why I love Honda cars and bikes

Honda engineering excellence

I have been a fan of Honda's engineering for more than forty years.

From the start Honda vehicles design and build were top class. Their tiny 29cc motorcycle motor is built to the same high quality standard as their luxury flagship limousines. This was not the case for most manufacturers.

The first Honda cars in Australia resembled their motorcycles mechanically.

They made 2 models that were air cooled small capacity vans that were quite good, but like motorcycles, if the motor is small it works hard.The smaller one had a motorcycle motor of only 360cc. the other was a 600cc motor.

There was very little difference in the two cars, but as with the later S series the larger motor came with some extras, and a price rise. I drove both of these machines when they came out, and build quality was excellent.

If you were not a lead foot, you could get around 60mpg at normal traffic speed from the 360.

Honda N360

360cc engine and it went pretty well.
360cc engine and it went pretty well.

These two little Hondas were a terrific idea at the time, with very low fuel consumption, plenty of space, good lights and brakes.

The body was prone to rust when left without maintenance and these cars are rare today except in dry areas where rust was not a problem. The motor was a simple air cooled single overhead camshaft motorcycle motor very similar to the CB360 motorcycle motor in design.

The bigger 600cc motor handled loads better and was stronger on the hills, and although a little more expensive, this model was used extensivley as a small delivery van.

The simplicity was brilliant. You could pull the motor out, rebuild it and have it finished and back in the car in half a day.

The body panel were very light and made from wonderful steel which could be moved by pressing on it with your thumb. If you got a small dent you could just push the metal back in to shape.

N600 Honda

The same size as the 360, but with a sporty 600cc motor it went quite well and was still economical.
The same size as the 360, but with a sporty 600cc motor it went quite well and was still economical.
Honda S600 sports car.
Honda S600 sports car.

Honda S800

This little Honda S100 was a real little tiger that would would do 100mph!
This little Honda S100 was a real little tiger that would would do 100mph!

Then the fabulous little S600 sports car came out, followed by the even faster S800 which had all the motorcycle racing technology Honda had been developing to produce horsepower through high revving motors that developed respectable horsepower . It may have been small, but it was quick and would top 160kph or 100 mph out of less than a litre of engine size!

I recall even the earliest models of Honda cars as being very quick with a long life especially of components like brakes and tyres. Those smart enough to buy new Honda's were rewarded with a very reliable small car that was cheap as dirt to run.

Once Honda had built a range of strong small cars they moved the stakes up and came out with the bigger Accords and then entered the luxury market with the then exotic "Legend" It was beautiful back then.

It had better than decent brakes, a 2.7 litre motor and although a bit heavy was a fairly quick touring car that was great around town and very comfortable with every luxury they knew about.There are still plenty on the roads of the world today.

Innovative design may be the secret to Honda's constant success but only because it is backed by impeccable engineering standards.

I have, on the whole experienced Honda car and motorcycles, to provide a general level of maintenance access serviceability and mechanical design that has been overall as good or better than any thing built.

I suspect. Mr. Honda and his teams of world class engineers may know how they have managed so well against the huge Toyota group.

The Honda Accord Euro.
The Honda Accord Euro.

Honda longevity

Honda's Track record is very good.

Let me say there are no really bad cars or bikes being made by the big 4 or 5 now, just some that are better than others at a particular job.

Yamaha Kawasaki Suzuki and Honda are strong competitors across a wide range of motorcycles.

Suzuki build nice cars as well but in my view their cars are mostly purpose designed to fit a price

I particularly like the Honda Euro from the Accord range. The fly by wire is a joy, car control is top draw, it is economical even when driven badly as it corrects crappy input.

Although I love the safety being offered in their top of the range euro, it comes at a pretty stiff price. Still, what price safety?

I still own a 1984 Honda mini car to get around in the inner city as I still can't buy anything as good as it.

It has done over 300,000 kilometers, has always been cared for properly and drives like new without ever having had an engine overhaul.

I put this down to a couple of things. I have not let anyone else work on it, and I keep the oil and air-cleaner fastidiously clean

I have owned an early Accord and apart from 2 design faults (petrol pump on this and several other models of Accord were terrible and prone to failure, the body on this model was prone to rust if the water release channels were allowed to remain blocked. It was a superb little car and very reliable once sorted out.

