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Old 12-23-2012, 06:36 PM   #136
chazbird
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The SR500 made 27 hp, that is, claimed. This 400 claims the same hp. Maybe FI got it there? Most SR500 engine mods spruced it up performance wise some, but risked reliability and had the potential to make living it with it cantankerous. I had two SR500's and they were vibe prone. If you have a TU250 or any modern retro after awhile you may find yourself disliking the SR400 because of this, but maybe the reduction to 400 cc's reduced the vibe quotient. (as I understand it the tax on bikes over 400cc in Japan is substantial so maybe that's why its a 400 and not a 500). It would be cool to have it come over here though, but still, e-start would be good. Even though I claim I had the drill down with the old SR's (and I had one very recently) sometimes it was just a minor and unneeded hassle to kick-start it, sometimes you just don't feel like it (in many cases its a real good idea to have it on the center stand). My RD350 was another story for kick starting: I could lean over and do it by hand.
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Old 12-23-2012, 06:58 PM   #137
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
The SR500 made 27 hp, that is, claimed. This 400 claims the same hp. Maybe FI got it there? Most SR500 engine mods spruced it up performance wise some, but risked reliability and had the potential to make living it with it cantankerous. I had two SR500's and they were vibe prone. If you have a TU250 or any modern retro after awhile you may find yourself disliking the SR400 because of this, but maybe the reduction to 400 cc's reduced the vibe quotient. (as I understand it the tax on bikes over 400cc in Japan is substantial so maybe that's why its a 400 and not a 500). It would be cool to have it come over here though, but still, e-start would be good. Even though I claim I had the drill down with the old SR's (and I had one very recently) sometimes it was just a minor and unneeded hassle to kick-start it, sometimes you just don't feel like it (in many cases its a real good idea to have it on the center stand). My RD350 was another story for kick starting: I could lean over and do it by hand.
I agree,I had a 1979 SR500 that was a bugger to start.It vibrated like crazy and just wasn't that great of a bike.The brakes sucked and it handled only ok.

I left the thing in Alabama when I moved and never missed it.You could get them all day long for under 500 bucks back in the late 80's.Mine wasn't worth $200
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Old 12-23-2012, 07:13 PM   #138
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Neither good nor bad, but a omen for future owners who think they want one of these bikes and never lived with a non counter balanced big single street bike: E.G.Changing the oil on the SR500: Cement driveway floor. Put it on the center stand. Start it up, run it a little high idle to get the oil warm to drain. Watch the adjacent empty paint can used to collect the oil start dancing around. (dancing would stop at lower revs though). Yes, the world will be a better place if they bring them back to the USA. Maybe I'd buy one too - although I said that to myself about the W650, too - but while I should have, that didn't happen.
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Old 12-23-2012, 08:25 PM   #139
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North American buying public thought the SR500 was too slow and old fashioned with only a single cylinder and kick starting. It didn't sell terribly well.

That was thirty-five years ago.

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Old 12-23-2012, 08:46 PM   #140
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And for some reason REs are selling. It's impossible to find a discount on one, even though they are seriously overpriced for their poor quality...........

While Honda's new CB1100 looks great, I would like it a lot more if it looked like this. Or the 1969 CB750. If it did, I'd be down at the credit union looking for a loan.
as are the Moto Guzzi V7s and Triumph Bonnies.....if you ask me, it's more about the "looks" than anything else.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:05 PM   #141
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Well, who knows? When the SR500 came out in '78 it was a deliberate retro bike in a sea of (then) "new tech" bikes like a GS750. The moto industry was at its apogee as far as sales and 'boomer demographics, levels of buying, and presumably riding, not since matched. People then were all a flutter about the next latest and greatest, usually in displacement. Due to age and economics perhaps that era is on the wane (bike buying certainly has) and it may attract the now old farts back who'd rather have the charm of a simple bike, or newer riders who don't have the coin for a $10,000 standard, but can afford $4K or so for a SR400.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:25 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
Due to age and economics perhaps that era is on the wane (bike buying certainly has) and it may attract the now old farts back who'd rather have the charm of a simple bike, or newer riders who don't have the coin for a $10,000 standard, but can afford $4K or so for a SR400.
agreed! i think higher fuel prices are helping bring new riders into the sport, and who seem to gravitate towards the price-point bikes. additionally, more and more do i see females buying the modern retros as well, it's all good.

