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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Tour Schedule | motorcycleshows.com

Opening day here at the Javits Convention Center in NYC. I was going to skip it this year because I was working yesterday (Friday) and wouldn't dare go on a Saturday or Sunday. Too crowded and not a lot of anything "new" I was interested in anyway.
But a good friend was having his revamped Norton featured in the Vintage/Retro area so...



2018, just out of the shop 2 days ago and after a year+ (and 2-3 years of gathering and re-engineering parts:
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2011
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
I have mixed feeling about it because it's no longer "original". Now I'm not one of those "purists" where everything has to be factory spec. After all, besides being sexy and racer motorcycles, Nortons for the general public out of the dealer sucked, that's why they went out of business and Honda got to establish their giant footprint (turn-the-key-and-go). Virtually anyone that dabbles in and maintains a British car or motorcycle from the olden days...I'm always in awe and have the deepest respect for. I had 4 MG's myself so yeah, an automotive form of S&M. But this bike is now better than when manufactured and I mean engineering-wise, not just bolted on pretty stuff. Other than the engine cases, that motor is nothing like what came out of England. He wants to ride this bike, not show it or work on it so if he's happy, I am for him.

Here of course the 2019 TW:
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Check out the new-style dash:
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HaHa

Price:
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I don't know why everyone compares the VanVan to the TW. Yamaha is clearly tugging at the intro to Dual Sport crowd. The DR200 & DR400 are the DS's to compare to I'd think.
Suzuki in my opinion has put out a nice looking street bike in the VanVan. Whoever buys this bike I assure you will never have to change this huge factory (and not bad looking) seat.
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Grey tank, blue fenders, brown seat. What a completely odd color combination on this particular bike. And for some reason... it works!

Price:
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Discussion Starter #3
See my old recently back-from-the-dead 1991 XR250L:
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Its Great-Great-Great Grandson:
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A lot of folks were eyeballing the monkey but the collector-type price if you were buying a real original one was a turn-off. Still, it's cute. No kick or pull-starter but I'll bet they still sell to folks that had one or always wanted one. There's only so many old vintage ones still around:
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
In the world of weird there were a few small "Boutique" motorcycles out there like Nostalgia. Looking through their brochure was like considering buying a condo:
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First, buy a 2018 or 2019 BMW R9T as a "Donor Bike":
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Pick a color:
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Then:
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Discussion Starter #5
Two years ago Yamaha had a poster of the Niken.
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Last year a poster and a video. This year they had an actual bike. In fact two if you include the stripped to the frame cross-section.
But sales folks kept stuttering when I asked them when it would be on dealers floors.
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This is very cool but my concern is that they are overselling "stability" harnessed to a monster FZ1 or FZ9 power plant. Ain't a Piaggio scooter:
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Discussion Starter #6
Got a first look at the new 650's from Royal Enfield. I have to say I'm really impressed with how far this brand has come over the years. Styling-wise they always looked great evoking the originals from England. But quality control on the older ones and just 500cc for their biggest bikes kept them from appealing to a broader spectrum. The ones I saw, made in India (as most Triumphs are) seemed very nicely made:

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The Himalayan was just "OK". Didn't wow me like the R.E. street bikes:
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Discussion Starter #8
Hey, here are the two (2) Suzuki contenders that you can compare to the TW. Not the poor little cute VanVan:
DR200"S"
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The DR400 and their suggested MSRP will give the 2019 Yammy xt250 a run for it's money. I really liked it myself. There is a street version too called the DR400"S" with street tires and some more shiny stuff:
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My wife is in love with the Himalayan. We looked at one in Vegas last week. Nice looking and all, but I'm not a big fan, and it's hard to find honest unbiased reviews.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
At the Dirt Dazes Rally last Summer there was a guy riding a stock street R.E. with some slightly more aggressive tires than stock. I don't know the name of the model but it's the one that's painted OD green and looks kinda like an old military bike, 500cc. He did fine but don't think after the ride (which was pretty easy, minimal dirt) he wanted to do anything off-road with it again.

This Himalayan had for me all the right "looks" but had never seen one up close until yesterday.
Seemed too fragile for even the stuff I do with my TW200. And a lot of the "Adventure" items are bolt on and not included in the MSRP. There's a lot of better choices. I think they are just testing the market and like others, feel like they "have" to ofer something in this category.

But R.E. is getting spot on with what they are known for... street bikes. I wouldn't mind test-riding one of the new 650's.
 

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The rebuilt Norton is Eye Candy to me but I have one big question. Does he still need a pad under it to sop up the dripping oil? Back when all of the British bikes were very popular that was one thing that stood out, Norton, Triumph, BSA and Royals all dripped oil and not much could be done about it.

