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Old 07-23-2002, 06:01 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Objects of Our Affection

I had no idea that there were so many people who are proud of the fact that they are completely at the mercy of a mechanic or dealer when their vehicle goes tits up. Sure the new cars are generally better than the old ones. But many of the supposed improvements are really just methods of keeping users from maintaining their own equipment. I believe that it was Henry Ford who said that he would give his cars away if he could force the users to come to him for maintenance.

Take the fuel pump in the fuel tank scam. My fuel pump went out after only 64K miles and the replacement cost was $600 including labor. Got to drop the tank, y'know. Hardly an advancement. Especially since on my last car, a full sized Blazer, the fuel pump lasted 130K and cost only $40 and two hours of wrenching to replace. How wonderful is this new technology (sarcasm off).

I'm not saying that the new cars aren't much better in many ways than the old. But even though they have fewer problems, you can spend far more getting them fixed. Struts work better than a-frames and shocks. But a set of shocks for my Chevy truck costs about as much as one strut for the Subaru.

I don't like being the patsy of the Automobile Industry in their attempt to turn us into serfs. They'll charge you $200 to merely hook up your car to the Central Scrutinizer, er I mean diagnosticator. And I'm not afraid or intimidated by new technology, I'm a software engineer during the day.

Somehow I think that 25 years from now old Mercedes SLs, MGBs, HDs and VW Beetles will still command good collector value, while Lexuses and Infinitys will only elicit yawns. Just drive them 'til they quit and then throw them away. And before anyone gets pissed at that, realize that the Japanese and Americans purposefully design all their new automobiles (and the Japanese bikes as well) as throwaways.
"Make no mistake, Communism lost a big argument - one we know today as the 20th century."
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Old 07-23-2002, 06:34 AM   #12
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Default I am old enough ....

I am old enough to remember the onset of the digital age, as well as the dark days that came before it. One of my most vivid recollections regarding the transition from low tech to high tech motorcycle technology was the birth of three things: tubeless tires, electric starters, and water-cooled motors.

All three innovations represented revolutions, and all three were looked upon through narrowed, suspicious eyes by the old guard. We thought they were unnecessary complications of a perfectly good design, and that they would make any machine more prone to failure. So much so that Honda fitted the original GL1000 with an auxiliary kickstarter (hidden under the "tank"), should the electric one fail. One of our main contentions was that the innovations made bikes impossible to work on and/or troubleshoot, and that the new generation of bikes lacked "soul" (whatever that is). Sound familiar?

Now of course, nearly everyone takes these features for granted, and the anals of moto history are full of classic motorcycles with charisma and soul that came equipped with these modern conveniences.

So it's ok, I guess, to second guess and criticize technical innovations, but if I were you, I wouldn't go too far out of my way to avoid being swept up by progress. By and large progress is good, if you ask me.

And nostalgia is fine too. I engage in it myself, from time to time. But when I do, I try to remember the bad times as well as the good. To whit: Amal carburetors. Sachs transmissions. Lucas electronics. Hodaka frames.

Good column, though. Food for thought.
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Old 07-23-2002, 06:47 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Objects of Our Affection

Glydon deserves whatever bucks you throuw his way. First interesting thing I've read on here for a month, although the Schwantz racing school thing was mildly entertaining.... How's that ZZR/FJR/whatever shootout going? Just about every other website's already reviewed the new Kwacker.
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:18 AM   #14
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Default Great reading

Got to hand it to you guys, the comments posted make great reading!
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:19 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Objects of Our Affection

probly all fawned and toadied all over the thing as usual I imagine too, huh? I'm bout to pick one up at Kawasaki as a matter of fact.
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Old 07-23-2002, 07:59 AM   #16
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Default And Thats the Point

That's what makes MO unique. Everything they post should be written to encourage discussions like this. Some of you guys write better than anyone from MO. Great!
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:13 AM   #17
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Default Electronic vs. Mechanical tools

Shim the needles and adjust the mixture screw? Let's see what did I have to buy for that. Screw drivers, wrenches, cordless drill, and a little jobby to rethread a screw I stripped.

I often hear people say that something is easy to fix or work on yourself, but they always assume that I have tools just lying around. Well I do have tools, but they're multimeters, solider guns, tiny screw drivers, tweezers, and the like.

I don't think it's a generation issue, I think it's a question of how you were raised. I was taught to fix electronics yourself, hire someone to fix your car, and never let Grandpa near a sale (maybe I can drop that last one).

Bring on technology, I already have the tools.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:15 AM   #18
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Default Click on Submit

This kind of discussion is what makes MO worth the money as a forum for thoughtfull motorcyclists. The comparos, news and articles are food for thought, and then for thorough discussion.

MO is understaffed, right? Well why don't you guys fill in the gaps? Hit the Submit button! If you see something interesting elsewhere that's not in MO, write up your comments, include a link to the content and we'll all get to see it and wring it out.

Think of MO as a cooperative of staff and subscribers based on this excellent Forum.

MO has the editorial responsibility to choose the best submissions and edit them to professional standards (that's part of the deal).

Please comment on this!
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:23 AM   #19
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Default Re: Click on Submit

Unfortunately, most of the news submissions that we get are irrelevant and not up to the standards of the better writers in the forums.
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Old 07-23-2002, 08:41 AM   #20
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Default Bash other things...

But not my beloved Datsun 280Z! I've long said that I'll know I've made it when I can afford to restore a 1976 280Z. (Now, a '78 is another story.) A silver blue '76 280Z 2+2 was my first car, and I didn't part with it until it had over 160,000 miles on the clock. I was physically ill for two days after I sold that car. My parents insisted (and assisted me) that I should get a newer car. So, I settled on an '85 Toyota Supra, but that's another story.

I guess that's why I still have my first bike--or pieces of it anyway. First love sure is passionate, and we never forget it.

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