Considering a 961 Cafe purchase.

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There was a thread here awhile back that dealt with elimination much of that engine vibration your friend referred to.
It was corrected in part by proper balancing of the balance shaft, which was out of whack.
The other issue was the crank, which was seriously out of alignment, probably because the centre bearing mount was attached with incorrect cap screws (too long) that bottomed before tightening the mount.
Once those things were corrected, the engine vibration level went way down.
It does require a full engine strip and dynamic balancing.
The cost wasn't great as that owner was able to do all of the disassembly and reassembly work in his shop.


Glen
Wow, after paying what most woukd consider an extreme amount of money for what is supposed to be a quality motorcycle & then having to strip the engine to repair something that should be basic quality control from the outset. Does my head in !
 
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Stephen_Spencer

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I'm always trying to eradicate or at least minimize vibration.
There is an acceptable or perhaps expected level of vibration and that seems to be different for everyone.
Some of it may come down to the type of riding done. For myself, I want a bike, old or new, to be comfortable enough to do a 400 mile day at 70 mph. If it's a shaker, 400 miles at 70 is not fun. Got a couple of old bikes like that now, unfortunately. I don't ride them very fast or far.
If 900RS is just doing short runs maybe the vibes could be tolerated. It's hard to imagine vibration as a feature. Aside from being uncomfortable, it is damaging to the human body if severe and sustained.
In the case of the 961, it seems to be fixable. At least you have a modern balance shaft to work with!
Whoever put that in the design ( Kenny Dreer?) was obviously looking for ways to reduce/eliminate the usual parallel twin vibration, so I don't believe the shakey engine idea was intentional.

Glen
Apart from different acceptable levels of vibration for different people, different models and therefore riding positions and different types of usage, it appears that the hand built nature has led to different inherent vibration across individual bikes!

I ride a CR, generally in a spirited fashion and get very little vibration through to my extremeties. Occasionally my right hand gets a tingle. Nothing that could’nt be resolved by a change of grips in my instance. I suspect very (very) few would even consider a full strip and balance necessary. My opinion only.
 
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If your friend was running around the 4k rpm to 4500 rpm range then sure it buzzes, below that or better still keep her above 5k rpm and the motor sings. 2018CR here with 3500miles and nowt serious gone wrong. I wouldn't bother trying to gut the std silencers, the factory shorts/longs + decat pipe + map is the way to go. Hopefully you still have somewhere in Aus to get a re-map done.
 
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900RS ? This isn't a KAW Z900RS is it ? What is the 900RS a BMW ? That may vibrate , I have not ridden one .
 
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Apart from different acceptable levels of vibration for different people, different models and therefore riding positions and different types of usage, it appears that the hand built nature has led to different inherent vibration across individual bikes!

I ride a CR, generally in a spirited fashion and get very little vibration through to my extremeties. Occasionally my right hand gets a tingle. Nothing that could’nt be resolved by a change of grips in my instance. I suspect very (very) few would even consider a full strip and balance necessary. My opinion only.
Agreed , BUT Bushman had a bad counterbalancer drive side bearing . His vibration must have been awful .
 
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There was a thread here awhile back that dealt with elimination much of that engine vibration your friend referred to.
It was corrected in part by proper balancing of the balance shaft, which was out of whack.
The other issue was the crank, which was seriously out of alignment, probably because the centre bearing mount was attached with incorrect cap screws (too long) that bottomed before tightening the mount.
Once those things were corrected, the engine vibration level went way down.
It does require a full engine strip and dynamic balancing.
The cost wasn't great as that owner was able to do all of the disassembly and reassembly work in his shop.


Glen
Wow, after paying what most woukd consider an extreme amount of money for what is supposed to be a quality motorcycle & then having to strip the engine to do something that should be basic quality control from the outset
900RS ? This isn't a KAW Z900RS is it ? What is the 900RS a BMW ? That may vibrate , I have not ridden one .
Yep, Kawasaki 900RS (retro special) great all round bike, looks fantastic in jaffa colours, good at scratching, comfortable, ok two up and tuned with a fantastic mid range. Love it.
 
