'81 R100RS with a dual-plug conversion and oversized Mikuni slide carbs, bought in '05 and ridden for a few years and about 16,000 miles. Great bike for its time and still a hoot even a quarter-century later, but not designed for the vertically-challenged such as myself. The carb conversion made it a bit cold-blooded and fussy to start. It's been parked a long time awaiting restoration.
Bill Dog wrote:
Have you ridden a flat twin ?
Wouldn't mind an RnineT Racer with a set of Helibars so I could actually ride it for more than 20 minutes without needing a chiropractor. It's just that when you no longer need to hang the cylinders out in the breeze to keep 'em cool anymore, there's no engineering reason except legacy image to do so. I mean, I do get that part of it, but it doesn't seem like quite enough. (I concede that's a personal opinion, and further concede it's coming from someone who owns a Vespa that despite being an homage to their classic smallframes, has a 4-stroke engine and a rubber-band transmission.)
Balance? KTM makes a 74HP, 690cc single that's reasonably smooth. Taming a parallel twin should be a much easier task -- and BMW already makes their share of them, too.
I've got a Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 (Duke 390 but with sensible styling and actually good ergonomics) and oddly it reminds me of the Airhead -- higher RPM, of course, but with half the cylinder count it works out about the same in terms of exhaust-pulse frequency. Similarly narrow, similarly torquey (well, after accounting for the much smaller displacement...). The Svart is a lot better at parking-lot/traffic jam speeds, the R100RS was a lot better at highway speeds (legendary fairing vs. no windscreen at all, plus about 30HP extra and on-rails handling at speed).