Classic Japanese Motorcycles

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Looking at those small Italian bikes, I never found Japanese bike so inspiring. If you just look at that Parilla, you immdiately get the urge. I think that as far as superbikes go the Kawasaki ELR1000 Eddy Lawson Replica almost gets there, also some of the Brit style lookalikes, however the rest don't do much for me especially most of the modern stuff. Is beauty really in the eye of the beholder ?
I like this :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPBVRR2DHr0&noredirect=1
 
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Small Japanese bikes are all about practicality. ?
(Bigger ones too, come to that).
It once was called bread-and-butter manufacturing.
60+ million of them will pay for a mighty lot of R&D of race bike exotica...

Try finding, or buying, one of these.

 

Fast Eddie

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Rohan said:
Small Japanese bikes are all about practicality. ?
(Bigger ones too, come to that).
It once was called bread-and-butter manufacturing.
60+ million of them will pay for a mighty lot of R&D of race bike exotica...

Try finding, or buying, one of these.

These Japanese bikes are only for the low profit end of the market... Learners and commuters... REAL motorcyclists want real motorcycles... Big twins... Japanese machines will never appeal to them... We have nothing to worry about... Carry on chaps... ...
 

grandpaul

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I don't know, I had plenty of fun on this one...



Brought home 3rd place in the AHRMA Formula 500 championship in 2008 after racing only 8 of 20 events, the last 4 races with a dime-sized hole in the center piston of a swap meet engine (blew a cylinder liner at Miller). Might have been even more fun if it didn't have the holed piston, and if it had any rear brakes. Took a while to get used to the left-foot-shift, and the upside-down shift pattern with neutral at the top (only found it once while on track)
 
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You need a sense of humour if you want to ride a Kawasaki two stroke triple. When I was racing regularly you could buy an H2R for about $4000 and get full support, if you didn't mind the anxiety.
 

grandpaul

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No joke, it didn't have a "throttle", it had an ON-OFF switch.

However, being "only" a 500, it could rip the snot out of my 650 Triumph! (and all 3 of my Nortons; on the track, anyway)
 
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Fast Eddie said:
These Japanese bikes are only for the low profit end of the market... Learners and commuters... REAL motorcyclists want real motorcycles... Big twins... Japanese machines will never appeal to them... We have nothing to worry about... Carry on chaps... ...

That's almost verbatim from a spokesman for the British motorcycle industry I saw in a documentary many years ago. Talk about head in the sand!
 

Fast Eddie

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pommie john said:
Fast Eddie said:
These Japanese bikes are only for the low profit end of the market... Learners and commuters... REAL motorcyclists want real motorcycles... Big twins... Japanese machines will never appeal to them... We have nothing to worry about... Carry on chaps... ...

That's almost verbatim from a spokesman for the British motorcycle industry I saw in a documentary many years ago. Talk about head in the sand!
I think it was quoted when the board of BSA Triumph came back from a fact finding trip in Japan, especially Honda.

The Honda plant's were brand new, full of state of the art machinery and so clean you could eat your lunch off of the floor... Also they were building OHC engines, had some with electric start, had entered the IOM TT races, had more cash in the bank than the entire British Motorcycle industry and had only been in business 11 years!

Oh yes, they also had workers who were genuinely happy and proud to work for them, who never went on strike... and managers who actually managed, who went to the shop floor every day.

But there was no need to change our per-war designs too much...!
 
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Fast Eddie said:
But there was no need to change our per-war designs too much...!
Revolution always comes from outside, almost never from inside.
Thats what 'The Old Guard' is all about ... ?

Thats a good link above to many other rarely seen japanese designs. Thanks.
Lotta innovation and experimentation there...
 

grandpaul

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acotrel said:
He doesn't usually race the 750 - he doesn't need it, and it is too nasty anyway. The 500 is quite enough for all purposes.
Yep, just ask David Cru$$el who usually takes home most of the championship trophies in AHRMA. He sometimes runs his Bighorn 350 once he's clinched, and STILL gives them a shake.
 
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'Revolution always comes from outside, almost never from inside.
Thats what 'The Old Guard' is all about ... ?'

That is defeatist. You can change the system from the inside if you regiment your thinking as a manager.
If you have a victim's mindset, you will be a victim. Industrial democracy is necessary for creativity, authoritarianism stifles creativity. With the British class system and management hierarchy, the chappies on the shop floor in their motorcycle industry would not have much chance of changing anything - the whole system was stacked against that happening. With democracy, you cannot impose it, you can only create conditions suitable for it to happen. The British motorcycle designs had some very good aspects however the Japanese picked the eyes out of everything and included them in their own products. The lack of strikes in Japanese motorcycle industry was because the controls are internalized. In every situation there is a balance between democracy and control, the Japanese have that balance right. It is a matter of leading by motivating and empowering workers rather than by coercing them. The Japanese tend towards self-managed work groups with no nobility in the workplace. In Australia we still have much of that old British mindset and 'the system runs on bullshit'. We are about to pay a very high price for that. We are about to lose our car industry because the product quality does not command prices which justify the overheads. The current approach in Australia is to join the race to the bottom - crush the unions, destroy the wage structure, rather than move up-market - that takes effort.
 
