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Old 02-03-2014, 01:52 PM   #16
JimVonBaden
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Originally Posted by Skyshadow View Post
I like a new bike when it is new and unlikely to fail......when the miles add up, and the seasons pass, moisture gets in, and the new becomes old, things start to break......I would not want to own an old newer mfg bike because I cannot afford to fix it, nor can I fix it myself.

Old bikes like my r80g/s are aging old tech that can be fixed with tools available at any hardware store. Sure, it'll break, I do have some money fixing the stuff the POs neglected, but now it is relatively reliable.

So yeah....if I can have a new bike I'll take it but the old bike will last longer.
I have 125K miles on my 05 R1200GS and it is going strong. No reason to believe it will not continue to do so.

Few 70's Hondas can even approach that without extensive repairs and maintenance.
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
I have 125K miles on my 05 R1200GS and it is going strong. No reason to believe it will not continue to do so.

Few 70's Hondas can even approach that without extensive repairs and maintenance.
True, but you are competing with motorcycles that are for the most part tiny in comparison to a 1200. And far less expensive.
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:26 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
I have 125K miles on my 05 R1200GS and it is going strong. No reason to believe it will not continue to do so.

Few 70's Hondas can even approach that without extensive repairs and maintenance.

With some exceptions, of course. But the point is well taken here. Unless you get a lemon, a newer bike is almost always going to be more reliable with less downtime for maintenance than an old bike, even an old bike that is still in great condition. When you factor in the reality that most old bikes have been abused and neglected for most of their lives, the disparity only increases.

I'd wager that even if you had a time machine and were somehow able to go back to the 60s or 70s and take your pick of showroom new motorcycles, bring it back to the present, and ride a comparable modern bike under the same conditions and for the same mileage, the modern bike would still be less hassle.

Now, I'm not saying that's necessarily a bad thing. I've owned, ridden, and worked on more bikes from the 70s than any other era, and I like the mechanical simplicity and ease of tinkering. But if I were only able to have one bike, I'd want something newer that I could count on to get me to my destination every time with no complaints.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:27 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
I have 125K miles on my 05 R1200GS and it is going strong. No reason to believe it will not continue to do so.

Few 70's Hondas can even approach that without extensive repairs and maintenance.
To be valid why not compare 70's BMWs to 70's Hondas and late model BMWs to late model Hondas? It's not often we hear someone saying they switched to BMW because they get fed up with the frequency and high cost of repairing their sport touring or touring Honda motorcycle.

To the OP I recall the 40,000 miles I put on my 1981 R100 - from roughly 80,000 when I bought it to 120,000 when I reluctantly sold it in 2012 to buy a new motorcycle to replace it in the stable. Once I got the R100 into shape I considered it reliable but it required more fettling and regular maintenance to remain running smooth and generating electricity then distributing it to all the parts that needed it. That's how it is, or was, with airheads. They are reliable but the technology and service requirements were different 30 years ago. That's progress.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:19 PM   #20
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To me, though I own two BMWs (which I discussed in detail above) a big driver is cost. I have a 2004 Expedition with 107,000 miles on it. It is in great shape and is paid for. I'd love to "upgrade" because the gas mileage is so dismal but the cash I'd spend on an "upgrade" would pay for enough gas, roughly, to carry me around the planet roughly 4 times. It doesn't make sense from an economic standpoint, or even an ecological one. The energy required to make a new vehicle from raw materials is absolutely enormous.

I really like the 2013 KTM 990 Baja at Midway Cycle in Madison, AL. Brand new bike. It's $14K. Subtracting the measly $3K I paid for the R100GS leaves an $11K difference. Imagine the R100 I could build putting say, $5K into the existing bike, which was exceedingly well taken care of and has only 28K miles. That leaves a difference of $6K. Would the 990 be $6K better? $6K would fund a pretty decent motorcycle outing somewhere. Clearly I think too much. Glad I have a really cute wife.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:25 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by scootrboi View Post
True, but you are competing with motorcycles that are for the most part tiny in comparison to a 1200. And far less expensive.
I'm not competing with anything, just making a point. You can buy a scooter today that will outlast any scooter of old and need far fewer repairs. Pound for pound, comparable bikes as much as possible, the newer bikes with be better built and more reliable. There are exceptions of course, such as the Ural and the Chinese made bikes.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:28 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by dduelin View Post
To be valid why not compare 70's BMWs to 70's Hondas and late model BMWs to late model Hondas? It's not often we hear someone saying they switched to BMW because they get fed up with the frequency and high cost of repairing their sport touring or touring Honda motorcycle.

