retrobike CLASSIC NOT PLASTIC
HESKETH OLD & NEW
KAWASAKI 900 Z1B
V50 CAFE RACER
(Both incl. GST)
ISSUE 18 AUTUMN 2015
VON DAZ HUSTLER
AUS $11.95* NZ $12.95
R NINET W BM
Shannons is offering motoring enthusiasts the chance to win an 11 day trip to Italy, France & Monaco, attending one of the world’s premier historic racing events – the Monaco Historic Race! 2 adult economy class airfares to Venice, Italy and return from Nice, France (5 - 17 May 2016)
2016 Monaco Historic Race Package
10 nights twin share accommodation
You Drive Experience for one in a Lamborghini LP 570-4 Superleggera**
5 days Mercedes-Benz C-Class (or similar) car hire*
Private escorted shopping trip to St Tropez
Tickets to the Italian Supercar Tour including the Ferrari Museum, Lamborghini Museum & Factory, Ducati Museum & Factory and the Pagani Showroom & Factory
AUD $1,000 spending money or AUD $5,000 if you are an eligible Shannons Club member+
To enter go to shannons.com.au/monaco or call 13 46 46 and obtain an eligible quote on your Car, Bike or Home Insurance^ by 10 April 2015. Take out a new policy^ to receive 5 entries. INSURANCE FOR MOTORING ENTHUSIASTS | CALL 13 46 46 FOR A QUOTE | SHANNONS.COM.AU Shannons Pty Limited ABN 91 099 692 636 acts as agent and authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807, the issuer of Shannons Car, Bike and Home/Contents insurance products. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement and consider whether it is right for you before buying these insurance products. Contact us for a free copy. Competition conducted by Shannons Pty Limited, of Level 28, Brisbane Square, 266 George Street, Brisbane, QLD 4000. Competition commences at 12am on 27/01/2015 and closes at 5pm on 10/04/2015 (Sydney time). It will only be possible to request an online Quote until 2/04/2015, however, telephone applications will continue to be available until 5pm 10/04/2015. Entry only open to eligible Australian residents aged 20 years or older. Eligible Entrants must be opted in to receive Shannons marketing communications. Prize valued at up to $29,758.48 (depending on winner’s point of departure). Prizes drawn at 12pm on 17/04/2015 at Salmat Digital Pty Ltd, L2, 116 Miller St, Nth Sydney NSW 2060. The winner will be notiﬁed by phone and email by 20/04/2015 and published in The Australian newspaper on 21/04/2015 and on the competition website. *Car hire is subject to the terms and conditions speciﬁed by the car hire provider. **Lamborghini drive participant must hold a valid Australian driver’s licence. +An Eligible Shannons Club Member is a Shannons Club member who has created a member proﬁle, uploaded a proﬁle image and images of an enthusiast vehicle and an ultimate vehicle at shannons.com.au/club. ^New Shannons Motor Insurance or Shannons Home & Contents insurance quotes/sales only (renewals and CTP quotes/sales ineligible). Limit 1 quote per vehicle or insured address.Permits: ACT TP14/04333, NSW LTPS/14/09840, SA T14/2326 & VIC 14/5946. Full competition terms and conditions at shannons.com.au/monaco.
