Wildgoose Chase Moto Guzzi

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: pikipiki on November 08, 2015, 09:48:48 AM

Title: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: pikipiki on November 08, 2015, 09:48:48 AM
Thinking about about older motorcycle.

Must be easy to maintain and not need engine rebuilds every few thousand miles.
Spares must not be unobtainable.
Must not be so valuable that I'd be inclined not to use it. (under $5000)
Must not be a money pit.
Must not produce clouds of black smoke.
Prefer not to leave puddles of oil where ever parked.
Prefer not water cooled
Must give reasonable gas mileage.
Must be usable on freeway.
Must be OK for 200 mile rides with luggage, suitable for touring UK.
Must have kick start.
Must not have scary handling or nonexistent breaks.

What should I put on my short list?
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: guzzisteve on November 08, 2015, 10:25:17 AM
"Must have kick start", leaves out Guzzis unless you make one to replace the starter or get a Nato smallblock.

850T or T3 for good brakes (at least not shoe brakes) other early models are up there in price
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: sign216 on November 08, 2015, 10:35:27 AM
"must have good brakes"


Dude, if you're coming from disc brakes, you might never feel okay about drum brakes.


Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: veltro_nero on November 08, 2015, 10:46:47 AM
BMW R75/5
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: nick949 on November 08, 2015, 10:51:36 AM
Forget the kick start. Live with the brakes (or add a disk or 4LS set up). 

This is the bike you want!

Nick

(http://www.adamsheritage.info/images/tt/plate25.jpg)

ps it's BRAKES!
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Rough Edge racing on November 08, 2015, 10:53:11 AM
 SOHC 750 Honda 4 cylinder....they do have a kicker and you don't have to usethe electric start.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Yukonica on November 08, 2015, 11:00:39 AM
Honda 305 Dream covers almost every point.
 :grin:
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: wrbix on November 08, 2015, 11:08:00 AM
Thinking about about older motorcycle.


Must have kick start.




Trying to qualify for Disability Benefits?  :whip2:
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: pikipiki on November 08, 2015, 11:15:59 AM
Here's my thoughts on stuff I think I would like:

Don't have any rational reason just like

Matchless 350 or 500
Honda CB77
Guzzi Nuovo Falcolne


Don't want an Enfield or an original Bonneville.
Benelli look like trouble
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: nick949 on November 08, 2015, 11:35:10 AM
You can cut the Nuovo Falcone from the list if you think you will be spending any time on the motorway.  Without some major engine work, they just don't have the speed to make it safe / pleasant.
Even on A roads - particularly dual-carriageways, you will be the slowest thing moving, plugging along with garbage trucks and Series 1 Landrovers.  As far as reliability, mine is always a first kick starter and doesn't drop puddles of oil (as will your Matchless options).

I have used modern Enfields on England tours in recent years and frankly, their performance is marginal for English road / driving.  The Nuovo Falcone is considerably slower.

Nick
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: sign216 on November 08, 2015, 11:36:40 AM
Here's my thoughts on stuff I think I would like:

Benelli look like trouble

Benelli (see my own "recent purchase" thread) shouldn't big trouble, except parts will exceedingly difficult.

I suggest another bike I have: a BMW /2.  Excellent quality, outstanding parts availability.  If you find a beat up one the price shouldn't be bad.
But then there's the whole drum brake thing. 
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Dilliw on November 08, 2015, 11:40:59 AM
Been trying to get this one away from my brother for a few years now.  I'm close!  It fits your bill and with the way they are holding their value worth the investment.

(http://i55.photobucket.com/albums/g152/Dilliw/IMG00371-20131220-1426_zpsebaa2268.jpg)
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: realgone on November 08, 2015, 12:07:19 PM
I agree with veltro_nero. An airhead bmw with the starter pedal transmission if you just have to have a kickstart bike, though I doubt you would use it. Most good ones would be closing in on the top of your $5g budget.
Or any Yamaha xs650 if you want something sportier. Kickstart, oil tight, reliable, cheap plentiful parts, easy to modify/persoanlize, good looking bikes.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: father guzzi obrian on November 08, 2015, 12:11:13 PM
An early Honda 500/550 4, kick starter, good brakes, handle well, bullet proof..... Beat mine mercilessly for 90K miles and sold it running well
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Testarossa on November 08, 2015, 12:25:30 PM
Quote
An early Honda 500/550 4, kick starter, good brakes, handle well, bullet proof..... Beat mine mercilessly for 90K miles and sold it running well

 :thumb:
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: garbln on November 08, 2015, 01:23:58 PM
Yamaha XS650.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: NCAmother on November 08, 2015, 02:11:28 PM
An early Honda 500/550 4, kick starter, good brakes, handle well, bullet proof..... Beat mine mercilessly for 90K miles and sold it running well
:1:
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Lannis on November 08, 2015, 02:45:41 PM
Thinking about about older motorcycle.

