Starting to look for next winter’s project

jetmechmarty

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But the derisive nickname for Sporties amongst the "Hankie Heads" though was "Skirtster" as it was considered a girls bike.
You have to be a real man to drive a Sportster.

Sonny Barger, former Pres and Hell's Angels rode one frequently.
I would too. Without reservation. While wearing a pink Yamaha shirt.
 

jpdevol

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Depending on the model, the Sportster is considerably heavier than an XS - ~100-120lbs heavier. A Vintage Triumph fits the criteria; being relatively simple design and good parts availability. Outside the XS and some Honda CB's, vintage japanese parts can be an issue

Have you considered perhaps a 2-stroke RD?: simple to work on and decent parts supply. Light weight, good handling, kick-only, but relatively easy to start.

I do think that after XS's anything else is going to be more expensive...
 

bosco659

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Depending on the model, the Sportster is considerably heavier than an XS - ~100-120lbs heavier. A Vintage Triumph fits the criteria; being relatively simple design and good parts availability. Outside the XS and some Honda CB's, vintage japanese parts can be an issue

Have you considered perhaps a 2-stroke RD?: simple to work on and decent parts supply. Light weight, good handling, kick-only, but relatively easy to start.

I do think that after XS's anything else is going to be more expensive...
Yes the two stroke option is still a possibility. May miss the price checkbox though. I recently walked away from GT500 Suzuki. May regret that move.

Thanks for everyone’s thoughts!
 

Mailman

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I owned a couple old classics, a ‘76 Bonneville and ‘77 BMW R100/7. I wouldn’t say I restored them, but I sure did a hell of a lot of work on them and replaced a lot of parts.
IMG_8948.jpeg


Parts are readily available for both, but you’ll pay way more for BMW parts, for example I paid more for rebuild kits for the BMW Bing carburetors than I paid for two brand new Amal carburetors for the Triumph. Both bikes are easy to work on, but the Beemer gets the nod for easiest with those jugs hanging out in the wind, valve adjustments are a snap and the carbs are right out in the open too, easy to work on. As for the riding experience, the Beemer felt like a modern bike, smooth and reliable with a maintenance free shaft drive and it easily handled high speed interstate jaunts, but at parking lot speeds it was heavy and didn’t have a tight turning radius.
The Triumph was a learning curve, figuring out how to start it was like learning the secret handshake to an exclusive club. When I first got it I can remember kicking that thing until my leg was wore out, before I figured out what it wanted. Hit the tickler button until you get gas on your fingers, rotate the engine until it comes up on compression then return the kicker to the top, hold the throttle open just so and give it one good stomp and ROAR!!! It would usually reward you by firing right off.

Quick funny story. I rode it to work one day and this guy I worked with who rode a big Yamaha Road Star 1700 had been admiring my bike and he was out in the parking lot asking me questions. I asked him if he would like to ride a little bit of history and he jumped at the chance. He took off and was gone a long time, I started to get worried. He finally came back all red faced and out of breath and admitted he stalled it and couldn’t get it started again! 😄

The Triumph put a huge grin on my face every time I rode it! The exhaust note the way the motor throbbed, watching the front tire bounce up and down at idle. Sure it vibrated a lot, and it wasn’t an enjoyable bike to ride on the interstate. But it was light and nimble and city riding and two lane blacktop at moderate speeds is where it shined, it was a little bit of heaven. I loved that bike and have regretted selling it.

I also owned a Yamaha 500 single, in the form of the XT500 enduro, back when it was new ( and I was young and full of piss and vinegar )
IMG_3192.jpeg

I thought that bike was super fun to own and easy to work on, one spark plug, one carburetor. It was easy to extract more power from too, a Super Trapp exhaust, fatter jetting and a big K+N air filter and that motor was transformed into a wheelie monster torque pump! It was also usually a one kick starter, provided that you got the piston in the right position before you stomped!
 

gggGary

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Always fancied a Brit bike.… maybe? Also used to consider getting a Harley but have gotten off that path. Soooo many bikes to choose from. Selection criteria (not in any order):
- price
- parts availability
- on line or local support (wishful thinking but something like xs650.com)
- not too complicated to work on
- vintage
- not overly large or heavy
I know just the machine: light, but still enough go for highway use, well supported, easily customized, inexpensive to own and maintain.......
 