EDITORIAL OLD ROAD FRIENDS
G'DAY WITH GEOFF SEDDON
HE COMMANDO is ﬁnally registered on club plates, so my brother-in-law Stuart suggested a mid-week fang along the Old Paciﬁc Highway and lunch at Mooney to celebrate. Stuart is midway through the restoration of a CB750 K7, but is careful not to have the old girl oﬀ the road for any length of time. It was a hot summer’s day and we had the road largely to ourselves. While both bikes hark bark to the boom motorcycle years of the 1970s, they could not be more diﬀerent. The Norton represents the last hurrah of the British bike industry, an ancient pushrod twin tuned to within an inch of its life in a cobbled-together chassis that never quite worked. The Honda represents the new guard of powerful, reliable, easy-tolive-with Japanese fours that brought the Brits undone, virtually overnight. Stuart’s Honda is more powerful but much heavier than my Roadster, so their on-road performance is similar. The pace was brisk as I led the way along a road I know better than my children, with Stuart tucked in safely behind. We were soon grinning like hippies under our helmets and over lunch talked nothing except motorbikes. While we share good taste in womenfolk — we are married to sisters — our approach to motorcycle restoration is as diﬀerent as our bikes. I just want my bike to go, stop and look like a nice old Norton, the kind of bike that
gets a second glance outside the pub but wouldn’t trouble the judges at a concours. I have a few toys in my shed and like to spread the love around. I also like modifying stuﬀ so that it isn’t the same as everyone else’s, and have done so since I was a teenager. Stuart is the opposite, a classic restorer who aims to return his bikes as close to factory condition as possible, as you’ll discover in our Project Bikes section this issue. He enjoys the challenge of chasing
“I have a few toys in my shed and like to spread the love around” down rare parts and always having his bike in meticulous mechanical condition. He allows modiﬁcations to improve safety and performance but only where the changes are indistinguishable to all but experts. John Fretten, whose magniﬁcent Kawasaki 900 Z1B appears in our feature pages, follows an even more rigorous path. A month or so later, I was back on the Old Paciﬁc Highway chasing 89-year-old Jack Taylor on his 63-year-old Vincent Rapide. His wingman Ian Mohr was along for the fun
EDITOR Geoff Seddon DESIGNER Jarrad McCallum VALUED CONTRIBUTORS Paul Bailey, Alan Cathcart, Russell Colvin, Jon Van Daal, John Downs, John Fretten, Stuart Garrard, Justin Law, Ian Lee, Russ Murray, Alastair Ritchie, Tom ‘Poppa’ Shaw, Richard Stow, Owen Stuart, Wild Turkey, James Walker, Jeff Ware, Heather Ware ADVERTISING MANAGER Fi Collins WANT MORE? Subs, merch & back issues, phone 1300 303 414 or www.universalmagazines.com.au
on his well-patined ’68 Velocette Thruxton, with both riders picking perfect lines on the ﬂowing downhill run from Cowan. Jack’s been riding since 1946 and has accumulated an impressive collection of motorbikes and memories, which we bring you in the ﬁrst of our Legends series. Nothing like owning a motorbike or 10 to keep you young! Dreaming about building my next custom bike does it for me. As always, we’ve got another great bunch of modiﬁed bikes to share, from Von Daz’s 70s-inspired Hustler digger to Matthew Turner’s genre-blending V50 cafe racer, which stole the show at last year’s Laverda Concours in Brisbane. Again, more diﬀerent bikes it’s hard to imagine, but both are true customs built by metal craftsmen the old-fashioned way from little more than cheap wrecks and big ideas. And then of course we have the Typhoon Ducati, about as perfect a custom bike as was ever born from where I sit. Not everyone will agree, but I love how an unwanted belt-drive 900SS was transformed into a futuristic version of a veteran race bike almost by accident. The ﬁrst rule of customising bikes is that there are no rules. And like Von Daz’s Honda and Matthew’s Guzzi, everything works except maybe the muﬄers, so all three see their share of road miles, just not along racetracks like the Old Paciﬁc Highway. We have CB750s and Norton Commandos for that.
UNIVERSAL MAGAZINES CHAIRMAN/CEO Prema Perera PUBLISHER Janice Williams CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Vicky Mahadeva ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Emma Perera ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Karen Day CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Mark Darton CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kate Podger EDITORIAL PRODUCTION MANAGER Anastasia Casey PRINT PRODUCTION MANAGER Lilian Ohanessian PREPRESS MANAGER Ivan Fitz-Gerald MARKETING & ACQUISITIONS MANAGER Chelsea Peters
Circulation enquiries to our Sydney head office (02) 9805 0399. Retrobike 18 is published by Universal Magazines, Unit 5, 6-8 Byﬁeld Street, North Ryde NSW 2113. Phone: (02) 9805 0399, Fax: (02) 9805 0714. Melbourne office, Level 1, 150 Albert Road, South Melbourne Vic 3205. Phone: (03) 9694 6444, Fax: (03) 9699 7890. Printed by KHL Printing Co Pte Ltd, Singapore, and distributed by Network Services. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced by any process without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publishers. The publishers believe all the information supplied in this book to be correct at the time of printing. They are not, however, in a position to make a guarantee to this effect and accept no liability in the event of any information proving inaccurate. Prices, addresses and phone numbers were, after investigation and to the best of our knowledge and belief, up-to-date at the time of printing, but the shifting sands of time may change them in some cases. It is not possible for the publishers to ensure that advertisements which appear in this publication comply with the Trade Practices Act, 1974. The responsibility must therefore be on the person, company or advertising agency submitting the advertisements for publication. While every endeavour has been made to ensure complete accuracy, the publishers cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. *Recommended retail price. ISSN 1838-644X Copyright © Universal Magazines MMXV. ACN 003 609 103. www.universalmagazines.com.au Please pass on or recycle this magazine.
