How the mighty have...

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The hot bikes sport nearly 200 bhp, where back in the 60's 40 bhp made a big fast bike. There's millions more vehicles on the road. There's so many factors relating to increased danger. No way motorcycles can be as safe as they were when Cannonball Baker crossed the country on dirt roads on a 30 bhp 500-lb whale. Electronic safety aids, protective gear and technology in general have all done their part to mitigate the danger, but riding motorcycles will always be a less-than-totally-safe activity.

Nothing is ever 'totally safe'. 'Safe' is a situation or condition where the risks are minimised to a tolerable level. I gave up riding on public roads because I became scared. I have never been scared on a road race circuit. In my last permanent job, I worked in an explosives factory where we made the lot - I was never scared there either. If the risks are well managed, you have done all you can do.
These days, if I road race I do it without thinking, but in the old days I used to have terrible anxiety. If an incident happens these days - 'I have been there, done that'.
 
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If you're not comfortable on the bike, you gotta sit home in the recliner.
 
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Phuck !!!

I couldn't see the pictures on the phone. Just saw them on the computer. !!! PHUCK

You are lucky to be talking about this.
Did he hit you head on ? Looks like it.

All the best for your recovery.
I'm sure you will get it back on the road better than before.

Regards
Graeme

ps have you still got the Pantah ?
 
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Hey Graeme, how've you been?
He was oncoming to me and decided to make a right-hand turn. I hit his passenger side front wheel at 100kph (probably a bit less as I would have backed-off automatically, but that is the legal speed for that bit of road). Bounced off his windscreen and flew some 10 metres before embracing the tarmac.
Thanks for the wishes.
Yep still got the Pantah. I'd just had the shiny bits repainted, stripped the frame back and did that over with 2-pack and had the engine rebuilt before the accident. Nothing wrong with the motor, but most of the gears had shed case hardening which had found its way throughout. Fortunately I changed oil and filter more often than I needed to, so damage wasn't widespread. Getting replacement gears was the real hassle. Another bike task for me to start on soon.
 

mdt-son

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Tell that to Marco Simoncelli or Jarno Saarinen. I am really sick to death of hearing how unsafe public roads are and how safe racing is. When I was young, all my friends raced dirt bikes. I couldn't afford to have anything I couldn't use as transportation, so I rode on the street. They all tsk-tsked, wagged their fingers and shook their heads in knowing resignation. These days, they all limp from their "safe" dirt biking while I do not despite several pretty good crashes. And 99% of them ride no more. The street is potentially safer than the track because not everyone's going balls-to-the-wall with their hair on fire. Go tell your health insurance agent you are giving up "unsafe' street riding to become a "safe" motorcycle racer and see how long it takes them to cancel your policy.

True, but that's a general policy. Dirt bike riding has a rich potential of injuries, but I think deadly injuries are rather rare - unless the bike lands on top of you. The reasons are limited speed, usually free terrain around the circuit, all riders driving in the same direction, and marshalls present during races at least. Truth is, speed kills, and in racing more than in any other activity. Some motorcyclists adopt a racing style on the roads too ....

A comparison between m/c racing avd m/c driving on public roads is useless. On public roads you encounter persons who shouldn't be driving or riding. You encounter persons fiddling with their cell phones, persons neglecting stop signs or red lights, people who do U-turns or switching lanes thinking they are the only person on the road, to name a few. If collisions happen at low speeds (say, 50 mph or below) affected motorcyclists are often lucky to escape with few injuries. At 60 mph and above (freeway / motorway), a collision or impact rarely ends well even though all parties travel in the same direction. The reason is simple mechanics: The kinetic energy increases with the square of speed, while the potential energy uptake (i.e., the soft tissue) remains constant.

Having said that, many leisure activities are affected by significant risks. Think of activities like free climbing, diving, parachuting .....

-Knut
 

mdt-son

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Can't see any way that the frame would still be recoverable.
Note the headsteady too.

Hi Dave, greetings and I am happy to read that spark of life is back ....

Frame is obviously a write-off. Even the lower rails will be deformed. A new A-N frame is a good investment!

For the engine to be thrown that much forward due to inertial forces, the cradle must be pretty damaged as well. I would love to see a picture of it once you get the engine and trans out!

Can you salvage the cylinder head? The headsteady bolts may still be ok?

-Knut
 
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Thanks guys,

I had a look at Andover and they have plenty of frame repair parts, but no complete frames. Even if I could repair the frame, I don't think I'd ever feel secure on it again. I did find this though:

https://www.obsoletebikeparts.com/a...ommando-750-fastback-main-frame-assy-06-1130/

Is the fastback frame the same as the "normal" frame? Can't see any reason why not - unless the rear loop is longer???
Dunno what 1k5 Euro is in Aussie pesos, probably need $1k to get it here taxed.

Got the front end off today. Some interesting pics.

Downpipe mashed like it was Plasticine:

FrjZ


Front alloy wheel is a goner:

jwEG


Damn. Really liked them. Won't get a replacement.

Bent head fins:

ybXr


Bought one of the last FullAuto heads kicking around and never got around to fitting it. Looks like now's the time.

Kicked the bike over, so it's not seized. That's promising but who knows how long it lay on its side after the stack.

And to finish off things, here's a pic of the accident scene. Look away if you've not got a strong stomach:

U-mq


I've put this up to show how I really had no chance. See how the car hasn't even made it across the intersection. He's gone at the last minute. No chance I'd have ever been able to avoid it.
 