Jan_P

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I Have a Honda Fireblade 929 RR 2000
I believe the Hondas have the best quality and rumor having the most expensive parts .But if you buy the right One
You wont need parts so the Price on parts wont matter.

I believe that Hondas are a bit Like Mercedes Benz they dont have the " Character " box as important .
Not many flashy bikes one can remember with the Wow factor .. They are not good at that.
Running without Vibration and Exhaust sound .. No wild handling flexing or so

Even the 929 although a sports bike are not sending signals of being Nothing else than at bit more powered
Gentleman's RIde A bit awkward seating --- Until you hit 7000 --8000 rpm you best not be in a low gear doing it
Or you might sit on your ass on the asphalt wondering where the motorcycle disappeared .

Mercedes Benz also has that I have A friend Bought a 500 E 380 hp ., Nothing visible on the Outside
380 hp that is a lot of power in this part of the World. These days Some would say 300 hp Overpowered. Not many have that not even tuners He is showing the Youngsters the Mercedes rear lights and tire smoke at the Traffic lights racing. Sometimes
 

bosco659

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I owned a couple old classics, a ‘76 Bonneville and ‘77 BMW R100/7. I wouldn’t say I restored them, but I sure did a hell of a lot of work on them and replaced a lot of parts.
View attachment 241560

Parts are readily available for both, but you’ll pay way more for BMW parts, for example I paid more for rebuild kits for the BMW Bing carburetors than I paid for two brand new Amal carburetors for the Triumph. Both bikes are easy to work on, but the Beemer gets the nod for easiest with those jugs hanging out in the wind, valve adjustments are a snap and the carbs are right out in the open too, easy to work on. As for the riding experience, the Beemer felt like a modern bike, smooth and reliable with a maintenance free shaft drive and it easily handled high speed interstate jaunts, but at parking lot speeds it was heavy and didn’t have a tight turning radius.
The Triumph was a learning curve, figuring out how to start it was like learning the secret handshake to an exclusive club. When I first got it I can remember kicking that thing until my leg was wore out, before I figured out what it wanted. Hit the tickler button until you get gas on your fingers, rotate the engine until it comes up on compression then return the kicker to the top, hold the throttle open just so and give it one good stomp and ROAR!!! It would usually reward you by firing right off.

Quick funny story. I rode it to work one day and this guy I worked with who rode a big Yamaha Road Star 1700 had been admiring my bike and he was out in the parking lot asking me questions. I asked him if he would like to ride a little bit of history and he jumped at the chance. He took off and was gone a long time, I started to get worried. He finally came back all red faced and out of breath and admitted he stalled it and couldn’t get it started again! 😄

The Triumph put a huge grin on my face every time I rode it! The exhaust note the way the motor throbbed, watching the front tire bounce up and down at idle. Sure it vibrated a lot, and it wasn’t an enjoyable bike to ride on the interstate. But it was light and nimble and city riding and two lane blacktop at moderate speeds is where it shined, it was a little bit of heaven. I loved that bike and have regretted selling it.

I also owned a Yamaha 500 single, in the form of the XT500 enduro, back when it was new ( and I was young and full of piss and vinegar )
View attachment 241569

I thought that bike was super fun to own and easy to work on, one spark plug, one carburetor. It was easy to extract more power from too, a Super Trapp exhaust, fatter jetting and a big K+N air filter and that motor was transformed into a wheelie monster torque pump! It was also usually a one kick starter, provided that you got the piston in the right position before you stomped!
Thanks @Mailman. Great comments. Of particular interest was the “jugs hanging out in the wind” then I remembered we were talking bikes. Lol. I guess I’d also like something with a bit of “soul”. Triumph fits that bill.
 

bosco659

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I Have a Honda Fireblade 929 RR 2000
I believe the Hondas have the best quality and rumor having the most expensive parts .But if you buy the right One
You wont need parts so the Price on parts wont matter.

I believe that Hondas are a bit Like Mercedes Benz they dont have the " Character " box as important .
Not many flashy bikes one can remember with the Wow factor .. They are not good at that.
Running without Vibration and Exhaust sound .. No wild handling flexing or so

Even the 929 although a sports bike are not sending signals of being Nothing else than at bit more powered
Gentleman's RIde A bit awkward seating --- Until you hit 7000 --8000 rpm you best not be in a low gear doing it
Or you might sit on your ass on the asphalt wondering where the motorcycle disappeared .

