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Review: 8051 Technic Motorbike


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Poll: Review: 8051 Technic Motorbike (49 member(s) have cast votes)

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#1 mostlytechnic

mostlytechnic

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 07:33 PM

My return from my dark ages was when I bought set 8297, the Technic Off-Roader flagship from a few years ago. After being stunned by the mechanics of it, I proceeded to buy as many other Technic sets as I could get my hands on (and afford...) These days, I play "regular" Lego with my son and have Technic to fill my Lego cravings. Motorbike 8051 was my first purchase of the 2010 sets.

Name: Motorbike
Set Number: 8051
Pieces: 467
Price: $39.99 / £34.99 / €39.99
Ages: 9-16
Minifigs: none
Theme: Technic
Year of Release: 2010
Links: Bricklink Peeron Brickset (note: as of Oct 2010, there is no Peeron page yet for this set)

The Box
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The front of the box is the standard Technic design - black background with a straightforward image of the set. No scenery, flourishes, or other nonsense, just a photo of the set so you know what you're buying. The top corner does show the mechanical abilities, and the bottom corner has the big 2-in-1 to remind you to turn the box over...

The Box Back
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...where you can see the B-model. Being a non-motorcycle person, I had to do a double-take to make sure it really was showing a different build. Where most sets have a significantly different B-model, this has just a different style bike. Lego did a great job on the photography here - I love how the low camera angle accentuated the long, low styling of the bike.

The Manual
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The covers of the manuals (yes, this set includes printed manuals for BOTH models!) are, like normal, just the same image as the box. The instructions are the now-standard Technic style, with very clear diagrams, part call-outs, and a plain blue background.

The Manual Back
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The back of one manual has the "Gewinne! Win! Gagne!" guy. The other has this image. I've seen it on Technic for years, but they occasionally update the models. For this set there's 2010's 8043 Excavator in the center, and around the laptop are 3 older sets - 2006's 8288 Crawler Crane in the top left, 2005's 8421 Mobile Crane in the bottom left, and 2006's 8283 Telehandler on the right. Can't they ever update this photo?

The Interesting Parts
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  • 6.5L Shock w/ hard spring - available in 10 sets over the last decade
  • 9.5L Shock w/ soft spring - the connectors on these give a variety of ways to build a suspension. Other than 2008's Dirt Bike set, this shock hasn't been available since the late 90's.
  • Axle 8 with stop - Although this has been in over 70 sets ranging from Star Wars to Bionicle to Technic, it's only been around since 2006. It's the first I've gotten any of these.
  • Pin long with center pin hole - These are new for 2010, but in a LOT of sets this year. It's a handy part, but I was surprised to see that in the bike it's only used as a spacer, not to run anything through that pin hole.
  • Technic Link Chain - These chains have been around since 1978, but haven't seen a lot of use in official sets. I don't have any old links to compare to, but many people have said the new production of links in this bike set aren't as good as old ones.

The Tubing
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According to Bricklink, this tubing is light bluish grey, and the only set to ever include it in any length in that color. However, I've got it here with another LBG part and it doesn't look the same to me. I'd have called this silver. There has been tubing in silver in many sets, but I don't have any to compare to to see if this is the same color as the older silver tubing.

The One Unique Part
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This part is only available in this set. The shape is common enough, but this print is unique to this set (and the only printed part in 8051). Personally I think it's a great design. A sticker would be impossible to put on this due to the curves, but the flames and gas tank cap add a nice touch of detail to the bike.

The Wheels, an Almost Unique Part
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The only other set to have these wheels and tires are 7158 Furno Bike, a Hero Factory set released this year. These are great bike wheels in my opinion. They look nice and are large enough for a pretty detailed model. There's attachment options, since they have an axle hole surrounded by 6 pin holes. Very weird aspect though - they also have pin and axle holes in the SIDE of the rim. That's not used here or in the Hero Factory model, but Lego obviously put it there for a reason. What do they have coming?