Must be easy to maintain and not need engine rebuilds every few thousand miles.
Spares must not be unobtainable.
Must not be so valuable that I'd be inclined not to use it. (under $5000)
Must not be a money pit.
Must not produce clouds of black smoke.
Prefer not to leave puddles of oil where ever parked.
Prefer not water cooled
Must give reasonable gas mileage.
Must be usable on freeway.
Must be OK for 200 mile rides with luggage, suitable for touring UK.
Must have kick start.
Must not have scary handling or nonexistent breaks.

What should I put on my short list?

You've gotten some good suggestions about bikes, so I'll just make a comment about your requirements.

All of those are good rational specs except the one about a kick start.   When bikes went to electric start, the makers kept on putting kickstarters on them for the same reason that early automobile makers continued to put buggy-whip sockets on the cars.   It was not for any practical purpose, but to make people feel better because they'd always had one.

After a few years (not many, maybe 3 or 4), the manufacturers deleted the kickstarters because they realized that if a bike is so hosed that it won't start on the electric starter, it's not going to start on the kickstarter either.

No bike has to leave black smoke trails or puddles of oil - that just needs to be fixed.    Twin leading shoe drum brakes are good for a few hard stops, but then start to fade from the heat; you just have to allow for that and ride accordingly .....

Good luck!

Lannis
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: pikipiki on November 08, 2015, 04:12:21 PM
Thanks for comments, I thought a Nuovo Falcolne would be able to hold 70 mph better than a 350 enfield or a modern 125 and be a pleasure on A-roads.
I'd like to get to understand what these bikes are like.
I would think when new Honda CB77 305 would have been a fine bike but would wonder how much of the original power would be left after so many years where something like a Nuovo Falcolne single cylinder low reving should be possible to keep running almost like new?
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: tazio on November 08, 2015, 04:15:17 PM
Yamaha XS650.
yep.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: jas67 on November 08, 2015, 04:24:54 PM
BMW R75/5

 :1:    I'd load mine up and travel cross country without any qualms.


The CB77 OP mentioned would do the job, but, would be buzzy at highway speeds.   The R75/5 is truly a highway capable bike, even today.   It'll purr along all day long at 70 MPH, and be just as happy to put along at 45-50 on the bi-ways.   With decent shocks, they're decent handling bikes, and like a Guzzi, shaft drive, so, no chain to clean and lube (as on the CB77 or Matchless).   The /5 and first year or two of /6 have kick start as well as electric.

If you don't want oil leaks, then, go BMW /5, or Honda.    Stay away from vintage British Iron.   They like to mark their territory.

Hondas through about '77 had kick starters, as well as electric start (except the small singles) on all their street bikes.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: BrianK on November 08, 2015, 04:33:12 PM
When bikes went to electric start, the makers kept on putting kickstarters on them for the same reason that early automobile makers continued to put buggy-whip sockets on the cars.   It was not for any practical purpose, but to make people feel better because they'd always had one.

After a few years (not many, maybe 3 or 4), the manufacturers deleted the kickstarters because they realized that if a bike is so hosed that it won't start on the electric starter, it's not going to start on the kickstarter either.

I had a GS750EC I rode year round in upstate NY.  Many's the time I couldn't get it started with the electric leg but managed - after a while! - with the kicker.

Once electric start became common, bike manufacturers deleted kickstarters because they thought it made the bike look "unreliable" - if the electric starter works, why would you have a kickstarter?

So in the interest of making the bike LOOK more reliable, they made it in fact less reliable.

