Motorcycle Suggestions Welcome

sax4blues

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Apr 14, 2006
Posts
5,973
Location
Colorado Springs, CO
Don't pick a bike just because it was "it" 40 years ago. Old bikes are like old muscle cars: they're not anywhere near as good as people think they remember. Modern bikes are better-engineered, better-built and better to ride and own.
Also old bikes are old. Even if mileage is low the rubber/plastic is fragile if not already cracked. Fuel and oil lines/reservoir are clogged and or falling apart. Brake pads are stiff ineffective. Tires are usually shot. And after you fix all of that stuff(you must fix otherwise you are very unsafe) at significant co$t, you still have an old bike with other things giving problems.
 

Tele-beeb

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Posts
3,647
Location
The Bluegrass
I have ridden since I was barely able to hold up a mini bike.
Just about every genre, style and configuration at some time or another.
Rupp 'lil Indian to Harley Davidson Road King.

And I can say without hesitation that the OP hasn't given nearly enough info to make even a remote suggestion beyond "my favorite" which likely has little bearing on the ability to make even a modest suggestion.
Experience? Preferred riding environment, style, distance, so many options.
Do you like to tinker, or just hop on and ride? storage space? Occasional or frequent passenger? Etc. Etc.

The only guess I can make, is given the nature and wording of the question, I would agree with the caution against romanticizing about older nostalgic stuff. Sounds like its likely a commonly made mistake.
But I could be reading more into the question than the intended meaning. Dunno.
I appreciate that… my question was a bit leading to times gone by. A family friend let me ride his Kawasaki 2-stroke 750.
I weighed maybe 135 lbs wet?
Have you ever seen space and time unite into smoke smell and music…?.. and then stop?
That was that.
 

drmordo

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jun 27, 2019
Posts
2,640
Age
48
Location
Tampa, FL
I rode a lot a decade ago but lost my nerve after an accident and almost dying a handful of times.

That said, there's only one motorcycle that still tempts me.


scarmbler-1200-family-multi-content-block-image-2-1920x1080.jpg


Triumph Scrambler
 

Weazel

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Posts
1,529
Location
Location Location
I had a Triumph Legend '01 for almost 15 trouble free years. (with mandatory services, of course)

Here where I live, the riding season is may - october, so every first ride of the season is a bit tense.

I found myself getting increasingly worried about the troglodytes in their cars, up to a point I could not enjoy my rides anymore. I sold it before I ended up in an accident. I got tired of constantly watching my back, side and front just waiting for disaster.

That Triumph was no rocket, but a very nice classic looking motorcycle with a three cylinder motor and a very pleasent roar (modified pipes, of course).

Still miss it, though.

I really do.
 

teleplayr

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Feb 7, 2012
Posts
2,148
Location
Nicoma Park, Oklahoma
I rode bikes for many years during my youth.

I was considering getting another after not riding for many years. After talking with other bikers and their near misses and the way that people in cars drive I decided against it.
 

teletail

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Aug 25, 2019
Posts
3,669
Age
72
Location
West By God Virginia
Unless you like working on bikes more than riding them, I wouldn’t consider something from the 70’s to 2000. I’ve owned Harley, BMW, Yamaha, Kawasaki, and Yamaha. I ride a Harley now, they just fit me best. BMWs are nice but expensive to maintain if you don’t do your own work. I think the best bang for the buck is the Kawasaki cruisers. I had a Kawasaki 2000; a beast of a bike, but rock solid. I rode it from West Virginia to Alaska and back without a single problem; except finding tires. Apparently it takes a non standard size tire.
 

Jimclarke100

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Posts
2,132
Location
Horsham, UK
Yamaha XS650. Reliable, parts are everywhere, light, fairly nimble, easy to fix.

You can make anything from a hardcore, hard tail, handshift chopper to a Triton impersonator out of one.
Can’t disagree. Just got mine back on the road last year after a 12 year lay off:

Started as a ratty custom style; ended up a bit cleaner and is still evolving.

why do I have so many expensive hobbies?
 

Attachments

  • B72B0064-6D01-403C-A64D-7B72E9F13E5D.jpeg
    B72B0064-6D01-403C-A64D-7B72E9F13E5D.jpeg
    335.1 KB · Views: 15
  • 9648C588-DEAB-4E62-BE2D-098E92808314.jpeg
    9648C588-DEAB-4E62-BE2D-098E92808314.jpeg
    305.2 KB · Views: 17
  • 3701EE9C-1860-41EE-806C-B1D410865198.jpeg
    3701EE9C-1860-41EE-806C-B1D410865198.jpeg
    283.7 KB · Views: 11

JeffBlue

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Oct 24, 2012
Posts
2,217
Location
Southern California
I wanted a Harley Davidson since I was 7 years old. Heard and saw a crew roll by and I was smitten. Didn't buy one in my early days because I was too busy partying with friends in low places. I had been retired for about 5 years when I convinced my wife that I was tired of hanging around the house (she was still working at the time) and going places in my Dodge Ram uses too much fuel. She was reluctant but I kept on her.

