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Old 08-06-2014, 06:53 PM   #1
45Badger OP
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Joined: Jul 2014
Oddometer: 5
I have a 1978 Honda CB750F but I want....

Took a 30 year break from riding. Bought a superport project bike. After getting it running and having a little more money into it than is prudent, I have come to a couple conclusions.

1) old bikes are interesting and can be quirky
2) I have a busy life and not enough time to fart around keeping an old bike happy
3) I want something that works reliably
4) I think I want an adventure/dual sport bike.
5) the Yamaha super tenere gives me shivers, but I really don't need 1200 ccs.
6) I'm 5'11" and weigh 225. I plan on riding one up and losing some weight.

So what are the best choices out there for a next bike for me?

Thanks in advance for all opinions and insight!
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Old 08-06-2014, 08:06 PM   #2
k-moe
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CB1100
All the charm of an old bike; most of the benefits of a modern machine.
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Old 08-07-2014, 03:16 AM   #3
B80
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Location: AN XT 600 NE England
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There are many used trail bikes out there that will do what you want at a fraction of the cost of a dual sport bike.
They wont be quite as compitent with regards suspension as the modern ds bikes, but are reliable and tough enough to get you where you want to go.

With regards reliability the new bikes with fuel pumps and other ellectrical bits and pieces are very good when working, but more parts esspecialy ellectrical parts leave you wide open for more to go wrong.

It could be argued FE is more reliable than carbs i think this is probably true, but the carb is generaly a lot more field stripable and get you going repairable than a ellectonic marvel where it may not allways be possible to diagnose the faulty component on the trail.
Modern DS bikes have much improved suspension set ups compared to the saggy fat old trail bikes, and are probably one of the key areas often quoted by the suit in the salesroom trying to sell you the latest and greatest.
And he is of course right new DS bikes are marvelous. But you realy must sit down and seriously ask yourself Just what am i going to be doing that warants the new kid in town price tag, all are motorcycles all if running well are more than capable of surviving rough terain and get even an average rider there in one piece and still walking without the aid of a wlking frame.

If you want a new DS bike from the european greats fine or a big new jap whatever thats fine, but you dont need it to get the job done and have fun which at the end of the day is what its all about.

What bike a person choses is obviously a personal thing, and what one person will tollerate as acceptable performance could be very different to his mate stood next to him.

So i can only advise bassed on what i think i would want to spend bassed on my financial status tastes and requirements for what i might want to do with an ADV bike.

So i would pick a trail bike something like a KLR 650 or a suzuki dr 650 a honda xl/xr 600/ 650 or as i have done a yamaha xt 600 or 660, anything like this will get you in to it with minimum of expense and trouble if you get a decent bike to start with, most are strong robust motors in them and none are that complex the average joe with his general tools can maintain and even modify aspects and develop it some for what he needs from his bike.
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Old 08-07-2014, 04:31 AM   #4
lrutt
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First you need to define what type of riding you want to do. You say ADV / DS but are you talking short day trips or long trips? Short trips and messing around with not a lot of baggage, I love my XR650L Honda. But if you are going to hit the slab and go a ways then maybe the vstrom or some such. Are you talking fire roads and 2 track or are you going to do some serious trail riding? if so, Vstrom might be out and the KLR might fit better, especially the new one with the improved suspension and seat.

For more slab oriented riding I have my 06 Triumph Scrambler. That is a really nice compromise bike and is very simple, check them out.

Lastly, Hard to believe that Honda 750 was that much trouble. I have 2 and in the 30+ years ive ridden that 76 it has never left me stranded. Might have had a dead battery one forcing me to kick start it ( oh the horror ), but that was it.

If you are having problems with the 750F it might just need a good shakedown by someone who knows those old gals. They are reliable as a rock.
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Old 08-07-2014, 05:51 AM   #5
45Badger OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrutt View Post
Lastly, Hard to believe that Honda 750 was that much trouble. I have 2 and in the 30+ years ive ridden that 76 it has never left me stranded. Might have had a dead battery one forcing me to kick start it ( oh the horror ), but that was it.

