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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll start the bidding with a Can Am 250 Scrambler. Don't hold me to it but I think that they had a Rotax engine around 1989 or thereabouts. This is not just about one bike that I personally owned. Out of a fleet of 12 there were only six bikes roadworthy with parts from the other six keeping them going. The engines were fine and never let anybody down but, I suppose as it was an off road bike, they used the excuse that road legal bits bits fell off daily and bulbs were shaken to pieces. We were constantly repairing these **** machines and no wonder. From 1969 most of us had already encountered Honda's genius and could not believe that the world was surviving on this rubbish.
 

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For me, it was hands down the Triumph Tiger Explorer 1200. Before the "happy tags" even expired the shaft drive cannibalized itself. After examining it, Triumph concluded that it was a misalignment from the factory or something along those lines that caused the issue. It took Triumph about 45 days to ship a new shaft drive from the UK and when it arrived it had a coating of rust. The dealership took one look at it and said, nope. So Triumph "expressed shipped" a replacement for that one out. It still took a couple of weeks.

When the new one came in and they finally got everything back together they started the bike up and noticed a rattling sound from the engine and did a top-end rebuild. After completing that, the shop started the bike up again and noticed it was also making a concerning sound from the lower end as well.

To Triumph's credit, they decided that they weren't going to put me through anymore and replaced the 2013 bike with a 2014 model since we had now slipped into the next model year with it being in the shop.

They swore up and down that the new ones had fixed the issues of the old, that I would have no problem with the new bike and would be a happy camper from then on out. They were wrong.

It took a good few months and I was helping out a guy who lived in Colorado Springs in dealing with the same issue with his 2013 when my 2014 developed the same shaft drive problem as the previous bike. This time Triumph got a part in quicker, but it continued to have some issues and the dealer later admitted that they should have replaced the clutch basket when they replaced the shaft, but Triumph had told them not to.

In any case, that was my last Triumph. I still have a soft spot for them as I had 5, well 6 if you count the Explorers are 2, and I keep looking at them and considering them. But the Explorer 1200 fiasco left me a bit gunshy about Triumph, especially considering that none of the others was exactly problem-free either. Mostly minor stuff. But I do worry a bit about their reliability/durability.
 

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I guess the worst I've experienced was my Terra650 prior to KTM finally remapping the ECU for all the Husky owners that BMW abandoned.
They had a problem with low-speed (small throttle opening) mapping and would flame-out unexpectedly just as you started out from a stop or ran any low-speed technical trails. Made the bike unviable for many.
Then there is the poorly designed air-box that allows dust to bypass the filter and enter the throttle body. The pod-mod fix mean cutting up the air-box and adding a pod filter to the TB.
Then the swing-arm can fill with water and doesn't have a way to drain = drill your own drain-holes.
Once you fix these niggles they are a great bike.
 

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I guess the worst I've experienced was my Terra650 prior to KTM finally remapping the ECU for all the Husky owners that BMW abandoned.
The Terra650 would probably be my wife's worst bike owned as well since it went into a death wobble at 60-some mph and dumped her. It did have a few issues, including that ECU remapping and a few other niggles. She really liked the bike until then, but insurance totalled it.

Prior to that I believe she would probably say the Yamaha V-Star Classic she had very briefly as a first bike :)
 

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Husqvarna TC250. Needed valves serviced every 10 hours else it wouldn't run. Shortly after, the dealer abandoned the line and I couldn't get parts for it and husqvarna quit supporting it even though it was only 2 years old. Worse than a ducati at maintenance. Always metal shavings in the oil. Hard to start if the valves were close to 10 hours when warm. It was powerful though and the akra exhaust sounded nice.
 

