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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 18:00 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: bikes you don't see much any more Reply with quote

I'm not on about really ancient stuff so much as older bikes that for one reason or another aren't spotted as often these days. One bike I don't think I've ever seen is the old z750 from the late seventies:

https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/Gallery/Kawasaki%20Z750F%2076.jpg

It's interesting because of its square engine - bore and stroke are both 78mm. Apparently, it sold poorly because it wasn't designed with power in mind - which buyers had come to expect from the Kawasaki name.

A second bike I don't think I've clapped eyes on is the Sachs 800 - nicking an engine from the Suzuki VL Intruder and plonking it in a roadster style frame and chassis:

https://mcn-images.bauersecure.com/upload/1005/images/sachs-roadster-800-01.jpg

That seat and subframe arrangement isn't very flattering - but I sort of get why someone would want to put that particular engine in a less stylised bike. But, as with the z750 above, it was unpopular and unloved.

Still, even knowing that, I'm surprised to have never seen either of them in the metal - at places like Squires (up in Yorkshire). On a Thursday night in summer, chances are you'll come across most makes and models from those eras if you attend on a regular basis.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 18:51 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a hankering for a Z750 when I were a lad, because of the photo in this brochure...

https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/Gallery%20B/Kawasaki%20%20Z750E%2081.jpg

...this very photo, which i think caught it rather well. The brochure I picked up at the London motorcycle show, where my dad took me and my brother - '81, I think. The other one that stuck from the same show, which I've never seen one of on the road, was the Triumph Bonneville Electro Special...

https://www.classic-british-motorcycles.com/images/82Triumph-Bonneville-Electro-R.jpg

...which is a bit meh to me now.

Also at that show was a delectable display by Moto Martin - can't remember the last time I saw one of their frame-kitted bikes out and about.

Five reasons I can think of why certain bikes aren't seen anymore:

1. They were crap.
2. They were unreliable (they were crap).
3. They didn't sell well in the first place (they were crap).
4. They rotted away (they were crap).
5. They were very expensive when new (but they weren't necessarily crap).
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mentalboy
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PostPosted: 20:36 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip YFPOS wrote:
I had a hankering for a Z750 when I were a lad, because of the photo in this brochure...

https://www.motorcyclespecs.co.za/Gallery%20B/Kawasaki%20%20Z750E%2081.jpg

...this very photo, which i think caught it rather well. The brochure I picked up at the London motorcycle show, where my dad took me and my brother - '81, I think. The other one that stuck from the same show, which I've never seen one of on the road, was the Triumph Bonneville Electro Special...

https://www.classic-british-motorcycles.com/images/82Triumph-Bonneville-Electro-R.jpg

...which is a bit meh to me now.

Also at that show was a delectable display by Moto Martin - can't remember the last time I saw one of their frame-kitted bikes out and about.

Five reasons I can think of why certain bikes aren't seen anymore:

1. They were crap.
2. They were unreliable (they were crap).
3. They didn't sell well in the first place (they were crap).
4. They rotted away (they were crap).
5. They were very expensive when new (but they weren't necessarily crap).


I had one of those. It was crap, unlike my Z400 twin which was crap but fun to ride and the girlies got a buzz riding shotgun...

EDIT: Actually it was a Z750b, which stopped nearly as well as the Z750e, ie, it didn't!
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 21:52 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, but the B model was a twin, and known to be crap (although I can't remember specifically why now).
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 22:10 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

The reason I mentioned it was because I came across a review of the bike in an old mag from 1978. Btw, the style of writing then was so much different. And the things the reviews picked up on, too. Probably because bikes were still regarded as a form of transport rather than a source of entertainment, and/or toys. Crusty as the prose was, I've got to admit that I often find it better to read than e.g. current copies of Bike. Where it's usually the case that whatever machine's being reviewed is The Best. Come on - they can't all be the best. The older mags seemed more objective, even if they waffled on and on. I think I prefer text over pictures for one thing - and back then, there wasn't the printing technology to reproduce glossy shots of shiny machinery. Contemporary stuff is porn in comparison - and the writing itself is secondary. Also, I think publishers and editors are more worried about offending advertisers. Having said that, in the current issue of Bike the review of that Indian flat tracker thing isn't exactly glowing - nor the round-up of the various iterations of the MT10 (though in both cases you do have to sometimes read between the lines and decode the language to suss out that there are e.g. fuelling issues and shortcomings w/ suspension that really shouldn't be happening - often it's not so much what is said as what's not said...).

