Mark McVeigh over at MotoDNA has done it again with this great article about peripheral vision and the importance of practicing this valuable skill.
Clicky here Joining The Dots
When people think about classic bikes, they think about old Indians, Triumphs, AJS, Norton… bikes in that era. Yep they are definitely classics, and they have the price tags to go with them.
Sometimes I think about bikes I’ve owned, and even thought. “Wouldn’t it be great to have this or that bike again”.
I wrote about my old Honda 750 Four a few posts ago, and no I wouldn’t have one of them again. I would own a Kawasaki Z1R though, complete with its wooden front brake and collector that hung too low on the left side.
Back when I had mine they were desirable, but not yet collectible.
Unfortunately for me, some of the bikes I’ve owned in the past (cars too for that matter) have now become classics or collectible , and are waaaay out of my price range. You’d be lucky to find a Z1R for under AU$14,000 in fair condition in today’s market. Although its not impossible if you’re patient.
Even the a 1984 Kawasaki GPz 900R or 1985 Suzuki GSXR 750 Slab Side can command a 10K plus price tag if it’s in good condition. I’ve seen some GPz’s for as low as $2500, but they were incomplete or needed some work.
What about 90′s or naughties era bikes?
How many of them have gained a following so strong that they are hard to come by?
These are my picks of what might become valuable in the future.
Harley Davidson XR1200(X)
I’m not sure what to make of this bike. Was it an attempt to rekindle the XLCR from the ’70, or was it HD’s way of thumbing their nose at Buell?
Harley says that 12731 of these bikes were produced from 2008 through 2013. In contrast there were 1923 XLCR’s made between 1977 and 1979.
Will the XR1200(X) become collectible?
Suzuki GSF1200S Bandit
Not really the best handling bike around, but what riders liked about the Bandit was the retro styling and the fact that the engine was based on the GSX-R1100 engines of the late 80′s. This fact alone allowed owners to get some extra ponies extracted with out too much effort.
Moto Guzzi MGS-01 Corsa
Moto Guzzi built these bikes in limited quantities for racers, a street version was never made… Pity, these things are dead sexy, and sound great.
Because of the limited production run these things will hold their value.
I’d have one of these because they come in red.
RC51′s were nick-named The Duck Killer and were produced in direct competition to Ducati. Weighing in at 200kg and producing 133 hp, the RC51 went on to win two World Super Bike Championships and one AMA Championship.
I’ve actually seen one of these floating around my home town complete with one of those Knight Rider pulsing red light thingies… Looks pretty cool me thinks.
The original company that made Indian motorcycles went belly up in 1953. Over the years there have been attempts to resurrect the brand, the latest being Polaris Industries who acquired it in 2011.
I’m of the opinion that the the first bikes produced (low serial numbers) by Polaris in the current era will become collectibles.
Kawasaki ZRX 1100
You don’t often see these bikes up for sale, but when you do, they still hold their value depending on their condition. The engines in these were de-tuned ZZ-R 1100 power plants.
Producing around 98 bhp these bikes had great mid range and oodles of torque. The ZRX appeals to riders who want a modern-day Eddie Lawson Replica.
Why the 1100?
Because it was the first.
There are other bikes of course.
What bikes do you think you could buy today, that say… in 20-30 years would become a collectible?
I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.
When I started riding there was a rule here in Queensland that you were restricted to a 250 capacity bike for your first 12 months, after which time you could upgrade to an open class licence and ride whatever you liked. It didn’t matter if it was a Yama-haha cruiser or a Spew-zuki RGV (!), as long it was a 250. Now-days, you can ride up to a 660 as long as it meets the LAMS* restrictions.
One lunchtime at work, I was whingeing about the fact that I would have to get a 250, only to sell it 12 months later when I did the upgrade to open class. Most of my work mates ignored my whingeing, and continued to eat their lunch. Others said I should just get what I want and take the risk.
I’d thought about doing that, taking the risk, but reasoned that the odds of me getting nabbed by the local constabulary on my 120km (75 mile) round trip to work were not in my favor. I was newly wed, and had a mortgage hanging over my head. I needed to keep my job and the money it brought in.
The next day one of the blokes I worked with suggested “Why don’t you build a bike?”
This wasn’t as dumb as it sounded. I could build the thing up over 12 months, learn how it all worked so I could fix it on the side of the road if I had to, and I could start riding an “open” class bike without doing the 250 thing. I just had to be patient.
I decided the idea had merit, and started looking around for a basket case to rebuild. As it turned out I didn’t have to look very hard. Sully, another workmate, came up to me a few days later.
“Hey, I got a bike you can have for $200.” He said.
Suspicious I asked “What’s wrong with it?
