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What's happening

News Dec 2021

Rare Honda scores big, Dec 31


Some time back we mentioned a Honda RC213V with 1 mile on the odo, that was up for auction via Collecting Cars.

This was Honda's MotoGP bike for the street, claiming a relatively modest 159 horses standard (214-plus with the sport kit fitted) for a package weighing 170kg dry. Just 250 were to be made. Back in 2015-16 they were priced at Au$244,000 (US$175,000, GB£132,000) in Australia.

Bidding on this machine hit Au$330,300 (US$239,500, GB£177,500). See it here.

See the model profile at Motorcycle Specs; And the ride review at Bennetts.

Value game, Dec 30


Six great bikes for under $10k.

Tired of  sky-high auction prices? Never fear!

You could be forgiven for despairing of ever owning a decent motorcycle, given all the headline news of outrageous prices fetched for collectible machines. However, despite the market being buoyant, there is plenty of value out there. See the story.

Staggering K, Dec 29


We must confess to choking on our scotch when seeing the auction result for this 1979 CB750K. Running an early twin-cam engine shared with the Bol d'Or series, it pays a visual nod to the first-gen single-cam Honda CB750-Four.
Claiming 77 horses and a dry weight of 236kg, the six-speed machine was said to be good for 200km/h. (See full specs here.)
This example is the tenth anniversary variant, a so-called limited edition. However it's unclear how many were produced.
Proving yet again that zero miles (or near enough) is catnip for collectors, this one claimed just two miles on the odo and sold via Bring a Trailer for a staggering Au$33,000 (US$24,000, GB£18,000).

A Christmas wish, Dec 24

Suzuki Hayabusa

It's Christmas and it's time to fire up the Hayabusa...our traditional festive column is here.

We're taking a few days off, folks. Enjoy your festive season.

Triumph Trident 900 – today's time machine, Dec 24

Triumph Trident 900

Triumph Hinckley's entry-level 900 is worth now what it was 20-ish year ago....see it here.

Flashback: Kawasaki 750 turbo, Dec 23


Arguably the pick of the turbo bikes of the eighties. See the story.

And yes, we've had one in our shed...see it here.

Colourful Kawasaki, Dec 21

Kawasaki fuel tanks

Kawasaki road bike fuel tanks through the 1970s and 1980s – colourful lot, aren't they?

Second life, Dec 20

new Indian motorcycle

Some days you have to sit back and wonder at the twists and turns of the motorcycle retail world and wonder if industry marketing managers are heavy drinkers. They’d have to be. See the story.

Zen ride, Dec 19


We just tripped over these pics, from the collection of Robert Pirsig. He was author of the seminal philosophical tome Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. See more, including a map of the route, here.

Martin BMW, Dec 17

              Martin K1

Never seen one of these before? Most of us haven't. This rare Moto Martin, using a BMW K1 platform, is up for auction. More here.

Random brochure for the day – Honda Fours, Dec 17

Honda Fours

Honda CB400F, CB500F1 and CB750F1 circa 1975.

See our CB750-Four feature; And our 400 Four feature.

And the one in our shed.

FireBlade auction mystery, Dec 15


Every now and then an auction result comes along that leaves us completely mystified, and this is one of those days.

This nicely-presented but not perfect first-gen 1993 Honda CBR900RR sold through Bring a Trailer recently for Au$73,000 (US$52,000, GB£39,000). That's around four times what it would be worth on any normal day.

There's no unusual providence that we're aware of so, err, what the hell? Feel free to send us your theories...

It comes after a similarly baffling result for a Paris-Dakar kitted R80G/S (Dec 4) which went for Au$51,400 (US$36,000, GB£27,200).

See our CBR900RR profile

Incidental Gold Wing shooting, Dec 14

Honda GL1000 1975

Our 1975 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing is a rolling, running and registered work-in-progress, and doesn't look anywhere near as glamorous in real life as it does in this shot. It was taken by the ultra-talented Ben Galli, while we were hanging around the Unique Cars magazine studio.

