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News June 2023

Lap of Oz, June 30

a bit of a detour

Thanks to reader Gary White for pointing this out: It seems the attraction of doing a lap of Oz has not diminished over the years. In fact, there appears to be as many people as ever having a crack.

That's putting aside for a moment the insane record attempts from decades past – see this Australian Motor Cycle News story.

snags lap

There are a couple of options if you want a taste of what it's really like to tackle the trip. One is Snag's Lap from the crew at Info Moto, full of character as you might expect.

Another is one we only just tripped over, called A Bit of a Detour, which is a well constructed ten-part series. The final episurd covers costs and a bunch of tips...both are well worth a look.

Suzuki RG500 – how many would you like? June 29

suzuki rg500

We wouldn't have thought it possible, but there seems to be a bit of a glut of Suzuki RG500 square-four two-strokes in the Australian market at the moment. That's if you can call six bikes a glut – normally we'd expect to find only a couple at any one time.

However the pricing is all over the place, near the lower end is Au$29,500 (US$19,500, GB£15,400) for an example claiming 34,000km (21,000 miles) all the way up to an imaginative Au$85,000 (US$56,000, GB£44,500) for one claiming just 9km on the odo.

We live in interesting times. See all six (plus a 400) at Bikesales.

See our Suzuki RG500 backgrounder.

Tiger Cub – today's random brochure, June 28

triumph tiger

Since we got on to the topic of Triumph's soon to be released range of singles, we thought we'd share this: A brochure for a 1961 Tiger Cub T20. The 200cc series  sold pretty well for the company across 1956 to 1968 and two generations that included several variants.

More at British Classic Motorcycles

New 400 line for Triumph, June 29

triumph speed

Triumph has announced an interesting break with recent tradition, by releasing pics of its new two-bike 400cc range – namely the Speed 400 and Scrambler 400 X.

              scrambler 400 x

This is on the heels of the 2021 announcement the company was developing competition dirt bikes and would be entering the 2024 world enduro and motocross championships.

It's some 60 years since the marque was last developing single-cylinder machines.

According to the company, the single-cylinder 400s "allow Triumph Motorcycles to enter into segments that we have not been represented in previously, which make up about 30 per cent of new road going motorcycle purchases per year."

The company promises the machines will carry good spec and will be price competitive. Australia can expect to see them towards the end of this year.

Speed 400 specs at Triumph

Scrambler 400 X specs

Ducati 916 heroes, June 28

ducati 916 fogarty

While we've been seeing signs of a softening market for classics, there are certain 'investment grade' machines that often defy the odds.

For example this 1998 Ducati 916 SPS Fogarty replica, number 1 of 202 made and with just a few push miles on the odometer.

The combination of rare and desirable model, in as-delivered shape, is the proverbial catnip for investors and you could be forgiven for feeling a little upset that the thing has never fired a shot in anger. However doing so would potentially pop a pretty big hole in the value.

It's up for auction with Silverstone in the UK on July 23, with an estimate of Au$130-150,000 (US$90-100,000, GB£70-80,000).

ducati senna 916

In the same category (and likely from the same collection) is a 1995 Ducati 916 Senna 1, again with just a few push miles. It's number 42 of 300 and carries an estimate of Au$75-95,000 (US$50-65,000, GB£40-50,000).

See the 916 that was in our shed

And our 916 Senna profile

Plus the contemporary 916 Strada test from Classic Two Wheels

CZ classic, June 27

CZ 250 enduro

Today's random brochure, CZ/Jawa enduros circa 1974. Handsome-looking things, aren't they?

See the period Cycle World test on the motocross 250.

Turbo time, June 26


Another former resident of our shed: Kawasaki GPz750E Turbo -– see the story here.

(Stuart Grant pic)

1 mil GS Boxer, June 25

bmw 1mil boxer

BMW on June 22 celebrated the completion of its 1 millionth boxer-engined GS series – an R 1250 GS – some 43 years after the launch of the first R80G/S. (Pictured at centre is Motorrad head Dr Marcus Schramm.)

