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Old 03-26-2015, 04:54 PM   #1
thetubespoke OP
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Location: Bay Area, CA
Oddometer: 102
Would you trade a GSPD for an R50/2?

Hi everyone,

I may have the opportunity to trade my GSPD for an R50/2. I'm a bit conflicted and I've never really ridden an airhead other than the GSPD. I'm hoping a test ride will tell lots, but of course a test ride does not tell all.

I am curious:
For a daily ridden bike: Is this a good idea or a bad idea?
For appreciation/value: Is this a good idea or a bad idea?

My GSPD is in excellent mechanical shape but not as good cosmetic shape. Perfect dual seat, but has a broken seat lock, roo bar is off, and all of the instruments broke so have been removed. It has 85k miles, a rebuildable driveshaft, upgraded shocks, and recently serviced forks. I think the transmission has also been rebuilt, probably with the circlips installed.

I'd be getting the /2 without a sidecar. It has a dual shape. It's supposed to run well, but it's very rough cosmetically.

The /2 in question: http://sfbay.craigslist.org/nby/mcy/4941888003.html

I'm hoping it just looks rough and performs much better than it looks, but I have no idea on that.

From a value stand point, I think a clean /2 usually goes for more than a GSPD. If I clean it up a lot, it should be worth a good bit more.

From a personal standpoint, the GSPD was never what I wanted. I think for offroad, I'd really be happiest with a G/S. But, I've read the best bikes to get are either the monolevers or the earles forked bikes. I'm not really concerned about going fast, but having a bike that's predictable, reliable, and easy to work on. Of course speed wise, I think the 800cc boxer motor would be perfect. The R50 is a far cry from that. My favorite bikes are the ones I can slide on, but I've really only had one that was just right for that.

What do you guys think? Are the /2s as reliable as the rest of the bikes? What is it that I hear about having slingers cleaned? Is it crucial?

Thank you,
TheTubeSpoke
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:19 PM   #2
DUNDERHEAD
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That bike is in rough shape. I would value that /2 at around $ 2,000.
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Old 03-26-2015, 05:58 PM   #3
Solo Lobo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DUNDERHEAD View Post
That bike is in rough shape. I would value that /2 at around $ 2,000.
Up here that bike would sell in minutes for $3K - $4K

if the slingers have been done, I'd trade your GS for it
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your bike is suitably dirty. Well done.
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So I sold my GS and went shopping for a G/S!
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:13 PM   #4
CafeDude
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From what I see in the photos/ad;

The good: It's mostly there, it has the desirable high-lip alloy Weinman rims, it runs, the Pentacomm points conversion is great.

The bad: wrong exhaust, added holes (?) in the rear fender for the bags and rack, it's a 500cc variant of the /2 line (pretty slow), brakes are woeful unless they are dialed in JUST right. Top speed of about 70mph (before it starts vibrating your eyeballs out of your sockets).....on a downhill..... with a good tailwind.

The ugly: the seat, the paint, the apparent years of neglect.

What's it worth? Around here, probably $4000 as-is. All restored to factory perfect condition? About $14,000. I think this is your range.

In terms of a daily rider, if you're a good wrench, they are fine. But they are slow and don't stop as well as you sometimes need it to. They are kick-start only, so there's that to consider. Also, the lighting system is woeful. Strap a flashlight to your helmet if you plan to ride it at night. Turn signals would be a nice addition.

From an investment standpoint, they are certainly rising in value. But slowly. The R50S, R69 and the R60 are giant steps ahead of it in terms of desireability. But the prices of those bikes are dragging up the price of the R50/2. So in the long run, they are good investments.

CafeDude screwed with this post 03-26-2015 at 06:19 PM
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:20 PM   #5
Cogswell
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Your current bike would be a better daily rider.

The /2 would be worth more in the long run provided you put a lotta love into it.


Mike
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:30 PM   #6
ilvecchio
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I put over 90,000 miles on my GSPD before I sold it back to the original owner and I also have about 40,000 miles on my 1960 R50 (they were not /2s until 1961).

They are both wonderful bikes. But if you are looking for a daily rider, there is no way I would give up a GSPD for an R50. Many of the reasons have already been noted.

My R50 is a once a week rider when the weather is nice and there is not much traffic and, for that purpose, it is a magical, leisurely trip back 50 years to a simpler time. Riding the bike in modern Bay Area traffic is a completely different situation.

Also, the description "Fright Pig" comes to mine when looking at the picture of the R50/2 on Craigslist.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:44 AM   #7
thetubespoke OP
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Thank you all for your replies.

At least I'm getting the thumbs up on the plausible investment stand point. I am a passable wrencher, so I figure whatever this bike needs is within reach.

