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News archive Dec 2020

Sod Skippy, December 31

Triumph T160

On kangaroos, Darwin and the meaning of crashes...see the story here.

Heart Transplant, December 30

Suzuki GSX1100E

A dumb mistake leads to an international search for a powerplant...see the story here.

Antiques Roadshow, December 29

triumph t160 holden kingswood

Trapped in a time warp...see the story here.

Tool Time, December 28

motorcycle tools

Got the urge to get on the tools for a spot of maintenance? Or maybe you’re decided to build the ultimate transport of delight. In any case, here’s our basic guide to setting up the workshop…see the story here.

The Homing Blackbird, December 27

honda Blackbird

We've sold a couple of these gems over the years, but they keep coming back. Meet number 3...see the story here.

Unlikely Racer, December 27

Triumph T140 castrol 6 hour

It was 1978 and the Triumph T140 twin was comprehensively outgunned in the performance bike world. Nevertheless one was entered for that year's Castrol 6-Hour race and it was then sent off on a magazine road test. See the story from Classic Two Wheels.

A Christmas Wish, December 24

suzuki hayabusa

The cat's in charge and Hannibal has been cut loose – welcome to Christmas. See the story here.

Merry Christmas, folks. We're taking a couple of days off...stay safe.

If you're looking for something to read, there is plenty in our archives:

Features; What's in our shed; Travels with Guido columns; News archive.

First-gen Fun, December 23

triumph scrambler

It may have been superseded by the 1200, but Triumph’s 865 Scrambler series still has a lot to offer...see the story here.

Instant Norton Collection? December 22

Norton jps

If you had the ambition to develop an instant Norton collection, particularly with a focus on rotaries, you could have resorted to the recent Bicester auction. This was an unusual opportunity to pick up three of the latter representing the entire development stream.

See more here.

Norton F1

Ducatis at Bicester, December 21

ducati 851

More highlights from the recent Bicester auction in the UK – this time it's Ducati's turn.

Remember the Ducati 851? It was the bike that sent Ducati down it's modern path of four-valve V-twins, grabbing the 1990 world superbike championship, thanks to rider Raymond Roche. Very expensive when launched, the road bikes have had a patchy record in the sale rooms. This 1991 851 SP3 (lot 647), with all the books etcetera and around 15,000km on the odo, fetched Au$24,500 (US$18,700, GB£13,800). That seems like solid buying.

ducati 748

Here's proof that Ducati ownership doesn't necessarily have to cost a fortune. The 748 from the mid-to-late 1990s was a particularly sweet ride and arguably nicer than the 916. No mileage was mentioned for this 1999 biposto (lot 641), but apparently it was a good runner with up-to-date servicing. Price? A mere Au$6600 (US$5000, GB£3700) – bargain!

ducati hailwood

We've seen Hailwood prices climbing in Australia in recent months, with a 1986 Mille hitting Au$37,000 (US$28,400, GB£21,000) last month at a Shannons event. However the message hadn't got through to this auction, with two 860s on offer – a 1981 and this 1983 model (lot 565). Listed as a good runner with recent restoration of the electrics, it sold for the higher number at Au$26,511 (US$20,300, GB£15,000). The 1981 model (lot 562) went for Au$22,400 (US$17,200, GB£12,700).

Brough Superior old & new at Bicester, December 20

brough superior ss100

While 1930s Brough Superior twins have long been fetching serious money, it was fascinating to see what two not so different examples, plus a modern version will do under the hammer at the recent Bonhams Bicester auction.

First is a 1936 SS100 (lot 232 – above), ultra desirable and in good condition, which fetched a very hefty Au$489,500 (US$373,000, GB£276,000).

brough superior ss80

Meanwhile a slightly more humble 1937 SS80 (lot 547) looked like a bargain by comparison, fetching Au$130,500 (US$99,500, GB£73,600)

The key difference between the two? The SS80 was running the earlier-generation sidevalve engine rather than overhead valve in the SS100. Hence the former claimed a guaranteed 80mph and the latter 100mph.

brou8gh superior modern

And what's a modern equivalent worth? This 2016 SS100 (lot 593), said to be the second bike built by the current factory and to have under 1000km on the odo, was a snip at a mere Au$73,400 (US$56,000, GB£41,400)

Brough Superior home page

Solid buys at Auction, December 19

Suzuki Wes Cooley replica

The giant Bonhams at Bicester auction we previewed December 11 brought solid rather than spectacular results for the Japanese motorcycles on offer – however there were some sharp buys in the huge fleet on offer.

