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  #1  
Old 10-24-2006, 01:06 PM
JWJ JWJ is offline
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Motorcycle

So I like old diesel Mercedes cars. They are a joy to drive, solid, dependable, easy to find inexpensive parts for, and when maintained last almost forever. There is a huge following...

Now I want a motorcycle to add to my collection.

Is there a motorcycle that also fits this description?

Everything I see is plastic and seems less than the Mercedes standard.

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  #2  
Old 10-24-2006, 01:18 PM
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BMW.
As far as easy to find parts, it depends on the particular year and model.
Dependable, absolutely.
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  #3  
Old 10-24-2006, 01:28 PM
John Holmes III
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BMW= Bring My Wallet

Parts are dealer only items, and are very expensive. The low resale value of post 1974 models doesn't help much. They require special tools to work on also. My dad had to buy a new $400.00 caliper because BMW does not supply a rebuild kit.

OTOH, a Harley Sportster will keep it's value much better, and you can buy a nice used one for around 4k. Parts are inexpensive and you don't need very many special tools. I can still buy caliper pistons for my 1986 Sporster, from the dealer for around thirty dollars. A simple chain drives the rear wheel, the engine is bullet proof. No fickle carbs to synchronize, no radiator to service.
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  #4  
Old 10-24-2006, 02:52 PM
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i really like the looks of the mid 60's bmw's,they just have that timeless design alot like the 60's-early 80's benz.i currently have a 2000 bmw rt-p.this might be a little new for you as it does have it's fair share of plastic,but the features these things have are quite awesome.
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  #5  
Old 10-24-2006, 03:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Holmes III View Post
BMW= Bring My Wallet

Parts are dealer only items, and are very expensive. The low resale value of post 1974 models doesn't help much. They require special tools to work on also. My dad had to buy a new $400.00 caliper because BMW does not supply a rebuild kit.

OTOH, a Harley Sportster will keep it's value much better, and you can buy a nice used one for around 4k. Parts are inexpensive and you don't need very many special tools. I can still buy caliper pistons for my 1986 Sporster, from the dealer for around thirty dollars. A simple chain drives the rear wheel, the engine is bullet proof. No fickle carbs to synchronize, no radiator to service.

You can see by my avitar where my heart is. JH has a good point. If you do the Sportster route, don't go earlier than '86. Before that, it was AMF stuff. I had a '78 iron head that my wife accused me of being married to because I spent so much time working on it. Was fun though.

OTOH, as "cults" go, and a bullet proof machine with easy to find cheap parts that will run forever, those old Honda 750s are making their way back. NO I am not a Honda fan but If I were looking for something like you are, I would give them a look.
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  #6  
Old 10-24-2006, 03:29 PM
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Ducati Monster 750 or 900. I've got a 900, but my friend has a 750 which just seems to do more things right. No tank slap under hard acceleration, and more of a joy in the twisties. But the Desmo valves i leave to the professionals come adjustment time. Only bike made today with real character. I've had some British bikes over the years which had too much character, spent more time wrenching than riding.

Japanese bikes are perfect if you never want to break out your tools, but I've always felt like I was on a toy rather than a machine. I ride with about 20 other guys and not only do we seem to rotate our personal collections, we also swap rides every hour or so. If I went Japanese, I'd get a Honda VFR750 or a Kawasaki W650.

BMW's (at least the K's and the latest boxers) have lousy shifters, problematic gauges (moisture gets in there easily, esp on the K's), and too much plastic. The K RT's would be great if they actually left room for your knees (even the 1100 is short on leg room). Every BMW I've had (4) liked to gobble up oil. Seemed like I was always adding a half quart here and there. The fuel injected models are a little quirky thru the rev range, and slow to rev too. But...the ABS will save your hide, and the handling is very Germanic. Despite their faults, i keep buying them.
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  #7  
Old 10-24-2006, 03:40 PM
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I have a 1982 BMW R100RT with over 60K miles, It doesn't burn oil, only requires a periodic tuneup and always starts. Simple and reliable. You can see the 1930's pedigree in that bike.
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  #8  
Old 10-24-2006, 05:08 PM
Foose
 
