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I had a '69 XLCH sportster (last year for the magneto) I bought in like '89 in show room condition with only 6000 miles on it (paid $2500). It was surprisingly smooth but the brakes were horrible. Inconsistent starter and a bitch to kick on a cold morning (60 wt oil). Tiny fuel tank was stupid, lawn mower carburetor was marginal, brakes were bad but a fun bike to ride if you could get it started (had some omph if you gave it some throttle). Thought about modifying it to my preferences but it was soo low mileage and soo original I sold it instead ($7500). Didn't hate it but can't say I was sorry to see it go.


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Honda 500 Shadow. My cousin gave it to me with a Velorex sidecar for my favorite price-free. It hadn't run for a few years, so I got it running and sorted the sidecar mounts so that it handled ok. Problem was that because it wasn't an everyday bike, the carbs would gum up from ethanol every time I took it for a ride. Taking them on and off is a much bigger PIA than it is on British Bikes. Everything is tight together, all the plastic and rubber bits are old, stiff and brittle. You need small hands to work on it, everything just fits (cut a 1/16th off a hose and it no longer fits, if you don't use the Honda hose clamp it doesn't fit, and even if you do it won't work unless the head of the hose clamp is at exactly 11:37. You get the picture. There were other reliability issues as well. Add to the fact that it is an ugly motorcycle and took up a lot of room and it had to go. The motor was nice when it was running though.

Ed from NJ

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I had to take a GS850 for an extended test ride once at the shop where I worked, heavy and ponderous even at speed.
I also got to ride an RD 350. I guess it's fun if you don't mind the ridiculously narrow power band. My dad's old A7 Avenger was better.
I only rode a Sportster once around a campground. Nice bottom end grunt, but it handled like a drunk girlfriend. I was not tempted to take it out on the road.
I always had a love/hate relationship with my K100. Loved it at the ton on the interstate, hated it on anything tighter than fast sweepers. It got me to TWO a couple of times, pretty useless on the roads around there. Really hated it when the drive shaft broke and left me stranded. So much for BMW reliability.
I stare at it every day, taking up space in my carport, but I don't like it enough to even find out what broke. Did I mention that it's a PITA to work on?


"Gosh, it's not a 1/4 20, must be metric."

72 T120V cafe project "Mr. Jim"
72 T150V "Wotan"

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“ handled like a drunk girlfriend.”

I like the expression! I think I’ll use that myself!

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Originally Posted by Ian Ashdown
“ handled like a drunk girlfriend.”

I like the expression! I think I’ll use that myself!

Ian
SoCal
I already told it to a couple of co workers. They laughed!

It's right up there with a common Harley riding position that looks like it was designed by a gynecologist.

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Originally Posted by kurt fischer
^^ I sold 100s of kaw triples as a kaw dealer 1969-1976, never lost a customer. Rode many miles on them myself, no crashes. Just my first-hand experience, not hear-say.
I rode the 500 and 750 when they were only a few years old..I didn't like the feel or sound but the handling was something a sensible rider could deal with. Of course the fast acceleration could get you into trouble..Same way a Brit 650 can get a rider in trouble that is used to 250 street bikes.


61 hot rod A10, 89 Honda 650NT .On a bike you can out run the demons
"I don't know what the world may need
But a V8 engine is a good start for me
Think I'll drive to find a place, to be surly"
“
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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Originally Posted by kurt fischer
^^ I sold 100s of kaw triples as a kaw dealer 1969-1976, never lost a customer. Rode many miles on them myself, no crashes. Just my first-hand experience, not hear-say.
I rode the 500 and 750 when they were only a few years old..I didn't like the feel or sound but the handling was something a sensible rider could deal with. Of course the fast acceleration could get you into trouble..Same way a Brit 650 can get a rider in trouble that is used to 250 street bikes.

^^ My view exactly. I had some not-so-sensible Triumph customers who wouldn't admit that they didn't know how to ride and crashed leaving the parking lot on their new 650s. We did a lot of Kaw tuning, porting, carbs, that broadened the power significantly and made the bikes much more tractable. One issue with the 500s and 750s was too high compression, same with the 350 twins. Solution, stack head gaskets til you got around 115psi. For some race bikes, we'd weld up the combustion chambers and re-machine. Long ago. I have photos somewhere.

Back on topic, as some others have said, no hate for any of the bikes I've owned. In recent years, one bike that I kept for just a few months was a new Guzzi Breva 1100, the touring, not the Sport. It felt like riding a big marshmallow. I worked a deal with the dealer and got a new Guzzi Griso 1100, a very different ride despite the nearly identical basics, fully adjustable Showa suspension, for starters. I kept and rode my '69 TR6R the longest of all, from 1974 til 2019.


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And that bike liked to eat pistons!!!!

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Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Originally Posted by kurt fischer
^^ I sold 100s of kaw triples as a kaw dealer 1969-1976, never lost a customer. Rode many miles on them myself, no crashes.......
I rode the 500 and 750 when they were only a few years old.......the handling was something a sensible rider could deal with.......
I was finishing up high school in 1969. I remember a "sensible rider" classmate wheelstanding his white tank H1 half way up the hill from the school driveway to the RR overcrossing in a wailing cloud of smoke. It was awesome, but how many "sensible" riders actually bought these raucous beasts? But to each his own.

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Originally Posted by Stuart Kirk
[quote=Ian Ashdown]“ handled like a drunk girlfriend.”

............. a common Harley riding position that looks like it was designed by a gynecologist.



laughing laughing


BeezaBryan

He knows not where he's going, For the ocean will decide,
Its not the destination, It's the glory of the ride (Edward Monkton, Zen Dog)





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CZ 175

Basically a DKW /Harley hummer (?) /Bantam made in Czechoslovakia

Guaranteed contraceptive back in the day.

