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Author Topic: Retro bikes - real is best  (Read 2198 times)

Chasfield

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Retro bikes - real is best
« on: December 05, 2009, 09:45:41 AM »
I was thinking about retro bikes, and in particular, phony features on retro bikes that make them look like the original designs.

For example, the "timing cover" on the current Triumph Bonneville range. It is very charming that it mimics the iconic, heart-shaped one of the original Triumph twins, but it is just a styling feature. The classic Triumph timing cover was heart shaped because it framed the gear train of the twin, highly set camshafts - it just had to be that way. Modern Triumphs have overhead camshafts, so this cover design is just a gimmick, and if it adds any unnecessary weight to the engine then it is arguably a misconceived one.

I think the UCE Bullets are on a better footing here. RE have made huge structural changes to their engine but it still looks classic, and in its own new way, because it is still a long stroke, push-rod single under the skin.

I think that the crucial difference between the two companies is that RE just had to keep it real because of tight budgetting and the practical needs of their domestic market, but Triumph had the capital to "boutique" their design in the now standard top-down, marketing department led way that we do things.

« Last Edit: December 05, 2009, 10:01:32 AM by Chasfield »
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Slider

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2009, 05:14:55 PM »
The Bonneville's carburetors are actually fuel injectors designed to look like carburetors.


I must retreat to my place of Zen and meditate on this.

ScooterBob

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2009, 11:37:51 PM »
The comment on the RE reminds me of a dealer training session when we had engineers here from India. I love they guys and they are REALLY proud of what they  do and are genuinely interested in fellows who are interested in the RE. Anyway, during a lecture on the construction of the new engine, one of the dealers piped up and said "Why don't make the engine with overhead cams?" or something to that effect. The engineer stopped and visibly puffed up a little and said (very clearly) "We are building Royal Enfields. We are not building Hondas! We build them this way because that is the way Royal Enfields are made. ....." THAT got everyone's attention. The RE boys don't build retro-frill" - they build a solid, for REAL, good and proper old school bike. Motor .... cycle - with no crap on it that you don't need. RE is probably the only company in the world that can say they build "real" motorcycles.  I'm sure that it pained the engineers to a degree to go EFI - but they made it to be serviced easily AT HOME or beside the road - isn't that a big part of motorcycling? You can fix a Royal Enfield with a wrench - you need a Master Card, a cell phone and a tow truck to fix a BMW .....  ;) Gotta love "for REAL"!
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UncleErnie

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2009, 12:28:33 AM »
I don't think the GB500 and W650 have anthing fake on them.  I love both of them, too. 
Ural?  I don't know- I guess it's not especially retro.  It just is what it is...?
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Ice

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2009, 02:49:55 AM »
 Remember the fake kickers and pan head styled rocker boxes that some were bolting on to their heritage soft tails in the mid 90's ?

Yuk :P
I can break it better,,,,at night, in the rain, on the trail,, 20 miles from nowhere.

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"TIMEX", the '06 Iron Barrel Military that takes me everywhere I want to go... and some places I shouldn't.

Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 03:49:51 AM »
I don't think the GB500 and W650 have anthing fake on them.  I love both of them, too. 
Ural?  I don't know- I guess it's not especially retro.  It just is what it is...?

If a kickstart, carburated, air cooled boxer based on a 1939 BMW that comes in camo drag, carries a shovel and hand pump as standard equipment, and up until 2 yrs ago came standard with a machine gun mount isn't retro, then I don't know what is.

http://www.imz-ural.com/factory/
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ScooterBob

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2009, 02:49:58 PM »
If a kickstart, carburated, air cooled boxer based on a 1939 BMW that comes in camo drag, carries a shovel and hand pump as standard equipment, and up until 2 yrs ago came standard with a machine gun mount isn't retro, then I don't know what is.

