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Klaus the K1, May 31

BMW K1

Living with a BMW K1 - the perfect motorcycle for the Devo fan!

Pics by Stuart Grant

And here is a pair for sale!

BMW K1

USA-based online auction site Bring a Trailer has a talent for springing surprises and this is one of them: not one but two BMW K1s being sold as a pair. Evidently one of them is a non-runner, but they both show low miles. See them here.

Shed Drunk, May 30

Indian motorcycles

Indians and bee stings lead to rash promises at Chateau Guido…

Feature - 10 of the world's ugliest motorcycles, May 29

Boccardo Aero

Though no oil panting himself, Guido wanders into the dangerous waters of style and nominates the world’s 10 most hideous motorcycles…

How much is too much? May 28

Suzuki Hayabusa

It's a question of power - see the story here.

pic by Lou Martin

Stick to riding, May 27

Indian Chief 1947

Proof that riding is much safer than dog-walking (and most other things)

Happy wheels, May 26

Suzuki TS185ER

The best $900 we ever spent - living with a Suzuki TS185ER.

(Ride pic by Ben Galli Photography)

Stroker Madness, May 26

 

Just a bit of fun - they don't do car chases like this any more! (From Facebook.)

The Price Game, May 25

Suzuki Katana 1100

Should a motorcycle ever be worth more than its new price?

Norton is hiring, May 24

Norton cafe racer

RideApart online reports Norton is hiring staff and getting production going for existing order. See more here.

A bit of Eddie, May 24

Kawasaki ZRX1200R

Getting some green - adding a Kawasaki ZRX1200R to the shed

Pics by Ben Galli Photography

Matrich Racing GPz on the block, May 24

Matich Racing Kawasaki

From the glory days when the Pirelli-branded Matich Racing were a force to be reckoned with in Australia, running several brands of motorcycles. This first-gen Kawasaki GPz900R is for auction at Graysonline in Qld and claims to be the former Len Willing Regina Chain Series winner from 1984. The auction has three more days to run.

Back on the road, May 23

Sunbeam S7

It lives! Our highly-trained cast of thousands (or so it seemed) got the old Sunbeam up and running again, better than ever. See the story here.

Pics by Ben Galli Photography

Harley-Davidson Duo Glide at auction, May 22

 

This 1960 Harley-Davidson Panhead Duo Glide is one of a modest fleet of motorcycles in the current Shannons Autumn classics auction. With bidding only two days old in a two-week event, it is already mid-way into the $20-24k estimate, sitting on Au$22,000 (US$14,500).

Recent international auction results show similar machines fetching around Au$29,000 (US$19,000).

The story with this example is that it sat in a shed for 37 years and was recently recommissioned.

Typical of the breed, it's running the 74ci (1200cc) OHV pushrod powerplant with a three-speed transmission.

For collectors, it marks the start of the modern FL series, which now includes iconic series such as Electra Glide and Road King. The name is derived from the twin rear shock absorbers, introduced in 1958. Elvis Presley was among the famous owners of the series.

Thanks to the whole Covid-19 situation, Shannons has turned what would normally be two live events in Sydney and Melbourne into a single online auction.

Harley-Davidson DUo GLide 1960

ALL AMERICAN MOTORCYCLES

Breakfast at WIlson's, May 22

Breakfast at Wilson's Tintaldra Hotel

Some days you need a couple of classics and the right roads to make life worth living.

One-off Norvin build - and it's for sale! May 21

Norvin single

It’s one thing to restore a bike and make a few changes along the way. But to build a one-off? That’s a whole other nest of vipers. See our story here.

The owner can be contacted via kthow@glenlyonmotors.com.au

BMW Krauser MKM1000 for sale, May 20

Krauser MKM1000

One of a handful of BMW Krauser MKM1000s ever made is being offered by Bikesales, for $35,000. See our backgrounder.

Fireblade - future collectible, May 19

Honda Fireblade 1992

Honda’s first FireBlade marked a major generational shift in sportsbikes - see our Future Collectible story.

