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Old 09-24-2012, 01:12 AM   #121
John Bentall
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JerryH
To me, bikes are about passion, and there is just nothing about modern bikes to be passionate about.
Jerry, don't you think that the balance between bikes and motorcycling has changed over the years? In the 1950 and 60's, a adventure ride might be 50% about motorcycling (feeling the wind in your face, rushing through curves, the sound of the bike etc.) and 50% about wondering whether the machine would crap out in the middle of the desert - in other words about the bike. Now that bikes have become "reliable", efficient means of transportation, that same ride is 95% about motorcycling and 5% about the bike. Isn't the whole package the same size , but the contents just arranged differently and is that necessarily a bad thing?
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Old 09-24-2012, 01:48 PM   #122
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The problem is technology, or rather, ELECTRONIC technology. A motorcycle is supposed to be a MACHINE, not a computer. It is impossible to love a computer, or be passionate about one. Another issue is the ridiculous number of safety devices on modern motorcycles. Riding a motorcycle requires skill. It is not a machine that should be easy to ride. ABS, sidestand and clutch lockout switches, airbags, etc. Have no place on a motorcycle. You can put such things on cars, which most people only use for transportation, they want safety, and they are NOT enthusiasts. For those of us that are, old cars without this crap are still available. I own two.

Nobody rides a motorcycle because they have to. If they want safety and comfort they can drive a new car. Motorcycles are supposed to be very elemental, basic, even primitive machines. They are supposed to be crude. Today's motorcycles are WAY to refined, and completely devoid of character, personality, and soul. They are drop dead boring. There is nothing there to love. Back in the '50s and '60s, many people did cross the country on motorcycles, and most made it.

The really sad part of all this is that it didn't have to be that way. Using modern manufacturing techniques and metalurgy, new motorcycles could be built just like the old ones, but far more reliable. There are still some motorcycles out there that can be bought new based on 50+ year old technology. The Honda Rebel and Suzuki S40 come to mind. Simple, air cooled engines, carburetors, and no electronics of any kind. Yes, they do come from the factory with the aforementioned safety switches, but they are easily removed and deposited in the dumpster. I have removed dozens of them. What you have left is a new motorcycle, built with old technology. The Harley Sportster was one of these too, until the advent of fuel injection. It still gives the illusion of a vintage motorcycle, until you look under the air cleaner cover. It is loud, it vibrates, it has very little plastic, if not for the electronics, it would actually be a real machine. You can still find plenty of nice carbed Sportsters and big twins, and for pretty reasonable prices. The Royal Enfield WAS such a motorcycle, but not anymore. It may still look much like it did, but now has an artificial heart. And it's build quality is still way below that of a Sportster. Most of the design is sound, but the craftsmanship and especially the quality of the metal is lacking.

I would like to go with an old 2 stroke because, for one, I love 2 strokes, I like their sound, their powerband, they are really easy to work on, and they did not go away by themselves. There would still be a strong market for 2 strokes, it was the govt. that killed them off. The EFI that everybody is so smitten with is not to increase power, or reliability, or even mileage. It is, plain and simple, an emissions control device. For those who properly warm up their bike before taking off, FI has no advantages at all, and it cannot be worked on and tinkered with like a carb.

People still ride horses. I wonder why? They haven't changed in like forever. What could possibly attract someone to such an antiquated activity? Are computer controlled horses the coming thing? Is EVERYTHING going to be controlled by a computer? That's a scary thought, because it sure looks like things are headed that way.

While In use technology (computer, internet, cell phone, GPS, CD and DVD players (though I am big into 8 tracks) I do NOT want computers controlling my cars and my motorcycles. They should be 100% mechanical.

I am 53. I became a fleet services mechanic at age 18, 35 years ago. I am now a technician. I want out of that field so bad, there is no longer anything there that interests me. I have been doing side work on vintage cars for some time, and just may start doing it full time. Maybe less money, but a chance to actually be a MECHANIC again.
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:24 PM   #123
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Those of us that prefer more modern machines can be just as passionate about motorcycles, scooters and riding as those of you who prefer older bikes with "character". It's all a matter of personal preference. As for modern safety devices, I don't see the problem unless they interfere with the operation of the bike. How does a sidestand lockout switch do that?

