Last night went to a "bike night" here locally. Rode the Gold Star.
Typical to these gatherings were a plethora of Harley riders, replete with the "uniform of individuality," including the napkin helmet, gaudy rings, wallets secured by chains to the belt, and the obligatory sneer.
I parked in a corner of the lot, and was immediately glommed onto by one of the "cognoscenti" who knows all about British bikes. I learned a number of things from this omniscient fellow, including that the Gold Star was an army bike, due to the fact that it has a "1 up 3 down" shift pattern, that the ignition switch was missing, and that I had somehow improved the electrics by losing the Zener Diode.
I kept walking around other bikes, feigning interest, in effort to unattach myself from this guy, but he kept right up with me telling me all about my bike, that it leaks oil because there is no gasket between the engine case halves, that the chrome on my alloy needed to be buffed out, and a myriad of other jewels of information.
At some point he forced me to look at photos of the choppers he has made from very nice examples of 60's Tigers, Bonnevilles, etc., and that 1974 was the only year that Norton made an 850 Commando with a sidecar. I had to sniff back a tear when I saw what had been done to those poor triumphs, now sporting a 16" rear wheel, hard tail frames, and long, chrome choked, springer front ends sans brakes.
Since I couldn't shake him, I decided to leave, after viewing many examples of Milwaukee Iron. The one that left the greatest impression sported a turbocharger, lowered rear end, and what looked to be a 1" wide, 24" diameter, chrome front wheel with no brakes. Somehow, a voice in my mind, not my own, kept saying, "... and then I had to lay it down..."
Last edited by stubbicatt; 08/20/158:38 am.
Hate is a poison which one consumes hoping for another to die.
This pretty much the reason I was never interested in showing any of my Britbikes. My favorite I think was one time I rode my BSA Catalina Scrambler DBD34GS to a bike show at a local park and one of the "experts" almost immediately started in on me for painting my "classic" in some shade other than "factory Gold Star Red'..( his terms not mine). I took a deep breath and then explained that my daily rider, "Old Blue", was indeed in original factory colors and untouched...down to the factory Catalina decal. Since you cannot fix stupid I just packed up and rode away. I think he was still standing there telling me some inane factoids as I rode off. And of course this is not unique to our hobby...they all have "that guy" somewhere in their ranks that just lives to wreck your day.
I have a Buddy, fellow board memeber, that built a BSA A65 Bitsa awhile back. This was done after he had already built some very nice OEM Triumph examples BTW, and did know drill. Anyhow, half way through the process, he hit on the "build theme". He decided to built it with intentionally mixed identification queues, the things you use to pick out the make, model, year etc. What a Gas! He has some great stories about listening to experts tell him amazing "facts". There has also been a few honest guys that have been as much fun, that ask him what the heck is this thing? Hope he comes to this thread! A photo would be great..........
"He decided to built it with intentionally mixed identification queues" (KC)
A club member, Rick, has a Kawi W650 that is badged with BSA emblems on the tank and side covers as well as dealer decal on the rear fender. Apparently he is constantly meeting people that after he has told them it is a Kawasaki they insist it is a BSA.
I have to admit,....... somewhat reserved I will say,.... most of the Big Big crowd I run into have always been complimentry, and fun to talk to. I'm sure you know the drill,..." Wow!, cool bike, I always wanted one,... my:brother,friend, neighbor, father-inlaw,...etc. had the EXACT SAME BIKE! What year is it?" I could have stood in one spot all day at this Ventrua vintage swap meet,.... lonely BSA in a Sea of H-Ds !
Of course its falling off. He rode the bike a good thirty miles before that photo was taken. I am the guy that KC was referring to with the Bitsa A65. It has been so much fun taking that bike to motorcycle gatherings. You could sell tickets to watch and listen to all of the experts explain just what it is. Oddly enough, it seems that quite a few of these "experts" had one just like it just a few years ago. I showed it at the Quail Motorcycle Gathering, a very up-scale show, and the judges loved it. They agreed that it was a great tool for identifying true idiots. One very British gentleman came up to me and said that he prided himself on knowing every BSA produced. He then said that my bike "had him bloody stumped." I really enjoyed that guy and he made up for a lot of idiots. I am also into 1960's Corvettes and that crowd is even worse. On more than one occasion I have been told that some guy had one like mine but it was the all steel version or the four-door model. Between the anal Corvette restorers and the "experts" that group is even worse than the experts at the bike show.
Last edited by Doc_dup1; 08/20/1511:31 am.
Mostly Triumphs with a few BSA's a Norton, and two BMW's
There are always a few EXPERTS in every field no matter what you are showing. I do not know how many times I have been told by HARLEY experts that my 1953 Harley 175 was not a real Harley because it was made in Italy. On the other hand there are quite a few people who wanted to know all about it (usually the young couples who I have even let their child sit on it so they could take a picture).
One evening, sitting in my garage after a day of EXPERTS at a Car & Bike show, I got a devious idea. Taking a very incomplete James ML I put on a Jap rear wheel, Cushman Gas tank and seat, bicycle front fender and a unknown back fender along with a rattle can paint job. The Harley decals were the final touch. I must admit there were quite a few puzzled people at the next show including a few that asked how it could have ever worked since there was no chain because the engine sprocket was on the opposite side from the rear wheel. I did reel in a couple of EXPERTS that knew all about them, I just smiled while they explained all about my bike.