52 TYPHOON DUCATI So named because of the storm of protest this '95 900SS generated in conservative Ducati circles. We love it: life's too short to be stuck in a box!
FEATURE BIKES 06
ROLAND SANDS BMW
BMW's new R nineT roadster gets a makeover from California's king of custom cool
OPAL V50 MOTO GUZZI
They don't come much sharper than Matthew Turner's 'cafe concept' V50 Guzzi. Throw in the world's loudest exhaust and Arno's your uncle
VON DAZ HUSTLER
Where were you in '72? Sydney's Von Daz builds a period-perfect digger with enough metal-ﬂake to light up a Kings Cross strip club
The good lord giveth the Hesketh V1000, then he took it away. And now the marque is back with a dirty big American V8 amidships. Well, almost
KAWASAKI 900 Z1B
The most signiﬁcant Japanese bike of all time, restored and photographed by John Fretten
HARRIS CB1100R HONDA
Jeﬀ Ware gets the knee-down on the Harrisframed Wolfenden T-Rex CB1100R Honda that's all but unbeatable in Aussie historic racing
Russ Murray braves the rain to bring us the best of Melbourne's Festival of Italian Motorcycles
Poppa Shaw joins the Norton Owners Club and friends for a run up the beautiful Yarra Valley
89-year-old Jack has been riding motorbikes for 70 years and managed to keep most of them
How to build an eclectic 11-bike collection through the wonder of the internet
REGULARS 03 76 78 80 82 84 86 92 94 98
G'DAY BAILEY WALKER POPPA SHAW RIDERS LIKE US BUDGET BLASTERS PROJECT BIKES CLUB LISTING ON ANY SUNDAY NEXT!
ROLAND SANDS BMW R NINET
n i k Sp e e D
mple a x e r k tb o o er b uilde x e t A mast ve your a m f ro to ha it to o w o h eat on d n a ON SEDD TCHIE c a ke EOFF RI DS G TAIR WOR ALAS APHY R G HOTO
ROLAND SANDS BMW R NINET
There's lots to like about the mild-custom Roland Sands BMW, photographed here outside the RSD head office in California
Deus Ex Motorrad
OLAND Sands is a former US 250 GP champion who, after breaking 30-odd bones during a 10-year professional racing career, turned his hand to designing and building custom motorcycles, eventually founding Roland Sands Design (RSD) in Los Alamitos, California in 2005. Initially focussing on Harley-Davidsons, which earned him many prestigious awards, Roland soon switched his attention to other marques and earned international mainstream fame in 2013 with the sensational Concept Ninety, a bike BMW Motorrad commissioned to celebrate its 90th birthday and the 40th anniversary of the revered R 90 S sportsbike. With a small bikini fairing, the Concept Ninety evoked the purposeful strippeddown stance of the earlier bike, but consign the fairing to the bin and you’ll find the DNA of BMW’s uber-cool R nineT
streetbike released last year. The concept bike was actually built on a prototype nineT chassis, suggesting it wasn’t entirely serendipitous. It was a radical step all the same, and one that has paid off in spades for BMW who can’t make them fast enough to keep up with the demand. Old BMW twins are as cool as vinyl records in custom street circles, and the R nineT is BMW’s response, a modern soulful tribute to a simpler time. It looks great out of the box but BMW has gone to some lengths in the design of the chassis and electrical system to encourage owners to go three steps further. Many builders around the world have already got stuck in, including Roland Sands who built the bike you see here. “We’ve gone full circle,” Roland says. “The R nineT is the kind of bike that gets you excited to modify because you know the guys who designed it thought about it, meaning it’s not hard to simplify.”
