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MOTORCYCLES PAST AND PRESENT


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2 hours ago, Dedinbed said:

Neither of these had anything new or revolutionary .. F N were making 4 cyl bikes at the turn of the 20th century , Lambretta were using disc brakes in the 60's and numerous manufacturers had messed with electric starters but what Honda did was wrap it all up in one polished , metal flake painted finished article that changed the face of modern motorcycles for good with the CB750 .. 

Kawasaki also had a 750 4 cyl waiting to be unveiled at the start of the 70's but were caught out with the Honda's release in late 1969 so rather than share any limelight they went back to the drawing board before returning 1972 with the Z1 ..

Anything the H could do so could the Kawasaki only faster .. both of them have been afforded legendary status now with the Kawa's in particular  being valued more as pieces of motorcycling art with prices in the outer atmosphere a few yrs ago .. 

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I agree. The japanese bikes gracing the world were often referred to as jap crap by hardend british bikers,maybe others, ok that's an opinion i can accept but never liked. The Japanese makers gave us highly tuned,modern, oil leak free ,beautifully engineered motorcycles which were generally more reliable than a lot of  British & other manufacturers could offer at the time,  and so many,huge numbers of bikes from small to large with beautiful paint jobs and a never ending range of designs that continue today so much so they are akin to mobile phones or pc's as soon as you buy one a new model appears?. My apprenticeship days 1972-75 were working with a family owned business in Glasgow [The Scooter Center ] not just scooters as the name suggests,they had a dealership for Suzuki,Gilera,Puch,Lambretta and Vespa so i had a great time and my mentor was a great motorcycle mechanic , member of the blue angels M/C club, a nutter on 2 wheels,and enjoyed a bit of weed now and again, but a really great guy. He stripped and rebuilt my Aermacchi 350 racer for me. I enjoyed working on Lambretta's and Vespa's,Lambo's being very throaty and rough and Vespa's being quiet and smooth,but V's had a very snappy clutch,which had many a new buyer on their ass when they first tried riding them.?, i owned a Lambretta Cometa 75cc whiich was utterly unreliable and meet it's end on a very small ,steep humpback bridge at high speed,leaving me in mid air and breaking it's crankcase on contact with the road, my ass also nearly broke when i made contact?

stu

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Kawasaki and Suzuki's 70's range of 3 pot 2 strokes are well known but less famous are Motobecane's triples .. the green bike is the 500 that was fitted with fuel injection with the other two being 350's .. only about a 1000 of the larger bike were made with around 4000 for the 350 .. 

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2 hours ago, Dedinbed said:

Kawasaki and Suzuki's 70's range of 3 pot 2 strokes are well known but less famous are Motobecane's triples .. the green bike is the 500 that was fitted with fuel injection with the other two being 350's .. only about a 1000 of the larger bike were made with around 4000 for the 350 .. 

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Saved,thank you very much sir. Never seen one before have to admit,only those little tiny chicken chaser one's.

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17 minutes ago, stuhan said:

Saved,thank you very much sir. Never seen one before have to admit,only those little tiny chicken chaser one's.

They were also badged as Motoconfort originally but reverted to Motobecane later .. they are rare machines , I've only ever seen one at the Brighton run back in the 80's ..

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Also during the 70's from the house of Suzuki came the futuristic but slightly odd ball RE5 rotary .. in essence the rotary engine is a simple design with far few moving parts than conventional engines but Suzy took a relatively simple engine and went right over the top in making it complicated .. the carburettor alone is a huge double choke affair required to deal with the emissions issue which has always been the Rotary's weak point .. water cooling , dual oil systems , Suzuki managed to totally overbake it .. but perhaps it's biggest challenge came from its own stable as it was sold right alongside the GT750 which was a better bike .. 

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10 hours ago, stuhan said:

I agree. The japanese bikes gracing the world were often referred to as jap crap by hardend british bikers,maybe others, ok that's an opinion i can accept but never liked. The Japanese makers gave us highly tuned,modern, oil leak free ,beautifully engineered motorcycles which were generally more reliable than a lot of  British & other manufacturers could offer at the time

I had always had 'Jap crap' - ha ha! Like you say they were very reliable. The largest bike I owned was a Honda 500/4. I attended a Telecom course at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes. I went on the 500/4.
One night with a mate on the same course - also from Leicester like me - we decided to visit our girlfriends overnight. We were two-up on the bike back to Leicester. About 5:30am the next morning we sped back to Milton Keynes, doing 115mph down the M1 - in the days before speed cameras.

A friend had a Triumph Bonneville which he cleaned regularly, but hardly ever rode. I think it was an eighties model, was it around 850cc?  I can't remember.
I borrowed it once and rode from Leicester to Cambridge and back to impress a girlfriend who lived there.
The thing that sticks in my memory was riding down the A1 and having to stop every twenty minutes to push the left-hand handgrip back up the handlebar. It kept sliding off due to the engine vibration.

And you try an' tell the kids of today...

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1 hour ago, Bluesofa said:

I had always had 'Jap crap' - ha ha! Like you say they were very reliable. The largest bike I owned was a Honda 500/4. I attended a Telecom course at Bletchley Park, Milton Keynes. I went on the 500/4.
One night with a mate on the same course - also from Leicester like me - we decided to visit our girlfriends overnight. We were two-up on the bike back to Leicester. About 5:30am the next morning we sped back to Milton Keynes, doing 115mph down the M1 - in the days before speed cameras.

A friend had a Triumph Bonneville which he cleaned regularly, but hardly ever rode. I think it was an eighties model, was it around 850cc?  I can't remember.
I borrowed it once and rode from Leicester to Cambridge and back to impress a girlfriend who lived there.
The thing that sticks in my memory was riding down the A1 and having to stop every twenty minutes to push the left-hand handgrip back up the handlebar. It kept sliding off due to the engine vibration.