I have Owned 5 Honda cars. My family and shop managers all ran Honda's.

Honda's suit a wide range of driving styles as the motors are designed with a lot of technology to advance and retard engine timing ( both valve and ignition timing) so that low down torque and good power throughout the rev range make for good acceleration combined with great fuel economy.

My immaculate 1974 4 cylinder Honda Goldwing. Click to see full size. (copyright)
My immaculate 1974 4 cylinder Honda Goldwing. Click to see full size. (copyright)

Motorcycle rally in the city

Melbourne protest rally.Peaceful and successful rally against insurance increases organised and run and financed by my company Bikes&Bits.
Melbourne protest rally.Peaceful and successful rally against insurance increases organised and run and financed by my company Bikes&Bits.

Early model TC120 Suzuki

Earnestshub is not wearing a helmet!
Earnestshub is not wearing a helmet!

Honda motorcycles.

I saw my first Honda in Australia. I was about 10.

As a young man of 23 I owned managed and consulted to motorcycle shops until I retired at 50. I have stayed in touch since.

During all those years, like many enthusiasts,I kept a stable of favourite motorcycles to enjoy. I would keep a bike until through my shop I found something better to play with.

Looking back, I have owned a lot more Honda's than any other makes and models of motorcycles.The reason? Better overall engineering.

I have ridden, bought and sold more Honda's than any one of the other famous makes simply because they were plentiful and easy for me to sell as I like them enough to believe I was selling a very good product.

Despite gaining a reputation of complexity the 305cc Honda Dream was well named. It was a dream to ride and own at the time.The quality from the early model Honda's up to the current road and dirt machines has remained good, so they have always been good to own, service and ride.

The big feature of the dream was that for the first time in history you could ride a road motorcycle in a suit. The dream was so clean and oil free on the outside.Very different from the British offering which still dripped and sprayed it's fluids all over you. or the European bikes that although not as dribbley as the English bikes were still not without the odd oil leak.

Honda spare parts were always fairly easy to find and they offered a wide range of high quality motorcycles across every market, and continued to dominate or at least stay close to the top in all the motor sports for many years. Sometimes they were way out in front, but seldom behind the other big three Japanese makes and with few exceptions well ahead of all the other European offering.

I started motorcycling with an English Royal Enfield 2 stroke of 123cc with a hand gear change. The speedometer indicated a top speed of 45 mph. The bike did not get over 30mph unless it was downhill or you threw it over a cliff.(sometimes tempting with the Enfield!).

Nice Arial 600 single outfit

This was totally original including matching frame and matching engine and gearbox number. It had a complete history and had only used normal maintenance, and rode beautifully
This was totally original including matching frame and matching engine and gearbox number. It had a complete history and had only used normal maintenance, and rode beautifully

My first motorcycle shop 1967

This is the second site. This was the real start of Bikes&Bits in Seaford Vic. We had 3 staff Wow
This is the second site. This was the real start of Bikes&Bits in Seaford Vic. We had 3 staff Wow

Collectable?

1938 Royal Enfield in good working order totally un restored.
1938 Royal Enfield in good working order totally un restored.

Honda and other Japanese motorcycle development.

The Japanese motorcycles, small and powerful at first, soon grew in size and performance to surpass all but the most advanced Euro and American offering.

First we had small and medium small bikes enter the market but they were quickly followed by real performance big bores with masses of horsepower.

The first wave of Japanese bikes had a few problems but nothing too serious. Philips head bolts were not that serviceable on the early models especially Yamaha dirt bikes, and when they needed a cover removing and replacing new screws were often needed each time.

They had the usual niggling faults, like switches and wiring annoyances as well but were pretty sound and very reliable if looked after.

The Japanese motorcycles manufacturers quickly fixed these and other problems across the full range from 50cc upwards the British did not..

Honda Suzuki Kawasaki and Yamaha motors all fixed weak clutches, casing bolts, gearboxes and ignition systems usually on the next model with exceptions.

The later model motors up to and including today's offering from the Japanese are works of engineering art at it's best.

Honda's beautiful Z50 motors are a case in point. Start with a gentle push of the hand and it is barely audible at idle.

The finish and quality of the metal used, the machined surfacing and gaskets, the whole thing is almost perfect and makes no audible mechanical sound and almost no exhaust noise as a bonus.

