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Help me choose a motorbike

Discussion in 'off topic' started by Mike P, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Now't to do with me!! Never had a Guzzi and the only ones that even interest me are early lemons.
  2. stevied

    stevied über wagonista

    Pics of my old V7 Cafe Classic. A lovely machine - it felt 'alive' and not overly controlled by a big modern ECU. Reliable, well built and totally charming in character. I'd have another, though a late model Griso would edge it for garage space!
    Sue Pertwee-Tyr likes this.
  3. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    70s bikes? Crossply tyres, heavy clutches, awful suspension, frame rust, dangerous brakes, weigh a ton, break down often, uneconomical...I'd rather keep the YBR125. I actually have a Chinese copy of that engine in a Gas Gas Randonne...bit slow but never mind!

    I'd buy newish if I were you. Or at least fast forward to the late 80s.

    Considering that thought, your interest in classic looks, your height and your budget, I conclude this is a contender:

    Go and ride that then ride an old gipper like most of the ones being recommended here. Triumph have done an amazing job of making retro bikes pleasant to ride. I think afterwards you will accept a bit of depreciation on a more modern bike. That twin might depreciate 300 per year down to 3000 maybe, then never go down below that. Theres loads of tinkering to do on those Street Twins too.

    Not even sure the argument that an old bike is good for sunnny days works. Mine always end up not being ready when that sunny day comes around. I have a 20 year old 2 stroke 50cc automatic enduro bike for my 9 year old. I still can't get it running after 2 months.
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  4. herb

    herb music live

    Grey porridge - LJK Setright
  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Rarely has any one been so wrong since the last time "the prime minister" opened his mouth!

    Each was arguably the best bike in the world in its class at the time.
  6. ff1d1l

    ff1d1l pfm Member

  7. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    That is an abomination and crime against humanity!

    This is not

    Mind you maybe he should have been aware that only 31 were made and they are about the most valuable old bike out there!
    Enfield boy and herb like this.
  8. herb

    herb music live

    Nah! According to LJKS that was the Vincent, he was a big Linn fan too. Cough...:D
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    I'm very familiar with the work of LJKS. Even have an original copy of "Twistgrip: A motorcycle anthology".
    Vincents were well known for being nowhere near as good in reality as the legend suggested of course...

    If I had to name one bike as the best ever built it would probably be the Honda VFR, single sided swingarm version, like the one I used to own and IIRC posted a pic of in one of the bike threads on here. It's not "THE best" at any one thing but it's "very good" at everything and so as an overall package I can't think of anything to beat it.
  10. herb

    herb music live

    I loved my Honda Africa Twin on motorways and rough roads - a complete hoot. Unfortunately after 60k the transmission became suspect. I do miss it[​IMG]
    richardg likes this.
  11. ff1d1l

    ff1d1l pfm Member

    I really like the Mc Coury version, and I say that as huge fan of RT. Give the version another chance, it has a lot going for it, not least some awesome fiddling/soloing.
    Had a memorable pillion ride on a Black Shadow once many moons ago, round Loch Carron.
    Arkless Electronics and -alan- like this.
  12. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    I agree..VFR750 single side swingarm version but I think we are talking about different bikes...this one has an R at the end of its name.
    All I want for Christmas is this bike.
  13. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    One of my trail riding buddies had the off-road version of the V50. It was a nice thing but a very terrible off-road bike (far, far too heavy!) and not exactly reliable - although was fixable trail-side most of the time. I did tow it home a few times on my Honda CRM250R (which, being a Honda, never broke down!).
  14. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    ^ On the RC30 above - a true story:

    First one of those I ever saw was out early one Sunday morning for a run on my own GPZ600R round the country roads in Co.Antrim where we used to do all the raking back in the day. Spotted a small faired-bike closing behind at a fair rate of knots, and realised we were 'on'. About 3 miles later, a couple of white knuckle moments on my part, with the guy virtually welded to my tail it became patently clear he was only playing with me. Pulled over and waved him past, but he came up aside and pointed to pull over. Turns out it was a friend who had bought it for racing - and in the true Joey Dunlop/Co. Antrim road-racer tradition, was just taking her (the unregistered, untaxed, uninsured, no lights no nothing RC30) out for a wee spin to check how it was going. He had recognised me from the off.

