The other day, my reader and real-life pal “bolero” put a photo up of Francoise Hardy on her K0-generation Honda CB750. That’s a lot of bike for a young lady, even by today’s standards; at the time, the CB750 was the world’s fastest motorcycle and even today it’s much stronger than ninety percent of the bikes sold around the world. The photo above represents kind of the opposite of that.
Today’s rider is forum favorite and long-time commenter Nate, showing off his new (to him) Beemer.
“Here are two pix of my new 1975 BMW R60/6, a true barn find from Ventura, Ca. it has 8,000 original miles and I rode it home, it’s all turned up now, I still have some little things to address but it’s safely rideable and fun.” However, this ain’t Nate’s first aircooled-twin rodeo… and the crash pictures after the jump are not for the faint of heart.
I’ve just had an epiphany with respect to vintage motorcycles: “They suck more than I ever thought they did!”. Let me explain.
Here at Riverside Green, we never get tired of the Honda CB1100 in all of its thoroughly satisfying guises. I know of two readers who bought the big aircooled Honda after reading about it here. Mine is about to sail through the 11,000-mile mark, and when I needed to clear a little space in my garage it was a no-brainer to sell my very lovely VFR800 Anniversary Edition instead of the all-black JDM.
Is the thoroughly-revised 2017 CB1100EX a better mousetrap than my bike? Just for once, we can probably get away with the Motor Trend “there are no losers here” reply. My opinion is that the updates do a great job of moving the 1100’s aesthetic back from the Nighthawk-era square-tank look of the 2014 Standard to a proper Seventies-style CB750-Four tribute.
For more on why the CB1100EX is great, let’s hear from a reader who took delivery of one.
Seventy-three degrees on a climate-twisted February night in Ohio. On the way out of the burger place I noticed that the light down the street was green so I rolled the throttle lightly in second, relaxing the twist just long enough to kick into third. And again, twist relax kick. And again. It was the work of just a few seconds, never spinning the Kawasaki past five point nothing on your RPM dial, ladies and gentlemen. I rolled through the light. To my left, there was a policeman. He looked startled. Reflexively, I checked the speedometer, which read just a needle’s width beneath the 100 mark. More than double the speed limit, in a suburb where they don’t tolerate that sort of behavior. In my left mirror, I saw him jump-start through the intersection and line up behind me a thousand feet back.
So there was nothing left to do but twist it the rest of the way. Cue the old hyperspace effect. I am forty-six years old, suburban and harmless, battered and broken. But I am also this: gone.
I’ve signed up for the Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride next month. It’s a great charity masquerading as a bunch of dickheads wearing suits on dorky motorcycles. I’m planning on wearing a Hickey Freeman pinstripe and riding my Honda CB1100. If you want to throw five bucks towards the cause, you can do it here. Better yet, if you want to come ride, I’ll buy you a drink afterwards.
Those of you who hate my guts can be reassured by the fact that it’s almost certain to rain this time of the year and that I’ll basically be spending two hours wrapped in three layers of soaking-wet wool. There’s also a reasonable chance that one of these hipsters who can barely ride a motorcycle by themselves, let alone in a group, will run into me and cut off my leg. A girl can dream, you know!
Alright, let’s get this party started again. And what better way to light the flame once more than to feature one of my all-time favorite bikes: the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird. Frequent readers of this site know that I have long harbored a weakness for the Yamato class of sportbikes; as a teenager I wanted an FJ1200 so badly that I put FJ1200 stickers on my BMX bike, and in my twenties I lusted for a Kawasaki ZX-11. I am now the owner of the final-boss cruise missile, the Kawasaki ZX-14R, but as recently as last October I was trying to purchase a decent example of the Super Blackbird.
Jeff has a “Dos Equis” Honda that’s been in his fleet for seven years. But as you’ll see below, it’s no longer his favorite way in which to pay tribute to The Gorilla Who Knew Too Much.
(If you have a bike that you’d like to see featured here, send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
This is the Kawasaki ZX-10RR Ninja. It’s basically a way to homologate a more aggressive engine top-end for literbike racing; as a roadgoing proposition it’s unlikely to be significantly different from the new-for-2016 ZX-10R. The reason I’m featuring it today: Kawasaki’s brilliant idea to deliver the bike in “Winter Testing Livery”. It’s a production paintjob that pays tribute to the plain-black bikes used before a team announces its sponsors for the season. There’s a snowflake on the cowl. All of this is brilliant because not even an insane person would ride a 197-horsepower ZX-10RR in anything resembling snow.
I wouldn’t trade my ZX-14R for it — not sure I would trade my ZX-14R for anything, actually — but if I had enough money to put multiple big Ninjas in my garage you can bet that I’d give the snowflake-mobile a chance. Enjoy your weekend, everybody; the Weekly Roundup will appear tonight.
I’ve long since come to terms with the idea that my participation in, or excitement about, something is basically the opposite of celebrity endorsement. BMX was doing great until I got my Beginner license. The same is true for my NASA region, which saw entries in the PTE class go from 15-20 to 4-6 after I started. To be fair, the 2008 market collapse might have been peripherally involved. But anyway. After a picture of me wearing my horsehide Captain America jacket went viral everywhere from Reddit’s Feminism channel to the Daily Mail, Hillside put the ready-to-wear version of said jacket on clearance.
Which is why I am just a little bit excited to announce that I have saved a motorcycle from extinction. When I bought my discontinued 2014 Honda CB1100 Standard, and two of my readers followed suit, I had no idea that the three of us would triple-handedly convince Honda to bring the motorcycle back to the United States. But as you’ll see, they’re still keeping the good stuff at home. Meanwhile, Team Green has decided to make a very strong argument for me to sell the CB…