155 Comments
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

“ Outside of hypercars, hyperbikes, and full-sized trucks, can any of you think of a car or bike released in the past five years that actually improves on its predecessor?”

Absolutely. The new Land Rover Defender.

Expand full comment
author

I've been skeptical about them, largely because the one person I know who owns one -- Hagerty's video mook and Cammisa Whisperer, Matt Tuccillo -- has earned nothing but my contempt in the few years I've known him. Maybe that's not fair.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

My 2023 goal is to stop letting shit like that worry me. I've got a long list of cars that I hate only because of specific (or general) people who drive them and you're right - that's not fair. To the car, or to ourselves.

Expand full comment
author

Agreed. But I will never stop hating those lame-ass Safari cars and RWB Porshhhhes.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I wish I had the money to send every RWB owner, their cars, and that chain-smoking, sawzall-slashing, Japanese redneck hack to the bottom of the ocean for good

Expand full comment
author

All the way down there where the James Cameron submarine can't reach.

Expand full comment

Ok but see by calling the RWB guy a “chain-smoking, sawzall-slashing, Japanese redneck” you ARE making him sound cool as hell.

Expand full comment

I know it's a common thing all across the world of the automotive aftermarket but for some reason, RWB evokes particularly unsavory conspiracy theories about where the money to build those cars comes from.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

In the not-too-distant future, someone is going to make a mint undoing all the damage done to otherwise fine cars by those RWB nitwits.

Of course, then Singer will "singerize" them and they'll be even more beyond reach.

Expand full comment

At least the RWBs are cosmetically -if not mechanically- aimed more intensely at the original target. They're anime racecars brought to life. No wonder the origin and prime market is in Japan.

The safari cars are so dumb... The only reason you make one is to show the world that you can dump 100-150 making a car doing the opposite of what it was intended to do.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Was just looking at one of those turds sitting across oncoming traffic trying to merge. What an absolutely horrible vehicle in about every way imaginable. At least Jeep has the sense to retain the basic features that make a wrangler good (BOF, solid axles, removable top etc) while they cram crappy short lived modern powertains in them. Would be curious to hear why you think it’s an improvement over the OG trucks besides being a better daily driver for vapid c*nts and doing some impressive tricks on closed courses

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023·edited May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I own what I guess you'd now call a "classic" Defender. They are tractors, more or less. Sure there is the cool factor and yes they are fantastic off road, but very few comforts (in fact, fewer than any comparable vehicle throughout its lifespan.) I can't drive behind anyone on a dusty road, or the cabin fills with grit. It leaks in heavy rain. It didn't come with a stereo, at all (Land Rover didn't make them standard until actual farm implements started coming with a CD player.) The new Defender is a fantastic vehicle, built to be very tough - far tougher than 95% of owners will ever need - and very, very capable off road (most LR products have been marginally better at most terrain than the classic Defender, for about 18 years now.) Solid axles suck to drive on the highway, which is where you'll be doing 99% of your miles. Removable tops also suck, unless you hate talking to your passengers. Jeeps are built like Budweiser cans and aren't durable unless you add $10k in suspension. I'm all for the new Defender for those reasons and so many more, and I'll be first in line when the douchebags turn in their leases for whatever the next trend is. I should add, there are plenty of idiots driving hopped up old Defenders acting like they're cool, so there's no reason to avoid either vehicle based on the kind of people who are buying them

Expand full comment
author

I feel like my Discoveries (1997 5-speed 4.0S, leased new, and 2003 4.6SE, bought new) were equal to a Defender off-road while being a bit better inside.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

That’s because they essentially were. I’m running a Discovery transfer case in my Defender…bolted right up.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

My understanding of the new Defender is that it is a primo example of modern automotive “COPE” where the successor tries hard to compensate with every bit of techno-wizardry to keep up with (and yes, even best) the old brutal simple mechanical system. The difference is that the air suspension and electronics that perhaps might(?) make it through the initial lease period will age like day old milk. Prime example of a throwaway vehicle. People rebuild old Defenders almost indefinitely, I suspect this new generation to go the way of the Freelander/Evoque. Trophy wife lease to BHPH lot to crusher.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

100% agree ^^^

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Your reply tells me that JLR hasn’t done enough work to show off these vehicles and what they can do - and it sounds a lot like the criticism of the Discovery when it first appeared (despite the fact that it was 99.9% Defender drivetrain and suspension underneath the leather seats.) But why should they work harder at marketing the off road bits - dealer lots are empty and they can’t build enough!

