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Old 02-03-2014, 06:43 PM   #31
Reduxalicious
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I currently own a FI and Carb'd bike..

While I love the Carb'd bike, I don't trust it enough to take me from Houston to Colorado, Where the FI Bike, I trust it to take me anywhere.

yes I've had mechanical issues with both bikes, but the FI bike was a simple sucking in of the gasket (If anyone knows why the hell the 1200S Guzzi's do that, please do tell.)

And the Carb'd bike had a range of problems from Electrical to Mechanical.

on a Minor note, I love how on Modern bikes with LCD Screens, how if you have an Electrical issue--you can look it up on the computer, Very handy feature and no need to just go searching from square 1.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:08 PM   #32
MotorcycleWriter OP
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Originally Posted by One Less Harley View Post
Ok, I can relate to a point. Three bikes, 2004 R1150RS, 1984 R 80 G/S and 2003 DRZ400S
I'll trade you my RT for your RS. Love the RS.
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Old 02-03-2014, 08:28 PM   #33
One Less Harley
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I'll trade you my RT for your RS. Love the RS.
an RT

Ain't gonna happen..... in case you don't notice blacked out rims, fork sliders, FD housing, driveshaft housing. Canadian tinted windsheild, plus tinted front turn signals.

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Old 02-03-2014, 08:50 PM   #34
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My favorite color scheme, too!
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:27 PM   #35
_cy_
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Originally Posted by One Less Harley View Post
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...
another vote for R80G/S .. a nicely sorted out G/S is a joy!

like anything has weaknesses .. once the electronic ignition is replaced with points and alternator upgraded. you are well on the way ..

wheel bearings, final drive typically last life of bike .. tranny may need attention every 120k+ miles or so .. airhead motors are known to go for a long time.

compare above with a modern BMW like F8 .. no comparison in amount of maintenance needed ..
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Old 02-03-2014, 09:32 PM   #36
tlub
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Old reliable

Not sure where the problems are with carbs. I know the FI on my autos has always been stone reliable, and may be on new bikes, but I have never had any carb problems, other than one sucked in choke gasket (for which I made a replacement from a paper bag; it's still there 20 years later) and replacing diaphragms preventatively every ten years or so. That's in about 250,000 or maybe 300,000 miles on airheads and slash twos. The only carb that let me down (stopped me) was on a Honda 350, from pinholes in the floats from sitting, and even then I could boil out the gas on the head (once I got it running by regulating the fuel level with the petcock), and it lasted another 1500 miles til I got to California.
Old airhead FDs don't fail (though rotors do, but so do many others), and it may be noted that Joel Rappoport finished the IBR on an airhead with over 500,000 miles on it (though I heard he rides an FJR these days). Although I see airheads from the 70s and 80s reasonably often, I just don't see any other 70s/80s bikes, and I live in a state capitol and college town. I never see first generation Japanese 4-cylinder bikes (CB750/500/550/350 or KZ UJMs), nor CX500/CX650 Hondas that were supposed to be terrific. They are even kinda rare at the Slimey Crud run, where everything comes out of the woodwork. I think serviceability on a lot of them was not so hot, and spare parts have become non-existent. As for being concerned about taking the old bikes on the road, my son and I rode an R69US and R75/5 on a 2700 mile one week trip to Quebec City, and the only problem was getting high test for the R69US. Otherwise, they were as reliable as my Corolla. They did those kind of trips reliably years before, and established a solid reputation by doing so, when other bikes would not, and will do it now. The miles have not gotten bigger and the parts for airheads are still available as much now as them- maybe even more so with the internet.
So now I'm just rambling. And have no real experience with new bikes, but it certainly seems they are reliable. I just don't see any real reliability advantage over what I have; and furthermore, what I have, and perhaps also the OP has, is something that is paid for and working well, and is likely to continue to work well. It's the devil I know and love.
Over to you.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:24 AM   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reduxalicious View Post
I currently own a FI and Carb'd bike..

While I love the Carb'd bike, I don't trust it enough to take me from Houston to Colorado, Where the FI Bike, I trust it to take me anywhere.

yes I've had mechanical issues with both bikes, but the FI bike was a simple sucking in of the gasket (If anyone knows why the hell the 1200S Guzzi's do that, please do tell.)

And the Carb'd bike had a range of problems from Electrical to Mechanical.

on a Minor note, I love how on Modern bikes with LCD Screens, how if you have an Electrical issue--you can look it up on the computer, Very handy feature and no need to just go searching from square 1.
1977 Kawasaki KZ1000 your carbed I assume
2008 MotoGuzzi 1200 Sport your FI I assume

fwiw, modern carbs are more reliable than 35 year old carbs

most reliable vehicle I have ever owned .... carbed nekid 99 SV650, over 135k never a running issue. always started the instant I thumbed the starter, even down to -25f

my V-strom on the other hand, not all FI is sophisticated that diagnostics pop up on a computer screen, instead, expensive trial an error replacement of parts, only 70k, every sensor had been replaced, some more than once, also complete wire harness replacement, and it still don't run right, sometimes have to babysit throttle on cold starts
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:37 AM   #38
Stan_R80/7
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New Reliable

If a recently built, high quality, older technology bike could be found I expect it would be reliable. However, I don't think they would stay in business long (although Ural seems to keep going) with the improvements from modern technology applied to increase performance and reduce maintenance.

