Place to find information on Motorcycles
July 19, 2013 1:25 AM   Subscribe

After reading Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance some time ago I started being interested into motocycles. So I was wondering if anyone could recommend me some websites or resources where I could find more information on them. Both to learn about the actual motorcycles that are being sold and information in general. Also, can anyone identify this bike for me?

What I'm looking for is the equivalent of a site like for video games. Or for computer hardware. But something for motorcycle since I know very little about them.
posted by iliketothinknu to Travel & Transportation (8 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I spent countless hours on when I first got into bikes. It's travel oriented but you can find just about everything there.
posted by MillMan at 1:43 AM on July 19, 2013

I believe the bike in your linked picture is a heavily modified Harley Davidson "Hardtail," so called because there are no shock absorbers on the rear wheel; it's a rigid frame, like a bicycle. Looks cool, but very uncomfortable and unsafe. That would make it a very old bike, but the wheels on it are much newer.
posted by jon1270 at 2:53 AM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

Actually the more I look at it, the more I think that it might be a fully modern bike just trying to look like a Hardtail. The round cover at the top of the cylinder head suggests an overhead cam, and I think Harley Davidson only makes pushrod engines.

I really don't know much about Harleys. If you had a question about a mid-1970's Honda, I'd probably be able to help you out.
posted by jon1270 at 3:01 AM on July 19, 2013 [2 favorites]

I don't know what that bike is, but jon1270 is correct, it's certainly not a Harley, I don't think it's even a V-twin.
posted by HuronBob at 3:20 AM on July 19, 2013

That's absolutely a v twin! You can see the back cylinder.

It looks like an 80s Yamaha xv920 to me, especially based on the wheels. Look at for example this page and photo of one. It's just heavily modified, and I've seen lots of modified early viragos on the interwebs.

The rest, you'll get lots of suggestions on. But I wanted to clear up what bike that was :)

They're also cheap and readily available for what it's worth. I've even seen that "rare" model on my local Craigslist for less than two grand...
posted by emptythought at 3:54 AM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

I suggest locating and signing up for your transportation authority recognized motorcycle training course, which are often offered through a local vocational college. Not only will you get first-hand experience with a motorcycle in a controlled environment, you'll also get intense exposure to motorcycle folk -- both young eager ones who have been off-road racing, adults exploring other transportation options, older folks looking for a fun way to get around, and the very knowledgable instructors. Strike up some conversations, maybe make a few new friends, certainly get an idea of the good local 'cycle shops and other resources.

Depending on how licensing works in your area, you may need to take a paper test to get a "training motorcycle" rider on your regular license before you attend class.
posted by seanmpuckett at 4:41 AM on July 19, 2013

Best answer: At the risk of stating the obvious, wikipedia has lots of info, and it's well organized. Start perhaps at: Outline of Motorcycles and Motorcycling
posted by at at 7:32 AM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I'm not sure what bike that is, but if you like the style it's considered a "bobber."

All the big magazines have comprehensive sites:

Cycle World



ADV Rider is a huge forum, mostly catering to "adventure" riding (the ADV part) but there are forums for everything.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation will point you to an approved MSF course (if you're in the US, licensing in other countries can be way different than in the US.)
posted by thylacine at 10:19 AM on July 19, 2013 [1 favorite]

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