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Old 02-03-2014, 07:35 PM   #1
Prof J OP
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Touring on UJM

Anybody tour on a 70's or 80's UJM?

I tried many bikes but I still think my 82 Seca is great. One day, when I break free from raising my 5 kids, I want to ride across America. In the meantime, I would enjoy reading about ADVs who do it on old bikes. Any RR's out there?

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Old 02-03-2014, 09:59 PM   #2
davidji
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There are ride reports with old UJMs here on advrider. I remember reading a couple. Start browsing or searching and you'll find 'em.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:41 AM   #3
rivercreep
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In my youth, I did a New England tour on my 1978 Honda CB400 Hawk.
I.M.H.O. they just don't make good basic bikes like that anymore.
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Old 02-04-2014, 02:56 AM   #4
markjenn
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Originally Posted by rivercreep View Post
In my youth, I did a New England tour on my 1978 Honda CB400 Hawk.
I.M.H.O. they just don't make good basic bikes like that anymore.
A new Honda CB500 costs about the same (in constant dollars) and is vastly better in every functional way. The good old days weren't that good.

- Mark
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Old 02-04-2014, 04:57 AM   #5
scootrboi
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In 1974 I rode from Montpelier VT to Tempe AZ on a Honda 305 Dream. I kind of rushed it, 7 days which included a 2 day stopover in Colorado. Unforgettable.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:24 AM   #6
Grinnin
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Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
The good old days weren't that good.
The good old days didn't have motorcycles as good as today's motorcycles, but the motorcycles worked just fine. I continue to ride my mid-70s bikes a good bit and they are very enjoyable.

No, they are not maintenance-free, but they're not troublesome either. No they don't have the smoothest suspensions, but they work fine on roads and gravel -- freeway seams are a bitch which is just one more reason to stay away from freeways. Parts for many older bikes are readily available although some parts for some bikes are hard to find.

If you enjoy riding that particular motorcycle, do it. It wasn't built to sit under a coat of wax under a soft cover in a garage. If you need better performance, a new motorcycle will certainly provide that.

Riding different motorcycles provides different experiences. There is no single experience that is the "right" one.

In 2012 I rode my '75 CB750K to Ohio and around there. Lots of good miles.
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Grinnin screwed with this post 02-04-2014 at 06:06 AM Reason: Corrected tagging on quote.
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:39 AM   #7
sonnystile
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This summer I took my 99 Nighthawk 750 from Louisville Ky to Thunder Bay On and back.

3600 trouble free, comfortable miles.

Gonna try to make the left coast this summer.

Yeah, the 99 is a little newer than vintage, but it's a UJM to its core...


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Old 02-04-2014, 05:40 AM   #8
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Old 02-04-2014, 05:50 AM   #9
buls4evr
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You want to be inspired by what can be done on a UJM? Read "Jupiters Travels", by Simon.............
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:18 AM   #10
rivercreep
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Originally Posted by markjenn View Post
A new Honda CB500 costs about the same (in constant dollars) and is vastly better in every functional way. The good old days weren't that good.

- Mark
...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)
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:44 AM   #11
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Timely subject for me. I pulled out my old album from a trip I took in 1975, the first trip I took with a camera.
The camera is a box Brownie Kodak that my mother got upon graduating High School. It uses 128 roll film. You have to pull a bit of the film and start it on another roller to load. To take a picture you open the veiw finder on top and look down to line up with the subject.
Anyway the ride I took was nearly 6 weeks and a little over 8000 miles. My bike was a new 1975 Kawasaki 900 Z-1.
I went west to Texas, crossed into Juarez , Mexico pretty much by mistake and was glad to get out, only to have the US border guard make me strip everything off the bike, then act discusted when there was nothing to bust me for.
I rode around New Mexico into Arizona and hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon with a girl I met from Florida. I turned east and spent a couple of weeks in Colorado. When my money ran out I rode straight home 1200 miles. I made it to Louisville, out of gas and money and was able to swap my flashlight for a dollars worth of gas to get home on,on fumes.
The whole time, I had no trouble from the bike. I changed the oil a couple of time and put gas in. That was it.
Two years later I rode it to California and back , another 8000+ miles.
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Old 02-04-2014, 06:49 AM   #12
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I took several long weekend trips on my '78 GL1000, if you count that as a UJM. Burned out a stator on the last trip but still made it another 2 days back home by turning off or disconnecting every single electrical item that wasn't necessary. Otherwise, it was a lovely tourer, though the clip-on bars and chopped-down seat weren't exactly an improvement in comfort.
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Old 02-04-2014, 08:32 AM   #13
tkent02
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There are advantages to the old bikes. Simplicity, a big flat comfortable seat that you can actually move around on, sit on the front, sit on the back for a while, put one foot on the rear peg for a while, then the other, then both as you slide all the way to the back... Very comfortable riding position. Once you get all the maintenance caught up they are as reliable as anything new. Brakes and suspensions can be easily upgraded.
Not as powerful as a big inline four today, won't corner quite as well as a modern sport bike, but do you really need all that on a road trip?
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:08 AM   #14
k-moe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof J View Post
Anybody tour on a 70's or 80's UJM?

I tried many bikes but I still think my 82 Seca is great. One day, when I break free from raising my 5 kids, I want to ride across America. In the meantime, I would enjoy reading about ADVs who do it on old bikes. Any RR's out there?

Prof J
I spent two weeks on my Seca 750 last summer.
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Old 02-04-2014, 09:09 AM   #15
k-moe
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Originally Posted by tkent02 View Post
There are advantages to the old bikes. Simplicity, a big flat comfortable seat that you can actually move around on, sit on the front, sit on the back for a while, put one foot on the rear peg for a while, then the other, then both as you slide all the way to the back... Very comfortable riding position. Once you get all the maintenance caught up they are as reliable as anything new. Brakes and suspensions can be easily upgraded.
Not as powerful as a big inline four today, won't corner quite as well as a modern sport bike, but do you really need all that on a road trip?
And they are less apt to be stolen
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