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post #1 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 03:32 PM Thread Starter
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Worst bike you've ever ridden?

What's the worst bike you've ever ridden?

Mine is a 2000 Yamaha "Midnight" Royal Star, owned by my buddy Clif Danley who works a the Phoenix Rescue Mission.

Reportedly he got it cheap or someone gave it to him.

Another friend, Paul, who volunteers there, rode it and exclaimed "It's the motorcycle equivalent of a farm tractor!" to the nodding heads of EVERYONE who rode it.

All it needs, imho, is a spring metal seat with holes in it.

QUOTE: "Even for a cruiser, the Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star handles like a jelly burglar's swag bag. There's hardly any ground clearance, the bike steers slower than the QE2 and the riding position is akin to a dentist's chair. The Yamaha XVZ1300A Royal Star is great fun whilst posing on Brighton prom, but disappointingly vague on normal roads."

It's perhaps the least nimble vehicle, of any size or shape, I've ever ridden. The thing is a pig.

It seems to have a ton of torque without having any noticeable power. You shift like you would a F250 at rpm's barely double of idle speed.

How Yamaha engineers, or anyone, for that matter, could have designed this beast, gotten on, ridden it, and said "Oh yeah we nailed it!" is beyond me.

Warren and I spent an hour inspecting, tuning, adjusting, tightening cables, etc. Couldn't tell any difference. Even with loose plugs and one perhaps not even connected.

Front brakes are mushy despite having plenty of pad on two humongous rotors.

The bike turns like a cargo ship. Gotta start making your turn a half hour before you get to the intersection.

Maneuverability, the ability to swerve or brake hard if I need to is part of what makes me feel SAFE on a motorcycle. This bike has none. All I could do is leave tons of following distance and plan on strong use of the rear brake if I actually needed to stop.

So what's the worst machine you've ever ridden?

Anyone else with experience with one of these Royal Stars care to comment?

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post #2 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 04:14 PM
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This was an easy one for me. Of the bikes I've owned, the most useless was the Honda Mini-Trail 50.



Even though it was frugal on gas consumption, it really didn't matter because I sure wasn't going to ride it for distance.

Two up riding was possible (I actually added passenger pegs) but it made for a very friendly twosome and not comfortable for more than once around the block. Acceleration with two on board was virtually non-existent and fourth gear didn't even come into play.

Even riding solo, highway cruising was best left in the imagination rather than practice. Even at WOT it was unlikely you'd need to comb your hair when you arrived at your destination.

The spunky little contender did have some nice features such as the folding handlebars allowing the bike to be stashed in the trunk of your car when someone came along you didn't want to be embarrassed in front of.

At the time it was kind of a chick magnet, but when they got close you realized they were laughing at you, not with you.

It could turn extremely short, too. If the turning radius was taking too much room, just stop, pick it up, point it in the direction you want to go, sit back down and off you go... in almost a zero radius!

I bought it thinking it would be useful around the farm, especially checking the cow/calf herd. It was a quiet little thing and combined with the small size, not so likely to spook the livestock. There is a down side to the small size... that it put the rider's point of view a little too low if for some reason one ran inadvertently into a cow's hind end. (That story is related elsewhere on this forum). Cattle Roundup

This Honda Mini-Trail also became the bike I owned for the shortest time.


Last edited by Metaldoc; 03-17-2016 at 04:21 PM.
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post #3 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 08:01 PM
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Worstest

69 Kawasaki 500, 71 Norton 750 Commando. Both bought new. And they both had some redeeming qualities.

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post #4 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 08:02 PM
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WOW Wade you definitely didn't ride the same Royal Star I do. For one thing these things love RPM and come with a 7.5k redline. Take that same bike and run it up to redline a couple of times you will be surprised.

I have never had an issue going through the twisties on mine. True I do drag my floorboards in some of the tighter corners, but they fold up as needed and have wear bars for that very reason.

Extreme slow speed uturns are a challenge for sure, but I an turn around on a two lane road without putting my feet down. Dropping from a 150 to a 130 front tire is supposed to take care of that.