I like to go to local car shows and cruise-ins on my Brit bikes, usually the only one there or may be a couple more. Most of the people that come up are usually appreciative. As matter of fact the only person that was an a$$hole was the owner of the only other Brit bike at a show who pointed out everything that was wrong with mine. I've even quit going to the regional Brit bike show in our area because of the nitpickers. What's funny though is when one of the do-rag type at a local show walks by and his girlfriend/wife takes an interest in your bike. I've had this happen quite a few times and on a number of occasions they even ask if they can pose on it for a picture. Something seems to attract them, color, chrome, the fact they look a little dangerous? I'm years past the point of thinking its me. Mean while do-rag guy is doing a slow burn. Even better if you do a one kick fire up.
Me: "No front brake? 24" wheel? Does it handle ok like that?"
Him: "Oh yeah! Smooth a a Dairy Queen shake!"
Me: "You ever worry about not having a front brake?"
Him: "Nah. Besides I used to have twin Brembos on there which would cause the 1" wide front wheel to lock up even if I used them a little bit. So one day, I really got into it in a parking lot, burning rubber, all that! Was still in first gear when a little old lady was backing out of a parking space, so I had to lay it down... That's when I put the Schwinn wheel on there..."
Last edited by stubbicatt; 08/20/156:33 pm.
Hate is a poison which one consumes hoping for another to die.
I would really like to turn up to a TOMCC meeting and see another old Triumph. Every time I went along to a local club meeting myself and a friend would have the only real Triumphs there. Everyone else turns up on a Hinkley and talks about owning an old bike. Even the local classic bike show, the Norton, BSA, Aerial etc clubs have displays of lovely vintage machines, not the Triumph club we have a line up of late model Hinkleys! Sorry I digress....
My favourite expert is the guy that describes every single carb Triumph as a Saint!
. . . My favourite expert is the guy that describes every single carb Triumph as a Saint!
Hey Rod, the truth of the matter is that people who ride single carb Triumphs are "Saints"!
I was putting gas in my TR6 the other day when a guy in a huge black SUV pulled in. He came over and asked me about my bike. His comments ran on like this: I used to ride Triumphs back in the day. I liked my 500 singles the best. Is this bike a twin or a single? I used to get a new one every year or so and rode the wheels off them -- sometimes as much as 1300 to 1500 miles in a single year! So, how old is your bike? Aren't they making them again? Don't they look just like the one you are riding here? Aren't the new ones exactly the same, but probably more reliable? I quit riding them after an old lady turned left in front of me just up the road a piece from where we are right now. I had to lay 'er down.
I know who the guy is and he is a muti-millionaire. He's certainly no dummy, he just didn't know what he was talking about as far as motorcycles go. I did carry his parting comment home to my wife. He told me how smart I was to have an old Triumph. He said that the way the economy is, it's far better to have a motorcycle that will increase in worth as opposed to having cash in the bank at an effectivley negative interest rate. That part sounded good to me, but my wife just rolled her eyes as usual.
'64 TR6R Plus some Twins from other countries (U.S., Germany, Japan)
I typically don't mind this kind of stuff. I find it endlessly entertaining, and occasionally you do bump into somebody who is actually interesting with cool shit to say. While I'd never close myself off to the chance of bumping into Mr Interesting Guy, If somebody becomes too boorish I definitely ditch them pretty quickly. I've never had to be overly rude... But then again nobody has ever glued themselves to me and just wouldn't shut up or let me go away.
I love it when you pull a dirty, oily, rusty, smoking Britbike into a sea of gleaming Harleys and all the wives/GFs come flocking over to ogle it! Or if folks are practically knocking chromed 30K Harleys over to get to the gnarly old relic. And when the women on the back of the bikes you are passing are giving you secret smiles, nods, and waves behind their guys' backs.
All in all, it's both the sacrifice and charm, the boon and the bane of being "different" from the "crowd". I'm in for every bit, be it painful or delightful.
Last edited by ricochetrider; 08/21/1510:50 am.
"It is no measure of health, to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society."
One small trick I have used a coulpe of times can end the comments in a complimentary fashion, while still giving you the satisfaction of a "tongue in check" reply. Bystander: So my TT was the 650 single, set up for racing, but you had to know how to start it because that thing could throw you right over the handle bars !! Me: Wow! Those must have been really rare and worth a bunch of money now! To bad you let it get away.....
Me neither, don't mind this stuff, but I haven't had any "experts" talk my ear off with mis-information, either. Often I break the ice by complimenting them on their beautiful Harleys, what model, etc., that usually makes them more open to my Triumph. Often they are curious about the bike, speechless that someone would ride an old bike, an old guy kickstarting, for example. One frequent question, is that a new retro bike or an actual vintage bike? Most often the Harley riders ignore me.
Last night went to a "bike night" here locally. Rode the Gold Star.
Typical to these gatherings were a plethora of Harley riders, replete with the "uniform of individuality," including the napkin helmet, gaudy rings, wallets secured by chains to the belt ....
I parked in a corner of the lot, and was immediately glommed onto by one of the "cognoscenti" ......
I kept walking around other bikes, feigning interest, in effort to unattach myself from this guy, but he kept right up with me .....
At some point he forced me to look at photos ......
Since I couldn't shake him ......
Dude, put all of this together and consider it's 2015.
Friendly Leather-Boy there was trying to get you to have a mocha-latte with him and then get you into the sack .... I'll bet a third of those outlaw pirates rode to the show "on the other bus .... "
So Lannis bets that one third of Harley Riders are gay. Lets have some fun with this. Supposedly, one gay person can recognize another gay person. If that's the case Stubbicatt, who couldn't shake the dude following him around, seems to be one of the boys who "rode to the show on the other bus", only difference being he was riding an English bike. Stupid assumption, right? well I'll just put a smiley face on the end of the post just to show I'm just joking.