For what it’s worth, Land Rover has been using air suspension and terrain management (aka traction control with a dial) since the 1990s. Many of the core faults with the design were worked out by the time the LR3 came out - plenty of those still on the road at 200,000 miles with fully functional suspension. And if that’s not good enough, you can spec a new Defender with coil springs.

The Grenadier on the other hand……

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I thought US spec Defenders all rode on air suspension, unless they changed something im not aware of

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Base model 90 and 110 needs the box ticked for air, not sure about the 130. I believe it’s been that way since the start

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

“Plenty of those still on the road at 200,000 miles with fully functional suspension”

Yeah, with Arnott-rebuilt systems or the cheapo coil spring conversions maybe. I think it’s a *major* liability off-road, to say nothing of the owners pocketbook. I’ve yet to ever see *ANYONE* (Germans, Japanese, Americans) to build an air suspension that lasts much past the warranty period. I’ve honed in on the air suspension but the rest of the new defenders, particularly the layers and layers of electronics basically guarantees that these things will be a used car nightmare. But frankly the same can be said about almost any newer car from German luxury to mainstream domestics. Keep your current Defender going, you have something special there.

And I'm sorry if I come across as a bit of a "hater," it sounds like you know your stuff about LRs and if you do end up with one of these, good on ya I hope you enjoy it. But to me, this new Defender in particular is just the poster child of everything that I personally loathe about modern automobiles.

Expand full comment
author
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023Author

The now “classic” Defender is a lifestyle accessory for a small number of true old money types, as well as their legions of imitators. I know countless non-car people who own or aspire to own an old Defender based on how it pairs with a pea gravel driveway, a (very) old Barbour jacket, and a brace of expensively bred canines. A major part of the appeal is that they are scarce in America.

It’s not dissimilar to an air cooled 911 in that sense.

I have no problem whatsoever with the “new” Defender. It’s a handsome modernization of the existing brand codes, and Gerry McGovern is an outstanding designer. If I absolutely had to have a body on frame off roader with a premium badge, however, I would select a new G wagen, although NOT the G63 AMG. That’s another newish vehicle that is better than the antecedent in every way.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I’m all for a Patriot missile accidentally striking Brooklyn Coachworks in the night.

For what it’s worth I don’t have old money, or new money. There’s a not-insignificant number of enthusiasts out here who still carry the torch and drive old Defenders and know how to work on them

Expand full comment
author

Like air cooled 911s, they have been bid up by those with more money to spend. Think about why there are so many Defenders per capita on Nantucket or air cooled 911s per capita on the west side of LA.

I bought my 993 just as they were becoming “cool” in early 2012. I had virtually no money at the time - I had to finance a $28K car six months out of school. I sold it in 2015 for a shade under $50K and felt very smug about that. It’s worth six figures today in all likelihood. It was a great car, and I’ll probably have another one at some point.

Expand full comment

100% to all of this.

Additionally, I view the new Defender as an upscale Bronco. The 1st gen Bronco and the classic Defender were basically the same size, the same shape and had the same goal. Similarly, the new 90 and 110 are ringers for 4th gen 2 door and 4 door Bronco. It basically comes down to how much you want to (can) spend, how nice of seats you want to cup your cheeks with and how you are posturing yourself socially. I'd take a two door of either, the dimensions are perfect. Never mind the constant annoyance of my kids climbing over the seat into the back.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

All of those features make a Wrangler absolutely terrible unless you live in a beach town with a 25mph speed limit or commute every day through the Rubicon.

The new Defender is a very capable truck, with a comfortable, well thought out interior. Excellent place to spend a day driving, with the capability of going through pretty much any trail 99.9% of the population will encounter.