the bikes we're speaking of all look pretty good to me, some great even, and if the majority of my riding included community or buzzing around town (glorified scooter), i'd own one too, but of real vintage. the relevance that comes along with a true vintage bike makes up for the performance they don't offer, at least i think so.

the SR 400 looks good, and at least a bit more substantial than the modern-retro Enfield shown in the other thread.
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Old 12-23-2012, 09:49 PM   #143
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the SR 400 looks good, and at least a bit more substantial than the modern-retro Enfield shown in the other thread.
Can't agree with that statement.

Newest Enfields are pretty good, quality-wise. And the finish, complete with hand striped tanks, leave the SR400 for dead.

Ignition rotor failures were pretty common on the SR500, and that was a $600 fix - thirty-five years ago.



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Old 12-23-2012, 10:30 PM   #144
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Quote:
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Can't agree with that statement.

Newest Enfields are pretty good, quality-wise. And the finish, complete with hand striped tanks, leave the SR400 for dead.
Maybe it's just the photos but the Enfield looks chintzy to me.
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Old 12-24-2012, 07:58 AM   #145
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Originally Posted by Lornce View Post
Newest Enfields are pretty good, quality-wise. And the finish, complete with hand striped tanks, leave the SR400 for dead.
damhik.
huh.
i'd take japan over india every time.
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Old 12-24-2012, 12:43 PM   #146
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But they are twins, different from a thumper.
Plus the V7 is very small in size and the Bonneville is a heavy pig of a bike that does not handle very well.

That still leaves the TU250 as the only street bike thumper with a practical vintage style you can ride hard and long without vibration tearing things apart.

Practical? It is big enough and comfortable enough for two adults, can carry cargo on a rear rack, holds enough gas to get someplace, you only have to buy oil to maintain it, you can lift it and shove it against the wall in the garage, electric start and fuel injection makes it easy to live with.

Plus its fun to ride.


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as are the Moto Guzzi V7s and Triumph Bonnies.....if you ask me, it's more about the "looks" than anything else.
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Old 12-24-2012, 01:58 PM   #147
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i'm talking specifically of the resurgence of the modern-retros, nothing to do with singles or twins.

my take is that they're lookers more than anything else, and may be fun to ride (depends on one's idea of "fun"), but performance bikes they are not. yes, they're practical, can even offer utility, but so can a scooter.

the V7 is not very small at 400+ lbs.

comfortable for two adults? for how long!?!?!
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Old 12-24-2012, 02:37 PM   #148
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A current "modern retro" usually doesn't perform as well, handle or brake as well, nor does it have the top shelf components of the higher tier modern bikes but all the modern retro's perform as well (actually, usually better) handle better, brake better and are leagues more reliable and comfortable than the original bikes they are replicating. Given that and considering they are less expensive than a top tier bike I feel that's a pretty good place to be.
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Old 12-24-2012, 03:07 PM   #149
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Originally Posted by chazbird View Post
A current "modern retro" usually doesn't perform as well, handle or brake as well, nor does it have the top shelf components of the higher tier modern bikes but all the modern retro's perform as well (actually, usually better) handle better, brake better and are leagues more reliable and comfortable than the original bikes they are replicating. Given that and considering they are less expensive than a top tier bike I feel that's a pretty good place to be.
this i believe to be true, but at $10k for some of them, you get looks and perhaps the ride of your dreams, but i don't think you get a lot for the money
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Old 12-24-2012, 05:11 PM   #150
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this i believe to be true, but at $10k for some of them, you get looks and perhaps the ride of your dreams, but i don't think you get a lot for the money
Exactly.

That, and a lot of older bikes will run circles around them. Modern Bonnies, overweight and underpowered, are a poor styling exercise and little else.

My '74 R90/6 makes similar power to a modern Bonneville and weighs about 75lbs less. It looks good and always draws a crowd. Paid $1600 for it, it's reliable and has technology your dog could master if you took the time to train him.

imho, If you're going to spend modern money: Buy yourself a modern bike.

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