http://www.imz-ural.com/factory/

My DNEPR is! That lump of Russian pig iron will "out retro" a new-fangled, overhead valve, 12 volt, electronic ignition, chrome plated parts havin', straight wheel rollin', real choke workin' URAL any old day. In fact, my old lump of grease-drippin' pig iron is SO retro, I think that Josef Stalin's signature is on the frame somewhere .... Haw haw haw!!  ::)
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

1Blackwolf1

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2009, 06:25:05 PM »
  Question about the Dnepr is how reliable are they.  Asking since I am thinking about one after I sell the 2000 Kawaski Drifter.  Slightly apprehensive about longevity.  Will.
Will Morrison
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Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2009, 08:30:17 PM »
  Question about the Dnepr is how reliable are they.  Asking since I am thinking about one after I sell the 2000 Kawaski Drifter.  Slightly apprehensive about longevity.  Will.

Rule #1 in buying a Dnepr: never buy a Dnepr that comes from, or ever came from, a dealer in Ohio. ;)
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 10:00:27 PM »
  So the guy on Flea-Bay is best to stay away from.  Guess I'll keep looking.  Will.
Will Morrison
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1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
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Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 10:42:39 PM »
  So the guy on Flea-Bay is best to stay away from.  Guess I'll keep looking.  Will.

Go over to Sovietsteeds.com and ask anyone about Yuri. ;D ;D ;D
His bikes are like a box of chocolates...
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2006 Ural Patrol
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1977 HD XLCR
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ScooterBob

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2009, 02:23:52 PM »
  Question about the Dnepr is how reliable are they.  Asking since I am thinking about one after I sell the 2000 Kawaski Drifter.  Slightly apprehensive about longevity.  Will.

The Dnepr is as reliable as you treat it. MINE has gone 40K klicks without a hitch - that's about 10 "regular" Dnepr lifetimes for most people. The trick to getting a good one is to FIRST AND FOREMOST, like these guys said - don't buy one in Ohio. Get one that is already HERE and TITLED and well sorted out. The reason being that there are no parts in the USA right about now as the Rooskies are crooks as businessmen (Ohio again ...) and no one in the country will deal with them - so no parts are coming in. I had the market cornered on parts and bikes at one time until I got crooked .... so there it is. I think a Dnepr is good daily driver and they will "out-BMW" a BMW in a lot of ways - but they do need to be oiled and adjusted a bit. The biggest thing is to avoid the temptation to "work on it" or "make it faster" when it runs just fine - kinda like an Iron Bullet, you know? Dnepr availability would sort of keep ME away from one about now unless you are pretty clever with maintenance and commit to riding it gently at 40mph. Otherwise, I'd look at the CJ750 for a really cool "you don't see one on ANY street corner" bike. There are good ones available and there are LOTS of parts in the country for 'em - I HAVE most of 'em!! Hahahaha!!
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2009, 12:17:13 AM »
  Checked 'em out at your site.  Have to call for a price in the spring.  They do look pretty cool.  Guess I just always liked the oddball stuff.  Will.
Will Morrison
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UncleErnie

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2009, 01:37:09 AM »
Mr Will, in my most humble of opinions, the coolest sidecar rig made is a conversion made by Jimbo Sidecars.  A Chiang Jiang frame using an early BMW engine and running gear.  I do not use the work "awesopme" lightly, but if I was considering a rig, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment.  http://www.bmwsidecar.com/

Bernie, to me, "retro" is something new, made to look old.  I don't think the Ural is made to look old, or retro.  It just is what it is.  Something like the Triumph Bonneville, W650, and harley's are new, but made to look old. 