Honda Fireblade 1992

Brough launches locally, May 19

Brough SUperior Pendine 2020

Brough Superior has launched in Australia, out of Brisbane, with local trade figure Fred Drake at the helm.

There are four low-volume models in the range: SS100 in two variants (300 units) priced at $100-105k, Pendine Sand Racer (above, @300 units) at $105k, Anniversary (100 units celebrating the Brough centenary) at $168k and the Aston Martin collaboration AMB 001 (100 units) at $185k. The latter is a track-only machine.

See more, including auction results for classic Broughs, here.

Circus Life on Leno, May 19

 

Australian author Don Cox a few years ago. The book Circus Life covers Aussie racers invading Europe and their often weird, dangerous and nomadic lifestyle. It is a monumental production and it can be found here.

Sharp FZR, May 18

Yamaha FZR1000 1987

This first-model Yamaha FZR1000 (1987) caught our eye for a few reasons: it looks to be original and complete (ignore the pack rack); The mileage is relatively low at 59,000km; And it's in the less common black paint scheme. The NSW owner is asking $10,500 via Bikesales.

This was Yamaha's reply to the Suzuki GSX-R1100, and was distinguished by its five-valve heads. It also won the last Castrol Six Hour production race, with Michael Dowson and Kevin Magee sharing the ride.

See this link at Motorcycle Specs for specs and a backgrounder.

We're also in the throes of restoring one in Castrol Six Hour livery – see the series of three stories (so far) on this page.

Dive bombers, May 17

Ducati 999

Fabulous motorcycles and fabulous losses – is that how it works? We rate the depreciation world champs.

Blackbird video review, May 16

Since we were talking about Honda Blackbirds yesterday, see our 2013 video review. 

Rejetting the Blackbird, May 15

Honda Blackbird

Time to solve a little fuelling issue on the Honda Blackbird

Ducati 999R Fila on the block, May 15

Ducati 999R Fila

This 2004 rarity has popped up at Iconic Motor Bike Auctions in the USA.Ducati's 999R Fila special was built to celbrate Briton Neil Hodgson's 2003 World Superbike race win at Monza, the company's 200th victory in the (then) relatively short-lived series. Done up in the appropriate war paint, just 200 examples were built. At the time, it was priced at a heady US$25,000, or just shy of Au$37,000! The 999R claimed 146 horses (107kW) for 193kg dry wwight, and a top speed of 280km/h. The auction finishes on May 20.

Ducati 999R Fila

The Uncle Harry complex, May 14

Suzuki TS185ER

The thought of becoming the token reprobate uncle of the family sends yours etcetera rushing into the workshop.

CBX in a box sells, May 14

Honda CBX1000 in crate

Remember the new-old stock Honda CBX-C that was on offer by auction at Bring a Trailer? It ended up commanding big money for this model: US$21,000 or Au$32,500.

Suzuki GSX-R1100 buyer guide, May 13

Suzuki GSX-R1100

Suzuki’s mighty GSX-R1100 has plenty of fans – let’s take a look at how they stack up in the used market.

Cracking walnuts, May 12

Millyard V10

Got a tough engineering problem to crack? Let's ponder two very different schools of thought on how to go about it…see the story. (pic WIkimedia Commons)

Great graphics, May 12

Indian motorcycle ad 1930s

While hand-illustrated motorcycle ads have generally disappeared, motorcycle manufacturers still go to enormous lengths to create that key brochure image that will drag you into the dealership. Here's one of our favourites - an Indian image from the 1930s. Got one you love? Any brand and era is fine, right up to today. Why not shoot us a pic at allmoto@optusnet.com.au and we'll share it?

Living in the '90s, May 11

Suzuki GSX-R1100WP

Stuck in a rut or rediscovering some iconic machinery? Getting obsessive about an era can be viewed either way.

Bidders fail to hook rare Mondial, May 11

Mondial Piega

An un-used example of the ultra-rare 2002 Mondial Piega (perhaps one of up to 120 - the numbers are up for debate, depending on the source) has just been auctioned in the USA, reaching a top bid of US$21,000 (Au$32,200) but failing to reach reserve.

