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Very OT -- for the Motorcycle Guys
Old 03-08-2006   #1
Honu-Hugger
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Very OT -- for the Motorcycle Guys

They're going eBay crazy for this one:
1967 BSA Spitfire Mk III
I was interested and willing to bid up to $6K, it is exactly like the one I rode in college. This morning my wife asked if I was sure I didn't want it...I told her the memories of British bikes are always much fonder than the actual experience (oil leaks, hard starting, Lucas electrics, etc.) .
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Old 03-08-2006   #2
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I can see this going for over 10K if the right people are interested. $300miles! Restored. NICE.
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Old 03-08-2006   #3
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those britbikes are really sweet.. I once passed up a deal on a Triumph and I've regretted it ever since.. I was into sportbikes at the time.. now, as I've lost the desire to go fast and hard into corners, I've been looking a lot closer at the classic bikes
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Old 03-08-2006   #4
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Brett, the current production Triumphs are very nice bikes. There's a dealer in town here - a former Triumph racer namer Lyle Sharer. Perhaps we should go out there the next time your down?

William
(Lusting in my heart for a new Triumph Thruxton)
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Old 03-08-2006   #5
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I like top-end Ducati's, BMW's, the MV Augusta America, and Moto Guzzi!
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Old 03-08-2006   #6
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they're nice, William.. but not quite the same thing.. I considered buying a new Triumph about 6 years ago.. just never fell in love with the upgraded machine.. much like the new VW Beetle is a vast improvement over the original.. but I'd much rather drive my old '74 Sun Bug if I still had it

FrankG.. did you ever see the ill-fated Bimota V-Due? it was a 500cc 2-stroke street-legal superbike that quickly was recalled due to fuel injection problems.. drop-dead gorgeous and quick as hell.. but $22k and unreliable.. I wanted one soooooo bad
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Old 03-08-2006   #7
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I can understand. He does restore the old bikes too. I should take you there to see some of those sometime. Very good work.

William
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Old 03-08-2006   #8
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that sounds good.. maybe a few photo ops. should I bring the supermodels?
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Old 03-08-2006   #9
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That's a nice bike, reminds me a bit of the Spanish motorcycle industry glory, the mighty Montesa Impala
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Old 03-08-2006   #10
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Thats nice over $10K too...It reminds me of a Honda 350 Twin I my brother had...I would like to have my first motorcycle back. A 1974 Yamaha DT250 enduro. Very streetable but would also go great in the woods.
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Old 03-08-2006   #11
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...aaaarrrgghhh - lucas electronics aka "prince of darkness" electronics - i have very ambivalent memories of my last brit bike, a bsa victor 441...

...still, if i could afford it - i would love to have a vincent black shadow - .a '55 series 'd' ...despite heavy steering, occasionally quirky handling and adrenalin-attack/inducing brakes - riding one briefly was one of the two most memorable vehicular experiences i've ever had...still waitng for a ride in a mc-claren f-1.

...the vincent black shadow had the most straight-forward, accurate and precise chain adjustment i have ever encountered...a gorgeous, big, honkin' five inch speedo that topped out at 150mph...rear mono-shock...used the engine as part of it's frame...and an had exhaust note that was more about power than noise.

...i think i can still smell gas on my thumbs from priming those darn amal carbs
on my '58 or '59 (?) bonneville...i guess i'm still not entirely cured...

kenneth
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Old 03-08-2006   #12
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Actually, the v-due issue was bad mapping. Alan Cathcart told me a wealthy enthusiast bought the remaining examples after Bimota tanked, again, and now those bikes are demons. When he told me they're like riding my 250 Aprilia Cup, (since drowned in the storm), but with twice the power, my eyes momentarily popped out of their sockets.
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Old 03-08-2006   #13
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grantray, you know Alan Cathcart? I believe I saw him once at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI

and kenneth.. you rode a Black Shadow? man, I must have been hanging out with the wrong crowd for most of my life
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Old 03-08-2006   #14
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...brett, i just got lucky...started talking to the guy and offered to take some photos & hinted i would LOVE to ride one some day....he said yes - and i blinked and gulped - i left him my m4-2, m6 & camera bag & took off for about half an hour...i was riding bmw 'r' bikes then (a r65 w/ "toaster tank") ...i guess he liked the stripe of my cameras & motorcycle...wish i had exchanged info & kept in touch...