Relevant to Royal Enfield;  now that I think about it, probably the Bullet through the AVL is probably authentic, while the UCE is retro.
Run what ya brung

Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2009, 03:35:11 AM »
Uncle E,
Just up the road a spell in Highlands is a well known Uralist (Richard Winter, AKA Bural) who puts BMW motors in Urals. If spring ever comes, I'll take you up there.
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2009, 02:19:16 PM »
  More I look around at all the CJ's I see on the net the more I get hooked.  I believe it would be a good stable mate to the RE Military I currently own and have a love/hate relationship with.  I guess it really reminds me of a Sunbeam if you get the OHV engine installed.  I dig slow and quirky.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
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Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2009, 03:00:36 PM »
  More I look around at all the CJ's I see on the net the more I get hooked.  I believe it would be a good stable mate to the RE Military I currently own and have a love/hate relationship with.  I guess it really reminds me of a Sunbeam if you get the OHV engine installed.  I dig slow and quirky.  Will.

I think the CJ's were made from the old worn out tooling given them by the Russians. We had one ride with us at one of the rallies. What a piece of crap. The metalwork looked like something Charlie Chan made, bent over a fire with a hammer and anvil. The ride was in excess of 20 miles, so of course it broke down. it was irritatingly slow. Top speed was right at that point where I couldn't leave the Ural in 4th without lugging it, and had to ride in 3rd so I wouldn't leave him behind.
Get a used Ural, 2005 or newer, and be happy.
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ScooterBob

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2009, 03:56:51 PM »
Actually, the Chang Jiang bikes were made from the original BMW tooling that the Russians captured in WWII with the fall of Berlin. While old Ike and Monty were dancing in the streets, slapping each other on the back for what Ia fine job they'd done, Stalin's boys drew the line in the sand and took East Berlin where the BMW factory was laying, nearly untouched.

A Chang today, if it was built as a military bike and not a flimsy civilian bike from the NanChang factory, can be QUITE a ride. They are too simple to be unreliable - much like our beloved Enfields! If they are right, they'll run forever with maintenance - like an Enfield. They ARE as slow as glacial motion - ask anyone who patiently followed me in Rolla on my Dnepr - but they only had to be a little faster than the tanks they were scouting for!! Hahahaha!! (What do you call a slow motorcycle in the Infantry? Crunchy ....   ::))  The REALLY cool thing is that you won't ever see one at a "bike night" - and an old patina'd CJ (or Enfield) will draw a BIGGER crowd than a noisy, chrome-plated, skulls and cross-bones painted V-Twin. You know - it's why we ride these silly old oddballs - WE are delightfully different, yet unrefined ....  ;)
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2009, 05:32:05 PM »
  Exactly...here lies the question from Confucious.  Pre 70/post 70.  What is an average price for these?  I've seen around 5k unrestored to about 8k for a dolled up refined version.  Not exactly something the bank has a scale for.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

Chasfield

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2009, 09:05:22 PM »
Even cheap bikes are expensive these days. And 5 quid's worth of petrol costs you 6 at most garages, because of inflation.

 ;)

2001 500 Bullet Deluxe

UncleErnie

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2009, 09:09:04 PM »
Well... be careful what you wish for.
Run what ya brung

1Blackwolf1

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #21 on: December 08, 2009, 09:40:32 PM »
  I know..but I can more than likely handle all the repairs right here.  Just trying to see what average prices are.  If I weren't so drawn to ugly puppies and bikes I'd probably be better off.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

ScooterBob

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2009, 10:40:09 PM »
A good CJ will cost you about $8K - or a little more depending on what you want on it. And a GOOD one is one that you can kick and go - NOT one that has to be re-re-rebuilt when you get it. The majority of that cost is transportation and Customs fees - the DOT and EPA (what??) bond has increased exponentially to keep the junk out of the country. A LOT of these bikes still slip in illegally - and these are the cheap ones .... oh - you wanted a TITLE with that? You know the ones ..... They ARE way, way cool tho ....   ;)
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Blue Ridge Wheeltor

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2009, 12:20:19 AM »
A brand new Ural, Tourist T, with a 2 year unlimited warranty, has a msrp of $9,999. There are a number of dealers, one who posts on here, that sells for msrp, no add ons.
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1Blackwolf1

