View Full Version : Motorcycles

2013-Mar-04, 12:43 AM
Well how about another motorcycle thread? As spring approaches I'll be doing some upgrades to mine. Meanwhile here is a video I took last year. Its a short clip recorded on a phone. I'll be putting up a really really good recording after the weather turns warmer.
I have two bike but one is more or less a basket case (73 Harley Ironhead. Right foot shift.)

My main bike is my Buell XB12XT - Ulysses Touring. aka Brünnhilde.

So here are the upgrades so far:
Free-flow air filter and air box
Hawk Muffler
Swain Tech Coatings header pipe (ceramic... REAL ceramic)
1 1/2" riser for bars
Throttle lock
Anti-cramp paddle
EBR front rotor and hardware
HID headlight (low beam only)
Madstad bracket and windscreen (should be standard issue on every single bike)
EBR decals (Buell removed)
5-0 Dro axle sliders, case protectors
Heat shielding under airbox, inside of frame (might re-do frame portion)

New tires (Michelin 2CT of some sort)
LED turn signals
Driving lights (kinda like fogs but throw more to the sides)
Fork rebuild (due, small drip on left fork)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVnhxNOlruI (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iVnhxNOlruI&feature=youtu.be)

captain swoop
2013-Mar-06, 10:27 AM
One of my mates has a camera system on his bike. one on the tail fairing looking back, one looking ahead on the front fairing near the mirror and one on the fairing down low. They unclip when not in use, they record to a memory card. He records all his runs.
Won't be looking at my bike for a few weeks yet, still too much salt on our roads.

My current bike is a Yamaha R6. All stock, I don't tend to keep a bike for more than a year or two although I have had this for about 4.

2013-Mar-06, 01:20 PM
My issue with those types of cameras is sound quality. The video is pretty much perfect for the application. And some manufacturers offer an impressive "anti-jello" software to keep it all stable and viewable. I've considered such a camera but it would be superfluous to my riding style (and ability). What I can say is that when I record my idling/revving video this spring it'll be through a very high quality mic and field recorder (a Tascam DAT) - so most of the sound of the bike will translate well. No Buell videos I've seen convey the actual sound. You get... maybe the upper 1/2 of the hz range. Especially with an aftermarket muffler the sound is... well. I've described my bike as "ripping apart the air". When you hear it rev, I think you'll understand what I mean. What I can't convey on film is that it also shakes the ground. (You'll have to forgive the run-on paragraph structure... my "enter" key is acting up) A friend of mine described it as the feeling when a horse runs by - you can feel it more than hear it. So, Captain Swoop, I like the Yamaha line. What made you go for the R6? 4 years is actually quite a while to own one bike. Is it fuel injection?

2013-Mar-06, 02:15 PM
I have a stock 250 Ninja which is in need of some work. I am tempted to try and sell my wife on a larger bike instead of fixing this one. I used to own a Honda 450 CB, and kind of miss it.

Any suggestions?

2013-Mar-06, 02:35 PM
Motorcycle preferences are... well... I could recommend things but its kind of like recommending music. Everyone has their own taste and the bikes I like probably won't jive with what someone else likes. As an example: I ride a Buell. It *really* isn't everyone's cup of tea. I don't like cruisers, most sportbikes, etc so I wouldn't really recommend any of those. What I will tell you is that the 250 class has never been better and you can pick up a brand new bike for under 5k.

captain swoop
2013-Mar-06, 08:08 PM
I had a Ducati before the YAm and wrote it off, beffore that I had a Suzuki and wrote that off.

I went for the Yam because it was the right price at the time I needed a replacement for the Ducati. It's fast and I can get my knee down and it rides on rails. All I could ask.
I haven't ridden it that much, Ididn't realize it was that long. I may be pressed to another Ducati in the summer.

As for bike recommendations, I have always had Super Sports so I would say anything that is fast and handles round the twisty bits.