And for the record, I vote for a Norton Commando for the OP.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: nick949 on November 08, 2015, 04:48:34 PM
Thanks for comments, I thought a Nuovo Falcolne would be able to hold 70 mph better than a 350 enfield or a modern 125 and be a pleasure on A-roads.
I'd like to get to understand what these bikes are like.
I would think when new Honda CB77 305 would have been a fine bike but would wonder how much of the original power would be left after so many years where something like a Nuovo Falcolne single cylinder low reving should be possible to keep running almost like new?

The fastest I've ever had my Nuovo Falcone up to is about 65 mph - and those were exceptional circumstances.  It will hold 60, but loses speed quickly on hills.  Leafman (of this forum) seems to have an NF rocket, but I think my experience is more the norm.  I don't think reliability would be a problem as long as you got a good one, and it is an absolute delight to ride, as long as speed isn't one of your mail criteria.

Personally, given your requirements, you should look at a Mash http://www.mashmotorcycles.co.uk/ (http://www.mashmotorcycles.co.uk/).  They even have a kick start!

Nick
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Cam3512 on November 08, 2015, 05:15:19 PM
Screw the kickstart.  I had a BMW R75/5 for 10 years and never had to kick it.  To echoe Nick, you're describing a Guzzis  Loopframe sans kicker.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: wymple on November 08, 2015, 05:54:40 PM
Yamaha XS650.

X3
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: leroysch on November 08, 2015, 09:37:34 PM
Yamaha XS650.

 :thumb:
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Scud on November 08, 2015, 09:41:52 PM
All the CB 4-cylinder Hondas fit the bill. I had a 1972 CB350-Four, which I recently sold. It was a bit underpowered for today's traffic - although it's top speed was over 90mph. As a driver, I like the previous suggestions of the CB550-Four or CB750-Four - but the CB400-Four is also interesting. The earlier bikes had kickstart (don't know what year they stopped including that).

Of course, with electric start, you don't really need a kicker. But I think it's fun to have a kickstarter - almost a novelty now. I used it a lot on the CB350 - just because it was there.

I do need the kickstarter on my dirtbike - but it also has electric start. Thumpers are trickier to kickstart - have to get the piston in the right spot. Kicking a four cylinder bike is easy - one of the pistons is always in about the right spot.

Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Lannis on November 08, 2015, 10:19:02 PM

Once electric start became common, bike manufacturers deleted kickstarters because they thought it made the bike look "unreliable" - if the electric starter works, why would you have a kickstarter?

So in the interest of making the bike LOOK more reliable, they made it in fact less reliable.


Yes, I see.  Like cars.   They're quite a bit less reliable now than they were back in the days when they had hand cranks in the front to back up the electric starter ....

Although if the sprag clutch goes bad on my MkIII .....

Lannis
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Yeahoo Whoyah on November 08, 2015, 10:24:22 PM
Quote
What should I put on my short list?

Moto Guzzi Eldorado, never mind the kick start feature.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: SED on November 08, 2015, 10:31:43 PM
How about the CB450 Black Bomber?  It's a little better fit than a CB77 for most riders and has more power.  Probably still findable for $5000.  That or a CB400F would be my choices if price, reliability and classic lines were a priority.  500 or 550 would carry the luggage better.  BMWs and Guzzis would cost more probably.

If you like the Matchless any of the late Brit singles will be about as reliable with the same brakes.  They can be made to work well, but they are going to need lots of regular attention. 

Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Arizona Wayne on November 08, 2015, 10:34:16 PM
yep.



Guess you had better luck than I had with 2 of them newer.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Arizona Wayne on November 08, 2015, 10:36:54 PM
How about the CB450 Black Bomber?  It's a little better fit than a CB77 for most riders and has more power.  Probably still findable for $5000.  That or a CB400F would be my choices if price, reliability and classic lines were a priority.  500 or 550 would carry the luggage better.  BMWs and Guzzis would cost more probably.

If you like the Matchless any of the late Brit singles will be about as reliable with the same brakes.  They can be made to work well, but they are going to need lots of regular attention.




Never heard of a CB450 that was durable or Brit singles for that matter.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: SED on November 08, 2015, 10:43:07 PM
Never heard of a CB450 that was durable or Brit singles for that matter.

You're probably right.  My brother has a CB450 so I don't work on it - but why would it be less reliable than a CB77?