In any case, all this makes me wonder what the best era for bike mags was. Maybe the late '80s to mid-late '90s when development was going mental and there was a BHP arms race - yet perhaps before complete capitulation to ad revenue, and writers could still string a couple of sentences together before lapsing into shite cliches such as handles like it's on rails, never missed a beat, engine as sweet as a nut (erm, nuts aren't sweet), etc..
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 22:18 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bike Magazine was one of the things that got me excited about motorcycles before I was old enough to ride. So much so that not long ago I sourced a copy of the very first issue I ever had - August 1980. The writing was excellent, entertaining, and they didn't pull their punches if they didn't like a bike. But they had some good articles about everyday aspects of riding, along with the road tests, plus Team Bike running a CB900F in endurance championships. Having come through a period of being custom chopper fans in the 70s ( Puke ), they got the sports bug - but of course, 'sports' was a very different kettle of fish in those days to what we think of today.
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Diggs
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PostPosted: 22:22 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip YFPOS wrote:
Ah, but the B model was a twin, and known to be crap (although I can't remember specifically why now).


Slow and far too heavy if I remember. Not half as much fun as the XS650, which despite having a hinge in the middle could be thrown about with gay abandon (unless you were homophobic of course, in which case just plain 'abandon')...

I also liked my old z400 twin despite it having no redeeming features whatsoever. Cost me 200, and for those of us old enough to remember was sprayed in that unattractive Halfords metallic blue that everything seemed to end up in after a few years. I got a year out of that bike, then got 300 for it against a CB750FII. Now there is a bike you don't see about any more - shame because despite the massive weight they were great for touring two-up with tent. Here is a picture of one, for anybody who cares...
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Suntan Sid
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PostPosted: 22:24 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Honda CBX550FII

https://classic-motorbikes.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/8294.jpg

A great looking bike for 1982, always hankered after one, but the chocolate camshafts and the, ultimately, crap inboard discs put paid to that idea.

Fortunately I bought a 250 LC instead! Laughing

Anyway I haven't seen one for years, mind you I only ever saw a couple, both brand new, pristine examples, in a showroom, I assume any others that were sold were, constantly, in for warranty repairs and never actually turned a wheel on the road.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 22:31 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Diggs wrote:
I got a year out of that bike, then got 300 for it against a CB750FII. Now there is a bike you don't see about any more - shame because despite the massive weight they were great for touring two-up with tent. Here is a picture of one, for anybody who cares...


Well, I have a memory of those too! Laughing
Or rather, the 900 version: CB900F2B. And just to illustrate that Bike magazine weren't always complimentary about everything, they called it the Far2Big, meaning the fairing Laughing

I lived next to a Jehovah's Witness hall for a time (they didn't bother us), and a chap who went there had one in red and white, so I'd see it often. Thought it looked ok actually.

I've probably mentioned it before, but I preferred the Benelli 900 Sei that another local owned - sounded mean too! Another rarity these days - was then as well, to be honest, so I guess it would be now...doh!
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 22:36 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suntan Sid wrote:
Honda CBX550FIII only ever saw a couple, both brand new, pristine examples, in a showroom, I assume any others that were sold were, constantly, in for warranty repairs and never actually turned a wheel on the road.


One of my motorcycle training instructors who also belonged to a bike club I was in (Harlow 70s) had one of those. I don't remember him having any major problems with it, but might just be a gap in my knowledge. Looks-wise, I preferred the CBX750F - hydraulic tappets is about all I remember about those:

https://mcn-images.bauersecure.com/upload/286133/images/Honda-CBX750.jpg
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mentalboy
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PostPosted: 22:47 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip YFPOS wrote:
Ah, but the B model was a twin, and known to be crap (although I can't remember specifically why now).


I stand corrected then, it was definitely shit, definitely didn't stop and was most definitely a four cylinder. I could have sworn it was from the late seventies but the memory is a fickle thing and it might we'll have been a particularly shitty looking example of an early eighties bike,. It was a very fetching dusky pink, which I am sure was it's factory coat. Puke
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Suntan Sid
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PostPosted: 23:10 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continuing the Kawasaki theme, around the time I bought my 250 LC there were a few weirdos who didn't seem to like 2 strokes! Shocked
A lot of them seemed to own Z650B's, many were customised/modded, usually with a very loud 4 into 1, a pair of Marzocchi shocks and a paint job.

