View Single Post
Old 05-23-2012, 09:00 AM   #150
Joined: May 2012
Location: Duluth, MN
Oddometer: 14
Riding 73 R60/5


Way back when, I rode several borrowed bikes. From 50cc Harleys and Hondas, to 750 Norton Commandos, and one Norton Atlas. The first real bike I bought was an early 750 Honda (72) before they tuned them down. That bike was a real monster. It was happiest at about 85-90 which was too fast for me. Plus, it was difficult for a shade tree mechanic to tune and maintain. So I sold it and started looking for a smaller, slower, and simpler ride. It took a while because when I had the money, I had no prospects. When I found a potential bike, I had no money. And living in NE Minnesota where the riding season is short (unless you like snow and ice) the available stock was thin.

I finally found my R60 from a just married farm lad whose missus declared motorcycles as inappropriate for their lifestyle. His loss, my gain.

I first took off the bolt on windshield and started riding. Over the years, I covered a lot of miles with minimal maintenance on the bike other than oil changes and valve setting. The R60 is one of the smoothest of the R bikes when properly tuned. It is also very nimble for such a rugged machine. It never broke down on me and it put up with several instances of poor judgement on my part that required replacement of handlebars, headlight buckets and saddle bag mounts. No other bike that I know of could have survived a 60 mph get off while on the trans-Canadian highway north of Lake Superior, and still run, much less drive me 40 miles into Sault Saint Marie where a talented Czeck mechanic patch it up well enough for me to finish my ride.

I rode with friends who all had newer, sportier, bikes in the twisties and was able to stick with them in the corners, but lost them on the straights. I will offer one caveat, mind your speed coming into the corners and anywhere where stopping suddenly might be called for. The weak spot on the R60 are the drum brakes. If you ride prudently and keep your eyes open, they will work fine, but if you want to ride hard and dump speed quickly, then consider a disk upgrade on the front.

The R60 is happiest ridden solo. Even fully loaded for trips lasting months, the R60 will pull you up and into the mountains without complaint. It will cruise all day in triple digit temps across the plains effortlessly. It is a little under powered for two-up touring however.

So, that's about it from me. The hack rig is my ride now when I want to go with the GF. But I miss the solo aspect of riding. I was never much for group rides or city commuting. I loved the back roads with no clear game plan. Just a vague idea of where I was heading.

Oh, another thought. If you are going to keep the toaster tank, and plan on touring, you'll be stopping often for gas. I mounted a larger tank soon after acquiring the bike, but will be putting the toaster back on for the rebuild. If long tours are part of your plan, you may want to have a bigger tank to swap with the toaster for those trips.

WhisperTheWind is offline   Reply With Quote