Our feature car was running late and Ben suggested, "Why don't you just roll it in while we're waiting and I'll take a couple of quick shots?" Okay. Here's the result...impressive.

We're currently sorting some issues such as steering head bearings and getting the charging system settled.

See our Honda Gold Wing GL1000 backgrounder;

And our most recent update on the bike;

More to come...

Hail the Ducati bus, Dec 13

Ducati bus

From Ian Falloon: In 1972 and 1973 Ducati has this impressive converted bus to transport motorcycles to shows and races. It was made famous at Imola when it carried seven factory Imola 750 racers. These are 1973 Scramblers. On the far left is one of the rarest of all production Ducatis; the 50 Scrambler. One of only 179 manufactured.

Trophy trades on fame, Dec 13

Henry Winkler Triumph

In another world-gone-mad moment, the 1949 Triumph TR5 Trophy ridden by Henry Winkler in the TV series Happy Days has popped up on the auction circuit again and sold for a mind-boggling Au$323,000 (US$231,500, GB£175,000)

Auction house Bonhams lists the result as a new record for a Triumph.

According to the sale background: Originally customised for the television show by famous Hollywood stuntman Bud Ekins, The Fonz’s motorcycle was a regular feature during its ten-year run. Untouched since filming wrapped, the motorcycle was tracked down by motorcycle journalist Wendy F Black in 2000. More recently, it had been exhibited at The San Diego Automotive Museum.

Buell & Ducati bids, Dec 12

Buell XB12R

Bidding has closed for the current Donington classics auction and this Buell Firebolt XB12R was one of the more of the affordable lots.

This example is a Japan import with around 21,300km on the odo. It fetched a top bid of Au$9000 (US$14,000, GB£5000) –
potentially a very entertaining motorcycle for the money See it here.

See our feature on the later 
Buell 1125R series.

Meanwhile the rather tasty electric-start Hailwood Ducati we featured December 2 (below), sold for Au$30,000 (US$21,500, GB£16,000). See it here.


Complete catalogue here.

Exotic Honda for auction, Dec 11


Definitely up there on the rarity scale – a Honda RC213V with 1 mile on the odo, up for auction via Collecting Cars. Bidding is already at Au$148,000 (US$106,000, GB£80,000). See it here.

Back in 2015-16 they were priced at Au$244,000 (US$175,000, GB£132,000) in Australia.

See the model profile at Motorcycle Specs.

Flashback: FireBlade – Honda's killer app, Dec 10

Honda fireblade

Honda’s first FireBlade marked a major step in sportsbike development...

When you take the time to look back over the history of the modern sportsbike, it’s not all that difficult to pick a short list of machines that have set the pace and direction over time...see the full story here.

Bespoke MV, Dec 8

MV Agusta

From Ian Falloon: This is an extremely rare early 1972 MV Agusta 750 S. Only the first 100 or so were painted in these colours and they were almost bespoke build. As MV was only making about one 750 S a week in 1971 virtually no two of these bikes are identical. This is bike manufacture from an earlier era.

Buell Firebolt auction, Dec 8

Buell XB12R

Bidding has opened for the current Donington classics auction and this Buell Firebolt XB12R is one of the more of the affordable lots.

The description sums up the series: "When it was released in 2002 as a 2003 model, the XB9R Firebolt was the most innovative motorcycle available at the time. Apart from its unique perimeter brake, fuel-in-frame and oil-in-swingarm design, no one could understand how Buell had produced such an agile, compact and stable bike around an old-style Harley-Davidson motor. Many argued the innovative chassis could handle considerably more power so, only a year after the XB9R’s release, Buell offered the XB12."
This example is a Japan import with around 21,300km on the odo with an estimate of Au$10-15,000 (US$7-11,000, GB£5-8000) – potentially a very entertaining motorcycle for the money. See it here.

See our feature on the later Buell 1125R series.