2013-Mar-06, 08:25 PM
Yes but "fast and handles" are kind of nebulous concepts. A lot of it is the rider. Keith Code's videos ("Twist of the Wrist" etc) cover that extensively. I know guys that can take an 800 lb. cruise around corners that most 600-class riders can't even handle. And as far as "fast"... liter bikes get all the hype there. But my upright, semi-dual-sport touring bike can out handle (in a chassis, technical sense) almost everything out there. What I also have is unholy gobs of torque. After the ECM upgrade I found it difficult to keep the front end on the ground and had to completely re-learn how to ease the throttle. What I don't have is the ability (or desire) to go 180mph. In fact I've never had mine above 85. Ever. Not even to pass. I guess what I'm getting at is that the bike doesn't define how you ride. Especially in a street environment where a 250 naked might be better for a given rider than a liter-crotch-rocket (sorry for terminology there... that's what they are called). Find the bike you like, that you are comfortable with, instead of automatically thinking that a rocket is the only bike that can corner.

2013-Mar-06, 08:38 PM
2005 Kawasaki Z750S. More or less 100 HP - which is plenty for me. Kawasaki called it a "sport styled road bike". I like the mostly upright position. Just a normal road bike. Use it pretty much all year 'round, but not for commuting, mainly for long work related trips and such.

I see post 1 mentions mods, so my meagre set:
Braided steel brake lines front and back, front converted to two lines direct from master cylinder.
Steibel horn.
Better screen, dark tinted and slightly higher.
Motovation USA frame sliders.
Ermax belly pan.
Ermax hugger/chain guard.
Ventura pack rack (with all three sizes of rail, the medium one I've mounted a plastic tool box on as a cheap "top box").
Ventura headlight guard.
Circa the last Rugby World Cup - a New Zealand flag (all the cars had them ...)

Every now and then I look at trading in on a newer bike, but nothing I "like" ever really seems better, so plan to keep it a long while yet. Don't like choppers, and a real "race" bike (like the Captains' R6) just isn't for me. (I have to admit, I'm not a good enough rider to make the most of it).

Dropped just once. At exactly 0 km/h - a stupid mistake moving it around my garage, overbalanced...

(Previous bike, Suzuki NZ250, and before that a Yamaha RD250LC with 350 barrels and pistons (but still the 250's brakes... (and I think even the 250's exhausts))).

2013-Mar-06, 08:46 PM
18287182881828918290 Hopefully this works. Limited functionality on this computer. Also as a note - the girl is NOT my wife. She's a friend - it just happens to be a (wife-approved) great picture.

captain swoop
2013-Mar-06, 09:34 PM
I had a 250LC it was my second bike as a youngster. First thing you did was swap the forks and front brakes for Suzuki items, RD only had a single disk and skinny bendy forks. Uprated the rear shock and swingarm bushes , the stock ones are quite 'wobbly' as they are all rubber bushed.

There is a good conversion kit that RD enthusiasts (and the later YPVS Enthusiasts) use to put complete Suzuki Gamma front ends onto the RD.

My first bike was tha Yamaha RD 250 air cooled bike that preceded the LC.

captain swoop
2013-Mar-06, 09:37 PM
I like a bike that is compact and light, that's why I prefer the R6 to an R1 for example. On the roads I mainly ride around North Yorkshire across the Moors to Scarborough or Whitby or up into the Dales they are a lot faster.

2013-Mar-06, 10:53 PM
The day I bought my Kawasaki, my roommate bought a Honda Goldwing at the same shop. We had sequential license plates and would come up with the funniest improbable/impossible stories about confusing the police. In reality, we were far less cool and criminal, but our non-biking friends bought every one of our stories.

One thing that really happened was we switched bikes. The style of riding is completely different. As we were tooling around, I noticed my engine sounded strange, as in very bad. I nearly cried when I found out my friend assumed a 250 cc should be a 4 speed. Those poor gears.

