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Old 08-01-2012, 07:59 PM   #1
390beretta OP
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Horsepower

I ride an '88 K75....about 70hp. I think. She does still seem to move with alacrity from a standing start and easily holds 80-85 on the freeway. I'm told she will hold 100mph all day without a whimper and so far she looks like that's true. My question is for those of you who ride older bikes: How do you feel about this "less than modern sportbike performance"?
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:27 PM   #2
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Uhm

I have gotten great advice on our K75 here in old school. I have held a steady position that we are a "big tent" here in old school, if you think you belong here, you probably do. All that said, I don't really think anything with electronic fuel injection and ignition is really "old school".

Like you said, my wife K75 keeps up with traffic fine. My R100 will too, although you have to work the gear box a little more. These bike are geared nicely, the gearing combinations limit the top speeds at about 100 to 115. The power is moved down to where you really need and use it.

I have a '91 GS500E, 39HP at the wheel. It does fine too.

A stock BMW '55 R50 is another story, even an early 70s R60 or R75 can run out of breath with Interstate speed limits of 70 or 75. Yeah, they will get there, but there isn't much left after that.

Eric
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:30 PM   #3
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Will going faster make you happy? Sounds like you're happy with what you have.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:39 PM   #4
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Apologies,

Apologies, I didn't answer the question.

I, mostly, enjoy riding the little bikes. The Mrs. has a little Guzzi V65 that is, well, vintage in power output. Very rarely, I get to ride it.

You have to RIDE vintage stuff to keep up, you have to be in the right gear, in the right rev range, you might have to shift IN the corner. You have to work with the bike. I have gone 35 to 95MPH in third gear, no shifting around the track on modern sportbikes. It is hardly boring, but it is a different experience.

I live in the city, I am less and less tolerant of poor brakes on old bikes.

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Old 08-01-2012, 08:57 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 390beretta View Post
I ride an '88 K75....about 70hp. I think. She does still seem to move with alacrity from a standing start and easily holds 80-85 on the freeway. I'm told she will hold 100mph all day without a whimper and so far she looks like that's true. My question is for those of you who ride older bikes: How do you feel about this "less than modern sportbike performance"?
A K75 only has about 55 hp at the wheel.

It will go 100, and still has more to give: 100 mph in 5th is about 7000 rpm. Just reaching peak power.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:05 PM   #6
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There is a lot to be said for old stuff. We gave up quite a bit when we went to huge tires and horsepower. My old Norton had skinny 4.10 by 19 tires front and rear. The steering "feel" has not been duplicated since. I used to slide that thing regularly on the street, and could get away with it because of the relatively low speeds and traction. The most fun I ever had on a street bike was on a cl 125 Honda with 2.50 by 17 tires. They looked like something from a Schwin. But on city streets, where the speeds never got over about 50 mph, the thing flat worked. I could slide both wheels around city blocks all day and barely be over the speed limit. And when I crashed, by the time I hit the ground, I was usually going under 25 mph. What that means is it was possible to ride a bike at its absolute limits on the street and live to talk about it. I always thought I would improve on that even more with my flat track/ TT bikes. Never worked out Too much power and speed. By the time you break loose a Goodyear DT, you're going FAST. If you crash at that kind of speed on the street, there is a good chance you will die. So you don't do it. Like they say, it is more fun to ride a slow bike fast than a fast bike slow.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:28 AM   #7
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I fully agree with the poster above.

My first bike was a 128 hp supersport, my second a ~60 hp airhead, my third a 50-60 hp (dont know the exact numbers because I don't really care) Cb750 K2 and I just bought a 17 hp (no typo) Enfield.

They are AL great fun to ride, except for the Enfield they are still way faster than 95% of the cars on the road if you obey the speed limits.

Every time I rode my supersport, I exceeded 200 km/h (120 mph) and I was still not even close to the limits of that bike. I don't need to do that on any of the other bikes to have the same amount of fun.

One of the old schoolers here has the following signature:

It is much more fun to ride a slow bike fast, than a fast bikes slow

And that's how it is.

