Classic Motorcycle Mechanics

Have a Harley!


Though I’ve been a reader for over 20 years and a subscriber for the last five, it’s only now that I have retired that I have had time to gain some basic computer skills and been bothered to write in. Here then is my 1973 Harley-davidson Sportster XLCH. Though not totally original she has not been messed up with (custom) parts or chopped about like all too many have and retains much of the charm, style and character of a standard bike other than the ‘drag type’ exhausts as the standard small shorty silencers make rocking

horse poo look positively abundant! With a four-speed right foot shift, kick-start only engine, basic carburetto­r, marginal brakes, interestin­g switch gear and banana seat (not to mention flexi-frame and swingarm for period ‘handling’) plus oil system with NO filtration whatsoever other than 1000 mile oil changes, she makes for a VERY interestin­g ride. Which leads me to point number two: having read, enjoyed, and grinned at Scoop’s recent test/outing on the Guzzi T3 California (one of my other rides) if he thinks that was quirky then he should come try out the XLCH! The Sporty is here and waiting if he would like to try her out this summer! I think I can guarantee an unforgetta­ble experience if he’s up for it? A nice day out in the Surrey countrysid­e, what could be better? Over to you guys. Steve Meader

Bertie says: “Ha ha! Love it Steve, we shall see what Scoop says… and increase our insurance premium accordingl­y…” Having read Pip Higham’s article on the S90 I felt he was unfairly critical of the C200 and also the Honda 50cc engines. If you compare the 50cc engine with other 50cc engines fitted to bikes at that time it was superior to almost any other engine. Not only was it more advanced, its build quality was superior and it developed 4.5bhp whereas almost all other non-japanese engines developed about two bhp. With regards to the comparison of the S90 and C200 there is no doubt the S90 was a first class motorcycle but so was the C200 in its class. Pip could not understand why a 90cc bike was called a C200. He gives the answer in his article when he refers to the CB92 and the CB72/77. These were 125cc, 250cc and 305 cc bikes respective­ly. There are many other examples such as the C100, C102, C110 etc. all being 50cc. The numbering of it models was illogical but this was how Honda categorise­d their bikes at the time. The C200’s officially quoted top speed was 55.8mph not the 51 quoted by Pip. The S90’s quoted top speed was 62mph. Interestin­gly the torque of the C200 was very slightly better. There clearly was not a vast difference in performanc­e. Pip states the S90 “had the feel of a ‘real’ bike: there was a proper tank – with knee pads no less”. The C200 also had a proper tank with knee pads which also held 1.5 litres more fuel. In addition the C200 did in the region of 25mpg more. Pip states the C200 had a ‘soggy seat’. A better descriptio­n could be soft and comfortabl­e seat. There is no doubt the S90 was the fastest of the two bikes but it was designed as a sports bike whereas the C200 was more of a touring bike. Ron Clews

Bertie says: “Ron, it’s good to see you waving the flag for the C200!” cmm

 ??  ?? Meader’s muscle bike: is Scoop man enough?
Meader’s muscle bike: is Scoop man enough?

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