DOT returns, Dec 7

DOT motorcycle

Alongside BSA, another historic UK brand relaunched at the recent NEC show – DOT. Founded early last century, the brand had a few revivals after its original demise in 1926.
The latest effort is based around a Kawasaki 650 twin and claims development input from people such as Guy Martin. Prices start at a little over Au$33,000 (US$24,000, GB£18,000). There are two key models – Reed Racer (above) and DOT Demon (below) – offered by the Manchester-based firm, with customisation ex-factory also on the menu.
DOT website; UK MCN report.

dot demon

BSA spec, Dec 6

BSA 650
              Gold Star

A lot more detail has been released on the new BSA 650 Gold Star – see it here.

Triumph prototype revealed, Dec 5

Triumph 1901

Triumph UK has unveiled the restored prototype of the marque's first production motorcycle, a 1901 220ccc Minerva-powered machine.  See the story here.

Monster price for Dakar, Dec 4


This listing from Bring-a-Trailer, billed as a 1983 BMW R80 G/S Paris-Dakar, scored an incredible Au$51,400 (US$36,000, GB£27,200) at auction, sparking some controversy in the process. That it has some non-standard parts fitted got people going, while there has also been a debate over whether it's what it pretends to be.

Muddying the waters is the fact BMW sold a number in fully-dressed form, but also supplied a lot of Paris-Dakar kits to be fitted to standard G/S.

In any case, there's no denying that's a phenomenal result.

See this R80 G/S backgrounder from Silodrome; And the period road test from Classic Two Wheels.

Norton cafe racer, Dec 4

Norton V4CR

Norton has released a pic of its prototype V4 cafe racer, designated the V4CR and based on the V4S below.

See our first-gen Commando profile.

Norton V4S

BSA relaunches, Dec 3

BSA launch

BSA Motorcycles has relaunched at the NEC Show in the UK, though details on the single-cylinder four-stroke road bike shown are scant. However we do know it's a 650 and called the Gold Star - perhaps the firm's most prized legacy nameplate.


At the same time, the company announced it has received a UK government grant to establish electric motorcycle production around Birmingham – the same district the company used to be based until its demise around 50 years ago.


The firm is now owned by Mahindra, which also owns the rights to Jawa (above). The latter has been in production for over two years, with a range of machines based around a 293cc single.
See this BBC report; BSA on Facebook; Jawa Motorcycles

Electric leg Hailwood, Dec 2


Something you don't see every day: An electric-start 1984 900 Ducati Mike Hailwood Replica on the market.


It's being handled by Donington and claims to be one of 1457 made. The description also mentions an extensive restoration for what was originally a Japan-delivered machine. It's worthwhile reading the description in detail.
We've seen solid prices on these in recent times and the estimate is Au$28-36,000 (US$20-26,000, GB£15-19,000). See the full catalogue.

Seventies Kawasakis in demand, Dec 2

Kawasaki Z1 900

The recently-concluded Shannons auction saw good results for owners of seventies Kawasakis.
A 1974 Z1 900 (above) went for Au$37,500 (US$26,700, GB£20,000), while a 1977 Z1000 (below) fetched Au$25,000 (US$17,800, GB£13,400)

Kawasaki Z1000

Triumph milestone, Dec 2

Triumph Hinckley has celebrated the marque's one millionth motorcycle since it was revived in the early 1990s. The machine nominated as number 1m was a Tiger 900 Rally Pro. That's CEO Nick Bloor (son of company founder John) doing the unveiling.
See our T300 launch series backgrounder.

Happy ending, Dec 2

Remember this cheeky rewrite of the most famous scene from the flick The Great Escape? Enjoy...

MV bedtime book, Dec 1

                    Falloon MV Agusta book

Soon appearing at a bookshop near you...the latest Falloonism.
Ian says: After a two year delay it looks like this new book The MV Agusta Story will be published in 2022. Lots of new information regarding the 1973-76 four-cylinder racers and a full analysis of the labyrinth of F4 and Brutale models in the Cagiva era.

Ian Falloon website

Moto who? Dec 1

Moto Cardan 1902

One for you Guzzi owners out there – a 1902 Moto Cardan, by Adler.

Want more news & views? See our archive.


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