Exterior styling is of course subjective, but I dig them. A blue two door with the white steelies is a great looking rig imo. I’d buy one over my forthcoming Bronco if I could afford it, removable top and doors be damned.

Can’t speak to its durability or longevity, but it’s a Land Rover so best to assume it’ll break about as much as that Wrangler 😉

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

The new Defender is what the Discovery 5 should have been.

The Ineos Grenadier is what the Defender should be.

Expand full comment
author

The Grenadier is by all accounts a half baked effort with a vanishingly small TAM. Time has moved on, and there are plenty of old Defenders out there.

Expand full comment
May 23, 2023·edited May 23, 2023

Yes, but the Defender has been a half baked effort for decades.

I don't know how the grenadier will fare in the market, there are a lot of otherwise good products that fail because they compete with cheaper used cars that are nearly identical.

See Cadillac ATS launch around rock bottom price time for E46s

Expand full comment
author

I think that the size of the total addressable market (TAM) is more important than the half baked side of the argument. Ineos is not a carmaker and failed to significantly improve upon the legacy Defender recipe, per reviews from writers I trust and admire (e.g., Andrew English).

As for the TAM - the amount of demand for a fancy lifestyle accessory is not as high as it is for a new, thoroughly modern product that apes the design of the predecessor. An old Defender is not something on which to rely for daily transport. It’s for summer Friday half days in the office for Adventure Men, weekend morning coffee runs, rambling around in tony vacation towns, and - just maybe - off-roading.

Another way to think about the TAM thing. There is some strong demand for a manual transmission Ferrari, but think about what percentage of - say - 296 GTBs Ferrari would sell with a manual transmission if they had never stopped offering manuals. It’s probably single digit in percentage terms.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

eh, the new defender is nothing more than a discovery wearing some fancier REI gear, which I guess works well for sales because I see them everywhere now. Im curious how the i6 ones will hold up because I could see myself using one as a mallcrawler too.

Expand full comment

The new Prius doesn't look bad at all. Does that count?

Expand full comment

Best possible comment was from Scott Brady: "the Discovery that we always wanted"

Expand full comment

The only reason I bought a ZZR1200 back in '03 was because the folks selling the FJR1200's were complete and utter assholes.

I do at times wonder if I should have upgraded to a C14.

Expand full comment
author

I keep thinking I should buy one of the leftover C14s before they're all gone.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

It would pair nicely with your ZX-14R.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I'm close to flat broke yet I still believe buying another Motocycle is usually a good idea .

-Nate

Expand full comment

Yes!

Although I may be done at 5. If I can find an example of a very specific Ducati (that is basically impossible to find); number 6 is a possibility. The wife might disagree.

When someone asks how many motorcycles I have, at times I get “why do you have 5 motorcycles?”

The response: because my wife won’t let me have 6.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

My reply is "I've not counted them in a few years" .

Mostly I have old unwanted junk but in the last few years the old Honda CT90's I picked off junk piles and out of Dempster Dumpsters are getting popular again .

Similarly my Kawasaki W650 (EJ650) wasn't an easy sell when new, I'd test ridden one at a Moto event and happened to run into sufficient money when they finally arrived to rush right down and buy one at full M.S.R.P. .

Then I got run over on it and left it sitting a few years, they became hip to poseurs , I repaired it and sold it on to a nice fellow who might well sell it back to me, I have an old BMW Moto he wants .

-Nate

One of these dayze I needs to learn to spel)

Expand full comment
author

My thoughts exactly. Only have to buy one kind of oil filter.

Expand full comment

Efficiency where it counts!

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Both daily drivers in my house and my SIL's car that I maintain share the same oil filter, grade oil and crush washer. It brings me way more joy than it should that I can buy in bulk.

Expand full comment

My Mazda 3 and Toyota Highlander use the same motor oil and it is nice to just buy 15qt at a time and be done with it.

Expand full comment
founding
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I didn’t even know you could rent non-Harleys.

Expand full comment
author

Most Eaglerider locations are now doing Yamaha as well.