To the OP I recall the 40,000 miles I put on my 1981 R100 - from roughly 80,000 when I bought it to 120,000 when I reluctantly sold it in 2012 to buy a new motorcycle to replace it in the stable. Once I got the R100 into shape I considered it reliable but it required more fettling and regular maintenance to remain running smooth and generating electricity then distributing it to all the parts that needed it. That's how it is, or was, with airheads. They are reliable but the technology and service requirements were different 30 years ago. That's progress.
General statements. I am not saying new BMWs are better than new Hondas. I am saying New bikes (Honda, BMW, etc.) are better than old bikes (Honda, BMW Etc.).
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:30 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by MotorcycleWriter View Post
To me, though I own two BMWs (which I discussed in detail above) a big driver is cost. I have a 2004 Expedition with 107,000 miles on it. It is in great shape and is paid for. I'd love to "upgrade" because the gas mileage is so dismal but the cash I'd spend on an "upgrade" would pay for enough gas, roughly, to carry me around the planet roughly 4 times. It doesn't make sense from an economic standpoint, or even an ecological one. The energy required to make a new vehicle from raw materials is absolutely enormous.

I really like the 2013 KTM 990 Baja at Midway Cycle in Madison, AL. Brand new bike. It's $14K. Subtracting the measly $3K I paid for the R100GS leaves an $11K difference. Imagine the R100 I could build putting say, $5K into the existing bike, which was exceedingly well taken care of and has only 28K miles. That leaves a difference of $6K. Would the 990 be $6K better? $6K would fund a pretty decent motorcycle outing somewhere. Clearly I think too much. Glad I have a really cute wife.

Now you are adding cost, which wasn't the original post's criteria.

If cost is included, a mid to late 80's Nighthawk would be my bike, or for a few more dollars, a similar year BMW. Both will run forever, though the Nighthawk will likely require less maintenance.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:58 PM   #24
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Ok, I can relate to a point. Three bikes, 2004 R1150RS, 1984 R 80 G/S and 2003 DRZ400S


Of course the RRS is for comfortable street, back roads and interstate.

The R80 G/S, is for secondary roads, fire roads, and a little more challenging. Yeah it's an older bike, but does require some tinkering, but I prefer it more than ANY GS made in the last 20 years. It'll do anything they will do, maybe not the long interstate runs in comfort, but that's what the RRS is for. Plus it is a WAY better choice for traveling off the beaten path, it takes a beating better than and oilhead/ water head ever could, plus less expensive things to fix too!!! If it needs repair off the beaten path it is more likely to be fixed will more readily available parts.....not necessarily BMW dealer supplied either.

of course if needing to get into more serious trails the DRZ is up for the task.

For me the three bikes overlap abilities--

The R1150RS, interstates and secondary roads
The R80G/S interstate ( not much), secondary roads, and moderate trail and some single track
The DRZ, does interstate (very limited), secondary, moderate trails and single track.

If I had to limit myself to one bike...God forbid..it would be the old reliable R80G/S, which does more than the other two.

Newer GS oil or water head..NO WAY..I'll take the Airhead any day!! It'll still be going when the water heads are being parted out for scrap...
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:35 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by JimVonBaden View Post
I'm not competing with anything, just making a point. You can buy a scooter today that will outlast any scooter of old and need far fewer repairs. Pound for pound, comparable bikes as much as possible, the newer bikes with be better built and more reliable. There are exceptions of course, such as the Ural and the Chinese made bikes.
My old scooter has over 90,000 miles on it and runs like new. 1960. My 1984 Honda 125 scooter has 12000 miles and is in the process of being tied and patched together. Plastic. Hah.
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:37 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by MotorcycleWriter View Post
To me, though I own two BMWs (which I discussed in detail above) a big driver is cost. I have a 2004 Expedition with 107,000 miles on it. It is in great shape and is paid for. I'd love to "upgrade" because the gas mileage is so dismal but the cash I'd spend on an "upgrade" would pay for enough gas, roughly, to carry me around the planet roughly 4 times. It doesn't make sense from an economic standpoint, or even an ecological one. The energy required to make a new vehicle from raw materials is absolutely enormous.
Your SUV weighs more than my house!
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Old 02-03-2014, 05:53 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by scootrboi View Post
My old scooter has over 90,000 miles on it and runs like new. 1960. My 1984 Honda 125 scooter has 12000 miles and is in the process of being tied and patched together. Plastic. Hah.
You can also buy a scooter today that is all plastic junk. Try to compare apples to apples.

How much work has been done on your 90K mile scooter? Be honest!
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:09 PM   #28
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You can also buy a scooter today that is all plastic junk. Try to compare apples to apples.

How much work has been done on your 90K mile scooter? Be honest!
In 1986 I rebuilt it from one end to the other. Since then it has needed a valve job and rings, and this Fall I replaced the chain and sprockets and swingarm bearing after 70,000 miles of use. Of course there are numerous minor things, cables, brake shoes, carb rebuild, mufflers. It has held up well for a 175cc.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:15 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by scootrboi View Post
In 1986 I rebuilt it from one end to the other. Since then it has needed a valve job and rings, and this Fall I replaced the chain and sprockets and swingarm bearing after 70,000 miles of use. Of course there are numerous minor things, cables, brake shoes, carb rebuild, mufflers. It has held up well for a 175cc.
Cool, sounds like a keeper, and a great sample of one.
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Old 02-03-2014, 06:36 PM   #30
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Cool, sounds like a keeper, and a great sample of one.
It is like the old BMWs. They are. I have two.
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