The Piega was one of numerous attempts at marque revivals over the period and, while the bike had some serious technical credentials, it was hugely expensive and built in tiny numbers up to 2006.

It was part of an ambitious plan to take on world superbike racing, with a bespoke chassis and featuring a Suzuki TL series V-twin. The Suzuki deal fell through and Honda was approached, eventually agreeing to supply VTR1000 SP-1 drivetrains for the race and production machines.

The remarkable partnership remembered an historic link between the two companies. Back in 1957, as the then hugely successful Mondial race team was to close its doors, Honda approached the firm to buy an example of its ultra-fast DOHC 125 racers. Both sides knew Honda intended to reverse-engineer the machine to boost its own efforts.

That favour has never been forgotten and an example of the Mondial 125 sits in Honda's Motegi museum to this day. It may also help explain why Honda, when approached via the Rumi world supers team, agreed to supply powerplants.

As for the Piega, there is no question it was a beautiful thing. Dripping in carbon fibre, it ran premium Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes along with that stunning V-twin powertrain. Sadly, it never really took off as a commercial proposition.

The top bid on this example suggests prices haven't moved in the last decade.

See a very good backgrounder on Mondial and the Piega here at Odd Bike.

See the auction lot at Iconic Motorbikes Auctions, here.

Mondial Piega

Turbo Kings, May 10

Suzuki XN85

Back in the early 1980s, they reckoned a turbocharged motorcycle would make you king of the road. But turbo soon became a by-word for sales flop...see the story here.

Waterbottle auction, May 10

Suzuki GT750

SInce we were talking about Suzuki GT750s the other day, we made the mistake of looking online to see what's available. Perhaps the pick of the offerings at this end of the globe (Australia) is a 1975 example that has had some restoration work by an owner who seems to know what they're talking about. It's currently sitting on $11,500 with five days to go and has yet to hit reserve. Nice-looking thing - see it here.

Suzuki GT750

Suzuki GT750

Rolling Thunder, May 9

Aprilia Tuono V-twin

Aprilia’s big V-twin Tuono proved you could have lunatic performance in a naked bike...see the story.

NOS CBX1000 on market, May 9

Honda CBX1000 in crate

A 1982 Honda CBX1000, in second-gen CBX-C sport-touring form, has emerged at online auction house Bring a Trailer. Located in Florida, USA, the machine has the original factory 1.2 test miles on the odo and has never been uncrated.

However there are signs the bike has been sitting in a moist environment, so commissioning the then premium road rocket may not be straight-forward.

The CBX series luxuriated in a silky smooth 24-valve inline six fed by a bank of six CV carburettors and claiming around 105 horses. This version ran a variant of the fairing shape shared with the Bol d'Or fours and CBX550 FII, plus a set of matching panniers.

It struggled to find a market at the time and even now collectors prefer the original naked version. However these days it would make an exceptional classic tourer. This example is on the market for another five days (to May 14) and, at the time of writing, had reached US6600 (Au$10,100).

See this link at Motorcycle Specs SA for full specs and profile.

Honda CBX1000 in crate

Raising the dead, May 8

Yamaha GTS1000

The other day we brought you the story of buying our Yamaha GTS1000. Well, getting it on the road was a much bigger exercise than planned...see the story here.

Manx Norton gallery, May 8

manx norton

Yesterday we got on to the topic of Manx Nortons - here's a mini gallery of period ads.

Flying Manx, May 7

Manx Norton 500

Here's proof that premium collector vehicles will always find a market, even in a world as disrupted as ours. This 1956-ish Manx Norton 500 (the production date is uncertain and could be as late as 1959) sold through Iconic Bike Auctions this week for US$38,400 (Au$59,900). It was reported to be in good but not perfect condition, and may have been ridden by GP star Derek Minter.

Though good money for this model, it's a long way short of the record. In 2017 Bonhams sold a similar machine, owned and raced by UK rider Bill Bevers, for US$80,500 (Au$125,400).