If you're a Club Eaglerider member, preferably one who used my referral code, you'll pay a net $80 a day to rent an FJR.

Expand full comment
founding
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

The locations by me look like they’re all Harley. I’ll keep an eye out though.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

The P2P rental services offer a whole world of cool and pretty affordable bikes to rent, I tried "rider-share" out in Vegas in February and it was pretty hassle-free. I'm already planning to do another trip, out to see my friend in CA to ride the PCH and I'm gonna try to rent something neat... maybe something weird like a Moto Guzzi sport tourer.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Ooh dual pipes I’m a sucker for that

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023·edited May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I also wanted an FJ11 or 12 back in the day but never ended up with one. My GS850 was just too comfortable and too nice of a bike to switch out so I spent my money on firearms instead. The competition in this class produced some great bikes though. A good friend had an 1100 Katana and that was a fine, good looking bike with an excellent engine.

Also, just a couple of years later, Honda's CBR1100XX was right in there and, if I was making a choice among those bikes today, I think the XX would get my money. Of course, I haven't seen one in a great many years now...

I'm not really sure what I would buy if I was getting something new today so this is an interesting read.

Expand full comment
author

Keep watching this site, you're gonna see an XX real soon now.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Can you do a review on your zx14 as well? I really want one but I also want a house down payment and don't have money for either at the moment

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Buy a ZX-14 and then rob a bank on it. Boom problem solved.

Expand full comment
author

Excellent idea!

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

“The Boomers…are obsessed with ‘ADV bikes’”. The broad brush of disdain for my kind— oh well. I absolutely hate adventure bikes; they may be fun to ride and very capable— but I suspect there is a law that they have to be ugly. My toys have to be pleasing to look at. When I walk away from one of my bikes and look over my shoulder to glance at it— I want to smile, not turn to stone.

And I told you about the time I left an FJR pilot well behind on a favorite set of twisties with my XR1200. Guessing he was rather ham-handed as I don’t consider myself that great.

Expand full comment
author

Sir I said Boomers AND Xers. You're not entirely responsible for this. And there's also a group of astoundingly cool Boomers who are devoted to the Kawasaki Voyager XII, so not all is lost!

Expand full comment

I know you pegged X also, nice to see in the torrent of “boomer this” and “boomer that”.

As I said; I’m not responsible at all for the ADV stuff!

“All is not lost”, glad to hear that! Apparently I’m not “astoundingly cool”, though.

Now, let’s talk about those damn millennials!

Guess I’m just in a bad mood today— cranky old guy!

Expand full comment

The difference between boomers and millennials is we dont take EVERYTHING personally. Bitch about us all you want.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

That’s not the only difference, if it is one at all. Normally I don’t give a shit at all when I see boomer bashing. I know what I/we have accomplished and am very comfortable in my own skin. Having said that, my comment above does look thin skinned. So, I understand your response. Like I said, bad mood.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

This may cheer you up: ever heard of floafers? They're loafers that float.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Actually that makes my brow furrow. Who the hell wants floating loafers? Sounds like the answer to a question nobody asked. But, I hope they sell a ton of them and make lots of money!

Expand full comment

For better/worse the ADV bikes have all the creature comforts and upright riding position that aren't HDs/Cruisers/the Gold Wing, Tracer 9, and Versys these days.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Yep. But “creature comforts” are for cars, and “naked” and “standard” bikes are nice and upright.

Expand full comment
author

Almost everyone on an ADV bike would be better served on a Wing, but let's face it: you could substitute "Porsche GT3" and "Genesis G70" in the above sentence and it would still be true. I understand the emotional appeal of ADV bikes.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Adv bikes are the Ford Raptors Pro4-Xs etc of the motorcycle world. Pleasant and comfortable to drive on road, off-road capability the owner will likely never use. I agree most of them are hideous, but then again most all modern bikes of all categories are.

Expand full comment

Ive wanted a triumph tiger for years. I will never use its off-road capabilities. I will also probably never buy one

Expand full comment

They make road oriented 1200s and 900s! Do it!

