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What's happening

News Nov 2021

Flashback: Burners, Nov 26

Honda Blackbird

Every good classic motorcycle collection should have a sacrificial bike, a burner...see the story.

Eighties muscle, Nov 25

Suzuki GS1000S

Over-complex, over-priced and over here. That was the somewhat surprising view of the tester of three muscle bike legends from 1980: Suzuki GS1000S, Honda CB900FZ and Kawasaki Z1000 Mk2. See the period road test from Classic Two Wheels.

Classic Spannerman, Nov 24

Spannerman

And now for something a little different...and terrifying...from the good folk at Info Moto.

Norton auction, Nov 23

Norton Commando

A 1975 Norton Commando 850 MkIII is one of 34 motorcycle lots in the Shannons auction opening tonight and running until Nov 30.

Norton Commando

The MkIII was the last throw of the dice for the company in the 1970s, and conceded to the growing Japanese onslaught by having electric start – much like the T160 of the same period.

Norton Commando

This example claims just 8176 miles and has an estimate of Au$15-18,000 (US$11-13,000, GB£8-10,000).

See the full auction list here.

See the story on our Commando MkIII; And our Trident T160.

Flashback: Mystery bits, Nov 22

Mystery bits

Some days, tackling the pile of parts in need of attention seems like a losing battle. See the story here.

Oddball for the day – Hesketh 24, Nov 21

Hesketh 24

The great Brit dream take 2, albeit at a price...see the story.

Big sports twins on offer, Nov 20

Honda VTR1000 SP-1

A couple of big sporty twins have caught our eye recently. The first is a 2000 VTR1000 SP-1, essentially an HRC-developed interpretation of the VTR1000 and with world superbike series pedigree. See our backgrounder on the series.

This example is being offered out of Queensland by Brads Vintage Cycle Sales, priced at $19,500 (US$14,100, GB£10,500).

Moto Guzzii 1100 Sport

The same mob recently had a 1994 Moto Guzzi 1100 Sport (the carburettor version) on offer – another bike on our wish list – priced at $18,500 (US$13,400, GB£10,000). That sold quickly. The 1100 Sport was an offshoot of the Daytona program and in many respects a much better motorcycle.

See our Daytona backgrounder here; And gen one 1100 Sport specs here.

ZX-10 time machine, Nov 19

Kawasaki zx-10 1989

Since we got on to the topic of these missiles, yesterday, here's a little time capsule...

For a mere Au$7000 (US$5100, GB£3800), you could have grabbed the keys to this fine example of Kawasaki's mighty first-gen ZX-10 sports tourer. That's according to the ad from January 2000.

Today? That same machine in the same condition would be worth more as much as $8000 in the current volatile Australian market.

Had you bought it new back in 1989, it would have set you back Au$9600 (US$6900, GB£5100) plus on-road costs.

See our buyer guide.

More Time Machine here.

Flashback: Big bruiser Kawasaki, Nov 18

Kawasaki ZX-10

Fast, comfortable and dripping with that eighties glam factor – that's Kawasaki's first-gen ZX-10. See the story.

Boy Racer resto? Nov 17

AJS 7R

An example of the legendary AJS 7R 'Boy Racer' 350 is coming up for auction at Shannons on Nov 23-30. Built from 1948 through to 1963, it was a well-priced favourite among privateers across a couple of decades, and later saw a new lease on life in the classic racing scene.

Specially-developed 7R3 (triple valve) variants saw some impressive speed record and race success for a few years from 1952, but never made it into production.

In customer form, the two-valve overhead cam singles initially produced 32 horses, a figure that was bumped up to 40 horses by the end of their production run. Weighing 129kg, a well-tuned late model was good for around 190km/h.

The circa 1959 auction lot has a low estimate of Au$22-26,000 (US$16-19,000, GB£12-14,000), which reflects its condition and the fact it has a blend of parts. The listing reveals Norton forks, Oldani front brake, a mix of rims and Koni rear shocks.

Given that a good example can fetch Au$40,000-plus (US$30,000+, GB£21,000+), it may represent an opportunity for the would-be restorer.

See it here; And the auction here.

Flashback: Regrets, Nov 16

Suzuki Katana

There may be one or two, but we'd do it all again...see it here.

Zed sale, Nov 15

Kawasaki Z1A

This restored 1973 Kawasaki Z1A has just sold through Collecting Cars for $35,250…see it here.

Another in the series, a 1974 Z900, is coming up for auction through Shannons later this month. See it here.

Hit the Road, Nov 14

Honda GL1000 Goldwing

After months of faffing around, our first-model Honda Gold Wing is on the road...see the story here.

New Norton HQ unveiled, Nov 13

Norton HQ

Determined to prove that it is properly funded and serious, this time, the revived Norton concern has unveiled its shiny new west Midlands (UK) headquarters. See it here.

Norton HQ

Norton recently revealed a reworked version of its 1200cc V4, the V4SV. The company was bought a little over a year ago by Indian motorcycle giant TVS. See our October 30 news story, in our news archive.

Seventies Scrambler, Nov 12

Honda CL450 Scrambler

This 1972 Honda CL450 Scrambler looks like an attractive prospect at Au$7500 (US$5500, GB£4100)...more here.