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You only need to look at motorcycle, and automotive history generally, to know how true this is.....

Not to mention the current turmoil in the aussie car industry, where ALL of the local assemblers have announced they are shutting down.
If you can't beat them, join them. !
 
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Have you seen those programs on the Japanese where they study into the night, travel a long way to work, work long hours ....
If thats the price of having a super economy I'll stay here in the backwater next to Australia thanks.

I was working in the UK in the late 80's on building sites, I remember when a team of Germans turned up to do a fit out.
Everything has been pre made at a factory in Germany. The English blokes could only stare in amazement as it all got put together once and once only. I'd imagine the Triumph factory is pretty switched on, times have changed.

Question asked here recently is will the Japanese go the same way as the Brits with China making so much stuff?
 
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72Combat said:
Question asked here recently is will the Japanese go the same way as the Brits with China making so much stuff?
Of course - grab your Japanese classics while they are still afordable.
Well, some of them anyway, folks figured out decades ago some of them were already collectible.

And anyone who has studied motorcycle history will know that no-one stays at the top of the tree for long,
some 'upstart' soon turns up and upsets the apple cart with a new design or 6 that sell like hot cakes.
The Triumph speed twin of the late 1930s, and Suzook Gixxer of the 80s particularly come to mind.

The real question is which Chinese designs are future collectibles ?
Or who to buy stock in...
 
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I like the looks of the Kawasaki W1/W2 (a BSA clone) but have not had a chance to ride one...

 
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Where I worked in the mid 90s we went through the self managed work team stuff. It was good for a while (about a week) and then the greedy little, toe rags started running "motivation" lectures and the whole thing collapsed under its own inertia. At one "lecture" by a spotty faced little oic he started going on about everyone being equal, and I just dropped into the conversation, "but some are more equal than others....", which shut him up. I left a well thumbed and dog eared copy of "1984" on his desk with a post it note that said "are you a horse or a pig".
A couple of years later a new strata of management arrived and set up "Integrated Project Teams" and we went around the same old buoy again, with pretty much the same result.
FINALLY we got a Manufacturing Manager who had been on the shop floor, was a highly qualified Engineer, he sacked a lot of time servers/dead wood, set up a sensible management system, that was very lean. After a while Manufacturing was the only division making money. He got a golden handshake a year or two ago when some of the other divisional manglers moved in.
He was a Yorkshireman.
cheers
wakeup
 
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Australia currently has a crisis, if we don't immediately move up-market and claim the high ground our wages system will collapse to third world levels. In Australia there are two opposing IR concepts - the left pushes workplace 'liberalisation', the right pushes 'flexibility' as the means of increasing productivity. They are both struggling with the old authoritarian paradigm. The conundrum is always the same - 'democracy and control in the workplace'. Self managed work groups are a good thing, however better if combined with open book management and productivity gain sharing. The main problem is always about teams having sufficient information to enable them to self- manage. These days many Australian companies have ISO9000 Quality Management System certification which they use as advertising material (window dressing). If the documentation was based on national standards and codes of practice for its policies, the companies could train to it and thus empower their workers. The problem is then that the middle managers charged with writing the system would then be effectively making themselves redundant and lose status.
I have actually done this stuff in two of my jobs and it works well.
 
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wakeup said:
I left a well thumbed and dog eared copy of "1984" on his desk with a post it note that said "are you a horse or a pig".
And of course I mean't "Animal Farm". Although 1984 does have some parallels with todays environment, think phone hacking, NAS etc etc.

Acotrel, basically I agree with you, theoretically. It's just that I have worked in both styles of place and I have yet to see the self managed team approach deliver what it's proponents say it will. What it does do, which is a good thing is break the old management environment and encourage people to think for themselves.

When I retired in 2008 I was encouraged to complete an online leaving questionnaire. After more than 20 years I found that to be a symptom of "New Management", but that's another soapbox. One of the many questions went something like "....how do you rate your immediate supervision...", to which I replied "...generally does not have the qualifications, experience, talent or aptitude to supervise it's way out of a paper bag". Which, whilst I may have exaggerated slightly for effect, was basically heading in the right direction, it's the old ambition over talent syndrome.

cheers
wakeup
 
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