Expand full comment

IMO a 07-11ish Triumph Tiger 1050 is a screaming bargain at the moment. You can find clean bikes in the $4k range all day long. One of those cases where a bike just falls through the cracks with the general buying public, and some of the poor resale I think is from people simply assuming a used triumph is a gamble in terms of reliability (they're actually perfectly decent long lived bikes it seems). I've eyeballed them on and off a bit now, but ended up playing it safe and buying my low mile naked '02 Bandit 1200 instead.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I understand it as well.

Aerostich guys.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Except you can get a GT3 with a manual (I think).

Expand full comment
author

Sometimes yeah but it still feels like a bad iRacing sim.

Expand full comment
May 24, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I should like your recommendations on sports cars in 3 or 4 financial groups... Let's say sub 10, sub 30, sub 75 and sub 150. And I would like to restrict you to saying "Miata" just once. While I prefer RWD, I defer to your expertise.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

The Duacti 916R is the most fun bike I've ridden on Rt. 129 (aka The Dragon). I would take a Gold Wing or a Road Glide to travel from Virginia to Denver. The FJR1300 or several other bikes of the "sport touring" ilk for the Great Lakes, Pacific Coast, and most other locals. The ADVs are competent at many riding scenarios but great at none of them. Horses for courses. Sad to see the FJR go.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

The second generation Ducati Superbike is (to me) the most beautiful fully faired bike ever built. Tamburini was a genius. Also, probably the most uncomfortable bike to ride. I do the “John Wayne walk” for about an hour after I peel my old bones off mine. It’s worth it, though!

Expand full comment

I ride a naked and will probably buy another soon, child expenses not prohibiting me, which is to say I get where you're coming from just positing an explanation

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I haven't followed the market lately - are there any naked bikes left? I've been interested in Royal Enfield but have no idea what the Japanese brands offer

Expand full comment

Im fairly sure everyone has a naked bike still. Especially if we count the retro bikes out there

Expand full comment

Very much so but they tend to be pretty angular in style or buglike.

Yamaha has the MT and XSR (retro) series. Kawi has the Z and Z RS as well as the W800 (maybe discontinued?) . Suzuki just stopped SV650 and replaced it with a uh gsx-8s?

Triumph has the Street Triples, Trident. BMW has a few too

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Triumph speed twin 1200cc, retro standard config. I love it.

Expand full comment

I should swap my street triple for a speed triple

Expand full comment

I'll have to start paying attention. I pine for the days of the UJM...

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Ducati Monster!

Although, I’m more a fan of the first generation (like my ‘05 S2R).

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023·edited May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

On the one hand I appreciate Audi owned Ducatis (Audi is the current owner of Ducati) are less maintenance intense and less likely to explode on the other hand I suspect they're losing character

Expand full comment
author

S2R? Let me know if you ever get tired of it.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Lots of naked bikes around, in my crotchety mind they mostly fall into one of two categories: ugly insectoid thing or ugly "neo-retro" thing, both stuffed full of useless electronic screens and other junk. The REs are intriguing, good price and handsome if nothing else. But the Indian build, EFI, and detuning to 47hp (common licensing tier in Europe apparently) is enough to make me lose interest. Kawasaki Z900RS comes closest to something of interest, but some of the details spoil it (big radiator, dumb gauges). There's just too many much more affordable much more aesthetically and functionally appealing used bikes out there for the new stuff to have any draw (for me anyways).

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

There's also a class of 'ADV' bikes that are really just sport tourers for taller people. I don't think anyone's taking a Multistrada 1200/1260 or BMW S1000XR offroad, and their suspension is setup to reflect that. So they're comfortable to ride, handle well, have solid luggage options, have way more power than you need, and they're usually a good chunk lighter than the 'true' sport tourers.

Plus this category includes the greatest motorcycle ever made, our lord and savior the Buell Ulyssess.

They do all seem to be uniformly ugly though. Not really sure what's up with that.

Expand full comment
author

Rougher than Ulysses / when it comes to bitches -- as Bushwick Bill once rapped.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

My wife did spend 3500 miles on the back of one for our honeymoon. Not sure what that says about us - or Bushwick Bill for that matter.