Ce n'est pas rien...it was really something.

take care, kenneth
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Old 03-08-2006   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankS
I like [...] Moto Guzzi!
You might like my bike then, Frank:

http://www.richcutler.mistral.co.uk/guzzi/LeMans.htm

(PS - the photos are just snaps: one day I'll take some proper ones of it!)
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Old 03-08-2006   #16
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Seeing this auction of course instantly brought back fond memories, and then as I seriously considered bidding the rest of the memories came back as well (temperamental starting, oil leaks, Lucas, Whitworth fasteners) .

Owning my Spitfire was like being in a relationship with a beautiful psycho -- it could be heaven or it could be hell. The bike did get me out of a speeding ticket; two policemen on motorcycles pulled me over and after I dismounted and walked towards them they both walked right past me and starting looking over the bike. They asked me all sorts of questions about it and it was then I realized that motorcycle police are just as bike-crazy as the rest of us ! After we were through talking bikes they gave me a verbal warning -- they said to take it out of town when I wanted to get on the gas!
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Old 03-08-2006   #17
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The closest I've ever gotten to a Vincent is Richard Thompson on the radio. Here is my Brit bike, '69 Raleigh DL1, it has dragless dynohub lighting (bright!), leather mudflap, leather brakes (!). It had a "CLA" about 10 years ago, and I rode it all through college in Philly, and to my first few city jobs. I've even ridden it a few times in a tuxedo on some Academy of Music events (I'm a singer). It has a new proper english saddle bag and leather grips installed since this crappy digi/luminous picture. A more comfy bicycle, there's never been (although I guess the recumbents are nice). My ex would never allow me to have a motorcycle, but I'm looking around for one now.
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Old 03-08-2006   #18
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Well, I'll possibly cause a lot of tooth-gnashing by passing this along:

http://worksengineering.com/

I like passing by there every once in a while and hanging out - I only discovered it a few months back when I was cycling home after a freelance gig. Cool shop, cooler crew of people who really know their bikes. Speaking of Black Shadows, my first visit there introduced me to a drop-dead mint Shadow that instantly floored me (had a nice chat with the owner)...never saw one in-the-metal before. There were several Beezers in various states of repair/restoration, including what I believe was a '70 Lightning that had seen better years, but supposedly ran okay (if you can deal with the classic "Beezer vibe").

Of course, there's this Lightning there now:

http://worksengineering.com/

But the machine I couldn't stop straddling while there was one which I snorted at in my relatively callow youth, and apparently is still there, priced around $4k:

http://worksengineering.com/bikeforsale4.html

This is the reason I stick to pedal-powered exotics (which cost enough).


- Barrett (so Guzzi, sono buoni!)
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Old 03-08-2006   #19
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Barrett,
My next trip to NY may be with a one-way plane ticket and a visit to this shop! On second thought, would I really want to ride a BSA across country? Probably...
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Old 03-08-2006   #20
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Argh, no biking this year. Have to save for next years vacation and after I have had new pistons fitted into my Moto Morini 500s and installed a 6speed gearbox from a 3 1/2 since we couldn't get spareparts for the 5speed it blew the big end on the first outing :-(

The 6speed box is great fun, the gear lever is now on the right and you move it up to shift down and the rear brake is on the left. I have to have a sprocket (?) made to compensate for the shorter transmission.

I've repaced the original magnesium aloy wheels with Borani VA spoke wheels and the front disk brakes against a double duplex (?) drumbrake.
Some 10 years ago I fitted a, bah - here my english is lacking, windshield from a Ducati 900ss to it. Very sleek and sporty.

Ah, to hell, the weather is bad anyways and I'll get over the summer driving my Mini Convertible, it's nearly as read as the Morini :-)

Edit:

Alan Cathcart? The name rings a bell but I can't sort it out.
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Old 03-08-2006   #21
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Yeah, that place is by McCarren Park. There are certain places I don't go to, for financial reasons; and vintage Italian cafe racer shops, along with rare book and vintage camera stores, is one of them.

