motorcycles with "souls"

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by CID, Jul 27, 2009.

  1. CID

    CID Adventurer

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    What is it that makes certain motorcycles have "soul"?

    Is it the way their engine feels?
    Is it the way they sound?
    Is it if they have quirks?
    It is if they are well thought out and designed?

    I suspect the definition of motorcycle "soul" is subjective. It might even be related to a positive owner experience. I would still like to know which motorcycles from your background have "soul" and why you think so.
    #1
  2. SCQTT

    SCQTT Zwei Kolben

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    Nortons and Indians and Greeves won't do they don't have a soul like a Vincent 52

    That is what Richard says anyhow.
    #2
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  3. Duckworth

    Duckworth Taking the high road

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    Any motorcycle with which I become intimate has soul. By "intimate," I mean riding it lots of miles, in lots of conditions, and far from home, relying on it, wrenching on it.
    #3
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  4. PrtclMn001

    PrtclMn001 Custom User Title

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    anything with a motor has a soul.

    each has its own quirks and each has its own needs.
    #4
  5. Terrytori

    Terrytori Namaste

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    Motorcycles that remind of us of our human foibles usually get the soul
    or 'character' nod. They have to let us down just a little and break our hearts just a bit. Anything that runs perfectly, smoothly, effortlessly,
    comfortably and without incident, is usually thought of as soulless
    and lacking in character. It seems we don't want our machinery to be
    better than we are with the possible exception of airplanes and
    defibrillators.
    #5
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  6. FoolHardy

    FoolHardy Still Inky

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    I was thinking along these lines the other day. When I bought my KLR, it had 2,238 easy miles on it. The previous owner had done some commuting on it, took it in for the 500 mile checkup, hadn't even come up on the next oil change after break-in. Not a scratch on it, never been off pavement, no farkles. I on the other hand have re-learned dirt riding on it. It has been my do-it-all bike and I have personallized and modified and wrung the crap out of this bike. I have dropped it, wheelied it, jumped it, slid it, I have flipped it over backwards. Pushed it through sand, buried it in mud, flown over gravel, crawled over rocks, zigzagged through the trees. Even though I have flogged it, I have always been very meticulous with the maintenence of this machine, (its how I show her I care). As we crossed 22,238 miles I wondered if she was happier before I bought her, when she was clean and new and gently ridden. I swear at that moment I felt her pull just a little harder as she whispered to me "what are you waiting for? Just twist it''. Yep, soul.
    #6
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  7. moosesp

    moosesp Adventurer

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    One of the most soulful motorcycles that I still own is the Suzuki TL 1000 S! Its like a good woman! It needs to be treated with respect everytime you ride it or it will bite back. It just puts a great big smile on your face everytime you ride it. It just has that great feeling. Anyone who has rode one will agree with me.
    #7
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  8. crampfan

    crampfan Banned

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    I always knew my old Harley panhead had heart, but about 25 years ago I got dosed at a dead show (squirt gun shot to my eye) I went out to the parking lot just to check on the old girl, and I had a two hour conversation with her. pretty cool trip, and I still have the bike. I will never sell her. If she can talk she must have a soul. :lol3
    #8
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  9. Eduardo

    Eduardo Eduardo

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    Hola AlanCT, This is exactly how I feel, especially the "relying on it" part. Get yourself thousands of miles from your friends, family, parts store, and tools.....and have your bike do what it does best and you appreciate the "intimate" relationship you really have with it.
    My DR650 is that bike for me. It's always done what I've asked of it, and on some of my trips, I've asked a lot. It is not an inanimate object to me.....more like the most dependable friend I've ever had! Saludos, Eduardo
    #9
  10. Spark Plug

    Spark Plug Low on compression

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    I have had plenty of bikes that have soul/personality. I think that is one thing that attracts me to bikes so much, some of them become a extension of you and not riding for whatever reason leaves a somewhat lonely feeling.