I for one am extremely happy with my RSTD.


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post #5 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 08:38 PM Thread Starter
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I wonder if I'm getting the models confused. NO WAY this bike had a 7500 redline. Perhaps 5k, and peak torque WAY below that.

Admittedly, this was an older model, neglected.

No insult intended, and I CLEARLY don't have the "big bike" skills needed to make this bike perform as intended.

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post #6 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 08:51 PM
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'73 Kawasaki H2 750cc two stroke that my brother owned. That damned thing was dangerous! Worst handling bike ever. Wouldn't corner worth a damn. The only thing it was good for was going fast in a straight line. I only rode it twice, both very short rides. I don't know how he survived owning it for several years.

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post #7 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wadenelson View Post
I wonder if I'm getting the models confused. NO WAY this bike had a 7500 redline. Perhaps 5k, and peak torque WAY below that.

Admittedly, this was an older model, neglected.

No insult intended, and I CLEARLY don't have the "big bike" skills needed to make this bike perform as intended.

None taken. 2000 was the first year of the Gen II bikes. The Venture (faring, hard bags and trunk), the Tour Deluxe (Windshield and hard bags), and the boulevard - no bags or windscreen. That one came in Raven (black). The Midnight had less chrome and a more blacked out look but didn't come out until later.

The easiest way to tell the difference in a Gen I and II is the exhaust. Gen I had 4 individual pipes, Gen II 2 into 1 on both sides. I understand there is a big difference between the two Gen's.


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post #8 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-17-2016, 11:58 PM
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I'd guess the worst bike I rode was a 1971 Triumph Tiger. It was a totally stripped down machine with a welded on hard tail rear end, a peanut gas tank, a folded towel wrapped in masking tape for a seat, and a front fender made out of a piece of an old aluminum street sign. I was told the engine had been blue printed, but at that time I wouldn't have any way of knowing if that was true. It was uncomfortable, unreliable, loud, poor handling, dangerous, and faster then anything else in my neighborhood at the time. It was a total piece of leaking, stuttering, garbage, but when it ran it was slicker then greased owl crap, and I was proud as punch to own it.
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post #9 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 01:34 AM
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Many years ago. Was saving to buy a house and didn't have much money so I bought an old worn out H1. It was red but painted it black with spray cans.

Bad brakes and crazy quick. I did my first high side on this bike complete with a superman like flight through the air after hitting a freeway off ramp curb.
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post #10 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 07:12 AM
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I don't think it's fair with my worst. I don't remember the year but it was an early Triumph Bonneville. The reason not fair is it was my brother-in-law's and he had chopped it and put ape hangers on it. No fenders too so you got dirty if the street was wet.

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post #11 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 04:15 PM
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As much as I hate to say this, I think my 2005 Honda Shadow Spirit was the worst bike I ever rode. I liked everything about the bike but 5th gear worked like an overdrive and if I changed gears to soon from 4th too 5th is would chug. Although it was a great highway bike (better then my 2007 Sabre) it was something that annoyed me. I winded up selling the Shadow for that very reason.
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post #12 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Offcenter View Post
'73 Kawasaki H2 750cc two stroke that my brother owned. That damned thing was dangerous! Worst handling bike ever. Wouldn't corner worth a damn. The only thing it was good for was going fast in a straight line. I only rode it twice, both very short rides. I don't know how he survived owning it for several years.

