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News archive Oct 2020

KTM RC8 & RC8R – future collectible, October 31


KTM’s two-model run with the RC8 was courageous...see the story here.

Future Collectible – Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird, October 30

Honda Blackbird

Honda’s Blackbird may have been over-run in the performance stakes, but it’s still a formidable bit of kit...see the story here.

Pics by Ben Galli Photography

I'll be in the Shed, October 29

Triumph T160

From desperation to spanner-free, to self-inflicted pain – such is the lot of a motorcyclist...see the story here.

Classic Smith, October 29

mr smith

The Classic Two Wheels read today comes from the late, great Mr Smith. In a column from Two Wheels May 1987, beautifully illustrated by Bruce Allard, Smithy recounts how he first fell in love with motorcycles. It didn't go well, but like the rest of us he was hooked for life...see it here.

The Water Bottle Dilemma, October 28

suzuki gt750

It's a tough choice for the fan of classic two-strokes: which of two GT750 'water bottles' do you pick? A Queensland seller has this pair for sale via Facebook – the red one priced at Au$22,000 (US$15,700, GB£12,000) and the blue at Au$19,000 (US$13,600, GB£10,400). He says he'll keep which-ever is left over. One has a three-into-one exhaust and wire-spoke wheels, while the other has a three-into-three set of chambers and Henry Abe alloys. Big decision...

See the Classic Two Wheels 1972 road test

See our Suzuki GT750 period ads

suzuki gt750

GPZ900R update model, October 27

kawasaki GPZ900R

Here's living proof that a 30-year-old motorcycle that's eligible for club or classic registration across Australia can still be a solid performer.

This 1990 Kawasaki GPZ900R (aka Ninja) is the year after the series went through a significant front-end upgrade. That included a 17-inch wheel (formerly a 16-inch), four-piston brakes (up from two-), and a beefier 41mm fork (up from 39).

There's a lot to like about them. For a start the series was long-lived (near enough to a decade), was a landmark model for the brand (its first liquid-cooled litre-class sports bike) and still rates as a quick and capable mount – even today.

They also have long-term collector interest, particularly if it's a first model.

What we like about this one is that it's had some restoration work while staying pretty close to stock, including the black chrome exhaust system.

Listed on Bikesales for Au$8500 (US$6800, GB£4600), it claims 69,000km, which is not a lot for one of these engines. Funnily enough, they're not only quick but are a surprisingly good long-distance mount. It would cruise all day at 160km/h, if you could find somewhere to do it.

Kawasaki GPZ900R Coober pedy

See our feature on the A1 we picked up in the Northern Territory a few years ago and rode some 2300km back to Melbourne.

Here's a quick backgrounder and specs panel on Motorcyclespecs.

What's a Fake? October 26

Indian motorcycles

Are we getting a little too cynical to accept revival brands? See the story here

Future collectible – Benelli Tornado Tre 900, October 25

Benelli tre

Benelli’s bold re-entry into the motorcycle market was a stunner, but they’re hard to find locally...see the story.

Guns and land barges, October 24

Indian Chief Vintage 2003

Tired of being cut off? Things are going to be different when Guido rules the world...see the story

Ducati Project Sale, October 23

Ducati 900ss

Four premium 1970s Ducatis, all in need of substantial work, are being offered by Graysonline in NSW. They include two 1975 900SS, a 1974 750 GT and the basis of a third SS. They might present a bit of an opportunity for someone with the skills and time to being them back to life.

ducati 750 gt

Brough Sale, October 23

brough superior

Bonhams has three Brough Superiors on the market at the moment. They include a 1929 SS80 (below), a 1932 SS100 and 1936 SS100. The ugly question of price isn't mentioned, but expect in the multiples of hundreds of thousands. See them here.

brough superior

Bargains at Barber, October 22

Laverda RGS

Buyers walked away with some incredible bargains at a Bonhams auction at the Barber Motorsports Museum in Birmingham (UK) on October 10...more here.

1970s Honda Rolling Road for Sale, October 22

Honda rolling road

Here's a bit of shed jewellery that your mate next door won't have: a 1970s-era Honda rolling road...more here.

Future Collectible – Yamaha MT-01

Yamaha MT-01

Looking for something a little different that's worth putting away? You could do a lot worse than Yamaha’s MT-01 fusion of sports bike and cruiser. See the story here.

The Buying Mantra, October 20

Honda Blackbird

Why selling has become a mug’s game...see the story here.

Honda VFR750F – future collectible, October 19

Honda VFR750F

Honda’s VFR series was sent out to recover the maker’s battered reputation and became a standard-setter. See the story here.

Ride like it's 1976, October 18

Kawasaki Z900

Maybe you were born that year, or perhaps you just like seventies motorcycles – in any case a pairing of a Kawasaki Z900 and Honda CB750-Four at the upcoming Shannons auction caught our eye. See them here.

Tooling Up, October 17

kangaroo road sign northern territory

You’re heading off on the big adventure and maybe you should think carefully about what tools to take. Or not…see the story here.

Top Dollar for Suzuki Rotary, October 17

Suzuki RE5

That second model Suzuki RE5 rotary we were tracking, with just 2 miles on the odo, has sold at auction for solid money – Au$20,100 (US$14,250, GB£11,000).

See the backgrounder here.

Hinckley Heroes, October 16

Triumph T300 series

The bikes that brought Triumph back to life. See the T300 series story here.

