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2001 Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar Classic and 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
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Discussion Starter #1
When it comes to motorcycles, looks are important to me, but not vital. I cannot say that my Deauville is a beauty, and the MT (FZ) 07 is definitely not good looking, but they perform well within their roles. I think my XVS650 Classic is good looking. Those three occupy my garage at the moment, although the 07 now belongs to our youngest son.

But some background. I was born in 1964 and the, I must say obsession, with bikes began the day I turned two, when I got a tin wind-up racing motorcycle with sidecar for my birthday. It did not live very long, but I still remember it. According to my mom, I had already shown interest in motorcycles, hence the gift. But other than some memory glimpses of strange headlights and weird front fenders, which must have been MZs and Honda Benlys, it was not until the neighbor bought a Suzuki AC50 in crisp green that I began observing specific models and rated them as more or less beautiful. The AC50 was more, the MZ less. Or rather not at all.

The neighbor upgraded to a T500, a friend of his got a Yamaha R-5, which was later upgraded to an RD350. I believe I must have been eight or nine when I saw my first CB750K Four. It was orange flake, same color more or less as the older T500. But it was this, shall we say classic? look of the Japanese motorcycles from the late 60s/early 70s that shaped what I liked regarding looks. Then came the late 70s, and I became torn between the classic look and the new trend with cast wheels, sharper edges, duck-tails and integrated cloak. It started with the 1973 Kawasaki Z1, 1976 brought the XS500, then came the Z1-R as well as the Guzzi 850 LM1 in 1977. 1978 brought Yamaha XS1100, Honda CBX and CB750F2, and Suzuki GS550/750/1000E. Then 1979 brought us the stunning CB900F Bol d'Or, and the very square KZ400G, KZ1000Mk2 and ST plus the KZ1300 from Kawasaki.

Today, I still find myself primarily attracted to the looks of what you may call the UJM, both the wire wheel, rounded models and the squarer look with cast wheels. Or composite wheels in the form of Honda. It may be wrong to say the square look is beautiful - highly appealing my be more correct. Beauty may be a better description of the classic look.

So which bike do I think is the best looking/most appealing of all times? It is this:


So why do I not own one? Two reasons; I know I would ride it too fast too often, and listening to an inline four droning underneath robs a lot of riding pleasure for me. I still think it is the most pleasing bike overall to look at that has been made.

However, I also think this looks nearly as great, but it must be the twin disc model:


And then there is the amalgam of the two:

Or this:


But I also like cruisers, like this:

And bobbers. And scramblers. And streetrackers. And...

We are lucky that we have so many bikes and styles to choose from. Still, my favorite style is founded on the UJM, whether older, newer or a combination of the two designs.

So, after again using way too many words to explain what the pictures could do alone, what is a beautiful motorcycle to you? And do you go for looks over function, function primarily, or a bit of both when you pick a bike to own?
 

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I am a cruiser kinda guy all the way. My taste in looks has changed over the years as i have aged over the years. Never been able to palate a bagger but the older i get the closer i am. I like the vintage look a lot. That is why i am right now. The reason i have a vstar classic is because it is the perfect look. It has to ride good also so that is not a problem. I think my classic has the perfect look. The only thing i might change is addition of passing lights.
mp3.jpg

There i said it and now you have it!
 

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My main thing is functionality, its purpose, & how well is it mechanically.

Looks does tie into it as well. But, it is not the main reason I like a bike.

Ride smart! Ride often!
Ditto on that Scrumdown, a motorcycle is a tool that you use to go places.
Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder!
 

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2006 Stratoliner, 2014 Triumph Rocket III Touring, '81 XS650SH Project
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Beauty is also painful. Take my physical therapist. She is drop dead gorgeous; and hurts me more than any man ever.

Same for bikes; The VMAX is one the best looking machines to me. And boy di that hurt.
2009.May.jpg
Aug.2009.1.jpg


The FZ 1 is also a favorite beauty, same thing; painful as all get out.

