Discussion in 'General Classic Motorcycle Discussion' started by acotrel, Feb 7, 2014.
that made me laugh out loud, wakeup
Going back to the thread....the Boss and I have had a couple of Hondas that I reckon are classics. The Boss had a new 400/4 in the late 70s, it was a little rocket ship, lovely little bike. I had an XBR500 in the 90s which was the most fun to ride of any bike I've ever owned. Sure I've had faster bikes, and bikes that handled better (but not much better) Once I'd fiddled about with the forks and put some Konis on the back it handled really well and predictably, and it sounded like a motor bike should (500 single)
Others may well disagree, almost certainly will in fact, but those two get my vote.
There is no better sound than a trible oil burner at full chat.
Just like the one I am restoring Suzuki 380GT
Andy, I have a bunch of Suzuki spare parts if you need anything I might have. I don't have a Suzuki any longer, so they're just gathering dust.
P.S. I never received the Norton chain, seem to recall you sent one?
I still have a few parts off Japanese two strokes. I am going to give them to a friend who sells stuff at swap meets. I also have a lot of old British parts which I tend to value slightly more. I never sell British bits. My other bike is a project, has a modified H1 Kawasaki motor. It looks really great, however I regularly fall out of love with it. They are really uninspiring. Years ago I made a choice. I sold an excellent TZ350 Yamaha to buy the TTI 6 speed box for my Seeley 850. I know what I love to ride and it ain't Japanese. The Seeley 850 at least feels like a real motorcycle, and gives a genuine adrenalin rush which is not related to fear.
I absolutely love the Japanese production racers as long as they are unmodified. I think the worst bikes in existence are Japanese road bikes that have been modified for racing, most of them make me feel sick.
I apologise for causing another diversion in this thread, however I'd like to point out one other thing. I think we need to consider the importance of what many of us do with old bikes. Our countries are currently becoming de-industrialised and I cannot see others with my own capabilities coming along. In the end the system cannot continuously run on bullshit, there must be people who can actually do things. I have one regret in my life and that is that I did not teach my two sons how to build a racing motorcycle. One of them is now a mechanical engineer. I suggest that if you've got kids hanging around you, teach them how to rebuild a motor.
I think this video is very accurate :
With most tradesmen, if you look up the national standard that their training is based on, you can tell them how to do a job of work. Of course the joke is that if engineers have a problem, they usually run it past the lead trades person, who often gives them an answer. What then often happens is that the tradesman can get told what he should do. And then the question often becomes 'are you asking me or telling me ?'. It is all bullshit - the system runs on it - a main reason we cannot compete with the Asians.
I was interested in a TV panel show two nights ago which had Billy Bragg on it. He was talking about manual skills. The other five people on the panel - politicians, journos etc. all admitted that they couldn't do anything manual. I was appalled, at least I can build a motor, drive a lathe, do a bit of welding or soldering. This lot couldn't even fix their own front gate. And worse, they actually thought it was OK to be incompetent.
Sadly, the reality is that it IS ok to be incompetent at things mechanical.
Go back two generations and was ok to be incompetent at things agrarian.
Two more and it was ok to be incompetent at hunting or fishing.
It's sad that I can't fix my iphone or television set.
I agree, we are too far from knowing the basics, the things that sustain life.
I've been on both sides of the fence. When I had to design something from the floor up, I would come up with a couple of ideas, then go and discuss them with a couple of trusted (no big egos) friends from Manufacturing and get some idea of how they could be made, in some detail. Generally most things were at either a concept or prototype level. Then after generating the maximum amount of information, the round table chat would happen again. By the time that Manufacturing actually had to make something, the key people knew what was going on and what was required. There were always problems, but by using this approach the problems were reduced significantly. When the project had to move to the next level (concept to prototype; prototype to pre production etc etc) the groundwork had already been done. The only time this approach went adrift was when we got a new, supposedly experienced CAD operator, with degrees coming out of every orifice, he had several, and who was sufficiently arrogant to believe that he was the sole source of knowledge and didn't believe in talking to the people who would be making his brilliant concoctions. He nearly caused a riot, and got "promoted" to IT System Admin or something demanding like that.