The company is in the throes of celebrating its centenary, with a number of events set for July 7-9.

It will be launching the new R1300 GS on September 28.

bmw r80gs

BMW R80G/S profile at Paris Dakar Melbourne

Period road test at Classic Two Wheels

bmw r100gs
              paris dakar

See the R100GS Paris Dakar that was in our shed

Flashback: Aprilia Tuono, June 24

aprilia tuono

Aprilia's feisty and character-filled Tuono – future collectible. See the story here.

Home mechanic – today's random retro ad, June 24


With some aptitude just a few hours of study a week, in your own time, you could become your own mechanic. That was the 1979 promise of Stotts Technical Correspondence College, which seemed to offer courses in every imaginable field. Did anyone out there ever try it?

Honda GL650 Interstate – today's oddball, June 23


And now something for the dedicated Honda collector: A 1983 Silver Wing Interstate.

Honda traded off the success of the Gold Wing by developing more touring-oriented versions of the CX500/650 V-twin platform, which makes some sort of sense. The Interstate was the full dress version.

While the 500 was probably a little under-powered, the 650 with its claimed 64 horses (versus 48 for the 500) evidently managed pretty well and would have made an interesting alternative to its big brother.


It's relatively obscure and rare, and is said to have been built for one year only, though sold across two (1983-84) in the USA market.

This one is up for auction with Iconic in the USA and comes complete with the pillion seat kits and what seems like a lot of paperwork and support gear. What's it worth? Not a fortune we this space.

Silver Wing profile at Motorcycle Specs

See our Gold Wing GL1000 profile.

Old bikes and the shrinking repair pool, June 22

Honda CB750-4 Triumph T160

Greg 'Snag' Leech over at Info Moto asks the question are our old bikes getting too hard to fix? He's concerned the talent pool for older gear is diminishing...see the story here.

Sunbeam S7

Speaking of challenging old bike builds...see the hair-raising Sunbeam story:

Part 1 – the day it spat a conrod

Part 2 – it lives!

(Pics by Ben Galli)

Random shot for the day – Triumph Super 3, June 21

triumph super 3

Triumph Super 3 out of our shed...story here. Pic by Ben Galli

Neander cycle – today's oddball, June 20

neander single

Here's a brand name you won't hear often: Neander. Shown is a 1929 498cc M.A.G.-powered single with some advanced features for its day, including four-speed transmission and duralumin (an aluminium/copper alloy) frame.

It's coming up for auction with Mecum in the USA, with an estimate of Au$118-141,000 (US$80-96,000, GB£63-75,000). See it here.

neander twin

The Vintagent has a brief video on another Neander, a 1930 machine powered by a JAP V-twin. See it here.

Here's brief Neander profile at Wikipedia.

The mighty Zed 1, June 19

kawasaki z1

It's 1972 and Two Wheels magazine has published a road test on the exciting new Kawasaki Z1, set to leapfrog Honda's CB750-Four. See the story at Classic Two Wheels.

See our CB750-Four profile.

Martini's Bimota, June 18

bimota yb5

An example of our all-time favourite Bimota, the YB5, has come up for auction with Iconic in the USA.

Powered by a variant of the Yamaha FJ1200 engine, it was designed by Frederico Martini, who also penned the DB1.

The YB5 was hugely expensive when new. Back in 1988 it would have cost you Au$22,500 (US$15,500, GB£12,000) plus on road costs in Australia at a time when a Honda CBR1000F cost Au$9300 (US$6400, GB£5000).

See the bike here;

Plus the specs and backgrounder here.

Sydney SR500, June 18

Yamaha SR500

Old Bike mag has a fascinating story online about how the Yamaha SR500 was essentially inspired by a crew of motorcycle nuts at a Sydney (Australia) advertising agency. Worth a read, here.

yamaha sr500

See the story on the SR500 in our shed.