Here's a little tit for tat, Barret- been to the vintage camera store on Manhattan Ave. recently? Nice little selection of Canon, Nikon, Ikon, and Voigltander rangefinders in there right now. And a few Russian 'finders as well...

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Old 03-08-2006   #22
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Yes, places to avoid include the shop where my younger brother once learned his trade.

See why
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Old 03-08-2006   #23
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somehow this thread reminds me of an article I read in a cycle rag many years ago, about the Iron Butt Rally.. anybody ever hear of it?

http://www.ironbuttrally.com/IBR/default.cfm
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Old 03-08-2006   #24
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I've probably shown you all this before, but here's the last bike I owned.. a modern classic '85 Honda Interceptor.. it was the handling bike I ever had, and just the right size for cruising around town.. photos were taken a week before I sold it
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Old 03-08-2006   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFriday
somehow this thread reminds me of an article I read in a cycle rag many years ago, about the Iron Butt Rally.. anybody ever hear of it?
1000 miles a day for 11 days? No way with my bike! On a sunny day I may get from Troy to New York without the help of a trailer
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Old 03-08-2006   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeFriday
somehow this thread reminds me of an article I read in a cycle rag many years ago, about the Iron Butt Rally.. anybody ever hear of it?

http://www.ironbuttrally.com/IBR/default.cfm
I'm a member; have applied twice to do the rally but have not yet been accepted. I've done a few of their other rides (1000 miles in 24 hours, 1500 miles in 24 hours, and 3000 miles in 48 hours), it's fun if you're interested in that sort of riding. I've always liked to leave before dawn and ride into the night anyway so it suits me well.
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Old 03-08-2006   #27
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My first bike was a '65 trumpet that i rebuilt in mt living room. Then I got a '77 Low Rider with my re-enlistment bonus and when it was stolen I got an '81 low rider. My current rebuild projact is a '73 H-D Servi-car 45 CI and completely original except for the rear box and the seat covering
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Old 03-08-2006   #28
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Oh dear, now you've gone and done it!

Up till now I've been over the moon with a nice new Suzi 650 'V' twin with the half pointy bit on the front, semi rear set pegs n clip ons (SV650S in the UK). I've even been happy running it in........... until now...... , man I had a proper T140V Bonnie that went from zero to an ton in a bang and odd noises followed by severe power loss, yup it blew up but thats another story for another time. But thats not it, it was incredible fun (to kick start is yet another story for yet another time) to ride, incredible low center of gravity that you could hurtle round the outside of any modern sprts bike on traffic roundabouts (traffic circles to some US bods) and assuming you did not fall off on the oil that you were dumping either from the crank cases or the breather (yeah right!) pipe you looked really cool.

And that it, it had character, many faults (even more in the wet) but when it went well it was sheer joy.

Oddly the single most irritable aspect of my old Bonnie was that the seat was stitched, great idea until it rains and the seat foam filled up. You could have several sunny dry days and get off the bonnie with a soggy bum (not due to medical condition honest)

Did I mention I use a Leica and a Bessa L?

I'll get my coat......



Note: new bike was instead of a new 75 Cron. Thats it off to read the tealeaves
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Old 03-08-2006   #29
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Ahhhhh finally! Thanks Rick for mentioning HD---wouldn't have been a real MotorCycle thread without it! :-) :-)
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Old 03-08-2006   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grantray
Yeah, that place is by McCarren Park. There are certain places I don't go to, for financial reasons; and vintage Italian cafe racer shops, along with rare book and vintage camera stores, is one of them.

Here's a little tit for tat, Barret- been to the vintage camera store on Manhattan Ave. recently? Nice little selection of Canon, Nikon, Ikon, and Voigltander rangefinders in there right now. And a few Russian 'finders as well...
Oh, but do I feel your pain.

Yep, I swing by Albert's from time to time (great collection, priced just a tad high IMO...but he's got the rent to deal with). Last time I poked my head in there I had one of my Hexar RFs in tow; he gave me a hard time about buying a camera from a company "that stole Leica's lens mount". Somehow, explaining that the patent on that mount had expired didn't seem to cut much ice with him. Knowing him as well as I do, I declined to push the matter further.


