Originally Posted by rivercreep
...by your perspective.
To me, the old one was better because it was a simple design (no liquid cooling/plumbing to work around or fail) and my old CB400 could handle saddle bags and a larger windshield with minimal expense.
Not so with the new CB as it's headlight design prohibits a large touring screen and its side panels will get damaged if you just throw saddle bags over them, without supports.
To me, the new CB500 is worthless as a practical commuter and if your battery goes dead, it has no kick-starter as back up. (my 78 Hawk had both and I usually used the kick starter as it'd fire up on the first jump, almost every time)
I agree totally with your comments about the 400 - that was what made a UJM a UJM, it could be whatever you decided it would be, even if it changed overnight! Sweet...
As for your comments about the CB500 and no kick start, all I can say is you're wrong.
The 500 is quite practical. A releatively small foot print as motorcycles are, can have bags/box on it or bungee on whatever. Heck, a back pack and it's like commuting on a CB400! Jump on and ride.
As for kick start - I have 30,000 miles on a KLX650 dual sport without any need for kick starting. That IS one area where new stuff is good - electrics. The electrics, like starters and all, got more and more reliable through the 70s and to date. It got to the point where having a kick starter made about as much sense on the bikes as having a hand crank on a car.