Expand full comment
author

Clearly it means you're all aligned with the greats, as Pusha T once said.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I was reading Peter Egan's "Leanings 3" and one of the pieces, written circa 2010ish, was about how on his rides with his buddies, almost everyone had migrated from sport bikes and sport tourers, to ADV bikes, which have wider bars and more upright seating than even most sport tourers like the FJR. Specifically Egan noted that the "truly upright" ergos and wider bars of adv bikes most closely replicates the plain old 60s brit bike or 70s UJM (but with higher seat height). Nothing new under the sun. People appreciate usable comfortable easy-to-ride bikes. The ADV bikes just have the added appeal of also convincing people it's okay to ride motorcycles on gravel roads... much like I do on 40-50 year old UJMs or my buddy does on his Harley Dyna.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

My boomer father owned - and loved - an 1150GS. I once commented on how ugly it is. "They all the look the same when you're on them," he replied. I got that GS when he died and rode the snot out of it. He was right. Ugly bike, but remarkably capable in a surprising number of situations, even if it did max out at 115 with the Jesse side cases.

Expand full comment

I got into sportbikes because I wanted to ride, but couldn't stand the aesthetics of other kinds of motorcycle like cruisers or dual-sports.

(Just out of curiosity, did they perfect the dirt bike and its associated gear in 1982 or something? Because whenever I see somebody on a dirt bike, with that visored motocross helmet, I feel like I'm watching an episode of "The Dukes of Hazzard.")

Unfortunately, I've learned that a sportbike is like a racehorse - the ideal rider is about 5'8" and 150 lbs.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023·edited May 20, 2023

“AARP sportbike”.

I thought that meant Gold Wings but I don't ride nor like them so whatever .

"I’ve heard some carping about too much knee bend, which I've definitely experienced. A little more seat height would fix the latter, I suspect. "But the riding position is very good for me"

? What's your inseam ? this seems to be the important thing when discussing knee bend and overall comfort .

? How much does it weight curb weight ? . this is the critical thing to me, my current touring rig is a serious porker weighing in at 750 #, good thing it's a boxer twin so that weight is well balanced and easy to handle .

It looks huge to me but who knows ? .

Six speeds, I think that'd be sweet for zizzing across America .

-Nate

Expand full comment
author

Inseam is 32 on one side and 33 on the other.

Expand full comment
May 18, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Okay ;

I'm 32, sounds like this bike might fit me .

-Nate

Expand full comment

"an upright seating position and plenty of room for a passenger to maintain her dignity."

Did you just DO A HECKIN' SEXISM MY GUY

Expand full comment
author

I heckin did.

The only time I'll ever put a man on the back of my motorcycle is if I'm in a warzone and I'm trying to get a sniper to a hill or something. I've never had a man ride behind me for any reason. Used to let my son sit on the tank, that's it!

Expand full comment

I took my friend on my bike so he could buy his bike. Not that there’s anything wrong with it… but it was so gay.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

70 years ago we all rode friends whose folks wouldn't buy them a 125 james or a cushman behind us. jeepers!

Expand full comment

It's only thus if he poked you square in the small of your back the whole ride!

Expand full comment

He found it very funny to hump me the whole time. Id have pooped a wheelie but id have killed us both

Expand full comment
author

Nuts 2 Butts

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Sherman McCoy, Jack Baruth

90's rap act, on the down low?

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

My 6'2" friend rode "bitch" on the back of my '78 GS1000C in college from the Adirondacks all the way back home to Ithaca NY after stuffing his '86 Nighthawk 650 into a ditch. We tucked his bike into the woods and he came back with a trailer the following weekend. The weirdest coincidence was that he found a good parts bike on craigslist, same color 650 Nighthawk (wineberry red or whatever the maroon was), within like 30 minutes drive of where he wrecked.

Expand full comment
May 20, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I was in the Bronc trying to make my way to the GW bridge from Great Neck and the bikers were riding two up weaving through traffic and going up the off-ramps. Very progressive.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

"Outside of hypercars, hyperbikes, and full-sized trucks, can any of you think of a car or bike released in the past five years that actually improves on its predecessor?”