MIOB screwed with this post 08-02-2012 at 02:43 AM
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:55 AM   #8
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I remember riding a 1981 GSX1100 and a 2005 ZX10R on the same day and up to about 115 mph the "feeling" of speed and acceleration was pretty similar. Above that speed the newer bike felt faster.

Older bikes are fast enough for the Real World :)
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:55 AM   #9
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I lack self control and tend to rely upon my bike to keep me at a more reasonable pace on the street. I sold my oilhead a few years ago because it was too easy to ride too fast. I see people commuting on 1198s, GSXRs, etc and do not know how they still have their licenses.
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Old 08-02-2012, 10:00 AM   #10
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Depends on how old old is, and how fast you want to go.

I'm perfectly content going 55 to 60 on my old Triumphs, 75 on my Norton or Guzzi, 50 on my dream, 65 on my 750 hondas. but then they are not my ONLY bike so when I take them for a cruise, I work within their boundaries. If I want to haul ass I get my Ducati out.

So I put no undue expecation on those old motors as I used them within the boundaries they were designed to work in.
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 390beretta View Post
I ride an '88 K75....about 70hp. I think. She does still seem to move with alacrity from a standing start and easily holds 80-85 on the freeway. I'm told she will hold 100mph all day without a whimper and so far she looks like that's true. My question is for those of you who ride older bikes: How do you feel about this "less than modern sportbike performance"?

Doesn't bother me a bit.

I take at least one trip of 500-1000 miles every year on my 1965 BMW R69S, along with two friends who own the same model. We're able to cruise at 80+ if we choose to, and I've had mine to 110 mph. (indicated by a pretty accurate speedometer)
Does anyone really need to go any faster than that?

I get really annoyed by people who have no experience with old bikes showing their ignorance about them when they question why anyone would ride one of these "slow, poor handling, unreliable old POS's".
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Old 08-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #12
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I'm really gratified to hear what most of you are saying! My last road bike was an 80s something R100RS. I thought it was fast, had it at 115 indicated a couple times, but it was also smooth and comfortable. My '88 K75 will do about the same top speed with me on it I think, but has a few more horsepower and is even smooother! If one keeps the K75 in the power band, it moves quite well 4500-7000 rpm. It will surprise you (and others) However, I don't do that often because she's old and deserves not to be ridden hard and put away wet, so to speak. The thing I like the best is that she's full capable of cruising at speed 90-110 all day long where conditions allow, and seems to feel better afterwards. I think a lot of folks would scoff at her, compared to more modern sport bikes; I think my wife's Versys 650 would probably run of a bit and leave her 0-80 or so, but top speed, I doubt it. And the Versys would be "panting" after a day at 90+ mph, but then it wasn't built for the autobahn even though it's an '05 with very low miles....not to knock the Versys, it has its points.

I recently put a new shock on the old girl....what a difference, a new model "Progressive"...very nice! Didn't realize how bad the orig. was.
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:46 PM   #13
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390beretta,
70 HP is more than enough to have a little "sport'', get where you're going, get out of a tight spot or get a person arrested.
On the day that realization hit I also realized that I was riding more miles on slower/smaller not so modern bike than my fast bikes combined.

What I'm saying here is,,,from your post it sounds like your doomed



Don't be surprised if you end up riding more miles on your motorcycles than drive in your car and truck combined.
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Old 08-02-2012, 09:35 PM   #14
390beretta OP
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Eatmore,

Yep, that's already the case. I ride my K75 and Melanie rides her Versys a lot more miles that we drive our '10 Jeep Wrangler!

Thanks for your response!
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Old 08-04-2012, 01:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 390beretta View Post
How do you feel about this "less than modern sportbike performance"?
I'm quite comfortable with my masculinity, thanks for asking!

Falls in to the same boat as riding a dual-purpose bike, or a small-cc anything: as others have already said, you have to engage with the bike and ride the thing, rather than just sit on it and twist the throttle. Lotsa fun, and you learn about things like apex speed. I've thoroughly enjoyed sampling 600cc sports bikes, but the litre class bikes just feel like they're straining at the leash all the time, they just need too much speed to work truly well, and they're slower in the corners.

I would love to have a K75RT as a commuter/tourer, but I don't commute or tour these days. I've had several Triumph triples (275,000 km) and quite like the feel of triples over fours.
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