Author Topic: Is the small block the new airhead?  (Read 824 times)

Online Sheepdog

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #30 on: December 04, 2019, 11:58:52 AM »
Lovable twins like the Airhead,the V7, the Hinckley Bonnevilles, and others is just a well-balanced genre. I am most impressed that the V7 has held true to the vintage priority of light weight. This is a weight class that offers bikes that can handle most any road...even those great Forest Service routes that we all love.
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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #31 on: December 04, 2019, 04:04:42 PM »
As I've said, I absolutely hated my R90/6 (after a while). I sure wouldn't want to have the small block remind me of one.

I bet it wouldn't.

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #32 on: December 04, 2019, 05:23:35 PM »
Moto.   Just out of curiosity, why did you absolutely hate your R90/6?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 05:24:01 PM by SmithSwede »
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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #33 on: December 04, 2019, 05:33:50 PM »
Moto.   Just out of curiosity, why did you absolutely hate your R90/6?

It had a gangly, awkward riding position -- mostly the handlebars and the weirdly shaped tank, plus the foot peg position. I felt like I was riding a toilet equipped to steer like a wheelbarrow.

It vibrated and the brakes were weak. The suspension, especially the front, was badly damped.

Not only that, the transmission locked in 2nd gear 650 miles into an 1800 mile loop of a trip and I had to ride 400 or so miles up the coast of Oregon and Washington, in 2nd gear, to get to any shop that would look at it. This took the bloom off the rose.

About the same time I got my T3, a much better bike in every way, I found.

Moto
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 05:35:29 PM by Moto »
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Online Chuck in Indiana

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #34 on: December 04, 2019, 06:36:01 PM »
Quote
About the same time I got my T3, a much better bike in every way, I found.

Agreed, although the airhead guys and girls will throw rocks at me. <shrug> A friend had an R90S, and we swapped bikes for a weekend. I thought, "This is what everyone is raving about??" Didn't float my boat at all.
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Offline Travlr

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #35 on: December 04, 2019, 06:53:05 PM »
Perhaps people ought to take this a little less seriously

How about: "Is a small block the modern CX500?"  Or is a CX500 more modern than a small block?  :grin: :grin:

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #36 on: December 04, 2019, 07:47:13 PM »


Moto, half of what you mentioned could have been changed (ergos) and my comparison does allow for the smallblock to be there more developed/better version with a more engaging motor.... Just staying.

How about: "Is a small block the modern CX500?"  Or is a CX500 more modern than a small block?  :grin: :grin:

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #37 on: December 04, 2019, 08:01:09 PM »

Moto, half of what you mentioned could have been changed (ergos) and my comparison does allow for the smallblock to be there more developed/better version with a more engaging motor.... Just staying.
not even a little MCHonda the fast food of motorcycles need not apply.

Kev,

I'm not saying no one could love a BMW. The frame itself felt wrong to me, especially compared to the Tonti frame. Just not at all the same kind of bike. I should probably stop elaborating about now!

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Offline SED

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2019, 08:02:46 PM »
Yes.  Kinda what I was thinking when I took this photo.


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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2019, 08:39:45 PM »
Kev,

I'm not saying no one could love a BMW. The frame itself felt wrong to me, especially compared to the Tonti frame. Just not at all the same kind of bike. I should probably stop elaborating about now!

Moto

Well first, it's all good, just a conversation. We're just expounding our opinions on the matter. No one has to agree with me.

I don't share memories about my 80/7 or our R65, or my bud's R65LS like you're saying. Then again if my only experience with an airhead had been Jay's /5 my opinion would probably be worse than yours.

So I'm curious about your particular experience and thoughts, but their existence (and accepted truth) still doesn't negate my feelings in my comparison, at least for me.

Maybe that's cause just like I realize there were different models and generations of airheads there are (to a lesser extent, but still are) different generations and models of Guzzi smallblocks. Maybe even more now if you include the V9 and V85. And I don't necessarily like the riding position and feel of all of them either. Though I'll admit to liking more than not.

But again I'm not saying airheads and smallblocks are the same... I'm saying closest in s lot of ways.

But in your case I understand that it's good that it's not THAT close right?