My opinion: there are no boring bikes, only boring riders.
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Old 09-24-2012, 03:43 PM   #124
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Originally Posted by JerryH View Post
The problem is technology, or rather, ELECTRONIC technology. A motorcycle is supposed to be a MACHINE, not a computer. It is impossible to love a computer, or be passionate about one. Another issue is the ridiculous number of safety devices on modern motorcycles. Riding a motorcycle requires skill. It is not a machine that should be easy to ride. ABS, sidestand and clutch lockout switches, airbags, etc. Have no place on a motorcycle. You can put such things on cars, which most people only use for transportation, they want safety, and they are NOT enthusiasts. For those of us that are, old cars without this crap are still available. I own two.

Nobody rides a motorcycle because they have to. If they want safety and comfort they can drive a new car. Motorcycles are supposed to be very elemental, basic, even primitive machines. They are supposed to be crude. Today's motorcycles are WAY to refined, and completely devoid of character, personality, and soul. They are drop dead boring. There is nothing there to love. Back in the '50s and '60s, many people did cross the country on motorcycles, and most made it.
Nonsense. If you look around, there are very few pursuits where one can change the horizon while in motion, as happens with sailing, flying, motorcycling, etc. Those of us who revel in those pastimes do so with passion, regardless of the vehicle. An F-18 is as much fun as a Piper Cup, just a different kind of fun, much like the difference between riding a Vino or a Burgman. It's the attitude that matters, the bugs in your teeth and the grin on your face, not what you ride to put them there.

Quote:
The really sad part of all this is that it didn't have to be that way. Using modern manufacturing techniques and metalurgy, new motorcycles could be built just like the old ones, but far more reliable. There are still some motorcycles out there that can be bought new based on 50+ year old technology. The Honda Rebel and Suzuki S40 come to mind. Simple, air cooled engines, carburetors, and no electronics of any kind. Yes, they do come from the factory with the aforementioned safety switches, but they are easily removed and deposited in the dumpster. I have removed dozens of them. What you have left is a new motorcycle, built with old technology. The Harley Sportster was one of these too, until the advent of fuel injection. It still gives the illusion of a vintage motorcycle, until you look under the air cleaner cover. It is loud, it vibrates, it has very little plastic, if not for the electronics, it would actually be a real machine. You can still find plenty of nice carbed Sportsters and big twins, and for pretty reasonable prices. The Royal Enfield WAS such a motorcycle, but not anymore. It may still look much like it did, but now has an artificial heart. And it's build quality is still way below that of a Sportster. Most of the design is sound, but the craftsmanship and especially the quality of the metal is lacking.

I would like to go with an old 2 stroke because, for one, I love 2 strokes, I like their sound, their powerband, they are really easy to work on, and they did not go away by themselves. There would still be a strong market for 2 strokes, it was the govt. that killed them off. The EFI that everybody is so smitten with is not to increase power, or reliability, or even mileage. It is, plain and simple, an emissions control device. For those who properly warm up their bike before taking off, FI has no advantages at all, and it cannot be worked on and tinkered with like a carb.

People still ride horses. I wonder why? They haven't changed in like forever. What could possibly attract someone to such an antiquated activity? Are computer controlled horses the coming thing? Is EVERYTHING going to be controlled by a computer? That's a scary thought, because it sure looks like things are headed that way.

While In use technology (computer, internet, cell phone, GPS, CD and DVD players (though I am big into 8 tracks) I do NOT want computers controlling my cars and my motorcycles. They should be 100% mechanical.

I am 53. I became a fleet services mechanic at age 18, 35 years ago. I am now a technician. I want out of that field so bad, there is no longer anything there that interests me. I have been doing side work on vintage cars for some time, and just may start doing it full time. Maybe less money, but a chance to actually be a MECHANIC again.
Sounds to me like you should buy an Ural, a Royal Enfield or a Harley. Those all use technology from the last century. Then you should turn your computer off and disconnect the electricity.

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Old 09-24-2012, 04:15 PM   #125
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JerryH, You have a Stella, right? I will extend an offer to let you enjoy the full 'real' experience of a vintage scooter- I am willing to exchange your front fork with its ridiculous overly high tech disk brake for my genuine awe inspiring 1980 drum brake from my P200E. Only downside is that I replaced the original shock last year with a (gasp) more modern variant. Send me a PM and we can arrange a trade. And that's not all, to complete the experience I'll take that electric start motor off your hands too.

Ok. Being a bit cheeky, but my point is that we tend to over glamorize nostalgia, and our memories of the past tend to fade a bit at the edges over the years. I had a '64 IH Scout, '67 Camaro, '68 Volkswagen beetle, and a '69 Triumph Daytona. Would I like them back? Sure! But I would never tell anyone with a straight face that they were wonderful vehicles.

