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Ride your airhead!

7 Posts
5 Users
Leif Dickinson
Posts: 3
Active Member
Topic starter

It's amazing how often I see members of our club show up at rallies and events on their late model bikes - V-stroms, oilhead gs models, and others.

Making our beloved airheads seen is the best way to promote club growth and bring in new members. A well maintained airhead can be a reliable ride on almost any distance. I often have people ask me about my bike while on the road and occasionally I get the person who tells me about their airhead and when I ask them if they are in the club, they say they've never heard of it. 

Ride your old beast!


Posted : 09/18/2023 06:16
Michael Benko
Posts: 21
Eminent Member

hizzah! couldn't agree more. I think the hardest thing to over come here is reliability of old machines and access to the correct information to tackle routine and advanced maintenance... it can be a tough sell in the 21st century!

As a very young member who only recently joined, and happenstance discovered this wonderful forum/network I can say that the resources this group offers (and I hope to offer to others in the future) is exactly the kind of community of eccentric motorists needed to keep these machines running.

Encouraging visibility in the greater community and encouraging access to resources for bike maintenance and helping each other where possible is a sure fire way to keep everything rolling at speed. I, for one, will always be recommending airheads to anyone who asks about motorcycles as a means of transport or fun.


However, even with all of that said; I am still very hesitant to do heftier maintenance (ex. transmission repair) despite the resources and that type of repair is almost guaranteed to be coming up quick on these old beasts. If I had a newer oilhead I might ride it to a rally, but for now I'm biting down hard on keeping my machine in top shape. And I encourage everyone to do the same!

Posted : 01/31/2024 12:07
Mike Buhler
Posts: 200
Estimable Member

Agreed! I rode from Newfoundland to Tennessee for the 2019 MOA rally on my '82 R65 LS. I'd never ridden that bike for more than maybe 3 hours at a time before I left and my first 4 days were 900 km days! I flogged that beast at 75 mph all the way down and all the way home. The folks I met at Airhead Central were great and they helped me with lots of little things on my bike and I learned a lot. That experience prompted me when I got home to open the first Airhead chapter of Newfoundland. and they nominated me the Air Marshall. I now have 2 and I ride them as much as I can. I have one in the shed that I get out on any dry days I can. Yup, get out and ride!

Posted : 02/01/2024 06:08
Richard W
Posts: 2530

Posted by: @18672

I think the hardest thing to over come here is reliability of old machines and access to the correct information to tackle routine and advanced maintenance... it can be a tough sell in the 21st century!

Since the /5 and later bikes were very, VERY advanced for their day, there is nothing "old" or special about their technology today, and therefore nothing "advanced" about their present-day maintenance. 

Most of the "quirks" found on the Airhead were forced upon us by the EPA and other governmental agencies. (Think ethanol laden fuels here.) And the issues created by those "improvements" are common to ALL lawn mowers, chain saws and scooters that use the same fuels. So that's not 'special' or 'advanced'.

IMHO, the difference for the 21st Century riders is what I call "Insta-Cool". They want the easy way to look cool, which is: "Let me shell out $200 to $500 and sit in a tattoo chair. When I get up, I'll look cool." These same guys may want to be seen in/on a classic car or motorcycle, but they don't care to Learn about it. They want a shop, where they can shell out $200 to $500 and drive out looking cool. But these shops are getting harder and harder to find.

Maybe I'm wrong, but to me the "tough sell" here is the time required to self-educate. If there's not a YouTube video on it, then it ain't happening.

I changed the rear tire on my nephew's Harley to help him sell it. It took me all of 20 minutes, even though I had never seen the bike or worked on a Harley. He was absolutely shocked that it didn't need to go to a shop to have this done. And of course, he didn't stick around to see it done.


Owning an old Airhead is easy.
Keeping an old Airhead running great is the true test.

Posted : 02/01/2024 07:31
David Elkow
Posts: 292
Reputable Member

I’m 68 these days. The airhead I ride I bought when I was 25. I don’t think I could part with it. We have covered a lot of miles together, and ventured many places. Later this year my airhead and I will be heading to Newfoundland, to see fellow ABC member Mike Buhler (posted above), and explore his neck of the woods. As long as I can get my leg over this thing, I’m riding my old airhead!

Posted : 02/01/2024 15:22
David Elkow
Posts: 292
Reputable Member

@16813 hello, Mike

Posted : 02/01/2024 15:23
Mike Buhler
Posts: 200
Estimable Member

Hey David, we'll be waiting for you!

Posted : 02/02/2024 07:42
David Elkow reacted


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