Regarding the points conversion, does that mean ignition is no longer off the magneto, or it is and it's just a different points setup?

I figure this may be a straight forward R60 conversion down the road with some carburetor work and new heads/pistons, in regards to power. And for solo use, a lighter flywheel might help a bit.

For the headlight, I presume I could convert it to 12 volt, give it a brighter unit, and maybe even heated grips down the road.

Are the brakes different on the /2 than the /5? I thought they'd be about the same.

Thank you again,
TheTubeSpoke
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:10 AM   #8
chasbmw
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That /2 looks kind of shagged.....

You could spend a lot of money to bring it to half decent mechanical and cosmetic condition. Check out parts prices on Vech's website.

The brakes have a habit of cracking the hubs, magneto coils break down, 12v coil ignition conversions are expensive

Adverts with such crappy photographs never fill me with confidence.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:57 AM   #9
CafeDude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thetubespoke View Post
Thank you all for your replies.

At least I'm getting the thumbs up on the plausible investment stand point. I am a passable wrencher, so I figure whatever this bike needs is within reach.

Regarding the points conversion, does that mean ignition is no longer off the magneto, or it is and it's just a different points setup?

I figure this may be a straight forward R60 conversion down the road with some carburetor work and new heads/pistons, in regards to power. And for solo use, a lighter flywheel might help a bit.

For the headlight, I presume I could convert it to 12 volt, give it a brighter unit, and maybe even heated grips down the road.

Are the brakes different on the /2 than the /5? I thought they'd be about the same.

Thank you again,
TheTubeSpoke
Typically, the points conversion consists (I'm assuming it's the Pentacom unit) of a sturdy billet aluminum base plate that replaces the stock junk, and it uses off-the-shelf at any auto arts store Chevy points and condenser. It also features a design that allows you to dial in the ignition adjustments with the bike running. I have one in my r50, it's great.

The key to good braking is trued up hubs. After all these years of heavy service, most are out of spec. True them up and get modern linings, and keep the pivots lubed and they are decent. You still need 'anticipation'....and some engine braking helps too. A lightened flywheel is great for better acceleration, but hurts you with the braking issue. /5 brakes are indeed better. Not great, but better.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:09 PM   #10
Runaway Train
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"Adverts with such crappy photographs never fill me with confidence."

I couldn't agree more, I think it is indicative of the level of care that the owner has had for the bike on the block. Think of it this way if the fellow really was detail oriented it would reflect in the ad. "Detail oriented" is what you want a PO to be! "Detail oriented" shows respect for the bike, and lack of such in the ad illustrates disrespect to the buyer.
Bike looks like a money pit to me but have at it! I think PT Barnum said "there's a sucker born every minute"

Few bikes are an investment. To me that is the wrong reason to buy a bike. The real dividend is smiles and miles.
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Old 03-27-2015, 01:24 PM   #11
ooweel
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Maybe Maybe Not

You posted this in that long opening statement
"I am curious:
For a daily ridden bike: Is this a good idea or a bad idea?
For appreciation/value: Is this a good idea or a bad idea?"

Daily rider? 2 blocks? Yes. 10 miles? Yeah OK. On the freeway? Not me!

Appreciation? GSPD Some what. R50/2 more. An R69s a bunch more.

Wait till you ride it. An R50/2 is a whole different world than a GSPD.

Maybe what you really want is a conversion /2?

Great to live where we have choices!
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:24 PM   #12
danedg
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Not that one...
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Old 03-29-2015, 05:22 PM   #13
thetubespoke OP
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I saw the /2 today, it was a beautiful ride up to Pentaluma.

First issue, I think, is that the fork was set to the sidecar position (axle was in the forward spot). It felt pretty odd, for sure.

Bike looks better than in the pictures but it really needs some love. Did not see the lights working. The brakes needed a lot of adjustment and probably cleaning. I decided it was not worth it, although I am quite curious about /2s, at least ones that are really well sorted. It felt kind of cramped around my feet.

I've decided something a little more modern wouldn't hurt. A little more modern being the R80ST. Maybe some day I can have a titanium Earles or girder-style fork made for one. I think it could be as light as the telescopics and be a lot stronger.

So, I've made a thread for trading/selling my GSPD: http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?p=26467135

Thank you for the feedback!
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:38 PM   #14
Beemerguru
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I have those 2 and the GS would be the daily rider..the /2 the Sunday rider..

GS more realistic day to day. You can add an R65 headlight and 35watt bulb for a passable front light...or upgrade to 12 volts../2 worth more money over the long haul..GS will take you anywhere.

R80ST is a GREAT daily bike..one of the best designs for a road bike..and undervalued.

All the parts to keep any of them on the road are still available.
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