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25 Classic Motorcycles No One Should Still Be Riding

Usually, in the market of cars and motorcycles, we can always find a variety of offers in different vehicles, from the most basic models to the most luxurious and complete models that offer us better experiences on the road.

But not  all the vehicles that brands offer us in the market are the best, sometimes even the best brands offer models that instead of improving our driving experience make it worse, for example seat locks placed under the rear mudguard that turns into a nightmare, bikes that will not start until you pull the clutch lever, wavy disc that does not contribute anything, side-stands that do not do their job correctly or even motorcycles that are far from satisfying the needs of today's true enthusiasts and consumers.

And sometimes, in their desire to offer something "different," brands forget that the key to good performance, especially in two-wheeled vehicles where our bodies are more exposed, is simplicity. And I do not mean simple and boring because beyond thinking about the gears and the mechanical engineering part of any vehicle, manufacturers should think about bringing ergonomic designs that allow us to link up our bodies to the bike and reach high speeds and make the journey a better experience. For this reason, today we will talk about 25 models of motorcycles that nobody should be driving anymore, and if you own one of these... you should maybe consider about a replacement soon because there are definitely better options in the market than the ones that I'm going to point out.

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25 Ariel Arrow 1960

Via Motorcycle Values

Its production was from 1959 and it was developed in the sports version of Golden Arrow in 1963. It was supposed to be the younger sister of Ariel's Leader Arrow 250cc.

The problem? It just did not make sense, the company offered it in the market as the sister of Ariel Leader mentioning the qualities of the older sister as if users could have access to the same development with a cheaper version, but its capacity was 200 cc so its performance was slower and the experience was totally boring. The Ariel Arrow is the type of motorcycle that only serves to go from a point A and B without great aspiration and to still have one of these in the garage is kind of a waste of space.

24 Honda C110 1961

Via Steve Carthy Motorcycles

The Honda Super Cub has been considered the most produced vehicle of all time, with sales close to 100,000,000. Its design was friendly for all cyclists and all styles of clothing.

Its easy-to-start four-stroke engine had a pleasant sound, it did not smoke and it was durable. 

The problem? Many of the early models such as the C50, C70, C90, and C110 had some issues in the most basic aspects of the bike that affected negatively the rider, for example, if the rider changes gears too quickly, the weeks were prone to locking. And the suspension of these bikes was not entirely good.

23 Kawasaki H2 IV 750 1968

Via Pinterest

Kawasaki manufactured a range of motorcycles from 250 to 750 cc between 1968 and 1980 that had air-cooled engines, three cylinders, two-stroke piston-controlled inlet port with two tailpipes exiting on the right side of the bicycle, and one on the left. It was the first production street motorcycle with capacitor discharge ignition (CDI). Gaining a reputation for incredible acceleration ideal for expert riders.

In the case of the model H2 750 (1972), the problems seemed to appear when the rider took curves in the track, the brakes and the handling of the bicycle began to present problems for which the rider usually, lost control, a situation that did not happen in journeys of a straight line.

22 Suzuki GT380 1972

Via Pinterest

The GT series manufactured by Suzuki was a series of motorcycles with two-stroke chain drive, marketed during the years 1972-1977, with a range of cylinders and engine capacities.

But the truth is that the GT380 had too many problems, such as a swing arm too flexible, the front disc brakes did not work well on wet surfaces, and finally the distance from the ground was terrible due to the size and position of the silencer.

Curiously, only in the Italian market, this model received a displacement increase of 384 cc in 1975, for which Suzuki had to increase the diameter to 55 mm with that engine capacity. However, it remains an unreliable motorcycle on the road, even under the guidance of expert riders.

21 Greeves 1952

Via Youtube

This is a motorcycle manufactured by Greeves Motorcycles a British manufacturer that produced a range of road bicycles from 1952 to 1999.

And although the brand managed to have some models for competitions and motocross, the models of front link forks presented problems from the first day, making the journey uncomfortable even for expert cyclists. On the other hand, another of the frequent problems presented by these bikes was the suspension, which ultimately was not the best for the type of motorcycle and performance that the brand offered to users back then. But something that we must admit is that Greeves was a trailblazer in motorcycles at the time.

20 Honda CX 500 1978

Via Pinterest

Honda CX was a series of motorcycles that Honda manufactured in the 70s and that was on the market until the mid-80s. At the time Honda offered innovative technologies, accompanied by features and designs that were not yet used in the world of motorcycles, such as liquid cooling, electric-only start, low-maintenance axle drive, modular wheels and CV-type dual carburetors that were adjusted for reduced emissions.