I know exactly shit about bikes, but I know the new Integra is the best non-CUV thing Acura has released in the last 15 years, provided you spec it with three pedals. Really hoping someone will let me drive a Type S once they hit dealer lots.

Expand full comment
author

The Type-S should be interesting. Having driven cooking versions of the Civic/Integra lately, I continue to think the 9th-gen K24 Si is a better car than the turbos that came after it. The last CTR was a neat car that liked to get really hot. Don't really know much about the new one.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I just Honda reconnects with the idea that there are talk drivers again. Honda used to be the tall guys friend. Now, no legroom anymore.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

my integra has oodles of legroom but rear headroom on both that and the civic could be better imo

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I also hope that Apple stops changing the words after I type them. This new improvement to auto correct where it goes back a couple of words is annoying. And yes, there is merit to proofreading before hitting the send button too.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I owned a K24/6-speed TSX and loved that engine. It's a different mentality with the turbo. You have to let your inner truck driver take over. But the stick is just as brilliant as ever and I love the way the suspension setup feels.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

My 9th gen K24 Si is still going strong! My son will be driving it with me at the time trials tomorrow. The 11th Gen Civic is such a good looking car. BIG. But uninspiring powerplant.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023·edited May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I actually just bought a A-spec Integra, the normal 1.5t with the 6MT+LSD

unlike the civic Si which they're based off of, you can get one readily (or at least a week wait max) at msrp, or even under like I did. they also get a slew of creature comforts Honda stripped from the US spec (not Canadian) Si, such as the adaptive dampers and digitial gauge cluster. but mechanically both are the same. the seats, hatchback, and ELS soundsystem are definitely an upgrade over the Si to me, but your mileage may vary.

I think the Type R is pretty expensive at msrp, before markups and ALLEGEDLY the cooling should have been fixed, but the Integra Type S at $52k is too much, and thats before the ADM many acura dealers will charge anyways

you get 4 seats only (5 seats on the normal car) no sunroof, no rear charge ports (all of which the A spec has btw) and no real upgrades to the seats or dash. At least on the type R the "weight savings" make sense and you get nice seats too since its for the "track". The integra type S doesnt have much in the way of upgrades over the type R to justify its $7k higher pricetag imo, but some might see it differently. I do love the way both look though, and if I did happen to come across a sweet deal on either Type R or Type S id stil consider a trade-in haha

Expand full comment
author

ELS sound is a non-trivial reason to go Acura in my opinion.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I've put 16k miles on one of those obnoxious ADV bikes (KTM 1290 SAS) in the past four years. Not exactly Iron Butt status, but I commute on it a few times a week and take 3-4 longer (500mi+) trips a year. I hate it in many ways - ugly as shit, obnoxiously-legible TFT, keyless start + fuel cap took a software update to function properly - but it is absolutely the greatest motorcycle I have ever ridden in my fifteen years on bikes. So much room. So much power. So much suspension travel. I keep going to demo days and riding the New Hot Shit (Guzzi V100, Tracer 9, Thruxton RS). Nothing's measured up. I sincerely regret buying it for this reason.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I had to break out Google translate to figure out what all that meant. Its impressive and seemingly well designed, but man, that ain't a pretty bike.

Expand full comment
author

Those KTMs are brilliant.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

"Outside of hypercars, hyperbikes, and full-sized trucks, can any of you think of a car or bike released in the past five years that actually improves on its predecessor?”

No. Absolutely not. Nein. That’s a negative Ghost Rider. For the first time I can remember, I am not only uninterested in a new vehicle, I actively and passionately don’t want one. Iffy build quality. Computers layered on top of one another. Obscene prices and dealer shenanigans. “Lemme get this straight. I have to pay a monthly fee to use the seat warmers?!?” Nope. As with a lot of other things in this country, cars are going in the wrong direction.

Expand full comment
author

I got lulled into complacency by the steadily increasing quality and performance between 1990 and 2005.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I'd like an "ADV Bike", but only because I really don't even have room for one bike, and I would really like it to do and be all things. I'd like to be able to use it for my 45-mile commute to work as well as take it to Silver Lake Sand Dunes.