Haven't seen one in ages!
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 23:16 - 25 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suntan Sid wrote:
Continuing the Kawasaki theme, around the time I bought my 250 LC there were a few weirdos who didn't seem to like 2 strokes! Shocked
A lot of them seemed to own Z650B's, many were customised/modded, usually with a very loud 4 into 1, a pair of Marzocchi shocks and a paint job.

Haven't seen one in ages!


Still quite a few of those around I think - mostly due to the wash of US imports, which is what my B model was.
My brother's F2 model blew all the wadding out of his Laser 4-1 in the first couple of rides with it Laughing He had a pair of S&W shocks on it, which I think were good.
My H2C had Marzocchi Stradas - like riding a hardtail, way too solid a feel for a bike of that weight.
I like 2Ts and 4Ts - I ain't prejudiced!
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Shaft
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PostPosted: 01:16 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suntan Sid wrote:
Honda CBX550FII

https://classic-motorbikes.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/8294.jpg

A great looking bike for 1982, always hankered after one, but the chocolate camshafts and the, ultimately, crap inboard discs put paid to that idea.

Fortunately I bought a 250 LC instead! Laughing

Anyway I haven't seen one for years, mind you I only ever saw a couple, both brand new, pristine examples, in a showroom, I assume any others that were sold were, constantly, in for warranty repairs and never actually turned a wheel on the road.


I know three people who had those and one of them was me!

None of us had problems with the cams or camchains (the things they were meant to be infamous for) but the inboard discs were an issue, not because they didn't work (they were fine, as brakes) but because of the faff involved in taking out/putting back the front wheel.

To get all the various spacers and covers in line, you really needed to be an octopus.

Forgetting that, fabulous bike, felt properly screwed together and handled a treat - I vividly remember drifting mine all over the place, you could really steer it on the throttle and it was totally controllable.
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Shaft
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PostPosted: 01:22 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip YFPOS wrote:
Looks-wise, I preferred the CBX750F - hydraulic tappets is about all I remember about those:

https://mcn-images.bauersecure.com/upload/286133/images/Honda-CBX750.jpg


One of the mags (might've been John Nutting from Which Bike?) described that as being so good, it was boring, there was nothing it couldn't do well.

That review has always stuck in my mind and now, whenever I see a good one come up for sale, I'm seriously tempted to pull the trigger and find out if it was true.
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 05:25 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

chickenstrip YFPOS wrote:
I preferred the Benelli 900 Sei


Iirc correctly, I've seen just the one. It's owned by my mate's brother - who never rides it and for whom it's some sort of investment (apparently). Time will tell on that score. I err towards the sceptical side on that particular piece of speculation!
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 05:34 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Suntan Sid wrote:
Continuing the Kawasaki theme, around the time I bought my 250 LC there were a few weirdos who didn't seem to like 2 strokes! Shocked
A lot of them seemed to own Z650B's, many were customised/modded, usually with a very loud 4 into 1, a pair of Marzocchi shocks and a paint job.

Haven't seen one in ages!


There are usually two or three at Squires on the Thursday nights (classics night) - and two blokes in particular spring to mind. They're pals and both have the green 650 w/ cast wheels. They're not pampered bikes at all but look better for it, imo - and they don't piss about on them either. I've seen them out and about on 'em and they aren't hanging around. Both have far too loud cans on, spec from back in the day - and they sound horribly good.
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Sister Sledge
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PostPosted: 06:59 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Being an older rider (ancient) for me now it's the simple Honda Cub!
They're probably common elsewhere but up here and now? Nope.

In my early teens those Honda Cubs were everywhere - thousands being ridden about. They were true workhorses and used mostly as transport to work. Ultra reliable, cheap to run and sat well with traffic speeds/road conditions of the day.
As teens we were spoiled - when an old Cub was deemed worn out, the owner would sell it for a tenner to us and we'd thrash the living daylight out of them over colliery spoil heaps and dismantled railway lines. I've lost count of how many offroad Cubs I owned over the years.