But of course, we are talking about the 70s, what at that time seemed to be innovative now seems to us like the stone age and this bike used to had a problem with its timing/cam chain tensioner. In fact, the '78 models had a recall on this part, due to the guide bolt backing itself out.

19 Moto Guzzi Centauro 1996-2000

Via Bikes - BestCarMag.com

Moto Guzzi was a motorcycle that was on the market between 1996 and 2000 and although its concept and aesthetics attracted the attention of many users at the time the truth is that its performance on the road was disappointing. Guzzi, in an attempt to offer something original and futuristic to the two-wheeled market, tried to merge several concepts into a single motorcycle, but the final result was not the desired one because something as basic as the chair offered an uncomfortable trip during the drive and it gave the rider the sensation of instability, especially when they were reaching high speeds, which gives greater fatigue. In addition, the indicators generated confusion.

According to Motorcycle News Guzzi Centauro "handled poorly, rode harshly and the oddly shaped saddle left the rider feeling perched on an upturned canoe."

18 Harley Davidson Sportster 1981

Via Youtube

Harley Davidson has a long history in the world of motorcycles, and has managed to maintain itself over time offering beauties with  the latest in technology and the attractiveness that users seek to have a complete two-wheel experience on the road, but even a big brand like Harley has offered inefficient models to the market, and that was the case of the 1981 Sportster.

Sportster has been a Harley Davidson line that has been available in the market since 1957, but its 1981 model was disappointing compared to previous motorcycles that the brand had offered.

Its design was uncomfortable for the rider, this model was built with long forks and was very heavy. In addition, this bike did not have the necessary capacity to take turns or curves at high speeds, so it was not ideal for riders with not much experience.

17 Husqvarna 250 MX 1970

Via Pinterest

These bikes have a reputation for being fast, something that riders are always looking for, especially if they are enthusiasts of two-wheeled vehicles, and even the great Malcolm Smith was known to drive one of these bikes, but this particular model presented complicated handling.

During straight line trips there were no problems, but with curves or even during a bump in the road if the rider was not strong enough to maintain the control it was easy to jump out of the seat of the motorcycle.

Unfortunately, this model offered a poor suspension. It was uncomfortable after several hours of driving.

16 Suzuki GS500E 1989 – 2008

Via Pinterest

Let's be honest, not everything about the Suzuki GS500E is bad, there are a few positive aspects such as the seat that provide the necessary comfort for the rider, it's capable of reaching high speeds, and if our budget is tight, it can be the ideal option due to their economic prices.

But as you can tell, if this bike is on this list it's because it is not perfect. The truth is that the performance at the time of braking is poor, the factory paint is quite thin so it does not last over time compared to other models on the market, and many of the metal parts of these bikes tend to deteriorate easily. This is the type of bike ideal for beginners with fairly tight budgets, but without high aspirations in performance.

15 Kawasaki ZX-6R 1995 – 1997

Via Pinterest

Better known as the Ninja ZX-6R, this is a 600cc motorcycle in the Ninja sportbike series from the manufacturer Kawasaki. It was introduced in 1995 and has been updated over the years. And although currently, this line of motorcycles is among the favorites of many riders, the models of the 90s were not the best of this brand.

ZX-6R had problems with the brakes, the suspension, the cold start due to the formation of ice in carbohydrates, dirt tends to accumulate easily in the rear shock absorber due to a neglected design. Therefore, if you plan to invest in a motorcycle of this line, I suggest you avoid the models of the 90s.

14 Kawasaki 500 H1 1969

Via JL Exhausts

The Kawasaki H1 Mach III was a 500cc two-stroke sports bicycle that was available on the market between 1969 and 1975.

But like many reputable brands, Kawasaki with its H1 model did not meet the expectations of users. This model was powerful and managed to reach high speeds but its handling became deficient and it was difficult for the rider to maintain control.

In fact, many users at the time complained that at 4500 RPM the front wheel presented problems, which could put the rider's life at risk if he did not have the experience or skills to react quickly and avoid a crash. Besides, another common problem with these bikes was that at 13,000 miles, the left side exhaust pipe broke just before the muffler.

