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Old 04-14-2008, 01:41 PM   #121
dwoodward
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Late to the party:

In the "answers to a question nobody asked" category, we have:
  • Boss Hoss or any of the other (mostly unsuccessful) motorcycles powered by car engines. 'nuff said.
  • Ducati Indiana.
  • BMW R1200C, CL, anc CLC
In the "Well, it looked like a good idea at the time" category (in no particular order):
  • Ariel square four. Granted this is also at the top of my cool bike list, but the design lacked something... cooling for the rear cylinders.
  • Anything rotary powered. 'nuff said.
  • Yamaha GTS1000. Cool front end, but too expensive and ahead of it's time. This is the bike that scared Yamaha out of trying to sell a sport-touring bike in the US for a decade.
  • AMF Harleys. Sorry, if it's got more moving parts than a bowling ball, AMF shouldn't be trying to build it.
  • Tied, Suzuki Madura and Yamaha Virago. I've never seen a Madura in person or ridden one, but I've spent plenty of time hoping that my old Virago's starter ring gear will hold on for just *one more start*. I'll grant that the Virago was heavy, but it handled like crap and it was slow, too, so that's OK.
Contending for champ in the plain old "WTF?" category:
  • Boss Hoss et al.
  • BMW Cruisers, esp. the CL.
  • OCC any other "theme bikes" from overpriced "custom" shops. I want a motorcycle. Save your high-school metal shop welding skills for art pieces that aren't expected to function.
In the "Let's clear out the parts bin" category:
  • Honda Nighthawk 250. Air cooled, drum brakes, a cure for insomnia- and Honda still builds them. Or maybe, built a bunch 40 years ago, and is still trying to sell them. Even the Rebel 250 gets disk brakes...
  • Almost any MotoGuzzi ever built, but notably the Quota and mid-80s Mille, where even straight from the factory, you couldn't rely on the bike having the parts (EFI/carbs, heads, pistons...) the book said it should have.
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Old 04-14-2008, 04:52 PM   #122
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Old 04-15-2008, 04:50 PM   #123
XS500RUS
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoodward
  • Honda Nighthawk 250. Air cooled, drum brakes, a cure for insomnia- and Honda still builds them. Or maybe, built a bunch 40 years ago, and is still trying to sell them. Even the Rebel 250 gets disk brakes...
I disagree. The NightHawk is a VERY simple machine, which is what makes it so great. It handles pretty good (much better than a Rebel) just due to it's "standard" seating position and it looks much better too. It can run without a battery, it only has 1 carb to tune, and gets upwards of 70mpg (my friend has seen over 80mpg on his). Despite being very simple and efficient, it's still a full sized motorcycle. It can handle highway speeds and can keep up just fine with a group of bikes at 65 mph. My friend rode his to the Catskills with me and my brother, and we all had a blast (I rode my XS500, my brother rode his CB360).

I'd say many "adventure riders" on here have forgotten to essence of motorcycling, IMO the NightHawk is undistilled motorcycling fun at its core, funny how Honda is always the one that makes bikes like that.

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Old 04-15-2008, 05:52 PM   #124
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worst looking bike

does this qualify?
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Old 04-15-2008, 06:40 PM   #125
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Worst bike I ever had was a PC800. Hot, slow, lousy handling, uncomfortable (seemed big and comfy, but at speed the wind pushes me forward so hard that I had more weight on my wrists riding that thing than my sport bike) and so trouble free it will probably still be inflicing missery on some poor wretch at the end of time. Untill I rode that thing I thought all motorcycles were fun and that I'd be happy to ride most anything but well, I was wrong.



For a bike that didn't sell too well but is sorta cool I'd nominate the VF500C. It was a little cruiser with the heart of a small sport bike. Smooth, revy motor with good power (easily faster than the 1200cc sportser of its day) and great handling (for a cruiser). I had one as my first street bike and put 30k miles on it commuting back and forth to school. Also the fit and finish on it was amazing, mine was an '85 and the paint was still shiny and nearly chip and scratch free.

For a bike that was sorta unusual, didn't sell well and might be a classic in a while I'd nominate the TL1000S. It was quite advanced for its time and wasn't bested untill ducati released the 999 in terms of power output. It also got a reputation for being a bit ill behaved and had some odd engineering (rotory rear shock, hybrid gear/chain driven cams etc). I put 60k miles and a more fun, visceral street bike may have never been made!
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BikePilot screwed with this post 04-15-2008 at 06:46 PM
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Old 04-15-2008, 08:42 PM   #126
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the nastiest I've ever ridden Montessa powered rickman 250
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Old 04-15-2008, 09:13 PM   #127
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BikePilot
Worst bike I ever had was a PC800. Hot, slow, lousy handling, uncomfortable (seemed big and comfy, but at speed the wind pushes me forward so hard that I had more weight on my wrists riding that thing than my sport bike)!
Okay, you didn't like it, but this seems like a low blow for a pretty innovative and generally good bike that, in good condition, is highly sought-after today.