Yamaha Sr500 Club, Australia.

Aussie Bond's BSA, June 17

BSA George

We couldn't resist bringing you this pic. A BSA Rocket 3 bought new by Australian film star George Lazenby was recently up for auction in the UK via Charterhouse. The actor played James Bond for the film On Her Majesty's Secret Service and famously turned down a contract for six more Bond flicks.

His web site is here.

Lazenby evidently used the machine to commute between his apartment in Bayswater and Pinewood Studios. More on it here.

As for the auction, no result is available but the value of the restored BSA was estimated at Au$47-56,000 (US$32-38,000, GB£25-30,000).

Rocket 3 specs and profile.

That late night bike purchase, June 16

bmw k1

Should internet shopping be a grog-free zone? There’s an argument for it...see the story here.

See the K1 we had in our shed.

Yamaha XS650 – random ad for the day, June 15


Yamaha threw down the challenge to Brit twins with its XS-1 and on series from 1969, with mixed results. We have to admit we like the style of this XS650-2 ad, circa 1972. By that time the bike had picked up a disc front brake and electric start, hence the -E designation.

Yamaha XS650 club Australia resources;

Motorcycle Specs profile and data.

Bimota YB11, June 14

Bimota YB11

One of Bimota's more successful models and still low volume at 600-ish units, the YB11 promised Italian style and chassis with Japanese reliability...a tempting package.

This one, which the seller says needs some minor cosmetic repairs, is on the market at Au$20,000 (US$13,500, GB£11,000) with around 15,000km (9300 miles) on the odo. See it here.

See the stats and summary at Motorcycle Specs.

Sports-tourers day, June 13

kawasaki ZX-12R and
              Honda Blackbird

A day off was as good an excuse as any to sort a few little issues on the Kawasaki ZX-12R, which remains a work in progress.

Having replaced the chain/sprocket set and tyres, fitted a charging socket for the hard-to-reach battery and sorted some cosmetic issues, we're now looking at rebuilding the six-pot front brake calipers to sort a binding problem.

Oh, and then there's the gearshift replacement...more to come.

More on the Kawasaki here.

Meanwhile the normally ultra-reliable Honda Blackbird rewarded us with a dead battery...such is life. We fired it up with a jump-start unit and took it for a run anyway.

More on the Honda here.

Flashback: Aprilia RS250, June 12

aprilia rs250

Dominant in its day, is this the ultimate 250 stroker? See the story here.

Random brochure for the day: Adler MB 280, June 11

Adler MB 280

West German make Adler survived just eight years (to 1957) in post-war form but it was long enough to have a major and lasting impact on the motorcycle world. Its earlier twin-cylinder 250 two-strokes were effectively the prototypes for the start of Yamaha's stroker dynasty, in the shape of the YD-1.

These later 280cc twins (1955-56) would have enjoyed a little more flexibility in the power delivery, but it was the 250 which really made the firm's reputation. It went on to become a maker of office equipment.

MB 280 specs.

Yamaha YD1 profile.

              MB 280

Moto Guzzi Sport 1100, June 10

moto guzzi
              1100 sport

One of our favourite Guzzis and one that's yet to make an appearance in the shed at Chateau Guido...maybe one day!

This example claims just 4528km (2800 miles) and to be in good shape. At Au$14,950 (US$10,100, GB£8000) on Facebook it could prove to be good buying.

(Oh, and a quick tip for sellers: Whoever told you it's a good idea to shoot a vehicle on grass is wrong...unless it's a ride-on mower.)

See the Cycle World Sport 1100 period road test;

Plus our Daytona 1000 profile.

Friday eye-candy – MV Agusta 750 S, June 9

mv agusta

Paul Jason, aka The Motorcycle Broker in the UK, shares a video about his 1974 MV Agusta 750 S. See it here.

See the Ian Falloon model profile.

