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2020 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+
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Have a quick browse through all the interesting and diversified shaft drive bikes of the eighties for yourselves and tell me if I'm wrong.
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I had an '84 Honda V65 Sabre. Lacking the sophisticated suspension linkage of today, and having that V4 grunt, it was the rolling definition of "shaft jacking".
 

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Bordeaux Red 2021 Honda Rebel 1100 DCT
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Never forget this : the primary business of business is : BUSINESS so when any product, new or old fails to sell, they drop it, cut their losses and move on .
This is so true. I’m one of those people who has a ‘unique’ taste in bikes - I just don’t seem to want what everybody else wants. I’ve owned so many bikes that have had a terribly short lifespan, and every one of them had a fierce following, but very small. We loved the bikes we had and lamented their short lives, but the fact was they all had thousands and thousands of brand new unsold units in crates in warehouses. The big manufacturers just aren’t in the business of catering to niche-within-niche markets - they need numbers to recoup the costs of R&D, manufacturing, marketing, distribution, sales and service support. If the numbers aren’t there, they pull the plug. The fans of these bikes usually don’t like it, but I’ll bet most of them find something else that checks enough boxes.

As far as the sentiment that they’re selling us what they want rather than what we want, I’d say that applies more to the auto industry than bikes. Who really wants an all-electric vehicle with limited range and astronomical price tag? Who really wants autonomous personal vehicles? Who wants half the technological **** they stuff in every vehicle? Yet that’s what we’re getting. I would love to have my old 1977 Rally Chevette 4-speed, with an added USB plug and mount for my phone and I’d be happy.You want a bit more simplicity and freedom of choice, you’ve got a better chance of finding it in a bike.
 

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but the fact was they all had thousands and thousands of brand new unsold units in crates in warehouses.
Yet they will never admit pricing caused it. And it’s still happening. Sky high prices get very few buyers. Why they would rather warehouse them is beyond me.
 

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I think I was just charged a premium for the new bearings and seals I bought. They were all in imperial sizes. Used maybe over 50 years ago. $311 for my order. $260 for a new axel with bearings seals and hubs. Made inChina, might last a year or two. Mine will last me forever with the new bits, and new tyres. But it was still a lot of $$. Real cost of keeping them in inventory tho, could be a lot more. UK
 

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Yet they will never admit pricing caused it. And it’s still happening. Sky high prices get very few buyers. Why they would rather warehouse them is beyond me.
Good point about the pricing. That definitely lowered the appeal of many new models out of the gate. Honda CTX1300 immediately comes to mind.

Why would they rather warehouse them? My guess is that dealers just don’t want to carry the cost of putting them on their floors and taking up time, space and financing costs from the stuff they know they can move much faster. So they leave them sitting in warehouses requiring virtually zero attention from anybody and eventually just write it off.

Like this, kind of: 😁
 

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Honda Tiderls, Ural Solos & BMW R60/6
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Interesting ;

I'm not the only one who thinks the Chevy Chevette was an okay economy car .

My sister bought one brandy new and loved it, red two door, it of course rusted out in a few years .

Way out West they were incredibly popular Fleet vehicles and were very had to kill .

Not very fast and noisy, the cheaper, "Scooter" models only had pressed cardboard door cards, wow .

The last decent front engine rear wheel car GM made, the right car but at the wrong time .

Now everyone expects "! LUXURY !" in a cheap car.......

I'm old and conservative to I think driving what many call a 'Penalty Box' vehicles is just fine if you want to $ave $ome Dollar$.....

Especially my work trucks .

A few years back I stumbled across a charity dontated 2001 Ford Ranger trucklet, just at 100,000 miles, no dents, bad seats and complete stripper ~ manual windows,
2.4 liter 4 cylinder engine, 5 speed manual box, crappy AM/FM radio, rubber floor mat etc.

Being modern it of course had AC and that worked so I bought it un inspected and boy howdy do I ever love it ! .

I've done some nice upgrades and put on new tires etc. but it's still a plain jane work truck and every where I go in it, guys want to buy it .

I have standing offers from the Mid West for $7,000.00 ~ that's insane to me but then being a Mechanic and ex farm boy I grasp the value of a turn key work truck as well as as a Chevette ~

Hell, I still like driving my 1959 VW Beetle with tiny little 1192C.C. 36 HP engine....

I ride my Tiddler Moto more than my old BMW, when I stopped to fill the tank on the way home this afternoon some guy in a gas station said he loved it and Honda couldn't give them away in '84/'85 .
 
