Page 1

DUCATI S SEBRING 350 60s

Ridden and rated!

EDDIE LAWSON N REP Reader special!

N A B UR ND E G E L

80s

32

pages of practiccal advicce

Honda’s CBR900RR Urban Tiger Ti ger Tig HONDA❯❯❯ VFR 400R Budget resto!

January 2019 Issue 375

FIVE DECADES OF MODERN CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS INCLUDING:

Re-boring barrels. 90s: Yamaha YZF-R1. 80s: Suzuki GSX-R1100G, Kawasaki GPZ900R. 70s: Kawasaki Z1325 special, Honda CB750 K2, Kawasaki Z1300. Also: Allen Millyard column, Q&A: your questions answered and your bikes and memories of moped mayhem!


January 2019 Issue 375 Publisher: Tim Hartley, thartley@mortons.co.uk Publishing director: Dan Savage, asavage@mortons.co.uk Art editor: Justin Blackamore Designers: Fram Lovely, Charlotte Turnbull Picture Desk: Paul Fincham, Jonathan Schofield Production editor: Dan Sharp Divisional advertising manager: Zoe Thurling zthurling@mortons.co.uk Tel: 01507 529412 Advertising: Robert Bee rbee@mortons.co.uk, Tel: 01507 529575 Subscription manager: Paul Deacon Circulation manager: Steven O’Hara Marketing manager: Charlotte Park Commercial director: Nigel Hole Editorial address: CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS MAGAZINE, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6JR Website: www.classicmechanics.com General enquiries and back issues: Tel: 01507 529529 24 hour answer phone help@classicmagazines.co.uk www.classicmagazines.co.uk Archivist: Jane Skayman jskayman@mortons.co.uk, 01507 529423 Subscription: Full subscription rates (but see page 40 for offer): (12 months 12 issues, inc post and packing) – UK £51.60. Export rates are also available – see page 40 for more details. UK subscriptions are zero-rated for the purposes of Value Added Tax. Customer services: Tel: 01507 529529 Lines are open: Monday-Friday 8.30am-7pm Saturday 8.30am-12:30pm Distribution: Marketforce UK Ltd, 5 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf, London E14 5HU. Tel: 0203 787 9001 Subscription agents: CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS MAGAZINE, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6JR Printed: William Gibbons & Sons, Wolverhampton Published date: CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS MAGAZINE is published on the third Wednesday of every month Next issue: January 16, 2019 Advertising deadline: December 14, 2018 © Mortons Media Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage retrieval system without prior permission in writing from the publisher. ISSN 0959-0900 CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS magazine takes all responsible steps to ensure advice and technical tips are written by experienced and competent people. We also advise readers to seek further professional advice if they are unsure at any time. Anything technical written by the editor is exempt – he’s rubbish with spanners. CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS (USPS:729-550) is published monthly by Mortons Media Group Ltd, PO Box 99, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6LZ UK. USA subscriptions are $60 per year from Motorsport Publications LLC, 7164 Cty Rd N #441, Bancroft WI 54921. Periodical Postage is paid at Wisconsin Rapids, WI. Postmaster: Send address changes to CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE MECHANICS, Motorsport Publications LLC, 7164 Cty Rd N #441, Bancroft WI 54921. 715572-4595 chris@classicbikebooks.com

Colour me bad! “I want one, but I want it in THAT colour.” How many times have we heard or even uttered that statement? This month’s main test and buyer’s guide subject is a perfect example. Surprisingly, Honda UK’s Dave Hancock confessed to a Stafford Show audience in October that the now-classic ‘Urban Tiger’ colour scheme was considered ‘a bit of a risk’ compared to others coming in back in 1994. Yes, it’s now 25 years since that most celebrated of colour schemes was launched. Time has shown that – not only the CBR900RR FireBlade itself – but the paint scheme as well have truly endured. Think of other paint jobs you’ve lusted after or loathed. Was there ever a better colour than a ‘Jaffa Orange’ Z1? And GSX-Rs should be blue and white, yes? Niall Mackenzie reckons the first-gen Yamaha YZF-R1 has to be red/white

Allen Millyard

Pip Higham

Still away but still working hard! He’s riding a Ducati Sebring and boring barrels (rather than us).