Desmosedici up for auction, October 16

Ducati Desmosedici

The upcoming Shannons auction in Australia is featuring a Ducati Desmosedici among a group of over 30 motorcycles. See the story here.

See our Desmosedici buyer guide here.

You Again, October 15

Honda Valkyrie Interstate

Dammit. Life would be far simpler if you just hung on to motorcycles, instead of selling them. Then you have to buy them back...see the story here.


New Suzuki RE5 rotary on the block, October 14

Suzuki RE5

This remarkable second-model Suzuki RE5, with just 2 miles on the odo, was up for auction at Bring a Trailer. It went for Au$20,100 (US$14,250, GB£11,000). See our model profile page for more info.

Ducati Desmosedici buyer guide, October 13

Ducati Desmosedici

They were Ducati's pukka MotoGP replica and remain very high on the desirability list for any sports bike nut. Now they rate as an investment with one expert describing them as the 'green frame' of the future. See the story here.

Buyer guide – Kawasaki Z1-R, October 12

Kawasaki Z1-R

Kawasaki's dramatic lines breathed new life into an ageing design and produced a surprising number of variants. See the story here.

Slick stroker, October 11

Yamaha RD350

This remarkable 1975 RD350 popped up for sale on Facebook, with the claim it has just 3600 miles, just one owner and is in exceptional survivor condition. Quite a find. It was priced at $9800 and sold in two days.

Yamaha RD350

Not the Triumph, October 11

Indian Chief Vintage

Over the years, some kind of pattern has developed when it comes to introducing a new motorcycle to the household. I make some sort of casual mention of it in conversation, and partner Ms M snr may or may not take an interest at the time...see the story here.

Pic by Ben Galli Photography


Future collectibles – Kawasaki ZRX1100/1200R, October 10

Kawasaki ZRX1100R

Kawasaki’s ZRX hero nakeds were eighties throwbacks and a great ride. See the story here.

Bumper crop at Shannons, October 9

Hailwood Ducati

There is a bumper crop of classic motorcycles on offer at the Shannons Spring auction next month, with over 30 lots listed.

Here's one, a 1986 Hailwood Replica Mille with an estimate of Au$30-35,000 (US$21-25,000, GB£16-20,000). There's a lot to unwrap, which we'll sample over coming days.

In the meantime, you can see what's on offer, here.

Hayabusa market watch, October 9


First-year Hayabusa values have been on the march, though everyone wants the bronze version. What about the other colours? We have found two for sale, and have added a comprehensive buyer guide plus a contemporary road test. See it here.

XR special chases a dream, October 8

Harley XR special

The long-held and oft-stated dream of developing an American sports motorcycle has created all sorts of interesting toys across the decades and we reckon this is one of the better efforts.

Powered by a Harley-Davidson XR750 engine, it runs a frame built by C&J Racing Frames, WP front suspension and Ohlins rear, plus P&M front brakes. Evidently it cost an alarming US$85,000 to build.

Cycle World published a brief profile on the street tracker, which you can find here. Meanwhile it's for auction via Iconic in the USA.

Harley XR special

Antarctic motorcycle club, October 8

antarctic motorcycle rider

Okay, there isn't an Antarctic Motorcycle Club as such – or not one we know of – but there should be. Around 30-something motorcycles have been transported to the end of the earth, been used and left there. ABC Radio recently covered this in a wider interview with Dr George Croswell of the CSIRO. Find the 25-minute audio webcast, here.

Bike sales rise, October 7

motorcycle sales chart

FCAI has released figures showing a lift in bike sales, with off-road motorcycles and utility vehicles or ATVs (aka OHVs) being the big performers. It suggests "off-road bikes have grown in popularity as people turn to close-to-home recreational pursuits during the pandemic restrictions."

Gold standard, October 7

Honda CB750-4 Triumph T160

Honda’s mighty CB750-Four hit its golden anniversary in 2018 and we took time out with one of its most fierce rivals – Triumph's T160 – to look back to see if it deserves its legendary status. See the story here.

Pics by Ben Galli Photography

Frankenstein my friend, October 6

Harley Brough

Did you ever get an unreasonable urge to build your own monster? What I’m on about is building a hybrid of who knows what unholy marriage between engine and chassis, that were never intended for each other. See the story here.

Future collectible – Honda VTR1000 SP series, October 5

Honda VTR1000 SP

Honda was looking for a solution to its Ducati ‘problem’ and the VTR1000 SP series, aka the RC51, was the cure. Read the story here.

Sport season, October 4

Ducati 750 Sport

Prices are on the march for good examples of Ducati's iconic 1970s 750 Sport and a few have popped up on the market lately. See more, including a period road test, here.

Seventies survivor, October 3

Yamaha XS500

It's very brown and, depending on how you look at it, could be a relatively inexpensive entry into the world of classic bikes. The 1976 XS500 claims one owner and a little under 9000 km on the odo...see more, including some period brochure images, here.

Turbo Territory, October 2

Kawasaki Turbo

Living with a Kawasaki Turbo GPz750E. See the story here.

Pics: Stuart Grant

First & last affordable Fireblades, October 1

Honda Fireblades

InfoMoto has a unique review of Honda Fireblades 25-plus years apart, billed as "The last of ‘the every man’s’ Honda Fireblade". (Spencer Leech pic) See it here.

See our first-gen Fireblade future collectible feature here; And our video here.



Want more news? See our archive.


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