Date: Tue, 08 Apr 2003 15:28:24 -0300 From: Dexter J <lamealameadingdongnopsamlamelame.org> Subject: Re: What is your favorite 900 model?
Salutations: 'nuther Bob wrote: > > On Tue, 8 Apr 2003 08:34:08 -0400, "Nutmegger" > <nutmegger_7717nopsamo.com> wrote: > > >> FWIW, I think the Harley guys still refer to Japanese bikes as > >> "rice burners". But, most of them are the same guys who were > >> riding in 1975, so that makes sense. I think the expression > >> "riced up" and/or "ricer" has spread worldwide. I invite dissenting > >> opinions and additions. > > > >I'm wondering how come I never heard it before, like even in a movie. > > I think a lot of folks in the movies might have considered it as a > cultural slur... that is, equating "Japanese" with a "rice burning" > motorcycle. It was certainly never a compliment, but the way I heard > most of the bikers use it was just a dig against a non-American bike, > not against the Japanese people. In those days, any non-American > product took a hit as we were coming off the days when "made in > Japan" immediately meant "junk". Later they learned, but I imagine > most of the bikers still use "rice burner". > > Bob My other motoring addiction.. The term 'rice burners' referred to the wave of 2 stoke - high rev/low casting quality engines that rolled out of Japan through the late sixties and early 70's.. Where the big English and American twins were gulping 375cc and 600cc 4 stroke combustion cycles through the valves respectively - providing for the 'torque' value of the big twin - the Japanese systems were pulling 250cc through reed valves to make 750cc (say on the H2 Kawasaki or the GT 500 Susi) or around 99cc for the Honda 400cc 4 Super Sport 4 stroke and going for ungoddly high redlines on super cranks.. While most Japanese machines never leaked a drop of Oil - it was often because they passed most of the pressurized oil up through the rings or down through the valve stems so that even if you had a 4 stroke - it usually appeared to be a two stroke by the sound the small piston wells made and the clouds it left in it's wake.. Like many wonderfully powerful engines that kids these days wouldn't even comprehend - they got effectively pulled from the road to meet EPA requirements.. They 'smelled' and they usually didn't last much of 40,000km - hence - they burned like 'rice' - where rice could be interchanged with 'piston wall' or 'Rings'.. In fact - on some of the wilder 2 strokes - you could put a white cloth up to the exhaust pipe and get a spray of carbon flechets on the return to idle pass from a 14,000rpm red line which looked for all the world like miniature grains of black rice and where I think the somewhat unfair expression comes from.. Those of us lucky enough to have ever taken a ride on a high compression Kawi 750cc 2 stroke triple and survived the run - will tell you that it makes the eyeball plunging experience of having an over boosted Aero turbo come on almost as lame as running a Austin Minor through the gears.. In point of fact - the power to weight ratio of a H2 on red line would allow you to shred the rear tire in pretty much any gear right up to 150mph and well beyond.. And that is not some marketing exaggeration - it cost Yamaha and Kawasaki the Daytona trophy on more than one occasion.. The upside of a good Japanese bike - is that it's electrical system will almost never let you down - they almost always had an electric start and in the case of my final two wheeled love - an ex-AMA 1979 KZ1000 Z1R factory Isle of Man bike - is that you get twice the power for the weight (mine pulls about 145 real BHP) over the equivalent 1000cc Harley (usually around 70 Bhp).. In my case - in a package that weighs a little under 310pds wet before the rider slips in - almost 1-2 in terms of ratio.. In the Z1R - they effectively stuffed an overbored KZ900 motor on needle bearings (the same engine that set and held the world Land Speed record for 20 years) into a 650cc chassis so that it while 'flicks' around town like a Honda 400 4 - I once had it up to 270Kph (with a Rickmann 3/4 fairing) when I was way younger and braver and tire technology had caught up with the basic platform in the early 90's.. The argument against the 4 cylinder high end Japanese bike is that it's torque curve isn't the stump puller the big Harley twin is.. We always pointed out that at 270Kph - your interest in torque is radically offset by the requirement for a low center of gravity and a stiff enough frame (the big Kawi being largely based on the Norton Featherbed frame) to make sure that you could keep it between the telephone poles.. I've got mine restored and under glass now awaiting a trip to Barrett Jackson's when the kids need college money - which is really the right way to go if you have any old 'Rice Burners' in the basement yourself.. They were build to run like gazelles and be replaced as needed (they were always cheaper than most Euro/American rides) - so if you happen to have a working one from the era - you now have a really rare and quite desirable collectable.. Despite what the more stately Harley folks have to say.. -- J Dexter - webmaster - http://www.dexterdyne.org/ all tunes - no cookies no subscription no weather no ads no news no phone in - RealAudio 8+ Required - all the Time Radio Free Dexterdyne Top Tune o'be-do-da-day Sinatra Dean Davis - That Old Black Magic http://www.dexterdyne.org/888/102.RAM