Nice, Rob. What bikes do stand out in your mind?
My 919 for abundantly obvious reasons.
1988 Blue Honda NT650 Hawk. Underpowered, weak trans, stellar chassis, and my introduction to Michelin radials. Ultra reliable and despite a small tank was a quite good touring bike. Turned 100,000 miles on Glendora Mountain Road. Appropriate, no? Put 140,000 + miles on it and retired it when the trans packed it in.
A full race prepped Yamaha TZ750 motor producing 205 RWHP mounted in a Hindle frame. Curb weight 269 pounds, with me on it a weight to HP ratio just over 2.2:1, and an absolutely terrifying ball to ride. To anyone who is a horsepower junkie it has to be the ultimate fix -- and potentially deadly if you don't know exactly
what you are doing.
Probably most surprising, a 1946 Harley Davidson UL flathead hand shift suicide clutch. I know: me on a Harley? Primitive tech notwithstanding it was quite fun to ride despite abundant vibration, severely limited performance envelope (Implying it had any performance at all!), brakes that produced more noise than stop, and a maximum lean angle that was laughable. Memorable nonetheless, and the only Harley I've ever ridden.
Laverda Jota 1200 XR. Full race build with god knows how much power. Was clocked by several police radar guns at 158 MPH on Pacific Coast Highway while I was doing a plug chop.
1976 Yamaha XT500 ridden stock for 1,000 miles, then torn down and thoroughly cafe'd. Go here for picture:https://www.wristtwisters.com/forums/...html#post72212
Post # 45. Still have it.
1976 Maico MD250 I got free from Les Shar. See my avatar. One of only two ever in the U.S. Had been abused and seized when I got it. Stripped it down and rebuilt the motor with only a new Mahle single dykes ring piston and two rings and a rod kit for the lunched crankshaft and only an exploded view of the motor as a guide. Everything else I had to make or do without. Made gaskets from old work order hard copies, and had to do a lot of guesswork to get the byzantine shift mechanism to function at all. Stripped down to the absolute minimum it weighed only 196 pounds! Tuned the motor for more power, did all the necessaries to put it on the track, and judging from top speed numbers produced about 38 HP. Ran it in the 250 prod class and despite 33mm forks, surprisingly effective double backing plate SLS front drum brake, original Girling shocks, and a willowy chassis won lots of races on it. Taught me the value of ultra smooth control inputs and maintaining as much speed in corners as possible. Surprisingly, it was completely reliable for 3 seasons of racing, needing only the occasional N2G Champion spark plug to keep it happy.
There are probably a couple more but that's all I can think of at the moment.