See the Classic Two Wheels period road test.

Time machine – Shogun's heroes, June 8

shogun imports

It's year 1998 and this Shogun Imports ad highlights the mini boom that then existed for grey imports of models not handled by local distributors...see the full story here.

See more Time Machine

American Bruiser, June 7

indian chief
              vintage kings mountain

Eight years down the road the rare and obscure Indian Chief Vintage still makes us happy, despite a few twists and turns. See the story.

See more bikes from our shed, here.

Flying W, June 7

trojan w4

Silodrome has published a story on this 1909 Czechoslovakian motorcycle, which rejoices in the name of Trojan & Nagl Torpedo.

What you see here is a recreation of what is thought to be a one-off prototype.

The W4 engine displaces around 1600cc and the entire bike was built from scratch from a surviving catalogue drawing and knowledge gained by examining other models from the maker. See the story here.

Street Stoker, June 6

yamaha R5-C

Yamaha's twin-cylinder two-stroke RD5-C of 1972-73 was a potent bit of kit for its day, with 36 horses claimed for its 141kg dry weight.

It could just hit the magic imperial 'ton' (100mph or 160km/h) and could cross the standing quarter mile in a then very respectable 13.8sec.

Of course this was part of a much bigger dynasty of strokers from the maker.

See our YD1 and YDS-1 profile;

Our YR-1 profile;

Plus our RZ350 profile;

And the Motorcycle Specs sheet on the R5-C.

The rise of the 916s, June 5

ducati 916

After sitting in the market doldrums for many years, Ducati 916s have in the last 18 months experienced a surge of interest in the collector market, with prices shifting north by around 30 per cent, or more for rare variants in prime shape.

If the latest Collecting Cars auction in the USA is any indication, even Stradas are on the radar. A 1995 Varese-built (as in early build) monoposto with under 600 miles (1000km) on the odo recently sold for Au$50,000 (US$33,000, GB£26,600). See it here.

Before Australian owners get too excited, keep in mind that the USA collector market prices are much stronger than they are here – think 30 per cent or more.

See the Ian Falloon model profile here;

And the story on the 916 we had in our shed for a while;

Plus the Classic Two Wheels period road test.

F1 auction, June 3

              f1 750

Ducati's F1 750 has been on the collector radar pretty much since it was first shown at the Sydney Motorcycle Show back in February 1985. However prices have fluctuated wildly since then, and been fairly modest over recent years.

Until now. A nicely-presented version claiming 23,000km (14,000 miles) sold for Au$39,400 (US$26,000, GB£21,000). That represents around a 25 per cent leap in price for local sales. See it here.

See our profile here, and the Motorcycle Specs stats here.

How much for the Tesi? June 1

              tesi 1d

One of the problems with pricing exotic motorcycles is finding any reliable market data...oh, and making sure what you're told in fact gels with reality.

This 1991 Bimota Tesi 1D is a good example, promoted on Ebay as one of 20, which is right...sort of. There were 20 of this variant, but the seller also points out that production numbers rose to some 413 models across 1990 to 1994.

That nevertheless makes it rare by most measures, but adds the intriguing question of which variant should you chase? New pricing for the 1D 904 was listed by the seller at a gob-smacking Au$69,000 (US$45,000, GB£36,000)

While the Tesi concept has an interesting race history in the prototype class in Italian superbike titles, first with an FZ750 engine and then with an 851 Ducati powerplant, it was no world-beater. As for the styling, well, it's very much of its era and is an interesting piece of motorcycle history.

This example being auctioned in Germany claimed just 1350km (835 miles) on the odo and appeared to be in exceptional condition. It got bids to Au$77,200 (US$50,100, GB£40,400), which wasn't enough to meet reserve.

Back at the start of 2021, an SR version with zero miles and a spare race ECU sold through Bring a Trailer for Au$98,000 (US$76,000, GB£56,000).

See the stats at Motorcycle Specs.


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