    Anyways - he said would you like a go. So we swopped. The things I remember most were that (i) it was tiny even in comparison the GPZ (ii) had an incredibly high first gear (as it was designed for racing where you only pull off from a standing start on the grid, no tooling about town) and (iii) would do roll on wheelies in 3rd gear, even with the rider in a full racing crouch. Beautiful thing to ride - genuinely one of those fit-you-like-a-glove bikes, just think about where you want to go and it almost goes there itself. Nicest bike I've ever ridden.

    Should have bought one then - if I'd had the wit. They now fetch £30 -£35k alas - and rising - if you can find one that is [​IMG]
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  15. Subito

    Subito Member

    Buying new will save you a lot of potential headaches. The RE Interceptor 650 previously mentioned would be a great choice, assuming the seat height still worked for the OP’s height. In the US anyway the Kawasaki W800 Cafe is widely available at huge discount, that would be a cool bike as well.
  16. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    I think you're all wrong on the 52 Black Ligtning song btw.

    Now there's a dark song..
    ff1d1l likes this.
  17. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    And how much is an RC30? My standard version actually looked very similar and just about as nice. Most obvious visual difference is mine had single rectangular headlight. Red, with the grey seat (like that one but the back part could be removed to give a pillion seat), same white wheels. Only sold it cos I had to get my hands on some money super quick to avoid being up creek without paddle...


    /\ Not mine but identical to mine. Mine came with an aftermarket screen that looked a little "big and bulbous" (but not tapered;)) but didn't 'alf work!

    I'm looking for reasons to get my other bike back on the road at the moment... never thought I would ever say that! It's been off the road about 4 years or so now...:(
    Up until about a year ago a mate had a 600 Diversion Yam that I'd borrow from time to time but he sold it as at 68 he decided his biking days were over and so I've not even ridden for a good year:eek::(
  18. SteveG

    SteveG pfm Member

    I did a couple of trail bike rallies where someone was racing one of those. He was a much, much better rider than me so finished higher despite my CRM being a more appropriate bike for the conditions (and also what most of the top finishers used).

    Didn't the OP say he wasn't the tallest though? In which case I'm not convinced an Africa Twin would be a good option. A better Honda V-twin would be what I had as my first big bike after passing direct access - a Deauville. Much maligned as being dull and boring but a very, very good bike. I kept mine for about 10 years before replacing it with a CBF1000GT, which I've also now had for 10 years.

  19. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

    A mate of mine bought a new RC30 back in the day, it was an impressive bit of kit. He did have some issues with it and the super tall 1st gear was a real pain around town, in fact he preferred his original Fireblade to be honest.

    The W650 looks a great choice as does the Street or Speed Twin. If looking for something more modern the VFR800 will do everything you need to do. I suspect basic maintenance to be fairly straight forward on it even though it is a little more complex!
    One you really should try is the Suzuki SV650, pretty sure you’ll love it. Got to be the best bang per buck out there just now. Really characterful engine, great performance a real bargain. I’ve mentioned before I had one for a few days while my 1250 was in for service 40 miles away. I was really tempted to call them up and do a deal over the phone!

    You really need to get into a showroom and see how they fit. The latest VFR or GSX F1000 should be the perfect replacement for mine (GSX1250FA) but try getting your leg over the seat. The modern styling of these bikes means they are a real pain to get on as the pillion seat is much higher than necessary.

    One thing I would say, even as a new rider it’s amazing how quickly you get used to the performance of a new bike so be aware even though 50 or 60 brake may feel fast now it may not be enough moving forward.Good news is the twins generally rely on their torque and pull pretty hard even with their smaller capacity.
  20. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    I had a CRM250AR that I went touring on, commuted on and came 5th in the Sportsman class on a round of the Maxxis World Enduro Championship, a 3 day event (not lying, evidence here, scroll down to the motorbike! I still don't know how I managed that and can only praise the bike for never breaking and not knackering me out. I should still have one really. It was remarkable how versatile it was.

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