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Originally Posted by AngloBike
CZ

James Dean on his CZ

[Linked Image from live.staticflickr.com]


Kurt

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Originally Posted by Stuart Kirk
Originally Posted by Hillbilly bike
Originally Posted by kurt fischer
^^ I sold 100s of kaw triples as a kaw dealer 1969-1976, never lost a customer. Rode many miles on them myself, no crashes.......
I rode the 500 and 750 when they were only a few years old.......the handling was something a sensible rider could deal with.......
I was finishing up high school in 1969. I remember a "sensible rider" classmate wheelstanding his white tank H1 half way up the hill from the school driveway to the RR overcrossing in a wailing cloud of smoke. It was awesome, but how many "sensible" riders actually bought these raucous beasts? But to each his own.
They were all bought for the acceleration...Cycle mag editor Cook Neilson demonstrated to Kawasaki reps how dangerous the bike could be when pushed to limit.....
In the 73 Cycle mag superbike comparison, with experienced amatuer racers, the Kawa 750 was faster aound a track than a Norton,Triumph triple and Ducati....


61 hot rod A10, 89 Honda 650NT .On a bike you can out run the demons
"I don't know what the world may need
But a V8 engine is a good start for me
Think I'll drive to find a place, to be surly"
“
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Speaking of Triumph triples...

I had one of these bucket of bolts. Absolutely one of the most beautiful bikes ever built. Leaked, stalled, slipped, died. It was stunning to look at though.


1966 BSA Lightning (2)
1970 BSA Thunderbolt(1)
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Originally Posted by oldfool
...... It was stunning to look at though.
High maintenance, just like a gorgeous woman. Gotta be skilled or rich.

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Hi Oldfool--- there is another old fool in northern Joooisey who is into triples--- me!
Stuart is correct---like all Brit bikes they are like women---unpredictable, expensive and lots of character--- but I wouldn't want to be without them!
And you are correct-- the triples are the most extreme examples of this.
As for being skilled or rich---not sure that I qualify on either count!

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Before I read any more sour comments on my opinion of the Kawasaki H1,H2 bikes, I suggest you go to YOUTUBE and view.
"The Original Kawasaki H2 Widow-maker," and read the comments of others who survived riding them.

No more comments from me on this subject.

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I liked all the Brit bikes I owned, and just about all models that I sold as a dealer, the exception is the TR25W for which I developed an intense dislike. Nothing but trouble from those bikes.


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Kurt, there is a large stack of pink repair bulletins on the TR25W bikes. Performance was low, my Harley Aermacci 250 "Sprint" could run rings around one.
The Triumph dealers were told it would be "an enlarged Cub," and were p.o.ed . when what they got a BSA B25 in "Triumph" badges.

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I agree with Kurts sentiment.
I have not hated any Brit bike that I owned.
However I have liked some more than others!
Starting with a 1956 BSA D7 Bantam 150cc that I bought as a student for 28 pounds 10 shillings (about $30).
That would have been exactly 61 years ago!

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I've never hated a bike no matter what the nationality, disliked a few but never held any hatred.


BeezaBryan

He knows not where he's going, For the ocean will decide,
Its not the destination, It's the glory of the ride (Edward Monkton, Zen Dog)





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kurt fischer wrote.........".....the exception is the TR25W for which I developed an intense dislike."

As much of a unit single fan as I am........the TR25W was a mistake IMO. Neither company put a lot of thought into it. I have a few carcasses and would be more than willing to help someone out with bits.....but I don't think I'll ever put one together. So there's another one to add to my "list" that I didn't realize I had.

AND......it's like I've been haunted. While searching for something else.....I stumbled across photos of that damn Sears Allstate Vespa.....ugh
[Linked Image]

vespa engine out 001.jpg (46.53 KB, 252 downloads)
Last edited by Gordon Gray; 09/05/22 2:27 pm.

Gordon Gray in NC, USA........White man broke the code

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I cant exactly hate a machine but the 74 Norton 850 I bought around 1982 is a bike that comes to mind...It ran ok and no nagging problems...But I did not like the feel of it...


61 hot rod A10, 89 Honda 650NT .On a bike you can out run the demons
"I don't know what the world may need
But a V8 engine is a good start for me
Think I'll drive to find a place, to be surly"
“
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Bike that has needed the most spannering and expenditure per mile: 2003 Triumph Sprint. More grief to follow with valve clearance checks at some stage:

Side fairings off
Tank off
Airbox off
Plugs out
Cambox cover off
Measure 12x clearances
Remove cams to remove buckets to change shims if clearances are wrong.

I'll probably end up with a collection of Brit singles; tappet clearance check on an AJS / Matchless 500:

Warm engine (30 seconds from cold)
Remove three nuts for tappet cover to rocker box; the nuts are knurled so can be undone with fingers (no tools needed)
Remove tappet cover to rocker box
Check 2x valve clearances by feel
Adjustment requires spanners but no further dismantling.

Earlier Hinckley triples are apparently shim over bucket, but still painful:

https://www.canyonchasers.net/2006/02/triumph-t955i-valve-adjustment-tips-tricks/

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I have never owned a machine I did not like.

As for GrandPaul's poor starting Bultaco Pursang I must put in a good word for my Bultaco 200S that I raced trouble free for two years. It never failed to start in one or two kicks whether hot or cold and it had about 3 times the power of the Tiger Cub it replaced.

Gordo


The roadside repairs make for the best post ride stories.
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