Another time, we were coming out of a bar and my girlfriend had my jacket and keys. She and my friend hopped on my bike and took off. He stood the bike up on its back tire for half a block and bounced to a stop in front our house. When he got off, his eyes were like saucers. My girlfriend said something to the effect of "You never drive like that!"

I grumbled "You had no idea what you were doing did you?" He couldn't even speak, he was too scared. My girlfriend had no idea how close to dying she was.

captain swoop
2013-Mar-07, 09:11 AM
I have been up the road a few times, I can give you a list of broken bones and broken bikes. My last bike 'died' in a hedge back after the back wheel slid away. It was bad luck, if it had been a flat grass verge instead of a ditch the bike would have come to a halt intact but it 'flipped' after it went into aditch and the forks bent and the bodywork flew off in all directions. I wasn't hurt at all, good kevlar leathers and plenty of practice at sliding.

2013-Mar-07, 07:59 PM
I've only had one off.

I'd taken my girlfriend for a ride. Stupidly, went up to a local T.V. transmitter, for the view. But it was a gravel road, and this was on my RD250/350LC. On the way down, on a corner with freshly laid, deep, gravel, just lost it. Slow speed, washed out the front and went down sideways. Bent the bars, was only wearing two pairs of jeans (somehow, in those days, I thought that helped!) and tore open my knee. Girlfriend OK, just scuffed her boots. (Not motorcycle boots - just boots).

So then I'm riding further downhill, with bars at 30 degrees to go straight, and come 'round a corner, just 20 metres from the tar-seal, to find some little Japanese sports car parked in the middle of the narrow road - with both its doors open. He'd got to the gravel and stopped to see if his low-slung car was OK. I just had to stop, before hitting the car, so down we go again.

In those days, my bike didn't have a warrant of fitness (six monthly check of condition), nor was it licensed (yearly fee for using roads). I didn't even have my motorcycle license (and even if I had my learners permit, 100 km/h roads, 350cc and a pillion would have seen me break 3 rules of use). I also didn't have insurance. So I was VERY keen to avoid any officials.

That was when I was a University student. I was pretty stupid. Nowadays I'm much more sensible - have bike license, keep bike legal, paid for and insured. All that stuff. Have proper riding gear etc.

She's now my Wife.

And has me well insured.

2013-Mar-08, 02:50 AM
I started a thread somewhere around here to ask about different types of motorcycles and their pricing, when I was still in the shopping/picking (and pipe-dreaming, due to lack of money) stage. Since then, I ended up buying a 150cc scooter. It's much cheaper than a 250cc+ conventional motorcycle, it's more fuel efficient, and it comes with built-in storage space under the seat. It can probably get over 60 MPH, but I mean absolute top (on level ground) speed, which is different from a reasonable normal real-use speed. I use it for local in-town commuting without even trying to put in on the highways, at speeds that are fun instead of scary. People who know me seem to get a kick out of seeing me ride it.

captain swoop
2013-Mar-08, 10:12 AM
What you need to wear while riding it is an Italian thin lapel suit, Pork Pie Hat, Harrington Jacket, Ben Sherman Or a Fred Perry Polo Shirt and loafers. If it's cold a Fishtail Parka with a Union Jack on the back or RAF Roundel is also good.

Liking the Who and Small Faces is a bonus.

2013-Mar-08, 11:18 AM
And remember to add lots of front lights and long whip areal with a foxtail on the end.

captain swoop
2013-Mar-08, 12:12 PM
and mirrors

2013-Mar-08, 01:25 PM
I didn't write this bit: " and long whip areal with a foxtail on the end"

Did you accidentally click "edit" instead of "quote"?

2013-Mar-08, 01:52 PM
To each their own, honestly. I'm not sure if this is true on other parts of the world but here there is a kind of etiquette where you wave/signal to a fellow passing motorcyclist. I wave to anyone on any bike, including tiny scooters that can't even do 45mph. They are on two wheels, just like me. They may not have a screaming shieldmaiden underneath them, but the skills are pretty much the same.