Older technology requires more maintenance. One of the main 'selling points' of modern technology, aside from little deterioration and neglect, is the reduced adjustments and tinkering required accompanied with improved performance. Hence, why people want modern.

Taking an older motorcycle on a longer trip can be an adventure in itself. Taking a new motorcycle on the same trip makes for a different journey. But, if the trip is really all about the journey and not whether the destination is reached, then it's up to the rider to decide what is best. But, to answer the original question, either technology will work and can be reliable but finding older technology in good condition is not easy.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:49 AM   #39
Pecha72
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"my V-strom on the other hand, not all FI is sophisticated that diagnostics pop up on a computer screen, instead, expensive trial an error replacement of parts, only 70k, every sensor had been replaced, some more than once, also complete wire harness replacement, and it still don't run right, sometimes have to babysit throttle on cold starts
"

funny you again forgot to mention your very special year-round (winter) riding environment. Most likely affect things a lot.

I'm now on my 3rd DL650, one of those went literally halfway across the planet (never missing a beat), and generally all three have been the most reliable bikes I've ever owned/used.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:59 AM   #40
buls4evr
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I see this in a slightly different way. The key to me is PREPARATION whether you ride a brand new, latest tech bike or an older one. If going on a trip don't leave anything MARGINAL on the bike as it is the weak link. Just CHANGE IT BEFORE YOU GO.It is a lot easier to work on your bike in the shop than out in the woods somewhere. Most problems that long distance riders get into are PREVENTABLE with routine maintenance.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:11 AM   #41
rivercreep
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I like older technology and new, when it's mixed together properly.
Air/oil cooling with NikaSil and F.I. for starters seems like a great match.
Both combined allow for less moving parts than a liquid cooled carbed bike does but...
I've never had an older tech bike NOT give me warnings before it was going to take a crap.
F.I. and modern electronics on the other hand, can take a shit in the blink of an eye with no warning at all.

Since I consider myself a pretty competent shade-tree mechanic/trouble shooter, none of the technologies bothers me but, I will take a bike that is simpler to work on (no plumbing in the way and adjustable screw/locknut tappets) any day of the week vs. absolute power.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:37 AM   #42
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Old bikes are fun to tinker with and ride short distances.

Modern tech is far more reliable, never mind modern materials in engines. It is rare these days to check valves the first few times and really need to do any adjusting. Not so on old bikes.

I'll take a newer bike for reliability any day. Change the oil, do your maintenance, and ride it. Carry less tools. More time riding, less time fixing. I'd much rather plug a tire than change a tube on the side of the road, which imho is another plus for "new tech" i.e. tubless tires.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:59 AM   #43
AC909
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I'll take the old

Every bike I currently own is air cooled and carbureted. I had a V-Strom that I absolutely loved while I was riding but the maintenance to me, coming from a vintage bike background, was a nightmare. Air filter cleaning/replacement was a two hour job, replacing spark plugs required about half a day, taking the front wheel off required a special tool, I wasn't used to having a radiator so having to deal with changing coolant was a whole new chore and something I didn't want to mess with, etc.
So in my case and from my background motorcycle "technology" was a pretty negative term. It meant that every chore that generally took a few minutes was now a few hours. I didn't have to do these maintenance chores as often with the Strom but when I did it was a real burden and something that I didn't look forward to which meant the job may or may not have gotten done on its scheduled maintenance time.
I have never been stranded with any of my old tech. That doesn't mean I haven't had issues but it was always something I could fix in the field or at least limp somewhere to get the problem fixed properly. I can see the advantages to new technology in motorcycles but for me it just isn't worth the hassle with the very little amount of trouble my old school bikes have given me. Your experience may vary and to each his own.
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:29 AM   #44
randyo
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Originally Posted by Pecha72 View Post
funny you again forgot to mention your very special year-round (winter) riding environment. Most likely affect things a lot.
both the SV and V-strom were ridden in the same environment, so I am comparing apples to apples
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Old 02-04-2014, 07:36 AM   #45
bk brkr baker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hippiebrian View Post
Old bikes are fun to tinker with and ride short distances.

Modern tech is far more reliable, never mind modern materials in engines. It is rare these days to check valves the first few times and really need to do any adjusting. Not so on old bikes.

I'll take a newer bike for reliability any day..
I bought this bike at a swap meet back in '07. I rode it 4000 miles getting used to it.
Then in the winter of '08 I decided it would be my ride for a cross country trip.I modified it to suit the load and preped it to survive some rough gravel roads I like to ride.






And it came out like this.
Then I rode it from Kentucky to Seattle, by way of Monument Valley,getting stuck in a snowstorm in Nevada on 50 and left it at my cousin's place in Bellvue, Wa.
The next year I went back and took it on a loop to Montana via the MaGruder Corridor between Elk City,Id. and Darby , Mt. and through Hell's Canyon on the way back to Bellvue.
In '11 I picked up the bike and rode north to Vancouver Island then over to the mainland and up to Kamloops, then back to the states across Montana then south to the Mexico border in Tx.and home via New Orleans to Kentucky. The 3 trips combined totaled 13,500 miles.
I paid $750.00 for the bike and had most of the other stuff I equiped it with.
So, some people can travel on old bikes and enjoy the heck out of it.
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