13 Ducati 620 Sport 2002 – 2003

Via Rare SportBikes For Sale

The 2002 Ducati 620 Sports motorcycle promised a wild ride on the track, it had a pretty attractive design and a four-stroke engine, 90 L twin cylinder, SOHC, desmodromic 2 valves per cylinder, and an electric starting. However, the bike was not as fast as many expected and it was difficult to handle. Additionally, the design of the seat was uncomfortable after a few hours driving. Beyond what the Ducati name implies for many, it is better to get away from the electric models, the 620 Sport presented an issue in the starting circuit and the wiring in general.

Currently, this type of motorcycle is on the market at a pretty cheap price, but it is better to invest money in something a bit more expensive that presents fewer problems than the 620 Sport.

12 Yamaha WR250X 2008

Via Supermoto Junkie

Yamaha WR250X offered a DOHC 4-stroke liquid-cooled engine with 250 cc L. The WR250X is a direct descendant of Yamaha's YZ and WR off-road machines. It was designed especially for users who spend more time on paved surfaces than on dirt grounds. In fact, when the user tries to drive on different surfaces the rider will notice the change of speed drastically, the bike will be slower and will have to work harder.

Its chassis and suspension were terrible, and despite its lightweight structure did not meet the expectations of the enthusiasts. This model of Yamaha is actually the ideal type of motorcycle for beginners who need a vehicle that transports them around the city, without high aspirations.

11 Ducati 900SS 1990 – 2002

Via Vintage Bike

During the 90s Ducati went through a difficult period because most of the models presented problems. The model 900 SS is one of those that we must avoid. It is not a fast motorcycle, it presents problems in basic areas of the structure like the conical screws, the adjustment bolts of the bent chain, it has a horrible clutch, closures, and springs of poor quality, and it brings a poor long-term driving experience.

According to the Motorcycle News website, they qualify this basic motorcycle explaining that "Early Ducati 900SS's had a rubbish spring-up side stand, comfort’s not good (there’s lots of weight on the wrists) and the seat and screen are on the small side. Mirrors are pretty poor too." They also added that "older Ducati 900SS was notorious for snapping their cylinder head studs and bending chain adjusting bolts. Clutch can be grabby and fail. Later motorcycles were better but don’t count on low-cost trouble free motoring with a Ducati 900SS."

10 Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 2004

Via Pinterest

For the nostalgic people who enjoy that old motorcycle style, I recommend keeping away from these Royal Enfield's models because they are not reliable. These bikes are not fast, their elaboration is precarious and the electric motorcycles do not satisfy the needs of real enthusiasts of two wheels.

In fact, with what we would pay for one of these models (whether new or used) we could buy another bike with that vintage essence with a better performance than the one offered by Royal Enfield.

In addition, many users have expressed that unfortunately these models age prematurely, the rust appears very fast and the motorcycle presents problems too basic that user does not expect to see in motorcycles of this popularity and price.

9 Buell XB12S Lightning 2003 

Via OnlyMotorbikes.com

The Buell XB12S Lightning is a motorcycle that generates controversy among users. There are those who love it and those that detest it. It's that type of motorcycle that has positive and negative aspects so it is difficult to decide on what side we should stay, but among the problems users have complained about, we can highlight that it presents electrical problems, and broken transmission belts as well as screws. The fuel economy is not the best, its structure becomes uncomfortable for the rider after long rides and in general terms, it is not a practical model if we compare it with other motorcycles in the market.

According to MCN "Buell promise the glitches and niggles of earlier years are sorted with the Buell XB12S Lightning but owners of the motorcycle report otherwise. Electrical problems and poor finish are more minor than the snapping bolts and drive belts that earlier Buell motorcycles suffered. A local dealer who understands the Buell XB12S Lightning will make ownership easier."

8 Ducati Streetfighter 1098

Via FactoryTwoFour

Yes, another Ducati on the list. As I explained before, the brand had a few years that were not so good. It seems that many of its models despite looking spectacular and attracting the attention of users had considerable flaws that make us question whether it is really worth the investment. The Ducati Streetfighter 1098 was not the exception, although I must clarify that it is not really the worst on this list.

Some aspects to consider regarding this bike are, Streetfighter lacks windshield, which means that cyclists will have to bear the full weight of the wind. In addition, it has 155 horsepower 85 lb/ft of torque, the Streetfighter is absolutely wild so it is not recommended for beginners because a simple mistake on this bike can cost a lot. Besides, it has an unfinished look with pipes and wires sticking out that make it look like a crashed bike.

7 Yamaha 180 Scrambler 1967

Via SmartCycleGuide.com

The Yamaha 180 Scrambler 1967 presented a design problem because it had a combined generator starter that hung from the end of the crankshaft, which weighed around fifty pounds, and when combined with weak crankshaft bearings, it demanded too much assembly.