You only get the FULL story of the RC374 in CMM and this time he’s fabricating the tank for his amazing creation.

He’s had more fan mail and this month talks about a bike which was a real multi-marvel!

Still on holiday…

Scott Redmond Marketplace man

John Digby VFR-lover!

Reader John returns after more than a year to tell us why it’s taken him so long to finish his second VFR400 NC24!

Having trouble finding a copy of this magazine? Why not Just Ask your local newsagent to reserve you a copy each month?

www.twitter.com/cmmmag

Steve Cooper

Independent publisher since 1885 The Professional Publishers Association

Editor

BSimmonds@Mortons.co.uk

www.facebook.com/ClassicMechanics/

Scottie talks about the bikes that the VJMC says could well be the future of our classic motorcycling life from 2004.

Member

(he’s just bought one) but I prefer the blue launch colour and… oooh… if it’s a Kawasaki, can we either have ‘Firecracker Red’ or just ‘Kawasaki Green’ depending on era, decade or machine, please? Talking of Kawasaki Green, we’ve got an amazing no-expense-spared build of an Eddie Lawson Replica from a Canadian reader, Steve Willgoose which is just stunning. With this – and fellow CMM reader John Digby’s welcome return into these pages with his second NC24 rebuild, now is the time to say: “This is your magazine, so send us details of your restorations!”

Engineer extraordinaire!

Mark Haycock

EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH!

Respect is due! Yes, we need to say what a cornerstone/lynchpin/stalwart/ legend of CMM our good friend Mark Haycock is. Not only does he answer ALL your queries on various problematic mechanical matters, he also has been a long-serving and regular contributor to these pages for a good while – and long may it continue. All hail master Mark… you are our well-deserved employee of the month!

Still popular Pip!

Ralph Ferrand Big Zed lover

Ralph returns once more with project Z1325 and his big beast Z1300: and helps a reader find a top tool!

Steve Willgoose Cool Canadian

CMM reader Steve contacted us to let us know of his (almost) money no object Eddie Lawson replica project. It rocks!

Niall Mackenzie

Martin Child

Robert Bee

What other magazine has a former three-time Brit superbike champ and 500cc podium man in its pages?

Former stunt rider Wildy is stumped for a moment with the lack of go from his special: he soon sorts it!

Big Bad Bob is the main ad man around here, so come and place a festive advert or two in your favourite magazine.

New project is go!

Cupid Stunt rider

Emptying his sack…

www.classicmechanics.com / 3


62

❙ Q&A

64

❙ KAWASAKI Z1325

70

Contents

Mark Haycock with a page of tips.

Ralph Ferrand nears the finish line and makes a catch-tank.

❙ PROJECT RICKUKI

Steve Cooper re-starts this troublesome special.

06

ARCHIVE

34

CMM MARKETPLACE

40

Tilt your head to the side and go ‘WOW!’

74

❙ ALLEN MILLYARD

08

78

❙ KAWASAKI GPZ900R

10

CMM STUFF

42

80

❙ WORKSHOP: BORING BARRELS

12 14

CMM TESTED

44 46

20

FEEDBACK

Our Allen sorts the tank and clocks on the RC374. Scott Redmond reveals what Ninja parts are worth.

Steve Cooper finds out the gen.

84

94

❙ YAMAHA YZF-R1

Three-time BSB champ Niall Mackenzie finds one at last!

❙ HONDA CBR900RR FIREBLADE

A buyer’s guide to the secondgeneration of sports scalpel.

110 ❙ KAWASAKI Z1300

Ralph fettles the fan and sorts the shims on the six.

114 ❙ SUZUKI GSX-R1100G

Martin Child is frustrated by an issue so swaps the motor!

118 ❙ HONDA CB750 K2

Mark Haycock starts to line the tank.

