I accidently posted this on the "How do I" forum and tried to move it but couldn't. So I copied everything to here. Hopefully all the smilies come out......
I had an interesting experience last week and thought I'd share it. You know, just for grins! ):
The other day, I rode my girlfriend's father's 1980 Yamaha Midnight Special. This bike is now considered "a classic". Back then, the only "real" sportbikes were Ducks and the like. Cruisers were in, baby, back then, and this one was the schiznit! So, just for kicks, I asked to take it for a spin. Ride review later, now some facts.
It's a 1200cc inline 4, shaft-drive, cruiser. Single disc front, drum rear, skinny (120, I think!) rear, 19 inch FRIGGIN' HULA HOOP front tire and handlebars like a bicycle that are like 3/4 inch thick and come up to about mid-chest. Much to my amazement, it started right up. It has 17K on the odo and has some rust/stickiness to the controls, but doesn't look too bad for a 20-year-old bike that hasn't really been taken care of but has been garaged the whole time. I put on the helmet and gloves (wasn't gonna push this beast, and was staying in the neighborhood, so didn't wear the jacket.) and took 'er for a spin. Yikes. This thing's a boat. My Kat weighs about 470-480 w/fuel. (Shut up, I know it's a brick! ) This thing felt waaay heavier. I turned a few corners. Got a queasy feeling w/my hands up in the air like that. Handlebars way to high up for my taste. Headed for a dead-end street. Nice straight,level road. Let's see what this 1200cc beast can do!!!!! Slowed to about 10-15mph, down to first, let clutch out and nailed it. Expected at least a small hop outta the front. Brap, brap, pthhhh, braaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaap. Wow. Must've been doing AT LEAST 25mph at redline. Not impressive to say the least. Shifting. Oh yeah, shifting. Missed the first 3 shifts from 1 to 2 completely. This thing has the looongest shifter throw that I've ever seen. With your foot on the peg, pivoting up at the ankle to shift like you're supposed to, your foot doesn't have enough range of lift to complete the shift. You have to literally "lift" your leg up in the air about 4" to shift. And hard too! OK. No acceleration. Difficult shifting. OK, let's check braking. After getting it to redline in third, (about 60 mph!) I grabbed me a fistful of front brake. I said, I GRABBED ME A FISTFUL OF FRONT BRAKE!! :EEK: Brakes? Helloooooo, brakes? Where are you? STOP SIGN up ahead! SQUEEEEEZE!!!! Well, the front brake lever is the size of a tire iron and the distance from the lever to the grip is about 5 inches, no kidding. I squeezed hard on that bad boy. No, the lever didn't go all the way to the grip (glad about that!) but I hadda really get on it to get it to stop. BTW, those flimsy handlebars actually flexed while I was braking hard. Scary. What if they snap? Food for thought. Anyway. Rode it around the neighboorhood for about 15 minutes or so. No power anywhere in the rev range. In all fairness, I'm sure if a certified mechanic gave it a complete shakedown/once over, I'm sure it would run a little better. But my friends 125 dirtbike has tons more power than this thing. As I rolled it into the garage, my possible father-in-law-to-be smiled big and said "well, whaddya think? She's great, ain't she?" I just smiled and said "yessir, she sure is a good 'ol girl!" I'll never ride that thing again. On the way home, I did my first accidental stoppie. Grabbed the front brake on my bike and squeezed it like I was squeezing on the Midnight Special. Stoppies are scary when you don't know you are about to do one. This has been Cosmo's Antique Bike Ride Report. Stay tuned. Next week we ride a '74 Harley Nailhead. If we can get it to stop leaking oil all over the road....................
"May I please, remain in this space, for darts......"