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Motorcycles

Discussion in 'Fine Living, Home, Design & Auto' started by Tck13, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. epb

    epb Well-Known Member

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    I took the CB400 out this morning for the first time since getting the CBR600. Starting out, it felt like I was riding a moped, but the charms of riding a slow bike fast soon re-asserted themselves.
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Reynard369

    Reynard369 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't know about that, thanks. But after having read said brisk debate, my specific concern was not addressed, so the question still stands.
     
  3. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    How would you describe the charm of it?
     
  4. epb

    epb Well-Known Member

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    Part of it is the quaintness - the upright seating position and placement of the controls, the way it favors chrome over plastic, the revvy parallel twin. One mild annoyance I have with modern bikes is almost nothing sold in the US is intended for use as daily transportation - they're all designed to look like toys of some particular niche. The CB400T is from a period where bikes were sold as a way to get around, all the time.

    The rest lies in the performance - it's an even more visceral experience than modern bikes because you can use more of it even at city speeds, and you have to work the bike to access it. My CBR will do 60mph like it's nothing - on a good day, I'll used half the bike's rev range. The same route and speeds on my CB400 require more of me as a rider and I have to ask more of the bike. Some people disdain the supposed wheezy performance of these, but it's really that riders - like most drivers - are no longer used to wringing performance out of a bike in these days of abundant low-end torque. It's fun to scrunch down and really twist the throttle and make the bike move, yet not wind up losing my license.
     
  5. Rumpelstiltskin

    Rumpelstiltskin Well-Known Member

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    your CBR will hit 90 mph in first gear. lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  6. otc

    otc Well-Known Member

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    With the misfit, it really looks like they built it to be easy to work on yourself. Certainly no dealer around here will work on my 1979 bike, but that hasn't been a huge problem. Parts are readily available online which is how I buy everything else these days anyways....(and basic items are available at the local parts shop...although I think the only think I ever bought locally was a new master-link for my chain).

    You may not want to do much yourself, but it sounds like they were made to be pretty low maintenance...might take you less time to do some things than it would to take it to a dealer, even if they were only 20 minutes from your house.
     
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2013
  7. BostonHedonist

    BostonHedonist Well-Known Member

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    How utterly eloquent of you. I would love to feel what it's like to have so much untappable power at the throttle, or to really have to push a bike's limits to get around town. Yet, having my bike fit right in between these extremes is nice. My naked 790cc parallel twin (Triumph Speedmaster) needs it really wrung out around 85mph - which feels appropriate considering the wind battering at highway speeds. My baby:
    [​IMG]

    Torque peaks around 4500 rpm and it's got a good deal of low end grunt. My Speedmaster is a comfortable ride but it can feel a tad heavy in around-town traffic, as well as light and ungrounded on the highway. It is, however, a champ on winding country roads.

    But now you've got me thinking about having one of each of these to promote two charming extremes:


    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2013
  8. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Well-Known Member

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    Don't do it. Two will not be enough.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. epb

    epb Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't know, Officer. ;)
    I often daydream along similar lines - what bike would have vintage charm but enough grunt to keep up with crazy Chicago drivers on I-88 or manage the occasional road trip? The CB400T can keep up, but it's at its limits up there - for road trips on it, I tend to take the roads less traveled.The NT650 qualifies, as it's 25 years old, but I have trouble thinking of it as vintage; it was made at the beginning of the modern age of bikes.Hell, the CBR shares components with it. My pic for one bike would be a black BMW R75/5. Proper vintage looks, good all around performer, and a decent ride in its own right. It's the most likely replacement for the CBR when I tire of it.
     
  10. MarioImpemba

    MarioImpemba Well-Known Member

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    I'd still rec a /6 for the much improved braking [​IMG] But sure, a /5 is brilliant in its own right, too, heh.
     
  11. epb

    epb Well-Known Member

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    Doesn't the /6 have a longer wheelbase, making it a bit less nimble?
     
  12. MarkI

    MarkI Well-Known Member

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  13. MarioImpemba

    MarioImpemba Well-Known Member

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    Hell nah, I'd do it. I'd swap out that seat, though, first thing.
     
  14. MarkI

    MarkI Well-Known Member

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    To be honest, the only thing that is really stopping me is the mileage...
     
  15. MarioImpemba

    MarioImpemba Well-Known Member

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    I can hardly think of a more durable moto; they are tanks. That mileage is nothing for that thing.
     
  16. epb

    epb Well-Known Member

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    LOL. The owner/seller isn't kidding - for various reasons, old airheads seem to have very long ownership periods and they were among the earliest popular tourers, so bikes with over 100k miles on them aren't uncommon. Honestly, though, that's true of most bikes from the 70s onward. It doesn't mean it won't need fettling like carbs rebuilt, bearings replaced/maintained, splines lubed and other work which leads to...

    An old R60/5 or R/75 would make for a tolerable first bike, but I wouldn't recommend it. As an old bike it's going to require a complete going-through and various work, which will interfere with a new rider's main goal - putting on miles to practice and gain experience. Something like a Ninja 300 or CBR250R would be better for that. For the same money, you could get a used modern beginner's bike and snag an old vintage bike to tinker with if you want.
     
  17. epb

    epb Well-Known Member

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    More first bike thoughts:

    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. TRINI

    TRINI Well-Known Member

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    A guy I met riding bought one less than a year ago as his first bike and he's already looking to sell it. He finds it lacks power on the highway so you might want to take that into consideration. Not saying that you should be buying a more powerful bike but you might want to buy one that's easier to flip if you need to in a couple of months.
     
  19. TRINI

    TRINI Well-Known Member

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    Great read.
     
  20. EgliComet

    EgliComet Well-Known Member

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    Early /5s were short frames. And it wasn't an issue of being nimble...it was instability under very specific loads and maneuvering situations. BMW (then Butler and Smith) actually offered modified swingarms and subframes to correct this on the early bikes. You can easily identify a short frame from a long frame by looking at the swingarm welds.
     

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