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Help me choose a motorbike

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

  1. Darren L

    Darren L pfm Member

    I know a chap has two, one is still in the crate!

    The stock VFR is a good bike as is the SV and a few others mentioned but the OP wants a classic, I guess classics are now up to late eighties even early nineties, certainly anything over 25 years old for insurances purposes.
    For a modern classic I'd like a Ducati 900 Superlight MK1.
  2. PaulMB

    PaulMB pfm Member

    I've got a 1981 BMW R100 which I use all the time and has proved reliable and easy to live with over almost 30 years. Mechanically simple, but well-made. There were also 650 and 450cc versions if you want something a bit smaller and lighter. And for spare parts in the UK you have "Motorworks" which is an Aladdin's cave of new and used spares.
  3. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    Those R100s are a proper classic.

    I had one of the 450s for a couple of months back in the mid 90s - but it was a truly gutless and unendearing thing. I think smaller BMWs were akin to the smaller Guzzis of the day in that they had the looks of the bigger brothers, but suffered a lot from costs cutting to bring the price down to a level where they could compete with the Jap lightweights.

    The gear-lever on mine used to bend out of shape on a regular basis ffs :(
  4. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    If was going old school (and I'm not), I'd want this.

    or this

    Small and light. Those Benellis go for about 2,000 euros in Italy in decent nick.
  5. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    The kind of things that are apparently now classics/vintage... and I remember them first coming out and was in awe of their speed and technology... and still think of them as "modern bikes" (single shocker, water cooled, faired and it's modern to me!)... it don't 'alf make yer feel old!

    When the likes of the slab sided Gixer and GPZ900R came out they seemed like alien technology from Roswell had very suddenly been applied to bikes after the GS750's, CB750's, Z1's etc that were "normal" to me and my pals back then!
  6. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    I'll never afford an RC30 so a slabside is next on the list for me.
  7. stevec67

    stevec67 pfm Member

    Not really now they are all 40+ years old. They have all had varying degrees of restoration and bodgery so a good example of a "poor" bike , as ever, a better bet than a poor example of a "good" bike. Would you prefer a fully sorted Ford Escort or a knackered, rotten and bent 911?
    Arkless Electronics likes this.
  8. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

    The Royal Enfield is certainly worth considering if you’re after a retro look.

    Rockmeister likes this.
  9. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    Maybe I've managed to never look in the right places but the GPz900R doesn't seem to get much attention as a "classic" or collectable and yet it is, to me anyway, the one that started it all in the "modern hi-tech" sense... It seemed to appear from nowhere and suddenly we had a new bike that completely reset all expectations on performance.. about 20mph faster, 100lb lighter, much better handling etc than any previous off the shelf bike... They seem forgotten now but at the time all the bike mags were bowled over by it and for a year or two anything else was now a slow heavy old dog! The next game changer IMO was the Fireplace quite a few years later but it wasn't as big a quantum leap forward as the GPz900R had seemed.
  10. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    cheapest on ebay is 4 grand so it doesn't do badly
  11. blossomchris

    blossomchris I feel better than James Brown

    Greasers the lot of you
    Cheese likes this.
  12. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    There's something about the retro bikes I just can't be doing with... the ersatz "fake authenticity", "hipster trendy" for one way of starting to describe it... They are kind of "hairdressers" bikes if you know what I mean... like fake 1950's coffee machines in hipster apartments.

    I know I know... they are very popular and fulfilling a desire for many people to have something that at least looks rather like an old Triumph, Norton etc but without the vintage classic price tag and with much better reliability.

    I'll be showing my age, and some PC type may accuse me of toxic masculinity or some such nonsense.... BUT bikes are for "real men" who want the fastest baddest machine, do their own maintenance and reset the points with a rizla paper and all that... or if into vintage they know every whitworth thread size and laugh at little inconveniences like a carburettor falling off or a conrod flying past their lug 'ole.. They are "Ogri"!!

    The retro's seem to "denature", "neuter", "sanitise" motorcycling into some pre packaged environmental and heath and safety approved "motorbike experience" for the beard balm user who has spent nearly as much on the "authentic" hand made designer leather jacket as they did on the bike! And would never go out in the rain!

    I'll get my coat:D
    Graham B and wow&flutter like this.
  13. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

    :eek: I just don't recollect ever seeing or hearing of them being discussed in terms of a classic, collectable etc in the same way as a gixer or a Fireplace or even a VFR750...
  14. awkwardbydesign

    awkwardbydesign Officially Awesome

    I just sold my California 1100, as my wife won't be riding pillion, and considered an Enfield. The bloody things cost more than classic Guzzis!
    If the OP wants a modernish, reliable, easy to ride, short leg friendly bike, the SV650 fits. The unfaired version has a more upright seating position, but I hate having no fairing, as I used to ride long distances, in all weathers. My SVS has done well over 40k, about a dozen track-days, crashed several times, and apart from scuffs and broken levers hasn't missed a beat. I've broken more bits than the bike!
    It has cheap ebay bodywork on it, the originals are in the loft.
    Snufkin and Arkless Electronics like this.
  15. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

    The SV650 is a blast. I done the 40 miles each way in the p..sing rain and a howling gale and to be honest I wasn't much dryer on the GSX1250FA. It is relatively light so when the wind caught you it did appear to move across the road but the fully faired GSX does the same.
    As I’ve said before if they made an SV900 with high bars I’d have it. With today’s tech 100 brake and 200kg should be achievable.
  16. Arkless Electronics

    Arkless Electronics Trade: Amp design and repairs.

  17. Mike P

    Mike P pfm Member

    The bike I passed my test on was a Gladius (SVF650). I got on with it well. Like you say, it's not too tall or too heavy. Lots of torque and felt plenty fast enough for a novice like me.

    Not classic enough for my tastes though.
  18. richardg

    richardg Admonishtrator

    What was wrong with the 1000 version?
  19. wow&flutter

    wow&flutter pfm Member

    I’ve never ridden the SV1000, from what I’ve read the owners loved them but sadly no longer made.
    I’d expect nowadays they’d be able to build a new version to the spec I mentioned and get it through emissions after all Ducati can do it!
  20. -alan-

    -alan- pfm Member

    I'm afraid as another unreconstituted motorcyclist from the 70s era - I'm on the same track. I've never quite been able to articulate what's wrong with the whole 'Hipster' thing, but that pretty much nails it :)

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