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Discussion Starter #1
are there any advantages to have ing a bike with only one cylinder:eek: , if not what are the problems with it, and how does it compair to a v-twin or 4 banger
 

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With a single...

... if you loose one cylinder, your F***ed! :D

I've ridden a Ducati that was only firing on one cylinder and it would easily get you home/to help. Come to think of it, it ran about as well as a 'healthy' Ducati does anyway! :D :p
 

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Discussion Starter #3
what I'm wondering is how the power would match up to a v-twin- or a 4 banger. is it going to run like a moped, or could it be a little gp bike one day? I know its reliable, and rebuilds must be dirt cheap because hey, theres only one damn cylinder. what are the downsides, jokes aside
 

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Singles, in your thinking of a cafe racer---

---are out. Even a V-twin is not that great unless you are looking for torque.The fours offer a hot trotting engine comared to the rest.
Just look at what the sidecar rigs (requiring torque AND power) are using & it is the 600 fours due to size under rules in the TT & FIM, but some Americans are running larger units as well for sidcar rigs including some real funky desert races with the strong leading link f/suspension to same being used by some of the on the hwy sidecar units.
The single & the V-twin gives one good flywheel torque but not the revs..
When I was building cafe-racers I went basically for vertical twins like Triumph, Norton, & BSA of the time though we had a lot of good singles & used them also as some loved the sound of the single like BSA Gold Star, & Velocette.
Had the present day fours been around this would have been my aim --yes there was the Ariel Square Four, but never used it as it was really a sidecar m/c & the engine could not be trusted.
 

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Yes there are many advantages of running a thumper (single cylinder). The two major advantages are weight and reciprocating mass. The reason that the 1000cc fours will never handle like a 600cc four even though they are the same weight is because of the reciprocating mass of the crankshaft. It's the same reason that lighter wheels are easier to trun..ie. gyroscopic effect. There are many guys out there racing SRX600 singles in more modern chasis' and they certainly handle well. They will flick from side to side very quickly. The have a good deal of torque but are realatively slow.
 

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SilentNEKO said:
what I'm wondering is how the power would match up to a v-twin- or a 4 banger. what are the downsides, jokes aside

Jokes aside takes all the fun out of it:D


Seriously though I've recently started thinking about a supermotard style of bike with a strong street emphasis. I saw one site that had a CR500 that had turn signals, lights etc. It looked street legal & like it could be alot of fun. I can't recall the name of the site but I found it by typing in the word "supermotard" in the search bar of AOL & found some really cool looking bikes.
If you want serious power though you're going to need a multi-cylinder bike.
 

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Thumpers are cool!

Hi SilentNEKO,


I own a 1983 Yamaha SR500 that I was using everyday for 10 years and really love it.
I really enjoy riding it (restored now) and love the thump thump sound.
The advantages are simple design, easy maintenance, low costs generally, great torque fro low revs.
The drawbacks are low power output, low rev limit, thy run out of steam on the highways.
There are many moderrn thumper in the market these days, ranging from the F650 BMWwhic is intented for new riders and is fashionable in Europe, to the Supermoto versions of Enduro bikes (KTM, Husqy, Husaberg). These give good power and are the BEST for fun, but are expensive, vibrate like hell and require a lot of maintenance as they are racing engines really.

As you don't have a bike at the moment, maybe an SR500 would be ideal for you as you can get one cheap and customize it as much as you like. The kick start is a problem for many people though, check that you can handle it first!
There are many firms specializing on these bikes, and they have become cult bikes!
Take a look at this thread and a pic I posted sometime ago.
http://www.sportbikeworld.com/showthread.php?threadid=14743&perpage=10&pagenumber=2

Aris
 

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Discussion Starter #8
ok guys, thanks for the replys, so let me see if I got it, its got great torque, but thats it. well the reason I asked is I found an 85 honda ascot ft500. heres a picture:



I know its shaft driven, but it looks like everything around here is. could this be a fun little racer, does anyone have any websites on it. it has a 6-speed so that will help with the speed. I saw one that looked like someone put ninja body work on it, it was funky.

the guy is asking $999, new fork seals, new rear tire, new battery, runs great. what do you guys think, is it worth it. oh do they get good gas mileage?
 

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FT500

Hi again,

The FT500 is NOT shaft driven, and it's not a good bike IMHO.
It had serious reliability problems from new, and I still remember the comment next to it in BIKE magazine back then.
It was 'Buy an SR500 instead'.
There is no kick start, only electric start, but it was failing almost immediately because of a faulty design (a plastic sprocket!) and the only option was to push start it!
The engine came from the XL500R and it's OK generally except for oil leaks from the head to head cover and cracked heads around the spark plug area. There is no gasket there, the cover acts as the upper clamp for the camshaft. Th ethreads strip by themselves afdter the head cover is removed.
I know all this info because I had a CB250 RS and the engines had the same design and the same problems.
Plus it's ugly :(

I suggest you look for a Yamaha SR500 or a Honda GB500 , if you decide to go for a thumper, it's much better engineered, and lasts for ever. The FT falls apart almost immediately, and it isn't faster although it has a 4 valve head.
If you insist on byuing it, check that the previou sowner has installed a kick start (expensive operation, because the right engine cover doesn't even have a hole for it and it needs many XL500R Honda parts), and that there are no oil leaks. Check for loss of air from the spark plug (from the cracks) and the threads of the 6mm bolts on the head cover.
Here is a picture of the FT500 Ascot so we are sure we re talking about the same bike. It sounded strange that you mentioned it was shaft drive :confused:
Check http://www.perardua.net/thumper/thumper.html for info on many singles.