HARDCORE customisers t i will ill di dismiss i thi this particular ti l Roland Sands build as more bling than sting, but there’s a certain appeal to building a cool ride while also enjoying the modern dynamics of a brand new motorbike. This is especially the case when it goes, stops and handles as well as the BMW R nineT. I test a few bikes for Australian Road Rider and the nineT was my personal fav of 2014. It is a blissfully simple bike but very well ﬁnished and goes like a cut snake. The engine is a big part of the charm. For all I care, BMW could build the best four-cylinder bike in the world (which they do) but their age-old air-cooled ﬂat twin is as quirky, credible and soulful as anything from HarleyDavidson, Moto Guzzi, Triumph or Ducati. That this particular one is more powerful than a 916 adds an extra dimension, but it can also be as gentle as a postie if you want it to be. Handling is fantastic. The bike has such an old-school feel I half-expected it to handle like an old bike too, bucking and weaving and shaking its head when pushed, but instead it handled like a new BMW. It is physically small and light, steers ever so sweetly and loves a corner; in smooth hands it’s as fast as anything, especially when things get tight and fast. So there’s a lot to like, and we haven’t started talking about how good it looks.
For a company that made its reputation by constructing complete bikes from little more than a host engine, the RSD nineT is a whole new box of bolts. We’ve got a feeling we’ll see something wild from the design studio down the track, but this build for many of us is much closer to home. “I really wanted to look at it from a consumer’s perspective. We consider this bike to be a test bed for ideas and product development so we have made an oath not to cut anything off it or modify it past what an average set of tools would allow you to do. Our bike is simple and represents a very real version of what someone might do to their own nineT without going off the deep end. “The cool thing about the bike is that it is fully functional but continues to feel like a blank canvas.” The engine is a stock 1170cc boxer twin in GS Triple Black trim, to which RSD
“OLD BMW TWINS ARE AS COOL AS OLD VINYL RECORDS IN CUSTOM STREET CIRCLES” has added its own billet valve covers and breast plate, and a purposeful RSD stainless-steel and carbon-fibre two-intoone exhaust. I tested the stock nineT for Australian Road Rider magazine last year. With 110hp @ 7750rpm, it’s not like you’ll want for more; it’s already way faster than the R 90 S, which made all of 67hp @ 7000rpm. I loved riding it; the only things I didn’t like about the whole bike were the ugly twin mufflers, so RSD gets my vote there too. “I saw the bike and thought, bitchin’!” Roland says. “The ideas started flowing.
I was even more excited when I rode it and felt the torque and how easy the front wheel came up.” Americans love making bits out of billet aluminium, and the list of milled RSD goodies in addition to the engine covers is growing: fuel tank cap, brake reservoirs, bar-ends, dash housing, headlight bezel and plugs for the axles and swingarm pivots so far. Offsetting the bling are black-anodised upside-down forks. Originally finished in gold, they were once the flashiest bits of the factory bike, but the black treatment ISSUE #18
ROLAND SANDS BMW R NINET
OPPOSITE: Elegant RSD breastplate adds an exclusive touch BELOW: Few customs have the performance and ability to run with a sportsbike pack. This one does BELOW RIGHT: Multi-layered tank art complements the two-tone engine. Leather grips and seat add contrast
“I WAS EVEN MORE EXCITED WHEN I DISCOVERED HOW EASY THE FRONT WHEEL CAME UP" gives Roland’s custom much more of a retro vibe. The alloy foot controls also copped a coat of black powder. We’d be very surprised if BMW doesn’t follow suit on its production bikes when it comes time to offer up a variant of the standard model. The paint scheme is very clever, loosely following the style of the original but better accentuating the tank’s shape. It also includes an RSD tank medallion by local artist Nick Potasch. The camelcoloured leather seat is by Bitchin’ Seat Company to an RSD design with handlebar grips colour matched.
So there you go, a textbook example from a master builder on how to have your cake and eat it too. You can build a distinctive custom from a brand new motorbike without inviting attention from the wallopers or voiding your warranty. It looks old school but handles like a modern sports bike, sounds like a lap of the Nurburgring and never breaks down. “I’m excited to further explore the boxer concept and I can’t wait to see what else we can do with these machines,” Roland says. “There is so much that hasn’t been done and there is a want for something different from BMW customers.”
