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Classic motorcycles
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old iron



Joined: 22 Mar 2016
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:08 pm    Post subject: Classic motorcycles Reply with quote

When I were a young fella my first motorbike was a Honda CB72 250cc twin.
This machine was looked down upon by/my British bike riding companions at the time. This was mid 1960s period. A very common remark was ‘Jap Crap’.
And yet this little Honda could hold its own in the company of many British bikes of twice its capacity. Very Happy
As a piece of nostalgia I am contemplating returning to the Honda of my youth. I wonder if it will be greeted with the same ‘lack of enthusiasm’ . I would like to think we are passed that stage by now Very Happy
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Ray White



Joined: 02 Dec 2014
Posts: 4200
Location: Derby

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You will not find any negativity here, I am sure. We are all aware of how the British Motorcycle industry, like the car industry, failed to modernise in the face of the Japanese.

I for one would have loved a new Honda 250 when I was younger (although to be honest I would have preferred my mate's race tuned Kawasaki 250 two stroke!) ...but all I ever had was a rather pathetic BSA Bantam which couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding. Sad
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lowdrag



Joined: 10 Apr 2009
Posts: 1440
Location: Le Mans

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started with a Sun 98cc 2-speed 2-stroke and worked my way up to a DBD34, then became more sensible and had a Tiger 100 and finally a TR6. Lovely bike that; no twin carbs to keep in tune. But later in life I bought myself a VFR 800, and that bike went from Leicester to the Bol d'Or in total comfort. Lovely saddle, proper fairing, and a 4-cylinder engine with no vibration. I'm too old to have one now (over 200 kgs) but a little Tiger 90 would please me for a lovely sunny day.
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ukdave2002



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 3660
Location: South Cheshire

PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2021 7:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my youth, (80's) Jap bikes were the norm, I had a Honda 250 Super Dream, most of my generation had Jap bikes, apart from the few odd balls who had weird makes like Norton and Triumph..…?

Dave
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PapaJoe



Joined: 09 Nov 2020
Posts: 51
Location: Massachusetts USA

PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My friend George started collecting and restoring old Honda machines back when nobody wanted them. He told me he'd offer to take away old motorcycles that were languishing in backyards and under piles of junk in sheds. Those he didn't restore, he'd break into parts. Now he's well known and respected in Japanese Motorcycle collector circles as a valuable source of parts and knowledge. Today, I think most riders have a genuine appreciation for Japanese machines of all displacements.

Joe
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Keith D



Joined: 16 Oct 2008
Posts: 1019
Location: Upper Swan, Western Australia

PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back in the early sixties we always knew the Japanese bikes as 'rice burners' and treated them with distain.

A friend and I were apprentices during the day working for very little pay and at the weekends and evenings we worked casually for a couple of motorcycle dealers who did not want to service British bikes when they could get a far better deal by supplying and servicing Jap machines, especially Hondas.

We got to know Triumph, BSA, Velocette and Norton bikes quite well, but quickly learned that the 'rice burners' were far more usable. For example, I owned a 500cc Vincent Comet that I had to sell, being a small guy at the time who had a hell of a time starting and handling the dammed thing! The 'rice burners ' had self starters, a thing the British industry claimed where not possible on a motorbike. The Jap bikes were lighter, far more manoeuvrable and didn't leak as much oil. They also had twelve volt electrics which meant that their lights were far better. As Old Iron has said, their general performance was as good as a much larger British machine.

My motorcycling days are a long way behind me, but I would never pay a fortune for a restored British bike, whereas I would be very happy with a restored early Jap.

Keith
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Churchill Johnson



Joined: 11 Jan 2011
Posts: 356
Location: Rayleigh Essex

PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 10:41 am    Post subject: bantam Reply with quote

Ray White wrote:
You will not find any negativity here, I am sure. We are all aware of how the British Motorcycle industry, like the car industry, failed to modernise in the face of the Japanese.

I for one would have loved a new Honda 250 when I was younger (although to be honest I would have preferred my mate's race tuned Kawasaki 250 two stroke!) ...but all I ever had was a rather pathetic BSA Bantam which couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding. Sad
You should have tuned your bantam Todd got over 100mph on isle of man with one.........
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consul 57



Joined: 09 Nov 2017
Posts: 312
Location: somerset

PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i started with an italian gilera moped, bad starting and crap electrics were the norm until rewired and played with, but very fast compared to the jap ones my friends had, then i got a spanish montessa, also bad at starting, then a suzuki enduro bike, also fast but unreliable, but ever since i got my first honda back in the 90's an 1981 xr 200 i have only ridden honda's and have 4 of them 2 are 30+ old and have been used for competition, get them out of the shed, a few kicks, do the event, back home and put away for the next time, would not buy anything else, well engineered and reliable just like my japanese cars, lots of miles and hardly any time or money spent on them, but i still love my classic ford as it has style, but still have to fiddle with it, but when you drive it people smile, not had that driving my yaris lol, lol.
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old iron



Joined: 22 Mar 2016
Posts: 137

PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2021 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to read about your own nostalgia, I rode my Honda 250 and managed to pass my ‘test’ on it. Then moved into car driving . Went back to bikes and succumbed to the Kawasaki 650 four, son of the legendary Z1. What a great bike my 650 was, everything I could possibly want from a bike.

Back to cars after a few more years and two kids to bring up.

Our son got into bikes and I went back again to them. We had a week on the
TT spectating. Great times. He purchased. Yamaha R1 and was riding on public roads in a manner that worried his mum and myself. We said that he should prove himself on the race circuits, which he did.

He has now given up bikes, as have I, but it would be nice to have a show bike just to polish Smile
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