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MCN  says:

The best biking decade was...

What was the heyday of biking? Was it the arrival of cheap machinery in the 1970s, the exotica of the 1980s, the screaming two-stroke 500s of the 1990s, the technology of the 2000s? Or is it the present day, with biking on the rise again?  

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  • Posted 2 years ago (22 February 2013 10:43)

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Feb 09

Posts: 515

While not wishing to get splinters in my chuff from sitting on the fence, surely each decade of biking has / had its own unique attractions?  From the pioneers, to the development of machinery and riding kit to the present day, it is a huge and varied range of accomplishments on show. Single cylinder belt drive, twins, multis, watercooling, turbos, cafe racers, board racers, choppers, streetfighters, race replicas, trailies - look at the sheer diversity on offer.

No one decade really stands out, but if I had to choose, it'd be the 70's - I passed my test in ahem harumph er yes, the music was shite, as were the fashions, but the bikes - Jota, Guzzi Le Mans, Z1, GT750, CB750, Munch Mammoth, Van Veen OCR, DKW 2000, RE5 etc and far less traffic and nasty plod  - what a time!


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Oct 10

Posts: 189

zoobaz says:

Hey TrumpetTriple

Suzuki AP50 - now you're talking!

that was my first road bike - after various FS1e and Puch hybrids I used to ride round the local waste ground on...

I managed to blow the suzuki up, not difficult really so I changed the engine for a Suzuki A100 unit - visually similar and bolted in, needed a different exhaust (modded micron from a GP100), footpegs instead of pedals, forks from a Honda CB100 with the disk capiper, Suzuki X5 wheels (with a disk instead of drum), and a Yamaha Townmate swingarm (without the pedal attachments).

it was the quickest '50' of any of my mates bikes - and still registered as a '50'. used to get pulled by local plod reguarly but none of them noticed...

Plod in the early 1980s seemed a bit more lenient than today, however they probably had more important things to worry about - such as the miners strike.

in the 1980s the city pubs used to shut at 10:30pm, whereby the pubs on the outskirts used to close at 11pm, so you'd get a manic stream of drivers heading for the suburbs at about 10:35 to get last orders - one of them totaled poor old 'Ape Sh1t' (as it was nicknamed) one evening and didn't stop - so that was that for a year until I bought my CB250RS.... what a Honda icon!


Baz (looking on ebay for AP50 projects!)

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Jan 13

Posts: 28

Boxer12 says:



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Aug 02

Posts: 1002

ANichol says:

I'd say now

Whilst there are some bikes that I mourn the loss of (RC45, Aprilia RS250, 1990s Triumph Thunderbird Sport) the range and choice of bikes and their quality is truly staggering and easily overlooked.

Yes, we now have too busy roads and speed cameras. We also have trackdays and more offroad opportunities, foreign jaunts, and so on. Golden age? Only just beginning

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Aug 02

Posts: 554


Brilliant stuff, mine had a 65cc big bore kit on supplied by the Feridax rep at the time, still only did 50mph but got there a touch quicker with a gnats more torque, RJH 157R, i wonder if it's still going.

RD250DX for me in 1980, blue one with cast wheels .. VLF 495S where are you now?

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Mar 07

Posts: 20

mix4pix says:

Bike mag

Anyone else remember the article/test on the then new Suzuki RE5? ..... and as a way of a discount sir, we'll throw in a 'bullworker' Also makes me chuckle.

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Jan 10

Posts: 431

rlf3 says:

defo the 80s

In the 80s everything changed.

So many influential bikes were developed in the 80s, no decade before or since has seen so much improvement.



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Apr 12

Posts: 320

DazLoczy says:

No 50's & 60's?

Plenty of folk still on the road who rode in those decades, there's a guy a know who was riding in the 40's who up until last year was still riding. I know someone who swears the late 50's/early 60's was the best (me dear old Nan who used to tour the country with my granddad on his Vincent Black Shadow). Little traffic, few regulations, wax jackets, cafe racers and rock'n'roll - sounds great! But personally I'd choose now. You can't really go wrong when buying a brand new bike (jury still out on Chinese machines though), plenty of different styles to suit your riding with performance and reliability to boot. Plus if you must go retro there are plenty of motors out there and lots of meets and rallies should you be so inclined.

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Jan 11

Posts: 8400

snev says:


having a "Wankel" in them days was, erm, a bit risky.

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Sep 10

Posts: 120

daveire says:

Its got to be now. Bikes have got better with time, its just romantic nostalgia. I still have my old oil cooled gixer 750 which when I first bought it I thought it was the best bike in the world. But its a pig towards my recently bought zx 6r. And I recon the S1000RR is a few steps better.

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