In general, it is not a bad bike, but we are talking about 1967, so of course it has faults that today we do not see on bikes of that kind. So, why insist on old models when in the market we have better options with better technology and design that help us have a better experience on the road. In addition, we must take into account that older models require a greater expenditure of money in maintenance than new models.

6 Jawa Trail 90 1973

Via Pinterest

Jawa Trail 90 was a model of 170 lbs. and 11 horsepower. For 1973 it was considered a reliable motorcycle that offered an experience according to what a rider was looking for back then, but this is the type of motorcycle that requires constant attention.

In fact, it included a tool kit under the seat of the rider. And the fact that they had to add a toolkit tells us a lot about the performance of the bike.

The Jawa Trail was the type of motorcycle that could work perfectly for beginner riders, but unfortunately for the true enthusiasts it was boring, slow and had not much to offer, and if we compare it with models in the current market, having one of these in our garage seems an absurd decision.

5 Yamaha YZ125 1985

Via Vital MX

The 80s were not a good time for Yamaha. They had been considered one of the most important and reliable companies in the seventies with large bikes and multiple titles of Supercross and National Motocross. However, in the early eighties, Yamaha seemed to get lost along the way.

The excellent machines of the late seventies gave way to problematic overweight turks in the early eighties and Yamaha began to lose reliability in the market. And probably one of the worst disappointments for followers of this brand was the YZ125 model.

The YZ125 was slow and presented performance problems, especially for the level of expectations that the users of the brand had, but the truth is that the YZ125 was not close to reaching the level of its predecessors, and although Yamaha promised to solve the problems that presented this model, in the end, the improvements were never seen.

4 Kawasaki KXF250 2004

Via Bikes - BestCarMag.com

Before talking about this bike we should start by saying that in the early 2000s when Kawasaki and Suzuki decided to make an alliance. The two manufacturers would pool their resources to develop some joint models to help them compete against Honda and Yamaha. The result was two almost identical bikes, Suzuki RMZ and Kawasaki KXF 250 four-stroke bikes, where the only real difference between the two was the color and shape of the radiator shrouds, but in the end, the twins turned out to be a funky combination that did not fill the users' expectations.

The engine was designed by Suzuki but the bikes were actually built by Kawasaki. The chassis and the rest of the bike were 100% Kawasaki in design and execution. That meant that the bike did not handle anything like a traditional Suzuki. While the suspension of the twins was passable but not perfect.

3 Honda CR450R 1981 

Via Pinterest

Curiously, this was one of the most anticipated bikes in the 80s to be the first Honda Open class bike, but unfortunately, users found one of the most confusing and disappointing bikes that have ever presented in a showroom.

In fact, Rick Sieman of SuperHunky called it one of the 10 worst dirt bikes of all time in this article.

His explanation went like this: “It shook the steering head like someone removed the bearings, and tracked like a buffalo on steroids. The front number plate looked like a hangnail, and the suspension was a mass of confused Showa leftovers that didn’t like each other.”

2 Suzuki TM400 1971

Via Italian Classic Motors

In the 70s, Suzuki launched the first serious open-class motocross bike, the MT400. Suzuki had been competing and winning on the track, so when they announced the launch of this new motorcycle the expectations of the users reached the sky. But unfortunately, Suzuki did not achieve the expected results. The motorcycle presented basic problems and sometimes it hit 4000 rpm,  sometimes 5000, or even 4500, and always seemed to do it in the central corner and the rider had no way of controlling it. Later, they added heavier flyers to calm it down and the ignition advance problem was solved in 1975.

And although many enthusiasts consider this model one of the great classics of the 70s, we must always take into consideration not to end up buying the first models of this version that were the ones that presented the most problems.

1 Benelli TRK 502 2017

Via Benelli

The Benelli TRK, in spite of being a new bike, did not fulfill the expectations of users. The twin 500cc parallel engine is mediocre and does not give enough acceleration to compare it with another 500 in the same class.

In addition, the brakes and suspension have failures, something unacceptable in these times.

In fact, the British newspaper MCN did not seem impressed with the bike after its presentation, so they expressed the following "It does not feel like a bicycle built in 2017." The impression that MCN had is probably due to the relationship between power/weight, with an engine delivering 47 horsepower and with a weight of 325 kg, it will definitely not be something easy to handle.

Sources: autoevolution.comcycleworld.commotomucci.com, autowise.com

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