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Honda VFR1200X (sold), only mod was "The BoosterPlug".
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Discussion Starter · #128 ·
I had an '84 Honda V65 Sabre. Lacking the sophisticated suspension linkage of today, and having that V4 grunt, it was the rolling definition of "shaft jacking".
Had the 750 version, V45 Sabre, for a short while. In contrast to what I understand the V65 was, my V45 was, though still pretty torquey, generally very sedate and not all that awe inspiring. It was an extremely pleasant motorcycle to ride however. It felt like a short distance sport tourer. Which is, I guess, what it truly was?

Being as your V65 had over 50% more power, the almost non-existent shaft-jacking of mine, would be increased by a formula somewhat geometrical in progression, from what I understand how the vectoring of torque works in a shaft drive motorcycle?

The shaft-jacking of high torque motorcycles has been mostly mitigated in modern motorcycles. There was even less in my 1200cc 'X", than there was in my 750cc V45. My biggest issue with my "X", as well, as it seems with many owners of the same, is reliability, in regards to small annoying problems. The endless list is too long to compose. Suffice it to say, it was a never ending story.

If modern versions of the legendary Honda Sabres of the '80s were reintroduced, with the production priorities being quality control, as opposed to gizmos and gadgets; I believe there are more than enough ol' school riders of the '80s, who would gobble them up?

 
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Don't we wish ! .

Few riders ever get close to the corenering abilities of their bikes, my son who's skill set surpasses mine in any dreams always amazed me by being able to flog anything up and down the Angeles Crest Highway, cruiser, dirt bike, old plodding BMW Airheads, it was just amazing to watch .

He's a good boy so he'd wait for me some place where we could get a nice cuppa coffee, sometimes he had to wait a while tho' .

Because I like to ride briskly some think I'm a fast rider when in truth I'm quick and consistent, very different from fast .

There are so many neat bikes from the 70's through the 90's I'd like to try yet .
 
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Discussion Starter · #130 ·
Still thinking...

Before I look for, inspect, buy, insure, register, if used: have tuned, new tires, new brake pads, etc. and take care of...

...something, which to me personally, is a compromise...

(keep in mind, I'm elbow, sometimes waist deep in 💩, 8+ hours On Any Sunday, I am so tired of working at the end of the day, the last thing I want to do is wrench on something)

...maybe, I could do with / enjoy an easily maintainable, used, semi-classic, belt or shaft drive?

Suggestions and reasons thereof?
 
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Suggest shaft drive and AGM batteries along with fully synthetic multi - vis oils .
 
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My most reliable bike is a 79 XS1100. Shaft drive, 575 pounds so a bit heavy, does not handle great but okay. Motor is sweet. Stops good.
Early on I had electrical connection problems. Since then no worries. Recently bunged in a brighter head light. Next on list is a better timing chain tensioner. UK
 

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Discussion Starter · #133 ·
My most reliable bike is a 79 XS1100. Shaft drive, 575 pounds so a bit heavy, does not handle great but okay. Motor is sweet. Stops good.
Early on I had electrical connection problems. Since then no worries. Recently bunged in a brighter head light. Next on list is a better timing chain tensioner. UK
These guys are pretty good.
 
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Discussion Starter · #134 ·

My boss gave me clearance to build my own café racer, with full use of the shop, on my off hours (of course). Might use some brass pipe, to depict the plumbing shop origin?

What are the last known (available in the US), Japanese, 4 (or 3) cylinder, shaft drive bikes, with a factory centerstand, under 900cc?

Looking for some good ideas, of stuff I might not have thought of.

I'll be looking around for a good starting point, 'till the '23s are announced. If someone doesn't come out with something I want by then, I'm gonna start building my own.

Need to stay as new as possible, so I can get factory and/or model specific mod parts, as easily as possible.

Any and all ideas welcomed please.
 
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Discussion Starter · #136 ·
Somewhere on this site ( recent post ) a guy has a 650 four cylinder Yamaha. $500 or less. The chrome looks good. UK
Thank you. Too far, I'm in NYC. Mostly I was referring to year, make and model suggestions please. Upstate NY and rural NJ has tons of barn finds, if you know what you're looking for.
 

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A lot will depend on what you want out of a cafe racer. The basic style limits you to a flat back bone. A Honda CX500 may work. Most shaft drives are Touring or cruiser style bikes with a rising back bone that ruins the cafe look.

If you are looking to customize an old bike more for looks than anything else the CX500 would fit the shape. I have surpisingly seem a Gold wing stripped and cafe'd that looked cool. If a cool look is what you are after you have more options.

If you are looking for a true purpose built cafe racer - meaning you want an old bike to prep for performance with the aim to race it in a vintage class your options are more limted. An old BMW would be a possible but very expensive and very hard to find.
 
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