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First/Best/Current Bikes


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On 01/04/2021 at 18:56, audio_PHIL_e said:

Didn't recognise that model so Googled it. No pages found for it. What was it?

Otherwise known as the Norton Electra, a bored out Navigator with electric start and bar end indicators.

It had Roadholder forks and a Norton grey tank, but that's as close as it got to being a Norton. It was made in Plumstead out of spare AMC parts. The Prince of Darkness was responsible for the electrics, so it's hardly surprising that they were hit or miss.

Mine was a 1964 model bought from a collector in the late 80s. I sold it a few years later, having never really enjoyed it.

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1st Garelli Tiger Cross. It certainly made me a better mechanic/ Like someone mentioned above, this one also had the knack of burning pistons

Best A highly modified Yamaha SR500. Wish I had it now, unfortunately my brother stuck it into the front of a taxi

Now non, however I'm thinking of getting a Husqvarna Svartpilen or a Mash 650, just got to talk the Mrs into it

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1 hour ago, Guzziboy said:

Otherwise known as the Norton Electra, a bored out Navigator with electric start and bar end indicators.

It had Roadholder forks and a Norton grey tank, but that's as close as it got to being a Norton. It was made in Plumstead out of spare AMC parts. The Prince of Darkness was responsible for the electrics, so it's hardly surprising that they were hit or miss.

Mine was a 1964 model bought from a collector in the late 80s. I sold it a few years later, having never really enjoyed it.

Thanks. I didn't buy a Jubilee when I was looking for my first bike. Went to see one and wasn't impressed, looking back I shouldn't have been impressed by the Bantam either but a single cylinder 2 stroke engine seemed to be easier for a beginner to look after. I found this, it might help anyone else who wants to know what an Electra was.

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First: Honda PC50

Best: Too many to list, really - the 'best' could be argued were the bikes which I undertook my most memorable journeys on, in which case it would be the humble BMW R1100R. Over a 2 year period, I covered over 40k miles on it, including a major trip to central Italy (with Mrs G on board), totalling 4000 miles in 3 weeks. The 11R was so capable - comfortable, great handling, compact and as a point-to-point bike it was actually very quick.

Scan-150111-0002

Most satisfying - Laverda RGA 1000 Jota (Slater special). Slater Brothers took 35 standard RGA1000's and threw some Corsa bits in the engine, fitted the factory 3-1 pipe, Brembo Gold Line brakes and created something quite wonderful. I maintain it's the best sounding bike (away from race bikes) I've ever heard.

Laverda RGA1000 Jota

Most fun - Buell XB12R. Great noise, incredible handling - and mine didn't go wrong once in 14k miles. Being 6'3" I looked a bit of a t*t riding it though. :D

Current bike - none. Gave up in 2016 after 35 years. Was put on some meds which affected my balance slightly but whilst the Doc said I'd be ok riding, I felt it would be wise to take a break.

Edited by Gromit
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On 03/04/2021 at 10:01, Gromit said:

First: Honda PC50

Best: Too many to list, really - the 'best' could be argued were the bikes which I undertook my most memorable journeys on, in which case it would be the humble BMW R1100R. Over a 2 year period, I covered over 40k miles on it, including a major trip to central Italy (with Mrs G on board), totalling 4000 miles in 3 weeks. The 11R was so capable - comfortable, great handling, compact and as a point-to-point bike it was actually very quick.

Scan-150111-0002

Most satisfying - Laverda RGA 1000 Jota (Slater special). Slater Brothers took 35 standard RGA1000's and threw some Corsa bits in the engine, fitted the factory 3-1 pipe, Brembo Gold Line brakes and created something quite wonderful. I maintain it's the best sounding bike (away from race bikes) I've ever heard.

Laverda RGA1000 Jota

Most fun - Buell XB12R. Great noise, incredible handling - and mine didn't go wrong once in 14k miles. Being 6'3" I looked a bit of a t*t riding it though. :D

Current bike - none. Gave up in 2016 after 35 years. Was put on some meds which affected my balance slightly but whilst the Doc said I'd be ok riding, I felt it would be wise to take a break.

