(Last) Weekly Roundup: When You’re Smiling, The Whole World Smiles With You Edition

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this to all of you before, but one of the MX-5 Club cars used by the Skip Barber School is joining our ragtag fleet of misfit toys. I’m awfully excited by this. We have all sorts of plans in store for the car and we already have forty — count ’em, FORTY! — extra tires for it. There’s also something to be said for having an easily cannibalized donor vehicle for your enduro racer, although I hope it never comes to that.

Click the jump to read excerpts from one of my more prolific weeks so far.

I reviewed two cars for TTAC this week — a Civic Si sedan and a Camry SE. I asked the readers about stolen diesels and answered a question about combining a car and a motorcycle for an affordable enthusiast fleet. Finally, I caused a bunch of amateur Paul Krugmans some heartburn by discussing the national disgrace of buy-here-pay-here dealers.

For R&T, I bid farewell to the final aircooled Honda and told you about a company that wants your fellow drivers to snitch on you.

That’s all, folks!

19 Replies to “(Last) Weekly Roundup: When You’re Smiling, The Whole World Smiles With You Edition”

  1. Joe

    When I was shopping for a motor cycle, my wife wanted me to get the harley triglide, I said thats not a motorcycle, I wound up getting the dyna low rider s, my wife has always wanted a saturn sky, or its pontiac stable mate the solstice, we drove a couple, then I pointed out that as much as I like to keep american cars in the driveway, that the miata was the smarter play, way more support for the mx-5 exists than for the little GM convertibles, wound up getting her an 08 mx-5 nc1 sport with the lesser regarded 5 speed, fabulous little car! Thats my car/motorcycle story.

  2. Don Curton

    If I recall, I think the CB1100 was primarily designed for the JAPANESE nostalgia market, not the US. They’ve had it since 2010, whereas we only got it for 2013/14, and then again in 2017. Neither you nor I are it’s original intended targets, we’re only an afterthought in Honda’s marketing message.

    Doesn’t matter, still love mine.

    • Yamahog

      I thought that the CB1100 was a vanity project for Honda’s then-President Ito. He used his to commute and IIRC, reach Honda factories after the tsunami.

      It’s a nice bike, lord knows that I want a deluxe one with the 6 speed and the ABS but it struck me as kind of a weird bike. I’d much rather have the CB1300 Super Bol’dor but discount my opinions because I’m a young man and was born after sportsbikes went watercooled.

      • Yamahog

        Ugh, JB mentioned a lot of that in his article. That’s what I get for not reading.

        However, the CB1100 launched in Australia and Japan initially, who knows what Honda was thinking. Most of the justification seems like ‘parallel construction’ – people retroactively making the case to build it after someone decided to build it.

        Though the distribution was weird – by the time you pay to translate the service information into English, you may as well at least send the bike over to the U.K and from there isn’t only a headlight calibration and emission certification from US compliance. America buys way more big bikes than Australia so the CB is a natural fit. Maybe it was a throw back to the olden days? When America got raw dogged by the product planners.

        • Don Curton

          I remember the vanity angle too, but parallel paths and all that.

          As for not marketing it to the US first (or pretty much at all), I guess they see us as dumb hicks that only want the abomination of the “Fury” or the chopper version of the Goldwing. And I guess they’re sales stats probably back that up. Damn that Orange County Choppers show.

  3. Sseigmund


    What a delicious issue of R&T!!! I had to wait until this weekend to read it. Maybe the best cover ever, and your articles were excellent. Can you give us the backstory on the trip to Europe? We’ve gotten bits and pieces over the past weeks but I know there is a lot more to tell and it would make a good read.

    Will you be involved in the 2018 PCOTY testing?

    Nice to see that the CB1100 will continue on for a while longer with the refreshed model. I am disappointed that the CB1100RS is not available in the States.

  4. Wulfgar

    I’ve always like that Honda and liked the previous generations Big One even more even if it was liquid cooled. It was a bit of a dog power-wise though. Much like your 550 I have a 400 SuperSport that tends to scratch the itch when the nostalgia bug hits. That Yamaha XSR in yellow and black racing livery has caught my eye though.

    • Yamahog

      Honda has a weird aversion to a healthy amount of power in motorcycles. Sure, they have the VFR800 and CBR650R which make healthy power (70-110 hp). But I’d argue that VFR800 is just a little underpowered relative to its weight – same for the CB1100. Not that it really matters for the bikes’ MO but still, KTM almost exclusively makes rip snorting things and it seems like Honda makes a slower than average bike in every class of motorcycle.

      But people buy them and honestly, I prefer to buy used Hondas over any other brand. But KTM demonstrates that most of these bikes can lose a ton of weight and pick up some extra horsepower without seriously impairing reliability. In fact, the stuff that blows up on KTMs seems like stuff that wouldn’t be a problem if they had the same access to suppliers as the big 4 have.

      Maybe things will get better, but it’s bologna that we get eco-conscious power reductions (looking at the 700cc and 500cc Honda parallel twins) rather than eco-conscious weight reductions.

  5. -Nate

    Too bad about air cooled Motocycles but, they’re difficult to make pass smog tests and still run really well .

    Hopefully I’ll never have to own a water cooled Moto .

    Miatas are way cool but not for a 6’er like me as the windshield header is *exactly* lined up with the center of my eye .


  6. Kevin Jaeger

    I found it interesting that you used a Quebec example in your article about the growing use of immobilizer devices. I’m not sure if you know it but Quebec has probably the most heavily regulated and strict finance laws in North America, to the point that the ubiquitous payday loan shops you see throughout poor neighborhoods every else are entirely absent here. They are pretty much regulated out of all possibility of staying in business. In practice this means Quebec residents tend to get a technically illegal online loan in another jurisdiction.

    So this Sherbrooke resident signs a Kia lease with some onerous terms embedded in it, including a remote ignition kill device. I don’t know what drove him to that decision but it is theoretically possible his old ride needed a repair and he couldn’t get a payday loan to fix it. So he signed a lease for a new Kia on whatever terms they were willing to offer instead.

  7. Ark-med

    From the texttoticket.com FAQ:

    “Can I submit a video of a police officer using a mobile device while driving?
    “Police officers are trained on duty to be able to use a mobile device or computer while on patrol. While in uniform and in a cruiser they are allowed to engage in the use of their devices.”

    They are our betters, don’t you know.

  8. jz78817

    sorry, but your article about the stolen Volkswagens was mostly horseshit. you started out by quoting auto theft statistics for the City of Detroit, then when told Pontiac was more than 1/2 hour away from Detroit you tucked your dick between your legs and said the equivalent of “well everyone thinks all of SE Michigan is Detroit.”

    yeah, no. you want to be an honest journalist, get your fucking facts right. Don’t try to weasel your way out of it.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      This kind of thing is charming in New Yorkers — HOW DARE YOU CONFUSE CHRISTOPHER STREET WITH TRIBECA! — but when applied to massive Midwestern cities it’s not interesting.

      Pontiac is to Detroit as Mason is to Cincinnati or Katy is to Houston.

      There’s a reason they weren’t called the Pontiac Lions or the Pontiac Pistons. Let it go.

  9. hank chinaski

    Your Phantom Menace quote is forgiven by the one from Serenity.
    Switzerland looks like a blast.

    The NC2 looks immaculate for a school car. Was it wrapped? True Red is the nicest NC color, IMO.

  10. Midnight DeSoto

    Just wanted to hail your M-B/Porsche article. You evoked the cars, companies, and places nicely, and gave the reader a nice view of the relationships among those three. Kudos.


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