As the former owner of both a 82 CB900F Super Sport and a 78 Porsche 928 (at the same time in the late 90s, no less)...I am at the center of this Venn diagram. If I was in the market for a street bike the CB1100 would be in my garage by nightfall.
It's amazing how ageing alters a viewpoint. When I was younger, I somewhat sneered at older guys whom I thought were trying to appear youthful by 'jogging' and driving what have become known as classic cars. I was a runner, no jogging for me! But now, with more calendar pages behind me than in front, I find that it's not as easy to just jog; let alone run, and I'm driving my 50 year old classic car. I have become what I once looked askance at, LOL!! 🙂
Last week I had to move quickly between an ambulance and a car 50 feet away, I dropped my cane and hobbled as fast as I could and made it before the ambulance left, the folks watching told me later I was *very* amusing to watch trying to run .
Great article. Love the prose. Like you, I'm a long time rider. I don't have the scars or metal souvenirs of adventure in my body as you do. However, I share your love of the very special place a great motorcycle provides a doorway to. (All is a procession, The universe is a procession with measured and perfect motion. Walt Whitman's 'I Sing the Body Electric'}
Good Morning Jack, This is a first for me so bare with me please. I really enjoyed reading your article this morning.I used to ride a 1984 cb700sc as my first street motorcycle. I loved riding that motorcycle. When my weekly work was all done , and my daily workout, It would be Friday night , and as a single guy, I had my choice of new toyota 4x4, 1969 Firebird 400 Conv’t, 1968 Camaro Conv’t, or my nighthawk!! The nighthawk won everytime!! Not because i was cheap , but because for me it was instant entertainment as soon as I swung my leg over the seat! I’ve had other bikes from go speedracer to harleys, but the one that stays in my mind( like a warm blanket on a chilly night) is the Honda! Thanks for the brilliant article, I truly enjoyed it.
We all have something we try to hold on to! My case, a 1979 Yamaha XS1100. Yes, this is a 42 year old bike but, 1/4 mile in about 12 seconds, shaft drive so no chain noise or vibration, and because it's the special version, the damn 100 mile fuel tank! At 68, I'm still riding it, just not as aggressive as I did at 25, when I bought my first XS1100.
You Sir, are a Doctor of philosophy, PHD or not. I've been blessed to have had quite a few bikes in my life, from Hondas to Harleys. After seeing the '13 CB while still riding a '75 CB750, I thought that could be my last scooter, and I let the old one go. Recently, I came across a used '13 CB1100 for reasonable money on Craig's List, and hooked up the trailer to go get it. I hadn't been on motorcycle in years, and upon arrival and after a short test ride, I decided against it. I still don't know exactly what precipitated my decision; was it riding position, was it the funky side stand action or was I just too old and beat up? Perhaps all of the above, or maybe I just want to count my blessings, now that I'm coming up on Medicare eligibility, but it had my name on it and I wanted it bad, except my aching ass and the metallic red paint shining in the sun just kept me from pulling the trigger...or maybe I'm just a Harley dude after all. That was the magic of the CB750, in my experience, you just can't beat the original, despite it's flaws or new technology, it's vintage, just like me, and to some extent that is what kept the HD Motor Company alive for 117 years, people come back for that old familiar connection, just like with Jack Baruth, honorary PHD!
Regrets, I've had a few. One would be selling the root beer brown '78 CB750F (Comstars were NEW, NEW, NEW! back then) on which I took my license test for $1,400 because I'd doubled my money. Another would be selling my perfect ZRX1200R because it had carburetors. Will I regret selling my pristine VFR800? Probably. Maybe not.
Ah! To savor one's own bitter heart! Having crossed the threshold from youthful arrogance to thoughtful maturity -cheating death isn't as much fun when you notice your calendar reserves have been depleted. 112 mph is plenty fast. Thanks Jack, keep the shiny side up!
Welcome to the old men's motorcycle club. I also qualify. I've given up 100 horsepower bikes. Nothing over 70 horsepower for me. I've been riding motorcycles for 54 years and just happy to be alive. Going slower is really quite enjoyable. I take my time and enjoy the ride. When I first started riding motorcycles, I would have been thrilled to know that I am still be riding as an old guy. At this point, I don't have anything to prove and neither do you. When I head out for a ride, my main goal is to pull back into the driveway at the end of the day. I hope that you stay safe out there.
After I crashed my last running 750CC boxer I bought a pristine 600, it's nice and all but lacks the power I like to have ~ having power and not needing it is far better than riding a full sized under powered bike . -Nate
I guess that it all depends upon where you live. In places with heavy traffic, it pays to ride something that can get out of the way. But whenever I've owned a 100 HP bike, I have been unable to resist using the power. I would wake up and 3 a.m. and think about the dumb things that I did the day before and consider the consequences. Riding a motorcycle over the long haul is a discipline. When you look at all of the crazy things that some riders do on their bikes, you might forget that. I found that it was easier to maintain that discipline when the temptation was lower. But then again, I ride country roads and might be a lot older than you.
First bike was a '79 750 Super Sport. I had no business buying that as my first bike but hey I was fresh out of college. My mom sold while I wasn't looking. A few years later I'm a Harley guy about your age. We're probably twin sons from a different mother. No regrets, that vibrating sawhorse would have probably killed me.
Outstanding writing Jack, I forwarded to my biking buddies. I was a non-typical bike novice. I worked for Harley and learned to ride prototype baggers that I built. I took my license exam on a borrowed Honda 360; my first purchase was an XLCR. My UJM was a Yamaha Seca 750, I still miss. My 1200 V4 became a PIA pushing before and after riding, and went by way of CL. With physicality in mind, a 700 parallel twin looks pretty good to me these days. BTW my Millennial son progressed from a K-250R to 600cc Sport bikes. He asked one day to ride the XLCR. He brought it back, cutting his trip short. "This is the most uncomfortable bike I ever rode." I knew that.
I bought a beautiful red 2013 CB1100 new, and kinda wish I had not traded it in last year. At first, I did not like the "aggressive" riding position, but soon became accustomed to it, and to the way it cut wind resistance. It had most everything I wanted in a bike (alloys, air-cooled, "standard" riding position), except the chain drive was a less-than-desirable throwback; shaft or belt for me, please! Unlike the author, my bike would get low-50's in MPG, once broken in. It never ceased attracting attention, and always in a good way. A great design, to be sure.