The 2 stroke offerings from all four major Japanese makers were also amazingly clean, easy to start and well presented by comparison to earlier models, and all this happened within just a few years.They are out of fashion as road bikes currently due to pollution problems with 2 strokes.

I saw all this development from Japan, a bit from Italy and America and by this time had ridden most of the big stables including the up and coming Ducati, Laverda etc and knew my bikes pretty well.

I had particularly enjoyed Honda's for their bolted on reliability and had a couple of 50's a 125 twin a 250 dirt bike, a 125 trials bike a 1000cc 6 or two and a gold-wing in my Honda stable all at one time.

I also had a couple of favoured model of Kawasaki such as a 'Bighorn" for the dirt and an old 900 for the road as well as a much loved, seriously hot 3 cylinder air cooled Suzuki two stroke which went like hell.

I had favourite Yamaha's I kept for a fair while. An XS650 and an XS1100 . When I found a bike I liked more than something in my collection I could simply put mine on the sales floor and keep the new one, so I changed rides pretty often.

Even these great companies made many design mistakes, Honda included.

To be brief I will simply say it always surprised me how one make would run a bad component that was expensive to replace while another component would be a third the price and unbreakable on another make of bike and this occurred time after time.

Honda suffered from design problems as the other makes, Eg the infamous V4 camshafts or the CB400 twin rear wheels, but in my view Honda were faster than the others re-designing to get rid of some of the worst problems.


More Design faults.

I recall Suzuki ran a very expensive and over-sensitive voltage controlled regulator for more than nine years across most models. I made money converting a particular Yamaha one to fit exactly in place of the crappy Suzy one.

It was a major buzz because we could replace with vc regs off used wrecks and our customers loved it because instead of having the battery boiled to the ground and rusting the frame and seat, and a headlight or other globe blow every time it was revved a bit. No more trouble at all

Yamaha made a mix of two designs faults that when combined was bloody dangerous.

The lovely Yamaha xs650b was a great light tourer, Plenty of poke reasonable ride and fair handling, not a bad mix.

Now the first model had one of those clutch push-rod seals you need to think about. It has been cleverly designed to be replaceable without splitting the crankcases. This would takes 3 hour for a fast working highly skilled Yamaha motor engineer with years of training and the newer ones made it a 5 minute job.

Great idea.But would it stay in, or allow the oil to pour out of the gearbox if it pops?

While considering changes for the B model the rims had been a weakness on the previous model so Yamaha built a flange on to the rim of the XS650b.

Put the two together and you get what so many did, a bike with a rear rim filled with oil from the clutch push-rod hole where the seal was before it popped out..

I had my XSB episode when entering a long downhill mountain range.

As I peeled off gently in to a mild right hand-er the tyre got covered in aforementioned oil and I was a very busy and lucky man.

The rim had filled to the brim with oil and as I had been travelling straight it just built up.

I could write a list as long as your leg about design faults and engineering mistakes in motorcycles and cars up till 2000 or so but then it gets to be a bit harder to find fault. Since the mid nineties CAD seems to have made a proper marriage with engineering and leaps and bounds abound. he he

As there are many great hubs about new bikes already out there, I will just state a few reasons why I like Honda products so much.


Comments 25 comments

efeglo profile image

efeglo 8 years ago from Nigeria

Honda cars are very popular also in Nigeria but very few Nigerians can afford them.


gmleeman 8 years ago

Hondas have always been high quality, but they better lift their game with emission control systems and efficiency. According to The New Scientist (recent Sept 08) they score at near the bottom of the pile - where BMW is leading in fuel efficiency and low green house emissions. Buy one of each I reckon, and buy a few for Nigeria too...


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

efeglo, I would like to know more about Nigeria too.

Hondas are expensive here in Australia too, but there are a lot of used ones always for sale.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

gmleeman, Thank you for pointing that out. Your source is correct of course, and huge efforts are being made in this direction by BMW and others.

Honda will catch up if they stop mucking around with their latest hydrogen offering which is downright waste of time, and get back to refining their ice's.

I will offer that I do not like diesels very much despite all the assurances of being clean and quiet. They ain't very much of either, and the internal pressures are such that they must be heavier and so lose some of their fuel efficiency that way.


sherlynavia 8 years ago from United States

This is very impressive and comprehensive hub. Hondas are really very expensive.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thank you very much sherlynavia, the hub will grow as I get time to do more.