And you try an' tell the kids of today...

Yeah, many rolls of tape then forcing the grip on, done that many times.?

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2 hours ago, Dedinbed said:

Also during the 70's from the house of Suzuki came the futuristic but slightly odd ball RE5 rotary .. in essence the rotary engine is a simple design with far few moving parts than conventional engines but Suzy took a relatively simple engine and went right over the top in making it complicated .. the carburettor alone is a huge double choke affair required to deal with the emissions issue which has always been the Rotary's weak point .. water cooling , dual oil systems , Suzuki managed to totally overbake it .. but perhaps it's biggest challenge came from its own stable as it was sold right alongside the GT750 which was a better bike .. 

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Sadly to say that was jap crap and an  embarrassment for suzuki,and we only ever sold one.It was bloody awful.?

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12 minutes ago, stuhan said:

Sadly to say that was jap crap and an  embarrassment for suzuki,and we only ever sold one.It was bloody awful.?

All the Japanese manufacturers looked at the rotary in the early 70's with Kawasaki and Yamaha both going as far as pre production prototypes .. even Honda looked at it though as you can see from their test bed bike were half hearted to begin with and never really looked at it as a serious production bike .. the Yamaha came closest to going into production but for the same reason they cancelled the GL750 2 stroke they pulled the plug on it over emission and fuel consumption issues .. 

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9 hours ago, Dedinbed said:

All the Japanese manufacturers looked at the rotary in the early 70's with Kawasaki and Yamaha both going as far as pre production prototypes .. even Honda looked at it though as you can see from their test bed bike were half hearted to begin with and never really looked at it as a serious production bike .. the Yamaha came closest to going into production but for the same reason they cancelled the GL750 2 stroke they pulled the plug on it over emission and fuel consumption issues .. 

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Very interesting

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9 hours ago, Dedinbed said:

All the Japanese manufacturers looked at the rotary in the early 70's with Kawasaki and Yamaha both going as far as pre production prototypes .. even Honda looked at it though as you can see from their test bed bike were half hearted to begin with and never really looked at it as a serious production bike .. the Yamaha came closest to going into production but for the same reason they cancelled the GL750 2 stroke they pulled the plug on it over emission and fuel consumption issues .. 

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I really never had much to do with rotary's,only saw the 1 in my life,i was not impressed by them at all. Nice examples better looking than the suzuki.

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Posted (edited)

Another 3 cyl 2 stroke from Japan though this is more early 80's than 70's .. the MVX250 V3 from big H .. in standard form like the top pic it's hideous but strip the bodywork off , put some proper wheels , brakes and exhaust cans on and it's a different bike .. the engine of this formed the basis of the NS400R , Honda's take on the race replica scene and a bike with quite possibly the worst fuel consumption ever for an engine of its size .. 

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Edited by Dedinbed
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Posted (edited)

1972 S2 350 Kawasaki .. one of the other triples to hit the road along side big bro' KH750 and Mach III 500 .. being the first of the type they were quite fragile with crank bearings and seals a particular weak point and new piston's and rebore not uncommon within a few '000 miles but of the smaller triples this is the one with the most character .. where'as the KH400 in the bottom pic' became more reliable it didn't have the soul of the earlier bikes losing 4 hp after being detuned to meet tightening emission controls .. Kawasaki actually wound up production of the 400 in '77 but there were enough in the warehouse's to meet dwindling demand until 1980 when it was dropped from the range .. 

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Edited by Dedinbed
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Posted (edited)

I am a big fan of Suzuki & still am today motorcycle or car. The Suzuki ram air family from the 70's, i still don't think the ram air cowlings made any improvements to the air cooling and many owners removed the cowlings.

125,185,250,380.550.

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Edited by stuhan
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9 hours ago, Dedinbed said:

Another 3 cyl 2 stroke from Japan though this is more early 80's than 70's .. the MVX250 V3 from big H .. in standard form like the top pic it's hideous but strip the bodywork off , put some proper wheels , brakes and exhaust cans on and it's a different bike .. the engine of this formed the basis of the NS400R , Honda's take on the race replica scene and a bike with quite possibly the worst fuel consumption ever for an engine of its size .. 

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Not the prettiest of bikes,but loved the engine design

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10 hours ago, stuhan said:

Not the prettiest of bikes,but loved the engine design

And long before any of the Japanese were making 2 stroke trip's British manufacturer Excelsior were making the 492 this one being a 1953 model .. 

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8 hours ago, Dedinbed said:

And long before any of the Japanese were making 2 stroke trip's British manufacturer Excelsior were making the 492 this one being a 1953 model .. 

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Think that's where the japanese got their idea's from.Great british motocycles,, i think were the best in the world.

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Another from an era when it was cool to leave a blue smoke screen behind you after blasting off up the road , the Ossa 500 Yankee .. a 2 stroke twin with fuel and oil consumption to match .. best comparison to anything from Japan would've been Suzuki's librarian GT500 .. 

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On 8/7/2021 at 12:14 AM, stuhan said:

Think that's where the japanese got their idea's from.Great british motocycles,, i think were the best in the world.

Could you tell me the way to Brands Hatch? Sure Just follow the trail of abandoned British Bike's.

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12 hours ago, Dedinbed said:

Another from an era when it was cool to leave a blue smoke screen behind you after blasting off up the road , the Ossa 500 Yankee .. a 2 stroke twin with fuel and oil consumption to match .. best comparison to anything from Japan would've been Suzuki's librarian GT500 .. 

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Never seen that one before, thanks

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