When did we stop appreciating...

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by rivercreep, Apr 26, 2012.

  1. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,604
    Location:
    Germany
    And where's the problem?

    Interesting question. I allways wonder what joy do some people find in... well... repairing their bikes instead of riding them? Of course, if you can't afford to not work on your bike yourself that's completely understandable, but hardly desirable.
    #81
  2. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,701
    Location:
    Michigan
    This is hard to describe, but I have this sort emotional connection to my bike that is only deepened by wrenching on it. I would say I enjoy wrenching just about as much as riding.

    Might be one of those, "You get it or you don't " things.
    #82
  3. opmike

    opmike Choosing to be here.

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2011
    Oddometer:
    349
    Location:
    Southeast, US
    I can understand the love of "wrenching."

    But there's wrenching, and then there's being regularly stranded or having the desire to ride interrupted by a bike that won't start. I can't imagine anyone finding these types of situations anything more than tolerable. If you find these types of things enjoyable or otherwise a source of a deepening connection, then I want a kilogram of whatever you're smoking. However, I will add that I ALWAYS do my own work on my bikes, and I feel every bit as competent as whatever tech the local dealerships have working in their shops. And quite frankly, I don't trust many of the Japanese motorcycle shops in my town and the prices are absurd, but that's another story.

    Speaking more generally, we live in an age where I can get that visceral motorcycle experience all while having a reasonable level of comfort and dependability. As a hypothetical, let's say I'm deciding between two bikes that I equally desire. But one has a know mechanical issue and slightly less comfort with buffeting; why would I pick that one over the other that doesn't have those flays ("character traits")? In so doing, am I less of a "real" motorcyclists? Am I missing out on some classic experience from a bygone era? Have I lost sight of what this all is supposed to be about? Am I being unappreciative? How?

    The world has always had shitty motorcyclists that probably should have stuck with public transportation. Trying to use shitty motorcyclists as some kind of argument against modern motorcycle technology is one you're doing a poor job of accomplishing. Motorcycles themselves are as safe and reliable as they've ever been. Overall, I think this is a positive trend.

    I leave you with a question. If you were the master of the universe, what would you change about all of this that has left you upset, and why?
    #83
  4. IRideASlowBike

    IRideASlowBike Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,786
    Location:
    SE PA

    You were on a Harley... Now imagine riding from Philadelphia to Key West in July on a 1990 Kawasaki Concours. Full fairing (no airflow whatsoever), full gear, hot 4-cylinder engine throwing tons of heat on your legs and crotch. Pure misery. I ended up regularly doing 120 mph for long stretches at a time in jeans and a t-shirt. I shudder to think of what may have happened.

    I did almost the exact route the year before that, but I was on a cruiser: Suzuki Intruder 1500. No windshield. Also full gear. Actually wasn't even that bad. Airflow makes a huge difference, even if it's freaking hot.
    #84
  5. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,917
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    I don't remember, and i think its so dry out there you would not know if you are sweating or not.

    Now someplace like Washington DC in the summer, with the humidity, you sweat like crazy.


    #85
  6. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,917
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    I never had a bike that took a lot of work to keep running, the Daytona was close but I abused the crap out of that bike.
    Here it is after I repainted it.


    [​IMG]

    I connect with cars and bikes by working on them, and think its a great asset to know a bike inside and out for when you do have a problem.
    Come to think of it, I did have a bike that needed work almost every ride, a yamaha IT175.
    That was more of a race bike though. maybe modern Euro bikes are a bit like that.

    Its not that I could not afford to pay someone to work on a bike, or a car, I have other things to do with that money, like more bikes, more mods, plus, someone else's work is always suspect.
    And I can't say I enjoy riding much in the cold rain, so its fun to wrench, restore, upgrade in the man cave with tunes and some brew.

    You get more out of something the more you put into it, I mow my lawn, have planted every shrub, bulb and flower in the gardens, laid every rock in the rock borders, do my own plumbing, electrical, painting, wall paper, built a nice den.
    When people say the place looks nice, its all on me and my wife (who did the planning).

    I wash, wax, clean and change all the fluids in my cars and bikes, and if something needs a valve job, or a repair, I do it, from head gaskets, to differential and transmission rebuilds, I even rebuild my alternators, starters, heater blowers, etc.
    Pride in ownership, ownership at a very low cost, bonding with things and understanding them.

    I am a ham radio operator, and built all my own equipment for that.
    I can't say I have a lot of respect for someone who just buys a box, put it on a table and talks into it, with no idea how it works or how to fix it.
    I guess I have no respect for anyone who just BUYS something, no matter how expensive, but a lot of respect for someone who built, repaired or restored something with their own hands.

    Oh, and that IT175 once swallowed a reed valve 20 miles from home.
    It took me 5 minutes to figure out what happened, another 5 minutes to find an old soda can to cut and block off the open port. I made it home on the other reed valve.

    Knowledge is power.
    #86
  7. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    3,701
    Location:
    Michigan
    And, honestly, I should have elaborated by saying I love wrenching on my bike to make it better.

