Motorcycles

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

  1. cahlersmeyer

    cahlersmeyer Senior member

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    I bought a 1968 Honda CB450 about a month ago for $300, have been working on it ever since. No mechanical problems, just updating the paint. I've been replacing all the old stripped 44 year old screws with hex heads and replacing the seals. Thing runs like a dream.

    It (the old paint) looks ok in the picture thanks to Instagram, but trust me, it needed new color!

    Here she is before:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    And how she sits currently:
    [​IMG]

    Here is the link to the album if you want to keep up on build progress:
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.210404789063345.37248.100002814756714&type=3&l=78527826dd
     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2012


  2. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Senior member

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    ^ Looking good.
     


  3. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    Is this one of the newer ones or a restored oldie?

    I'm pretty sure I'm going to get a Triumph as my first bike...either Bonneville or Thruxton.
     


  4. pat pearson

    pat pearson Senior member

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    Its a 1971 bonneville. I would definitely recommend a vintage if you can find one in decent shape, its an absolute blast
     


  5. KnowYourRights

    KnowYourRights Senior member

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    Old bikes rule. That's all I own.

    That said, the new Bonnies are awesome bikes. In my opinion, you can't get a better motorcycle for the money. Great as a first bike. Even greater for seasoned riders. Cheap (relative to other new bikes). Lots and lots of aftermarket goodies. Buy one used model (carb model, eff FI) and you can tune it up to run like it should.

    I had an '04 fully cafe'd out, tuned, mild suspension upgrades. Bike was super-fun. Thrixtons are OK, but cookie-cutter. Get a standard Bonnie and do it up your own way.
     


  6. KnowYourRights

    KnowYourRights Senior member

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    Nice to see proper bikes in here.

    That seat from Glass from the Past?
     


  7. cahlersmeyer

    cahlersmeyer Senior member

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    I love old bikes, I really do.
    Currently have a '68 CB450, previously had a KZ400 cafe'd out and I'm picking up an XS400 Cafe on Wednesday for a buddy.

    But for a first bike? A vintage Brit bike couldn't be a worse choice. You need to know your way around a bike before you pick a Brit. They are very finicky the older they get, and leak oil like crazy... You'll spend equal parts riding and fixing it. If that's what you want, thats great, but if you want a first bike to learn to ride and have nothing but fun, stay way from Brit bikes, especially Nortons.
     


  8. Khayembii Communique

    Khayembii Communique Senior member

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    Currently looking for some shop space to rent out for man cave/motorcycle stuff and it's unbelievably difficult to find something that's not too huge that I could split with a few friends. Thought it'd be easier considering how much vacant warehouse/building space there is in this damn city. Then again, I'm only checking Craigslist and have no idea where else to look.
     


  9. dron

    dron Senior member

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    I need a source for smaller (oil line) stainless banjo fittings. Any pointers?
     


  10. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    That's what I've heard. That's why I'm leaning towards the newer Triumphs. I think it was Gnatty who first recommended them.
     


  11. gnatty8

    gnatty8 Senior member

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    I second this.
     


  12. KnowYourRights

    KnowYourRights Senior member

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    This applies to ALL vintage bikes. Do the Brits leak oil? Some do. Some don't. The tin primary cover on the old Norton Atlas was notorious for leaking. But it wasn't designed to be oil tight. So I don't consider that a fault. '70s Triumph top ends are a little noisy by nature and the pushrod tube seals tend to weep when the motors get hot.

    By now, ANY old bike has had all its shortcomings addressed (better gasket material, planing head surfaces, electronic ignition upgrades) or it has been bodged beyond recognition. Brit bikes are not unique in this.

    I know the common theme is that Brit bikes leak and the electrics suck. So fix them. Another popular theme is that vintage Japanese bikes are more reliable. That's total crap. Shittiest charging system ever put in a motorcycle in the '70s. Under powered for their weight. And that stupid cam chain tensioner.

    All old bikes have their shortcomings, and if you want one, you need to address those regardless of the bikes' ethnicities. Don't let old wives' tales steer you away from a great motorcycle. Get a '70s Trump. There isn't a part on them that you can't buy new from the shop. Lightweight compared to the Japanese competition. Great handling frame (despite what the dry-frame purists will say). Good brakes (yes, even the conicals will send you over the bars if they're set up correctly).

    I have '71 and '79 Triumphs and they've never left me stranded. Not once. Get your hands dirty and get to know your bike.

    And anecdotally, the most reliable bike I own is my '64 Norton. I could put kerosene in the tank with the valves adjusted out to 0.10, and it would still get me home. In fact, by virtue of its old age, the Norton is a great choice. The Atlas mill is solid and torquey. The tolerances are nowhere near a modern bike's finicky-ness, so the Norton is a lot more forgiving when you're setting valve clearances or stuck using shitty modern gas. Mine has the stock magneto, so no coils to fail. It'll start easily with the battery completely flat.

    I'm not trying to paint too rosy a picture, but simply want to chime in when Brit bikes are unfairly labeled as "unreliable." They're not more or less reliable than any other vintage bike.
     


  13. BenPS

    BenPS Member

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  14. cahlersmeyer

    cahlersmeyer Senior member

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    The do outstanding work.
    You should check out the Swedish custom shop WrenchMonkees (sp?) great stuff, too
     


  15. TRINI

    TRINI Senior member

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    While I appreciate the work that goes into restoring and maintaining vintage bikes, the fact that I barely understood any of the technical terms you mentioned above confirms that I should get a new Triumph.
     


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