I've been on a couple of 2000 mile tours on my girder/rigid Ariel.  Had to work on it, but it carried me home.  It's always gotten me home.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: wymple on November 08, 2015, 11:56:50 PM
There have been more than a few XS650's in this family, between me and my nephew and BIL, and they are tough as nails, requiring only proper maintenance. Parts are easy and cheap and really nice examples are had well under your budget. Like any bike, if it was neglected that's a different story. They are easy to resurrect from the near dead, tho.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: jas67 on November 09, 2015, 09:46:47 PM
Of course, with electric start, you don't really need a kicker. But I think it's fun to have a kickstarter - almost a novelty now. I used it a lot on the CB350 - just because it was there.

I do need the kickstarter on my dirtbike - but it also has electric start. Thumpers are trickier to kickstart - have to get the piston in the right spot. Kicking a four cylinder bike is easy - one of the pistons is always in about the right spot.

Yeah, the CB350 Four and CB400F are likely the easiest bike out there to kick start.    I think that I could start my CB400F with my hand.    I've been using the kicker exclusively for about two years now, because the push button for the electric start is worn out, or needs the contacts cleaned.   It hasn't been a priority, because I don't really need it.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Scud on November 09, 2015, 09:56:51 PM
Yeah, the CB350 Four and CB400F are likely the easiest bike out there to kick start.    I think that I could start my CB400F with my hand.

So true - I kickstarted the 350-Four barefoot many times. I could start that thing by putting it in gear and duck-paddling it - like a kiddie push car. Not bump-starting or dropping the clutch... just roll it while it's in gear. I think the starter-motor was from a toy train... but it worked every time.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: H-E-ROSS on November 09, 2015, 10:55:15 PM
I've owned many pre 75 BMWs and have to say /2 to /5 seem to fit the bill you describe with the exception of the brakes. My first road worthy bike was a R60/2 that I would have driven anywhere. It ultimately met the front quarter of a Buick! (back to that brake issue). My first Guzzi was a 77 T3 that I got in a trade for a r26. The extra go power over the BMWs I had owned hooked me. I was apprehensive about the lack of a kicker but I got over it. The one time I needed one, I bump started with ease. I bought a Matchless 500 a few years ago that I thought I would restore but sold it without ever pursuing the project. I like old bikes, but as a rider not a mechanical hobbyist. It is very hard to get it all in one package, I think you will have to make a compromise.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Kiwi_Roy on November 10, 2015, 04:35:35 AM
Moto Guzzi Eldorado, never mind the kick start feature.
:1: And you don't need disks, I was pleasantly surprised how well the drums work once I de-glazed the shoes.
The old girl will hold her own on the motorway, indicated 160 kph and fun to ride.
It doesn't have a kick start but Guzzis all start easy with a push.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Murray on November 10, 2015, 05:00:59 AM
Thinking about about older motorcycle.

Must be easy to maintain and not need engine rebuilds every few thousand miles.
Spares must not be unobtainable.
Must not be so valuable that I'd be inclined not to use it. (under $5000)
Must not be a money pit.
Must not produce clouds of black smoke.
Prefer not to leave puddles of oil where ever parked.
Prefer not water cooled
Must give reasonable gas mileage.
Must be usable on freeway.
Must be OK for 200 mile rides with luggage, suitable for touring UK.
Must have kick start.
Must not have scary handling or nonexistent breaks.

What should I put on my short list?

You don't want a pre 1975 bike, Bandit 1200 I'd suggest.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Loftness on November 10, 2015, 11:42:58 AM
As many have mentioned, BMWs of the era fit most if not all your criteria.  My R90/6 would certainly.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: johnr on November 10, 2015, 06:40:42 PM
(http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb116/johnr39/1962-bsa-rocket-gold-star%202.jpg) (http://s210.photobucket.com/user/johnr39/media/1962-bsa-rocket-gold-star%202.jpg.html)
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: charlie b on November 11, 2015, 08:18:58 AM
If you do want a CB500-4 I would recommend you stay away from the very early ones (1971).  My father-in-law bought one new in Japan.  I got it in 79 with 30k mi on the clock.  Put another 50k on it, almost all of it commuting.

The clutch mechanism was horrible and prone to break.  The clutch cable was also short lived due to it.  The drive chain was a 530 size and would stretch badly.  I had to adjust mine several times a month and replace chains every few months.  Sprockets about once a year.