Z900 auctions, Nov 11
Two versions of Kawasaki's legendary Z1/Z900 series are coming up for auction.

Kawasaki Z900

The first is billed as a 1973 example via Collecting Cars, which is on the block at the moment with a few days to go. See it here.

Kawasaki Z900

The second is via the Shannons auction later this month, listed as a 1974.

Recent sales have shown this series is very much in favour at the moment, with prices climbing. See our recent brief market report here.

Flying Ural, Nov 10

Ural sidecar jump

Thought for the day...hit the local motocross track with your Ural military replica. That takes a special kind of determination to have a good time...

We're unsure of the source of the pic, but here's a link to Ural sidecars Australia.

Smith and the Blues, Nov 9

Mr Smith Two Wheels

Classic Mr Smith: If I fail to wrap my auditory appendages around a wee tad of the Blues during any given day then that day is rendered worthless and filed way back in the Smith memory behind the bit on how to change earbells on a yak.

The reason I brought up the subject of the Blues is that I find that motorcyclists seem to be rather susceptible to its healing, relaxing and cathartic effects...see the full column at Classic Two Wheels.

Kawasaki Z1300 resto? Nov 8

Kawasaki Z1300


We have to admit this six-pot 1979 Kawasaki Z1300 has a bit of appeal as a resto project. It’s on Bikesales at the moment, with a Melbourne-based dealer, priced at Au$15,000 (US$11,100, GB£8200).

The aftermarket king/queen seat suggests it’s out of the USA and would need to go. Otherwise, it looks like it may be a low-miler in fair shape.

A good proposition for a light resto?

See it here at Bikesales

Kawasaki Z1300

1979 makes it a first-gen example and there is a bit of a fanbase for them.

See specs and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs

Harley-Davidson Road King period tests, Nov 7

Harly Road King

Classic Two Wheels has just published a series of tests on Harley-Davidson Road King 1994-98. These bikes have been picking up in value over the last year and still represent a decent ride today. See the collection here.

See our early Road King buyer guide here.

Yamaha XJ650 Turbo at auction, Nov 6

Yamaha xj650 turbo

This 1982 Yamaha XJ650 Turbo is up for auction at the next Shannons event, running November 23-30. The listing has a fairly conservative estimate of Au$8-12,000 (US$6-9000, GB£4-7000).

The machine is said to have had a comprehensive restoration and has had little use since. There are a few obvious non-original components: the Staintune aftermarket mufflers, Marzocchi rear suspension and front brake discs. However they are in keeping with the period.

All four major Japanese makers had a go at turbo models, with somewhat underwhelming sales. Motorcyclists proved to be a fairly conservative bunch when it came to technology, and the turbo machines in general did not offer any performance advantage over a conventional 1100cc motorcycle.

Yamaha xj650 turbo

However the turbo bikes are thoroughly interesting things to ride and own, and there's a collector market for them. See our Turbo Kings feature, which covers the genesis of these fascinating machines.

We've also owned a turbo bike in the past, a Kawasaki GPz750E, which you can read about here.

Honda VF1000R - today's time machine, Nov 5

Honda VF1000R

Honda's king V-four for the mid-1980s might now be a bit of a modern classic bargain. See the story.

Flashback: Naming Rites, Nov 4

Suzuki GSX-R750F

Naming a motorcycle is riskier than it may seem. See the story here

Norvin at auction, Nov 3

Norvin

The spectacular single-cylinder one-off Norvin we featured some time back is up for auction via Grays. See it here.

What a Wankel, Nov 3

Crighton rotary motorcycle

If you're in the hunt for the ultimate track motorcycle, you might want to add this to your shopping list.

Meet the CR700W by Crighton Motorcycles, which revels in a twin-rotor 690cc Wankel powerplant, claiming around 220hp (164kW) at 10,500rpm and 142Nm at 9500. That lot is punting a package that claims to weigh just 129.5kg dry. It is tied to a six-speed transmission.

The chassis runs Brembo brakes and the choice between Ohlins or Bitubo suspension, while the wheels are carbon-fibre units from Dymag.

Crighton rotary motorcycle

Just 25 are being built, at a hair-raising cost of Au$156,000 (US$116,000, GB£85,000).

The motorcycle is the brainchild of Brian Crighton, who was behind the Norton rotary racers of years past. The engine meanwhile is a variant of an aviation powerlant from Rotron.

See Crighton Motorcycles online.

Bevel book range expands, Nov 2

Ducati 750SS 900SS

Author Ian Falloon has expanded his offerings on collectible bevel-drive Ducatis, with the benefit of another two decades of research. More info here.

One-off Rudge on market, Nov 1

rudge 500

If your collection has to have one of everything, you'll be lining up for this. It's the one and only product of an ill-fated attempt to revive the Rudge marque.

Built in 1986, it was on a well-worn path littered with (mostly) well-meaning but under-funded attempts to revive historic motorcycle brands. Somehow the eighties and early nineties had more than their fair share of them.

No matter, this competition prototype is running a Weslake double-overhead cam engine, so that part at least has some familiarity.

Rudge 500

The Motorcycle Broker in the UK has this one for sale, at Au$37,000 (US$28,000, GB£20,000). It's a fascinating bit of kit – see it here.

 

Want more news & views? See our archive.

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