Well I just got back from the bike show and it was great! I just thought I'd post a few pics here, hopefully some of you will be interested, at least I know Turbo will be
Yeah the 500 Manx was a real road-racing machine with lots of power and a low center of gravity. Being a single, it would vibrate the heck out of you at low rpms, but open it up and it would smooth out nicely. I didn't have a good place to work on bikes, nor adequate storage at my apartment, so I figured that restoring the Manx was too big a project. Also, I had friends with old BSAs, Triumphs, and Nortons, and none of them was as reliable and easy to work on as my CL450, and I used the bike to commute to construction jobs to save gas. Just bad timing - I'd jump at that Manx if it were available now. My neighbor had a CL450, too. We'd get together on a weekend and I would static-time them, synchronize the carbs, and set the cam-follower clearances, etc, then we'd take them out and run 'em hard to see if the tweaks helped or hurt.To bad you didnt decide to go for the norton. My dad said he had a chopped norton back in the day and that it was quite the bike.
I'd probably choose that kawasaki (pic 3), the others look like ornaments.
Yeah, like I said, the vibration at low RPMs is significant. The bike would have required a tear-down and a thorough restoration to be reasonably reliable. Those rascals are scary-strong for an old 500, though, and the roar of the exhaust is quite satisfying. I perhaps failed to mention that the vertical shaft driving the OHC was not properly sealed, so your right pant leg could get kind of oily.norton manx requires a chase vehical
to pick up all the parts that vibrate off
a buddy had one back in the 60's
when its was just a old racebike
and yes that's with saftywire and locktite
bits still rain off the manx
Don't buy a trike - you lose the essence of a bike. You might want to visit your local H-D dealership and check out the used "huggers" (lowered Sportsters). You can sometimes get good deals on the used ones, since soon after the smaller ladies realize that they can handle low cruisers, they often upgrade, and most H-D guys wouldn't be seen dead on one. I'm just short of 5'7" with a short inseam so I love cruisers and after a butt-busting 80 mile ride years ago on a borrowed XLCH I got "out of love" with H-D pretty quick. When the cushy feel and security of the big FL series got combined with the lighter Sportster front-ends (Superglides), I fell back in love quite quickly. Reduced weight, snappy handling, very torquey engines with a solid, steady feel through the turns, hell yeah! These cruisers with the light front ends and the weighty rear ends are very throttle-responsive. I love 'em!I like the blue three wheeler. Would my feet have to touch the ground to ride that one since it has three wheels? If Scorpa is too short at 5ft8 then I doubt I could ride many of them at 5ft2.
Yeah, there are compact bikes for short riders, and the Hugger is a good one that is often available at very low prices used, because it is seen as a "women's bike" and often men won't buy them unless they are really short guys. The 883s are quite capable machines and may even be a bit over-powered for a beginner, though someone who is mature and cautious would find them find them solid, reliable, and fun. A guy I know bought his wife a Shadow. Why? He is a died-in-the-wool H-D guy and he went cheap on his wife's bike. He could have picked up a Hugger at a pretty reasonable price, but now he is going to take a big depreciation on the Shadow when she finally gets her Sportster. I have a friend whose wife owns an 883, and when his bike was in for paint, he showed up at my blues jam with his wife's bike. I took it for a short run, and it was a pretty snappy machine. For a small person who wants to cruise, the Huggers are a good choice.Yeah I would never go for a trike, not only are they not a bike anymore but they are so expensive, the one in the pic was over 60 000. Like Turbo said a sportster would be a great bike for you larkspur, I sat on a few 883 and 1200's at the bike show and found they were comfortable, but maybe a bit on the smallish side for me. The Street Bob fits me very well. When I said my height was a problem, I wasn't meaning for cruisers, it is the enduro, on-offroad bikes, and dirtbikes I was referring to. Shorter people are at a bit of a disadvantage but there is always a bike out there for everyone.
A lady with good taste. I bought my first new Harley (a FatBob) in 1985. I paid $6500 for it, rode it for 10 years and sold it for $8500. H-Ds are not appreciating now like they did in the 80s and 90s, but they still hold their value better than the foreign bikes.For now I will just have to content myself with dreaming of the day I can walk into the HD dealership and get myself a brand new Street Bob or Wide Glide!