Mercedes Benz also has that I have A friend Bought a 500 E 380 hp ., Nothing visible on the Outside
380 hp that is a lot of power in this part of the World. These days Some would say 300 hp Overpowered. Not many have that not even tuners He is showing the Youngsters the Mercedes rear lights and tire smoke at the Traffic lights racing. Sometimes
Something like the 929 is too sporty for me. I want something with an upright seating position. I’m too old and portly to lean forward. Lol. Honda does have a lot of nice bikes. Haven’t experienced it personally but also heard parts are pricey.

Your HP comments are interesting. I own an ‘89 Toyota Supra and 300 hp would be considered modest power. My car currently makes about 375 hp at the rear wheels but I had a motor built 3 years ago that should deliver a reliable 450 at the wheels. Too busy to put it in the car because I’m dreaming too much about my next bike. My friends Supra was just tuned to 863 hp. Nice but unusable on the street.
 

Adamc

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Before joining this Forum and owning an XS650, I ran many Hondas.
All were ultra reliable and enjoyable to own. Many tours across Europe, UK and Ireland on big H’s machines support my loyalty to Honda. All bikes from CB750 single and twin cam to VTR1-SP were totally reliable and exciting to own. Also owned a XR400 HRC too.

Older bikes now give me more satisfaction; whether polishing chrome or sorting charging issues. A sense of of achievement and satisfaction of keeping and old girl on the road.

I’m now looking at early GL1000/1100 Goldwing, BMW75/5, Moto Guzzi V-Twins as a bike to take a pillion. All have electric start…… :)

Buy what you like based on work to upkeep, ease of use, and budget to do so.

Ads.:devil:
 
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willis

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I’ve been on the lookout for a Honda CL77 / 305 scrambler. They look light and fun and have a great sound. It’s on my list of bikes I’d pickup even if I didn’t need a project. But alas, they don’t ever pop up in my area. Heading to a swap meet on Sunday. It’s not a big one and mostly HD stuff, but last year I scored a nice xs seat for $20.
 

toglhot

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I don't know where this Triumphs being shakers and difficult to start comes from! I had two OIFs, a 71 650 (single carb, TR6?) and an 82 750 Bonny. Of the two, the 71 was the best. Way best!

I toured all throught the South West of West Oz on the 71, mostly out on the highways doing 60mph+, where the roads and lack,of police permitted. Once running off the road at 90mph when I encountered sand over the road, boy, that hurt. I never found the vibes unsettling or uncomfortable. Considering Triumph crankshafts were balanced by hand, they were extremely smooth Tickle the carb and kick and it was a single kick starter. Later on, I added a Mikuni and did away with the battery. .I also had the crank electronically balanced, ran extra smooth after that. Terrific bike.

The 750 was also a great bike, never found the vibes uncomfortable either. The 82 had MK2 concentrics, so no tickler, Boyer Brandsen ignition and always started first kick. The only things I didn't like about it were the disk brakes, they worked ok, but had really long travel, and the cylinder head to barrel fit. The 750 had two studs between the cylinders and the sealing surface was quite narrow. I ended up binning the copper headgasket and replacing it with a composite.

Oh, and both Triumphs had a habit of wet sumping.

My first bike was an A65 BSA, very under rated bikes.

I've never ridden my 74 TX650, but just watching it jump around at idle tells me vibration might be a problem on longer rides! I don't think the TX650 crank is balanced at all, by hand or electronically.

I did a lot of work on the 82 Bonny: Stainless MCs, ally side covers, spin on filter, cooler, lots of ally polishing and of course BLACK!, I even covered the seat myself. About the same as the TX, but it was never as detailed as the TX. I even won 'Best Triumph' at a bike show, but being a daily rider I couldn't put as much time into it as I have the TX. I also polished the crankcase on the 82, looked nice, but geez, it took a long time. I should do a write up on the 82 Bonny.

Brit twins forever!
 

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GLJ

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If you want a real thumper that is easy to work on, parts no problem to get and fun to ride consider a RE Bullet. The amount of aftermarket parts available is unreal. I have a newer RE a 535 GT. Fun to ride.
 

gggGary

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No one has mentioned Suzuki Savage S40 Boulevard 650 singles (with electric leg)
1682805777986.png

See them quite reasonable now and then. Come close to buying one. There is (was?) an aftermarket bobber, cafe, parts vender for them.
always like the goldstar vibe the motor/exhaust gives off. Kinda doubt that was an accident....
 
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