustment screws is the best thing about the bike. It's a very easy bike to own if you have some basic knowledge. If you never ride the 900 Elefant, you will continue to love the GS.

If you ever spend a few miles on an Elefant, you will realize that the GS is ill handling, the frame is made of rubber, the feel and feedback are imprecise, the brakes are wooden, the engine has no soul, the transmission is clunky, top gear is too low, chains are much easier to replace on a trip than a failed U-joint, etc, etc.

The 900 Elefant is simply fookin' magical on the road. I love, love, love that engine. If it weren't for the hassles of shimmed valves (desmo or not--valve shims are a PITA), it would be the perfect motorcycle engine. It has mile-wide power, the transmission has a great range and that powerplant makes the bike feel alive.

The brakes beat the GS (dual disks up front and a disk in the rear--no brainer). It's only done brief stints offroad but it feels more natural than the GS. The riding position is much better (on and off road) and the stock wind protection is better on the Elefant.

The only downsides are the things documented in this thread: some electrical shortcomings that can be overcome with larger wires and the obvious desmo valve-adjustment hassles.

I'm convinced that the 900 Elefant is the most under-appreciated bike of the 1990s. I can't believe I almost didn't buy it.

With all of that said: the GS/PD still puts a stupid grin on my face. I still can't imagine life without it.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:44 PM   #1553
WzlTech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey
Wow, you want to start a holy war, huh?
Who, little ol' me?

Thanks for the insight, good info, really appreciate the effort you took.

I have shimmed valves on my a KLR (and do all my own wrenching) so that isn't a big turnoff for me, and I actually find the seating position more comfortable on it (vs the GS) which I think might be more similar to the E900. Of course bar risers might help on the GS too. I wonder how hard it would be to make the E900 suspension more adjustable. I guess there is a WP shock available, have to check on forks potential. Be curious if it could be pushed into KTM 950 Adv vicinity (dirt). Dang it, there I go again, always stirring things up.

Anyway, don't want to get off topic too much. I may just have to take one for a spin one of these days, but then that could lead to trouble.

I can't remember where I saw my first Cagiva Elefant, must have been a 650, guess I never really forgot about it...probably why I got a KLR, though I don't know how similar they would really be. But since the KLR is essentially a mid 80s design... guess the engines would be the biggest difference.

Last question: any significant differences/advantages between the Cagiva and Duc E900s during their respective available years. Like, would there be a reason to get a later model Cagiva (think were made till late 90s) vs the mid 90s Duc? I really shouldn't even be thinking about this.

Thanks again Donkey Hotey... Adventure Kitty going on any rides soon? I love the ride reports! Keep up the great work.
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Old 10-30-2008, 03:34 AM   #1554
Tim
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Okay DH,

Two more questions I'm afraid (sorry!) the "larger wires" needed issue, is that just for later bikes or would "my" 750 need that as well. Also, the vendor claims that the bike had new belts and tensioner pulleys and the valves were checked less than 1000 miles ago, how long should they go before needing to be done again?

Thanks
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Old 10-30-2008, 06:57 AM   #1555
Donkey Hotey
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I haven't got a clue on any of the maintenance / upgrade issues--except what I've read here. My 650 has 6,000 original miles on it and I don't ride the 900 under unusual conditions. By 'unusual' I mean that the bikes all worked fine from the factory, then us clever owners came up with ways to load the electrical systems in ways the engineers never anticipated (larger headlight bullbs, half-dead batteries, electric vests, etc). With everything 'stock' and in proper condition, I don't think any of them are underdesigned.

My 650 is bone stock and runs great. I didn't see much in the electrical system that alarmed me. There are so few of the first generation Elefants around here that just about anything you read about an 'Elefant' is probably applicable to the second generation, not the first.
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Old 10-30-2008, 07:11 AM   #1556
Donkey Hotey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WzlTech
I actually find the seating position more comfortable on it (vs the GS) which I think might be more similar to the E900. Of course bar risers might help on the GS too.
The GS has a shorter seat-peg relationship than the Elefant but a longer bar reach. The Elefant is very natural feeling to me. It's a bit longer reach to the pegs and the bars feel higher and closer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WzlTech
Be curious if it could be pushed into KTM 950 Adv vicinity (dirt). Dang it, there I go again, always stirring things up.
Personally, I'd stick to a pre-hammered Elefant or just get a KTM. Body / chassis parts are just too hard to find for the 'fant. It took me a year to fiind replacement footpeg brackets from a burned bike in England. The rear suspension feels fine to me. The front fork feels a bit harsh but I haven't even changed the oil yet.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WzlTech
But since the KLR is essentially a mid 80s design... guess the engines would be the biggest difference.
I haven't ridden a KLR but my guess is that the 650 Elefant is very similar in weight and seating postion. The early Elefant has better suspension (and probably the brakes too) over the KLR but the seat height, weight and riding position are similar enough. Yes, the engine would probably be the biggest difference. The 650 Ducati loves to sing. It's got a nice, strong mid-range and it loves being revved on a mountain road (strong pull out of corners if you keep it above 5K).

