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Thread: A usable classic bike.

  1. #31
    Should Get Out More Tomcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.


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    I had a CB250RS for a while, fantastic little bike and very underestimated. Shame they stopped making them, it had a sweet reliable engine, forgiving and nimble handling and a chassis and brakes that may have been economy but were well matched to the bike.

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by arsey30 View Post
    I restored a friends 250RS, but only rode it to the MOT, is anyone riding one now, what are they like?
    The Spin Doctor has one.

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    I had custody of my dad's RS250 many moons ago. I rode it for a month or so and really liked it. Really light, handled great and sipped fuel. It was OK for 70mph cruising.
    I saw one recently which had been cafe raced - alloy gaurds and a little bum stopper seat. red frame and ally tank - tiny but v cool.
    Great commuter / town bike I reckon

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    I've read that when the RS250 reaches high mileage the cam bearings go and its expensive to cure cos they are plated in the head (IIRC)

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by protoborg View Post
    I've read that when the RS250 reaches high mileage the cam bearings go and its expensive to cure cos they are plated in the head (IIRC)
    The camshaft of many Hondas of that era ran directly in the cylinder head without bearings, bushes or shells. They got a reputation for wearing out but I suspect a lot of the problems were from lack of oil changes resulting in blockage of the small oilways, so no lubrication. I'm still running my Hondas without having suffered from excessive wear of the bearing surfaces.

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    If you want a nice big lumpy banger without too many vibes-

    Yam XT500
    Yam SR500
    Honda GB500 TT500 for a bit of new/ old
    How about a small block 500 or 650 Guzzi? quite revvy I suppose?
    One of the more staid Laverda twins

    I fancy a nice dumpy sidevalve for my next Brit.....

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  9. #37
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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    I have looked at GB500TTs over the years, but the are quite rare.
    That or a 250RS would do, the next problem will be finding one, even more difficult, in good condition or restorable.

    This BSA was the bike that got me interested in old bikes again, but I was not impressed with the riding of it.
    It was owned by a friend's mother, she bought it new from Claude Rye in 1956 and did 3000m in the next 3 years, then laid it up.
    He asked if I could get it going and clean it up so that she could ride pillion on it [she was to ill to ride solo]
    It is all original unrestored, so I fitted new tyres and serviced / re commissioned it, resisting over restoration, aiming to get it to look like a used 3 year old bike.
    I rode it to the MOT, and my friend picked it up and rode it home.

    So, after nearly 50 years, she got to ride on it, one last time.


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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    I suppose both my bikes nearly qualify as 'classics.' A 20 year old Ducati 906 Paso, and a 30 year old CX500. Good job she who must be obeyed has got more taste/sense than me, so I can borrow one of her bikes when mine inevitably break down Mined ewe, I regularly trundle round France on the Ducati, another trip planned in May.

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    Looking at that BSA reminds me of my BSA C15 - It was an easy 6O mph cruiser and apart from a woodruff key shearing on the geabox output shaft I had no problems with it (And i rode it as an 18 yr old more interested in trashing it than doing preventative maintenance!)

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    Should Get Out More Tomcat's Avatar
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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by protoborg View Post
    I've read that when the RS250 reaches high mileage the cam bearings go and its expensive to cure cos they are plated in the head (IIRC)
    You may well be right. Mine developed an ominous tapping after 2 years daily commuting 20 miles each way. I took the head off but the piston, bore and big end seemed OK, so I put it back together and the tapping was still there. Last I heard the bloke I sold it to rode it another 2 years without touching it

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    Laverda's I had a mirage for a couple of years, not pricey compared to the over-rated or should I say overpriced Jota. The 1200 was un-stressed and lots of fun. Great wind protection courtesy of the rev counter and speedo good handling actually and was very reliable. I bought it for a song and sadly sold it for the same. It always got a crowd and sounded fantastic. The rearset linkages are fussy and can fool you (or the dealer I bought it off)into thinking the gear selector forks are Nackered.

    Once set up a nice agricultural gear change can be achieved reminiscent of a tractor crash box. If RH gear changes put you off ownership you can swap it to the LH by swapping the rear sets with some easy mods. The gear shaft goes right across the engine. Then you can have both a modern machine and an old one with out worrying about stamping on the gear shift to brake. (though when I was seventeen it never seemed an issue) Brakes were well up to it with Brembo's all round and pretty economical but with enough grunt to keep a smile on your face
    laverda mirage.jpg


    This wasn't mine, mine had rear sets (sport model) and ace bars.

    Hydraulic clutch was nice and the only problem I can remember having was one coil (of three) stopped working for half a mile then came back to life.
    No four/five star bollocks as it has a low comp engine compared to the slater Jota. They're worth a visit in their own right if your ever passing; like stepping back in time.

    http://www.slaterlaverda.com/
    Last edited by rodbargee; 13-01-10 at 19:44.

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    Or a new Indian Enfield but do as my mate did with his, before he even rode it stripped it checked the tolerances etc and rebuild. Sounded totally different when he ran after that to how it was before. Same machine tools etc in theory should give you the same bike,however, Indian factory workers tend not to be as good as the Brit ones of the 50s......

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    I may have found what I am after, but spares availability concernces me.
    1957 BMW R26 20 single, I have sat on and started it, but not yet ridden it, what do you think.

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devon Hawker View Post
    Or a new Indian Enfield but do as my mate did with his, before he even rode it stripped it checked the tolerances etc and rebuild. Sounded totally different when he ran after that to how it was before. Same machine tools etc in theory should give you the same bike,however, Indian factory workers tend not to be as good as the Brit ones of the 50s......
    So your mate bought a bad new bike and rebuilt it, rather than a good old bike. Is he mad, by any chance?

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    Default Re: A usable classic bike.

    I have ridden one of these (BMW R26) and it was very slow. Nice quality though.

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