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News archive Mar 2020

Remember Joe Eastmure?, March 31

Joe Eastmure

One of the pioneers of the famous Castrol 6-Hour production race, Joe Eastmure (pictured here) also rightly became one of the legends, with a giant-killing ride on his diminutive Suzuki T350 and winning line honours in 1972 against far bigger machinery.

Ian Pero's Motorcycle Gallery in NZ recently revived a couple of stories on him. The first is about his efforts on the GT350, and the second is about his stunning win in 1977 sharing a BMW R100 with Kenny Blake. Both are well worth a read.

Joe Eastmure

Peter Stevens folds up two sites, March 31

Peter Stevens Motorcycles Melbourne

A worrying day for motorcycle retailing in Australia: Peter Stevens has announced the Elizabeth Street Melbourne and Ringwood stores will be folded into other sites.There is some suggestion this is temporary.
The Melbourne site (pictured) was recently sold.
Here's what the company had to say:
We have chosen to consolidate our Peter Stevens Dealerships in Ringwood and Melbourne (Elizabeth Street). Melbourne Workshop (Kensington) will remain open.

Ringwood will consolidate to Peter Stevens Dandenong, and Melbourne will consolidate to Dandenong and Geelong.

The consolidation of Ringwood and Melbourne (Elizabeth Street) will take place from Wednesday 1st April, 2020.

We will have small teams in Ringwood and Melbourne stores until Friday 3rd April to help customers collect their new bikes, bikes from the workshops and collect orders from our accessories departments.

Since opening our dealerships, almost 50 years ago, this is the hardest moment we have faced.

We will regularly update our website and recommend you follow the Peter Stevens Facebook page to keep updated. Peter Stevens website

Peter Stevens Motorcycles Melbourne

Peter Stevens Motorcycles Melbourne

Right bike, challenging time, March 30

Honda CL350 1972

Honda CL350 (1972) street scrambler for sale in north Queensland for $6800. It’s rare to see them in this condition. What a lovely thing to pick up and ride south, if we all had the time and weren’t ducking the virus!
On eBay here
CL350 profile at Motorcycle Classics
Honda CL350 specs

Honda CL350 1972

Honda CL350 1972

Honda CL350 1972

End of play, March 27

Honda CB750-Four K1

What a great way to round off a day, with a quiet squirt on a Honda CB750-Four K1.

K1specs and background

Weird coincidences, March 27


We said goodbye to Motorcycle Trader mag on March 24 (see below) and subsequently noticed some very weird coincidences in the final edition, which was finished long before the staff knew about the shut-down.

Victory Collectibles, March 26

Victory Hammer S

Will the now defunct Victory brand ever be collectible? We reckon they're worth a look - see the feature. (From Motorcycle Trader mag #340)

Lovely Laverda, March 25

Laverda Alpina Special

A very tasty Alpina 500-based special, spotted on the Bespoke Sports Motorcycles feed on Facebook. Alpina backgrounder

All over for Motorcycle Trader mag, March 24

Motorcycle Trader mag final

Motorcycle Trader mag ceases publishing with the final edition hitting the streets this week. You can read the full statement here.

Twenties superbike, March 23

cleveland tornado 61 1929

You would have been king of the kids if you owned this Cleveland Tornado or Century 61 back in 1929. It's still a handsome-looking beast. One of these sold at the Mecum Las Vegas auction last year for US$154,000.

cleveland tornado 61 1929

cleveland tornado 61 1929

Is it still for sale? March 19

bike for sale meme

Next time some shark tries to negotiate with no intention of buying...

Ducati 750SS book, March 17

ducati 750ss book falloon

From renowned author Ian Falloon: For those interested I have just published this limited release book on the Ducati 750 Super Sport 1974. It includes many special details regarding authenticity and a continuation of the late Phil Schilling's registry that he began in 1991. This book will not be available for general release and only printed to order. US$250 via PayPal. Contact, payment via

Rise in UK bike sales, March 17

Honda CB1000R

Cheerful news for a change, from Visordown. Interesting to see naked bikes doing so well.

Stylish Indian, March 15

Indian 1921 racer at Daytona

1921 Indian racer at Daytona, via Marcel Lavole on Facebook.

Forgotten Morini, March 9

moto morini camel

Who remembers the Moto Morini Camel 500 and its smaller sibling, the wonderfully-named 350 Kanguro? Morini was always best known for its robust and delightful mid-size V-twin road bikes, though its adventure tourers/trail bikes are largely forgotten. However they did have a great reputation for handling, as this old auction listing below suggests.