The VJMC says 15 years… so we go back to 2004. New kit, tools and tyres and stuff. Lovely! We try stuff out.

NEWS

Events, news and what’s happening. WIN Bridgestone tyres for our star letter!

56

DUCATI SEBRING 350 Steve Cooper rides a relaxed Bologna single.

SUBSCRIBE!

Subscribe and save cash!

CMM EXTRA!

Subscribe and get access to CMM back-issues!

MOPED MAYHEM!

A ‘The Way We Were’ special!

HONDA CBR900RR FIREBLADE

Bertie Simmonds celebrates the best colour Blade ever.

HAIR FOUR-CE ONE!

Meet one demon barber who loves classic bikes!

22 26

SHOW US YOURS

KAWASAKI KZ1000R

60

30

HONDA VFR400 NC24

121 NEXT MONTH

WIN S-Doc cleaning kit! Reader Steve Willgoose’s Eddie rep really rocks!

CMM reader John Digby’s smokin’ home-restored NC24.

RETRO REBOOT

Yamaha’s funny front-end GTS ’booted! What’s happening in the February 2019 CMM?

122 PIP HIGHAM

Check out this amazing four-cylinder rocketship.

www.classicmechanics.com / 5


So sharp!


H

onda’s FireBlade was a revelation when it was launched in April 1992. With a single stroke, Honda’s CBR900RR had cut the opposition down to size and Yamaha’s FZR1000 EXUP, Suzuki’s GSX-R1100M and the smallercapacity 750cc sportsbikes had been pushed back a whole generation. In this issue we cover the later RR-R/S model in both a road test and buyer’s guide – all celebrating the ‘Urban Tiger’ colour scheme which has become legend. If there’s a colour scheme that also defined the first versions of the Blade, it was the original 1992 launch colours of white/red/blue and this one – the black/gunmetal version, which was also later seen on later models. Depicted here is a legendary shot, originally published in our sister title Fast Bikes. It shows future 500cc GP rider, British Superbike race winner and then-road tester Sean Emmett at the original Phillip Island launch. At the launch Emmett said: “As I rode the track the bike embarrassed me by turning in so quickly. What amazes is that this bike is 30 kilos lighter than an EXUP, 20 kilos less than the new GSX-R750 WN, it’s only two kilos heavier than the Ducati 900SS but with 50% more horsepower! The new CBR900RR is destined to become the new benchmark, large capacity sportsbike.” And so it was, until 1998 and the arrival of the Yamaha YZF-R1. cmm

PHOTO: MORTONS ARCHIVE


cmm

Marketplace

The class of 2004 Fifteen years goes by in the blink of an eye… but what bikes were the cream of the crop in 2004 and therefore qualify as ‘modern classics’ for 2019?

F

ifteen years ago, motorcycle development was entering its fourth year of the new millennium. For those of us raised on a diet of carbs, choke levers and petrol taps, modern tech was by now becoming the norm. Fuel-injection and ever bigger black electrical boxes were part and parcel of your typical newbie machine back in 2004. These very motorcycles are now eligible to boast classic status! At CMM we work on a rolling 15 year rule, one that’s been the benchmark of the VJMC for decades in determining what bikes can benefit from joining their club. It can be a contentious area for some who like their classics to have chrome mudguards and differing levels of reliability: on the whole though it’s a decent way to allow progression and to stop us all becoming too fixed in our ways. What’s interesting with the latest group of

interns into our classic world is, they can offer cheap thrills and thanks to modern manufacturing techniques, they’ll probably need nothing more than fresh consumables and a spit and polish. You would be hard pushed to find any bike from this century that’s in dire need of a full restoration. Lovers of pure performance are probably the winners with the class of 2004. It was the year that Honda finally upped the capacity of their Fireblade to a full-on litre machine. The CBR1000RR-4 Fireblade also came with a ‘fashionable for the time’ under-seat exhaust pipe. It might have looked all Buck Rogers but it came at a cost of adding weight, which was pretty ironic given the supremely anorexic credentials of the original 1992 game changing CBR900RR-N. The prices for new bikes had calmed down a lot by 2004. The new 2004 1000cc Blade came with an RRP of