Now? I see one original Cub being ridden daily. It travels 8 miles each way daily. It's a 70 and blue. It has the original high windshield and one of those old rear boxes.
The engine purrs beautifully and runs very well. The rider just never seems to age though! Still wearing those old motorcycle clothes of yesteryear too.
Perhaps I'm seeing a ghost bike?
I dunno but I'm waiting to pounce if he ever puts a sale sign on it..
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 07:10 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

They were ubiquitous at one point, yeah. Nowadays it's the odd one every now and again.
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mpd72
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PostPosted: 08:55 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

No 2 strokes yet?

There were only 800 of these sold in the UK and out of all the bikes I've ridden, this is by far the most fun. It's the only bike I'd never sell.

For those who've never ridden one, imagine a DT125R with 45-50bhp and decent brakes (and usually tyres, as most now have either TZR wheels or aftermarket wider spoked rims).

https://www.advpulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Yamaha-TDR250-88.jpg
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 09:25 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

The thing w/ the 2t stuff is that although it's rare, it's also loved - and because of that, it's restored and shown off. On a good (Thursday) night, you can see a lot of the decent '70s/'80s 2t bikes above 125cc at Squires, inc. the TDR (which I also love). It's the less glamorous 4t bikes and the small cap 2t stuff that prove harder to spot. I honestly didn't even know that z750 twin existed.
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Suntan Sid
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PostPosted: 09:52 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

1982 Katana:-

https://cdn1.mecum.com/auctions/lv0118/lv0118-314750/images/t128-2-1506375964112.jpg?1516637107000

A mates, sister's boyfriend had one from new.
It was a strange looking thing at the time, still looks a bit odd now.
To me it always looked too long and too tall, still cool though.
There were a couple at the Classic/Manx last year, there may have been one in the parade lap.

I remember a particularly boring M/way journey down to Silverstone for the GP, (free hospitality tickets, natch, for Barry Sheene's last ever GP ride at Silverstone). We set off as a group with the Katana at the back. About halfway Katana guy came flying past, at god knows what speed, swiftly followed buy a Porsche 911.
We finally met up again at the Silverstone car park, apparently fun times had been had.
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trevor saxe-coburg-gotha
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PostPosted: 10:23 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

dat centre stand
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 10:28 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shaft wrote:
chickenstrip YFPOS wrote:
Looks-wise, I preferred the CBX750F - hydraulic tappets is about all I remember about those:

https://mcn-images.bauersecure.com/upload/286133/images/Honda-CBX750.jpg


One of the mags (might've been John Nutting from Which Bike?) described that as being so good, it was boring, there was nothing it couldn't do well.


That's always been Honda's problem for me. Just a bit too smooth, bit too uninspiring, lacking character, even among IL4s. Tame, you might say.

Sister Sledge wrote:
Being an older rider (ancient) for me now it's the simple Honda Cub!
They're probably common elsewhere but up here and now? Nope.


I always used to maintain that if you wanted one of these, you should probably go look at the bottom of your garden among the weeds and old wood cast-offs, and you'd probably find one half-buried and forgotten - the cockroach of the bike world Laughing

Suntan Sid wrote:
1982 Katana


I still love those. They were designed by a company called Target (who also designed the Harris Magnum 2 iirc). A very controversial design at the time. They did a 1000 (slide carbs) and the 1100 (cv carbs), which was kind of odd too. I wanted to turbocharge one, and went to look at an advertised example once with that in mind. Stevo as b4 commented on the new Katana elsewhere and I'm inclined to agree with him - wtf? A hard look to do a revamp on. They come up for sale now and again and are beginning to command quite high prices if in good nick.
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chickenstrip
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PostPosted: 10:32 - 26 May 2019    Post subject: Reply with quote

mpd72 wrote:
No 2 strokes yet?

There were only 800 of these sold in the UK and out of all the bikes I've ridden, this is by far the most fun. It's the only bike I'd never sell.

For those who've never ridden one, imagine a DT125R with 45-50bhp and decent brakes (and usually tyres, as most now have either TZR wheels or aftermarket wider spoked rims).

https://www.advpulse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Yamaha-TDR250-88.jpg


Didn't that come out at about the same time as the KR1, TZR250, RGV250 etc were popular? I think maybe that's why it didn't catch on in a big way - the focus was more on sports 2Ts at the time...?
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