My cousin had one he bought new back in mid '70's...That thing was INSANE!!
No way would I ride it and I was young and crazy back then.
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post #13 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 08:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eye_m_no_angel View Post
I'd guess the worst bike I rode was a 1971 Triumph Tiger. It was a totally stripped down machine with a welded on hard tail rear end, a peanut gas tank, a folded towel wrapped in masking tape for a seat, and a front fender made out of a piece of an old aluminum street sign. I was told the engine had been blue printed, but at that time I wouldn't have any way of knowing if that was true. It was uncomfortable, unreliable, loud, poor handling, dangerous, and faster then anything else in my neighborhood at the time. It was a total piece of leaking, stuttering, garbage, but when it ran it was slicker then greased owl crap, and I was proud as punch to own it.
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post #14 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-18-2016, 09:41 PM
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As much as I hate to say this, I think my 2005 Honda Shadow Spirit was the worst bike I ever rode. I liked everything about the bike but 5th gear worked like an overdrive and if I changed gears to soon from 4th too 5th is would chug. Although it was a great highway bike (better then my 2007 Sabre) it was something that annoyed me. I winded up selling the Shadow for that very reason.
Now that is really interesting. The high gear overdrive thing just might be a Honda trait. Even with a high powered bike like a Magna, 5th gear will pull very strong a 90 miles an hour and 6th will barely hold the bike speed there. Sorry,guys, but I am not running faster than that....Actually, I have two Hondas with six speeds and 5th is a faster top speed in both bikes.
The overdrive does fine at slower speeds though due to less wind drag. Not pretending to have all the answers, but this is just my impression.

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post #15 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-19-2016, 09:24 AM
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Easy one for me .. 1977 AMF Sportster POS .. I cheered the day good rid of it .. Didn't buy another Sportster until 1986 when the EVO's came out ..

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post #16 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 06:04 AM
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Sounds like some of your buddies found some things that sound cool to say and pass them along as their own invention. I wouldn't take anything they say seriously.

Everything they had to say is the typical "in thing to say" about Harleys, by the crotch rocket crowd, who of course have never been on a Harley. And of course anything that is not a crotch rocket is a Harley.

I can understand their inability to distinguish 1 cruiser from another.........I ride cruisers and I can't distinguish 1 crotch rocket from another.

And that must be one heck of an engine if loose and disconnected spark plugs make no difference how it runs.......I would be amazed by it starting.
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post #17 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-20-2016, 07:13 AM
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Never ridden a "bad bike" - don't think there is such a thing, at least not from the factory; though some riders can turn a good bike into a bad bike without much effort.

Never cared for the sound of 2-stroke engines though.
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post #18 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 06:36 PM
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I'd say all my bikes weren't perfect, I like chain drive the best so the kz750 isn't it I liked the Honda magna because it was a cruiser and the footpegs were forward of the seat more so than the others, and I like the xs1100 even though it has an ugly seat, doesn't have the high rpm power so much and is shaft driven.
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post #19 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-21-2016, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
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Now that is really interesting. The high gear overdrive thing just might be a Honda trait. Even with a high powered bike like a Magna, 5th gear will pull very strong a 90 miles an hour and 6th will barely hold the bike speed there. Sorry,guys, but I am not running faster than that....Actually, I have two Hondas with six speeds and 5th is a faster top speed in both bikes.
The overdrive does fine at slower speeds though due to less wind drag. Not pretending to have all the answers, but this is just my impression.
You could be right about the Honda trait. All I know is my Sabre and Goldwing do not shift the way my Shadow did. Even though the Shadow 1100 and Sabre 1100 had the same size motor they were two totally different motors. The Sabre has better pick up speed but the Shadow had better overall speed and fuel economy.

I can't comment on a 6th gear, never had it.
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post #20 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 02:05 PM
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Well, for me it was my '72 Ironhead Sporty (year BEFORE AMF took over), which was kickstart ONLY. Front shocks were crap, brakes were 'soft', skinny tires didn't let me 'lean' very far without feeling like it was going to fall over, and it was HEAVY (I think it was close to 800# weight)!! Also, it vibrated like an out of balance washing machine. Was SO glad to get rid of it!!
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post #21 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 02:58 PM
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Well, for me it was my '72 Ironhead Sporty (year BEFORE AMF took over), which was kickstart ONLY. Front shocks were crap, brakes were 'soft', skinny tires didn't let me 'lean' very far without feeling like it was going to fall over, and it was HEAVY (I think it was close to 800# weight)!! Also, it vibrated like an out of balance washing machine. Was SO glad to get rid of it!!
what I would give for such a clunker.

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post #22 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-22-2016, 04:20 PM
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what I would give for such a clunker.
Yeap.