68697128_10218017281076660_5708783784388722688_n.jpg
69053255_10218017281396668_3963472193857257472_n.jpg
 

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For me, it’s a combination of things. Mechanically, it must be sound and reliable as I’m in no way a mechanic.
I like the clean look without a lot of farkle and unnecessary bling. I grew up in a blue collar neighborhood, so most of the bikes that I was around were Honda’s and Yamaha’s. They were quick, reliable, and easy to work on. HD’s and Indians were ‘rich folks’ bikes, and HD’s we’re always associated with biker gangs.
I’ll never forget the teenager in my neighborhood that bought a brand new Honda CB 750. Nobody could keep up with it and we thought it was the best sounding and looking bike out there.
Fast forward multi decades, not much has changed in my taste as I like bobbers, cafe racers, and cruisers, especially liking and appreciating the work put in in building a bike. My ultimate goal is to have one of each. I have the cruiser, my RoadStar, I have the bobber project, my 96’ Virago 750, and I’m always keeping an eye out for a cafe racer project. I’ve always appreciated the British bikes and ridden several influencing my desire for them. Each bike has its own uniqueness, and quirks, and I enjoy working on my own bikes so I can learn and understand its functionality.
You’re never too old to learn, and ride!


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2001 Yamaha XVS650 Dragstar Classic and 1999 Honda NT650V Deauville
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Discussion Starter #10
I owned a Triumph 900 Sprint. Functionally, it was excellent, with a suspension that flattened just about any bump into nothing, strong brakes, grunty engine, quite good seat, useful wind protection and a sporty but comfy seating position. But it left me cold because it wasn't important to own, despite its performance. I never wanted to turn around and have another look. It was simply an appliance. Even the dull Deauville evoke more emotions with me. Anyway, it didn't take me long to total the Sprint, which sort of solved the issue.

On the other end of the spectrum, I had an Intruder 1400 that was not doing anything well other than accelerate like a bat out of hell in top gear thanks to an abundance of power, reasonable weight and fairly low gearing from its 4-speed transmission. But the looks wasn't all that bad overall, and the engine is IMO the best looking cruiser engine of all times. Just like the original CBX engine is the best looking engine in the history of engines. However, back to the Intruder; it was a bike I enjoyed to own, even though it was not as much fun to ride as the Sprint.

What I am trying to explain in way too many words is that even the most rational among us will be affected by emotions, and nobody consistently make the most sensible choices. We tend to go for what makes us feel good when we can. Or?
 

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It is interesting that some have the grease monkey gene and some don't. My son dosn't my daughter kinda does. I have friends with Harleys that can't change the oil. They look at the bike a little different than I do. Style and name seem to mean more than how long and how well it goes down the road. I like to make machines work. Give me a long steep hill and I will make it climb.
 

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So which bike do I think is the best looking/most appealing of all times? It is this:
I like the looks of this one the most. The Triumph looks good, but I don't like the rear fender. I mean, all of us can appreciate a good looking rear fender, right?
I've been on my Vstar1300 for so long, I don't know if my hips and knees could take riding in the neutral position. I sat on a friends sport bike and could not get my right knee to bend far enough to reach the peg...crushed my dream of riding moto-GP. Sad day.
 
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"Houston we got a problem" So were they operator error or flukes?
Two accidents, and at least two posts detailing a car encroaching into his lane. Fluke doesn't come to mind.
 
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@vito @scootersage, Yes two crashes, and yes I own them both. The VMAX crash was Aug of 2009 in the Rockies. decelerating head shake at 35MPH began the mishap. Had I leaned more and got back on the throttle, all would have been well. Instead, I tried to get straight to apply brakes. My transition from leaned over left with head shake became full blown tank slapper as I moved upright.

The FZ1 crash was an impact with a fawn in Aug 2011. I may have been slightly over the posted speed limit by 25ish MPH when I entered the curve on a wooded exit from the freeway.

I broke bones in both but gear and a cool guardian Angle kept me safe from the worst of it.

I am not sure I can own the freeway cages merging into my lane though. Unless not being there to begin makes it my fault...
 

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@vito @scootersage, Yes two crashes, and yes I own them both. The VMAX crash was Aug of 2009 in the Rockies. decelerating head shake at 35MPH began the mishap. Had I leaned more and got back on the throttle, all would have been well. Instead, I tried to get straight to apply brakes. My transition from leaned over left with head shake became full blown tank slapper as I moved upright.

The FZ1 crash was an impact with a fawn in Aug 2011. I may have been slightly over the posted speed limit by 25ish MPH when I entered the curve on a wooded exit from the freeway.

I broke bones in both but gear and a cool guardian Angle kept me safe from the worst of it.

I am not sure I can own the freeway cages merging into my lane though. Unless not being there to begin makes it my fault...
I have had them shimmies at high speed with my 76 FLH I thought it was the end. Glad you made it out ok. Peace
 

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Didn't mean to be so sarcastic I apologize. But ya know one of the benefits of getting old is you can say what you want and don't have 40 years to regret it.
Another benefit is when you miss the sarcasm, and, wait, what were we talking about?
 
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