Retro Specs ENGINE Air-cooled horizontally-opposed four-stroke twin; DOHC, four valves per cylinder; 103 x 73mm for 1170cc; 12.0:1 compression; dry clutch to six-speed transmission and shaft drive; 110hp (81kW) @ 7750rpm; 119Nm @ 6000rpm CHASSIS Tubular-steel trellis-style mainframe; removable steel sub-frame; 46mm non-adjustable upside-down forks, 2 x 320mm discs with four-piston Brembo calipers on 17in laced wheels; monoshock rear adjustable for preload and damping, 265mm disc with two-piston Brembo caliper on 17in laced rim DIMENSIONS Wheelbase 1476mm; fuel capacity 17 litres; 222kg wet IN A NUTSHELL Custom cool without the grief ISSUE #18
VON DAZ HONDA
e el the f , h t d i n d t h e w i c 70 s d i g g e r i m r e v s Ne his clas t f ON o h F SEDD t Y GEOF leng GRAPH OTO S & PH WORD
VON DAZ HONDA
ARREN Bennett is a guy who likes to build stuff, usually out of pushrod Triumphs, but is not much of a restorer. “I can’t leave things normal,” he says. He owns a supercharged ’64 Thunderbird flat-tracker that featured in RAPID magazine and until recently got around on a Triton cafe racer he built from a T150 Trident and Norton featherbed frame. His current project is a lithe twin-engined Triumph special that will also be supercharged. But when he got it in his head to build a 70s-style digger three years ago, Darren had a problem. “British engines look too small in this style of bike,” he says. “The flavour of the day was Harley or a 750 Four. I went with the Honda for its wide motor, and because I despise Harleys.” A stock 1972 CB750 K2 was sourced on eBay for $2000. The engine was running and “did a good burnout” according to Darren, so has been left untouched apart from a Russ Collins magneto, ram tubes fashioned from car exhaust tips and Cycle
X four-into-four drag pipes. Of the rest, he kept only the front frame loop and the rear hub, mudguard and taillight. Darren is well known in Sydney bike and car circles for his talents as a signwriter and pin-striper, which has earned him the nickname Von Daz after the legendary US artist, pin-striper and custom car and bike builder Von Dutch. Like his namesake, Von Daz is a skilled metal fabricator and painter with the ability to turn his imagination into reality, whether on two wheels or four. A weld-on hardtail was sourced from the States, as was the extended springer front end. “I bought the forks on eBay, I couldn’t tell you the brand,” he says. “But it’s got an old faded sticker on it that says 1979 so it’s gotta be authentic!” Diggers are all about being long and low, as opposed to choppers with their raised steering heads and sky-high handlebars and sissy bars. “I bolted on the forks, then kept stretching the frame until it sat level,” he says. With the all-important dimensions settled, it was time to fire up the oxy.
A feature of 70s diggers was the practice of ‘moulding’ the bodywork to the frame, to make it look like one seamless panel. A lot of people used to do it out of bog (or at least finish it in bog) which tended to age not so well. Von Daz has done this one the proper way. After mocking up the bodywork in cardboard, he fashioned it all in his workshop out of 1.5mm flat steel using only an oxy and hammers. The curved panels from the front of the fuel tank up to the gooseneck were a particular challenge in allowing sufficient steering lock without detracting from the overall look. 14
“THE FLAVOUR OF THE DAY WAS HARLEY OR A 750 FOUR. I WENT WITH THE HONDA FOR ITS WIDE MOTOR” The bodywork is not detachable and serves to brace the frame; it was fitted up in sections then welded directly to the original Honda front loop and hardtail, and includes within it a small fuel tank. “It’s got seven litres if I’m lucky,” Von Daz says, which is probably enough. “I had a 21-inch front wheel lying around but it had a disc brake, so I borrowed this one for the moment. In the 70s, they all had a spool front hub with no brake.” And the, um, mudguard? “I stole that from (US custom bike builder) Kutty Noteboom, that’s where the idea came from. He had