£8739: 10 years earlier a Foxeye RR-S Fireblade would’ve set you back £8655! While we are on the subject of prices to buy a good 2004 Fireblade, you can have your pick of the bunch from around £3000 on the private market, rising up towards £4000 if you want to line the pockets of a bike shop. Kawasaki also threw their hat into the 1000cc sports bike ring 15 years ago. Their ZX-10R (ZX1000 C1H) didn’t have the trendy silencer sticking out from the underside of the saddle, but Kawasaki fans didn’t really care! It was a massive step forward over the outgoing ZX-9R Ninja that had been getting duller with each year since the C1 model had arrived back in 1997. There’s less choice if you fancy treating yourself to one of these brutal bikes, but it isn’t reflected in the asking prices (just yet). Maybe owners keep hold of them? Maybe there’s not too many left? Like the 2004 Blade, prices sit

Buy Now

Buy Now

Buy Now

8 / classic motorcycle mechanics


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“I WAS THERE!” BERTIE SIMMONDS

somewhere in between £3000 to £4000. With the latest incarnation of the ZX-10R theme cleaning up in WSBK for the last four years and helping to deliver Leon Haslam his first BSB crown in 2018, interest in the 10R heritage might just be about to gather pace… I must just mention the GSX-R1000ZK4. The K4 GSX-R thou wasn’t a new model for 2004, but the stealthy jet black version is without a doubt one of the best looking GSX-R models ever created. It also perfectly bridges the ages with all the heritage of the GSX-Rs that went before it, wrapped up in a bike with a striking limited edition paint job. Prices are also showing signs of gathering momentum. Some standard examples that are in exceptional condition are now nudging towards £6000! Or in other words, that’s around the same value as a GSX-R1100 Slabby that’s in fine fettle! cmm

Okay, so I know most of us reading this magazine ‘were there’ or at least born, breathing and riding in 2004, but – at the time – I was running Two Wheels Only, magazine. This meant that – as editor – I got to ride and review most of what was on offer back then and it was a bumper crop. Scottie’s right about the litre-class sports machines: this was just before the world got tapped into adventure bikes. I ran a GSX-R1000K3 for a year and put 15,000 miles on it and loved it – they’re well worth a look as was that year’s new YZF-R1 (5VY) which had 20bhp extra on the out-going model and under-seat exhausts. And don’t forget that there were K4 versions of both the GSX-R750 and 600. But for me, as a collectible sports bike, that first ZX-10R was a beast and I think a good nod for the future. But what about bikes that weren’t full-on sportsbikes? Well, you’re in for a treat… In 2004 we would see the launch of the smaller brother to 2003’s Z1000 – the Z750. This was a sweet-handling four-cylinder that is still a great urban tool today. You can pick one up for just £2500 and a later version dispensed

with the bikini fairing and introduced a half-faired version. A similar – but more budget-oriented style of bike was Honda’s CBF600: think ‘cheap Hornet’. These are now starting at £1500… A classic? Maybe not, but a very usable machine. KTM released the 990 Duke in ’04 and the few that are around start at £3000: quirky. For the sports-touring fans how about Ducati’s ST3? This was introduced to replace the ST2 and the engine was a V-twin 992cc motor with two-inlet and one exhaust valve per head. Capable and reliable, can you believe this can be bought today for £3000 or under? We mentioned adventure: Suzuki released the sweet DL650 V-Strom in 2004 and today that model starts at £1500. If you like your metal heavy then the Japs released the Kawasaki VN2000 and a 2004 model will still set you back around £6000 today. If you think British is best, try the first Triumph Rocket III – this 2.3 litre inline triple is immense in both size, character and (still) cost at between £6000-£7000!

Buy Now

Kawasaki's sweet little 2004 Z750 can be had for around £2500 today. INSET: Ducati's 2004 ST3 was a lovely sports-tourer: £3000 or less today!

www.classicmechanics.com / 9


cmm

Stuff

The latest riding kit, top tools, tyres, retro clothing and more!