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I'll start the bidding with a Can Am 250 Scrambler. Don't hold me to it but I think that they had a Rotax engine around 1989 or thereabouts. This is not just about one bike that I personally owned. Out of a fleet of 12 there were only six bikes roadworthy with parts from the other six keeping them going. The engines were fine and never let anybody down but, I suppose as it was an off road bike, they used the excuse that road legal bits bits fell off daily and bulbs were shaken to pieces. We were constantly repairing these **** machines and no wonder. From 1969 most of us had already encountered Honda's genius and could not believe that the world was surviving on this rubbish.
Not sure how well Can-Am did in Europe but in off road competition in Canada they were a difficult bike to beat as long as the engine didn't grenade itself. It was often hard to find replacement parts for when they did.
 

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I guess the worst I've experienced was my Terra650 prior to KTM finally remapping the ECU for all the Husky owners that BMW abandoned.
They had a problem with low-speed (small throttle opening) mapping and would flame-out unexpectedly just as you started out from a stop or ran any low-speed technical trails. Made the bike unviable for many.
Then there is the poorly designed air-box that allows dust to bypass the filter and enter the throttle body. The pod-mod fix mean cutting up the air-box and adding a pod filter to the TB.
Then the swing-arm can fill with water and doesn't have a way to drain = drill your own drain-holes.
Once you fix these niggles they are a great bike.
Agree with you. I might add it took bmuu 4 years to implement a solution. Palming it off to Magneti Marelli. At 4 years my terra had 61k km.... To flippin late.
And 10 years of workshop support:ROFLMAO:. Which dried up in 2.
First and Last bmuu product.
 

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My worst bike was my first CBR600. I wanted a new one but they were impossible to get as there was no stock and it was going to be at least a 6 month wait. I found a second hand one in a dealers in Doncaster so bought it, it was under a year old. The first thing I noticed was the fairing was GRP which I thought unusual for Honda but as I had no prior experience with CBR's I just passed it off as somehow normal. Few months later as I was accelerating onto the main road the gearbox exploded. Got it picked up by my local dealer who called me the next day to say as it was under 2 years old it will be a warranty claim. Next day I got a call saying it wouldn't be as it had been a Honda CBR600 Challenge bike, I expressed surprise at that and was passed to the Honda warranty inspector and he asked if I had been told, I hadn't so he said ok Honda won't be fixing it under warranty but he could guarantee it would be getting paid for by the dealer in Doncaster :D It got fixed and I sold it as soon as I got it back and by this time the new ones had arrived so I bought one.
 

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Worst motorcycle ever owned…..all of them as soon as I’ve seen another one I want! 😂

*touches wood (UK expression for luck) - I have had pretty good bikes over the years, all have had “common faults” but nothing catastrophic. The dogs on my ZX636R C1 shat themselves but I had Kawasaki cover so it got fixed in two wks.

I have had many friends whom have had issues which almost put me off certain bikes/brands. A KTM 950SM that was always in the workshop, a Multistrada that had over £10k of warranty in the first year etc.
 

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I've been pretty lucky - I believe. The worst may have been a 1985 Honda Rebel. A small 250 cc inline twin. The clutch was not smooth, and although the bike did not stall, it was distracting. The engine was cranky and somewhat unpredictable when cold, and it took a long time to warm up. However, it provided an unfailing riding service even though it was performance limited.

Unlike other members here, no disasters, crashes, near crashes, explosions and the like.
 

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Well, hard to say. I have owned 70+ bikes over the years, and have loved them all. Some, in spite of their obvious short comings.

I think the first runner up was a '68 BSA 650 lightning that I bought at an auction (not a vehicle auction, just a junk auction that was held weekly in our crappy little town.) I was 16, and bought it non-running for $25.00. I learned a lot, tearing it down, replacing seals, gaskets, piston rings, etc. I also learned a bit about frame welding, since one of the down tubes was broken. Once I got it running, it was not a sweet ride, since I discovered it also had a cracked fork tube that gave it some interesting handling characteristics. It was passed on for about $180 to one of my little dumb buddies, in accordance with the "greater fool" theory of investing and motorcycles.

