That near-zen koan, uttered by Britbike aficionado Yoshi Kosaka, encapsulates the paradox of owning a classic British motorcycle. One becomes so inured to working around nagging problems that when things operate too correctly, it's the ultimate red flag that something's awry.

Of course, one man's "improperly functioning" is another's "character trait." On this week's RideApart, Jamie Robinson and underground stunter Adey Bennett head to the Malibu canyons on two loud Triumph 650s — a 1975 Rickman-Metisse racing bike with a 1967 engine, and a 1969 Bonneville — both from Kosaka's collection.

They also get some face time with Kosaka, owner of The Garage Company — a builder of vintage bikes and parts store in Inglewood, California — has a very awesome collection of such iron. That is, bikes with character. Can two speed-heads handle such a character-filled ride? Let's see.