GaryL
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Gary, he only has a few miles on it riding from the shop to the convention center so can't say. But it's so far away from being a "real original Norton" now that I doubt it.
The builder is a racer and initially re-engineered his own Norton out of frustration. Apparently he was so successful that word spread and he has started a pretty well-known Norton business from that initial project.

My friend took his bike apart to fix a few things in his garage. Winter came and it got real cold. The bike remained in box's for a few years. This happens all the time.

He ran into me at a buddy's house who was showing me how to balance the twin Bing carbs on my '69 /2 BMW. That was the inspiration for him to bring the bike over in pieces and the two of them putting it back together, getting it running. But he wanted it to be more than a PITA to maintain motorcycle. Well, unfortunately that's what these bikes were and always will be. So he changed it.
Should add that this guy will jump on his r1200r BMW and ride from NY to San Fransisco on a whim. He wanted a "rider" and now he has one.

At the motorcycle show there were a lot of "custom bikes" vying for the Peoples Choice Award. The whole Chopper scene is gone but of course will come back again in a few years. Apparently the Triumph Thruxton (not the original, the current Made in India ones) seems to be the most popular body and bike to turn into a whatever-you-want bike. There is no historic value to them so a nice blank canvass.

It's a dramatic decision when you take something so old that does run and not just tweak it with a few modern mods but completely revamp it like my friend did. The historical and investment (both time & $$$) value supersedes things that you wish it could do better. For my /2 once something is fixed or adjusted it stays that way, that's the way Germans made things in 1969. Not the same for British. The 850 Commando was a successful Bike of the Year for Norton. I think the first one with electric start? Still, the company went out-of-business for a variety of reasons.

If he does develop an oil leak while parked I suppose it would be the ultimate parody. Sometimes the only way to let the owners know there was oil in them, right? HaHa.

At the very least I'm glad one of my bikes ending up inspiring him to get all the box's of parts together and put the Norton back together (in it's original form):

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Back then my brother had a Norton Commando, I think a 1974 that was bright yellow and a 750. It was a very pretty and very fast bike with a great sound but a leaker from the day he bought it. Fun to ride and it beat the Triumph and BSA comparable models easy. He just hated it because if he left it garaged for a few weeks while deployed he had to have a tray under it and add as much as a quart of oil before he could go for a ride. The dealer had no fix and just told him this is the way it is. I think either very poor case casting or at the minimum just junk for gaskets.

GaryL
 

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The only way I remember to stop (any) British bike leaking oil from the cases, was to get a sheet of glass and some grinding paste – it takes time, but it can be done …..
 

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The only way I remember to stop (any) British bike leaking oil from the cases, was to get a sheet of glass and some grinding paste – it takes time, but it can be done …..

If it's not a shaft seal that's leaking and an actual case mating surface today's sealants are way better than what existed years ago (think Indian tar goo). I've used the glass and grinding paste years ago. Worked great. But the glass did not last.. lol.
 

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Grind as little as possible, I'm talking very little.. very little or nothing will fit...
 

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Sure, this all assumes you have the engine cases apart and we have used this glass method on heads a bunch of times back in those days. In the real world this should have been done before any of these engines were ever even assembled. Harley had the same issue back in those days and it always seemed to be leaks at the case splits or side covers. We had a guy around here who was a real specialist with Brit bikes and also had a trailer he took around with a Dyno set up in in for bikes. He came up with some solution to put in the oil and then you run the bike for half an hour. Then he used a black light and could show you exactly where the leak was coming from. Usually not from shaft seals but from poor case surfaces or alignment. After my brother sold his Norton the buyer used the black light and actually found the leak was coming from a case bolt. All he did to fix it was add a rubber washer or O ring on that bolt.

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I was at the show yesterday.
Took the train down to Grand Central. Ended up at Cipriani drinking beer for an hour while I waited for friends to come down on another train line.

Walked from Grand Central to Javits (1.9 miles).
The vintage bikes mostly caught my eye, especially the R100RT Last Edition (would look great next to my RS LE)

Checked out the TW200. Nice color combo this year.

The reason for going was to see the R1250GS . They had a black one. Fell in love. Will probably go for one in 2020.

Nothing else really blew my skirt up.

Harley had the same old crap. Did not see their electric bike or their new ADV piece.

Show gets smaller every year, it seems.
 

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I was at the show yesterday.
Took the train down to Grand Central. Ended up at Cipriani drinking beer for an hour while I waited for friends to come down on another train line.

Walked from Grand Central to Javits (1.9 miles).
The vintage bikes mostly caught my eye, especially the R100RT Last Edition (would look great next to my RS LE)

Checked out the TW200. Nice color combo this year.

The reason for going was to see the R1250GS . They had a black one. Fell in love. Will probably go for one in 2020.

Nothing else really blew my skirt up.

Harley had the same old crap. Did not see their electric bike or their new ADV piece.

Show gets smaller every year, it seems.
Guiness I hope.
 
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