When did we stop appreciating...

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

  1. milkfiend

    milkfiend Adventurer

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    I would absolutely love a modern motorcycle movement that embraced the ideas of the old classics - simple, easy to work on, easy to maintain, cheap to run. A GS500E pretty much ticks all of those boxes, but I don't really know of much else. On my new (to me) YZF600R you have to pull the tank to change the spark plugs :cry

    edit: comfortable, too! basically I'm looking for a modern, simple, naked standard that won't break the bank.
  2. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    Hell yeah, this 02
    [​IMG]

    has better suspension, brakes, aerodynamics and engine than the old CB750, your right, in short everything is better. Except it doesnt brake as well, isnt as quick, shakes more and doesnt go around corners as well.
  3. conchscooter

    conchscooter Long timer

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    I started riding in 1970 and have ridden ever since. I like modern reliability and even though I do understand mechanics I dislike wrenching and always have. Other than oil changes, tappet clearances and final drive chain tensioning I'd rather pay to get work done. That said I understand diagnosis to a degree (spark versus fuel failure, for instance) but in a modern world filled with specialization mechanics are valuable players in my opinion.

    Breaking down is always played as a terrible thing by people planning tours. I have ridden all over the world and as long as I am not riding to a schedule (ie: commuting!) and I don't get hurt in the breakdown, breaking a part brings out the adventurer in the good rider. If you are stranded and unable to help yourself and keep your cool you are failing. Your attitude is the reflection of your maturity. However in my efforts to avoid stranding I do, or pay to have done, my preventattive maintenance. Knowing your mechanic is the next best thing to doing it yourself. I have been stranded in Africa, in Europe and the US and from each mechanical failure I have learned about myself and others, made friends and taken away some great stories. Death was never an option, even in Nigeria. Though I did have to wrench and get my hands greasy. Ugh!!

    I really enjoyed the original post as it posed lots of significant questions and begged an interesting debate. I also enjoyed the rather defensive replies brought out by that post, the nature of which you can go back and read for yourself. I don't justify my choices to anyone except my riding partner when she comes along. If my New Bonneville is overweight underpowered and poorly suspended, that's okay because I love the way it looks, I enjoy the ride and it makes me smile a great deal. That I use a windshield, rode two iron butts on the factory saddle and have uglified a lovely bike with luggage is part of my belief that I answer to myself alone.

    .[​IMG]

    I miss my kick start bikes from the 1970s even though they did require more maintenance. They started when I needed them to and they got me where I was going while I was wearing pathetically feeble gear. I had lots of fun. Now I am still having fun, without GPS or earphones or ear plugs but with modern synthetic gear. I don't like music while i ride and i prefer the serendipity of no GPS for my journeys. But that's my choice- I loved GPS when I was out traveling by sailboat! Aerostich offers a waxed cotton jacket for purists. Not me! I hated waxed cotton but wore it because it was the best waterproofing at the time (and my pals wore it too...and we all know about peer pressure!) but nowadays I wear modern plastic stuff with armor. Lovely!

    I guess what I am saying is I enjoy the debate but I know my own mind. I will take what I like and leave what I don't but I do enjoy modern OPTIONS. Just like life, riding is a matter of making wise choices that work for you. Please note though, that with twice as many humans on the planet today compared to when I was born 54 years ago, there has to be some acceptance that roads are more crowded and thus more dangerous inherently because of the volume of traffic.


    [​IMG]



    My plan for retirement is to seek out places with fewer people and more of the untraveled roads of my youth. Roanoke, Virginia seems to fit the bill. Hmm... I wonder if my POS Bonneville will need better suspension for those winding mountain roads?
  4. Thanantos

    Thanantos Ride hard.

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    Nicely done. +1.
  5. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Really? A CB750 standard compared to cruiser? Um, no, apples to oranges.:deal

    Jim :brow
  6. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    New and old, so is a new cruiser so far ahead of say one of the first series of Yamaha XS650 special? I dont think so, I dont think the bottom line bike has had all the advantages applied to it the upper end bikes have, My GL1800 was pretty advanced for 04 and it was a long way ahead of plenty of earlier bikes, but the Aero is not high tech even though the same company made both. If you want the experience of riding older bikes, some cruisers fill the bill well.
  7. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    OK, so long as you aren't comparing handling and HP of a standard to the handling and HP of a cruiser. They are different animals, with different focus.

    Jim :brow
  8. lemieuxmc

    lemieuxmc Banned

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    Until you ride a well sorted Commando you really won't "get it".

