Okay.... Lets have a quick hands up.

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Back in the 70s when I left school at 15 and started working my mates and myself got into Honda dirt bikes only bike shop in out local area, when we hit 17 when we got our bike license all my mates brought Honda 4s except me I brought my New 850 Norton and of course they all put sh.t on my choise saying how they leak oil and very unreliable well after 45 years its still going and still don't leak oil and always starts on first kick and where are all them Honda 4s everyone said was so good, so now I put sh.t on them and really they could never keep up with my Norton anyway, but of course they always had a excuse, my Norton is now showing its age but it still gets up goes, its my hotrod bike.

Ashley
 

maylar

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Toasted a 1000 CC Sportster with my 850 back in 76. I even had a girl on the back. Blew the head gasket too, but it was worth it.
Nowadays I ride with big dawgs - large displacement HD's that make my Norton look like a toy. No way in hell I'm gonna catch my brother's VROD.

I also ride with an old friend with a 72 Combat Interstate. He can't keep up with my MKII, but it's probably because he has 100 lbs on me.
 

Derek Wilson

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I pulled my Norton out of mothballs this year after sitting for 14 years. My second marriage had ended, and I had reconnected with some buddies from high school who all ride. It took very little to get it road worthy again, the restoration work that I did nearly 20 years ago had preserved it very well. This is the only love affair that I need. I have owned this bike for a long time and I still look forward to riding it. I have got it to the point were unexpected breakdowns are very infrequent and routine maintenance/upgrades are part of the enjoyment.

Like many of you, my bike is completely outclassed (hp/speed wise) by the bikes that I ride with. Many are over double the displacement and are 1/10 the age of mine.

I swapped bikes one night with my buddy that rides a Ducati Monster 1200R. It was his suggestion. While I was excited to take this 160 hp beast for a run, my thoughts immediately turn to my friend now having to ride my right foot shift ancient machine... "Are you sure?" I queried. "Oh yes" he said. And away we went.

I quickly realized that the throttle on the Ducati was akin to the wheel on the torturous rack of medieval times: the further you turned it the more it stretched out your arms - lol! But very predictable and controllable.

When we stopped, I don't know who was more excited. He was well impressed with the smooth torque of the old girl - and raved that the sound was intoxicating!! I guess my nearly 50 year old steed still has something to offer to those who did not grow up with them :)

Since the end of June, I have managed to log over 5000 miles and have loved every second of it.
 
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I cannot ride mine very far(never really could), but I've been able to do it often...... And yes I've been on much faster, though none have ever been as thrilling..... bad points inclusive. Jimmy, my injured friend, becomes covered in goose bumps when he's around it and listens to the motor running. I guess I'm not much different in that aspect.
 
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Friday I went 12 miles in a big loop keeping close to home. This was my first ride of the summer after 2 new knees earlier this year. No real problems. I had done a lot of Norton work earlier in the year (new master cylinder and hose, rebuilt caliper, installed Tri-Spark, plus fixed a bunch of extra little stuff that goes along with every big job) and just wanted to make sure everything worked before heading out too far. The right knee doesn't mind kicking it over which was my big worry. My worst case happened: forgot to turn on the fuel and ran out about a mile away. Didn't catch it soon enough so it died in the middle of the road on a slight uphill. I had to hoist it onto the center stand, re-tickle and restart, thankfully with 1 kick. I live in the country so there were no cars around to honk at me. No witnesses laughing either so Norton's reputation is safe.
 
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The absolute worst part of the situation was the possibility of witnesses laughing/cars honking - it's the primary reason I installed an E-start! :) Embarrassment is always a greater cause for concern than the possibility of physical injury!
 
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Great wx out west past few days. Did a 100 mile ride yesterday all sorts of roads from 25 miles of 70 to lots of 20 mph lanes. It is funny how harsh and shaky the bike is down below 3k compared to the dual at 70+.
...and yes if I stall it and then have to pull over and try to start it, well let us just say it is pretty iffy!
 
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Why couldn't I put that into words..... It's just a way of life and my Norton was born to it also because it never has stopped trying to be the little engine that could..... Gotta respect the pedigree.
 
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Rode on of my "moderns" yesterday, about 50 miles. A 1981 Suzuki GS1000G. Went to help my wife with her horse, then a bit of grocery shopping. Mo running Nortons at this time, but not much is required to change that, outside of travel.
 
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I am curious (no not really) what is the macho need to race a wonderful vintage bike against other bikes of the era?
Isn't winding through the twists enough fun? Is it always "I won, you lost?" Just asking.
Because it is really fun. Where is the "macho" comment coming from?
 

998cc

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Last Thursday: A great day for an early morning ride; the smoke from all the California fires which had made riding inadvisable in previous days had temporarily cleared in the immediate area. The Sierra peaks could be seen from a window at home, so it was time for a quick ride up the hill!

Rode the Vincent this time; it started right up with the recent addition of the Tri-spark ignition and settled down to a nice idle. Weather was cool--a welcome change from the triple-digit heat in the days before!

Took the back roads and wound up through small communities passing farms, rural schools and local fire stations. After an hour or so, it was time to turn back towards home. The smoke was coming back in, so I took the 4-laner down the hill. The Vin roared right up past the speed limit onto the freeway and settled into light traffic. A mile from home, the engine just quit! :confused: An electrical screw connector on the Altette horn had backed out touching the brake arm which blew a fuse. A quick fix and new fuse, and the bike was soon rumbling back into the garage.

Looking forward to September/October riding!
~998cc
 

Derek Wilson

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The absolute worst part of the situation was the possibility of witnesses laughing/cars honking - it's the primary reason I installed an E-start! :) Embarrassment is always a greater cause for concern than the possibility of physical injury!
Same reason I installed mine - stalling two up in the middle of an intersection making a left turn... people are always so patient and understanding.... lol
 

998cc

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I had no idea it was permitted for a Vincent to behave in such a manner.
It is still in shakedown mode after the latest a rebuild, so the glitch was no major surprise. (Previous rebuild was 1989.)

I attended a TIOC/BIMA rally in Southern California that year. For the ride, I chose the mountain route and met up with another Vincent rider named Leslie Goode, a fine chap! It turns out that Les was a tried and true Vincent enthusiast and put many many miles on his well-fettled Rapide over many years. During the ride, his engine quit. He had everything with him to fix it and soon had it running again. Memory escapes me as to the problem, but it may have been electrical related to coil ignition. So even the best maintained machine can harbor a few gremlins. Otherwise, tool kits would never have been necessary........ ;)

~998cc
 
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If you need to race, do it right for real boyish fun.
View attachment 18717
That would be a better toy than a torquey old antique Norton for leaving a stop light in a hurry. Triumph is starting to look good again.

My last go fast toy out of many. I would on occasion leave a stop light with about 6 inches of air under the front tire, but I was never that great at keeping the front wheel up for any extended amount of time. The bike always felt better with both tires on the tarmac. I can't lift the front wheel on my P11 unless there is a little hump/jump in the road. The front end just likes to be on the ground too much. What was the topic of this thread? Oh yeah feelings. Lots of good feelings riding the Duc when I was in shape and still had plenty of testosterone to burn.

 
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