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In the last year I have acquired two classic motorcycles to scratch someone very old itches. The pleasure I get from working on and riding these bikes has been worth every penny spent and I expect to pass these bikes on one day instead of selling or trading them off.

I'll bet there are a bunch of guys here who also have a special bike that goes back to your youth or provides a connection to a relative. Tell us about it (with pics).
 

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Here's my 1982 GSX750S Katana. They are very hard to find in any condition. In 2016 one came up locally, only 20 minutes from my house! Bought in the fall. Torn down, repaired, cleaned, restored during the winter. It's mostly original, save for the front turn signals and brake lines, etc., and what needed replacing was done with OEM Suzuki parts. It's amazing how many OEM parts are still available for this bike. I did add the shark fins, which were not stock on the Canadian version, because I like them. This was my dream bike when I was working in a motorcycle shop as a 16 year old in 1983. Only took me 33 years to get it!
272576

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This is my current 750
272578

This is my current 750GT the day I got it. It is now a little gussied up but still not a show bike. My first one was one of the first four I bought when I became a Ducati dealer in 1973. These are solid motorcycles that can be ridden at a modern pace. The good news, back then, was that they could be ridden at a future pace ;).
 

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My 97 Honda Valkyrie, always wanted one the first time I saw it, especially the yellow/black color scheme which I have in the garage.
 

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Sorry no photo. But at the lake cabin I have a 1972 Honda CT 90. When I was a child my parents took two CT 90's to Yellowstone and we drove the park. About 6 years ago I did full restore for a Christmas gift to my father. He never drove it (Alzheimer's) and now it sits in the grange of the cabin that I own.
 

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I had a couple R65LS BMW's that had the same designer as Katana 750. Very similar lines. Especially the headlight cowl. Thanks Hans Muth
 

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I guess it depends on what is a "classic". Is it just age? or is it syling? or is it breakthrough engineering? or is it one that initiated a trend? I have one that is now 20 years old and was instrumental in starting the "hyper bike" trend. I bought it used about 12 years ago simply because I was blown away by its looks and performance. I don't ride it much (less than 2,000 miles/year) because there isn't very many places near me where you can really utilize it to the full potential. It always puts a grin on my face though. Had it out yesterday for a 100 mile run on a nice secondary hiway that leads to Banff.


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Seems like classic depends on your age and experience. Big Bs Valkyrie is classic to him, but for older guys classic may bring up names like Dream, 441 Victor, Gold Star, Red Hunter, Scout, etc.

I just know the best of every generation seems to have something special about them. Reminds me of all the different people at the Barber Vintage festival on every kind and model of motorcycle imaginable all with great big smiles on their faces.

BTW when I got my Norton my wife said now all you need to do is get me an Indian so I can ride along side you. My response was "don't toy with me woman, cause I'll do it!" Been quietly checking out Scouts since then. They have a very "classic" look. Especially the green and creme paint scheme.
 

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Here's my 1982 GSX750S Katana. They are very hard to find in any condition. In 2016 one came up locally, only 20 minutes from my house! Bought in the fall. Torn down, repaired, cleaned, restored during the winter. It's mostly original, save for the front turn signals and brake lines, etc., and what needed replacing was done with OEM Suzuki parts. It's amazing how many OEM parts are still available for this bike. I did add the shark fins, which were not stock on the Canadian version, because I like them. This was my dream bike when I was working in a motorcycle shop as a 16 year old in 1983. Only took me 33 years to get it!
View attachment 272576
View attachment 272577
If your interested in a few more Katana's

 

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Lovely 2nd or 3rd...bikes the above posters have. My good buddy used to race a new Katana. He fell off it at 120 MPH at Mosport, broke it in two and only had an abraded ankle. He then replaced it with an 84' Ninja 900, crashed that, blew the engine, put in a 1000 and drove that till he went with a ZX14R 5 or so years ago. Anyway, I can see why folks love these old bikes. They are so good looking as far as machines go and say so much about the time they were current. I'd love to try so many classic bikes. I think the only bike I ever rode that I just did not like was a KZ400. No offence to anyone with one in the garage. I have a 82' Yamaha XJ 650 Seca and an 84' Honda VF500F Interceptor that hopefully will be on the road late fall.
 

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What was wrong with the KZ400? I loved mine. I don't still have it but I loved it and never had any trouble with it. It worked great in the twisties for me.
I loved seeing pics of some of the old bikes. I have had a lot of them at one time or another,

Cheers

RLBranson
 

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This is my classic, a 1983 Suzuki GS850G in Cosmos Blue:

I've had it since 1997, and plan to keep it forever. I ride the wee out if it, and in its semi-retirement it gets around 4,000 - 5,000 miles a year most years. Currently at approximately (gauge issues...) 140,000 miles. It's a runner, not a looker.