I know this means that when I do get a bike it won't really make me happy in either of these situations, or any other ones I ride it in. But it'll also be my only bike EVER (well, at first), and ignorance is bliss.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Yeah, meeting your heroes. That happened to me and Aston Martin. I'd always known the were shit cars, but interesting experiences. But when I finally had the wherewithal to finally consider the purchase of one, I was just depressed by how meh they were. A Corvette of the same vintage was always the better car. Add in faster and more reliable. Cheaper to run. Etc It got really depressing when I sat in a new Reichmanized Vantage, and realized that my buddies new Genesis did the basic interior idea better. The car world has gone seriously down the terlet. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

time to go back to a '59 zagato dashboard

Expand full comment
author

Aston Martin has been cringe since the subcompact Vantage IMO.

Expand full comment
May 20, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I'd say the last car that felt like an Aston to me, and yes even understanding where it came from, was the DB7. It still had an Aston like level of finish both inside and out. The old crew at Newport Pagnell did the wood and leather, plus the convertible tops. The Vanquish was more of a parts bin special and the interior was decidedly low rent. I'd say the last true Aston was the Virage based Vantages that died at the turn on the century. Aston Martin 1913-2000. RIP.

Expand full comment
author

Agreed that if you want a REAL Aston it has to be from that long DBS/virage/Vantage platform timeline.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

Spot on! I own a single bike and it’s a 2005 FJR1300 with abs. I can’t replace it because no one bike is strictly better. It’s a great ride. I wonder what will surpass the zx14 as the final boss Yamato class sports bike.

Expand full comment
author

The H2 SX is supposed to do it but the form factor isn't quite right.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

As you and I have been on the XS1100 and Voyager XII brainwave as of late, I found myself contemplating the FJR1300, along with the C14 and older Concours 1000 as well. Perhaps one of those sport tourers could be the single bike "holy grail" for me between my occasional want for sportier back road riding and a want for BIG BOY torque, AND the ability for comfortable relaxed mile burning? I'll have to try renting one sometime, but I suspect not. I really do think that there's a Voyager XII or similar road-sofa in my future in a few years. The sport tourers still have a bit of that sporty lean to the seating position. I think that unless someone is *forcing* you to only have one bike, I prefer to have more distinct options: laid back cruiser that doesn't egg me on to ride 100mph everywhere, and a light(er) weight sportier bike (my Bandit). If anything, the current "do it all bike" in my fleet is the '78 XS1100. The XS isn't as buzzy as the Bandit and doesn't tempt me (as much) with constant top hear 60-100mph roll ons. As we speak I'm waiting on a universal bolt on windshield to try out on it, seeing as I'm working on a functional "period tourer" aesthetic with that thing at the moment.

Expand full comment
author

I want to get my GL1100 working and then get a Voyager XII... and a Cavalcade!

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I'm experiencing PTSD just thinking about the sheer quantity of carburetors involved in all of this and the (potential) liability involved with stuff sitting around, if I haven't given you enough second-hand anxiety with my worry over your '79 XS1100.

There's a MINT 14k mile final year (2003) Voyager XII up in Lowell IN that's obviously owned by a AVA (American Voyager Association for those not looped in) forum regular (fork brace progressive suspension, etc), priced at $5k and frankly I don't think that's unreasonable given the potential for another 100k miles out of that bike. The only reason I'm not on my way up there right now is that I figure I'm about 3-4 years out from wanting my road sofa to take my son on rides with me. Also it's grey, I think that was the only color by 03. My "perfect" Voyager would be mid 90s teal, or the late 90s had a nice forest green.

Expand full comment
author

Yeah I'd want mine to be a real color as well.

Expand full comment
May 19, 2023Liked by Jack Baruth

I've always thought an ST1300 would take the place of my fifth-gen VFR when my joints surrender to that bike (best motorcycle yet made, IMHO). So far, the Sargent seat and Heli-bars are making that a non-starter.

Expand full comment