Thank you and the RC crew for the best ‘oldtimer’ bike mag I can get in Europe. I personally think you never need the engine with the biggest capacity if you are not a ‘speeder’. For example, the old BMW airheads. I own a 1000cc machine. This runs not very smoothly, due to 500cc in each piston. Compared to the 800cc version, there is a very big difference. That one runs much more smoothly and on very small country roads it is easier to handle, engine-wise, although the overall weight is much the same. Moving down to the small airhead series, the weight is 15-20kg lower and you have a very smooth engine as well as different frame geometry, tyre size, etc, which makes for really relaxed country riding. So it depends on what you want and need. Peter Wüster, member
I prefer to ride a little ’un, using all of its performance, rather than the crazy 150bhp monsters. It is far too much hard work struggling to keep such contraptions down to sensible speeds as they go into orbit at a smidgen of throttle opening. Due to the practicalities of speed limits, a modern scooter will do the same miles per day as a crotch rocket. When it comes to weight and height, and speaking as a geriatric with duck’s disease, size and weight are a big issue. Only basketball players can manage the current adventure-tourer craze.
With British vertical twins, in my experience, a 500 twin from Norton, Ariel, AMC, Triumph, et al, is much smoother than the larger capacity versions. Unless rubber mounted or of a modern, counter-shaft design, the bigger the engine the worse they are from the vibration point of view. The 500 Ariel twin is the smoothest vertical twin I ever owned, and the 750 Laverda twins can be nice and smooth.
Currently, my Piaggio MP3 three wheeler, Royal Enfield 500 Classic and the lovely slimline Easytoo suit me just fine. They’re a joy to ride.