    I have a friend who I have known about thirty years who has a pre EFI Thruxton. He has done some mods to it and he feels that it is very nearly the perfect bike for him. He has been riding since 1966, has had LOTS of bikes, done his share of racing, and lost friends in road accidents while riding. The new Triumphs are one of the few bikes that have the potential, there was the Ducati Classic line, the new Guzzi V7, and the Enfield or the Ural for those who really don't care about speed. The Yamaha SR500 was a classic and they still sell lots of 400 and 600 singles in the far East.

    People still listen to Sinatra, Elvis, Dylan and Springsteen... Wham and Millie Vanillie, not so much! :gerg
  9. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    I'm a TR6C guy myself. I liked Nortons but the only one I knew of in school spent more time broken than running, only thing in the parking lot worse was a Victor Special 441. But they were sweet sounding and looked badass. Still give me a single carb trophy.

    I think if you want to experience what riding an early HD duo was all about, your not far off with a road king today for the feel.
  10. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

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    ABSOLUTELY!

    ...and the best part of threads with all of these varied opinions (when they remain civil) is that we get to think more about what makes motorcycling what it is for others and sometimes it can change our perspective a little. And as an added bonus, we get to know each other a little better.:freaky

    As an aside, I can appreciate the performance of a modern GSXR750 and all of it's technology for what it is while also appreciating a Ural with WW II "technology" for what it is. (could these 2 bikes be any more different?)
    F.W.I.W. If I came into $ tomorrow, you'd find me at the Ural dealer first as what it's designed for fits my needs/desires better.

    Now, lets say my Brother buys the GSXR 750 (keeping in mind I appreciate it's technology for what it is) and then he starts bitching about its lack of comfort, can't drive it when it snows, it has no place to plug in his GPS and lacks weather protection....THEN I think it's ok for me to think he's NOT appreciating motorcycling (when the bike fits its designed purpose) and I'll call him a whiney little pussy.:evil:rofl

    ...perhaps guys reading this thread who didn't really understand what my rant is about will after reading the example above.:huh


    Not once (I don't think) have I tried to define WHAT motorcycling is about (because I KNOW it represents many different things to many people)...just a few examples of WHY I think some guys around here have stopped appreciating it. (from my perspective, based on observations from other threads)

    I'd ask if I'm making sense but, I'm afraid of the replies.:wink:
  11. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    Chrchr. I think I now understand... I would have named the thread: "Why do some guys buy bikes that don't fit their needs?" Maybe your title is a bit missleading.
  12. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

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    Posting B.C. (before coffee) will do that almost every time.:1drink

    On the + side = it generated lots of feedback.:ear

    If given to analytical thought, the title still fits somewhat because, those who buy a particular make/model usually do so because it represents what they're looking for in regards to what they appreciate about motorcycling. (yeah I know...I'm reaching)
  13. Wuwei

    Wuwei Long timer

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    Still plenty of places like that in the USA. Hamilton County in the Adirondacks is the least populated county east of the Mississippi, with less than 5000 people spread out over 1800 square miles. There are a lot of places in the NE where you can get away from most of the traffic. I agree with the gist of your post--choose the ride and equipment that suits you, and don't worry about what others think or ride.
  14. thumpty dumpty

    thumpty dumpty Adventurer

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    Well said.


    I've found a few places I would've liked to have GPS...alone and in the mountains, on unmarked trails. But, a topo map and a compass would've been just as handy.

    Forks and shocks haven't changed operation in 20 years, and haven't changed much in 40. Brakes work. They worked 30 years ago. The only change that has improved disc brakes in the last 25 years has been tire technology. Put some good rubber on a Honda 110 and it'll do a somersault with a drum brake. Motors? My '87 Fazer runs like a top, hasn't "needed" much work, and has been old enough to vote for quite some time. Gearboxes...really? They work well. They have for some time.

    When comparing dirt bikes, I totally agree that the suspension is worlds better. My first big transition was from a '74 Kawasaki to an '85 KTM, and coming down from any height changed from a cringe to near orgasm (in comparison). I'm gonna disagree on the brakes. Better? Yes. Loads better? Not so much. See above about stoppies on a Honda Trail. Weight - I don't know about the '70's, but I do know an '85 CR125 weighs less than an '07.

    How about 25 years old? I assume new fork seals, fresh pads, and a tune-up aren't "a lot of work?"