a similar one. I haven’t ridden it in the rain yet so I don’t know how well it works, but it does fill out the negative space behind the wheel.” Rear wheel is a stock drum-brake CB750 hub laced to a 16-inch rim. The mudguard is a chopped-down original on owner-built mounts, as is the taillight, which was simply relocated to the side, both great examples of making the most of what you have. Finally it came time for the paint. “It’s the 70s so it had to be metalflake,” Von Daz says, in this case Max Metalflake by L’il Daddy Roth applied over multiple base coats. ISSUE #18
VON DAZ HONDA
“You have to work in reverse with this sorta stuﬀ, so I did the white ﬁrst, then the stencilling, then silver. Purple was the last colour.” Four different metalflake colours were added and the bike literally sparkles in direct sun, lighting up like a Kings Cross strip club. The sides of the tank feature lace stencils and the mudguard has been fish-scaled with an airbrush. ‘Spunk bubbles’ were added to the side covers late in the build to fill the space and add even more retro vibe. The Hustler tank script was inspired by the porn mag of the same name, and if you look at the back of the oil tank you’ll see Tiffany Towers displaying all her assets. Rounding out the bike is not much else, as you’d expect of a genuine 70s digger. The only instrument is an oil pressure gauge. The handlebar is an old Ace Bar
popular on British cafe racers, while the seat is owner-built and covered by Vic’s Motor Trimming in Ashbury. Darren doesn’t do electrics either, but apart from that it’s all his own work. We asked him what it’s like to ride. “I haven’t done any long trips on it but on a smooth road, you’re happy enough,” he says. “The front wheel feels a long way in front of you. It’s fine in a straight line but horrible around corners and the turning circle is not the best. Maybe I should drag race it! “I just wanted to build it. I’ve built lots of bikes, lots of cafe racers. I’ve been working my way through the 50s, 60s and 70s, but this one’s not really my cup of tea and I’ll probably move it on. Now I’ve just got to figure out what bike I’ll build for the 80s.”
“IT’S THE 70S SO IT HAD TO BE METALFLAKE. IT LIGHTS UP IN THE SUN LIKE A KINGS CROSS STRIP CLUB”
Retro Specs ENGINE Honda CB750 K2; four-cylinder air-cooled SOHC four-stroke; 61x63mm for 736cc; two valves per cylinder; 4 x 28mm Keihin carburettors with owner-built ram tubes; 68hp @ 8000rpm; ﬁve-speed gearbox FRAME CB750 K2 front section; weldedon hardtail; extended 70s forks of unknown origin; 21in front wheel with Avon Speedmaster tyre and zero brakes; 16in rear rim on stock CB750 hub, drum brake; constructed and painted by owner BODYWORK Moulded digger style, designed and constructed by the owner in 1.5mm ﬂat steel, and welded to the chassis; contains seven-litre fuel tank; owner-built seat; paint and graphics by the owner PRACTICALITY Low COOL FACTOR High
FESTIVAL OF ITALIAN MOTORCYCLES
L OF FESTIVA YCLES TORC O M N A I ITAL A gathering of the cognoscenti in Carlton WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY RUSS MURRAY
ESTIVAL of Italian Motorcycles. Sounds impressive and it is, although ‘gathering’ may be a more apt description. Each year in November, around 300 Italian bikes of various ages and marques — including some no longer in existence — gather on a Sunday morning to be displayed for all and sundry to admire and photograph. The Festival only lasts for at best three hours, with the ﬁrst bikes arriving at 9.30am and most gone by 1pm. On display will be the newest examples from the manufacturers with, on occasions, bikes that have only just arrived in the country. There is also the current crop of everyday bikes which can be seen on our roads. The bikes that attract the most interest are those of decades past and seldom seen except in museums, collections or books. Some are in concours condition while others have a certain patina which comes with age and use. There are also custom bikes to which the owners have added their personal touches. It could be something as simple as aftermarket pegs, mirrors, exhaust or graphics, through to completely rebuilt bikes with serious engine, frame and bodywork modiﬁcations. Each year the odd race bike will make an appearance. Some are ex-factory bikes, some replicas of past GP bikes while others are owner-built from wrecks to race at club level. 2014 was the 13th Festival and probably the wettest, which reduced numbers dramatically. This may have contributed to Moto Guzzis almost outnumbering Ducatis for the first time, possibly as most Guzzi riders pride themselves on riding in any conditions — Ducati riders tend to be a little bit more selective. At 9.30 there were only 10 bikes parked in Argyle ISSUE #18
