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Author Topic: Retro bikes - real is best  (Read 2012 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 »
2001 500 Bullet Deluxe

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"!
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

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...?
Run what ya brung

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.

REA #136

"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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2006 Ural Patrol
1978 BMW R 100s--SOLD--
1977 HD XLCR
1971 Triumph Bonneville

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
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.

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. ;)
REA #25
2008 Royal Enfield Deluxe (Blue)
2006 Ural Patrol
1978 BMW R 100s--SOLD--
1977 HD XLCR
1971 Triumph Bonneville

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
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.

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...
REA #25
2008 Royal Enfield Deluxe (Blue)
2006 Ural Patrol
1978 BMW R 100s--SOLD--
1977 HD XLCR
1971 Triumph Bonneville

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!!
Spare the pig iron - spoil the part!

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
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.

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.
REA #25
2008 Royal Enfield Deluxe (Blue)
2006 Ural Patrol
1978 BMW R 100s--SOLD--
1977 HD XLCR
1971 Triumph Bonneville