    I recently sold a 02 Bonneville because no matter how many miles or how much work I put into it there was no connection. As much as I tried to convince myself I liked the bike it just wasn't there. Reminded me of a girl I dated in high school - Hot, but zero personality, no sense of humor, and dumb as a box.
    #10
  11. Kilmister

    Kilmister like implants on a nun

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    My FJ had soul in spades. It was powerful and nasty, yet forgiving and comfy. It had it's quirks, but I will always remember it fondly. I learned to ride on that bike, and it kept me safe for a lot of miles through a lot of mistakes.

    Then some schmuck decided he wanted it more than me, and one day it was gone...I'm if I ever find the guy, I will gladly feast on his soul.

    My KTM had the soul of a serial killer...it really wanted me dead.

    My RF is a like a really finicky chick you'd take on a blind date, but she has no right to be finicky cuz she's kind of ugly and has bad breath. Then you get drunk and take her home and she gives you a really good ride. You don't really want to put up with her crap, but you learn that if you do she can rock your world.
    #11
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  12. Duckworth

    Duckworth Taking the high road

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    BIKES I'VE HAD WITH SOUL:

    '82 Honda CX500

    My first bike in 1996. I spent the winter fixing it up into rideable condition with my friend who had convinced me to start riding. Then, I rode it all over for the next five years. We treated each other well, and I regret having sold it.

    2003 Kaw Concours

    Yes, really! It wasa a gift from my wife, who was weary of watching me dither about whether or not I should get a new bike. She went down to the shop herself and bought it as a surprise. We've been to lots of places in all sorts of conditions. I've always maintained it and it has never been to a mechanic. I had my first get-off with it (very minor, luckily). I always pat it on the tank and say "thank you" when I return from a trip.

    2005 Ural Tourist

    Any bike that needs owner involvement at this level has soul. It has yet to let me down in a major way - it is like it responds to my care.

    BIKES I'VE HAD WITHOUT SOUL:

    1989 Kaw Vulcan 750

    There was nothing wrong with this bike, but it never became more than a mere machine. I hardly ever think about it. It has all the sentimental and nostalgic value of a vacuum cleaner or washing machiine.
    #12
  13. Dr. Greg

    Dr. Greg Tryin' to get home..

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    A motorcycle definitely has soul IF:

    After you die nobody else can start your bike...

    Um, this refers to kickstart bikes. My '85 Husky 510 w/leftside kick definitely qualified.

    --Doc
    #13
  14. Moto_Muffin

    Moto_Muffin Motorcycle Muffin

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    I love this. <i>LOVE</i> this.

    I have a BMW R11S. She has a soul. Also have a VFR. No soul. Fun to ride, but an appliance. I can't tell you why, though. :huh
    #14
  15. anonny

    anonny What could go wrong?

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    Air cooled is a good starting point, with some exceptions of course. :deal
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  16. glasswave

    glasswave Long timer

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    Nope

    When you have a break down in Peru, your moto will require many "soles.":wink::lol3:wink:

    As much as I have been trying to save my sole, the Peruvians are all trying to get me to sell my soles!!

    $1 = 3 "soles"
    #16
  17. Silver King

    Silver King Maita'i roa ae!

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    :lol3 Similar story but with a surf board. It had a mermaid near the nose. "Talked" to her for hours. :choppa

    Anyhow, my KLR had as much soul as a door knob. The Ducati, however....:deal :raabia
    #17
  18. ineptizoid

    ineptizoid I'm scared hold me

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    Yep. I loved my old TL-S, 20k miles worth of grins on that machine. It was still running great with 42K on the odo when I sold it 3 years ago. What a great bike. Lotsa soul.

    Not the best choice if you wanna keep yer driving record clean though.:D
    #18
  19. rivercreep

    rivercreep Banned

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    ........but not one that sounds like a v8 missing a cylinder (like a Harley) and it helps if there isn't a liquid cooling jacket around the thing muffeling all the mechanical noises.
    Any Big Single gets my vote and Ducatis and Guzzis with their 90 dg. V twins are also at the top of my list.
    Goddamnit I want a Guzzi!
    #19
  20. crampfan

    crampfan Banned

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    you have never ridden a old Harley have you? I'm sad for you
    #20
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