Anyway, she went with me to the Harley Davidson dealer, helped me pick out the 2019 Softail Deluxe that I wanted. Black in color, lighter than the bigger Harleys and she's fast and agile. Milwaukee 8 107 is a powerful engine and this motorcycle moves. I did get it up to 120 mph, which something I seldom do. I normally ride about 80 or 90 mph. I love riding the twisties in the San Gabriel mountains, Malibu canyons and the beautiful sceneries here in California. I also ride the coast a lot. Great times.
 

teleforumnoob

Friend of Leo's
Joined
May 25, 2010
Posts
2,638
Age
65
Location
your mom
Moto Guzzi is the Telecaster of the motorcycle world. Basic, easy to work on, reliable and always leaves a smile on your face.
I probably would have gotten a Guzzi over the Enfield if there was a dealer anywhere closer than 300 miles away. I really like the look of em, shaft drive, and sideways V twin. Reminds me of the old Honda CX 500s which I have a nostalgic soft spot for. I didn't wanna get something Italian and different with no dealer close by in case there was a problem. I have a RE/Triumph/Yamaha/Kawasaki place right down the road, and the RE 650 air cooled twin is an even more a "basic" machine.
 

Dismalhead

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Feb 16, 2014
Posts
9,445
Age
59
Location
Antelope, California
I went through a bunch of Japanese cruisers over the years. My favorites were a Honda Nighthawk 550 and a Honda Shadow 700. I had a late '90s Yamaha Virago 750 and it had electrical issues that left me stranded a few times. IMO Honda or Kawasaki are the way to go if you want reliability. Right now if I were to get back into riding I'd probably get a used Kawasaki Vulcan.
 
Last edited:

ce24

Poster Extraordinaire
Joined
Jan 26, 2008
Posts
7,559
Location
Idahoastan
My 96 R1100RT......smooth and fast if need be.... Going back and forth of selling or not. Im 71 and my hips don't like many hours of being spread over a bike....200mi days are about it for me.
IMG_20220513_141510_01.jpg
 

mexicanyella

Friend of Leo's
Joined
Jan 26, 2012
Posts
4,578
Location
Troy, MO
I know 2-smokers are not for everyone. May I suggest a Suzuki T500? (with proper drum brakes) :)

View attachment 982763
Man, Lookit that. Always admired those. Had a beater GT380 triple for awhile in my late teens, nowhere near that nice but similar paint scheme.

I would think chasing down vintage Suzuki two-stroke parts would become a pretty significant slice of the re-entrant rider experience pie though. @John Backlund could probably weigh in on some of that if he hasn’t already...I recall he was working on a GT750 at one point.

10-15 years back, when I owned a ‘72 Honda CB450 twin for awhile, I recall things like final drive parts, brake parts and steering head bearings being easy to get still, and tuneup parts. But some engine parts were getting hard to find...rubber dampers for the camshafts (mine were disintegrating and getting rubber crumbs in the oil) were one elusive part I looked for.

In general it seemed like that bike was a good deal older than a lot of parts counter people at the time, who seemed to have no idea what the hell I was asking about.

And that’s a bike that was made in various broadly similar versions at least from the mid 1960s up through the mid 70s. So yeah...something quite a bit newer and with a long production run, as @Dan German said, is solid advice.
 
Last edited:

SuprHtr

Tele-Afflicted
Silver Supporter
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Posts
1,978
Age
65
Location
Rocket City
Have I got a deal for you! 2003 Kawasaki ZR7S! My avatar photo is the last air-cooled 4 cylinder sold by Kawasaki in North America. I collect underappreciated Kawasakis. This one is a factory parts bin bike, made to fill a gap in Kawasaki's product line when they were developing the 750 version of the water-cooled Z1000. Universally panned by the sport bike press, universally praised by practical old men who like a relaxed riding position! I bought it new in 2005 and have fewer than 7K miles on it. The engine design dates back to the original Z900 and is pretty much bullet proof.
ZR7S 7-11-2006.JPG
 

Meechieman

TDPRI Member
Joined
May 14, 2022
Posts
6
Age
68
Location
Henderson, Nv
Upon a life event I am now at the place I always meant to acquire a motorcycle. I had them in my youth and have placed them on the shelf while raising children (as well as alcohol.)
What do you feel is a great value on the current market?
I am open from 1970 through maybe the early 2000’s.
All Japanese and air cooled is preferred.
:) thanks ahead.
I used to ride. I loved my CBR1000RR Honda. I also had a Ducati 1098, and MV Agusta 1000rr. The Honda set up correctly is a great bike for the money. I too quit alcohol 37 years ago. Glad I did.
 

DesmoDog

Tele-Afflicted
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Posts
1,587
Location
SE Michigan, USA
Oh yeah, forgot to mention in my earlier post, but as a returning rider, I strongly recommend taking an MSF beginner course. You might not remember as much as you think. And depending on your state, it might streamline getting your mc endorsement on your license.
^This.^ Do this before you buy anything. I say that because it's not unknown for people to take the course and realize the fantasy doesn't match the reality - they don't really like riding motorcycles. Saved themselves a bunch of money/time by figuring that out in the course.

Other than that... you need to define what you want/expect out of bike ownership. Then buy the one you keep comparing everything else to. Bikes are not rational purchases, they are emotional purchases.

A friend of mine just picked up a used Yamaha MT03 for something like $2500. Fantastic bike for a newbie. Small, light, cheap to repair/maintain. Is it a bike for you? I have no idea. You decide. If the important thing is to have a classic Japanese bike to play with then no. If the thing is to have a bike to ride, then maybe.

I'm pretty sure the bikes I like would be horrible choices for you, but I'm kinda partial to them. Parts availability for (certain) 30 year old Italian bikes is actually not bad, and the fan base is huge... yeah, that's it. Find yourself a '90s Ducati Monster M900! Air cooled, carbs, what's not to like?
 




Top