“Nothin’ ya can’t fix” was the reply. “I just need to get rid of it, I keep stubbin’ me toe on it”
Sully had sold an old Honda 750 Four K2 to a mate as a going concern six (6) months earlier. The mate had promised to give him the money “next week” and took the bike home. Weeks tuned into months and nothing, no money, no bike, and the mate had shot through.
Sully went around to where his mate used to live in the hope that the bike was still there. It was, but it wasn’t ride-able anymore. The engine had been removed and stripped, and every conceivable part had been removed from the frame. Only the front forks and front wheel were still connected to the frame.
To my new brides horror, I paid Sully the $200 he was asking and took the bike home. I thought she would be excited about my new acquisition… She wasn’t.
I could trace the history of the bike back to the production manager where I worked. He owned it during his army days before he sold it to Sully.
Singlet had heard I bought the bike, and couldn’t help himself but regale me with stories about his time owning it. My favorite tale being the one when he pushed the centre stand down at 100km/h (60mp/h) showering his mates behind him with bright orange sparks.
This explained why I had to rebuild leading edge of the centre stand.
The tank had a huge 40mm (1-1/2″) deep dent just behind the filler cap when I got it. It had been bogged up with filler that had started cracking and was a mess.
I asked him how it happened, but he would only say he had the irrits+ about something and belted it, but wouldn’t elaborate any further.
Over the next 12 months I replaced bearings, repaired stripped threads, de-greased, cleaned, painted and chromed every part of the bike. I was on a budget and could only spend a set amount each week, a bearing here, a gasket there.
I sand blasted the frame after work one day and had it powder coated by the business next door to where I worked. There were a multitude of bits that went to the chrome works, and when I got the rims back I had them re-spoked by a local wheel builder.
The paint work was done by Al, another bloke I worked with, Al tinkered with classic cars and bikes for a hobby. He owned a 55 Chevy and a Harley Shovel that were nothing short of works of art, so I figured he would do a good job on my tank and side covers too.
The engine build was beyond me, I didn’t have the tools or the know how, so I handed that job to a bloke called Phil Mayo. At the time Phil was working for Phase Four on Logan Road Woolloongabba, he later went on to start his own business, Pro Flow, also in Woolloongabba.
Incidentally, Phil built my second bike too, a coffin tank Kawasaki Z1R MKII. But that’s another story.
After about 12 months the bike was complete. It wasn’t a true restoration but it looked a damn sight better than when I got it. The badge work was left off and the tank and side covers were painted dark candy apple red, complete with hand painted black go faster stripes.
The engine was bombed out to 850 with a mild cam. It had Koni adjustable shocks and the front end was off a K7. The bike still had a tenancy to handle like a piece of wet spaghetti so I added a steering damper which settled things down a bit . A new chromed Tranzac exhaust system finished the project.
The first time I rode it to work both Sully and Singlet were surprised at how well it had turned out.
“Giz a go”. Sully asked
I handed Sully the keys and watched him leave, while Singlet and I chatted about the rebuild. About 10 minutes later Sully came back, dismounted, and wandered over to where Singlet and I were sitting.
“How was it?” asked Singlet.
Sully paused for a minute considering his response.
“Well…” He said. It goes hard…. handles like a wet sponge… and doesn’t stop.
Quick a s a flash Singlet chimed in “Maybe you need to see a urologist?”
“The bike!” Sully shot back.
We both knew what Sully meant. It was after all an early ’70 bike, and the frame and brakes were not on par with current technology. The Sling-shot^ had just been released a few years prior and this was the standard by which all bikes would be measured.
I rode the Honda for a little over a year before I sold it to buy the Z1R. I learned not only how to look after the bike, but to respect it, and its limits.
Today a Honda 750 Four is considered a collectible,. It’s not unusual to see semi-restored examples selling for $10,000.
Would I own one again?
Probably not, but I don’t regret my experience with this old classic in the slightest
I bought a Stagg leather jacket last century… 1990 I think.
Stagg Leather Goods^ are an Australian company renowned for their quality products, only Walden Miller, another Australian company, are considered to be as good or better.
Over the years my Stagg has withstood freezing cold, (… yes it gets below 0°C (32°F) here sometimes ;-) ) blistering sun, tropical storms, getting dragged along the tarmac and… err…. cattle attack*.
When I bought the Stagg, it was an expensive jacket at over $300 AU, but in hind sight it was the best investment I could have made at the time, and in all the time I’ve had it, the only repair that I have had to do, was to replace the lining.
That was in 2012, and at the same time I gave it the lanolin treatment to soften the leather up as it was going hard from age. When I got it back from the repairer, the jacket was like new, and even though it has no body armour, I still wear it daily.
