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Old 07-06-2007, 06:36 PM   #1
seruzawa
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Default Low horsepower stories

It seems that the m/c media is always concentrating on the demand for more and more horsepower. People ask for advice on new bikes and m/cers constantly pretend that bikes like the Ninja 500 are underpowered and that you can only have fun if you buy a 600sportbike or some other 100+ horsepower monster. Well, I remember having a barrel of fun on lower horsepower bikes. I remember the rush of riding my first 650 twin (maybe 40 rwhp)and thinking that that was the ne plus ultra of experience. I toured all over with my wife on the back of my SOHC CB750F and never once felt deprived. I used to have great fun humilating guys on big displacement Britbikes at the stoplight Grand Prix with my 350cc R5. Nothing available could even think about catching that 35hp rocket in the first 150 feet. The only bike that ever passed me within 150 feet of a drag start was some guy's ported and piped 500cc Titan.

So I'm proposing that just for fun that people should post their stories of the times they had great fun on bikes that today would be considered dogs. High HP might be impressive but the fact that I was riding a Yamaha 80 Trailmaster one day allowed me to escape getting impounded by the Palos Verdes police by riding it at its full 45mph top speed down some horse trails and slipping through a 2 foot wide slot in a guard rail to get over into Torrance and into my parent's garage before the gendarme could get the few miles around the roads.

Then there was my '85 Sportster. I had the heads ported and installed an S&S carb and I never dynoed it but it would wheelie up about 6" when power shifting from 1st to 2nd. Not bad for a 1000cc ironhead. Anyhow I went riding one day in the Wasatch mountains with a friend who had recently bought a new '86 GSXR750. The roads where we were riding were pretty tight and my buddy kept pushing his GSX faster and harder and every time he looked back that red Sporty was right on his tail with the rider grinning like a fiend and laughing like a maniac. We stopped after about an hour of this and I graciously kept from gloating while he kept staring at his Gixxer and muttering to himself.

So, any interesting stories from people in the lower horsepower range?
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:07 PM   #2
Schoon
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I agree, I have both the 100+ monster and 34hp single. I find the DR-Z to be a very satisfying bike, reminding me why I fell in love with motorcycles to start with. I have fun riding to a weekly bike night on roads that would be considered twisty for Iowa with original ZX-10's, ZRX's, and never feeling like I can't "hang". We're not being squidly, just enjoying the road. On a longer ride the ACE is much more comfortable and less frantic while getting the same mileage. I guess what I'm trying to say is the 100+ hp YZF is a great bike, and the 34 hp DR-Z SM is a freaking riot!
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:05 PM   #3
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I remember riding my older brother's Suzuki (or Kawasaki? I don't know, it was yellow....). 185 dirtbike when I was little (I was supposed to stick to the Honda 50 but when the folks weren't around I'd get a boost onto the seat and take off). How many horsepower does a 185 2-stroke make? Who cares when the front wheel is ALWAYS above your head!! The point is, power is relative to how it makes you feel. If one has little experience, a small amount will blow your mind when not surrounded by doors and a roof.

Now that I'm in the Big City, I would love a SM-style thumper and HP would be irrelevant. Anybody give out no interest, no payment loans?? (Maybe I can get a grant, eh BAR?)
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripleripple View Post
I remember riding my older brother's Suzuki (or Kawasaki? I don't know, it was yellow....). 185 dirtbike when I was little (I was supposed to stick to the Honda 50 but when the folks weren't around I'd get a boost onto the seat and take off). How many horsepower does a 185 2-stroke make? Who cares when the front wheel is ALWAYS above your head!! The point is, power is relative to how it makes you feel. If one has little experience, a small amount will blow your mind when not surrounded by doors and a roof.

Now that I'm in the Big City, I would love a SM-style thumper and HP would be irrelevant. Anybody give out no interest, no payment loans?? (Maybe I can get a grant, eh BAR?)
Get off my Grant Graveytrain Ripple! I'm going after grant money that pays me to research the amount of energy used to report on the energy used during the Live Earth concert.
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:28 PM   #5
tripleripple
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I think THAT grant money is in a lockbox
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:34 PM   #6
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I think THAT grant money is in a lockbox
Insert an "Al Gore's drunk, stoned and tripple didget speeding in a prius son" joke here.
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:38 PM   #7
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I think we're the only people still awake and reading the forums. You're married. I don't know what my excuse is.
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:41 PM   #8
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I think we're the only people still awake and reading the forums. You're married. I don't know what my excuse is.
Actually, my problem is I work from home. So, if I'm awake I'm at the computer.

I'm also on the east coast...So, I'm even lamer than you think.
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Old 07-06-2007, 11:53 PM   #9
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Quit your job.

SmokeU is sleeping b/c he has to wake up early to pick up some ol' POS.
KP is jerking off.
Buzz is stealing some cougar's money then 'taking her for a ride' in the Beemer (if it hasn't been stolen by fellow Kalifornians).
LR is asleep b/c he's grumpy.
Seruzawa is secretly awake but searching for really strange avatars (and plotting against the govt--don't worry, I called).
Airhawk is fashioning a clutch out of mattress springs (because he's a dropout).
Cuddy is in the garage thinking up some very, very strange ideas.
JB is dead to us now b/c his dr's cut him off.
I'm just drunk, that's all (but have a good idea for a new thread--if I can figure out how to start one).
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Old 07-07-2007, 12:12 AM   #10
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I ride a 18 year old CB-1. It's a hoot on the backroads! It obviously doesn't have a lot of power but it's a ton of fun to use the power it has.
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