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News archive Jun 2020

Cheap & Cheerful Touring, June 30


It may not be subtle or pretty – but nor is its owner. Meet our el-cheapo tourer.

$115k and no sale, June 29

Honda RC40 NR 750

Honda's most collectible modern era road bike, the RC40 or NR 750, seems to pop up in the market with surprising frequency. However a top bid of Au$115k (US$79,000) wasn't enough to take this one home, during a recent USA online auction. See a profile of the model and a recent auction bid history, here.

Turbo toy, June 27

Suzuki XN85

Suzuki's entry into the turbo race of the early eighties may not be the most famous, but it's now rare and desirable. See our profile and the link to a very good example for sale in the USA.

Desert Sled, June 26

xtz660Z tenere

Yamaha’s legendary Tenere name has drifted back to twin-cylinder models – does that make the last of the singles a keeper? See the story here.

Triple Treat, June 25

Triumph Triples

Profile: Triumph's hero Triples at 20-year intervals - 1974, 1994, 2014

Pic by Nathan Jacobs

New head for Zed, June 25

Kawasaki Z1

Kawasaki is remanufacturing cylinder heads and associated parts for early Z1 and Z2 fours, though the company points out they are subtly improved and not exact replicas. See more at Kawasaki Australia.

BMW K100-K1100, June 24


Since we started the day with a link to a cheap BMW K100RS offered on Facebook, we thought we'd share this K-series profile: The flat four society - future collectible.

Bargain BeeEm, June 24


Spotted on Facebook last night - thanks to Mark Reed - this first-model BMW K100RS in what looks to be good condition. The owner has listed it as having just 35,000km, which would be extraordinarily low. The clincher was the price: $2500. Potentially a bargain and located in Myrtleford, Victoria. (26 June update: now sold)

End of the Road (for now), June 23

Indian Chief Vintage

How a poor design decision buggers your day, two decades later...see the story here.


Profile - Yamaha YD1 & YDS-1, June 22

Yamaha YDS-1

The bike that launched Yamaha into the big time - see the story.

The Matt Solution, June 20

Suzuki Hayabusa

Anyone who buys your pride and joy should have to sign a contract that lets you take it back.

Pic by Lou Martin

Bird of Prey, June 19

Suzuki Hayabusa

Is the first-gen Suzuki Hayabusa a future collectible? See the story here.

Last of the CBX550s, June 18

Honda CBX550FII

It was a sentimental day today, as the last of a string of two Honda CBX550s we've owned across nearly 30 years left the premises. It's a 1982 FII version, which has been in the shed for 17 years and has just been sold back to the chap, Phil Hall, from whom we bought it. It was partner Ms M Senior's daily transport for years. Now she rides a late-model Suzuki SV650.

The CBX was part of a fierce mid-capacity war fought by the big four Japanese makers in the early 1980s, running an air-cooled compact 16-valve engine. The FII ran Bol d'Or styling and some unusual features, such as the enclosed twin discs up front, along with anti-dive.

It had some questionable features, but the engine and electrics were as reliable as the proverbial hammer. We'll bring you a bigger feature on the series in the near future.

That brochure shot below is of the naked version in its heyday circa 1980 at Calder Park Raceway in Victoria (Australia)..

Honda CBX550FII

Godet Vincent at Classic Avenue, June 17

Egli Vincent

Is there a better-looking motorcycle than an Egli Vincent by Patrick Godet? We suspect not. This example, built in 2001, has come up for sale in the USA via Classic Avenue and is priced at US$99,000 (Au$144,000).

Here, in part, is the description: "The bike offered here was part of the very discerning collection of Mars Webster. Mars commissioned the bike from Patrick Godet in September of 2001 to 998cc Black Shadow specification. New crankcases were provided by Andy Molnar and housed all new internals and a 4-speed gearbox with a dry multi-plate clutch. Amal concentric 30mm carbs mix fuel and air, while a Godet-designed exhaust expel gases. Mars updated a few things during his ownership, including an upgrade to the starter motor.

"This brand-new engine was mounted in Godet’s TIG welded 100mm Reynolds 531 spine frame. 35mm Ceriani GP forks up front with Fontana magnesium front brake hold a 19” front wheel laced with stainless spokes. At the rear a polished swingarm attached Maxton shocks to the frame and hold an 18” wheel with a Black Lightning-style brake. Aluminium fenders, fiberglass single seat unit and fairing with an aluminium gas tank complete the package. The tank was originally ordered in British Racing Green but was repainted black at some point. Aluminum control levers are by Amal and the instruments by Smiths, the latter comprising a 5” Chronometric speedometer and 3” tachometer."

See this link for the listing.

See this Patrick Godet tribute from the Vintagent.

Egli Vincent


Quick Profile - Honda VT500 Ascot & Euro, June 16

Honda VT500 Ascot

We spotted a rare-to-Australia Honda VT500 Ascot for sale recently and thought it worthwhile assembling a quick profile - see it here.

Discovery, June 15

Broadford bike bonanza

Getting sprung with a new classic, and other shed disasters.