Adventure Kitty? She's mad at me. I haven't taken her on many rides this year. Lots going on at work and just no time. There's one trip in the camera, waiting for the film to be developed. It was on the 650 'fant and should have lots of good pictures of it. As soon as I get it developed, she can tell everybody how I dropped the bike, down-hill and couldn't pick it back up.
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Old 10-30-2008, 11:41 AM   #1557
WzlTech
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey
Adventure Kitty? She's mad at me. I haven't taken her on many rides this year. Lots going on at work and just no time. There's one trip in the camera, waiting for the film to be developed. It was on the 650 'fant and should have lots of good pictures of it. As soon as I get it developed, she can tell everybody how I dropped the bike, down-hill and couldn't pick it back up.
Film? Dang, you are Ol' Skool. Looking forward to it.

Thanks again for all the input. Now back to our regulalry scheduled programming.

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Old 10-30-2008, 12:29 PM   #1558
Nixels
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Location: West Oakland, CA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donkey Hotey
By 'unusual' I mean that the bikes all worked fine from the factory, then us clever owners came up with ways to load the electrical systems in ways the engineers never anticipated (larger headlight bullbs, half-dead batteries, electric vests, etc). With everything 'stock' and in proper condition, I don't think any of them are underdesigned.
I'd like to respectfully disagree. My e900 has nothing added to it, and it was impossible to start if I left it outside overnight. I put in a new battery and the starter just lugged. I finally did a wiring upgrade for the starter - the cheezy little copper string they put in there didn't do the job. Once I upgraded to 4ga. wire, the bike starts instantly.

NOW I can add all those electrical accessories you mentioned - electric vest, TV socket, heated seat, grips and footpegs, to say nothing of the on-board laptop and printer I'll install on the luggage rack.

I'm still loving my e900 and look forward to making it more off-road compatible. Not with electrical stuff - just functional bits like steel brake lines, a home-built bash plate and repacking the can. I might redo the seat as well.

But now I want to change focus and direct ya'lls attention to this 95 'Fant for sale in SoCal. Looks like it's a decent buy - I don't know the guy - too bad he has to give it up.

DH - say howdy to the Heffalump Queen - and tell her I've got a tuna sammich with her name on it when we meet.
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Old 10-30-2008, 12:51 PM   #1559
«dmx_must_fly»
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Location: Israel
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Cagiva saved some Lira's when constructing the Fant
I had twice a wire break in the key switch loom
I ended up rewiring the loom my self.
although all the electrical upgrades are not necessary to all the Fants they sometimes solve small problems. so at the end of the day you can save yourself a lot of troubles on the road. but not necessarily.
after my reg. joined reg.s heaven I added a 8 mm^2 wire for ground from the reg. to the chassis.
the only thing that i think you should do is replace the charging circuit wires.
its not acceptable from my point of view that the main power wire to the bike is only 1 mm^2 thick so I replaced it with a 4 mm^2 wire.
although 350 watts can flow with no problems on a 1 mm^2 wire the 4 mm^2 wire stays much cooler so no connectors melt down risk.
I also replaced the wire from the reg. to the charging fuse with a 2.5 mm^2 wire. I override the connectors of the fuses and connected the main power input to the key switch straight to the key switch connector which I replaced in the past.
I had a problem with the charging fuse melting down every couple of months and only when replacing the wires I noticed that the fuse connector was beginning to melt.
so now I have 2 circuit breakers instead of fuses and new wires from and to the breakers.
only thing is that the circuit breakers got a high short current. but after replacing the wires no risk of wires melt down in the case of a short circuit.
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Old 11-01-2008, 02:24 AM   #1560
Tim
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Well, I won't be joining the Elefant owners at the moment.

I made an offer on the bike, full asking price but to include delivery (100 miles) but the dealer wouldn't even show flexibility on that, he wanted to charge an extra £80 for the delivery and charge a % for me paying by credit card. Sorry but when I'm paying what is in my view, top dollar I expect a degree of flexibility.

Thanks anyway guys
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