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News July 2023

Eighties brute, July 31


Is there a more eighties motorcycle than the Suzuki GSX1100EF series? Depending on variant we're talking 115-ish horses and loads of accessible torque. Very fast, sometimes unruly and very much a creature of its time. Hugely entertaining.

This example from Iconic in the USA is the cleanest one we've seen in a long time. It's up for sale at Au$13,000 (US$8750, GB£6800).

See our GSX1100EF profile.

A town called Alice, July 31

alice springs bmw

Blundering in to Alice Springs this afternoon on the cheap and cheerful BMW R1150GS felt like some sort of achievement, or at least a significant milepost...see the story here.

Getting to know our Darwin GS, Jule 30

bmw r1150gs

The sign sums up today's jaunt: Katherine to Tennant Creek, about 670km (415 miles).

About 1000km into our Darwin to Melbourne run, we now have a reasonable handle on what we got for the Au$4000 we handed over for the bike, a 2002 BMW R1150GS ABS. And that is, a bit of a bargain...see the full story here.

Darwin run, July 29

adeliaide river bmw r1150gs

Day one on the road with our cheap and cheerful BMW R1150GS, which we picked up in Darwin and are riding back to Adelaide. See the story here.

Strapz sale, July 29

strapz sale

The good folk at Andy Strapz are having a sale. Have a squiz here – the range is huge and well-chosen.

Yamaha FZR1000 – today's random brochure, July 28

yamahan fzr1000

A fierce rival to Suzuki's GSX-R1100 in the showrooms, Yamaha's early FZR1000 placed first and second the final legendary Castrol Six Hour production race in 1987.

The lead bike, piloted by Kevin Magee and Michael Dowson, walked away by three laps. (The GSX-R1100 was ineligible for production racing by that stage, as it busted the 1000cc limit.)

FZRs have struggled to find traction in the collector market, and a lot of the remaining stock has been snapped up for Period 6 racing.

If you can find a good one, they are still a pretty good ride.

We've owned a couple over time – see the story on our Six Hour replica here.

Cheap & cheerful fly-ride, July 27


As some of you may know, we've developed a bit of a habit of buying bikes in far-flung places and riding them home. Call it our on-going fly-ride program.

It's had some challenges along the way, requiring some running repairs, but that's part of the fun.

Our next episurd starts today, when we pick up what was the cheapest BMW R1150GS listed on Bikesales a week ago. A 2002 ABS model with factory panniers and 89,000km (55,000 miles) on the odo, it was priced at Au$4000 (US$2700, GB£2100).

We fly up from Melbourne to Darwin today (Thursday) and then turn around on the Saturday for the 3750km (2330 mile) ride home.

We reckon this model is generally sensational value for money at the moment and, since we already own an example, we'll change the oil on the 'new' one and sell it off when we get home.

Really, buying it was just an excuse for a ride.

Wish us luck...and follow our Facebook  and Instagram feeds.

See a few earlier fly-ride bikes:

BMW R100GS Paris-Dakar;

Kawasaki GPz900R A1;

BMW K1100LT.

See our other R1150GS.

MV's saviour, July 26

MV Agusta
              f4 750

The revival of the MV Agusta name as a manufacturer in the 1990s signaled a new life for a new century for the historic marque. See our future collectible profile on the F4 750.

Flashback: Blackbird bang for buck, July 25

Honda Blackbird

Once the straight-line performance flagship of the Honda line, the Blackbird now stacks up as incredible value for money, particularly over the long term. See the ownership story here.

Big sticker price for collectible R1, July 24

yamaha r1

If you're a very well-off Yamaha R1 fan, the European end of the company is waving around the ultimate wallet bait: A 25th anniversary edition, due for delivery early next year, of which only 25 will be made.

Constructed with lots of race-spec or inspired goodies, it's called the R1 GYTR Pro and will set you back Au$280,000 (€169,000, US$188,000, GB£146,000). You can find out more and place your order here.

yamaha r1

See our future collectible feature on the far more affordable first-edition R1.

Random auction lot: MV Agusta 750 S America, July 23

              Agusta America

The sound would be glorious, the ride a little gothic by today's standards, and we reckon it would be pretty hard to beat as something to quietly contemplate over a glass of good fighting red.

This 1975 MV Agusta 750 S America went up for auction at Bring a Trailer but didn't make reserve. Bidding stopped at Au$112,000 (US$75,000, GB£58,000).

Author Ian Falloon tells us the same machine sold at auction via Mecum in 2020 for Au$86,000 (US$58,000, GB£45,000).

See our 750 S profile;

And the development story.

