Readers of this review and potential riders of this bike have to keep in mind what this bike is intended for, where it was made, and its history. In short, don't compare this with the latest German and Japanese technology! that's an apples to oranges comparison. There is no apples to apples comparison on...
Readers of this review and potential riders of this bike have to keep in mind what this bike is intended for, where it was made, and its history. In short, don't compare this with the latest German and Japanese technology! that's an apples to oranges comparison. There is no apples to apples comparison on the market today for this bike. Mount from the left and the first thing you notice is that you don't need to balance. Sit on the tractor seat and your wallet and anything else in your back pockets will jam into your glutes - put wallet/phone/knife in your riding jacket and the seat is very comfortable. The rubber block holding the seat adds significant suspension. Controls, mirrors, and grips are easy and reachable. Foot pegs are soft and comfortable. Pull the left side manual choke, no need to wrap throttle twice (the old priming trick), push start button and it will start instantly. Pop choke back in asap to avoid fouling. Roller bearing engine with heavy flywheel means you must WAIT for the engine to lower RPM when you rev it. NOT modern Japanese bike! In neutral, pull clutch, LOOK BEHIND YOU, place right heel over chromed lever inboard of right footpeg, push down, no clunk, and go reverse. Easy, strong, and very very useful, especially in 2wd. CAREFUL! Reverse can be scary. Look forward, right heel can effortlessly flip chrome lever back up, push shifter down for first, CLUNK, and go. Bike has lots of torque, very smooth roller bearing engine, and non syncro trans. It will pull hard to the right when you gas it hard and pull hard to left when you let off gas abrubtly. This is sidecar inertia effect, don't be scared, learn to use it. Off road manners are a totally new experience. No more picking a line to avoid that rock or rut. Take your hands off the bars and it will just keep going straight, bouncing along. Earles fork is nearly indestructible, and the suspended front, rear, sidecar wheel, and rubber block seat do an excellent job of insulating you - again, this is NOT A JAPANESE MOTORCROSSER with 18 inches of travel! Put your wife and kid in the car, kid on back, and explore fireroads with a picnic lunch. Up steep loose hills, car will pull bike to right side and you will hate being stuck sideways with mom/wife/skeptic. Before big hill, engage sidecar drive, and it will go straight up. Amazing. On the way home, cruise hardtop with the whole family at 60mph. Why go faster? Why would you want to? Front disk brake groans at low speed but stops bike very well. Sidecar brake works nicely. My rear main brake wore out fast. The first gear should be 30% lower for trail/road/heavy load work. My valve covers rattled the threads right out of the heads (blocks fixed it right up.) Fuel lines rotted from the outside-in from Vegas sun/dry heat. Turn signal/brake light issues. Other than that, I love this bike and will hand it down to my heirs.