If I live to be 100 a Brit-bike will still be what comes to mind when I visualize a motorcycle. A classic BSA, candy-apple red, with chromed tank-sides; that's the ticket. One time, the Jones was so overpowering that I considered buying a Royal Enfield. Yeow! How crazy is that?
Yeah, I really admire all the new bikes: fast, reliable, and much more capable than I am. But, somehow they will always be missing something (probably, a puddle of oil).
Shouldn't all Britbike rallies be held in the geographical center of the country? I mean, how many people can spare the 3 months it would take to ride a BSA from Seattle to Maryland and back? How many people can afford to have someone follow them in a pickup filled with tools and spares?
Maybe it would help if the promoters placed caches of zener diodes around the country.
If you liked the idea that Sturgis is trailercity you'll looove this rally.
Great report - It's always nice to see an occasional article about the old bikes. I had a '64 Bonneville and a '69 Norton Mercury (the last of the Featherbeds), and loved them both. They can be made into reasonably reliable bikes if you are willing to do a bit of work. Nylock nuts are a big help! ;-)
Early 70's Bonnevilles and Tridents are to me, what a motorcycle should look like. The Hinkley Bonnies come close, especialy the all black version, but the tank seam and kink in the exhaust pipe are incorrect.
My ideal would be to have a new oil tight electricaly reliable version for a daily driver alongside my Trophy, then have an original purple and white '72 Trident for eye-candy and Sunday rides.
Did you ever get the Avons? Want to hear something else? I've got 30k miles in all weather on the stock chain and sprockets and it still doesn't need ajustment. I clean it about every 400 miles or so with CRC 3-36 ride around to fling it off, then spray with Honda Pro chain lube. and it's staying right around 1.5 in. slack. I've never heard of a open chain lasting this long. Amazing, shows the top notch componantes Triumph are using these days.
I'd love indulging myself but it gets me in trouble. Actually, the W-30 Kaw would be more up my ally. Okay, it ain't the real thing; but as a painless commuter and short tourer it would be fine. It might be one of the few bikes that I could climb on and still keep my promise, not to go over 100-mph. Personally, I think it looks more like a mid-sixties Triumph than the Hinkley Bonneville.
What's cool is that the W-30 didn't sell worth beans and, anymore, that's pretty close to the asking price.
I actually have an old double box end whitworth wrench in a dark dank musty recess of my rollaway. It's a handmedown from some relative who worked in a coal mine in the 1800s. It's a simply amazing tool. Neither end will fit any nut be it SAE or metric. Simply fantastic. I should have it bronzed. I keep it next to my old ducati 250 piston with the head of the exhaust valve buried in the crown.
On a completely unrelated topic, this last Saturday I went riding with a buddy who forsake his 91 KX500 for a 1 year old KTM EXC 525. Paid big $$$ for it.
This is a guy Ive been riding with for about 20 years. He always rode open class two strokes. No slouch. One weekend Id smoke him; next weekend it was the other way around.
So after a few easy rides he goads me into a drag race on the dry lake (El Mirage). I tried to change the subject (knowing this guys the ultimate competitive big-bore desert rider, and how hed feel about getting smoked) but he persisted.
Anyway, my ratty 18-year-old CR500 beat that new 4 striker by 10-15 bike lengths at least. Not even close. Even on top end where you figure a 4 stroke has the advantage.
Later, I rode the Katoom, and it reminded me of a Bucyrus Erie 795. Not impressive. In fact, if that was an example of the "four stroke revolution" Ill keep my antiquated 500cc 2 stroke, thank you.
Oh yeah. My IT175 is quite competitive powerwise against the latest "hot" 4-stroke 250s. There's a lot of self-deception going on because people don't want to admit what a huge step backwards competiton 4strokes are on both track and dirt.
Love the drily humorous event description and knowledgeable tidbits of bike lore. Sounds like a wonderful event--I hope I can come this year. Please ask David to report on it for those of us who may not make it, though.
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