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2009, 12:54:03 AM »
   Suppose thats the easy way..not quite unusual enough.  Saw a CJ in refinished military form.  Now that's a different horse.  Suppose if I could get the Ural Patrol Sahara for $10k I might be persuaded.  The one I saw was a rebuilt with the OHV for right at $8700.  But of course I haven't bought it yet.  Still in the planning phase.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

ScooterBob

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2009, 01:04:17 AM »
Stay away from the OHV Chang engines .... they are a LOT fussier than the old flattie. They both go the same speed (despite all the bullsh1t that you read) because of the gearing. The flattie is a tad thirstier for gas - but not for parts. I've gone 40K klicks on one and it's still just dandy. I put a LOT of heads for the OHV bikes over the curb for fellows with spoilt valve guides (poor geometry adn little lube ...) and broken valve springs adn the like. The OHV is also short rod engine - although it's dimensionally the same as the flattie, it's absolutely gu-huh-huh-huh-utless compared to the tractor like torque of the flattie.

I TOTALLY agree with you that a Ural is cool - had one - but too easy. A decked out desert tan CJ with all the military tool bling on it is the cat's meow! It's a perfect compliment to a Military Enfield in your garage .... or a BSA M20 .... or a Dnepr .... you get the picture ....  ::)
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UncleErnie

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2009, 01:47:48 AM »
Or you can get a hammer for about $1.00 at a flea market and spend the rst of the day whacking yourself in the head until you pass out.   

Now there's a tough choice...
Run what ya brung

1Blackwolf1

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2009, 02:25:27 AM »
Stay away from the OHV Chang engines .... they are a LOT fussier than the old flattie. They both go the same speed (despite all the bullsh1t that you read) because of the gearing. The flattie is a tad thirstier for gas - but not for parts. I've gone 40K klicks on one and it's still just dandy. I put a LOT of heads for the OHV bikes over the curb for fellows with spoilt valve guides (poor geometry adn little lube ...) and broken valve springs adn the like. The OHV is also short rod engine - although it's dimensionally the same as the flattie, it's absolutely gu-huh-huh-huh-utless compared to the tractor like torque of the flattie.

I TOTALLY agree with you that a Ural is cool - had one - but too easy. A decked out desert tan CJ with all the military tool bling on it is the cat's meow! It's a perfect compliment to a Military Enfield in your garage .... or a BSA M20 .... or a Dnepr .... you get the picture ....  ::)

  Was going to ask you that, the side valve does look more like a brutus.  Cool I suppose when I'm ready I'll call to get a lock on an old timer.  I figure 60-71.  What do you think of those years?  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.

ScooterBob

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2009, 03:25:13 PM »
The thing to get with the CJ750 is a genuine MILITARY bike. These are legion (and legal to import, BTW) in China. They can be recognised by the oval frame tubes and bigger gussets on the rear plunger section. Year doesn't matter - they are all the same. The only thing that you have to do is comply with that rolling date that the DOT has for collectible vehicles. I'd go with the 12V flattie - just for the availability of the little crap - like bulbs - that will drive you nuts trying to find in 6V. The 12V bikes also have a nice E-Start set up - UN-like the early Urals and Dneprs that are "cobble on's" Don't rely on the starter, tho - kick when you can .... but they WILL bail you out in a pinch! Also - stay away from the "performance" carbs and what not on the engines - they are JUNK from China. The OEM "BING-alikes" will work as new even when they are worn out. Three moving parts does a perfect carb make! So there - now you're armed and dangerous!! Hahahaha!!
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

1Blackwolf1

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Re: Retro bikes - real is best
« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2009, 04:16:11 PM »
  I've always been dangerous, just armed with the proper knowledge, thanks SB.  Will.
Will Morrison
2007 500 Military
2000 Kawasaki Drifter 1500
2000 Victory V92SC
1976 Suzuki GT185 Rebuilder Special..AKA (Junkyard Dog)
Many, many other toys.
The garage is full.