I plan on keeping it as long as possible, if it lasts me another 20 years I’ll be more than happy.
What should you look for look for when your shopping for leathers though?
The rule of thumb says “Get the best that you can afford.” But buying something that looks great, but wouldn’t save you if you fell off your skateboard is a waste of money. A bit of knowledge on the topic can go a long way to helping you make the right choice.
A few weeks ago I came across this article which gives a great insight into what to look for when buying leathers. Have a read, if nothing else you’ll be able to guide a new comer with confidence.
* Rule No.1. Do not follow cattle trucks too closely!
^Stagg Leather Goods
Address: 25 Clifford St, Huntingdale, VIC 3166
Phone: +61 3 95488530
My bikes have always used carburetors for their fuel delivery.
My current bike however, uses fuel injection. This in itself is not a bad thing; better fuel delivery, economy… the list goes on.
The thing that I did notice, was that the throttle is much more snatchy than any of my previous bikes. Not just on acceleration, but even when you go over a rough patch of road and your hand moves that slight amount.
This was never a problem on any of my carburetor bikes, and it took me a while to get used to the fuel injection. I modified the way I hold the throttle, in that I now rest my little finger and the outside of my palm on the bar end. This has reduced throttle snatch on rougher roads but has not eliminated it completely.
The other day I came across an article about Jerky Motorcycle Throttle’s by Mark McVeigh at MotoDNA, Mark talks about the effects a snatchy throttle can have on handling and power delivery and why it is more common today than it was years ago. It’s a short non-technical article but worth a read.
Some good tips
Originally posted on Too Much Fun Club Motorcycle Accessories:
The Boy Scouts have it pretty well nailed with their motto, “Be Prepared.” And if you’re getting ready to take off on an extended trip on your bike, following those words of wisdom can help ensure that you get to really enjoy that trip. What matters is how well you manage your travel budget, and how you use those skills to create a better trip. Playing your cards right, and spending less will lower the barrier that separates you and the culture you’ve traveled so far to experience.
There’s nothing like the feeling of loading up and heading out on a big motorcycle trip.
And there’s nothing like the security of knowing you’re prepared for life on the road.
It can take years to develop that knowledge through trial and error. So we’ve devised a shortcut. We’ve asked AMA staff members to share with you the experience they’ve accumulated over…
View original 450 more words
Originally named Terrors Creek, Dayboro is a small farming community about 45km (28 miles) north-west of Brisbane, it’s a gateway to some of the best riding roads north of Brisbane. From Dayboro you can head out to Mt. Nebo, Mt. Glorious and places west, or you can head north out to Mt. Mee, Peachester, Maleny and the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
Every route has it’s character and places of interest; wineries, cafes, lookouts and bush-walks. Someday I’ll write about them, but for now I’d like to introduce you to a place called The Pit-Stop On Mt. Mee.
The Pit-Stop is a craft shop/ cafe about half way along the Mt. Mee Road. The Mt. Mee Road is a nice easy ride about 45km (28 miles) long, which takes you past Ocean View, the D’Aguilar National Park, a state forest and a smattering of wineries, cafes and lookouts along it’s route.
Maybe a Master Chef or My Kitchen Sucks (err … sorry… Rules) contestant might like to do a write-up on the cafes’ culinary prowess. I wont be, ’cause my expertise in this field extends to:
If it smells good, and looks OK.
I eat it.
If I don’t get ill from it, I go back for more.
No. What makes this motorcycle friendly cafe unique, is not that you can enjoy a meal or beverage while taking in the views and watching the wildlife wander past. It’s the collection of motoring memorabilia on display and for sale that is of interest.
Much of the stuff on display is the private collection of John, the cafe owner. His private collection includes a couple of vintage cars and some 25 vintage motorcycles which he brought over from his native South Africa. John has a long history of both sidecar racing and road racing in the ’60′s, and in the ’80′s he completed his national service in South West Africa with the mounted infantry on Honda XR 500′s no less. So motorcycling has never been far away.
Other items of interest include; instruction manuals for 1956 James Comet 100 and Cadet 150′s, hints and tips for a 1933 Excelsior, posters commemorating Casey Stoner’s World Championship title, and each month John displays one of his cars or motorcycles.
There’s an old Ford Falcon outside which you are encouraged to autograph. Even the bike and car park can be an interesting place when the local car clubs come-a-callin’.
If you happen to be up that way, stop in and have a look. Even if nothing else, the ride is worth it.
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Whether it's one simple yet somehow perfect day or a dreamed about journey finally realized, I never want to forget the joy of the moment or how fortunate I am!
Brisbane's home of all things cafe racer and classic.