I had a 73 Kawasaki H2- thought it was the greatest bike ever (a bit high tech, given oil injection, electronic ignition and disk brake), but the first time a rode a Z1 900 I could never get the lust back for my H2. Technology prevails...
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Old 09-24-2012, 04:56 PM   #126
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I had a '64 IH Scout, '67 Camaro, '68 Volkswagen beetle, and a '69 Triumph Daytona. Would I like them back? Sure! But I would never tell anyone with a straight face that they were wonderful vehicles.
C'mon, I had a 68 VW and it truly was a wonderful car, for what it was --- well-built, cheap, easy-to-fix basic transportation that dated from eighty years ago. It might be compared to an early Vespa. That car was quite different than the new Beetle, as different as a new Piaggo is from an old Vespa. That's the whole point.

Whether they are better or not is as subjective as whether they are as pretty. There is a certain nostalgia to putting a clothespin on the butterfly and pouring lighter fluid down the hole, just as there is in cranking or kicking it to start. As far as I'm concerned, I'd much rather just push a button.

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Old 09-24-2012, 10:04 PM   #127
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I've had 2 '60s bugs. One was a street car/drag racer, one was a lowered street car, the other was pretty stock. Like all air cooled VWs, none had A/C (none had heat either) all had generators (as opposed to alternators) and all had 4 wheel drum brakes. If I had them, I would trade TWO brand new beetles for one new '65, stone stock. The parts exist to turn it into whatever I want, and I wouldn't have any emissions crap to worry about, so I could install and tune dual Webers without having to worry about whether it would pass the dreaded emissions test. I know one local VW enthusiast, who owns a custom VW shop, who swaps out his entire engine every year, just to pass the stupid test, because he spent big $$$ on a '72, and moved here from a place that didn't have the stupid tests. At least a VW engine is an easy swap.

I've had several ancient 2 stroke dirt bikes from the '60s, and a '66 Triumph Bonneville. Would love to have them all back. Not just for nostalgia, but to ride. Most of the trouble I had with the Bonnie was broken cables. The ends would come right off. I always carried spare cables. And wonder of wonders, it had a centerstand, so if you had a flat with the ancient tube type tires (which for some reason modern high tech bikes still seem to have) you could get the wheels off to fix it. Modern bikes do not have these wonderful gadgets.


My current cars are a 1964 Fairlane, straight six, no A/C, no heat, drum brakes all around, points and coil ignition, and a 1972 Pinto woodgrain station, same thing except that it does have front disc brakes. The Pinto has an 8 track player, the Fairlane an AM radio. I have the means to buy a much more modern car with all the bells and whistles. But I don't want one.

Like I said before, I do use modern technology. And I have a brand new A/C unit on my house, and recently bought a new electric range, digital microwave, and refrigerator. I have one of those new fangled washing machines without a wringer. I do not have a dryer (I have a clothesline), dishwasher, or garbage disposal. I could have, but I don't want them.

But here's the deal on the technology. I have no passion for the things I have that use new technology. They are just bland devices that do a job. You don't see dishwasher or microwave forums. As long as these things work, nobody cares how. But motorcycles and cars are things I care about, and have cared about since a very young age. I grew up working on them. I rebuilt my first motorcycle engine, an old Bultaco, at age 8 (with a lot of help from the local farm mechanic), and proceeded to ride that thing all over the countryside, crashing once in a while. I rebuilt my first car engine, a Chrysler slant six, at age 16. I have been building and drag racing cars ever since. While you can build an old car from the ground up, you can't do that with a new car.

Oh, and I would love to have a drum brake on the front of my Stella. The disc looks out of place. I would also like to have a front drum on my XT225. Twice I have managed to mangle the front brake hose while riding off road. That would not likely have happened with a cable, and if it did, a new cable would have fixed it on the spot.


I'll be over in the "Olds Cool" section.
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Old 09-25-2012, 04:17 AM   #128
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I've had 2 '60s bugs. One was a street car/drag racer, one was a lowered street car, the other was pretty stock. Like all air cooled VWs, none had A/C (none had heat either) all had generators (as opposed to alternators) and all had 4 wheel drum brakes. If I had them, I would trade TWO brand new beetles for one new '65, stone stock. The parts exist to turn it into whatever I want, and I wouldn't have any emissions crap to worry about, so I could install and tune dual Webers without having to worry about whether it would pass the dreaded emissions test. I know one local VW enthusiast, who owns a custom VW shop, who swaps out his entire engine every year, just to pass the stupid test, because he spent big $$$ on a '72, and moved here from a place that didn't have the stupid tests. At least a VW engine is an easy swap.

