Author Topic: what pre 1975 bike?  (Read 8545 times)

Offline Arizona Wayne

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #30 on: November 08, 2015, 10:34:16 PM »
yep.



Guess you had better luck than I had with 2 of them newer.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 10:34:55 PM by Arizona Wayne »

Offline Arizona Wayne

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #31 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.
« Last Edit: November 08, 2015, 10:37:56 PM by Arizona Wayne »

Offline SED

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #32 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.
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Offline wymple

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #33 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.
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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #33 on: November 08, 2015, 11:56:50 PM »

Offline jas67

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #34 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.
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Offline Scud

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #35 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.
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Offline H-E-ROSS

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #36 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.

Offline Kiwi_Roy

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #37 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.
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Offline Murray

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #38 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.

Offline Loftness

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #39 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.
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Offline johnr

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #40 on: November 10, 2015, 06:40:42 PM »
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Offline charlie b

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #41 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.

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Offline Testarossa

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #42 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. 
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Offline jas67

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #43 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.


2017 V7III Special
1977 Le Mans
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2017 Triumph Thruxton R
2013 Ducati Monster 796, 2013 848 Evo Corse SE, 1974 750GT, 1970 Mk3d Desmo, 1966 Monza 250
1975 Moto Morini 3 1/2
2007 Vespa GTS250
2016 BMW R1200RS, 80 R100S, 76 R90S ,73 R75/5
76 Honda CB400F, 67 305 Super Hawk, 68 CL175

Offline johnr

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #44 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]

« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 02:24:51 PM by johnr »
New Zealand
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Offline jas67

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #45 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.
2017 V7III Special
1977 Le Mans
1974 Eldorado
2017 Triumph Thruxton R
2013 Ducati Monster 796, 2013 848 Evo Corse SE, 1974 750GT, 1970 Mk3d Desmo, 1966 Monza 250
1975 Moto Morini 3 1/2
2007 Vespa GTS250
2016 BMW R1200RS, 80 R100S, 76 R90S ,73 R75/5
76 Honda CB400F, 67 305 Super Hawk, 68 CL175

oldbike54

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #46 on: November 11, 2015, 03:18:32 PM »
 Jay , are you forgetting the Scott , which actually meets most of the criteria  :shocked:

  Dusty

Offline wymple

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #47 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.
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Offline pikipiki

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #48 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.

Offline johnr

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #49 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
« Last Edit: November 11, 2015, 06:55:42 PM by johnr »
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Online Rough Edge racing

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #50 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...
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oldbike54

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #51 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

Offline jas67

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #52 on: November 11, 2015, 08:30:58 PM »
Jay , are you forgetting the Scott , which actually meets most of the criteria  :shocked:

  Dusty

Scott?
2017 V7III Special
1977 Le Mans
1974 Eldorado
2017 Triumph Thruxton R
2013 Ducati Monster 796, 2013 848 Evo Corse SE, 1974 750GT, 1970 Mk3d Desmo, 1966 Monza 250
1975 Moto Morini 3 1/2
2007 Vespa GTS250
2016 BMW R1200RS, 80 R100S, 76 R90S ,73 R75/5
76 Honda CB400F, 67 305 Super Hawk, 68 CL175

Offline jas67

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #53 on: November 11, 2015, 08:50:00 PM »
2017 V7III Special
1977 Le Mans
1974 Eldorado
2017 Triumph Thruxton R
2013 Ducati Monster 796, 2013 848 Evo Corse SE, 1974 750GT, 1970 Mk3d Desmo, 1966 Monza 250
1975 Moto Morini 3 1/2
2007 Vespa GTS250
2016 BMW R1200RS, 80 R100S, 76 R90S ,73 R75/5
76 Honda CB400F, 67 305 Super Hawk, 68 CL175

oldbike54

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #54 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

Offline jas67

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #55 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.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2015, 10:50:37 AM by jas67 »
2017 V7III Special
1977 Le Mans
1974 Eldorado
2017 Triumph Thruxton R
2013 Ducati Monster 796, 2013 848 Evo Corse SE, 1974 750GT, 1970 Mk3d Desmo, 1966 Monza 250
1975 Moto Morini 3 1/2
2007 Vespa GTS250
2016 BMW R1200RS, 80 R100S, 76 R90S ,73 R75/5
76 Honda CB400F, 67 305 Super Hawk, 68 CL175

oldbike54

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Re: what pre 1975 bike?
« Reply #56 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.



 I am ever humbly your servant .

  Dusty

 

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