In good condition one of those is probably worth more now then it was when it was new. I know of a 78 that sold for $7,500.00
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post #23 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 05:26 PM
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They are becoming collectible now. I don't know if anyone would actually enjoy riding one very far.

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post #24 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 06:24 PM
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The worst bike I've ever ridden was a Honda 50 at age 10. It did not stear well. I ran it right into a big top soil dirt hill within 2 minutes of starting it up
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post #25 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 07:40 PM
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The worst bike I've ever ridden was a Honda 50 at age 10. It did not stear well. I ran it right into a big top soil dirt hill within 2 minutes of starting it up
Hmmmm.... y'all hear that, the BIKE didn't steer well.
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post #26 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-23-2016, 10:35 PM
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Honda 50 at age ten, that takes some guts usteroid.

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post #27 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 09:54 AM
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The worst bike I've ever ridden was whatever bike someone else "customized" to "improve it". Usually they just molested and destroyed a perfectly good motorcycle.
As for the Honda 50s and 70s, these were the bikes that got me hooked on riding at an early age. After owning a few hardware store minibikes, the Hondas were a vast improvement in an almost nonexistent kids market. Riding the Honda was always much more fun because I knew I wouldn't be walking back.
I still have my 1970 Honda 70 that I bought 45 years ago with money I earned from mowing lawns, sweeping floors and washing windows. And it still starts with one kick.
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post #28 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 02:26 PM
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Well, for me it was my '72 Ironhead Sporty (year BEFORE AMF took over), which was kickstart ONLY. Front shocks were crap, brakes were 'soft', skinny tires didn't let me 'lean' very far without feeling like it was going to fall over, and it was HEAVY (I think it was close to 800# weight)!! Also, it vibrated like an out of balance washing machine. Was SO glad to get rid of it!!

AMF Took Over in 1969 although their true influence of changes was 1971 ..


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post #29 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 05:25 PM
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AMF Took Over in 1969 although their true influence of changes was 1971 ..


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Funny! I was told by 'die-hard' HD guys that AMF didn't take over until '73. Maybe they weren't 'badged' as being AMF until '73. All I know is that bike was a PITA!! And finding parts for it was HORRIBLE! That's why I had to use the 'What Fits What on HD' book, sometimes, to make it work.
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post #30 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 07:37 PM
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I was riding Harleys in 1970 .. I know when they were bought out .. Not positive of the Badging thing but I noticed the changes in 1971 .. But it's all good the AMF years to me was something to avoid .. Only Mistake I made was the 1977 Sportster a Mistake I didn't repeat ..

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post #31 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-24-2016, 08:57 PM
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Yeah, it was in 1969.

The funny thing is nowadays nothing says old school biker class like an old Shovel Head. They are really popular and sought after. You can even buy fake shovel head engines made with all modern internals to drop in your frame so you can LOOK like an old school biker, without having to actually know anything about your machine.
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post #32 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 08:50 AM
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Fake shovel head engines..LOL..I'm sorry, but I am literally laughing at my desk at the thought of that. REALLY?

I can't imagine being a poser like that! If you want to ride a classic or vintage bike then learn to wrench it and operate it or you don't deserve it.


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Yeah, it was in 1969.

The funny thing is nowadays nothing says old school biker class like an old Shovel Head. They are really popular and sought after. You can even buy fake shovel head engines made with all modern internals to drop in your frame so you can LOOK like an old school biker, without having to actually know anything about your machine.
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post #33 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 10:45 AM
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Fake shovel head engines..LOL..I'm sorry, but I am literally laughing at my desk at the thought of that. REALLY?

I can't imagine being a poser like that! If you want to ride a classic or vintage bike then learn to wrench it and operate it or you don't deserve it.

Totally Agree on that part .. I still think the Shovelhead Sounded best of them all ..

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post #34 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 10:59 AM
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This was an easy one for me. Of the bikes I've owned, the most useless was the Honda Mini-Trail 50.



Even though it was frugal on gas consumption, it really didn't matter because I sure wasn't going to ride it for distance.