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Thanks guys,

I had a look at Andover and they have plenty of frame repair parts, but no complete frames. Even if I could repair the frame, I don't think I'd ever feel secure on it again. I did find this though:

https://www.obsoletebikeparts.com/a...ommando-750-fastback-main-frame-assy-06-1130/

Is the fastback frame the same as the "normal" frame? Can't see any reason why not - unless the rear loop is longer???
Dunno what 1k5 Euro is in Aussie pesos, probably need $1k to get it here taxed.

Got the front end off today. Some interesting pics.

Downpipe mashed like it was Plasticine:

FrjZ


Front alloy wheel is a goner:

jwEG


Damn. Really liked them. Won't get a replacement.

Bent head fins:

ybXr


Bought one of the last FullAuto heads kicking around and never got around to fitting it. Looks like now's the time.

Kicked the bike over, so it's not seized. That's promising but who knows how long it lay on its side after the stack.

And to finish off things, here's a pic of the accident scene. Look away if you've not got a strong stomach:

U-mq


I've put this up to show how I really had no chance. See how the car hasn't even made it across the intersection. He's gone at the last minute. No chance I'd have ever been able to avoid it.

Sincerely hope you patch up 'as new if not better' inside and out after this... Will say that last photo should be compulsory viewing for those who ride in shorts or shirtsleeves, though would think they're in minority here...
 
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Thanks a bunch chaps.

Missed that 850 Mk3 frame. Shock mounts aside - will it accommodate a 750 motor? Or is the block taller (longer stroke) on the 850?
 

Fast Eddie

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Thanks a bunch chaps.

Missed that 850 Mk3 frame. Shock mounts aside - will it accommodate a 750 motor? Or is the block taller (longer stroke) on the 850?

The engine is the same height (same stroke) iso mounts in the same place, etc.

Headstock angle may be different, but I assume you’ll be buying new yokes anyway, so buy new 850 yokes to go with the frame.

I’m sure if you contact the guys at AN they’ll be able to advise with all the specifics.

Or buy a Manx frame...
 
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An 850 MK3 frame is much preferred over the 68/69 frame as it suits the cradle mounted centre stand, there are different plates for the top shocks as they need to carry the hinged seat but they will still take the old seat and provide extra support for the rear hoop. The headstock angle is different but check with AN as they can confirm the 750 yokes will be compatible or not.
 

mdt-son

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I had a look at Andover and they have plenty of frame repair parts, but no complete frames.

Far from it, you need to look again. There are at least 3 different frames available. May I suggest a Mk3 frame?

-Knut
 

mdt-son

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Front alloy wheel is a goner:

jwEG


Damn. Really liked them. Won't get a replacement.

What's wrong - is the rim bent or has one of the spokes suffered a rupture? You may discuss with an alloy rim specialist - it's incredible what they are able to do to salvage a damaged rim / wheel.

-Knut
 

mdt-son

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An 850 MK3 frame is much preferred over the 68/69 frame as it suits the cradle mounted centre stand, there are different plates for the top shocks as they need to carry the hinged seat but they will still take the old seat and provide extra support for the rear hoop. The headstock angle is different but check with AN as they can confirm the 750 yokes will be compatible or not.

And with the corresponding Mk3 cradle, you get twin cotter pins ... and can do away with g/b adjustments.

-Knut
 
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What's wrong - is the rim bent or has one of the spokes suffered a rupture? You may discuss with an alloy rim specialist - it's incredible what they are able to do to salvage a damaged rim / wheel.

-Knut
Actually, I'm surprised that the wheel is as intact as it is. It must have had a hell of a whack - I would have expected to see it in several bits spread over a large area.
You were damn lucky to get away alive from that. Must have done something good to please your guardian angel there :)
 

ashman

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Got to say this Dave looking at the accident pic and the damage to car and all, you are one lucky man, anyway good luck with the rebuild, me being a Featherbed man that's the way I be going, nothing better than a Commando/Featherbed set up.

Ashley
 
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hey Dave,

That frame on obsoletebikeparts.com is an early frame like mine. It has 27 degree steering head vs 28 degree of later models. It requires the early model yokes which have a 2 3/8" offset rather than the 2 3/4" offset of later yokes. Mixing yokes is hard to do because the steering stops are different for the 2 different models, so you really want to get the early yokes for use with the early frame, or else look for all late model parts.

As Kommando said, the centerstand on the early is frame cross member mounted, rather than the cradle mounted center stand of later models. That crossmember blocks the use of the comstock sump breather, if that matters to you. The side stand is different too. The early model cradle swingarm tube requires the Kegler clamps, since it's a single fixing bolt tube. The late model twin wedge bolt tube is better.

My bike is set up with the central oil tank and associated battery tray. I'm not sure if it's a simple parts swap to use the late model oil tank and parts.

The early model has a tiny bit less trail than the late model which implies quicker steering and slightly less stability, but I doubt it's detectable in any way. Last time I rode someone else's 850, the most noticable thing was his foot pegs were normal forward mounted ones and his handlebars were different.

Glad you're OK first and foremost. It's sad to see such a beauty destroyed. It certainly would be tough to find a set of cast wheels to fit your new bike from New Zealand. My wheels are off a early 80's yamaha seca 550. Yours look like the old Kawasaki GPz 550 style. Neither are impossible to find, but not easy either...
 
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