Aris
 

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Discussion Starter #10
damn, that sucks, most of the info I found said it was reliable, at this rate I'm never going to get a bike. oh well back to the drawing board. thanks guys
 

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Discussion Starter #11
ok guys I've spent my 2 days off looking for bikes in my area,nothing but junk here. the only one I didn't look at was this ascot, should I go for it, I did some research and it turns out that cbr 600 front ends just slip right on as well as the rear wheel from a cbr600, could I use any body work from the cbr? I realize its not a very fast bike, but will it handle 2 up riding. also what speed will it get up to with the 6-speed. its just something to get me to work and have fun with, not looking for a race bike, just something sporty, and down here they are in short demand. what else besides what was said before should I know about this bike, what are the performance stats like(hp, top speed, 1/4 mile), thanks guys
 

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Don'y get desparate & buy junk or you will end up with major regrets:crying:. An earlier reply noted that you were better off with the sr500. Be patient & keep looking & expand your search area. I recall from am earlier thread you were staying fairly close to home in your search. I think it would be a much more fruitful search if you are willing to travel maybe up to 1,000 miles.
Good luck
 

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SilentNEKO, I didn't mean to discourage you when I said that the FT is not a really good bike.
As you saw in the link I posted, many people race them (AHRMA though as it's quite old) and have fun on them.
The starter always creates problems but these people don't really care because they remove it completely and bump start their bikes.
The ones that were in Greece have almost dissapeared now, as the costs are high for keeping them on the road after too many miles.
Also keep in mind that in order to install the kickstart, you have to change the head cover, with one from XL600 because the FT doesn't have the decompressor you need to use to kick start it.
Maybe the owner of this bike made these modifications and the bike is problem free, did you check it out?
In any case if you decide to go for it, try to rduce the price, 1000$ seems a lot to me, and I'm sure you could get an SR or GB for that money elsewhere.
As R6 steve mentioned, maybe it's worth travelling a bit further to see some more bikes.
Aris
 

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Discussion Starter #14
it would be great if I could travel that far, but I have no truck to bring it home in and I'd be by myself, I've gone as far as 300 miles to look at a bike, I am looking all over the state, and even looked nation wide and was going to ship it, but I want to be able to look at the bike in person. I'm not just buying junk, If I were I would have bought this gs1100 I looked at last night. ran good but was banged up and rusted. I don't think this bike was converted to kick start, but didn't they make replacements for the staters using metal gearing. all I want is something zippy, and comfy for my size. I don't need a 200mph rocket. just something that could get up to maybe 115mph. anything but a cruiser or dirtbike;) . everyday I run a general search in both my area code and my state. I've looked at almost everything I could get in contact with and go see, all junk so far.:(
 

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I don't really know how is the market in florida, I'm in Athens Greece many thousand miles away....

About the starter in the FT, it was not the gear as I thought, it's the bushing that usually causes the starter to fail. It seems that the people from that link I sent you, have found all the problems and sorted them out I saw that some of them use them on the road, so maybe it's worth trying. It seems to me that all of them have failed when they were new, so they should have been fixed by now. It's bad design, they could at löeast have kept the kickstart, because without decompressor, it's not easy to bump start these thumpers. You need to gain some speed first or have a nice downhill ;)
But keep in mind that this (or the SR or GB or any other similar single) is not a 115 mph bike!!
They have alot of low end torque, but HP is around 35 and top speed is around 90-95 mph solo!! Plus you can't really go 90 for long, just for a little sprint, cruising speed would be around 70-80 maximum. These are air cooled singles of 2 decades back. If you need to go 100 and a little above, you should go for a 4 cyl 750 at least.

Aris
 

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Discussion Starter #16
hmm 80 mph huh? well I'm not going to the strip, um ever!!:D
ok well it still doesn't seem all that bad, but I just found this bike on the market, it was just posted today I think.

http://adcache.cycletrader.com/5/1/2/27276512.htm

which would be better, they both look like they are in nice condition compared to what I've seen so far. wich would be faster, and handle better? which would get better gas milage. oh can you prime and paint chrome, I hate chrome fenders. but I love spoke wheels:eek: . so which one buddy, I'm at work till 3:30 then I will be seeing one or the other hopefully.
 
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