HJC CS-15 HELMET

From

£89.99-£149.99

Apparently this good-value lid is now a four-star rated helmet! Prices start from £89.99 (but shop around, we’ve seen ‘em cheaper) for the main colours and a salty £149.99 for the licensed lids such as the Spider-Man and Star Wars versions. Pays yer money… What you do get is a lightweight synthetic shell, HJC’s ‘Advanced Channelling System’ to direct air around your noggin, a quick-release anti-fog prepped visor and micro buckle adjustment. www.oxfordproducts.com

FRANDO CLUTCH SLAVE CYLINDERS

Fancy converting a cable clutch to a hydraulic one? Well, this system could be for you. It’s comprised of a replacement clutch lever and master cylinder, a slave cylinder which attaches to the clutch housing and the hydraulic hose which replaces the cable and connects the mast cylinder to the slave. Venhill can even supply top-notch hoses to help connect the lot up. www.venhill.co.uk

SEALEY HOT WATER PRESSURE WASHER

Sealey’s new professional heavy-duty hot or cold water pressure washer isn’t your normal pressure washer. The PW2000HW is good for domestic and heavy commercial use. It’s got a powerful 2100W motor with a 420ltr/hr water flow rate and a maximum pressure of 135bar. Which means it’s pretty pokey! www.sealey.co.uk

Around

£1195 From

£105.12

10 / classic motorcycle mechanics


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TAMIYA YAMAHA YZF-R1 KIT

£37.99

We have to plug our sponsors! Tamiya makes a perfect range of Christmas model kits of motorcycles for your nearest and dearest to keep them out of the shed this winter. This bike pictured is the latest 2018 Yamaha YZF-R1M IN 1:12 scale, but for the classic bike lover in your life, you can get a wide-variety of old race and road bikes from Barry Sheene’s square-four RG500 through to modern classics like the 1998 R1, Honda Blackbird, Mike Hailwood Replica and Honda RC30 and many more! www.wonderlandmodels.com

TUCANO URBANO ICEMAN JACKET

£319.99

This lovely jacket is a short ‘bomber’ cut winter sheepskin/leather jacket, with pleated cuffs/ waistband, featuring a quilted polyester lining, thermal padding and with CE-approved armour on the elbows, shoulders and space for a back protector. You’ve lots of pockets (including, large external ‘cargo’ ones.) Sizes S (46) to 3XL (56) and comes in this very cool brown only. www.tucanourbano.com

SUZUKI X5 BITS

This here centrestand spring is originally Suzuki part number 09443-18005 (retail £8.99) and the tachometer cable guide is part number 34949-10300 (retail £7.98). Both items are made and zinc plated in the UK and have been discontinued by Suzuki. The spring fits the GT200 X5 and SB200. The guide fits the X5 only but these are just two of the 3000 Suzuki parts from Discount Bike Spares! www.discountbikespares.co.uk

MOTOREX CLEANING PRODUCTS

You’ll know the name from its oil and lubricants (and being splashed across the belly-pan of KTM’s MotoGP bikes, if you watch it) but they can also keep your bike very clean indeed! And corrosion free! Here’s what they do:

Moto Clean

£10.85 / 1 litre

Moto Clean a quick, clean, and biodegradable cleaning spray. After spraying over all elements, leave it to work for a few minutes before rinsing off.

Moto Shine

£9.83 / 500ml

Moto Shine is the perfect finish after cleaning. The antistatic film is water repellent, keeps dirt away from surfaces, and gives a smear-free shine.

Moto Protect

£13.50 / 500ml

Moto Protect guards against salt and corrosion that comes from winter use. Treated surfaces are protected from corrosion thanks to a fine oil film, leaving instead a healthy shine to any painted, metal, and chrome areas.

Silicone Spray

£13.26 / 500ml

Motorex’s Silicon Spray protects rubber hoses from freezing and provides a high gloss finish to plastic panels. It’s antistatic, water-repellent, and guards against oxidation.