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If your friend was running around the 4k rpm to 4500 rpm range then sure it buzzes, below that or better still keep her above 5k rpm and the motor sings. 2018CR here with 3500miles and nowt serious gone wrong. I wouldn't bother trying to gut the std silencers, the factory shorts/longs + decat pipe + map is the way to go. Hopefully you still have somewhere in Aus to get a re-map done.
Well I went for the test ride today, 1st impression was -- it looked great from every angle but there were numerous parts that would look far better if they were polished alloy instead of that ugly grey colour + the top of the engine is not pretty. Ugly looking cooling fins that could look so much better if it was designed with a bit more thought. Once riding my 2nd impression was -- I don't know what my mate was talking about, because the vibration is no where near as bad as he described, it didn't bother me at any revs and was actually less than I expected. 3rd impression was -- the riding position was ok & not the uncomfortable stretch to the bars others were saying it is & I am not 6ft. I rode for about 25 minutes & only had slight discomfort in my wrists, but I don't have a bike with clip ons at the moment so I would obviously get used to it. 4th impression was -- it didn't inspire confidence in the few twisty roads I had to play with, not bad handling but I just felt somewhat disconnected from the bike because I wasnt getting any feedback from tyres or suspension. 5th impression was -- it just didn't make me feel glad to be riding it, very underpowered (which would improve a little with decent pipes etc but at a fairly hefty price) & it didn't have any of the character I was hoping to feel from a bike like this. I just couldn't find anything about it to give me that tingly excited feeling which makes you want to keep riding motorcycles that are special somehow. I tried to love it but came away feeling really disappointed & let down. While I was at the shop i thought i would test ride a Thruxton 1200 R & it left me wanting more, not because it had a lot more power, it just felt right & felt planted straight out of the box + it handled beautifully & I felt at home after 2 corners. The finish of the bike was also immaculate. The Norton is not for me, I wasnt expecting a refined motorcycle by any stretch of the imagination but I was expecting to feel as if I was riding something special & that just did not happen. Awsome bike to look at, but thats about it for me im afraid.
 
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Stephen_Spencer

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Hey 900RS, was just about to call to discuss the bike as arranged but having read the above, you’ve clearly decided that it’s not for you and that‘s cool. Fair enough. The only thing I would say is that the bike took a little time to get used to, set up correctly and modified as required, before it became a love affair for me. Also not a great comparison between a mass produced bike (Thruxton) and the hand built Norton - different in so many ways. I’m a pom with a family history with British bikes so am otherwise invested in the marque; you may not have that connection.

Good luck with your search for another bike.

Best regards.

Steve
 
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Hey 900RS, was just about to call to discuss the bike as arranged but having read the above, you’ve clearly decided that it’s not for you and that‘s cool. Fair enough. The only thing I would say is that the bike took a little time to get used to, set up correctly and modified as required, before it became a love affair for me. Also not a great comparison between a mass produced bike (Thruxton) and the hand built Norton - different in so many ways. I’m a pom with a family history with British bikes so am otherwise invested in the marque; you may not have that connection.

Good luck with your search for another bike.

Best regards.

Steve
Hi Steve, I was hoping you would call before I got there. My only connection with English bikes was with the early Bonnie I owned & loved for the character & handling it had. I actually thought my Pommy mate who test rode it would have loved it but he was far more negative than me. I suppose I was hoping the Norton would have, in some way, the same cool unique feeling the old Bonnie had, but better. I was dissapointed and although I wasn't expecting the bike to be powerfull in any way, I was hoping to ride a nicely tuned bike with good mid range, loads of character & nice handling. Unfortunately, it was none of the above. 3 out of 4 would have been ok. Maybe you are correct & if I spent money on pipes, tuning, handling etc, etc I might grow to like it more, and that would not be so bad if the bike gave me a good feeling when I test rode it, but it didn't. My way of thinking is that the Norton should have something very special about it to warrant the $38000 price tag & I think comparing the Triumph is fair because you are not paying the premium price of the Norton & I wasn't comparing hp or engine noise, just overall feel & pleasure of riding. To my mind, the Trumpy wins in every aspect. But, as you said, everyone is different, and the Norton is just not not for me.
 
