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Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by jphanna, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. I been thinking about his for a while now, so I want to put it out there and I will either be shot to flames or it will make sense.

    For the sport bike riders, its all about the latest technology. How to get this years model, faster and quicker than the previous model. There is constant pressure to raise the bar amongst the manufacturers to build a better mousetrap. Take a look at sport bike designs over the decades. They have changed dramatically in styling, materials used, braking and fuel delivery systems etc.

    For the cruisers, it’s the same style bikes being copied from designs and ideas from the 50’s etc. Even the jackets they sell for cruiser riders, still refer to some designs as the ‘Marlon Brando’ jacket. In 2011 you can buy a brand new bike with drum brakes to keep it ‘authentic’.

    So they have updated the fuel delivery system with EFI (which can be done without ruining the classic look of the bike, but basically they are the same machines, (with each manufacturers take on the styling)…..as the good old days.

    what would a sport bike rider think of a 1970’s sport bike today, to do your favourite road? it would be completely different to ride, (correct me if im wrong) whereas a cruiser would not be much difference to ride a genuine machine from the 60’s.
  2. Ah no.

    I think that you will find that cruisers have very few parts the same internally, HD might be many things but to think that just because something looks the same it is the same is incredibly naive. It's amazing what they have done to keep up with EPA regulations and kept the air cooling. I am not into cruisers but I can appreciate that HD have done some amazing engineering to keep the same look whilst extracting more power and less emissions and giving reliability.

    I think sportsbike riders would be more impressed with the tyres than anything. Even in the 15 years I have been riding tyre improvement is amazing.
  3. 'engineering,reliability and h.d', do NOT belong in the same sentences.
    • Like Like x 4
  4. You're probably right and I don't really know much about it. Sure it might be because of the sheer numbers of other bikes on the road, but I've never seen a Harley broken down and I've seen plenty of other bikes...

    Sure they are underpowered, overweighted, noisy uncomfortable ugly beasts but they have still had many significant engineering advances over the years as VC pointed out.
  5. True sports bike rider enthusiasts want the latest doodads for good reason. The bike will run harder with better control, allowing them to ride their same way with greater margin, or go faster with the original measure of safety.

    The knobheads buy them for the pose.

    When you ride fairly hard, you start to come up against things which could have been done better. Ie.. Seat to hard or wrong shape, foot pegs slippery when wet, stupid instrument panel that looks cool as, but can't be seen in sunlight, braided lines, crap grips on the bars, vibrations in the "go-zone" etc etc...
    Little things that irritate or don't suite you, especially when you're having a go.

    New models generally address these or some of these matters. And might include new stuff, like a less harsh slipper clutch, or quick shifter etc.

    To a punter on a sports bike, these things are desirable and needed, so if the improvements are worth it to them, they may upgrade every 2 (or 4 years especially)

    Cruisers, I know nothing. They are just obstacles to negotiate. (coff) :)
    • Like Like x 1
  6. To be repetitious of what's already been said, there's not much more that would be the same, and I warrant that whatever model you refer to as a mid-century cruiser, it would ride much more slowly, clatterly, and harshly than the modern equivalent. To say nothing of metal quality, reliability....

    And sports bikes? Give it ten years and each rocket changes category into 'sports tourer'. On ebay you see '70s sports bikes being described as cruisers.
  7. i dont find new sportbikes appealing to be honest, what really gets me pumped is the early stuff. especially the 80's and 90's. i love the full faired racer look. the colours especially the yamaha white and red. when the bikes had factory colours and designed replicating the race bike. whether its an rz/rd or an rc30 or vfr1000r i love that era of motorcycles. maybe because thats what i saw when i was growing up (think 4yrs old, im only 20) and had dreams of owning/riding.
    i would love to have a first generation cbr, or fzr as a display piece, with a rc51 to ride.
  8. Feel free to jump in and sort me out here, but up until the mid '80s, the thing we think of as the sports bike didn't exist - or more accurately, it did, but only from european manufacturers or home builders. There was a whole industry building after market frames for jap engines, and a few of the euro-trash went fast enough to be thought of as sports bikes. Ducati made a lot of bikes that looked broadly similar, but real SS900s were a bit thin on the ground. Laverda Jotas existed, but I think I saw two of them back in the day.

    The fast japanese stuff was intended to be multi purpose, aimed at a broad market like the Bandit is today. I'd hesitate to say what the first real sports bike from Japan was, because I could make a case for the GPZ900R, the RZ500, the GSXR750, and the first CBR900 FireBlade. All of them were in some way very significant improvements on what was already out there.

    I didn't get to ride any of them very much, but I had a lot of experience with the bikes that came immediately before those, the GS1k, GSX11, Bol d'or, Katana, Z1J, GPZ11, ...

    I would dearly love to get one of those old things on modern tyres and suspension.