If you are having problems with the 750F it might just need a good shakedown by someone who knows those old gals. They are reliable as a rock.
Stranded me a couple Sundays ago. Filled up 30 miles from home and it began dumping gas out of carb drain tube at about a cup a minute. I lost all sense of humor at that point.

To address the questions on my use. I live in west Chicago suburbs (ugh) and my riding is commuting on surface roads that are comparable to tank obstacle courses filled with clueless soccer moms and dads in expensive cars and minivans. The 750 works ok for that but feels heavy.

I plan on taking weekend rides to wherever I can get away from the area. 90% back roads with the occasional dirt road/ forest trail/rail bed. The 650s are probably the best idea, but wanted something a little more comfy for the road. Can't say money is no object, but wiling to spend right money to get right bike.
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Old 08-07-2014, 07:51 AM   #6
lrutt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 45Badger View Post
Stranded me a couple Sundays ago. Filled up 30 miles from home and it began dumping gas out of carb drain tube at about a cup a minute. I lost all sense of humor at that point.

To address the questions on my use. I live in west Chicago suburbs (ugh) and my riding is commuting on surface roads that are comparable to tank obstacle courses filled with clueless soccer moms and dads in expensive cars and minivans. The 750 works ok for that but feels heavy.

I plan on taking weekend rides to wherever I can get away from the area. 90% back roads with the occasional dirt road/ forest trail/rail bed. The 650s are probably the best idea, but wanted something a little more comfy for the road. Can't say money is no object, but wiling to spend right money to get right bike.
Seriously check out the Triumph Scrambler. A great bike for what you describe IMO. Simple and works great.

Regarding the 750. A good thorough rebuild, use non-ethanol fuel with stabilizer, and good inline fuel filters. It's been at least 15 years on the 76 and 10 years on the 78 since I've touched those carbies.

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Old 08-07-2014, 07:51 AM   #7
LAkevin
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Sounds like your Honda just had some crap in the fuel that caused the one carb float needle to jam open. It's not a huge deal. Drop the carbs, pull the float bowls, and get to it.

Do you work on your own bikes? If not, you're missing one of the joys of motorcycling. Having more than one bike is a good incentive to work on it.

So...

Dual sport bikes are great commuters. I've had several urban assault vehicle bikes, and they have a lot going for them:
* tall- helps you see over the SUV's
* narrow- allows you to split lanes (though, I feel sorry for folks who live in states that don't allow it)
* pothole handling suspension

KLR's are a great second bike. Buy the rattiest looking and cheapest one you can get. They are practically unkillable. Just keep the cam chain adjusted and all fluids topped off. When you are ready to sell, you should be able to break even. If you drop it, you laugh and pick it up.
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Old 08-07-2014, 10:13 AM   #8
m6scout1
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Drz400s

Let see, right before college I was looking something to get around on and ended up buying a 2006 Suzuki DRZ400S. Worked great for the short commute to school and around town. I've now had it for 7 years, and it has never given me a moments issue. Only thing I ever do to it is change the oil and change tires every once in a while.

After entering the work force I bought a 1981 Honda CB750C as a project bike. Bought it last year rode it around and had a blast so I tore it down over the winter and fixed her up to like new standards. Since then I have had the a few fuel leaks out the carbs due to some grit but it's easy enough to pull the carb bowls without removing the carbs to fix.

Since getting that bike I have been putting on a lot of miles. I put nearly 12000 on my cb since purchase. I don't want to wear it out to soon so I went and got myself a 2014 Yamaha Super Tenere a few weeks ago for the long trips. The Tenere really wears its weight well and the 1200cc engine is very controllable. So far I love the thing and it gets about the same fuel mileage as my cb750c. The cb750 is my crown jewel so it gets a lot of attention for short commutes and thrilling rides out in the boonies, plus I love to tinker on it.

Anyway long story short, that cb once (or if) you get it back to health it will be a very reliable bike. I trust my bike to take me anywhere. But if you have to buy another bike something like the DRZ400S would be perfect. Plus it would give you something else to ride if you were to decide to fix up your cb.
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