Many (too many) decades ago, I had the enormous pleasure of borrowing a standard Jota for a sunny weekend. I can still to this day remember the sound, but especially the feel of it. I looked fondly at a few ads a while back, but the very few around are Ferrari money these days and way more than I could ever justify for a plaything.

Mind you, browsing classifieds for 'classic' stuff, most of the prices look mad. I'm old enough to remember brief rides on much of the apalling crap that is now considered worth money. They're probably still around because they were to awful and unreliable to get trashed. If there is ever a cunning plan, it may have to be plan B, which will involve a later tourer.

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There of of bikes listed that I've owned.. but here's my list, I restore old bikes and mostly ride the new ones.

1st bike  1964 honda 90 

Best bike   mmm... 

Would have to say my ktm 890r it's the perfect hooligan road bike, there's not a bad review on the net.

Present bikes.

Ktm890r, laverda slater mirage (the first one), bsa dbd34, hd wlc, a couple of small hondas a cycle motor and a zundapp bella

In between there's been quite a few, ariel arrow, ariel hunt master (a10) kawasaki kr1s, trx850, tl1000r, fjr1300, buell xb12r,vrod, ktm790, and lots of smaller stuff.

I have an old sports car in boxes as a project, its from 1937, owned it over 20 years.. one day !

The ktm 890r is something else..  light, fast, electronics that work well  and absolutely loves corners, I feel like I'm holding it back.

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8 minutes ago, Bolosun said:

I was thinking about buying a 890R, but after test riding the 790, it was physically too small for me. Brilliant bike though.

You must be a big fella, I'm 6'2 and with the comfort seat I'm well off the ground, the 890r is a taller bike and everything about it is better than the 790.

I put the handle bars at the forward position, they are lower than the 790, so stretch you out a bit, it's a perfect fit for me.

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52 minutes ago, steve 57 said:

You must be a big fella, I'm 6'2 and with the comfort seat I'm well off the ground, the 890r is a taller bike and everything about it is better than the 790.

I put the handle bars at the forward position, they are lower than the 790, so stretch you out a bit, it's a perfect fit for me.

I'm only 5'10, and 14stone, but it felt small for me. I went for a Speed Triple instead.

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14 minutes ago, Bolosun said:

I'm only 5'10, and 14stone, but it felt small for me. I went for a Speed Triple instead.

Ahh..  I see,  you still went for a nice bike...

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With all the laverda jota talk, my mirage history is an interesting story

my brother rang me in the late 90s  one of his mates had a bike in bits, he was emigrating and wanted rid, but it belonged to his brother in law, off I went looked at the pile of bits and went to see said brother inlaw, a very good deal was struck  and I collected the bike.

I thought  I'd bought a standard 1200t  that someone had upgraded.

 It was all good original paint. I spent a vast amount on rechroming though. I fitted new timing chain and a good clean up /service/ tyres etc.

It was in bits when I bought it because it had taken an off road journey via a kerb, that had left a couple of dings in the cast wheels, although it went really well I didn't feel like trusting it with those wheels.

It got parked up for 10 years.. during that time I had picked a pair of wheels, so it was time for another refurbish, new tyres, carbs kits etc and had it back on the road. I'd forgotten how quick it was, it had the jota camshaft, jota everything really except for the high compression pistons.

After much deliberation I thought I'd contact slaters to check the history, so rang and was told to ring back a day later which I did and send some picks of the numbers and the bike

The guy (I think) Roger had all the import docs in front of him 

He was proud that they had got the 1st batch of these bikes, mine is frame number 5, and the frame numbers they received where from 5 to 28 with a few missing numbers.

I asked about the mirage decals, he said my bike was a factory build mirage, built to their specs, slaters added the exhaust and the decals in the UK.. 

It made my day, not only that, at the time the laverda books stated the mirages came along well after the standard 1200t. Mine changed that. I gladly paid the £25 for the dating letter stating that frame number 5 was a genuine mirage.

The bike got little use that summer,  But more sadly, the bike stood for another 10 years.  At long last this year I've got it back on the road.... again.. where it will stay.

I'll take some pics later 

Edited by steve 57
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Got around to taking a few pics today 

20210409_165241_copy_800x600.jpg

20210409_165025_copy_600x800.jpg

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