Lousy handling? Let's see what Cycle had to say in May 1990 in its four-bike touring bike comparison (PC800, K75RT, R100RT, HD FXHT): "Each tester ranked it second on the list, with the caveot that if this had been a sport-touring comparison, the Honda would have sat at the very top. Handling is the reason why. The depth of the Coast's backroad competence almost equals the other three put together...the most neutral and precise steering, the best suspension control, the best tires, and the strongest, most communicative brakes and the Pacific Coast is the undisputed cut-and-thrust king..."

Although I've never owned one, I've ridden a lot of miles on a PC and I've never noticed the wind "pushing me forward" to load my wrists like a sportbike. That's ludicrous.

The PC is not everyone's cup of tea, but it hardly seems likes a candidate for "worst motorcycle ever". I give Honda a ton of credit for taking the risk to build it, risks they are woefully unwilling to take today.

- Mark

markjenn screwed with this post 04-15-2008 at 10:20 PM
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Old 04-15-2008, 11:58 PM   #128
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Quote:
Originally Posted by prestaino
Hands down, my 1956 Triumph cub !!! It was my first bike. I bought it in 1968 had it 6 months ran a total of 10 minutes!!!!!!!

I've got a better one than that. BSA C-15
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Old 04-16-2008, 07:59 AM   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoodward
Late to the party:

Anything rotary powered. 'nuff said.

In the "Let's clear out the parts bin" category:
  • Almost any MotoGuzzi ever built, but notably the Quota and mid-80s Mille, where even straight from the factory, you couldn't rely on the bike having the parts (EFI/carbs, heads, pistons...) the book said it should have.
Dad had a Euro bike shop from '55 thru '88 and we sold a few, maybe 10, of the Hercules rotary's, which were quite a good machine. Handled pretty good for the day, OK brakes, went pretty good, and boy was it smoooth! I know one guy who put over 80,000 miles on one WITHOUT having to replace the rotor tips!!!

And Guzzi's weren't the only ones that you never knew what was gonna be on the bike when you popped the top of the crate off. We had a Ducati once that had Ceriani forks on it, but with one small problem.................................one of the tubes was a Marzoccchi (OK, I forget how to spell it )!!!!!!!! 10 mm longer than the ceriani tube, making for some, uh, "interesting" handling.

Oh, the stories I could tell!
Chris





GLAD to see this thread come back up!!!!!!!
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Old 04-17-2008, 01:16 PM   #130
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One man's trash...

I'd give my second born for a Yamaha XS500C

Spent hours learning to ride on Soda Springs Road and Alma Bridge Road south of Los Gatos on one of those.

Of course it probably sucked logically but in my memory it's the bike I want back.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:36 PM   #131
NJjeff
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chris

No votes on the worst bike ever. But I had a GS450T that was as exciting as watching grass grow.

Chris

My girlfriend (at the time) worked at the shop just after your dad sold it.

The owner (i'm sure you know him) was cleaning out tons of old bike stuff left behind to make room for the new line (john deer) and his moped crap.

It was all dumped behind the building in a hole left from the excavation. (by the right side garage doors). Using a bucket loader it was covered with dirt.
Bikes, frames, parts.
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Old 04-17-2008, 02:45 PM   #132
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJjeff
....It was all dumped behind the building in a hole left from the excavation. (by the right side garage doors). Using a bucket loader it was covered with dirt. Bikes, frames, parts.
Geez, at the price bevel parts are going for these days it might be worth excavating
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Old 04-17-2008, 03:10 PM   #133
KCander
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I want to contribute to this thread, but I can't think of any bike I've ever ridden that was really, legitimately terrible. I liked some a lot more than others, and I've never ridden any of these crazy machines you guys have mentioned (Indiana, Madura et al), but I have ridden quite a few machines over the years, and I'm racking my brain trying to remember one that really turned me off and I can't seem to come up with anything. Maybe I'm just too blissfully moto-ignorant. Or maybe it's because I haven't really ridden anything older than 80s era bikes. There's just GOT to be something...

thinking...

thinking...

thinking...

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Old 04-17-2008, 03:13 PM   #134
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoodward
  • Almost any MotoGuzzi ever built, but notably the Quota and mid-80s Mille, where even straight from the factory, you couldn't rely on the bike having the parts (EFI/carbs, heads, pistons...) the book said it should have.
The worst Moto Guzzi ever made was still a better bike than the best of some of your other nominees. I'm not sure which bike can be considered the absolute worst ONE but Guzzi's aren't even close. Yes I'm a Guzzi (V7 Sport) owner. The BMW R100S I also owned was way worse.
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Old 04-17-2008, 07:34 PM   #135
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Pissed TX Troubles

No sooner did I finish praising the Yamaha 500 twins did my friend's TX500 blow up for the second time. We had just finished a 70 mile ride out to a Yamaha dealer for some parts (where our bikes garnered quite a bit of attention ). The Bike has about 300 miles on the rebuilt head, and now there is low compression in one cylinder, just as what happened before . I emailed a guy I know with an XS750 for sale that is ready to ride... Our cross country trip is coming up in May and now this , he needs something reliable to ride.
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