I've had several ancient 2 stroke dirt bikes from the '60s, and a '66 Triumph Bonneville. Would love to have them all back. Not just for nostalgia, but to ride. Most of the trouble I had with the Bonnie was broken cables. The ends would come right off. I always carried spare cables. And wonder of wonders, it had a centerstand, so if you had a flat with the ancient tube type tires (which for some reason modern high tech bikes still seem to have) you could get the wheels off to fix it. Modern bikes do not have these wonderful gadgets.


My current cars are a 1964 Fairlane, straight six, no A/C, no heat, drum brakes all around, points and coil ignition, and a 1972 Pinto woodgrain station, same thing except that it does have front disc brakes. The Pinto has an 8 track player, the Fairlane an AM radio. I have the means to buy a much more modern car with all the bells and whistles. But I don't want one.

Like I said before, I do use modern technology. And I have a brand new A/C unit on my house, and recently bought a new electric range, digital microwave, and refrigerator. I have one of those new fangled washing machines without a wringer. I do not have a dryer (I have a clothesline), dishwasher, or garbage disposal. I could have, but I don't want them.

But here's the deal on the technology. I have no passion for the things I have that use new technology. They are just bland devices that do a job. You don't see dishwasher or microwave forums. As long as these things work, nobody cares how. But motorcycles and cars are things I care about, and have cared about since a very young age. I grew up working on them. I rebuilt my first motorcycle engine, an old Bultaco, at age 8 (with a lot of help from the local farm mechanic), and proceeded to ride that thing all over the countryside, crashing once in a while. I rebuilt my first car engine, a Chrysler slant six, at age 16. I have been building and drag racing cars ever since. While you can build an old car from the ground up, you can't do that with a new car.

Oh, and I would love to have a drum brake on the front of my Stella. The disc looks out of place. I would also like to have a front drum on my XT225. Twice I have managed to mangle the front brake hose while riding off road. That would not likely have happened with a cable, and if it did, a new cable would have fixed it on the spot.


I'll be over in the "Olds Cool" section.
I can't deny that OId S'Cool is cool. I like it lots, but I'm constrained enough by my circumstances that I can't go after a Cord of a Golden Hawk. I would love to have a Norton Commando, but they cost as much as a newer bike with OEM parts support that is nowhere near as "needy" as an old bike.I want to spend my time riding it, not fixing it. I'm certainly not going to pay shop rate to have someone else tinker with my bike. Me, I'd much rather ride it that work on it. Newer bikes minimize that, at least to a point.

It's all about the grin. How we get there is up to us, and we will each find our own path. Once we're on it, we're all the same.

Cheers
Scott Fraser
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Old 09-26-2012, 07:42 AM   #129
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JerryH - interesting choices you have made. Do you live alone? My choices for cars/houses/and my Ural were all influenced by my family situation.
I think my wife would call child protective services on me if I carted our daughter around in a Pinto :-)
Don't tell her the Ural only has drum brakes! (mine is a 97).
Your choices are right for you and that is good. I love seeing classics on the road as daily drivers.
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Old 09-26-2012, 12:17 PM   #130
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By chance, my youngest daughter is living with me. She is 21 years old, and yes she rides in both the Pinto and the Fairlane. She does not work, has no car, and in fact, doesn't even have a drivers license. Yes she complains about the heat in the summer, and I just tell her to get a job, get a license, and get her own car.

I am fully capable of doing any and all maintenance and repairs these vehicles might need, including rebuilding engines and transmissions. That is not possible with modern cars and their computers. What worked back in the '60s and '70s still works just as well today. I grew up working on and driving cars like this, so I am totally familiar with them. And parts are not an issue, I have a stack of parts catalogs three feet high. Body parts for the Pinto might be hard to find, even salvage yards don't keep them any more because Pintos are so rare there is no demand for parts. I can park this unrestored original car next to a fully restored '65 Vette at a car show, and it gets all the attention. People look at the Vette and go, "eh, I've seen a lot of those" Pintos are not nearly as common.

As for bikes, if you pick the right bike, parts are available. All parts are available for a '60s or later Norton Commando or most any Triumph. And such a bike is a lot more satisfying to ride than anything with electronics on it. In order to enjoy riding a bike, I have to have some kind of emotional attachment to it. And I have not been able to develop that kind of relationship with any bike that has electronics. I see them as being fake. Some have the right form (TU250, Bonnie) but no substance. Their soul has been removed and replaced by a computer.