    Quit lobbing softballs. :evil

    rivercreep, I get where you're coming from. Seems some things get beaten to death. It's the information age, and we probable spend too much time in it. I fear that some of the "advancements" are actually taking away from the bikes. I like a little comfort on longer rides. I'm a windshield fan. I also like that when I ride without one down the highway, I'm working my core, and can skip a workout when I get home! I've always gotten the impression that most cagers go from point A to point B with as little mental effort as possible. My hope is they don't. I also hope that most riders strive to improve their skills every time they get on their bike. Maybe I'm too much of an optimist. Seat too hard? Make your butt tougher. Braking poor? Squeeze harder. Shudders in a corner? Keep practicing. Reliability has been pretty dang great in bikes for the last 30+ years. It's pretty hard to denigrate anything with any authority. What's the best bike? The one you buy and ride. Maybe you're getting desensytized by spending too much time on the forum. There's still ton's of riders who love riding for its pure essence, they just don't spend much time posting.

    I hope my long-winded beer-induced post didn't ruffle everyone's feathers, but I did want to point out that even though I seldom agree with rivercreep, his topic is quite interesting, and I felt on point. We seem to get lost looking at the trees, and totally miss the forest.


    :p3rry
  15. Wraith Rider

    Wraith Rider Banned

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    Maybe they worked (sometimes), but they worked not well.
  16. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    Exactly! Lots of excuses and obfustication in his post.

    To claim that brake and fork technology haven't improved is to put ones head up their rear.:deal

    Jim :brow
  17. NJ-Brett

    NJ-Brett Brett

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    My big beef with modern bikes is that they seem to be uncomfortable unless you get a really big one.
    Most older bikes were set up to be comfortable even 2 up for a long ride with long thick seats and nice peg/bar locations.
    The bikes were generally lighter and smaller, 350, 450, 500, 750, the 750 was a BIG bike.
    The seats flipped up, had helmet locks, a place to stash your gloves.

    Modern wonder bikes have thin hard seats, the passenger seat is often more of a decal then something to sit on if its even included at all, there are no grab rails, no small luggage racks.

    Instead you get 1200cc's, water cooling, an ugly high bulbus 20 gallon gas tank, abs, and lots of plastic all over the bike and its 600 pounds.

    Tires are much better (but don't last as long), brakes are better, engines are bigger, not sure they are much better, suspension can be better but often is worse (New Bonniville, Sportsters).
    Center of gravity is often higher, seats lower, pegs higher.

    90% of street bikes seem to be Harley copies or race bike look a likes, with only the TU250, the V7 classic and the new Bonneville a standard type bike.
    The TU is too small, the new Bonneville is heavy, has a poor seat, poor suspension, the V7 classic LOOKS good, never rode one.
  18. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    30 years? The 82 GPZ and the 82 GS1100 were pretty well sorted. I wouldn't say there are huge improvements over those bikes. I wasn't real fond of the air forks but they worked though I will admit they didn't seem to last as long. Brakes were pretty darn good, transmissions were as smoother than some of the new bikes I have ridden.

    I wouldn't argue that top of the line bikes have some large improvements available, but I try to steer away from ABS and upper tier bikes so for a rider like me the improvements are not leaps and bounds. Had horsepower not increased there would probably have been no changes at all.
  19. JimVonBaden

    JimVonBaden "Cool" Aid!

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    They were high quality for their time, but still not really close to a modern bike.

    Compare the standards, avoid the exotics and race bikes, and though they seem similar, there are big differences in braking (no ABS), suspension and durability.

    Don't get me wrong, I love the old bikes, that is why I keep buying them, but I am not fooling myself into thinking they are somehow equal to the modern bikes. Ride them back to back and the differences become obvious!

    Jim :brow
  20. perterra

    perterra -. --- .--. .

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    I think you can get more mileage out of the newer bikes before a top end for sure and I don't care for ABS so thats a non issue for me though I see the benefits if you got it. I still don't feel there have been huge improvements since 82, incremental yes, but giant step's no. Though I concede if you go back 10 more years the improvements are pretty big.

    Now to be honest I am doing a bit of picking and choosing when I compare, there were plenty of bikes in the 80's that were feeble in many aspects but just about any bike set to compete in the market against a CB 500/550 or a CB750 were pretty darn capable and would live in todays world without a huge penalty. I think the brakes and horsepower of some of todays bikes are more of a liability than an asset for a certain group of riders..

    And I used cruisers in my post before because they are probably the best selling motorcycle.

    Edited to add, in general I think bikes have improved, some brands more than others. Harley has taken some big leaps with the EVO motors. I have had friends tell the the oil head was a huge improvent over the air head, but more than a few say they prefer the torgue of the air head. I dont know, never owned a BMW (or a Harley for that matter) and having owned an early 70's Jawa I would guess they had greatly improved. Mine was not much different than a 50's bike.