    If I had to wrench on my bike just to get it to run at all (pre-evo Harley's *cough, cough*) I would not enjoy it.
    #87
  8. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,243
    Location:
    S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading)

    Let me put it this way. (in regards to the highlighted part)
    Putting it that way, there is none....(joy)
    Putting it the way I'll state it below DOES give you joy.

    There's quite a few guys around here (judging from posts I've read) who only pay to have their bikes worked on and have no general concept of mechanics/trouble shooting.
    Not that the above matters most times but...
    ...many of the types above can't even tell when something is starting to go wrong (until it completely fails) as they have no idea how to even look for potential problems.
    I imagine breaking down in the middle of nowhere and being stranded with no cell signal (there's plenty of places like that in my area, up north), tools, or any concept of how to get yourself going again, would be even less fun than MAINTAINING YOUR VEHICLE VS. REPAIRING IT. or worse; having a failure while traveling at 65 mph that sends you sliding along the road surface and into a gaurdrail. (that also doesn't sound very joyful)
    For petes sake...look how many guys shy away from bikes with tube type tires these days because they don't even know how to repair a flat along side the road. (no fun but, with no signal or back-ups around, wouldn't it be nice to be able to, esp. on a sunday?):deal

    F.W.I.W. I'd rather be self sufficiant than have more money than brains and be armed with only a cell phone and $.:D (and access to AAA)

    I don't find ANY joy in making repairs to my bikes. I DO find great joy in maintaining my bike and being self sufficiant so as to NOT have to rely on other people. (and it keeps "repairs" at bay)
    I look upon those who CAN turn a wrench with respect (and Guys who can weld and machine parts ARE GODS to me) and I see that as a form of them having earned their place as a rider vs. merely being a poser.

    I mean nothing deragtory in my last paragraph, it's merely my point of view. Hell, I don't even hold myself in the same league as the guys who can weld and machine parts. (makes me a "poser" in some regards):freaky
    #88
  9. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,400
    Location:
    Tejas
    Nice looking Daytona, I lusted mightly for the green one in High School.
    #89
  10. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,604
    Location:
    Germany
    @rivercreep
    I bought me a modern, new Honda, so I don't have to bother about "failures". In my area there are no spots without cell signal or without someone coming along every few minutes, so no bothering about beeing stranded in the middle of nowhere as well.
    Again, it sounds to me like something that results out of necessity - completely understandable and maybe essential in some ares, but still not desirable or joyful for me.

    If someone has fun in tuning his bike by his own hands, ok, not my thing but I can understand it. But not as a must have part of driving in itself.
    #90
  11. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,341
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio
    Maybe I'm just fortunate, but in over 40 years I've never actually repaired a flat along the roadside - now it will probably happen this summer - and only maybe five times have had any sort of breakdown. Two were broken chains, one on the streetbike and one on the off roader, a damaged clutch on my off roader, and another was a frayed throttle cable about 5 blocks from home again on an off roader. Fact is running out of gas or an accident has been more the issue. That hasn't been a problem in decades either, I know my general mpg and I don't crash (if you don't count tip overs and wash outs off road).

    I certainly wouldn't fault a guy for not knowing about their bike. I'd think it was a shame if they were totally oblivious, but hey - I don't have much comprehension about the actual operating system of my computer. I don't know how to use a sewing machine to make a shirt or pants. I don't know pyrotechnics - boy would that be fun though. I don't know how to break down a rifle. Heck, how many of you can make a roast, bake up a turkey, make cookies from scratch, or many other cooking tasks without having to read some recipe?

    So a rider relies on his mechanic. No big deal. I understand the thing with tube versus tubeless, I like tubeless for two reasons - no tube and no spokes to clean. But face it, a tubeless is just nicer in many ways. They still go flat and any road hazard that would cause a blow out on a tube tire will do the same to a tubeless. I've had flats on both and both will usually go down slow enough to get somewhere to fill up again or to get home. I don't care which one I have. Heck the SR has the old Yamaha tube type cast wheels on it!

    I, for one, will look for the best set up that pleases me, but do like simplicity. Thus my affinity for my SR and the KLX. I like the look of old school standard based superbikes, thus the Zephyr. I don't much care for most other stuff when it comes to owning one. There are some, but there is a pecking order and price dictates part of that to a large extent too.
    #91
  12. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,243
    Location:
    S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading)

    To each his/her own I guess but, please don't rely on the reputation for "reliability" in regards to thinking you might never have a failure of some sort. (even if you have a Dealer go over it once a yr or so).
    Look it over before every ride anyway and stay alert for stuff that might go wrong.

    Regardless of how mwnay of us disagree on various subjects, I feel it's safe to say we'd all like to see our fellow riders live a long healthy life and I'd hate to see anyone have a failure that might result in their untimely demise.

    ...The best to all of you!:freaky
    My "rant" is over as I feel I've made all the valid points I can make.:norton
    #92
  13. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,341
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio

    BINGO! :clap
    #93
  14. markk53

    markk53 jack of all trades...