I was just reading the same complaint about newer Ferraris and Porsches in a car magazine a few days ago. I never even new you could get a Ferrari with an automatic transmission, let alone a computer controlled one. Sacrilege. Same thing with Porsche. I have never been lucky enough to drive a Ferrari, but I had a friend several years ago with an early '70s 911, and got to drive it often. That was probably the most fun car I have ever driven. To drive it right took a lot of effort and a lot of skill. Mess up just a little bit and it would bite you hard. It had no computer, no traction control, no power steering, and being a rear engined rear wheel drive car, it had some very peculiar handling characteristics. Such a car was certainly not suitable for just anybody, it was basically for fanatics, who had the skill, and were willing to put out the effort to get the desired performance from it. For ordinary people there were ordinary cars. Today, anybody can drive a 911, with an automatic transmission, power steering, power windows, A/C, and computer controlled anything. If you try to push it to hard, or do something you shouldn't, the computer steps in and takes over. Taking absolutely ALL the fun out of driving such a car. It is now just a glorified and very expensive transportation appliance like everything else.

Look at the new Ducati Panigale. A computer on 2 wheels. It practically rides itself. Now go back to the early '70s, to the bevel drive 750 Super Sport. That thing was a handful on the track, you had to do all the riding yourself. But then that is what riding is all about. Riding is supposed to require a high degree of effort and unassisted skill. ABS is a definite NO NO, as it DOES interfere with the riders control of the bike. But even something like a sidestand safety switch reduces the skill required to ride. If it is impossible to ride off with the sidestand down, then a rider never needs to learn to put it up, which should be one of the most basic of riding skills. A rider who cannot remember to put their sidestand up is not going to last long in traffic, which requires at least 100 times more skill.

Put it this way. I play a guitar. Or at least I used to, before my arthritis got so bad. I enjoyed it very much, and still mess with it once in a while. I spent untold hours practicing to get where I was at. I was definitely not the best, but I was still proud of my ability. How would you like to have a guitar, or any other instrument that played itself? Wouldn't be quite the same would it? I ride motorcycles for the same reason many people ride horses and play guitars. For the pleasure of actually doing something for myself. Something that had to be learned. Something that will never be completely learned, you keep learning as long as you keep doing it. Riding a motorcycle, among many other things, can be developed to the point where it becomes an art. That is what I am aiming for. And I don't want no damn computer getting in my way.
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Old 09-26-2012, 02:44 PM   #131
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Here you go Jerry:



Low tech enough for you??
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Old 09-27-2012, 12:47 PM   #132
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I don't seem to remember my '66 Bonneville looking like that, and it had tons of character and soul, and NO electronics. Even had points and coil ignition. The points could be, and sometimes had to be cleaned and regapped beside the road. But at least it could be fixed.
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Old 09-27-2012, 01:10 PM   #133
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I don't seem to remember my '66 Bonneville looking like that, and it had tons of character and soul, and NO electronics. Even had points and coil ignition. The points could be, and sometimes had to be cleaned and regapped beside the road. But at least it could be fixed.
Jerry- Please share how many electronic ignitions have failed you- bike or car? Honest question, since I've had electronic ignitions back to 1973 on bikes and have never had one quit. Did have a couple wires on my 30 year old vespa stator crack from age and resulted in a regulator replacement, but it's not fair to claim wire rot was the fault of new fangled electronic ignitions.... Besides that, I replaced a coil on a 1977 Chevy 350 and the ignition wires. Not bad in 40 years...

Oh yeah, my 69 Triumph dual points would slip out of adjustment, but as you said, that gave it character.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:17 PM   #134
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I have been driving a car for 52 years and I will say the old distributors gave me a LOT more trouble than electronic ignitions have. Trouble electronics ignitions have given me is zero. Also same for fuel injection, zero trouble.

Having restored British roadsters (Triumphs) for a number of years I do know what I am talking about. I used to be damn good on a carb and distributor.

Fuel injection and electronic ignition is the best thing since sliced bread in my opinion.

But I did love the old Harleys. I rode them for a lot of years. But I'm old now and I don't care to be laying on a cold garage floor working on a car or bike. It used to be fun but not so much now.
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Old 09-27-2012, 02:35 PM   #135
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I have actually had a couple of electronic ignitions go bad. They didn't strand me anywhere but did require replacement. One was on an 86 Yamaha Virago 700 (wife's bike) and more recently on a 97 Chevy S-10 with around 140K on it. Overall cars and bikes have gotten more reliable but they still break occasionally.
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