Kickstarter.  Yes, and it needed it.  The tiny battery was good for two shots at starting the motor, then it was dead.  Kickstarted it many, many times after the battery ran down.  It did not like cold weather (especially cold and wet).  You had to figure out just how much choke to use to keep from flooding it.  Some mornings I would just give up and take the car.

The rest of it was great.  Motor was good for 80mph cruise.  Would not maintain that in a strong headwind.  Valves never needed adjusting.  Replace points and plugs every now and then and you're good.  I did have the forks rebuilt once.

Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Testarossa on November 11, 2015, 10:24:10 AM
I had a pre-K 500/4 and don't recall any special problems with the clutch or chain, and it always started quickly, one way or the other, even in cold weather. Took a real beating, parked on the street in Manhattan most of the year and ridden hard every weekend. Changed the oil, filters and plugs, balanced the carbs and filed the points every spring. It handled far better than the CB750 of the era. I did rebuild the forks but only to put in Ceriani dampers. 
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: jas67 on November 11, 2015, 01:42:26 PM
If you do want a CB500-4 I would recommend you stay away from the very early ones (1971). ....

The first year CB550 ,1974, looks just like the CB500-4, and is more refined.  That would be the one to go for.
The 1975 and 1976 CB550K aren't bad either.    After that, they aren't as good looking.

The early (1977 and early) CB550F with its 4-1 exhaust looks nice too, similar to the CB400F, but a little bigger and faster.

I had a pre-K 500/4 and don't recall any special problems with the clutch or chain, and it always started quickly, one way or the other, even in cold weather. Took a real beating, parked on the street in Manhattan most of the year and ridden hard every weekend. Changed the oil, filters and plugs, balanced the carbs and filed the points every spring. It handled far better than the CB750 of the era. I did rebuild the forks but only to put in Ceriani dampers.

The CB500-4/CB550 are about 100# lighter than the CB750 of the era.


Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: johnr on November 11, 2015, 02:22:05 PM
Must be easy to maintain and not need engine rebuilds every few thousand miles.
        These two criteria are mutually exclusive to an extent. The older you go the
        easier it will be to maintain but the more often you are going to do it.
Spares must not be unobtainable.
         This pretty much precludes Japanese bikes over 10 years old, especially
         Honda.
Must not be so valuable that I'd be inclined not to use it. (under $5000)
         Well the BSA Rocket Gold Star I posted above would fetch more than that, but
         many of their 650 twins of say the late 50s and the 60s would be within all
         the criteria here.
Must not be a money pit.
         This will depend on age, brand and most of all, condition.
Must not produce clouds of black smoke.
         That depends on mixture settings.
Prefer not to leave puddles of oil where ever parked.
         Depends on condition and how often some clutz has levered cases apart
         with a screwdriver or over tightened them. Fixable anyway.
Prefer not water cooled
         Parallel Twin country
Must give reasonable gas mileage.
         Single carb parallel twin (Gold Flash or Road Rocket)
Must be usable on freeway.
         If by this you mean able to cruise endlessly at 80 + mph, forget it and
         buy a new bike. (or a far more expensive older bike that will use gas)
Must be OK for 200 mile rides with luggage, suitable for touring UK.
         I'm back to thinking of moderate BSA Twins
Must have kick start.
         As above
Must not have scary handling or nonexistent breaks.
         Brakes vary greatly according to both condition and design. BSA drums
         were good for example while Norton ones not so much. Early disks were
        crap with the exception of the Triumph ones. 

What should I put on my short list?
[/quote]

Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: jas67 on November 11, 2015, 03:14:07 PM

Spares must not be unobtainable.
         This pretty much precludes Japanese bikes over 10 years old, especially
         Honda.
FALSE

You definitely can't make this blanket statement about all vintage Hondas.  Many spares are still available, but, some aren't available from Honda any more, notably air filters for 60's bikes such as the CB77.    Dave Silver Spares has been buying up whole dealerships worth of NOS parts for years now, and is a great source for spares for old Hondas.

I'm sure that there are probably spares available for other Japanese makes, but I can't say, as I have very little experience with them.