The winner in this competition had to be a '72 Kawasaki H2 (750 two-stroke triple). I bought it used, at a dealership with a new top end for $600 in maybe 1977. The bike was scary fast for it's day, with a rather vile power curve that was nothing, nothing, nothing, then everything as it hit about 7,000 rpm. Had Denco Cobra pipes on it, which probably exacerbated the power curve strangeness.

The frame was pretty soft. If you were in a curve and hit the powerband, the force on the chain would flex the frame, giving you essentially rear wheel steering with a sudden jump to the right. Steering head bearings were always in some form of degredation, as well. That may have just been midwestern dirt. It had some sort of death wobble at about 120 mph, that if you continued to accelerate through it, would smooth out at 130. It would be waiting for you as you slowed down, though.

The fabulous single disk brake would bring you down from 135mph to about 40 mph, before it faded into nothingness.

Wheelies were a standard launch technique, and the Dodge Chargers of my friends learned to cower in fear, especially after I blew a launch, sorted it out, and still came from behind for a win in a 1/4 mile drag.

It also had a voracious appetite for fuel and rear tires.

The bike's ECU finally puked one night while camping in the rough, and I ended up selling it for what I paid for it, as is, to a friend that wanted to ride it out to California. (He made it, but the bike was never the same.)

 

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Well, hard to say. I have owned 70+ bikes over the years, and have loved them all. Some, in spite of their obvious short comings.

I think the first runner up was a '68 BSA 650 lightning that I bought at an auction (not a vehicle auction, just a junk auction that was held weekly in our crappy little town.) I was 16, and bought it non-running for $25.00. I learned a lot, tearing it down, replacing seals, gaskets, piston rings, etc. I also learned a bit about frame welding, since one of the down tubes was broken. Once I got it running, it was not a sweet ride, since I discovered it also had a cracked fork tube that gave it some interesting handling characteristics. It was passed on for about $180 to one of my little dumb buddies, in accordance with the "greater fool" theory of investing and motorcycles.

The winner in this competition had to be a '72 Kawasaki H2 (750 two-stroke triple). I bought it used, at a dealership with a new top end for $600 in maybe 1977. The bike was scary fast for it's day, with a rather vile power curve that was nothing, nothing, nothing, then everything as it hit about 7,000 rpm. Had Denco Cobra pipes on it, which probably exacerbated the power curve strangeness.

The frame was pretty soft. If you were in a curve and hit the powerband, the force on the chain would flex the frame, giving you essentially rear wheel steering with a sudden jump to the right. Steering head bearings were always in some form of degredation, as well. That may have just been midwestern dirt. It had some sort of death wobble at about 120 mph, that if you continued to accelerate through it, would smooth out at 130. It would be waiting for you as you slowed down, though.

The fabulous single disk brake would bring you down from 135mph to about 40 mph, before it faded into nothingness.

Wheelies were a standard launch technique, and the Dodge Chargers of my friends learned to cower in fear, especially after I blew a launch, sorted it out, and still came from behind for a win in a 1/4 mile drag.

It also had a voracious appetite for fuel and rear tires.

The bike's ECU finally puked one night while camping in the rough, and I ended up selling it for what I paid for it, as is, to a friend that wanted to ride it out to California. (He made it, but the bike was never the same.)
Great examples 👍🏻😆
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Not sure how well Can-Am did in Europe but in off road competition in Canada they were a difficult bike to beat as long as the engine didn't grenade itself. It was often hard to find replacement parts for when they did.
Hello Bill,
I agree that the bike was a belter off road in the early days. Apart from the clutch which required the strength of ten men to apply and release it. 😬 Hated the bike and still do although I did pass my test on one of them. Saw a few ex military ones for sale with canvas panniers that they used on the dispatch rider courses back in the day when the test included off road, night and day, plus pursuit. People were all over them like they are nowadays with the Urals etc. Each to their own I suppose and no offence to those who love them. I see the Royal Enfield Himalayan as a descendent of one of those bikes but no doubt it is much better?? Who knows?
 

