~Since 2004~
A site about memories, thoughts, photos, and unrepentant opinions about motorcycles and motorcycling after four decades of twisting the throttle.

Friday, February 03, 2006

A Different Drummer

In the world of unusual bikes the bike pictured above is definitely a stand out. Yup, it's a Yamaha Vmax done up as an adventure touring bike. Zowie. Can you say "roost!"?

There's a great message thread over on the Adventure Rider forum with great pictures of big, serious, slightly different off road bikes. The Vmax picture is borrowed from there.

I admit to a penchant for out-of-the-ordinary bikes, marching to the beat of a different oboe, and generally going my own way. When the Honda CB750 and Kawasaki 900 Z1 were the "in" road bikes I bought the BMW R90S. I bought a new Harley in 1986 before the H-D fad started. I got to enjoy the bike without the RUBs around (Didn't have to pay retail+ for the H-D, either).

Big 2-strokes always interested me. Why buy a Honda 450 or 500 when a Suzuki 500 twin 2-stroke is available? I had the 500 Titan and the GT550 triple from Suzuki. The Kawasaki 2-stroke triples were "in" so why go there? I admit to still wanting a Suzuki GT750 "water buffalo" now and again. Two years ago I'd set out to buy a Ducati, a bit out of the ordinary in a world of Japanese sport bikes and somehow wound up with an Aprilia Falco. The Falco morphed into the even less common Caponord. Ever since the Capo departed I've had the urge for another "big trailie" as the Brits call them. The first BMW GS bikes were great but now the new ones are tainted by being fashionable if not by exhorbidant price tags. Another Capo or a Triumph Tiger would be more fun.

In olden tymes when I raced motocross it was on Bultacos and Yamahas except for low budget stint a 100cc Honda trail bike that still had a working horn. I was fast on that little Honda (skinnier then too) and honest to gosh, I'd actually honk the horn at people when I passed them on the race course. Believe it or not there was a time when the 100cc class was a huge class in dirt racing and it was grown ups racing them, not kids. I recall someone (name escapes me at the moment) taking some over all wins in SoCal desert races a time or two on a 100cc Hodaka.

So I had experience with limited suspension travel and bone jarring rides and when I took a swing at vintage motocross back in the '90s when everyone was on Husqvarna and Maico, for me it was once again on a Bultaco. I'm not that smart I guess, just persistent and determined to do what interests me, not what's in.

I've kept in my collection of bike photos a picture or two of a really nice Yamaha 650 motocrosser I saw a few years back:

The idea of owning a slightly daft off road bike appeals to me. More than once I've browsed cycletrader.com for Yamaha 650's and airhead Beemers and thinking of doing something sillier than usual with my mad money. I confess to browsing older H-D Sportsters recently with the thought of building a "desert sled" out of one just for the fun of it. It's been done, of course. Way back when, I remember reading about a Sportster as a desert bike in Dirt Bike Magazine and a couple of masochists once rode a chopper (Triumph, I think) in the Mint 400. Some motorcycle folks do more than dream, some folks go beyond the usual unusual all the way to bizarre. I admire people like that.

I'm still pondering another big trailie and another Caponord would be a fine thing indeed but maybe something a bit more out of the ordinary would be more fun. In the mean time, imagine bounding through the brush on this BMW:

Cool.

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