Two up riding was possible (I actually added passenger pegs) but it made for a very friendly twosome and not comfortable for more than once around the block. Acceleration with two on board was virtually non-existent and fourth gear didn't even come into play.

Even riding solo, highway cruising was best left in the imagination rather than practice. Even at WOT it was unlikely you'd need to comb your hair when you arrived at your destination.

The spunky little contender did have some nice features such as the folding handlebars allowing the bike to be stashed in the trunk of your car when someone came along you didn't want to be embarrassed in front of.

At the time it was kind of a chick magnet, but when they got close you realized they were laughing at you, not with you.

It could turn extremely short, too. If the turning radius was taking too much room, just stop, pick it up, point it in the direction you want to go, sit back down and off you go... in almost a zero radius!

I bought it thinking it would be useful around the farm, especially checking the cow/calf herd. It was a quiet little thing and combined with the small size, not so likely to spook the livestock. There is a down side to the small size... that it put the rider's point of view a little too low if for some reason one ran inadvertently into a cow's hind end. (That story is related elsewhere on this forum). Cattle Roundup

This Honda Mini-Trail also became the bike I owned for the shortest time.


I had one when I was six, it was a blast. I can see it being a bore for a grown man.


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post #35 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 11:03 AM
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Yamaha 750 Special, I hated the way it felt under acceleration, plus it was such a gutless POS. It made me weary of ever owning another shaft drive bike. If my VTX had the same mannerisms, I would have never bought it.


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post #36 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 11:17 AM
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Yeah, it was in 1969.

The funny thing is nowadays nothing says old school biker class like an old Shovel Head. They are really popular and sought after. You can even buy fake shovel head engines made with all modern internals to drop in your frame so you can LOOK like an old school biker, without having to actually know anything about your machine.
I've also seen some 'modern' Panheads and Flatheads, too. They supposedly 'work' better, internally, and require less maintenance, but 'look' the same. It seems Paughco is making the Flatheads and Shovelheads, but not the Pans, since I can't find them in their catalog, though S&S is making the Panheads (http://www.sscycle.com/product/P103-...ne-p20995.html). A bit 'pricey' for my blood, though they look 'cool', and being from S&S, should perform well.

I know some guys used to like to 'Frankenstein' together a Panhead with Shovelhead in one motor. Not really sure why, but suspect for 'performance' reasons. I'm not that much of a 'wrench' who knows all the inner workings of the various HD motors.
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post #37 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 12:26 PM
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I had one when I was six, it was a blast. I can see it being a bore for a grown man.
During the winter, we used to move pallets around to make a course, then race our Honda 50s/70s around the warehouse until the smoke detectors went off or the secretary started complaining about the fumes seeping into the office. We were grown men in our 30s and 40s. Good times. If I hadn't been the boss, we would have all been fired.
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post #38 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-25-2016, 01:03 PM
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I know some guys used to like to 'Frankenstein' together a Panhead with Shovelhead in one motor. Not really sure why, but suspect for 'performance' reasons. I'm not that much of a 'wrench' who knows all the inner workings of the various HD motors.
The first Shovelhead engines were made with the newer style top end on a Panhead style engine block. Some people call them "Pan-Shovels" or "Flat Side Shovels," and so forth. The next improvement was a new lower end which made that version of the Shovel almost entirely new at the time.

I've heard of guys back in the day taking the heads from a Shovel and putting them on their older Panheads to get better performance out of it, but I don't know anyone that would do that now, or even in the last 30-40 years or so.
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post #39 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 08:54 AM
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Where were you when I was looking for a job? You must have run a fun workplace!

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During the winter, we used to move pallets around to make a course, then race our Honda 50s/70s around the warehouse until the smoke detectors went off or the secretary started complaining about the fumes seeping into the office. We were grown men in our 30s and 40s. Good times. If I hadn't been the boss, we would have all been fired.




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post #40 of 61 (permalink) Old 03-26-2016, 10:04 AM
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Where were you when I was looking for a job? You must have run a fun workplace!
Yep good times, those were the days.
But if someone allowed it today, it would open the door to untold workplace lawsuits $$. And my insurance carrier would drop me like a hot potato.
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