Must not be so valuable that I'd be inclined not to use it. (under $5000)
         Well the BSA Rocket Gold Star I posted above would fetch more than that, but
         many of their 650 twins of say the late 50s and the 60s would be within all
         the criteria here.
There are many, many Japanese bikes that fit this criteria.
BMW Airheads 1970-1995 also fit this criteria, excluding the R90S, and soon the R100S.
Prefer not water cooled
         Parallel Twin country
Most bikes prior to 1975 are air cooled, not just parallel twins, so, this one is easy.  In fact, the only water cooled bikes that I can think of before 1975 would be the Gold Wing, Suzuki GT750, and Suzuki RE5.  The Honda CX500/GL500 were water cooled, but, are later than 1975.
Must give reasonable gas mileage.
         Single carb parallel twin (Gold Flash or Road Rocket)

Pretty much any bike of any cylinder configuration 550cc or less should do better than 40 MPG if tuned well, and many twins 750cc and under.   I got 40 MPG with my CB550 (four cyl), mid 40's with my CB400F (four cyl) and CB360 (twin carb twin).    I get 40-44 MPG with my R75/5 (750cc twin, twin carb).
I don't have any experience with early 70's CB750 to say what MPG they get (hence my comment of 550cc and under).
Must be usable on freeway.
         If by this you mean able to cruise endlessly at 80 + mph, forget it and
         buy a new bike. (or a far more expensive older bike that will use gas)
Loop Frame Guzzis, BMW Airheads (esp. R75 & R90), Honda CB550 & CB750 (plus many others) fit this bill well.
Must be OK for 200 mile rides with luggage, suitable for touring UK.
         I'm back to thinking of moderate BSA Twins
Again, Loop Frame Guzzis, BMW Airheads (esp. R75 & R90), Honda CB550 & CB750 (plus many others) fit this bill well.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: oldbike54 on November 11, 2015, 03:18:32 PM
 Jay , are you forgetting the Scott , which actually meets most of the criteria  :shocked:

  Dusty
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: wymple on November 11, 2015, 03:36:32 PM
" This pretty much precludes Japanese bikes over 10 years old, especially
         Honda. "

Only a few of the early Jap bikes are hard to find parts for, and most of the expensive parts are cosmetic. I just went thru an RD350 for a friend, and about anything you could want is on ebay, right down to injection pump kits. I find this commonly true. Parts get pricey for rare bikes, mostly because there aren't many left as they were junk or just didn't sell well. You don't want a H2 Kaw or a Suzuki rotary anyway. Any bike sold in reasonable quantity is a piece of cake.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: pikipiki on November 11, 2015, 05:43:25 PM
Must be easy to maintain and not need engine rebuilds every few thousand miles. - something that was reliable and well designed for time not something that will be 50% down on power due to wear cost cost fortune to put right be back where you started 3000 miles later.
Spares must not be unobtainable. Don't mind waiting for stuff, don't like undocumented or unobtainable parts.
Must not be so valuable that I'd be inclined not to use it. (under $5000)
Must not be a money pit. Running costs in line with budget.
Must not produce clouds of black smoke. Probably not 2 stroke although there are the odd real nice ones even some MZs
Prefer not to leave puddles of oil where ever parked. Not a TRiumph
Prefer not water cooled. Delete that as pointed out GL1000 Goldwing was water cooled and I really like those although thinking smaller bike (don't like the silly big later models)
Must give reasonable gas mileage. 40mpg+
Must be usable on freeway. Be able to hit 75-80 for short bursts only, cruise 65
Must be OK for 200 mile rides with luggage, suitable for touring UK.
Must have kick start. Maybe not must but I do like a kickstart
Must not have scary handling or nonexistent breaks. For emergency stops not track days.

Do like that BSA posted.
What should I put on my short list?
I want to research half a dozen bikes (no more) so when something pops up I might be able to know what I'm need to check. I'm not in the rush, V7 classic suits as a single bike, would like to move to maybe 2 bikes old fun bike and Dail rider. One bigger one smaller.
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: johnr on November 11, 2015, 06:32:34 PM
FALSE

You definitely can't make this blanket statement about all vintage Hondas.  Many spares are still available, but, some aren't available from Honda any more, notably air filters for 60's bikes such as the CB77.    Dave Silver Spares has been buying up whole dealerships worth of NOS parts for years now, and is a great source for spares for old Hondas.

This statement was made for 2 reasons.
One was the discovery that at the 10 year mark Honda dumps its remaining spares for a bike in the sea.

