Philosophy and Motorcycles

Philosophy and motorcycles are two of my favorite things in life. This blog will be bits of wisdom gleaned from a misspent youth and an adventurous dotage. People who like/love wisdom or motorcycles, classic or modern versions of either, are welcome to visit and comment.

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Location: Wisconsin, United States

I have been married to the same lovely woman for decades. We have one son, two cats, and live in rural Wisconsin, USA. I ride and rebuild motorcycles, and I am semi-retired. Favorite bikes are Yamaha XS650, FJ1200 and Ducati 900SS. My wife is a home care nurse. I am a Myers-Briggs INTP. She is ESFJ. Our son works at the Apple store in downtown SF and is teaching English as a second language in San Francisco, no grandchildren.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

I am finally back. Unlike some people who find time to write daily I am generally to busy to write more than occasionally. My only news is that I am currently selling a BSA for a friend and selling my wonderful 1971 Yamaha XS1B, a 650 also. The differences in the machines are very apparent. The BSA is a 1966. It has the usual BSA pushrod operated valves. Both are two valve per cylinder 650cc engines. There the similarities stop. The BSA has a tiny front brake while the XS1B has a large leading shoe brake. Gordon Jennings wrote of the early Japanese motorcycles that the only reason they put oil in the shocks was to keep the seals from squeaking. I concur. For this machine I have new Mike's XS shocks patterned after the originals but with a bit better action. Still not good but better. I haven't ridden this BSA nor any other for a number of years. I do remember them quite well. My BSA of the same vintage had a far better ride than the Yamaha. The frame and fork stayed composed where the Yamaha frame and fork seem almost at odds with each other. The Yamaha fork feels flexible by comparison. As for style I find them both to be quite attractive machines. If I could find a brand new example of each I would opt for the British machine. At their current ages I will go for the Yamaha for its reliability and ease of parts availability. I would not relish the thought of taking either on a cross country trip because since owning my BSA my body has aged beyond enjoying either of these except for local trips. Having said that they are both wonderful machines for use locally. A hundred miles passes quite pleasantly. When I compare either of them to my Moto Guzzi from that era I am amazed at how much I prefer the Guzzi. There is a machine on which I can rack up distance. To each his own. I hope both 650s sell. I am selling about 2/3 of my collection to concentrate on some more original projects like my baby Ducati and an XV920R cafe project. It is too hot to do much today but that will end soon enough. Living in the north as I do the heat does not last more than a few days. Still at 96+ today I am moving slowly. I just completed a rebuild of a Honda CB500T and have that for sale also. As a commuter machine it is great and a very pretty machine in candy red. Be well. LN


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