The Wheels, Continued
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There are a couple other weird features on these wheels... On one side, there's an indent around two of the pin holes. I have no idea why they did that. On the other, you can see how the plastic around the axle hole is not solid. This seems like it would make molding much more complicated, but the gap is needed to handle the expansion / contraction of the plastic. A solid center would have too much change in size.

The Build
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Like most Technic sets, the build starts with a blob of parts that you couldn't possibly identify.

The Build, Adding the Engine
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Now there's a 3-cylinder engine, but it's still not clear what this would be if you didn't know.

The Build, Surrounding the Engine
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A few more steps, and now there's decorative panels surrounding the engine. In the photo this is actually upside down - the black panels are the underside of the bike, and the angle connector sticking up is the kickstand.

The Build, The Back Wheel
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Now the back wheel and chain have been added. The suspension is in as well.

The Build, Finishing the Back
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Now the exhaust, rear panels, and building the top has begun. The stickers on this set are fantastic - they really add a nice splash of detail.

The Build, Adding the Front Wheel
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Almost finished - with more stickers and the printed panel, it's really looking great.

The Finished Bike
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And it's done... so much nice detail. Brake handles, an engine you can barely see, the radiator... this bike looks great!

The Other Side
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This model is almost symmetrical. Only the chain is different.

The Exhaust
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I just love the triple exhaust tucked high under the seat, even if there are only two hoses coming from the engine.

The Gauges
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Stickers give two nice gauges up front.

The Spare Parts
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Here's the pile left after building. Far more than most sets - there's extra chain, gears, and other parts in addition to the usual spare pins and bushes. Yes, they actually included some parts used only in the B-model.

The B-Model Build
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The second book has the 45-main-step B-model instructions. Here is what you have after 9 steps - a strange bunch of beams stuck together with pins sticking out. So in other words, a normal Technic beginning.

The B-Model, Step 18
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The rear wheel and one section of chain have been added, along with a decorative tail light.

The Engine
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There's a pretty lengthy sub-model built at this point - the engine. I think it looks great - a nice V shaped, 2 cylinder engine with the same long shafts as the main model.

The B-Model, Continuing
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Now the very long construction starts to make sense. After attaching the engine, the front flips up and over to connect with the back of the bike. It's finally starting to look like a motorcycle.

The B-Model, Continuing More
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More recognizable motorcycle parts are added now. There's some exhaust hose, foot pegs, kickstand, and seat. It's also very clear and obvious how the front wheel is going to attach and swivel.

The B-Model, Done
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The chopper is done, and I think it looks great. The stickers add some nice detailing, but who is 88? You can see the suspension on the front wheel, but there's none in the back. Also, that printed gas tank panel here is annoying. There's not much friction on the axle it's connected to, so it swings side to side as you play with the bike. Perhaps a different connection point than the axle that holds the front end on would have been better. On this side of the bike you have the exhaust, which is simple but looks nice. It's good use of the flexible tubes, although the rear one is too long and has to loop around. It just sticks out so far.

The B-Model, From the Front
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The front doesn't look like a classic chopper to me. I'd expect to see much longer handlebars.

The B-Model, From the Rear
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The bike is long and low, but it seems so wide. That extra chain section just sticks out so far. And why is there only one red tooth (that I assume is supposed to be a brake light) on the back? I could understand one light if it was centered, but low and to the side like that, I think it needs a matching one on the other side.

The B-Model, From the Side
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Lego calls this a chopper, but I'm not sure I agree. I think of something like this when I think chopper. The shape just isn't quite right in the Lego version. The back half isn't too bad, although it could be longer. The main issue is the front wheel. The fork just isn't near long enough or angled right. This isn't at all a bad motorcycle that Lego designed, I just wouldn't have called it a chopper.

The Leftovers from the B-Model
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There is a significant pile of parts left over, but really, it's not too bad for a B-Model. Many have been FAR worse. And this set even included some parts just for the B-model - some chain, gears, axles, and connectors.

The Conclusion
I love this set. The size is perfect. It's small enough to keep the price down, but big enough to have nice playability - working engine on both models, working suspension, loads of detail, and even good stickers. I prefer the main model, but even the B model is nice. However, the chain does have some issues. There's a bit too much slack in it and so it jumps sometimes when you push the motorcycle. The B model is worse, since it has two separate chain loops. There's discussion elsewhere on EuroBricks about which way to have the chain facing and how to sand it a little to make it run smoother (see here and the posts lower on this page), but that shouldn't be needed in a Lego set.

The Ratings

Value: 8/10 - This set comes in at under 10 cents a part, but since there's over 50 chain links and 40 black pins, that does affect the score.

Design: 10/10 - I'm not a big motorcycle fan, but I love how this bike looks. Too bad they couldn't have picked another color though - red and black is just overdone in Technic.

Playability: 9/10 - I'm not sure what more they could have done in a motorcycle at this scale. Other than having a rider, there's not much to add. However, motorcycles are a little less playable than most sets just by their nature.

Parts: 9/10 - Loads of small panels, very nice wheels, and some suspension parts. The only way to get better would be to have a different color scheme.

Overall: 9/10 - This is a fantastic motorcycle set. Recommended!

My Flickr set for this set (to see the images larger)

Mostlytechnic's Bazaar post | Mostlytechnic's Bricklink store



Scum-killed night one but won as town Storm in speedy's Cosplay Mafia

Died in the conclusion, losing because he's an idiot as Monty Thornton, the cook aboard the USS Portland in jamesn's Red Mafia

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Poisoned (and lost) as townie Molly Tennant, saloon dancer in Tamamono's Silver City Mafia

Won (but night-killed near the end) as the townie The Talking Animal in Zepher's Mafia Mafia

Survived till the end (but still lost) as townie Mary Jane the Jock in Aperture Academy


#2 Zblj

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 08:08 PM

Great review! Can I ask, what is the rubber beam used for in the A model?

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#3 JunkstyleGio

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:04 PM

@ Mostlytechnic: great review on a great set!

@ ZBLJ: The rubber part is used in the a-model to compensate a "illegal" technique on the "cockpit".

SATO's reply on the 8043 update tread...

Quote

In the letter that came with the service pack they say they haven't had any complaints about the chain-drive on the 8051 bike not performing as good as on the older bikes.
Now I can be wrong here, But I swear I saw more people complaining about it getting stuck and all, On this forum or on the LowLUG forums.
Anyway, As far as I remember nobody recieved any fix for it so it doesn't really matter.


Strange that the customer service is telling him that they haven't had any complaints about the chain-drive and the new chainparts. I've been emailing and talking extensively to them about it! They even promised me that the issue about the chainparts would be discussed at the upcoming meeting of TLC Customer Service members and the Billund design-team.

Edited by JunkstyleGio, 20 October 2010 - 09:05 PM.

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#4 mostlytechnic

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:22 PM

You can see the rubber beam vertically in the center above the front wheel in the "Adding the Front Wheel" and "Finished Bike" photos. Basically, the way they attach the two front black panels doesn't quite line up right, so they use the rubber beam to give just enough flex to fit.

Mostlytechnic's Bazaar post | Mostlytechnic's Bricklink store



Scum-killed night one but won as town Storm in speedy's Cosplay Mafia

Died in the conclusion, losing because he's an idiot as Monty Thornton, the cook aboard the USS Portland in jamesn's Red Mafia

Survived and won as Brice Marden in Hinck and Trumpet's Minimal Mafia

Survived to the conclusion as a winning Council musician / decorator Melanie Detruccio in TrumpetKing's CMF Mafia

Poisoned (and lost) as townie Molly Tennant, saloon dancer in Tamamono's Silver City Mafia

Won (but night-killed near the end) as the townie The Talking Animal in Zepher's Mafia Mafia

Survived till the end (but still lost) as townie Mary Jane the Jock in Aperture Academy


#5 Blakbird

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:27 PM

Fantastic and comprehensive review with really excellent pictures! Thank you for taking the time to do this.

Regarding the flexible tubing, it is the same color as on many other sets and is generally called "Pearl Light Gray". There was a slightly different in the color in the past, metallic silver, as used on sets like 8458.
Blakbird
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#6 Front

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:37 PM

View Postmostlytechnic, on 20 October 2010 - 07:33 PM, said:

The Tubing
Posted Image
According to Bricklink, this tubing is light bluish grey, and the only set to ever include it in any length in that color. However, I've got it here with another LBG part and it doesn't look the same to me. I'd have called this silver. There has been tubing in silver in many sets, but I don't have any to compare to to see if this is the same color as the older silver tubing.

The Wheels, an Almost Unique Part
Posted Image
The only other set to have these wheels and tires are 7158 Furno Bike, a Hero Factory set released this year. These are great bike wheels in my opinion. They look nice and are large enough for a pretty detailed model. There's attachment options, since they have an axle hole surrounded by 6 pin holes. Very weird aspect though - they also have pin and axle holes in the SIDE of the rim. That's not used here or in the Hero Factory model, but Lego obviously put it there for a reason. What do they have coming?

The Wheels, Continued
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There are a couple other weird features on these wheels... On one side, there's an indent around two of the pin holes. I have no idea why they did that. On the other, you can see how the plastic around the axle hole is not solid. This seems like it would make molding much more complicated, but the gap is needed to handle the expansion / contraction of the plastic. A solid center would have too much change in size.


The tubes are clearly the same colour as used in many Bionicle sets (called pearl light grey by Bricklink). This colour is replaced in 2010-2011 with the slightly darker and more metallic looking colour #315. Note that Bricklink has a lot of confusion and mistakes regarding these "pearl" colours, mostly used in Bionicle.

The indent between the two Technic holes on the wheel is clearly to have the inlet point not interfering with the free running rotation function of the wheel.  You can see the inlet point (from the mould) in the picture.

Edited by Front, 20 October 2010 - 09:38 PM.


#7 zyrex

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:50 PM

Great review, I've been waiting for one as I'm very interested in the B-model. After your review I will certainly try both models and see which one I prefer :)
Relocating... All Lego in boxes .. :/

#8 prateek

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:04 PM

Very nice! I'm a sucker for Technic motorbikes, so this is great! I love the B-model, and the main model isn't too bad either. The only thing that ruins the A-model for me is the Technic tooth piece used as the wheel cover. It's too small IMO.

#9 Sato

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 10:53 PM

View PostJunkstyleGio, on 20 October 2010 - 09:04 PM, said:

@ Mostlytechnic: great review on a great set!

@ ZBLJ: The rubber part is used in the a-model to compensate a "illegal" technique on the "cockpit".

SATO's reply on the 8043 update tread...


Strange that the customer service is telling him that they haven't had any complaints about the chain-drive and the new chainparts. I've been emailing and talking extensively to them about it! They even promised me that the issue about the chainparts would be discussed at the upcoming meeting of TLC Customer Service members and the Billund design-team.

Yeah well, I knew I wasn't the first one to complain about it.
Made there reply feel a bit strange, Maybe they just misunderstood my complaint? Who knows.

Doesn't really matter to me because I read about one or two people who where told they would recieve the 'Old' Chainlinks to replace the 'New' ones to see if that would fix there problem.
But they ended up recieving new chainlinks from the new batch so the problem wasn't fixed.


Anyway, I collect Technic sets for the fun of building them and to place them on my shelfs when there done so i don't really care about it.
So you won't find me sanding them down or anything to fix the problem.

That doesn't mean Lego don't have a problem they need to fix before the come out with the next bike or set that includes these new chainlinks.


Edit: The problem in the main model could also be caused by the gears which the chain connects too, It looked like they where not in a straight line,
But I'm not really sure about this, It's been a while ago when i build it and I took it appart 3 days after that to build the B model. (Which I still need to do.)

#10 backbone

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 11:30 PM

I bought this model 2 months ago, and i'm very happy.
Of course i haven't applied stickers - i hate them (but model looks great without them)

Gallery of new wheels, and comparison with 8297 and 8466 wheels in my BS gallery:

http://www.brickshel...ry.cgi?f=445749

#11 Mrlegoninja

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 11:40 PM

Great review MostlyTechnic! I think this is a great set, and I can't wait to get my hands on this! :sweet:

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#12 rgbrown

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 12:05 AM

Nice review, but in particular, great job on the photos! It makes all the difference.

#13 dhc6twinotter

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 12:07 AM

Great review and excellent pictures!  

I bought this set a few months ago, and I really enjoyed putting it together.  In my humble opinion, it is one of the best $40 sets in a long time.  For the price, I'd give it a 5/5.

I have issues with the chain as well.  That is my only complaint.

#14 Ultimario

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 07:54 AM

Bought the set a fewm montsh ago when it hit the shelves.

A-model was nice but i was annoyed that you had to block the front wheel to see the suspension move, if you just pushed down on the bike it would bend the spring towers instead of the intended function. In any case i just built it to have it done so i could build the B-model which was what convinced me to buy it.

B-model, this is the model i bought the set for, built right after the A model and is up until now the only technic set i haven't taken apart for parts. Also i likely never will take it apart, the chopper is awesome looking even if the frame isn't 100% stable.

About the chains, i have the same problem on both A and B model, when rotating in one direction it sticks while the other direction is better. I do have plenty of older chains but i haven't tried if they make a difference.


PS: the rims have been used in some star wars turbotank set as wheels too apart from the Hero Factory bike, without the tyre of course.

Edited by Ultimario, 21 October 2010 - 07:56 AM.

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MOCs so far: BMW Z3 1:8, Excavator inspired by 8043 before 8043 release, Miniwarped Sportscar, IR supercar prototype.
WIP: Cranetruck.

#15 jantjeuh

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 10:08 AM

Great review and very nice pictures, cheers :)
Posted Image

#16 fff

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 10:58 AM

GReat Review & Photos. It seems a good model. We'll think about it...  :tongue:
Posted Image

#17 paul_delahaye

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:37 PM

I like anything technic, but this model looks a little odd without it's stickers, its red and black panels don't exactly contrast well, a bit like the racing truck without it's stickers.

Also, I'm not sure if it's my building skills or the design, but the front wheel scrapes on the toothed 1 x 4 plates, when at full travel?

Paul

#18 grepin

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 07:45 PM

Thanks for the great review and the photos!

Mine is still sealed in its box, but I hope that changes soon enough :sweet:

#19 JunkstyleGio

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 10:39 PM

Sometimes stickers do add something to a model. And for the 8051 A-model they add a special thing to the model. But the B-model looks imo far better without the stickers and a non-printed red "bubble-canopy".

Posted Image


@paul_delahaye:
pictures please?
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#20 gotoAndLego

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 05:59 PM

View Postmostlytechnic, on 20 October 2010 - 07:33 PM, said:

The stickers add some nice detailing, but who is 88?

I bought this a year or so ago and just got around to building it. I'm not sure if this was answered elsewhere, but I thought I could add some insight to this question.

Lego has a tendency to mark specific events; not sure about the other lines, but the years on the facades of the modular buildings are there for specific dates. Now as a motorcycle guy its obvious to me that this is a Triumph (although its possibly, but less likely, a modern Benelli), and due to the pipes its most likely a streetfightered Daytona 675.

John Bloor bought the bankrupt company in the early 80s but allowed a small performace shop, Les Harris, to continue making the classic Bonnevilles until 88 at which point Bloor started making the Hinkley triples, the first of which came out in 90 or 91. He's been doing well with them ever since.

Cheers

PS: Flickr user Ludime.net made some simple but nice changes to the model.

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Edited by gotoAndLego, 24 April 2012 - 06:22 PM.

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#21 SheepEater

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Posted 11 May 2012 - 05:55 AM

I had issues with the chain getting stuck too AT FIRST, but believe it or not, the more I played with the bike, it
seemed to "dull" the chain enough to stop skipping.

I noticed exactly the same phenomena when buying new chains/gears for real like bicyles.

#22 jadedomg

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Posted 12 May 2012 - 02:51 AM

View PostgotoAndLego, on 24 April 2012 - 05:59 PM, said:


PS: Flickr user Ludime.net made some simple but nice changes to the model.


Those changes want me to take my second one out of the box. Such small changes but it improves the A model a lot.



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