Dreamcatcher, July 22

hionda valkyrie interstate

Riding off into the sunset is one thing, but what about the owner left behind? See the story here. (From our Travels with Guido series.)

Honda CBX1000 – today's random brochure, July 21

honda cbx1000

Honda's CBX1000 had some pretty serious bragging rights when it was launched towards the close of the 1970s.

See this retrospective by Kevin Cameron at Cycle World;

And this 5000km period road test from Classic Two Wheels.

BMW S 1000 RR Race – quick spin, July 20

BMW S 1000 RR Race

Serious racetrack performance, with heated grips and cruise control. BMW's S 1000 RR is a fascinating toy...see our quick overview.

Harley caviar, July 19

harley XLCR

It's 1977 and Harley-Davidson, under the somewhat rocky ownership of AMF, is trying to underscore the perceived prestige of its shovelhead era line-up.

The XLCR was one of Willie G Davidson's early styling exercises and struggled in the showrooms. However it went on to be a sought-after classic. See the period Cycle World review.

harley electra glide

And of course we get the touring flagship, the Electra Glide. While it had received some  updates, including a switch from a drum front brake to a disc, the model was fundamentally the same through the 1970s. See the profile via Motorcycle Specs.

FZR1000 cafe, July 18

FZR1000 cafe racer

This wins our award for counter-intuitive build of the year – a one-off old-style cafe racer, complete with drum brakes, with a Yamaha FZR1000 powerplant fed by a bank of four round-slide Dellorto pumper carburetors.

It's built by a chap called Cord Nacke and you can see more via Rocket-Garage. (Pic: Motorrad via Rocket-Garage).

See the Six-Hour replica FZR1000 that was in our shed.

Yamaha FZ750 – today's random brochure shot, July 16

yamaha fz750

A handsome-looking beast, isn't it? Yamaha's 20-valve FZ750 was a quick and tough mount for its day, though it tended to be overshadowed by the rival GSX-R750.

See our Yamaha FZ750 profile;

And our Suzuki GSX-R750 profile.

Arch KRGT-1 – today's oddball, July 16

Arch krgt-1

The love-child of actor Keanu Reeves and designer/customiser Gard Hollinger, the Arch KRGT-1 managed to set a new benchmark for canyon-swinging cruisers when launched in 2015.

Powered by a 122hp S&S V-twin, the 2020 update scored high praise from Cycle World magazine: "Our cruise on the updated 2020 KRGT-1 revealed a powerful, comfortable and competent hot rod with a stable chassis, endless power, and excellent brakes. But it all comes at a price."

That price was a sobering Au$124,000 (US$85,000, GB£65,000). Arch Motorcycle now offers three models and will build a bespoke version.

This 2022 example is up for auction via Iconic in the USA.

Retromod GSX-R1000, July 15

suzu7ki gsx-r1000 retromod

We reckon this is one the nicest retromods we've seen in a long while – a K7 Suzuki GSX-R1000 dressed up as a slabbie-era GSX-R. It's a task that's deceptively difficult to get right.

You can see the story at Bikebound.

suzuki gsx-r1000 k1

See our GSX-R1000 K1-K2 future collectible profile;

Our GSX-R1100 profile;

And our GSX-R750F profile.

Plus, Classic Two Wheels has a GSX-R1000 K5 period road test.

Flashback: One great ride, July 14

Kawasaki gpz900r
              northern territory australia

Is just one great ride reason enough to buy a motorcycle? Sometimes we reckon it is...see the story here.

Ducati green frame resto, July 13

              green frame

The Motorcycle Broker in the UK has started a video series on bringing a very original 1974 Ducati 750 Super Sport back to life after a 25-year lay off.

Among the challenges are what to do with the now fragile bodywork and the decision has been made to preserve it and fit the bike with replica pieces that mimic the patina of the originals.

This model is now worth several hundred thousand dollars, in part justifying the expense and trouble.

See the first video here;

And the second here;

See our Ducati Imola profile;

And the Classic Two Wheels period SS test.

Honda turbo auction, July 12

honda cx650 turbo

The upcoming Shannons August 15-22 auction has a host of bikes on offer. One that caught our eye was this 1983 Honda CX650 Turbo. Honda was the turbo pioneer among the big four Japan makers, starting with the CX500T in 1981.

This 650 is estimated at Au$12-16,000 (US$8-11,000, GB£4-6000).

See our Turbo Kings feature on the 1980s turbos from the Japanese big four.

Flashback: Honda XL350, July 11

Honda XL350

One of those bikes we should never have sold...Honda XL350 circa 1975.

See our mini profile here.

Motorcycle engines – what's in a shape? July 10

ducati 860 GT

The shape of motorcycle engines used to tell a story, but is that still the case? Kevin Cameron at Cycle World ponders the question. He writes, "Fifty years ago, a motorcycle engine’s appearance told a story and excited our curiosity, just as did the steam railroad locomotives of my boyhood..." See the story here.

See the story on our Ducati 860 GT.

Nineties style, July 9

              ducati 916

Today's random ad: Pirelli Dragon featuring a Ducati 916, circa 1995. High nineties glam!

See the story on the 916 that was in our shed;

And a quick model profile.

NR750 sale, July 9

Honda nr750

This probably qualifies as one of the must-haves for any well-heeled motorcycle collector: Honda's NR750.

Some 322 of the oval-piston 32-valve machines were built, priced back in 1992 at a heady Au$90,000 (US$60,000, GB£48,000).

This example is with Iconic in the USA, claiming 9400km (5900 miles) on the odo – so it has actually been ridden. It's priced at Au$134,400 (US$89,880, GB£70,000).

honda nr750

There are a couple of good features on this model:

Ian Falloon's profile at MC News;

Plus the Cycle World backgrounder.

Power Ninja, July 8

kawasaki zx-10

It was all about the horsepower when Kawasaki released its new glam flagship for 1988, the ZX-10.

Now old enough for club plates in all states, we reckon it makes a pretty compelling potential classic. See the profile here.

BMW Spandau factory tour, July 7

bmw spandau

BMW's Spandau factory claims to be one of the world's largest motorcycle factory in sheer area, producing some 800 machines a day. It's also home to the S 1000 RR performance flagship.

This video tour gives a great insight into how the company pulls the machine together.

See our S 1000 RR Series 1 future collectible feature.

Flashback: Suzuki GSX1100E in the shed, July 6

suzuki gsx1100e

One of our favourite old school naked bikes...see the story here.

Hero Harley launch, July 5

A partnership between Harley-Davidson and Hero Motors in India has just launched the X440 range of singles. See the video release...well worth a look as it provides some interesting background.

Pricing in India starts at 229,000 rupees, which equates to Au$4200 (US$2900, GB£2200). That price positions it between a Royal Enfield 350 Bullet and Continental GT650 in that market.

FireBlade sale, July 4

honda fireblade

Unquestionably now on the collector radar, the first-model Honda FireBlade succeeded as a trend-setter in the sports bike universe.

This example with 30,000 miles (48,000km) showing looks tidy and complete, including the original muffler. It's up for auction with Silverstone in the UK at the end of this month with an estimate of Au$9500-13,300 (US$6500-9000, GB£5-7000).

We won't be surprised if it gets a little more.

See our first-gen FireBlade profile, including a video of one we had in the shed.

Middleweight Boxer, July 3

bmw r65

1979 BMW R65 (first model) factory publicity pic. Not our favourite as a two-up machine, but we owned one for 16 years and reckoned it was a good thing as a low-stress and engaging solo ride and potential classic.

They were very expensive new (about $1000 more than a Honda CB750), but now can represent decent value at well under $10k.

bmw r65

See the profile on the R65 we owned here;

And our final debrief after deciding to sell.

Here's an example up for sale in Queensland at the moment at Au$7750 (US$5200, GB£4100).

Goodbye Alf, July 2

Alf wilson

Farewell Alf Wilson. He was one half of the dynamic duo of Alf and Maija who ran the Tintaldra Hotel on the Murray River near Corryong across 1989-2014, and has passed away. The couple turned the pub into a destination for motorcyclists and classic car enthusiasts through genuine enthusiasm for the toys we love, sheer force of personality and generosity of spirit.

Read one of our stories on visiting the place.

Brockhouse Indians, July 2


What are we looking at? One of the numerous oddballs to come out of the turbulent times between the closure of the Indian Springfield factory in 1953 and the stabilisation of the firm some 60 years later under Polaris.

It's a 1959 Indian Chief – essentially a modified Royal Enfield 700. You can read about here.

indian trailblazer

Meanwhile, there's a closely-related cousin on offer at Bikesales – a 1957 Indian Trailblazer, priced at Au$17,700 (US$11,800, GB£9300)

Anniversary Hayabusa, July 1


Suzuki is celebrating 25 years since the first public showing of its legendary GSX1300R Hayabusa with a 25th anniversary model. It's distinguished from its regular brethren by numerous little design touches, including the unique colour scheme. See more here at Suzuki.


We have a wealth of Hayabusa resources online...
First generation profile as a future collectible;

Second generation (video review at YouTube);

Third generation, story plus video.

Plus, meet the Hannibal the hotted-up Hayabusa in our shed.


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