Yes Hondas are expensive. Reliable too!


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

I felt in love with Honda very late in my driving life. Before, I didn't want even to think about it, except about one very spicy and fast sport model convertible. My last car in London was Honda CR-V and I could tell only the best about it. Honda pays attention to details and it is very well constructed and manufactured. It allows you to really enjoy driving (and still keeping a very low profile). I completely changed my opinion about Honda's products after I thoroughly tested its car.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thanks for the comment solarshingles, yes they have made driving a pleasure with concise rack and pinion steering and very nice brake feel. i agree the Quality is outstanding.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Like you I'm quite fond of the Honda brandname it conjures up images of quality.

I used to work part time for a motor mechanic (50 years ago) and I was fitting a new head to the motor. he gave me a tension wrench for the studs. and told me a figure to set the wrench to out of the manual. However he misread probably to proud to put his glasses on and gave me the figure in pounds instead of ounces.

Only broke 2 studs before we realised the mistake.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

agvulpes

I can remember when Australian mechanics would assemble Japanese motors without a tension wrench and then blame the "impoted crap" for breaking studs.

Geez I am glad those good old days are gone. They just did not get the engineering beauty of these ices.


Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 7 years ago from Australia

Great hub Earnest.

I've got a CX650 in the garage which I take out from time to time, and I love it. (A complete contrast to the turbine like engine of the K-Series BMW's)

It's a bit non standard, as it has a a full  fairing.

About 15 years ago I had a CX500 - which was unkindly named the "Plastic maggott" by journalists and was rubbished mercilessly.

However, they were/are a great bike, and are not becoming very collectible.

I has the opportunity to buy a CX500 turbo in pretty well mint condition many years ago, and didn't. I'm still regretting that decision!

I've never owned a Honda car, but friends who do swear by them.

Cheers, Eric G.

 

 


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Thanks Eric. I also liked both the normally aspirated CX500 as well as the Turbo.

I think the 650 is a bit better than both though. Nice size 650, not too big etc. Like Goldilocks, just right.

Nice to know yet another enthusiast. By the way if you get a chance and haven't already, go drive a Honda Euro. They are so sweet. You like smooth?


Teresa McGurk profile image

Teresa McGurk 7 years ago from The Other Bangor

I don't know anything about engines, but here's a true story you'll like: when I was teaching English in Japan, I taught some classes at the Honda headquarters in Hamamatsu (incidentally, their motorcycle racing team was called "Team Escargot", which cracked us all up). One day on a smoke break I noticed a little old man in clean white overalls (they all wear clean white overalls. Even when they're dirty, they're clean) talking to an engineer about (what looked like) a wee bit of black rubber. They talked for ages, and the guys I was with said the little old man was the CEO of the company. Nah, I said, thinking they were pulling my leg. They insisted it was the boss. THE boss. The BOSS. What's he doing? I asked. Complaining about the "wee bit of black rubber" (whatever it was -- something inconsequential) -- it's not quite right, and he'd like it to be designed again. You're having me on, sez I. Nope, they insisted -- there he was, the boss, in overalls, insisting on the tiniest wee detail.

No wonder Hondas are good, eh?


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

A Great story, thank you. Your friends would have been telling you the truth.

Team Escargot is wonderfully funny!

Hondas are indeed good. I drove the 2009 Accord Euro 3 weeks ago. Very very good!

I was told a story about Mr. Honda by a trusted and dear friend who although gone now, told me he met him many years ago on the floor at Honda and then later at the test track where he showed his skill in "hearing" a lack of horsepower from the engine's sound then proposed the required modifications.Honda is held in very high esteem by automotive engineering nutters like me, and legends abound.

I am so glad you read some of my hubs already, and have enjoyed your comment very much.


Balinese profile image

Balinese 7 years ago from Ireland

Honda is still the best - i have one those i mean small engine only 125 cc .

worth it having a honda bike


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

So true Balinese. Their 125 cc motor is a gem!


qwark profile image

qwark 6 years ago

Hi Earnest:

I've owned bikes all my life.

I'm 60 now and still own my 1986 Honda Magna. It's been a wonderful bike.

