How will modern bikes age?

New Commuter700

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I understand the appeal of working on the old, simple motorcycle components with your eyes and hands. But when I think back to the finicky nature and relatively poor reliability of 1970s cars and motorcycles, I have no desire to return to those dark ages. Today I push the start button on the NC and instantly ride off with a perfectly running, reliable engine In all conditions. No way would I want to go back to carbs, manual choke, breaker points, weak electrical systems, oil leaks, etc. It’s even crazy that in 2020 we still need to mess with chains for final drive.
SHIMMING valves, setting quad carbs... Yea I agree with you. Back when I was a kid (in the 70s) we felt that 20,000 miles out of a motorcycle was great. We knew Harley's did better than that but that was because they were so expensive to start with that people paid to get them repaired, a lot. Now I'm happy with a modern motorcycle that I expect will go to 100,000 miles with a lot less frustration.

As for chains, I'm glad this bike has one because swapping the sprockets was easy. If my wife lets me get a cruiser bike I will probably go with shaft drive like my last one. I do wish that we could have self-adjusting valves, like EVERY car though.
 
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BFair

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One thing manufactures are good at are making cool bikes in a wide range of styles and purposes.

Less performance reliability tends to go up. Low rev high valve life, 13,000 red line, shorter valve adjustment intervals. I never bothered with valve adjustments on most low revers. ST1300 in spec after 30,000, CRF 450, every season. Our CRV has mechanical valves. Still not an issue.

It's performance that drives motorsports. Technology drives sales. I guess we can't have one without the other unless we go back to the 70's.. I think we can agree we don't want to go back there except as a novelty or to rekindle our roots of riding.

I like the relationship I have with all my bikes through "progressive maintenance", sort of a mutual respect. Screw up and it bites back, get it right it rewards you. I would never like to see a bike or car that is totally maintenance free. Although, if there are any moving parts it won't be.
 

MZ5

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I do wish that we could have self-adjusting valves, like EVERY car though.

Unless you drive a Honda. (-: I still have to check and adjust the valves on my 2013 Honda pickup. I've heard Honda might have _finally_ come into the 20th century with HLAs on some of their engines, though.

Just funnin' ya, of course. I agree that durability and reliability are very good now, and SHIMMING valves is just awful (like you still have to do on most sport bikes).

I don't think I share the notion that people are less attentive now of their cars than in the past. I suspect that, proportionally speaking, things are pretty similar now to the past in terms of who knows or pays attention to safety checks, maintenance, and general upkeep. Those of us who like or want to know about our vehicles, we'll still learn and keep track of them even if they have idiot lights for us. Those who aren't interested still won't.
 

Afan

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I think the bikes are following the smart phone pattern. Remember when the mobile phones area started? It was only phone. And texting. THEN came camera, front and back camera, internet, emails, online music, online banking, GPS... The gadgets are becoming less and less phones, and more "mobile, pocket-size computers". Are these apps and modules helpful? Yes. Are they necessary to make a phone call? NO!
So the $20K biles with LCD and tons of sound, suspension, riding type, ABS,... options. And it's getting "worse".
So many times I was thinking to find myself an old, mechanical bike, with no gadgets, easy to maintain... But don't forget, with the new technology the engines itself become more reliable too, right?
 

Janus

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I think the bikes are following the smart phone pattern. Remember when the mobile phones area started? It was only phone. And texting. THEN came camera, front and back camera, internet, emails, online music, online banking, GPS... The gadgets are becoming less and less phones, and more "mobile, pocket-size computers". Are these apps and modules helpful? Yes. Are they necessary to make a phone call? NO!
So the $20K biles with LCD and tons of sound, suspension, riding type, ABS,... options. And it's getting "worse".
So many times I was thinking to find myself an old, mechanical bike, with no gadgets, easy to maintain... But don't forget, with the new technology the engines itself become more reliable too, right?
I think manufacturing techniques and material science advancements have more to do with reliability than gadgets, but I will concede that those are forms of technology.

The Suzuki DR-Z400 has had many examples surpass 100k miles and the most advanced technology on it is a LCD screen. The DR650 is even more renowned for rugged reliability, as is the KLR650.

Some things just don't need to change much.
 

BFair

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We are starting to see more "systems" added to bikes. We are used to a mechanical machine with expectations that it will start and run reliably. No one complained about the electric starter. Battery, relays, hey you could still bump start it.

The electronics like Afran described are merely system add ons, "it's still a phone" it's still a bike. Use them or not the bike remains. It is the depth of the integration I'm concerned about.

I recently learned you can bump start a fuel injected bike with a battery less than 12 volts. Some systems only need 7 or 8 volts to run the fuel pump. Well thought of. Bike starts, stator makes 12 volts, computer is happy your on your way.

"Nanny mode" scared me. I once blew a main fuse on a busy freeway on an 80s era bike. I guess that was "Nanny or limp mode" Had to pedal like Fred Flintstone to get off the highway.
 

Janus

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However, there are things to be fixed on those bikes. On the KLR it's the Doohickey.
TIL 'KLR Doohickey's is a technical term.

Depending on who you ask, the DRZ also has a Doohickey, the Automatic Cam-Chain Tensioner.
 
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