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Modern times, old man talk

ER Classics Desktop 2022

Whether our hobby will have new growth in 25 years? No idea. But I fear the worst. I've had the 2021 press kits and read the first complete tests. Motorcycling today is apparently 80% about electronics, assistance systems, connectivity and communication. And about the fact that under 100 hp you are somewhat poorly motorized. Because you read mildly surprised: 'Despite the fact that this engine has only 105 hp, you never have the feeling that your power is lacking'.

Shifting boundaries

The 44 hp Honda CB450 'Black Bomber' was once described in the weekly magazine Motor as a high-powered motorcycle that actually comes into its own under an experienced motorcyclist with track experience.


Fifty horsepower as an acceptable maximum

At BMW, the 50 hp of the new R75 / 5 was clearly stated: Research had shown that a power of more than 50 hp on public roads could only be dangerous. That they already thought differently about this at Honda with the CB 750 F? That is history. BMW has apparently redone the in-house investigations in the meantime.

With a little help from my friends

Of all the assistance systems (six axle cornering ABS, hyper adjustable suspension systems, quadruple driving modes, launch control, quickshifters, WiFi, Blue Tooth, GPS etc. etc. As a motorcycling fossil, I only believe abundantly in an ABS. And a GPS is handy. But when I read that adjustable suspension after trying what turned out to work best with the compression damping on number 5 of the 20 adjustable clicks and the rebound damping working best on the 3rd of the 19 clicks? And that was only the front fork. But then everything suddenly seems very relative to me, even the fast switching systems so that you no longer have to disconnect, although that might save a clutch cable Cables can break And you can rely on electronics.

Better than the riders

Of course, modern motorcycles are so good and perfect that they can do more than their riders. Who therefore sometimes with more than ten electronic control cousins ​​have to be protected against themselves. An old-school motorcyclist mumbled when he read all those high-tech safety specifications, “Why don't those folks just learn to ride a motorcycle? a big turn to the dealer. And tinkering yourself is no longer an option.

Motorcycling today is largely the mix of what you get when you put marketers and techies in a cage. But it will be progress. Recently I was riding a 2021 machine and the only emotion I felt was a mild aversion to its appearance.

So let's nurture our passion

So let's cherish our classics and keep the responsibility for driving ourselves. Because on a motorcycle that uses radar to determine whether I am far enough behind my predecessor? I am not waiting for that. My driving skills and my classic bikes have their limits. But through experience my two (and three) wheelers and I know where those limits lie. In addition, we are not led by electronics, but we learned it the old-fashioned way: If we misjudge things, then we went on our record. And if you have survived enough of those learning moments, then you are now an experienced motorcyclist.

Everything is relative

Not to end grumbling on the present: A while ago a motorcycling acquaintance rode my then daily driver, a Moto Guzzi Cali II. When we changed bikes again, he looked in astonishment at the fat Italian who leaned contentedly on his jiffy: "That you dare to ride such a thing!" His Yamaha MT-07 did drive very differently indeed ...

But maybe I'm just an old bastard and I need to be admonished ... Shoot me!

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14 Comments

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  1. But old sour men, look at what it can bring, huh ?!
    I bet you all have a coffee maker or even a pad / cup case and are no longer manually pouring the hot water from the kettle onto a filter. Everyone's phone is without a curly cord, the toothbrush and screwdriver are rechargeable. The TV has become much wider but not a cubic meter in terms of content and the computer (or mobile) on which everyone reads this suddenly fits on your lap or your hand!
    For example, I drive motorcycles with + 150 hp because it is sooo nice to open the throttle, that gear just gives a kick every day that keeps you smiling. Indeed at well above 100 gas again and quietly chug. The presence of traction control is in turn to be able to do this on less stable surfaces without having to think too much about it.
    The same applies to cruise control, set the engine to the right speed and have a nice look around you, without having to constantly check your speedometer.
    Or the DCT automatic transmission on my bike, what a brilliant piece of technology, and don't start talking about the charm of shifting. You do have to switch gears, but you do that with flippers on your steering wheel, it takes some getting used to, but then you don't want anything else, just like that coffee machine, flat TV, wireless devices, etc.

    In the garage also a 40 hp strong 1 cylinder carburettor motor for the hobby, I sometimes use it once a year.

  2. The only progress I can appreciate is the increase of the thermal efficiency (further to a liter of peut) but otherwise everything as much “analog” as possible. Every time I think it is an achievement that, when I go to refuel with my XJ650J from 1982, I know how to pick out 1:20 - 1:21 converted, quite clever for an air-cooled 4 in line, 8 valves, carbs, cardan and further not a single streamline. How much would a comparable engine that has to deliver comparable performance but then modern, eventually consume? I suspect that I will not have to put the fuel tap to reserve after 180 but only after 315.

  3. Always had second hand motorcycles. A Honda CB2F750 (with the Comstar wheels) was once, after a Suzuki water buffalo (fantastic GT2 750 cylinder 3-stroke) on loan, my first own bike and then driven to the North Cape. After a Suzuki GSX2R (stolen after 1100 years), switched to 4 cylinders and with a Suzuki TL2S above the Arctic Circle again. Later on I visited the North Cape again with my Aprilia RSV 1000R (friend on her Suzuki GSF1000) and that led to a lot of surprise and admiration (laughter) from various Scandinavians: they wanted such a sports bike but dared to do so because of the famous "Italian character" does not fit them. You almost only saw the semi-offroads of mainly BMW and almost never a sports bike. The Honda I tinkered with the carbs a few times along the way because the floats got stuck and the gasoline would run out while driving. The TL actually had nothing special with it and the Aprilia say bleed the clutch every 600km, including at Rovanimi 🙂 A working rear brake also requires creative tinkering: curious constructions against the block, so hot.
    Indeed, more and more electronics came on board, but fortunately there is a lot to do yourself (even the Aprilia is now “old” again) and to enjoy it, although the simpler thing in that area also has my preference for both motorcycles and cars. I did enjoy the really great progress with my engines in terms of chassis strength, decrease in weight, increase in power, etc….

    • Solid story. And the technology has improved enormously. I read about a new bike where the clap check was every 24D km. But for me the question is how much better than good something should something be? After all, nothing is more boring than pefection?

  4. If you buy a new motorcycle nowadays, the manual is a telephone book thick (also something that has disappeared) and you need days to master everything, which never works. When I drive the bike, my right wrist is my on-board computer and the bike doesn't drive with me, but the other way around. You can still really enjoy a classic.

  5. That PK racing (cars German, motorbikes Japanese) is of course crazy looking back. Both in the motorcycle world and in the car world it is from everyday practice. Everywhere during the day max 100 km / h applies. If you reach it in 3 seconds, the spiral of happiness is very short-lived.
    Compare: with my Ami8 (30PK) I enjoy more than 25 seconds 😉 And more comfort: Reisen statt rasen.

  6. Nowadays a technician is also just an IT professional; connect the laptop to the on-board unit of the vehicle via the connector under the saddle, read out what the vaud codes are, reset what you can and then finish the list and replace parts until your screen only shows green check marks ...

    .. sigh ..

    While a mechanic listens, feels, turns and tweeted until the monster vibrates at a reasonable level instead of popping and dancing irregularly.

    Where has the time gone..?

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