For example, a 1980 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley replica (lot 640) in what looked like good rather than completely original (note the 4-1 exhaust) and running condition looked like very good buying at Au$9200 (US$7000, GB£5200).

Honda CBX1000

Meanwhile this original-looking second-generation 1981 Honda CBX1000 (lot 677), offered with an MOT, seemed like a lot of classic for the money at Au$11,200 (US$8500, GB£6300).

Honda RC45

A 1996 Honda RC45 in good condition and showing 30,000km (lot 676) fetched mid-estimate at Au$43,900 (US$33,400, GB£24,700) – a predictable rather than spectacular result for this model.

More highlights to come.

Thirsty, December 19

MV Agusta F4 750

Is there anything wrong with an unquenchable thirst for motorcycles? See the story here.

Big Honda result, December 18

Honda CB1100RC sale

The Honda CB1100RC auction we previewed on December 8 scored a big result, with the 1982 machine fetching Au$45,000 (US$34,200, GB£25,200), which is an extraordinary result – close to double what would be considered usual for this model. This example was said to be in exceptional condition, near enough to as-new. See our CB1100R series profile.

Classic Firestorm, December 17

Honda VTR1000

Remember the Honda VTR1000? Here's a period road test from Classic Two Wheels.

Mad Dogs & Daytonas, December 15

Triumph Daytona 1200 and Super III

Touring on some Brits with a Brit...see the story here.

In Search of Bliss, December 14

Suzuki gsx1100

What happens when they break faster than you can fix them? See the story here.

Singular Decision, December 12

Honda XBR500

We flesh out the single-pot corner of the shed with a Honda XBR500. See the story here.

Big Bicester Auction, December 11

Honda RC45

Bonhams' massive Bicester auction is running over December 11-12, with a weird and wonderful variety of classics on offer, including this 1996 RC45 (lot 676).

The hand-built HRC homologation V4 is claiming 19,000 miles (30,000km) and carries an estimate of Au$43-53,000 (US$32-40,000, GB£24-30,000). See it here.

Recent auction results:

Bonhams, 2018, 1994 model: Au$83,000 (US62,000, GB£47,000)

Mecum, 2019, 1994 model: Au$66,000 (US$50,000, GB£38,000)

Iconic, 2020: Au$50,000 (US$38,000, GB£29,000)

RC45 specs and backgrounder via Motorcycle Specs.

Fast by Design, December 10

Suzukikatana vs hayabusa

Big Suzukis, three decades apart. See the story here.

Classic Debate, December 9

Indian Chief motorcycle

Does it really matter if it's factory correct? See the story here.

Race-Bred Honda, December 8

Honda CB1100R

Honda's CB1100R became the ground-breaker for a long string of race-bred homologation specials....see the profile here.

Big numbers for MV projects, December 7

MV agusta 750

Donington Auctions in Australia yesterday sold four 1970s MV Agustas in varying states of repair, all of which went for solid prices. Perhaps the biggest surprise was the big numbers paid for the non-runners. More here.

Dual Jotas, December 6

Laverda Jota

Since we got on to the topic of Laverda Jotas the other day, we've spotted two for sale – both in Queensland (Australia). The one above is a private sale at Au$38,000 (US$28,000, GB£21,000) and the one below is through an importer at Au$35,500 (US$26,000, GB£20,000).

Laverda Jota

MV Agusta auction today, December 6

MV Agusta 750S America

Donington Auctions is finalising its Daniel Bretag collection auction today, which features a handful of MV Agustas in varying states. Pre-sale bidding looks strong. See more here.

Going single – Yamaha SRX600, December 5

Yamaha SRX600

Ever considered going single? It definitely has its rewards…see the story here.

Agent Orange, December 4

Laverda Jota

Getting a bad case of the Jotas...see the story here.

Bench time for the Suzuki GSX-R750F, December 3

Suzuki GSX-r750f

With age creeping up on it, our GSX-R needed a little TLC...see the story here.

See our GSX-R750 model profile here.

See more 'Our Bikes' stories here.

RADD-inspired oddball, December 2

Yamaha GTS1000

Remember the Yamaha GTS1000? It was a brave attempt at a whole different approach to chassis design that never quite found market acceptance. Oddball perhaps and also a bit of a rarity as you you don't often see them on the market.

There's a low-miler for sale locally – see it here – and another up for auction in the USA via Iconic. The first is priced at Au$24,000 (US$17,700, GB£13,000).

We owned one of these things not so long ago. See the feature here.

Little Ms Sunshine, December 1

Ducati 916

Recovering from a Winter of discontent...see the story here.

Want more news? See our archive.


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