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Old 08-05-2002, 04:58 PM   #1
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Default Re: Restoration Without the Exploration

STOP IT! Don't tell anybody how cool the old bikes were! You're just driving the price up.

Seriously cool article, though. I've always wanted a '74 HI since I rode my neighbor's bike when I was a kid, but my RD/RZ/SR obsession hasn't left me time to pursue one.

Keep it up.

Mongo just pawn in game of life.
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Old 08-05-2002, 05:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Restoration Without the Exploration

As a vintage motocross fanatic(you have to be to race these thangs)Im excited to see you trying to branch out into the vintage scene....keep some more coming please.I can vouch for the fact that restoration is never cheap and the necessity of the internet.I have bought one of my current 4 vintage racers on ebay and many of my parts are bought through internet sitesAs a suggestion for a future article,there are 2 AHRMA Motocross Nationals this fall in CALI....check it out,youll be amazed at some of the machinery....would you believe a Cotton banging bars with a Ducati?!
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Old 08-05-2002, 07:01 PM   #3
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Default Re: Restoration Without the Exploration

beautiful job, that looks like it just rolled out the door
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Old 08-05-2002, 08:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: Restoration Without the Exploration

A good buddy of mine has a modified H2 750 that is an ex drag bike. It has Fast By Gast porting, larger round slide dirt bike carbs, FBG expansion chambers, Ceriani forks, wider Akront spoked wheel in back with screw holes to go into the tire bead(!), etc, etc. It is painted lime green with black striping and it is immaculate.

If Satan rides, he has one of these in his collection. Loud, smoky and the on/off powerband has all the subtlety of a whack to the head with a baseball bat. He geared it up quite a bit to smooth out the transition. It was rather unrideable on the street with the 1/4 mile gearing it came with. Always on the needles and herky jerky whammo power delivery. I would not want to try to corner carve on that thing

It is quite fast but really any modern sportbike is faster in a straight line. The sensation of speed is there on the old triple though.

I love that machine...
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Old 08-05-2002, 09:52 PM   #5
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Default Vintage or New?

I have a yin/yang thing with vintage. On one hand, modern bikes are just better. Period. Better braking, power, handling, everything.

But, on the other hand, I race an '82 Ascot, and somehow I go faster on the track with it than I do with an SV650! What's up with that?

I think maybe that we shouldn't look at different technologies as being "better" or "worse". Just different. Stone-ground corn tastes good, machine-processed corn is pretty tasty, as well. We just do different things with them.

There's a guy with my race club that goes pretty fast on a Kawi triple, like faster than more than half of the guys on modern 250 two-stroke machines! Horrible frame, bias-ply tires, single-piston brakes!

But one hassle is finding parts. Even Honda is not making some parts for the Ascot (mainshaft third gear, anybody?), and the internet is making some parts-hoarders greedy- one guy wanted $200 for a used XR tranny! And e-bay is ridiculous- I saw a rusty F2 swingarm go for $80!

More satisfiying than having a replica bike from your youth (and that won't happen to me- everything from the 80's is butt-ugly, except maybe the SRX-6) is getting a vintage bike to go fast- and some of these bikes, especially if they are super-light like the Ascot (mine weighs 290 pounds!) can embarrass riders on newer bikes on the race track. And that is fun!

(If you don't believe me, come and do a ZoomZoom Racing trackday August 19 at Thunderhill in California. Vintage bikes get a discount! www.zoomzoomracing.com)
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Old 08-06-2002, 12:58 AM   #6
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Default Re: Restoration Without the Exploration

What I loved about the triples (and that included the Suzuki 2 stroke triples as well) was the glorious sound they made. It was like no other kind of bike. Back in those days I wouldn't have minded an H2 but as a poor student I only managed to sample a Suz GT380 and a Kawi SIIA which was the later model 350 just before the 400 was launched. I watched with envy the guys that road raced the H2s - they were the superbikes of their day as far as production racing went in NZ. The Z1 didn't beat them straight after launch except in the endurance races. Even in this small country with no big distances between gas stations, the Kawi triples were a pain in that respect doing about 10 or 15 to the gallon. We thought they were monsters but the H2's 74 horses looks pretty puny these days against the latest GSXR750. Thank goodness the frames and tires have improved too. NZ's claim to fame is that our man Ginger Molloy was second in the world 500cc championship to Agostini campaigning an H1R against Ago's MV. No one else managed that as far as I can remember.


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Old 08-06-2002, 02:49 AM   #7
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Default Re: Vintage or New?

Not -every- bike from the 80's is butt-ugly

I have an old RZ350 (yellow/black) that I find pretty nifty compared to most of the 80's drek!

But yes, in large part, the 80's bikes are pretty funky To me, a lot of it is the crazy 2.5 x 18 wheels and so on. That just looks odd by today's standards. Put fat, modern wheels + rubber on those bikes and they don't look -too- weird anymore.

E-bay -definitely- gets out of hand. I chalk a lot of that up to the folks stuffed off in some remote part of the country with no other hope of getting parts, or just the pshycho-collectors. It seems every time I'm bid-sniped or just flat out-spent on e-bay, it's either some guy with 1000+ feedbacks (E-bay's super-heros, no doubt), or with zero feedback, the little shades icon, and a user-id like "fred_in_outter_mongolia"

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Old 08-06-2002, 03:20 AM   #8
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Wow, does that article bring back the memories: same year, same color, light switch power hit at 6k, noisy (ringdingding), smokey, smelly, oil leaking, freddy flintstone brakes, frame w the backbone of a wet noodle, no cornering clearance and truly a maintenance nightmare. But gawd, did i luv dat bike.


Your article hits the target bullseye, but I do take exception to the one sentence 'On the other hand, the triples' legendary poor handling is pretty much exaggerated, I've found, but then I'm not about to push my bike hard into a corner to find out.' If you did push the bike into a corner (I did, once (18 yr old mentality of i'm invincible, no harm can come to me)) you would experience the same eyes wide open, slack jaw, adreline pumping and heart rate racing reaction. Only street bike I ever wadded up. Cornering clearance (lackthereof), flexing frame and tire grip made this thing a death machine in anything other than a straight line or a medium-pace curve.


I owned and driven many bikes over the years since i was 10 years old, but w/o doubt, this one had the most character. Great read!
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Old 08-06-2002, 03:40 AM   #9
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Default Re: Restoration Without the Exploration

I really enjoyed this article. It would be nice if we could see more of this type. Maybe, if people wrote about their favorite vintage bike and submitted it. I had a Honda 1974 CB350G that I loved. But I couldn't write a readable piece about it.

On another subject, El_Flaco, Minime, JB, or anyone else in charge around here, what would the possiblity be of reviewing the Royal Enfield Bullet as made currently in India? I find it to be a really pretty bike at rock bottom prices but can't find a good review written about it.

Take care,

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Old 08-06-2002, 04:12 AM   #10
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Default Re: Restoration Without the Exploration

Very nicely done: both the writing and the restoration. It's amazing how many dollars slide through your fingers when putting one of those old buggers back in running condition. I've found that it is always cheaper to buy the best example you can, even at a primium price, than it is to get an old $400 special and try to resuscitate it. Still, there is something nobel about keeping the old memories (junk?) alive and available. Keep up the good work. I look forward to your next project.

For those of you who are being bitten by the restoration bug for the first time, get a copy of Walneck's Classic Cycle Trader magazine. You'll go nuts. Have your wife (or keeper or what ever) hide your wallet first.
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