There are survival bikes, and then there are survival bikes. If I get permission from the owners, I’ll post up some of the better examples, but for now here’s one that I’ll be working over:
These bikes actually have a bit going for them, as far as the survival bike idea goes.
- Cost is dirt cheap…$200 for this one (but I’m selling another vehicle to the seller…so effectively, I’m trading one for one)
- Reliability. Hell, it’s a Honda boxer engine, water cooled, and minimally stressed. With some decent care, not unusual to see these engines go over 150,000 miles.
- Durability. Yeah, it’s heavy. Frame’s heavy. Engine’s heavy. But it’s built hell for stout!
- Maintainability: Shaft drive. High mounted air filter. Easy to get to fluid fills.
- Very low center of gravity, and a very stable machine.
But of course there are cons to this too:
- Decent rubber is getting harder to find
- Some parts are harder to find
- Did I mention weight? If not…Weight
- no kickstarter, at least for this model. Earlier Goldwings, interesting enough, did have kickstarters. I’m thinking I’ll be looking for an earlier Goldwing too, eventually.
- Some systems on it are needlessly complex – electricals for instance. Tons of crap that Honda planned as accessories lead to a wiring harness that’s pretty interesting in places.
- Not a terrific fuel mileage machine – most examples seem to roll in at around 40mpg. But I have some things I’m going to try with this one, might go to a single Weber carb. Might try propane. Might try alcohol/water injection. Etc. Different timing profiles…it’s all an experiment.
- Engine is an interference design. If you lose a timing belt, new engine time. But timing belts last quite a while, and you can find them for about 14 whole dollars, so it ain’t too bad.
I’ll update this as time goes on, and I’m keeping a thread running at http://www.ngwclub.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=30&t=52580