I can get that too. All good.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 08:42:59 PM by Kev m »
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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2019, 09:02:37 PM »
I felt like I was riding a toilet equipped to steer like a wheelbarrow.

Good one.  No wonder you didnít like it!

What was the deal about getting stuck in 2nd?

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2019, 10:06:51 PM »
I generally liked my R90/6 but coming from nearly 100k on a short wheelbase R75/5 it was a much better bike. There were things I didn't like. The stands were terrible, both side and center. The seats on both were absolutely terrible. They sloped forward enough that I was alway sliding into the tank. But I made a few changes, different bars, heavier springs in the forks and Fox rear shocks. A friend owned a R100RS that he let me take it for a spin. I didn't think it felt much different than my 90.

I quit riding a number of years ago but got back into again about 6 years ago. I went to the darkside and rode Harleys up until this past July when I got my Audace. I can afford only one bike at this time but I think I would like to have a V7 in the garage. I think it would be perfect for local riding but I have never ridden one. I will ask the dealership the next time I am there if there is one I could ride even though I have no intention of buying it. I need to pay off my home improvement loan first. Then again when my Audace gets to heavy for me I would probably be looking at a V85TT Traveler. Decisions, decisions, decisions, but not for awhile. I just have to be content rebuilding a YA6 125cc Yamaha this winter.
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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2019, 10:27:55 PM »
What was the deal about getting stuck in 2nd?

Broken shift return spring. Couldn't dislodge it.

Part of a longer epic. My future wife and I rode two-up from southeast Idaho to the coast of Oregon and then up to Seattle, from there back through Montana to Idaho Falls. We crossed one low mountain range from Idaho into southeast Oregon against the advice of locals, camped in the south Oregon desert, and broke down just as we pulled in to an overlook above Crater Lake, Oregon. I was refused help by every BMW dealer I called within hundreds of miles.

So I calculated a top speed for 2nd gear -- 52 mph, I think -- and headed north along the coast. We crossed another low range along the Oregon coast at night in dense fog and sleet that I really feared might kill us, looking for a place to stay. The regulator and stator finally gave out (from continuous high rpms) in a complete failure of the electrical system, stopping us about 30 miles from my sister's house in Bremerton, Washington.

I paid an independent mechanic several hundred dollars for repairs, and he showed me the broken spring. Back through the Lolo Pass to Montana, dipping into Idaho again along the Salmon River, and home, all safe and sound.

Now here's the irony. I'd bought that R90/6 because I thought it would be reliable, in the expectation of making that exact trip. The previous owner had had a good amount of work done on it by the local BMW dealer, including a complete rebuild of the transmission. When I got home I found the itemized receipts. There, in the list of parts replaced, was the charge for the new shift return spring. It was less than a one dollar part, and it had broken after less than two thousand miles of service.

Granted, Guzzis also break return springs, but after this I'd had enough of that bike.
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 10:38:28 PM by Moto »
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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2019, 10:44:20 PM »
Wow.  Thanks for sharing an interesting story. 

Iíd probably hate that BMW pig too!

So tell us.   And be honest.  How did the T3 treat you over the years?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 10:45:21 PM by SmithSwede »
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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2019, 10:59:19 PM »
My BMW shifter return spring spring failure occurred at the very north end of Passo dello Stelvio at the end of a long day.  I stopped in Mals Venosta for the night. The next morning I figured out that it would be possible to ride in third gear all the way to Munich where BMW repairs are easy to arrange, and I did it by 2 PM.  Two days before I was in Sicily, so it worked out OK. I was also lucky to be stuck in third... but FWIW Iím told itís possible with enough man power to tip the bike upside down and shift to the gear you want with gravity now working in your favor!

I was and I suppose still am pretty well acquainted with the people who invented the Airhead concepts, meaning that label and the Ďsimple by choiceí mantra.  When they came up with that stuff that they were mostly riding later model BMWs than the 70s style boxers... for example B Janís 1990-whatever R100R.  The later ones work pretty well by comparison.

There really is something to the Airheads appreciation of those bikes, and I agree that the attributes they appreciate in them can at least to a degree be seen in the newer Guzzi small blocks too.

« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 11:37:08 PM by Tusayan »

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #45 on: December 04, 2019, 11:39:50 PM »
Wow.  Thanks for sharing an interesting story. 

Iíd probably hate that BMW pig too!

So tell us.   And be honest.  How did the T3 treat you over the years?

It's been great. Never left me stranded. I love the long low riding position (sport bike bars) and the great, massive flywheel. It's got Wixom saddlebags and a flyscreen, and is painted black. Loaded up with gear and a tent and a bag of charcoal it will fly all day at 90 mph if you can find a place to do it. It also corners well, without drama.

I''ve put thousands of dollars of parts and hundreds of hours of labor into it of course, but never begrudged a dime or a minute. Notable repairs and upgrades include new clutch and flywheel, Gilardonis, new instruments, recovered seat, new paint, fork cartridges, springs, shocks, etc., etc., all part of the experience. It starts up more reliably than any bike I've owned.

It's no showbike, though.

Not all Tonti bikes are the same. This is a short steering head frame, almost identical to the same-era V7 Sport and LeMans I. Though its motor is in a mild state of tune, when stripped down (and fitted with low bars) it is a similar, sporty ride. I enjoy it more than my Griso, I find myself thinking pretty often.

Moto

« Last Edit: December 04, 2019, 11:46:26 PM by Moto »
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Offline fossil

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #46 on: Today at 12:42:34 AM »
Broken shift return spring. Couldn't dislodge it.


Granted, Guzzis also break return springs, but after this I'd had enough of that bike.

Exactly what happened at my 2013 Stone last autumn. It was expensive. Do I hate the bike now? No.
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Offline SIR REAL ED

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #47 on: Today at 04:25:34 AM »
Agreed, although the airhead guys and girls will throw rocks at me. <shrug> A friend had an R90S, and we swapped bikes for a weekend. I thought, "This is what everyone is raving about??" Didn't float my boat at all.

I can understand and agree with that view.  I remember being absolutely thrilled at the opportunity to ride a friend's R100.  Finally I get to ride a BMW!!!!!  I found it to be a very bland bike with little character.  I remember wondering if the R90, R80, R65 was a much better balanced bike.  My Nevada has much more charisma (IMSMO) then at least that single BMW.

I also recall riding a demo R1100 when they first came out (1995?) and being so impressed I considered buying one.
« Last Edit: Today at 04:30:28 AM by SIR REAL ED »
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Offline SIR REAL ED

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Re: Is the small block the new airhead?
« Reply #48 on: Today at 04:39:03 AM »
Broken shift return spring. Couldn't dislodge it.

Part of a longer epic. My future wife and I rode two-up from southeast Idaho to the coast of Oregon and then up to Seattle, from there back through Montana to Idaho Falls. We crossed one low mountain range from Idaho into southeast Oregon against the advice of locals, camped in the south Oregon desert, and broke down just as we pulled in to an overlook above Crater Lake, Oregon. I was refused help by every BMW dealer I called within hundreds of miles.

So I calculated a top speed for 2nd gear -- 52 mph, I think -- and headed north along the coast. We crossed another low range along the Oregon coast at night in dense fog and sleet that I really feared might kill us, looking for a place to stay. The regulator and stator finally gave out (from continuous high rpms) in a complete failure of the electrical system, stopping us about 30 miles from my sister's house in Bremerton, Washington.

I paid an independent mechanic several hundred dollars for repairs, and he showed me the broken spring. Back through the Lolo Pass to Montana, dipping into Idaho again along the Salmon River, and home, all safe and sound.

Now here's the irony. I'd bought that R90/6 because I thought it would be reliable, in the expectation of making that exact trip. The previous owner had had a good amount of work done on it by the local BMW dealer, including a complete rebuild of the transmission. When I got home I found the itemized receipts. There, in the list of parts replaced, was the charge for the new shift return spring. It was less than a one dollar part, and it had broken after less than two thousand miles of service.

Granted, Guzzis also break return springs, but after this I'd had enough of that bike.

Sounds like an excellent pre-marriage, acid test, for choosing a wife!  Hope it worked out well in the long run!
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