I think the best bike tho that I owned was a KZ 750 I rode all over the USA back in the early 80's. Air cooled, it took all weather in stride and I could ride it both on and off road....power plus!

Can't beat Honda and Kawasaki.

Qwark


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

Hi Qwark, thanks for the comment. I liked th XZ750 Kawasaki too.

I also like the Honda 90 degree V4 from Honda. this 16 valve motor is sweet.


Honda Dude 5 years ago

Those 70s Honda bikes with the spoke wheels are so beautiful, would love to own one some day.


earnestshub profile image

earnestshub 5 years ago from Melbourne Australia Author

The best of the 70's Hondas are very collectible these days. I too liked the look of the Honda bikes then.

The new models are magnificently engineered but much more complex and difficult to work on.


used_trucks2010 profile image

used_trucks2010 5 years ago from Brooklyn, NY

A beginning pilot would not expect to learn to fly in an F-16 fighter or a wide body jetliner, so why do beginning motorcyclists expect to learn to ride on a 600cc sport bike or a heavyweight cruiser? Ideally, I would like to see beginning riders buy a standard 125cc motorcycle for their first street bike. There is a reason that so many Motorcycle Safety Foundation courses maintain their aging fleets of 125cc Hondas for their entry level classes.

These bikes are especially well suited to beginning riders of smaller than average stature, limited upper body strength, or limited confidence in their ability to master this new activity. Even very experienced riders find use for a small bike. One good friend of mine owns (at last count) seven motorcycles, including a couple of Harleys and a couple of hot sport bikes, but his daily "in town" ride remains a 30 year old Honda 90 trail bike.

Read latest honda bikes review on http://www.usedbikesmarket.com/


daviddwarren22 profile image

daviddwarren22 5 years ago

Honda cars are fantastic.


John Harris 4 years ago

I have owned other cars,including a Mercedes and a BMW. My 2009 Honda Accord V6,in my opinion,is the best car I have ever owned!


Uzma 2 years ago

A big selling point is the USB/Wallwart chegarr that comes with the helmet, which would allow me to easily recharge the helmet on the road using the USB outlet on my bike. A USB outlet on the BIKE? Does the bike have a rack on the handlebars for your laptop? This is sort of scary. The last motorcycle I had anything to do with (observation, not riding it) was my first husband's 500cc Honda in 1969. It didn't have any electronic parts at all, I think, unless you include the headlights.


Esther 2 years ago

If you check with mechanics they will tell you that the 650cc Yamaha v-star has one of the lowset service rates. That is to say, it spends less time in the shop than most motorcycles. I would go with the 650v-star with no miles as apposed to a 750cc shadow with 19,000 miles. The v-star also has ceramic cylinder liners for longer engine life. The shadow is water cooled which is just another maintenance area that will need attention. Plus, the v-star gets better gas milage.Edit, I checked Adam Stein's claim that 650 v-star's throw a rod about 50-60 thousand miles. I have found no such claim and seriously doubt that he is even a mechanic. Motorcycle consumer news rates the 650 v-star as a very reliable bike. They tested the bike clear up to it's top speed and it didn't throw any rods. I wonder if Adam Stein could list any sources or have any proof. Fact is the Yamaha 650-vstar is a reliable bike. I would think if the problem was so bad that he had 20 v-stars all with thrown rods that some reliable news source would know about it. Perhaps if he is a mechanic they all broke due to his work.

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    Before Honda Yamaha Kawasaki and Suzuki.

    Before the Japanese bikes came to Australia we could only find English, American, European or English bike to ride and although some were spectacular for the time, most were very average indeed.

    Triumphs.

    Triumphs were lying around in sheds all over Australia often with blown motors or gearboxes. There were many models of 650cc,500cc, 350cc, 250 cc available, but the smaller units were dogs in the most part, and until triumph put the "cartwheel" main bearing in their twins, they all got through crankshafts and crankcases if mistreated or when raced.

    Ariels.

    Ariels were very popular here too. Their flagship was the square four or squaffa as they were often called. It had four cylinders in a square which was unusual and similar to the Lancia square four car motors in layout.

    It was a bit of a lemon in the first series as they overheated the two rear cylinders if ridden hard or if the ignition timing was not kept exactly right.

    This was corrected somewhat on the second series and the Victorian police force used them for pursuit bikes. Problem was they would only do about 85mph and if ridden at that speed for any distance the motor would explode or seize. I found that the early model single cylinder models were pretty strong, but there were not many in the country.