    As to what they were like on their original tyres and suspension, it wasn't too bad if you didn't ask much of it, but they got very bad, very quickly, if you started to flog them along a bit. Most often, the limit was defined by chassis integrity and stability, the limits of control. It wasn't hard to run out of cornering clearance either, but high speed weave was the constant issue. They required a lot more muscle to tip from side to side, and yet they were much less stable and forgiving, so you had to push/pull damn hard, but also be very smooth and progressive about it. They could tie themselves in hideous wallowing knots just going over a crest while leaned over slightly, or if you asked them the change line once committed.

    Things that you do easily and simply on a modern sporty bike required real strength, real skill, and real he-man gonads. They really did have 100hp engines in 40hp chassis. As long as you stayed under 160 on the straight bits and about 130 through the corners, some of them weren't too bad.

    As I said on another thread not long ago, nobody in the world - not the top factory racers or anyone else - had a bike in 1980 that was half as good is my stock ZX14 is today. And that's not even a real sports bike - it kinda hovers between sports and sports-tourer. Suzuki calls the 'busa Hypersports, so I guess that's what it is.
  9. They just don't make hinged frame sportsbikes the way they used to ! :LOL:
  10. wasnt the z1 called the first true sports motorbike?

    they were made in 71 i think
  11. BRS Norton. Pre-WW1 racer on the road. Each one sold with a Brooklands timing certificate showing it to have lapped a real racing circuit at 65mph. These days that would be the equivalent of a sports bike being sold as having lapped a circuit in a time competitive with a MotoGP bike.

    Sorry guys but the Brits did it first.
  12. We can't forget the whole 'ton up' movement of the 60's as well. Those bikes today aren't what we'd consider 'sport' bike, but i do love them though!
  13. You have to see these things in context. In the 60s, the average family car had a top speed somewhere in the region of 75mph and would suffer a major meltdown if cruised at more than about 60. Most affordable "sports" cars could hit 95 and cruise at 70-75 (stuff like Big Healeys and E-Types were relatively rare exotica).

    The typical bike was the ride-to-work grey porridge Bantam or something horrible with a Villiers engine. 55mph if you were lucky, tobacco tin brakes. Serious motorcyclists might have a 350 or 500 single or maybe one of the cooking twins.

    Contrast that with a tuned 650 twin that could, at a push, see the frightening side of 120 (at which point the vibrations would be so fierce that the rider would be virtually blind) and had enough suspension tweaks that it could corner hard enough to give the tyres of the day a hard time without tying itself in too many knots.

    I think they were sports bikes.
  14. Well I grew up with the likes of the cb750, z1000 etc.

    I dreamed about them. Back then, they were tha ants-pants of bikes.

    Now, to me, they are just old shItheaps, and I can't imagine why anyone would bother with them.
    Anything over 6-7 yrs, I consider as an old shItheap, actually. Even completely restored bikes. All you've got yourself there, is new, old ShItheap. :)

    No offence intended to those riders who like the old or vintage bikes - that's your thing. :)
    • Like Like x 2
  15. My first "sports" bike was a 1982 Yamaha XS1100. Good enough for podium finishes in the Castrol 6 hour. Big, heavy, shaft drive, skinny tyres, but seemed to go ok at the time.
    Years later at a bike shop, I traded one and took it for a weekend of nostalgia. Big mistake. I couldn't wait to get it back to the shop on Monday and reverently place it back on the sales floor where it was snapped up by a certain motorcycle journo.
    And good riddance!
    • Like Like x 1
  16. I would agree with you except the 6-7 years thing - i think a big change happened in the late 80's to early 90's - 851, zxr750, gsxr-j onwards.

    IMO at about that point the rider had a fair chance of survival in odd situations, heck i misread some road signs in the dark on a freeway on my 91 zxr750 and went at an angle over a kerb / grass / kerb at 100km/h and it didnt even shake it's head ! (admittedly i had the good sense to just say "oh *&$%" under my breath and just straighten up and hold on).

    but to say a 2004 zx6 is a piece of crap is (i think) a bit off the mark. To me it's a suspension revalve away from hitting the track and doing just fine.
  17. The answer is,own three bikes-
    1-an old classic,for the enjoyment of your past
    2-a tourer,everyone should tour.
    3- a sports bike,you know you want one

    works for me
    • Like Like x 2
  18. You forgot one. A dirt bike. For when you want to take your brain out and ride everywhere with the throttle pinned, like the lunatic that you actually are, but is not allowed to come out and play on the street. Until you crash. Then repeat.
    Bets. Fun. Ever.
  19. But I can't fit all 3 of them in the Gulfstream, and I'm not sure I want to take the G and the Citation out on the same weekend, because I'd have to hire casual staff, and you know that's a risk.
  20. I know what you're saying spar. I was speaking in a general sense. There are still a few decent bikes around in that 6-7 yr old range, but you are going to have put some money into them if the previous owner did'nt bother. Ie the rear shock will be stuffed, the front forks, while still functional will require a refurb. That's a bit of money just there, which you won't get back.
    You could ride it as is for commuting, because old technology doesn't matter, but I don't think I'd track it, unless I spent some dosh on it first.
    Better off with something newer, IMHO.