Resto or Barn Find?, June 13

Suzuki GT550

Here's a conundrum: do you buy a bike that's already restored (above) or the proverbial barn find that needs recommissioning (below)? These two examples of seventies Suzuki GT550s were both for sale and provide a great example. See the story here.

Suzuki GT550

Harley-Davidson VR1000 #37 on the market , June 12

Harley-Davidson VR1000 for sale

One of around 55 homologation specials with just 4 miles on the odo

Ultimate BMW book launched, June 12

BMW motorocycle book

Renowned Australian author Ian Falloon has just launched a major update of his massive BMW book, covering every model from 1923 through to 2020. This is an update of the edition produced in 2015. According to his description, it's 312 pages with over 1000 pics. You can order it direct for $69.99 via Paypal:

You can see his website here.

IBMW motorcycle book

Forklift-powered Hayabusa beats Bugatti, June 11

Hayabusa powred by forklift motor

This is what happens when people have spare time, a little knowledge and access to an unsuspecting forklift. (from The Drive)

Frustration, June 11

Kawasaki ZX-14R

Power power everywhere and nowhere to use it. We have a plan...

Buying Nina, June 10

Ducati 916

Getting a taste of Italy with a Ducati 916.

Raccoon strokers, June 9

Honda Raccoon

Above is a Honda MM50 Raccoon and below its racier sister. Never heard of it? Nor had we until a random sighting of a 1980s Honda brochure (thanks to Skung, on the UK VJMC Facebook page) led us down this weird rabbit hole of Honda 50cc two-strokes. More here.

Honda MB50

Online Sobriety, June 8


Should internet shopping be a grog-free zone?

Suzuki Dr Big for sale, June 7

Suzuki DR800S for sale

This DR800S has popped up on Ebay and is something of a rarity in Australia. The owner says it needs a little work to finish off, but is complete. Bidding is at Au$4150 (US$2900) at the time of writing and it appears reserve has been met with two days to go.

See our quick profile on the model, right here.

Project 6-Hour update, June 6

Yamaha FZR1000 1987

At last! We have a roadworthy certificate for Project 6-Hour, our 1987 FZR1000. A previous owner painted it up as a replica of the Magee/Dowson bike that won the final Castrol 6-Hour production race in that year.

We bought this thing out of a damp shed a couple of years ago, as a non-runner, and have recently been working on kicking it back into life.

Don Stafford did the engine work for us and you can see the story and a video on him firing it up right here.

The bloke in the pic is Mick from Glenlyon Motors. He's signed off the roadworthy and is the talented chap who built the Norvin single we featured a little while ago. That bike is for sale, buy the way.

Next, we get the FZR1000 registered and bring you a follow-up yarn on what it's like to ride after all these years. In the meantime, you can find all three installments on the story so far on the Our Bikes page.

Shannons results, June 5

Harley-Davidson Duo Glide

Shannons recent Sydney-Melbourne online auction achieved strong overall results, with the vast majority of lots selling. The results suggest the classic vehicle market is still very much alive, even if the the new vehicle market has taken a hammering.

A lot we featured a couple of weeks ago - a 1960 Harley-Davidson Duo Glide panhead - got a better than anticipated result at Au$38,500 (US$27,000).

Velocette SPortsman 1969

Another stand-out result was a 1969 Velocette Sportsman that went for Au$39,500 (US$27,600).

Here is the list of bike lots and their results:

49. 1978 Honda CT70 Mini Trail Au$4000 (US$2800)

50. 1974 Norton Commando 850 MkIIa restored Au$17,000 (US$11,900)

51. c1935 BSA W35-7 500 Au$17,000 (US$11,900)

52. c1937 BSA M20 500 Au$15,500 (US$10,800)

53.1961 Triumph T120R 650 Au$19,500 (US$13,600)                                       

54. 1969 Velocette Sportsman 500 Au$39,500 (US$27,600)

55. 1960 Harley-Davidson FL Duo Glide panhead Au$38,500 (US$27,000).

Interested in how the classic cars did? Unique Cars magazine has a comprehensive report here.

Kings Mountain Indian - adding one to the shed, June 4

Kings Mountain Indian Chief Vintage

Adding a Kings Mountain Indian Chief Vintage to the shed - and a little drama along the way...

pics by Ben Galli Photography

Indian Chief motorcycle

Speaking of Kings Mountain Indians, this Dark Horse is for sale via Crazy Horse Indian, at $28,995. It's likely to be the only example of that era in the country.

Quick Fang - Honda RVF400, June 3

Honda RVF400

Honda's jewel-like RVF400 repli-racer has the potential to be a sports bargain and is now getting old enough to go on club plates! See the story here.

Too Many bikes? June 2

Travels with Guido

Trying the Tiger Moth decoy. This is what happens when you run out of excuses and diversion tactics.

Fugly machinery - take 2, June 1

MV Agusta 600 tourismo

It seems our 10 Ugly Motorcycles feature from the other day hit a string of nerves, with several readers chipping in their nominations. See the original feature here, and reader nominations here.

Want more news? See our archive.


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