Jap Bikes?

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I don't refer to Japanese bikes as 'Jap bikes' because I recognise that most of them are extremely good - but they have no soul. I think many of us have a problem - we are stuck in a time warp. We believe in British bikes. As far as vertical twins go, a Paton is obviously a much better bike than any Commando. Japanese bikes are good for somebody who cannot afford a Paton. But they don't provide the same sense of achievement which is a big part of having fun. I have raced Japanese bikes and won races with them, however it means nothing to me. Doing well on a Seeley Commando is a completely different kettle of fish.
 

XTINCT

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Doing well on a Seeley Commando is a completely different kettle of fish.
I so agree. Note my avatar.

I have been seriously involved with motorcycles for 55 years, and read everything I can. Paton? What be dat?
 
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The Paton is a DOHC 500cc vertical twin four-stroke road racer. It has never had as much funding as the MV-3 500, but is competition for it. The Paton is probably the current ultimate in vertical twin development. The best attempt at developing a large capacity vertical twin is probably Stuart Garner's 961 Commando. It have been interesting if Battle Of The Twins had not been taken over by watercooled Ducatis - development might have continued in a different direction. - A 750cc Paton ?
 

grandpaul

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As far as Jap(anese) bikes "having no soul", "not as cool", etc., etc., that (to me) is as offensive as calling them "Jap" bikes. It shows just as much prejudice as the typical HD rider (although I have a bunch of HD riding friends and don't take it personally).

I've owned 165 bikes in my lifetime, and almost half of them were Jap(anese). The "ONE that got away" was a "Jap" bike, a '74 Honda CB550 Four that I refurbished, then restored, then totally customized as a cafe racer. I poured two years of hard work into it and rode it more miles than almost any other bike I've owned. I street raced it, toured on it, and even rode it off road a few times for fun.

It had more "soul" than all but a handful of other bikes I've owned, a few of which were Brit bikes, a few of which were Jap bikes. I didn't have the forethought to hold on to it, but traded it in with 4 other bikes to buy my 1980 KZ1000 which I still have, and which will be one of the last bikes I sell. IT has "soul", too.

I believe the "soul" in a bike comes from becoming intimately involved with it, by working on it, riding it in some memorable times, or a combination of both.

A motorcycle is just a machine.

I don't think there are 2 more people in the world that detect the "soul" in any of my bikes, the way I do. Nor could I detect it as easily in theirs.
 
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When I ride my Seeley 850, I can feel the hairs growing on my chest. I've raced two-strokes which were much faster, but never gave me that feeling. The immense torque combined with excellent handling does it for me. In a racing situation, it is much better than 'point and squirt'. There are some guys who don't brake much while cranked over going into corners and don't get on the gas in the middle of corners - they brake while upright, roll around the corner and accelerate while upright. With extremely fast bikes, that is the best way around. Commandos are not extremely fast bikes.
What you say about working on your bike might be correct. With Japanese bikes you spend much less time working on them. I built my own Seeley 850 from bits.
 
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Re; "In a racing situation, it is much better than 'point and squirt'. There are some guys who don't brake much while cranked over going into corners and don't get on the gas in the middle of corners - they brake while upright, roll around the corner and accelerate while upright. With extremely fast bikes, that is the best way around"

That is the ONLY way you can ride bikes like a TZ350 fast, but you still have to be able to crank it over hard and go through corners fast if you want to win, otherwise you will become one of those “also runs “ in the race result sheet- it the wet they are very unnerving, what with a power band that doesn’t start till 8,000 revs.
 
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I thought JAP bikes were old British ones built by James Alfred Prestwich.
 
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Finally somebody took the bait.:eek:)) Look guys it's just the world we live in. Everybody knows it was meant as a derogatory remark. When you get your ass handed to you, what happens....you resort to name calling. My wife happens to be Japanese, once while visiting my parents my Dad happened to say "Jap" something or other. I went off on him, but Megumi-san understood. She knew he was old, and that was what old white guys used to say. Shoot, times change and now some of the young guys that I'm currently working with, call each other nigga' , although none of them are black guys.
 
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I was alive then the A-bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I never call the Japanese 'japs' and neither does my 95 year old father-in-law who fought them at Kokoda and Milne Bay when he was 19.
He and his wife actually went to Japan to see where the Japanese came from, and loved it. I cannot see anything wrong with calling the Japanese 'japs' as long as you have not got a conscience. Many Australians suffered at their hands, but what we did to them in the end was much worse. They now come to Australia as tourists and we love them.
 
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..........They now come to Australia as tourists and we love them.
Glad to hear that and please tell your Pops "thank you for your service" from me. I'm a retired U.S. Navy sailor, but what that generation went through and the sacrifices they made shaped the world for the better IMHO. Shoot we got a whole slew of fantastic jap bikes out of the deal.. Just kidding those were tough times and I salute your Dad.
 
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There have been five WW2 ex-servicemen who have been big in my life. The first five years of my childhood were spent waiting for my father to come home from that war. As a kid I knew why the Yanks were in Australia, and I am forever grateful. They saved us. If you have ever seen the movie 'A town like Alice' - that could have so easily have been us .- Women walking with one Japanese guard and kids dying along the way.
 
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Were Rotax JAP speedway bikes made by somebody other than Prestwich who fitted JAP engines into their own frames ?
 
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