- Barrett
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Old 03-08-2006   #31
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Quote:
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Ahhhhh finally! Thanks Rick for mentioning HD---wouldn't have been a real MotorCycle thread without it! :-) :-)
Paul
Yep, and if they want to talk about iron butt, I drove that 77 Low rider from San Diego, Ca. to N La. in a 3 day marathon and then in '81 i drove from here to Sturgis, SD only stopping for gas.
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Old 03-08-2006   #32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichC
You might like my bike then, Frank:

http://www.richcutler.mistral.co.uk/guzzi/LeMans.htm

(PS - the photos are just snaps: one day I'll take some proper ones of it!)

OH YEAH!
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Old 03-08-2006   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paulbe
Ahhhhh finally! Thanks Rick for mentioning HD---wouldn't have been a real MotorCycle thread without it! :-) :-)
Paul
Can't beat the sound of a good Vee twin, not like these multi pot modern mental revving mega bombs, although I do prefer the 90 degree V of the Duke.

I guess it's that un definable thing called character that sets them apart, a Duke is more than a HD with short forks but they share the V.

Anyone want a new Suzi? Apart from me
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Old 03-08-2006   #34
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My father restores bikes in his garden shed.
see here (1945 Matcless G80L 500cc single)
here (1939 BSA)
here (1961 AJS Model 14 250cc)
and here (1961 Norton Dominator 88 Deluxe)

Now it's a real motorcycle thread.

He has two other Matchlesses but they weren't out the day I took these.
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Old 03-08-2006   #35
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So, Rich C, are you at wildguzzi.com? Seems I remember your bike. Mine's a 77.

Taffer, for the sake of Barcelona's pride, I have a Bultaco Metralla Mk2 Kit America in my garage, with a TSS fairing. Also a Frontera.

And we even have Morini risers here-my wife had a 3 1/2 and a 500 Sport-she still misses the 350, though. She was riding one in Putney, VT when we met Carlton Palmer, he of many Vincents. I have a photo ofa Vincent with a lot of Lightning bits in my gallery.

Back on topic-a Spitfire is supposed to be one of the more temperamental BSAs ever. Are you going to get it?
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Old 03-08-2006   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy K
My father restores bikes in his garden shed.
see here (1945 Matcless G80L 500cc single)
here (1939 BSA)
here (1961 AJS Model 14 250cc)
and here (1961 Norton Dominator 88 Deluxe)

Now it's a real motorcycle thread.

He has two other Matchlesses but they weren't out the day I took these.
Just one word...Wow! (What a collection)
Thank you for the pics!
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Old 03-08-2006   #37
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MY '77 is the gray one, the '81 is the one in front of my nephews shop . I don;t have any photos of the police servi-car as it is still in the rebuild stage,
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Old 03-08-2006   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amateriat
Oh, but do I feel your pain.

Yep, I swing by Albert's from time to time (great collection, priced just a tad high IMO...but he's got the rent to deal with). Last time I poked my head in there I had one of my Hexar RFs in tow; he gave me a hard time about buying a camera from a company "that stole Leica's lens mount". Somehow, explaining that the patent on that mount had expired didn't seem to cut much ice with him. Knowing him as well as I do, I declined to push the matter further.


- Barrett
If he does so again, remind him that Leica used the Zeiss formula for they're early asph lenses. That should get a smirk out of him!

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Old 03-08-2006   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy K
My father restores bikes in his garden shed.
see here (1945 Matcless G80L 500cc single)
here (1939 BSA)
here (1961 AJS Model 14 250cc)
and here (1961 Norton Dominator 88 Deluxe)

Now it's a real motorcycle thread.

He has two other Matchlesses but they weren't out the day I took these.

Brilliant! thanks for the links, I see that some still carry the old road tax disc, no longer needed for old stuff. Well done.

Cheers!
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Old 03-08-2006   #40
Andy K
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Andy K is offline
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Airstrip One
Age: 57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred
Brilliant! thanks for the links, I see that some still carry the old road tax disc, no longer needed for old stuff. Well done.

Cheers!
You still require the disc, but you don't have to pay for it.
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