I've met most of my closest friends through vintage Suzukis. We have rallies several times a year, and ride every chance we get.

En Dragone. Note goofy mismatched rain gear... oh well.


No idea how it got this clean. Somewhere in Iowa overlooking the Mississippi into WIsconsin.


Clean...ish. Note doofy air seat (company that made these is long out of business) and floppy bag strapped to the luggage rack.



As I said, it's a runner, not a looker. Engine is completely stock (but not original. Long story.), and the carbs/exhaust are original. All sorted out, it's one of the more entertaining engines out there; there's an addictive and unbelievable top-end rush and howl above 6,000 rpm

Suspension and brakes are of course much upgraded, and it handles shockingly well. The big secret with these GS Suzuki shafties is how incredibly well they handle with a few simple upgrades. Suzuki got the geometry just exactly right.



I guess my KLR650 (now KLR685) could be considered a classic, even though it's mostly a 2005 model.


It's naked, wearing an old GS650GL chrome headlight bucket donated by a good friend, because I hit a deer at about 50mph in November 2013. (Seven point buck, because everyone asks. And no, I was not in the mood for venison or antlers afterwards, being a little distracted by my third broken leg and second broken wrist.)

Anyway, my friends who saw the whole thing were kind enough to make arrangements to deposit the remains of the bike in my garage.

Several weeks later, I hobbled out to the garage on my walker to begin the sad process of figuring out which parts were still in salable condition.

Long story short, everything on the front end (and most of the back end) was demolished, but nothing leaked and somehow the frame was still straight; I was eventually able to measure it down to a very fine degree of accuracy (about 1 or 2 mm where the front tire contact patch would be) and it was dead nuts. Probably better than it left the factory, frankly.

Having nothing else to do but haunt fleaBay (I had a trackpad contraption so I could stick a finger out of my cast and use a computer) I tracked down forks, a wheel, instruments, a wiring harness, and most of the assorted other bits I needed. Had to buy some new stuff, of course.

Had it back on the road in February... overall, there are a lot more fantastic memories attached to this bike than that one bad one.

This memory is a little mixed... this happened before the deer.
 

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What was wrong with the KZ400? I loved mine. I don't still have it but I loved it and never had any trouble with it. It worked great in the twisties for me.
I loved seeing pics of some of the old bikes. I have had a lot of them at one time or another,

Cheers

RLBranson
I knew someone would question this. I rode quite a few Honda mid size twins in the old days. Was all set to buy my first street bike thinking it would be a CB 350. Test drove a few of them. Tried a 360, tried an R5 Yamaha, then ended up buying a Brand new RD 400 in 77'. About a year later someone tossed me the the keys to their KZ 400 and I guess I felt it was inferior to my RD. That was all. I was glad to be back on my Yamaha. Probably would have loved the KZ if it had been mine!
 

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I had a Honda CT 110 as a 16-year-old friends and I used to ride it around as if it were fully legal. Several years ago I saw one advertised fairly cheaply so I jumped on it. I have been slowly improving it and maintaining it to a higher level it brings back a lot of great memories and is seriously like driving an office chair on the road.
272601
 

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My 1982 Honda CX500EC bought new in 1984, unrestored, now up to 221,500km and still running well. I have replaced 2 cam chains, starter clutch bits, stator rewind, rear shock and a set of rings while doing the last cam chain but the fork seals are still original. The CX has done a long day's journey of 1300km a couple of times on interstate trips along with many years of ride to work but now only used occasionally on historic club rides.
Honda quality aided by plenty of polishing and a mild climate have helped to keep the appearance OK but the chrome on the still original mufflers is starting to thin out and I did rechrome the exhaust pipes a few years ago.
The lacquer coating on the polished alloy bits developed snail trails of corrosion underneath the coating so I stripped it off and rubbed back the corrosion with fine wet and dry and buffed the alloy.
The 2005 DL650 took over general riding duties.
272605
 

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My 1982 Honda CX500EC bought new in 1984, unrestored, now up to 221,500km and still running well. I have replaced 2 cam chains, starter clutch bits, stator rewind, rear shock and a set of rings while doing the last cam chain but the fork seals are still original. The CX has done a long day's journey of 1300km a couple of times on interstate trips along with many years of ride to work but now only used occasionally on historic club rides.
Honda quality aided by plenty of polishing and a mild climate have helped to keep the appearance OK but the chrome on the still original mufflers is starting to thin out and I did rechrome the exhaust pipes a few years ago.
The lacquer coating on the polished alloy bits developed snail trails of corrosion underneath the coating so I stripped it off and rubbed back the corrosion with fine wet and dry and buffed the alloy.
The 2005 DL650 took over general riding duties.
View attachment 272605
Wow, you take great care of your stuff, Beautiful. I rode a friend's Dad's CX 500 (Probably the same week I rode a KZ 400) and quite liked the CX.
 
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