The other is the experience that older Japanese bikes are by a country mile the hardest (and often the most expensive) to get parts for when compared with bikes of other nations. I'm leaving Italy out of that equation because I don't know enough about the situation there.

By comparison, it is surprisingly easy to acquire parts for old British stuff, even those that have gone out of business.

I do not believe the statement to be false.

.
Quote
Pretty much any bike of any cylinder configuration 550cc or less should do better than 40 MPG if tuned well, and many twins 750cc and under.
 

Well of course! A 550 is only a 550.  And a 550 four would likely be less economical than a 550 twin too. (volumetric efficiency) Above 750, not so likely but possible in some configurations.

As for the rest, we could have a lively and probably quite intense discussion about some of those points, but I'm not going to as it would high-jack the thread.

I think something that should be considered though is that this machine is required to " be suitable for touring in the UK".   To me it seems that a late 50s or a 60s 650 twin would fill the bill perfectly if it is in good condition. It all comes down to taste and predispositions though.

( I would also note that the triumph twin can be made oil tight, but I'm not greatly fond of this engine for other reasons, mainly to do with lubrication.)

PS
I can not say the tune was perfect and the engine was most certainly not standard, but I once achieved 93 miles, 2 up at 70mph for 1&1/10 imp gallons on my 1950 Gold flash
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: Rough Edge racing on November 11, 2015, 07:10:32 PM
 It's interesting to read the opinions on the various older bikes.  But what kind of rider is the OP? Does he like a lively bike that has good manners when used for sport? Or is any reliable but not so sharp handing bike just fine with him? There's a world of difference in feel when comparing 70's Japanese machines to same era European bikes...
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: oldbike54 on November 11, 2015, 07:13:09 PM
It's interesting to read the opinions on the various older bikes.  But what kind of rider is the OP? Does he like a lively bike that has good manners when used for sport? Or is any reliable but not so sharp handing bike just fine with him? There's a world of difference in feel when comparing 70's Japanese machines to same era European bikes...

 Good points here .

  Dusty
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: jas67 on November 11, 2015, 08:30:58 PM
Jay , are you forgetting the Scott , which actually meets most of the criteria  :shocked:

  Dusty

Scott?
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: jas67 on November 11, 2015, 08:50:00 PM
(http://i210.photobucket.com/albums/bb116/johnr39/1962-bsa-rocket-gold-star%202.jpg) (http://s210.photobucket.com/user/johnr39/media/1962-bsa-rocket-gold-star%202.jpg.html)

Beautiful!
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: oldbike54 on November 12, 2015, 09:33:58 AM
Scott?

 Have we managed to stump the master ?  :laugh: The Scott Flying Squirrel . Meets most of the criteria, well , except for price , parts availability , and brakes  :grin: Oh , and being water cooled .

  Dusty
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: jas67 on November 12, 2015, 10:48:59 AM
Have we managed to stump the master ?
The master?   Me?  (blush).    Heck, I've really only been paying attention to motorcycles for about 5 years.  That said, I have immersed myself in the subject during that time, learning as much as possible about both vintage and modern bikes.    But master?   Far from it.  No, I am definitely Grasshopper.

Thank you for the complement though.   :thumb:
  :laugh: The Scott Flying Squirrel . Meets most of the criteria, well , except for price , parts availability , and brakes  :grin: Oh , and being water cooled .

  Dusty

Now I've got some reading to do.   Thank you for educating me!
Neat bike!    Very innovative for its day.
(http://www.yesterdays.nl/images/Scott-1929-Flying%20sqiurrel-BH-1.jpg)
Title: Re: what pre 1975 bike?
Post by: oldbike54 on November 12, 2015, 10:51:29 AM
The master?   Me?  (blush).    Heck, I've really only been paying attention to motorcycles for about 5 years.  That said, I have immersed myself in the subject during that time, learning as much as possible about both vintage and modern bikes.    But master?   Far from it.  No, I am definitely Grasshopper.

Thank you for the complement though.   :thumb:
Now I've got some reading to do.   Thank you for educating me!
Neat bike!    Very innovative for its day.
(http://www.yesterdays.nl/images/Scott-1929-Flying%20sqiurrel-BH-1.jpg)


 I am ever humbly your servant .

  Dusty