From a 2010 Bonhams auction listing: "Moto Morini ventured onto the dirt for the first time in the early 1980s, launching the 479cc Camel enduro following successful forays into international competitions by factory prototypes. Marketed as the 'Sahara' in the UK, Morini's first off-roader featured a new high-ground-clearance frame, long-travel Marzocchi suspension, a six-speed gearbox and a motor re-tuned for greater mid-range torque.

"Bike magazine's Martin Christie rode one in an enduro on Salisbury Plain, concluding that it was 'a far better off-road machine than something like the BMW R80G/S and as good, if not better, than some of the Japanese four-stroke singles. The handling is exceptional for a bike of its size and the engine sweet and responsive.' It was also rated a fine all-rounder, being relatively vibration-free and capable of 80mph cruising with excellent fuel economy. Although cheap when compared to the BMW, at £2,095 (Au$4200) the Camel/Sahara was expensive for a trail-bike (it cost over 50 per cent more than a Yamaha XT550) and sold in commensurately limited numbers."

Motorcycle history author Ian Falloon tells us the model ran from 1981 to 1984, with the front brake updated from drum to disc in 1984.

Camel specs; Kanguro specs

Yamaha RZ asking big money, March 8

yamaha rz500 brochure

Yamaha RZ500 asking $25k on Ebay. Here's a hot tip when selling high value bikes: get some decent photos. This is a great example of what not to do.

RZ/RD500 profile via Bennetts.

Specs & period test

Oddball Kawasaki, March 7

kawasaki KZ1300 Touring

Modestly-priced oddball in NSW. KZ1300 Touring, a predecessor (1980) to the Kawasaki Voyager, based on the Z1300 six platform, priced at $6k. This is a USA market bike and a model never sold here.
See this link.
Voyager history.

BMW R80GS Basic asking top dollar, March 6

BMW R80GS Basic

Continuing our run of BMW airheads: first model R80GS Basic, never used, asking $51k, in Europe. The Basic didn't come to Australia but was sold in Germany.
Model specs and profile.

BMW R80GS Basic


BMW R90S for sale, March 5


BMW R90S - still a great looking thing after all these years. This one is for sale in the UK at a fairly substantial Au$21,200 via this link.
R90S specs and profile.

Superbike development - slow burn, March 4

Slow Burn motorcycle book

From motorcycle author Bob Guntrip: May I present to you, ladies and gents, another modest slice of motorcycle racing history, chronicled by yours truly. It's titled Slow Burn and attempts to cover the regrowth of four-stroke racing after the big banger had been almost flattened by Yamaha's magnificent two-strokes from the end of the '60s. Starting point is the CB750; the journey then seeks to cover F750, TT-F1, AMA and Australian Superbike, and similar sprint classes during the '70s and the '80s up to the beginning of World Superbike. It's published by Veloce and out in the UK on Friday, a bit later elsewhere. Thank you for your kind attention.

Available here through Booktopia in Australia

Shannons results, March 3

BMW R75/5

Last night's Shannons auction scored well for a couple of lots and had one or two good buys. Top of the strong results was a 1970 BMW R75/5 which scored towards the upper estimate at $16,500. It's an historically significant model for the marque and probably still represents good buying at that price.

Matchless G9

A 1950 Matchless G9 500 looked like a bit of a bargain at $9000.


This 1985 BMW R80 went for $8000.

Honda Aspencade

A 1986 Honda Aspencade 1200 went for $9000.

Velocette 250

A 1939 Velocette 250 seemd like decent buying at $12,000.

Velocette Viper

While this 1962 Velocette Viper went for $23,500

Yamaha SUnward minibike

This 1978 Yamaha YZR30SX Sunward pocket bike in a three-wheeled transport tub looked like very good value at $1200.


One-off Ducati racer for auction, March 2

Ducati 125-4 racer

A one-off 1963 Ducati in-line four 125cc racer is coming up for auction via Bonhams, in April. The estimate is a staggering Au$790k to 1.2 million!
It’s part of the Morbidelli collection, much of which is being sold on behalf of the family. See the lot here.

Ducati 125-4 racer

Ducati 125-4 racer

Ducati 125-4 racer

Drysdale 2WD on the market, March 1

Drysdale 2WD motorcycle

For the collector who thought they had everything! This one-off 2WD two-wheel steer prototype by Ian Drysdale is on the market through a Qld dealer, asking $25,900.

Here's a backgrounder by Autoevolution.

Eearlier news - see the links at right


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