I don't have to respect all *riders* though. Its a point I like to clarify with people I discuss bikes with. It isn't the Harley full dress bike I don't like. I just don't like the pirates that tend to use them the most often. It isn't the liter-bike rocket or 600-class with "race" written on it that I don't like. Its the younger/less mature crowd that rides them thinking that no other bike on earth could possibly corner like a bike that is probably over-powered. Sometimes we call these guys squids. They squirt through traffic at high speeds with rapid lane changes and little to no signalling or mirror checking.

But one of the most annoying experiences on record came from a group of Patriot Guard riders here in Rochester, NY. Their site clearly states the groups' riding policies - policies that I agree with. The group did not follow these policies despite clearly displaying Patriot Guard signage on (nearly) every single rider. The major issues was not mile-long line of bikes. They were not riding in an unsafe fashion other than the unbroken line of bikes. What WAS dangerous, insane, and illegal is that they would block the on-ramps until the entire line rode by. For a highway (this was from 390, up 590 north, to 490 east and beyond, for those that know the area) this method is... well... it drove me to red-faced anger. I was considering writing/contacting a local news agency but the issue was likely to be touchy - plus I had no idea where they were headed nor did I want to follow.

2013-Mar-08, 02:29 PM
I wave. In fact, when I drive my car I wave, which makes me a dork. Most bikers nod back at me, my wife and kids in the back seat as if to say "dream on, man." :)

In the city of Buffalo, there are the Dogs (Do Only Good), who buddy up with solo drivers. They are a full dresser group, but they will ride with anyone. Its nice having a company/wingman on city streets.

2013-Mar-08, 02:31 PM
You and I should meet up sometime. I'm only an hour from Buffalo. Maybe in between and south there are some nice roads.

2013-Mar-08, 02:38 PM
You and I should meet up sometime. I'm only an hour from Buffalo. Maybe in between and south there are some nice roads.

I'd love that, but I either have to fix the bike I have or get a new one.

2013-Mar-08, 02:45 PM
I miss mine often (my last bike was a Goldwing Aspencade) but its just too hot most of the year here in southern Florida to ride,
and far too dangerous with all the old people who drive with zero reaction time and unable to see beyond the ends of their hoods....

2013-Mar-08, 02:56 PM
I miss mine often (my last bike was a Goldwing Aspencade) but its just too hot most of the year here in southern Florida to ride,
and far too dangerous with all the old people who drive with zero reaction time and unable to see beyond the ends of their hoods....

Nice bike. My aforementioned friend had floorboard's added to his Goldwing to match the style of the Aspencade.

captain swoop
2013-Mar-08, 10:29 PM
Oops, sorry, yes I think I did. Sorry, one of the perils of being a Mod.

captain swoop
2013-Mar-08, 10:34 PM
I don't think Iever wave at anyone. too busy riding. When you are 'pushing on' along a twisty country road or over the moors you are too busy reading what's coming up and thinking the next couple of corners ahead. Cars emerging from the side, someone oncoming overtaking or a pothole or rut in the road all need thinking about

2013-Mar-08, 11:00 PM
Oops, sorry, yes I think I did. Sorry, one of the perils of being a Mod.
Been there. Done that. Didn't get a t-shirt.

2013-Mar-11, 03:52 PM
New video from yesterday. I apologize for the sound - I still haven't used my real camera rig for this yet.

2013-Mar-12, 04:20 AM
Seems a bit on the loud side - I SAID A BIT ON THE LOUD SIDE :)
How's the LED direction indicator conversion? I recently fitted Acerbis Handguards with LED running lights: if you wire them into your indicator circuit then you have a neat effect. The handguards, along with heated grips, have kept me rolling (nearly) all winter. They also keep pesky wood pigeons out of the control surfaces.

Mid @)

2013-Apr-23, 04:21 PM
Okay so some updates. I've done a few updates plus added another - hydraulic clutch conversion. Old style is cable operated and to be honest it was not the best thing in the world. Went with a Magura kit. More to come. For now: