Poll
Question: What are your thoughts on a middle weight ST or ADV machine with hydraulic valve adjustment and shaft drive?
Love to see it - 29 (72.5%)
Don't care - 9 (22.5%)
Hate it - 0 (0%)
But hydraulic vales won't spin to 15K rpm!!!!! - 0 (0%)
I like cleaning and lubing chains. : P - 2 (5%)
Total Voters: 40

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Topic: Am I the only one?  (Read 13434 times)

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« on: October 15, 2014, 10:53:26 pm »

 I want to see middle weight ST and ADV machines with hydraulic valves and shaft drive.  

 Call it what you will, but I am at that point in life where I call BS on periodic valve adjustment and chain maintenance for non-track bikes. I do not need every Nth squeezed out of a motor or a valve train that can take 15,000 rpm. About the only thing I want to do is change oil, gas it up and ride. I can, grudgingly, live with tire life at 1/8 of premium car tires even though the bike tire cost more, but hope that improves too!  
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« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2014, 11:00:07 pm »

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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2014, 05:00:44 am »

You are not the only one.

But there must not be many of us. Even here, whenever a new bike is announced, it takes about four posts before someone starts complaining that it's heavier than their track bike and would keep them from playing boy racer.
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2014, 07:12:54 am »

I had a bike with the characteristics of a hydraulic valve motor (low red line and not a gob of horsepower) and with a shaft drive.  I loved it!  But, because it had conventional tappets, it still required required adjustments every 12k.    Sad




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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2014, 07:21:58 am »

I like the flexibility of chains for choosing the gearing I want. I don't mind chain maintenance or swapping out sprockets/chains once every other year.

I don't even mind valve adjustments if I don't have to remove the cams and re-time the engine. Or give me extended valve interval checks ala Yamaha.

I really tried to like the Buell Ulysses but the engine character did nothing for me (slow revving, low redline). The nearly no maintenance aspect of the Uly was attractive since I put a fair number of miles on a year, but I will gladly do the maintenance in exchange for more fun while riding (YMMV).
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2014, 08:05:09 am »

My first bike was an '83 Honda Nighthawk -- shaft drive AND hydraulic valves. People told me, but I never really understood how good I had it until I got a bike with conventional valves. Valve adjustment?...What's that?

A mid-weight sport tourer with essentially no drive or valve maintenance? Yes, please.
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2014, 10:05:09 am »

I would also want liquid cooling and fuel injection.
Some conveniences are worth the price of admission.

My bike only required three valve checks in 78,000 miles.
Not an issue.

All my bikes since '82 have been shaft drive.
Won't go back to chain for a road bike.

Now if somebody could come up with a tire that
would last an entire season....oh joy!
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2014, 10:38:40 am »

Given that the majority of riders (and car drivers) don't take care of their machines, I think the shim under bucket approach is actually better than a hydraulic valve adjusters.  Plus, a bike with hydraulic valve lifters will be way down on power compared to the shimmed bike, mostly because of rev limits on the hydraulic valves.  I'm willing to bet that the majority of motorcycles in the US get ridden less than 10,000 miles total, so having a shim set-up means that the motor will, in all likelihood, run without problems during the entire life of the machine.  How much damage would a bike with hydraulic lifters suffer if the engine had been sitting for a long time, and a ham-fisted owner decided to rev the snot out of it before the oil had been able to pump up the lifters?

More to the point - if people had bought the Honda Nighthawk when it was available, that is what we'd have for motorcycles now.  But they didn't.  And they still don't.  What do they want?  Race-rep power, which requires either high displacement (weight), or high rpms (which requires shims).  What the most common question asked of light-weight motorcycles?  'Can it get out of the way of traffic?'  Every thread has someone asking that question, and a small displacement engine with a slow-revving hydraulic lifter engine and a heavy shaft drive will not.  In short, those types of bikes don't sell.  They didn't sell back in the day and they won't sell now.

Plus, I'm sure the OEM's don't want to antagonize their dealerships by offering maintenance-free motorcycles.  When sales lag, most dealerships make up the difference on the maintenance side, which is probably a much steadier revenue stream than the sales side.  So it wouldn't make much sense to sell the shaft/hydraulic bike from a business standpoint.

But hey, I'm commuting on a Burgman 650, which is virtually maintenance free until it explodes.  So what do I know. Lol
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2014, 10:03:14 pm »


 Plus, a bike with hydraulic valve lifters will be way down on power compared to the shimmed bike, mostly because of rev limits on the hydraulic valves.  


 I have always had issue with this argument and believe it to much less an issue than is put forth by those who use it. Lets take the Nighthawk that used hyd lifters? Did it not have a redline of 9000 rpm? Maybe a shim type version of the same engine could turn 11,000, but do you really need that extra 2000 for a street bike? Additionally, while the hyd engine will probably make a bit less total HP, I would be willing to bet that the increase in torque would (for most riders) make the difference unnoticeable and might even make the bike more fun in day to day riding as it would probably pull better in normal riding.

 When you get right down to it, todays "performance" motorcycle engine are tuned (IMHO) bassakwards for street riding.
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2014, 10:51:14 pm »

There are a lot of very powerful, torque laden motors out there that redline at 9,000 or less. FJR for one. And what about Motus? It has hydraulic lifters.
But, I'm not interested in this type of bike so what am I doing here!     Bigsmile
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2014, 11:43:27 pm »

 I love my old VFRs. If Honda would bring back the gear driven cams I would likely purchase a new one. Pseudo V-TEC does nothing for me.

 I don't need hydraulic lifters or shaft drive. Those are for low performance machines, and their lazy owners.
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2014, 08:07:07 am »

Quote
I don't need hydraulic lifters or shaft drive. Those are for low performance machines, and their lazy owners.


If wanting to spend more time on the road and less time in the garage makes one 'lazy', then consider me downright shiftless.
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2014, 11:39:39 am »

Wouldn't belt drive be cheaper and lighter than shaft drive, while requiring less maintenance than a chain?
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« Reply #13 on: October 17, 2014, 12:24:58 pm »

Yes. I keep wondering why belt drive isn't used more often.
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« Reply #14 on: October 17, 2014, 02:39:05 pm »


Wouldn't belt drive be cheaper and lighter than shaft drive, while requiring less maintenance than a chain?


Maybe, but I cannot get over the lingering fear of sudden belt failure. Might be a non issue, but I just see shafts (non-bmw  Lol) and chains as more reliable than belts from a failure stand point.
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« Reply #15 on: October 17, 2014, 03:59:07 pm »


Maybe, but I cannot get over the lingering fear of sudden belt failure. Might be a non issue, but I just see shafts (non-bmw  Lol) and chains as more reliable than belts from a failure stand point.


Horsepower plays a role there. I've yet to hear of a broken belt on an HD as long as the rider didn't remove the belt guard.  Rolleyes

But the Buell's? Different story. They didn't really get the belts right until 2007, and even then, backed them with a lifetime warranty.

FWIW, I absolutely loved my Sportster with its belt drive and hydraulic lifters.

I wish someone would make something akin to an 84-86 Nighthawk 700S. Something as a base platform to build a nice little touring rig out of.
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« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2014, 08:24:17 pm »




Horsepower plays a role there. I've yet to hear of a broken belt on an HD as long as the rider didn't remove the belt guard.  Rolleyes

But the Buell's? Different story. They didn't really get the belts right until 2007, and even then, backed them with a lifetime warranty.

FWIW, I absolutely loved my Sportster with its belt drive and hydraulic lifters.

I wish someone would make something akin to an 84-86 Nighthawk 700S. Something as a base platform to build a nice little touring rig out of.


 I have heard of belts that were broken by rocks or mud getting in the pulleys...and they are a royal pain in the butt to change. I would rather have chain.
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« Reply #17 on: October 17, 2014, 10:47:35 pm »

I've owned three shaft drive bikes. Having no chain maintenance is sweet. But they were all 550lb+ bikes. That matters not on the road unless you're scraping knees but it's a bit heavy for what I'd consider a good choice for adventuring far off the beaten path.
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« Reply #18 on: October 18, 2014, 08:24:53 am »

On my short list of potential replacements for my Concours is the BMW F800ST (or, if I can afford it, the F800GT), and that makes use of a belt drive. I see belt drive as sort of the half-way point between chain and shaft. More reliable and maintenance free than chain, better performance than a shaft.
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« Reply #19 on: October 18, 2014, 09:52:11 am »

So would an Airhead BMW fit this profile if it had hydro lifters?  Shaft drive and <500 lbs as they are.  Available in ST and ADV styles, originators of both BITD.

Just asking because I didn't see a poll option for "I very nearly have that exact thing already, and it's fabulous."
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2015, 10:29:11 pm »

The Honda Nighthawk S has a 10,750 rpm redline with hydraulics. The system they used is not rpm limited:

http://i1322.photobucket.com/albums/u580/Bergmen/Motorcycling/Honda%201985%20CB700SC%20Nighthawk%20S/Nighthawk-S-Lifters-Redline_zps0e92e33d.jpg

I just wish my 2014 FJR1300 had the same system.

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« Reply #21 on: April 24, 2015, 08:28:39 am »

The Nighthawk S is a great bike. Pretty much zero maintenance. A modern version with a bit more torque would be great, but until then, I'll stick with mine:


http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e94/SCbassboy/P1010416_zpsbdc77f15.jpg
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« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2015, 10:20:58 am »

Eliminating valve adjustments is bad for the dealerships - they live on the service revenue...
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« Reply #23 on: April 24, 2015, 10:39:42 am »


The Nighthawk S is a great bike. Pretty much zero maintenance. A modern version with a bit more torque would be great, but until then, I'll stick with mine:


http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e94/SCbassboy/P1010416_zpsbdc77f15.jpg


That is a nice bike. I always liked them. Best color too!!!!!!
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« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2015, 10:42:57 am »


Eliminating valve adjustments is bad for the dealerships - they live on the service revenue...

That is something to be considered. Sort of a "balance". The manufacturers have the technology to make incredible bikes but then they are hitting their dealerships in the knee when they develop maintenance friendly bikes for the buyers.
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« Reply #25 on: April 24, 2015, 10:57:24 am »

Definitely one of Honda's best efforts. I lusted after one of them and a CB1100f Super Sport back in the 80's
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« Reply #26 on: April 24, 2015, 11:13:45 am »




That is a nice bike. I always liked them. Best color too!!!!!!


I had the red one. Can't seem to find a pic though.

I thought I had a blue one bought (this was about ten or twelve years ago.) A buddy who worked in the warehouse of a local shop knew I was looking. He called me and said they just got one in on trade and you could get it for $xxxx. I drove up there the next day and the price had somehow jumped a thousand dollars. I walked out. He was pissed too that they tried to jack me around.

The poll needed an option, "I always ask for certain bikes to be built but when they finally do, I don't buy them."
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« Reply #27 on: April 24, 2015, 02:37:56 pm »


Eliminating valve adjustments is bad for the dealerships - they live on the service revenue...


Still BS though. Hopefully they will learn from the car industry which is finally going back to timing chains that do not have to be changed very 100K miles. Something that is BS too. No way should you have a "scheduled" maintenance item that costly. Especially when modern cars can easily go a couple 100K miles.
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« Reply #28 on: May 02, 2018, 02:53:54 pm »

Old thread, but I don't care, I'm bringing it back from the dead.

I too wonder what happened to midsize bikes (other than cruisers) with shaft drive and what happened to hydraulic valve lifters.

I think sport-touring is a rare niche of motorcycling, these days. It seems to be mostly down to:

a) Harley pirates, drinking and bar-hopping
b) Squids, breaking other laws

I just sold my Silver Wing scooter, which is possibly the most practical bike ever made, mostly because of the cruiser-esque seating position. It kills the back on long rides. Kind of broke my heart. Now, I've got the CBR and I'm addressing the other things: wind protection, seat comfort, luggage...  

You've got (had) your Nighthawk S, which has a low maintenance engine, but is 30 years old now and falling behind in other areas.

It's always something
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« Reply #29 on: May 04, 2018, 07:42:48 am »

I have a buddy who just purchased a Motus! He is waiting for delivery. It is on the truck. It has hydraulic, roller lifters!! No maintenance from that monster motor. We figure it will be like a car. Oil and gas and go.
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« Reply #30 on: May 04, 2018, 09:59:24 am »


I have a buddy who just purchased a Motus! He is waiting for delivery. It is on the truck. It has hydraulic, roller lifters!! No maintenance from that monster motor. We figure it will be like a car. Oil and gas and go.


If it had a shaft and a naked version (streetfighter) I think it would be boss.  If I only I could one for under $20,000!
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