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A CB 900 Custom. Forgot the year, maybe late 80`s. Great looking bike. Dealer had it as a left over. Turns out gas tank had rusted inside and gummed up the carbs. New tank and carbs later still never ran right. It also had a dual range transmission which never felt right in low or high range. Number two would be a Kawasaki 900 Custom I bought from a friend. Needed a complete engine rebuild and never ran right after. My `22 Africa Twin Standard is my favorite bike so far in 55 years of riding!
Wheel Tire Plant Vehicle Motorcycle
 

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NSU Quickly mopeds. I had two I cobbled into one almost runner. I was 10 to be fair but it used to take a mile or so pushing it on the beach before I got it bump started. Ugly things too. One yellow (Dulux I think) and one grey. 50p each and sold the two of them for a fiver. Start of my rise to millionaire status. Well, running out of time I guess on that dream....
 

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All the bikes I have owned, I really liked. None were terribly disappointing. Like some of you, I have purchased about 6 bikes over the years, nurturing the wife into riding. Two of her bikes were just horrible......

BMW 650GS.... Way to heavy, way under powered, handled miserable.... I hated it.
Buell Blast..... Way to heavy, way under powered, horrible suspension.... I hated it.

I suppose my worst bike was a Honda 2004 VTX1800S. It was sure cool to look at, but the suspension and horrible seat made that bike really rough to ride. I only owned it 4 months.


.............
 

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I have had dozens of bikes over the years but I have to say one of my Least favorite was a Versys 650 I bought in 2014 off the showroom Floor. I had a Buell Ulysses that I had sold (one of my favorite bikes BTW) and I just needed an in between bike until my next serious purchase. I got the Versys brand new for a good Price assuming I would ride it for a few months until I got my next bike, which at the time I wanted a GS. The versys had the worst suspension of any bike I have ever owned. no Amount of fiddlin with it could make it feel anything other than Wagon wheels on railroad tracks. Couple that with horrible vibes around the 5K and beyond mark and it was just unlivable. I was actually second guessing whether I wanted an AT after my horrible experience with a Ptwin engine on that Versys. But the AT is silky smooth in comparison.
 

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All the bikes I have owned, I really liked. None were terribly disappointing. Like some of you, I have purchased about 6 bikes over the years, nurturing the wife into riding. Two of her bikes were just horrible......

BMW 650GS.... Way to heavy, way under powered, handled miserable.... I hated it.
Buell Blast..... Way to heavy, way under powered, horrible suspension.... I hated it.

I suppose my worst bike was a Honda 2004 VTX1800S. It was sure cool to look at, but the suspension and horrible seat made that bike really rough to ride. I only owned it 4 months.


.............
I'm surprised on the 650GS, they have a cult following of diehards.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Out of the bikes available today my vote goes to the BMW 310GS. No coincidence that they've put a slipper clutch on the latest models. If you want to witness a bunch of people totally dissatisfied with their purchases then go to the 310 website. Thought it was me being a bit rusty when I got one 3 years plus ago but no. Inability to select 1st gear ("the gearbox is fine it just needs to wear in" = BMW 'mechanic'). Wild and unpredictable engine response to throttle input (widely reported and remap required). Safety recall on brake callipers (booked months before first service but 'parts unavailable'). The only training the BMW 'techs' seem to get is to try to convince the customer that they are wrong when they complain. I call it 'TECHNICAL BULLYING' where everything is laid out, showroom, workshop, reception area, forecourt etc, to diminish the customer so that they perceive themselves as a helpless patient in a big powerful, intimidating hospital where the 'Doctors' know best. The bike felt uncontrollable and skittish at anything over 50MPH (understandable I suppose for a small bike but it should at least be able to keep up with traffic on a dual carriageway without weaving in the slightest breeze). At low speeds it was jerk jerk jerk clunk and I'm no novice rider. Only had it about 3 months and got rid. Half the world is still chasing BMW for the recall work on the bike. On the early models the frame above the kickstand broke so they provided new frames and had to refit the entire old bike around the new frame under warranty!!
So glad to be rid of it and back with Honda.
 
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