    Nortons.

    Norton were famous for their Manx vertical single road racer which had 348cc and 499cc motors. Other well known models were the twin Dominator 490cc then the Commander which came later with a soft mounted motor.

    They made many fast machines and had quite a long history and successful racing history.

    The early models were amongst the first to make a decent clutch that was smooth and did not strip their centres out, as did BSA's which had a thin steel shell as opposed to the Norton's big strong clutch centre.


    BSA.

    Beeza's were made by British Small Arms, thus the BSAs should have been a real gun machine so to speak, as the English factory had plenty of good engineers and a lot of history.

    They made a lot of single cylinder motors. Two and four stroke models were both famous. The BSA bantam model was a small single two stroke which ran for many years with regular updates to mechanical problems culminating in a pretty good little bike that was basic transport for many here and all around the world. Their twins were quite nice especially the later 650cc which shared a lot of parts with Triumph.

    Velocette.

    Velo's as they were known made some damn good and fast models.

    The KTT or Katy was the very powerful racing model, but they were also quite expensive.

    They made another model the KSS with a less sophisticated motor, but the MSS was the most common on the road, and very few Katy's or KSS models exist today.They made a small funny looking "Ladies" model called the LE. They were bloody awful! I saw a few but was never tempted to buy one.

    Royal Enfields (I had a silver bullet Enfield ex grass track racer when I was 14 year old) it was very quick and dangerous, with no primary drive cover to stop the primary chain from tearing your right leg off. Royal Enfield made a good range of models, but due to the bad reputation of the G series were not very popular.

    I had a good stock of bikes and parts like Matchless AJS, JAP, with a smattering of the established Europeans like Adler, DKW, BMW,CZ and a few Ducati's that were left over from the previous motorcycle boom. It was an interesting mix of designs and approaches to two wheeled transport, but really fast reliable bikes were yet to come.

    There were some pretty good scooters like the GT200 lambretta and the Vespa, the electric start Heinkle was also reliable transport.


    Squaffa's and more.

    In a quick succession as a kid i owned 2 Royal Enfields, mk11 square 4 Ariel or squaffa as many in Australia called them and a side valve 250cc BSA..

    The Square four Ariel I remember took two kids to hold up, and the motor used Morris valves and other internals borrowed from Morris light car motors as we discovered after blowing the motor up. Dad knew heaps about that sort of stuff so in two days we were back annoying the neighbors with the squaffa.

    I followed with a triumph tiger 500 a BSA 250 side valve with sidecar, an obscure European 250 with a rotary gear change, a WLA 750 Harley Davidson another BSA 250 this time a C11 with real suspension back and front a BMW B20 250cc single cylinder, another BMW R60 flat twin then after not bothering with bikes for a while I built my first bike shop as a young man of 23.

    As my shops developed we started selling parts for all makes of motorcycles and started motorcycle wrecking in a pretty big way.

    We started stocking all sorts of weird things.

    Dianna Durkopp Adler, Heinkle, Rabbit made by Fuji Heavy engineering (Subaru) had two scooters on the market.

    The Fuji Heavy Engineering made the 250cc 2 stoke Rabbit Rollermatic It was a favorite of mine as it had a really efficient torque converter transmission, great suspension and cruised at 60mph with two people and luggage.

    The big rabbit was huge, but small alongside a Heinkle.

    We had Cottons (great performance at the time) and Greaves, Francis Barnett's Norton Dominators Royal Enfield Comets, silver bullets and G4s.

    Among the more elite of the time were the fabulous Vincents, the Brough SS100, the big Panther sloper the Indian 1200 Super Chief and many others I will write about individually as I develop the subject on this hub.

    I learnt about many of their design faults and made a good living with my engineering skills by picking potential problems with many different machines and their components then stocking the spares for them.

    A big factor

    I had my brother in-law who was ten years older and a motorcycle encyclopedia with me by the time I had my 3rd month in business.

    He was and still is a phenomena. He could identify makes and models of bikes from any manufacture or era, often able to quote details down to bore and stroke for models from the nineteen twenties,thirties forties 50 and sixties back then.He stayed up to date with his own motorcycle outlets for years longer than me. I hope he writes something one day.


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