Plastic top ends are coming, May 7

Fraunhofer plastic cam carrier

The Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology in Germany has shown a prototype plastic cam carrier and cap design that it says replaces the more usual aluminium casting used on the majority of OHC engines. See the full story here

Finding Eldorado, May 7

Moto Guzzi Eldorado

There was a real risk in the 1960s that Moto Guzzi would die a slow and ignominious death, until the launch of its first range of big V-twins (the V7 series) gave the marque a new lease of life. Along with the distinctive transverse vee layout came a raft of variants and some wonderful names, such as Eldorado and Ambassador. Here's a mini gallery of the period advertising.

The curse of the trailer, May 6

Motorcycle trailer

A bad idea and the root of many disappointments. That’s trailers...see the story

Ducati 750 GT publicity shots, May 6

Ducati 750 GT

It was a ground-breaking model for the Italian maker and you can't help but wonder if there was some sort of obsession going on in the factory PR department. See our mini gallery.

Trouble for WInston the Sunbeam, May 5

Sunbeam S7

Part 1 of the long road to recovery, after we spat a conrod.

Yamaha RD250/350 series, May 5

yamaha rd250

These bikes got a whole generation interested in performance motorcycles and, in recent years, have seen their values shoot up from next to nothing to pretty solid numbers. Here are a few of the brochure shots from back in the day.

Indian relaunch vs original, May 4

Indian 1947 vs 2014

Back in 2014 Indian underwent a massive relaunch thanks to the efforts of parent company Polaris, releasing a new range powered by its 111-cube V-twin. At the time, the company made much of how the new bikes took at least some spritiual and design cues from the Springfield product of decades before, specifically the 1947 Chief.

So we put the two generations together to see how they shaped up. See the story here and look for the video at the end. (David McKenzie pics)

Suzuki waterbottle in the seventies, May 4

Suzuki GT750 Barry Sheene

We pulled together a mini collection of period shots of the much-loved GT750. See them here.

Cool Casper, May 3

Yamaha GTS1000 cutaway

It’s one thing to recommend buying an orphan, but quite another to take your own advice...buying a Yamaha GTS1000.

Swinging world of Yamaha, May 3

Yamaha the swinging world of

It's 1966 and we're encouraged to "discover the swinging world of Yamaha". Okay.

Indian Summer, May 2

1947 Indian Chief Motorcycle

What better way to round off the hot end of the year than adding another toy to the shed? Build story + video

Good clean fun, May 2

Honda cb750f1 supersport

USA Honda ad, promoting the CB750F1 Supersport. It's a very different style to the advertising you see now, promoting its credentials to the nice middle-class family. The ad promiises an auto version soon - Honda in fact had already toyed with an auto version of an earlier generation CB750.

Model specs and profile

Kawasaki eye-candy, May 1

Kawasaki 750 H2 1972

Eye candy...Kawasaki Mach IV 750 H2 1972
Model profile.

 

Yamaha FZR750R OW-01 - future collectible, May 1

Yamaha FZR750R OW-01

Yamaha’s OW-01 had a whole lot more under the paint than its looks would suggest. Read about it here.

The amazing Anzani, May 1

Anzani velodrome bike

A name you rarely see is Anzani, though it was responsible for some remarkable motorcycles, such as the velodrome slipstreamer above, powered by what's thought to be a 2.4lt vertical twin, circa 1910; And the 1000cc V-twin Brooklands record-breaker below, which Claude Temple used in 1924 to set a 108.49mph two-way benchmark.

Italian Alessandro Anzani at the height of his business career had engine plants in Monza, Paris and London, producing powerplants for aircraft, cars, motorcycles and lawn mowers. In 1927 he sold most of the firm, keeping the Monza plant.

Perhaps his most famous triumph was building the three-cylinder radial engine that powered Louis Bleriot for the first-ever aircraft flight across the English channel, in 1909.

Anzani Brooklands 1924

Want more news? See our archive.

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