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2007
    Oddometer:
    9,341
    Location:
    Delaware Ohio

    And you're telling me about working on bikes! I started with and still own the Bultaco M27 Sherpa T trials bike that ate a clutch and some other stuff when I was really ignorant about bikes, raced/rebuilt from crank up/ported an M66 Sherpa S, raced/rode/threw a chain that ate the crank bearing when everything loaded/rebuilt from the crank up a Suzuki TM125, rode a Kaw triple and did a set of topends, had a MotoGuzzi that had an oil leak ruin the clutch (bike apart engine out of frame to do that, done a few top ends on Yamaha SR500s, played with numerous other bikes along the way - BUT! When the KLX had the top end go bad I paid the guys in the shop do the work. I sold bikes and paid for it, but I knew they do this every day and what they could do in a week or so would take me at least a month and be a pain in the butt to do in my spare time. I could do the work and have done it, but I paid them for the convenience and got my bike back faster. Plus we learned the Vulcan 1500 piston fit.
    #94
  15. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7,400
    Location:
    Tejas

    It's easier to remember the good old days when they start at 91. :lol3

    My first real bike was a 66 Bridgestone 90 in 69
    #95
  16. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2005
    Oddometer:
    55,316
    Location:
    Alexandria, VA
    I sell a butt load of DVDs on motorcycle maintenance to BMW riders. I suspect most of them actually use them!:deal

    A few people showed up at my tech day on Saturday to work on their own bikes!

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Jim :brow
    #96
  17. Nevada

    Nevada Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Oddometer:
    312
    Location:
    Somehwere in the Utah Valley
    Ain't the Baker Grade grand? :freaky Funny thing though, cars don't break down on the grade nearly as often as they used to either, 'cause they're built a lot better than before.

    And yes, it is like riding in a blast furnace. Which is why mesh gear is a damn sight smarter than jeans and a T-shirt. Clearly, jeans & T is doable, but it's better to tell the story than repeat it, eh? As for me, I'll take my blast furnace over a steam bath any day.
    #97
  18. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Oddometer:
    6,917
    Location:
    Southern New Jersey
    I camped at Needles marina, and had to jump in the river every 1/2 hour to prevent feeling very sick.
    The faster you rode, the hotter you felt.
    Back in the early 80's, they may have had mesh gear, but I don't remember ever seeing any.
    I am thinking I should look for some sort of summer jacket.

    And yes, its the humidity that sucks big time.
    My wife decided to do Williamsburg VA one year in the middle of summer, and a worst time was never had.




    #98
  19. Snarky

    Snarky Vodka Infused.

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,342
    Location:
    Old El Paso and Swamp Houston
    I'm relatively new to motorcycling. I started out on an XT225, it was slow. I was actually starting to use it to commute on a highway.... at 55 mph... Mine might have been slower than the norm, but that's about as fast as I could get it on gps.

    My second bike was a Versys. It had lots of new luxuries like an extra cylinder and 3 times the displacement, so it had the ability to travel at speeds above 70 mph. It was also fuel injected, so no more choke or fuel valve. It had a fuel gauge no more switching to reserve, you just ended up there. Plus it had effective brakes, dual disc up front, and a disc instead of drum in the back. No heated grips, no abs, no nothing, pure and simple.

    My 3rd bike is a GSA. It's got ABS and heated grips, and ESA which eliminates the spanner wrench in my tool kit. I like the ABS, I can stop sooner on this bike than I ever could on the Versys, plus the brakes are linked, so I don't have to proportion them myself. On the Versys, despite good gloves, and precautions I actually froze my left ring finger so good that it still tingles to this day, I welcome heated grips. I got the GS mainly because although the Versys was fine in 70-75 mph zones, it was a bit annoying to drive to and from El Paso in the 80mph+ areas. I want my eternal drive over as quickly as possible.

    I've always had GPS, I like GPS for this reason: I can go explore to my heart's content, then when I'm sick of it, I can press a button and go home ASAP.

    I've always listened to music. To get anywhere good from my house requires long journeys down straight roads. You can only jam to wind noise for so long.

    Pussification? Maybe... Am I a pussy? I don't know, maybe. I've ridden in the cold, in torrential downpour, in the heat, in jeans and a t-shirt or in full gear. I've only only got about 30,000 motorcycle miles to my name in about 3 years. But I do my best, I just got the GS and am 2000 miles into it in less than a month. I love riding. But there is riding, and there is going places. When I am going places and riding is secondary because the roads suck, I like to not be miserably bored with the road ive seen 40 thousand times because there's only one, long straight, road north. But maybe that's me.
    #99
  20. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    Oddometer:
    3,243
    Location:
    S.E. Pennsylvania (Reading)

    F.W.I.W. My first bike was a 78 Honda Hawk. The 91 DR was the first "real bike" because it didn't break down every 1,000 miles like my used bikes did.(91 was purchased new and I maintained it)

    Don't read into things and make assumptions.:wink: