Author Topic: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)  (Read 12010 times)

Offline Amator

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Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« on: December 17, 2010, 01:48:36 PM »
Anyone here familiar with the Condor A350 military motorcycle? 

Designed to be field-repairable, comes with tool kit, 2 rifle racks, saddlebags, etc.  Most of the parts are Ducati, which sounds expensive to repair. 

Would this be a good starter motorcycle?  Price is $3500 at the dealer one state away. 

Here's a video on it


Offline Dan

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2010, 03:28:10 PM »
That would be a fun bike to play around with if your into old bikes or militaria but with that old Ducati 350 engine, it's not something I would trust. Honestly I think the salesman in that video is over stating how easy it is to get parts, work on, and with a top speed of about 70mph, how well it will do keeping up with traffic. Will it appreciate? Maybe, but I wouldn't count on it. If you want a simple solid motorcycle for $3500 look for a clean used Suzuki DR650 one or two years old. It will do everything the Condor will and then some with a lot less headaches.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2010, 05:26:11 PM »
Honestly, this is not a starter bike. This is a collector type bike. It may be heavy, it may be slow, the brakes hardly work, but the horn is loud...

You can probably find a similar vintage Honda CB350/400 for under $1k that will be the same crappy 40 year old bike.

If you like this basic layout / style of bike, a good option for a starter bike is a Honda Nighthawk 750. Simple, reliable basic transportation - you should be able to find a 2000 for around $3k. This is an easy to ride bike that will last about 100 years if you neglect it.

Offline Amator

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2010, 09:19:13 AM »
Thanks for the advice, guys.  I looked up the motorcycles you mentioned and while I'm sure they're great mechanically and get the job done, I guess I'm just a sucker for the military styling and how the bike is a "complete package" if that makes any sense.  I figure by the time you get the leather saddlebags, quality tool kit, spare parts, gun racks, etc that would be easily $1000 on top of what you pay for the motorcycle.

I guess what I need to do is find a modern cycle that kind of looks like that and customize it.

Offline Amator

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2010, 01:48:15 PM »
Of course now I've spent a few hours looking at military-like motorcycles and in addition to the above motorcycle I want a Ural Gear Up, a Rokon Ranger, and a Royal Enfield Bullet Military.  Maybe I can get *one* of them in a year or so.

Offline johngalt

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2010, 08:08:14 PM »
Of course now I've spent a few hours looking at military-like motorcycles and in addition to the above motorcycle I want a Ural Gear Up, a Rokon Ranger, and a Royal Enfield Bullet Military.  Maybe I can get *one* of them in a year or so.


I love my Rokon  these things really do go anywhere, and you gotta love a bike that you literally drive into the bed of your truck....without ramps...it climbs right in.



You should check out www.rokonworld.com for a used one.  Depending on your area of the country, there may be one around the corner.  I had to drive 9 hours to pick mine up, but it was certainly worth it.

Offline Dan

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2010, 08:55:00 PM »
The problem with the bikes you have listed, or at least it would be a problem for me, is none of them are going to keep up with traffic on the highway very easily. Top speed for the Condor is, as I said in my previous post, around 70 mph, the Ural with sidecar tops out around 60mph, the Royal Enfield Bullet about 60-65. The Rokon, well the Rokon is a different animal entirely. I like them for their intended purpose and no offense intended JG but the Rokon is just sloooow and not a road going motorcycle. I guess one of the questions you should ask yourself Amator is how do you intend to use this motorcycle?

If you are hooked on the OD military look, check out a 2000 model year Kawasaki KLR650 or the 2010-2011 Triumph Scrambler in Matte Khaki Green. They are both OD green, light-years ahead in quality, reliability and you shouldn’t have any problem at all keeping up on the highway.The KLR in one form or another has been used for some time by the US military. I believe they used the 250 first then switched to the 650 which has now been converted by HDT to run diesel for logistical reasons.

Btw. My Triumph T100 shares many of its parts with the Scrambler model so I have firsthand knowledge of just how nice these bikes are. I have had many bikes over the years and the Triumph is a keeper.

Offline Amator

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #7 on: December 19, 2010, 01:43:22 PM »
I guess I just don't ever see myself needing to drive more than 70mph.  I try to avoid interstates in favor of state highways anyway, and when I'm on interstate highways I rarely drive more than 5-10mph over the speed limit.  I think especially early on that I would be a timid cyclist and would mostly want to use it for rides around town and building up to occasional commuting (12 miles each way).  I don't have the need for speed and care more about utilitarian features.  That said, the KLR650 should meet most of my needs, but I just can't get excited about it.  I guess I'm just one of those guys who'd rather have a 60's Land Rover or International Scout over a Jeep even if the Jeep is the better choice by most standards.

That said, what I'll probably do is take a Motorcycle safety course and then buy something along the likes of a Nighthawk for my first cycle and if I'm still interested later on I'll probably go for one of these vintage type cycles.

Offline Dan

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2010, 03:11:31 PM »
I no longer have the need for speed either and I totally understand about preferring older vehicles to new ones, I’m the same way. When I bought my bike I chose to by a leftover model from the previous year because it had carburetors that I can work on instead of fuel injection. I’m looking at a car built in 1968 to replace my 1993 that I feel is more complicated than need be.

My concern with top speed was not only that it wouldn’t be fast but that if you expect it to last you don’t want to be running it at more than say 75% most of the time. If your top speed is 70 mph a comfortable cruising speed for the bike will probably be no more than 55 mph. If you consistently run it at 65 or 70 mph expect to have more wear and tear on the engine and do more maintenance on it.

I’m not the biggest fan of the KLR. I know some people that have had them and they are a good bike but being water cooled they are just more complicated than I like my bike to be. You have to have air, oil and fuel but you don’t need coolant or the pump that goes with it. That is one of the reasons I originally brought up the Suzuki DR650. They have a simple reliable air cooled engine and there is little on the bike that doesn’t need to be there. My Triumph is much the same way just much prettier.

For utility you would have a hard time beating a sidecar (a.k.a. hack) but for the money they want for the Ural you could add a sidecar to most any bike. The benefit of some of the Ural models that you are not likely to replicate on another bike is the 2wd system.

Offline Bradbn4

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2010, 05:37:37 PM »
Interesting motorcycle - It has about the right CC for an intro bike - more of a collector style - parts for the motor should be available.

I had a Honda Hawk 1980 400cbt - good first real motorcycle - learned a lot by wrenching on the bike.
It was fun to drive around town, could handle the 60 mph at high altitude. 

I was just thinking that it was too bad that they don't still make a "simple" 750 / 1000 cc bike like the stripped BMW K-75.

Brad - In Colorado


Offline joeinwv

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2010, 05:51:15 PM »
Just as an aside, the above KLR was in that configuration from roughly 1987 through 2000 or so, it is very highly supported in the aftermarket and has been on multiple around the world tours successfully. The real downside is its saddle height.

Driving a 40 year old motorcycle is a lot like old cars - they seem interesting but they lack the safety, reliability and refinement of a modern vehicle. Slow heavy motorcycles with bad brakes and no motor remove agility, which is the bike's biggest asset in avoiding accidents.


Offline johngalt

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2010, 08:19:54 PM »
Heck, no offense at all.  They are slow compared to a street bike.  I don't plan to do lots of long term hauls on paved highways with the Rokon though, and I can go anywhere on a Rokon that I can Hike...and you cant say that about any other motorized vehicle.  That being said, I wish it were a little quieter...the new models have a two cylcle engine that is not as powerful as my older one, but lots quieter.

Offline joeinwv

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #12 on: December 20, 2010, 08:36:23 AM »
Rokon is a different animal - I consider it more in the vein of a quad or similar vehicle. Certainly cool toy to own and can get you places that nothing else will. Basically a motorized pack mule.

Offline johngalt

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #13 on: December 20, 2010, 10:24:43 AM »
Indeed

Offline Dan

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Re: Swiss Army Motorcycle (Condor A350)
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2010, 09:54:13 PM »
Mutant love child of a utility quad and a garden implement?
;D