Protex

£17.23 / 500ml

Want to keep your riding kit protected from the elements? Then use a good coating of Protex to keep you dry on those wet rides. Apply to clean textile or leather riding kit, and watch the water run off instead of soaking in. www.bickersplc.com/find-a-dealer?

From

£7.98

www.classicmechanics.com / 11


cmm

Tested

Riding kit worn, tools twirled & tyres turned SEALEY AK623 3/8IN TORQUE WRENCH A torque wrench should be in every serious mechanic’s tool box because you can do as much damage by over-tightening a nut as under-tightening it. By using a torque wrench, you’ll always tighten to the optimum tightness for that particular size or strength of bolt/stud. This is Sealey’s AK623 3/8in square drive micrometer torque wrench. It came in a moulded plastic case that protected the tool from accidental knocks that may easily upset the calibration. The instruction leaflet gave operating and safety instructions, together with a copy of the calibration certificate. The wrench looks well made, it’s finished in silver/black and covers a setting range of 20-80lb-ft (27.1-108.5nm) which although it doesn’t cover many lower settings, will (in conjunction with Sealey’s STW1012 model) tighten the vast majority of nuts. To set the

£65.34

wrench, simply turn the adjusting grip accordingly. If you require 34lb-ft, turn the adjuster until its level with the 30 mark, and continue to turn until the ‘4’ is aligned with the centre line. The rachet head is reversible, but it must be noted that this torque wrench will not tighten left-hand threads to a setting – so some nuts cannot be torqued-up correctly. I tested it against my Britool and Proto torque wrenches at various settings during an engine re-build and it compared very

well. One criticism could be that it’s not really long enough for the maximum setting (or perhaps I’m not as strong any more) It’s worth pointing out, as with all torque wrenches, don’t forget to slacken the adjuster off after use, or the spring will weaken. So is it worth the buying? I’d say yes – but bear in mind you’ll need a second torque wrench for below 20lb-ft settings. ■ David Brown www.sealey.co.uk

ALCOSENSE PRO FUEL CELL BREATHALYZER With Christmas soon with us, we figured we’d put in a precis of our review of this most excellent product from last year, as we’ve been using it ALL year. Now, we all know that you can’t and shouldn’t drink and drive or ride. Pointless having one drink when you know you’ve got to ride or drive, right? However, those of you who saw me put this product into our pages several months ago will know I decided to test one out. And so I have, on the run-up to Christmas the manufacturers of the AlcoSense say that this is more like a failsafe to ensure you don’t ride or drive the morning after. Remember, you’re three times more likely to get breathalysed during the festive period. I tested this machine out over several weekends when I wasn’t planning on driving the morning after anyways. I decided to ensure that I was up around the school-run time to see how I felt and how I felt in comparison to what the AlcoSense told me. The machine is so simple to operate: you open it up (which switches it on) and then you simply blow through the short straws supplied with

12 / classic motorcycle mechanics

the machine until it tells you to stop. Then you see the results… What a shocker. Some mornings when I felt rough, I blew a green: doubtless I drank less, but stayed up longer and was just tired. Conversely other times I felt fine to drive but was told not to by AlcoSense: so it’s clearly not how you feel, but the reading you give. It also gives a handy reading of when you’re okay to drive. The Pro (there are cheaper machines in the range) has the same sensor as used by a number of UK police forces, so you know it’s accurate. After a full year now of using the Pro (it needs recalibrating soon) how do I feel? Well, friends have lost their licence ‘the morning after’ so, it’s been the ultimate in reassurance. ■ Bertie Simmonds www.alcosense.co.uk

£149.99


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#48

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No. 330 October 2018 £4.30 UK Off-sale date 31/10/2018

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Classic Motorcycle Mechanics January 2019  

I want one, but I want it in THAT colour.” How many times have we heard or even uttered that statement? This month’s main test and buyer’s g...

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics January 2019  

I want one, but I want it in THAT colour.” How many times have we heard or even uttered that statement? This month’s main test and buyer’s g...