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I've owned two pre-AMF Sportsters (XLCH) '66 and '68. They were very hard to start, vibration like crazy. I ride to the beach (150 miles) and my arms would be numb. Not to mention the fact that you need to go over all of the nuts and bolts periodically so the fenders or chain guard wouldn't fall off. I also owned a '72 BMW R75/5. Very smooth, very quiet. Between those two I would take an old BMW opposing twin over an HD any day. If I could have any of my bikes back it would be my '82 Honda V45 Sabre. The V45 did not have the mystique of the HD's or the class of a BMW but it was the nicest motorcycle that I ever rode.
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  #9  
Old 10-24-2006, 05:34 PM
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i had a 72 bmw r60/5. it was in my mind equal to a mercedes car in quality. it was a very comfortable ride and bulletproof.

i dont know about newer ones. the water cooled ones seem complex.

harleys never interested me. not conceptually a pure design like the classic bmw boxer.

tom w
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..I also have a 427 Cobra replica with an aluminum chassis.
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  #10  
Old 10-24-2006, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Holmes III View Post
OTOH, a Harley Sportster will keep it's value much better, and you can buy a nice used one for around 4k.
Yeah, and they all seem to come with a nice used skank on the back as well.

Get a Goldwing. They rock.

(sorry)
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  #11  
Old 10-24-2006, 07:06 PM
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Check this out, unfortunately Gordon recently lost his life while riding.

http://theroad.mag-uk.org/issue5/features/5/
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  #12  
Old 10-24-2006, 07:32 PM
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I also..

like t.walgamuth had a 72 R60/5.I had to rebuild mine.I found that not only were parts readily available,but also most of the people selling said parts were willing to lend a hand if needed.Being a rider of 20+ years I definately feel that the BMW bikes are easily as pleasant to work as the benz is.And like these diesels babies of ours,they are not known as speed bikes.Mine only went 91 MPH and that was FLAT OUT(burnt a valve doing it).But the highway cruising and low end torque are unrivaled IMO.Also the only TWO wheeled bike that I ever rode in the snow(6+ inches) and would again without hesitation. ride well and watch for the left turns....
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  #13  
Old 10-24-2006, 08:02 PM
John Holmes III
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The BMW /5 and earlier bikes were well made and have good resale value. If you own a BMW nowadays, you have to make up for years of neglect. I will be happy if I never have to grease the driveshaft splines on my dads' bike (a late '70s R65) again. The goes for rebuilding a leaking BMW petcock.You even need special tools to insert the pushrod tubes in the head. I have a mid '60s R50/2 that's a winter project, and it's a fun bike, but parts are four times what Harley parts cost. If you don't mind spending large money on repairs, then go for a BMW. My neighbor has a newer model R1200, and he has to drive two hours to get warranty service. I live in the woods, but there is a indy Harley shop less than 1/2 a mile away. I have to drive further to get to the nearest 7-11.

I agree about the AMF Harley models, a buddy bought a '76 Superglide new, and until we upgraded the ignition it would quit near the airport. The radio signals would freak out the ignition. It wasn't all that bad, he rode it everyday for twenty years. Well.... not everyday, we spent quite a few late nights and weekends keeping it on the road, but he never owned a car until 1996. Try that with a Honda, or BMW.
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  #14  
Old 10-24-2006, 08:09 PM
John Holmes III
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Nag View Post
Yeah, and they all seem to come with a nice used skank on the back as well.

Get a Goldwing. They rock.

(sorry)
a used skank?

If I have to explain......

I thought that you meet the nicest people on a Honda? I guess it was just advertising hyperbole.
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2006, 08:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Holmes III View Post

OTOH, a Harley Sportster will keep it's value much better, and you can buy a nice used one for around 4k. Parts are inexpensive and you don't need very many special tools. I can still buy caliper pistons for my 1986 Sporster, from the dealer for around thirty dollars. A simple chain drives the rear wheel, the engine is bullet proof. No fickle carbs to synchronize, no radiator to service.
I second this advice.

Mike

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