There are many ways of skinning a cat, some of them make a mess, some don't.
I know that I am an anachronism, and my expectations of people's abilities don't fit in our modern world. I get really irritated at the way our politicians are prepared to lay down and die at the first sign of real competition. In Australia, as in the UK and the US, the wage/prices structure is different to that in Asian countries. The way forward for us is to compete in the market niche occupied by Germany - i.e. address the quality issues and command higher prices to justify our overheads. What is defeating us is the 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it mentality'. In my experience that mentality does not really exist at the shop floor level of industry, it is all amongst the over-burden. That panel of pollies on TV who admitted they could do nothing practical absolutely appalled me. I am a tertiary qualified professional scientist, and I can still drive a lathe, weld a bit, build a good racing motorcycle, and fix a house, and I'm a whiz with computers. Yet here we are with the inept at the top calling the shots. I'm not preaching revolution, however sometime soon we will have to get in touch with reality.
' The only time this approach went adrift was when we got a new, supposedly experienced CAD operator, with degrees coming out of every orifice, he had several, and who was sufficiently arrogant to believe that he was the sole source of knowledge and didn't believe in talking to the people who would be making his brilliant concoctions. He nearly caused a riot, and got "promoted" to IT System Admin or something demanding like that.'
That is a reflection on the engineers running the shop. With someone like that, you simply kick them into shape and use their talents productively. An engineer who is a bullshit leader often cannot do that. In Australia we have very big leadership issues, many engineers cannot run a project using even the most basic software, and they often find the trade/technical aspects intimidating. Unfortunately you cannot give somebody an injection of experience and the self-confidence which goes with it.
The individual was "given" to the project, which consisted of project draftsman, design draftsman, four detailers. He was supposed to double up on the design side as another design draftsman. None of us, me in particular had the time to lead him by the hand, kick him up the backside or any other form of motivational leadership. We had a limited quantity of hours (i.e. a budget) to work to and a deadline to meet. We ended up getting a bloke with experience who hit the ground running and did some good work.
What really irks me is when school teachers give an assessment of 'competent', when they don't know the meaning of the word. Schooling is essential however competence only comes with experience. It is basically what is wrong with our system, often daddy's friend have found their kids a job.
A friend, long passed, was hired by Rubbermaid to fix exactly what you are talking about here. He was an all around machinist and foundry man. The design people, the artists, the dreamers were forced to bring their ideas to him before prototyping and before any requests for bids were sent out. Then, he would tell the designers and the designers' bosses how and whether it could be manufactured as designed and how design tweaks could reduce the cost of manufacture. Then he would prototype the manufacturing process before actual manufacture started.
I used to have a job as the Quality Assurance Manager for a company that manufactured wind turbines.
That is where I became 100% convinced that those overeducated engineers certainly must be taught to make changes to products or processes just to justify their existence.
We actually ended up building a "R&D" dept. just so the engineers would be too distracted by their projects to spend much time messing with and "improving" our products.
I am primarily an industrial chemist, and I am often critical of engineers. Many live in a black and white world and cannot handle uncertainty. They don't seem to be able to understand that every scientific 'fact' is based on probability. There was an associate of mine years ago said 'I don't care what engineers do as long as they stay away from our black boxes'. There is a danger these days that kids can plug numbers into a computer or calculator and believe the numbers without doing an error analysis. The thing which makes me laugh is their lack of appreciation of the theory behind the use of safety factors in relation to materials. Most 'think of a number and double it'.
It was very funny when I showed my Seeley 850 to the leader of the design group which employed me . He was taken aback and said 'I'm really impressed'. He is a mechanical engineer, and I know he could not build that bike. I did not comment, a lot of motorcycle and car guys do more real engineering in a month their back sheds, than the professionals do in years.
There were more than a dozen f/s at Barber Vintage '17 in every condition from brand-new (29 original miles) to abandoned hulks and everything in between.
Rohan, you mentioned the debacle in the Australian car industry. It was removal of the government subsidy. The other day there was a comment made that the car industry is globalised and the car market is flooded. So moving away from car manufacture might not be so bad. The problem is that our politicians have little imagination - what is the replacement industry ?
this is my Japanese bike I love it