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Clive

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I would love to compare this bike to mine - maybe I am just lucky with my build? Just had a track session with it and was passing sports bikes on the corners but is this because I trust it and don't know how much safer a well set up sports bike feels (A mix of Gung-Ho and blissfull ignorance)? And after mine was decatted and remapped it really did feel like a completely different bike and riding experience. Yes the Thruxton is really great but I found myself looking at a friend's with bits of rust popping up in different places and all that 'kitchen appliance' brushed metal and being a bit disappointed with that.

Never mind - a pleasure virtually meeting you stay safe and enjoy your motorcycling.
 
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I would love to compare this bike to mine - maybe I am just lucky with my build? Just had a track session with it and was passing sports bikes on the corners but is this because I trust it and don't know how much safer a well set up sports bike feels (A mix of Gung-Ho and blissfull ignorance)? And after mine was decatted and remapped it really did feel like a completely different bike and riding experience. Yes the Thruxton is really great but I found myself looking at a friend's with bits of rust popping up in different places and all that 'kitchen appliance' brushed metal and being a bit disappointed
Never mind - a pleasure virtually meeting you stay safe and enjoy your motorcycling.
 
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It is great that you love your bike & maybe you are just a better rider than the other track guys ? I remember passing R1s & GSXR riders in the twisties on Sprinbrook Mountain (gold coast hinterland) on my 900 68hp Thruxton which should never happen. I would sell my R1 on eBay as soon as I got home if i was overtaken by a Thruxton, lol. I am sure the bike could be set up much better but i just cant bring myself to pay that much money for something that i found so uninspiring on the test ride. I am dissapointed, I can tell you that I really wanted to buy this bike & could have bought it brand new for around $25000.
 

Fast Eddie

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I think you’re looking at this all wrong mate...

You like the looks, but didn’t have enjoy the ride...

So, buy the bike, keep it in your front room and enjoy looking at it !

You’re guaranteed to avoid ALL the reliability issues that way too !!
 

trident sam

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Hi Steve, I was hoping you would call before I got there. My only connection with English bikes was with the early Bonnie I owned & loved for the character & handling it had. I actually thought my Pommy mate who test rode it would have loved it but he was far more negative than me. I suppose I was hoping the Norton would have, in some way, the same cool unique feeling the old Bonnie had, but better. I was dissapointed and although I wasn't expecting the bike to be powerfull in any way, I was hoping to ride a nicely tuned bike with good mid range, loads of character & nice handling. Unfortunately, it was none of the above. 3 out of 4 would have been ok. Maybe you are correct & if I spent money on pipes, tuning, handling etc, etc I might grow to like it more, and that would not be so bad if the bike gave me a good feeling when I test rode it, but it didn't. My way of thinking is that the Norton should have something very special about it to warrant the $38000 price tag & I think comparing the Triumph is fair because you are not paying the premium price of the Norton & I wasn't comparing hp or engine noise, just overall feel & pleasure of riding. To my mind, the Trumpy wins in every aspect. But, as you said, everyone is different, and the Norton is just not not for me.

Get yourself a well restored (proper) Norton Commando, it will scratch your itch properly.
 
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I think you’re looking at this all wrong mate...

You like the looks, but didn’t have enjoy the ride...

So, buy the bike, keep it in your front room and enjoy looking at it !

You’re guaranteed to avoid ALL the reliability issues that way too !!
If I had endless amounts of money to spare I definitely would, just to fill in the gap between the pool table & the dart board. The test ride certainly made me appreciate my 900RS a lot more.
 
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I actually test rode a 961 Sport back to back with the Thruxton 1200R. The Thruxton is a good looking bike (apart from the ugly back mudguard) but the 961, to my mind, looks sensational. The Triumph, alas, felt quite ordinary, but not only did the Norton feel special - it made me feel special to be riding it (my first time on a Norton of any description, I don't know whether they all do that!)
Each to his own of course, but that was my experience.
 
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