FESTIVAL OF ITALIAN MOTORCYCLES
“A HIGHLIGHT WAS THE NUMBER OF CLASSIC ITALIAN TIDDLERS MAKING AN APPEARANCE” Square, Carlton, where the event has been held for the last few years: Carlton — in particular Lygon St, which Argyle Square fronts — is the heart of Italy in Melbourne. Fortunately, the weather improved to produce a reasonable turnout of bikes, including some which hadn’t been seen at the event before. Of particular note was an original Laverda 750 SFC with 11,000km, which hadn’t been started in 25 years. Rob, who recently acquired the bike, intends only to tidy it up, as opposed to a ground-up restoration which befalls many older bikes. 20
Another bike of historical significance was the Bob Brown Ducati TT racebike of the late 80s, a bike that was never beaten, even by early eight-valves. The bike on display was the development mule which was always under the radar: Bob would modify and test this one at home before incorporating new modifications on Kevin Magee’s racebike. Both bikes looked the same so very few people knew about the second one. Bob sold it to Graeme Brooker, a member of the original race team who has since restored it. As is usual, Ducati was the dominant
marque although only just ahead of Moto Guzzi. The oldest of the Dukes were both from the 60s: a restored Mach 1 and a Mountaineer 100. There were a few largercapacity bevels from the 70s, including a 750 Sport which had 256,000km on the dial! The owner had used the bike as his everyday transport until a few years ago. Among the mix was the first of the belt-driven Ducatis, a 500cc Pantah, along with some of its bigger siblings, including a Laguna Seca F1 which had been heavily modified by a previous owner. The bike had been sourced from Japan, with the
new owner intending to restore it only to find that many of the lugs on the frame had been removed. A solitary 916 represented a model which many consider to be one of the top 10 bikes ever made, while modern Ducatis covered the usual gamut of Monsters, STs, Multis, Diavels and all the rest. Many older Moto Guzzis were on show, with quite a few having some very tasty modifications, especially Jason Versamisâ€™s custom Le Mans III with its polished alloy bodywork. Another Guzzi of note was a Magni Sfida with its unusual parallelogrammo swing arm. This was designed by Arturo Magni, who left Gilera in 1952 to join MV Agusta, where he spent the next 25 years in the factory race team before branching out on his own. A highlight was the number of classic
OPPOSITE Rare Magni SďŹ da based on a 1000cc Guzzi Le Mans TOP Bob Brown's famous racebike, all but unbeatable in the hands of Kevin Magee ABOVE LEFT Jenefer tries out Laurie's Ducati Street Fighter for size ABOVE RIGHT Peter Faulkner's 1962 350 Ala D'Oro Aermacchi Harley-Davidson BELOW Ducati Mountaineer, 100cc of thrill-seeking, hill-climbing grunt
FESTIVAL OF ITALIAN MOTORCYCLES
tiddlers making an appearance. 1955 and 1958 MV Agusta TRs were on display, along with a beautifully restored Mondial and Gilera. Laverda was represented by a rare dirt bike, along with some classic twins and triples from the 1970s and 80s. Three Aermacchis were a special treat, including a 1962 350 Ala D’Oro and 1967 250 Ala Verde, both of which hark back to when the factory was part-owned by Harley-Davidson. The most spectacular entrance was by two Ercoles, three-wheeler tipping trucks powered by 500cc Moto Guzzi singles. The blue Ercole is an early 50s model owned by Trevor Armstrong who had his grandson riding shotgun, while the grey Ercole, a 60s version with original paint, is owned by Tea. The engines produce around 18hp providing a top speed of 60km/h. When it comes to sound, it’s hard to beat the Italians. While not exactly a GP bike, Julian McLean’s Albert Bold-built
ABOVE Jason Versamis and his custom alloyﬁnished Moto Guzzi Le Mans III LEFT Modiﬁed Ducati Laguna Seca 750 F1 gets chummy with a privately imported 400 F3 BELOW A reminder of where it all started with bikes like this 1958 125cc TR MV Agusta. Try and book us on this one, copper!
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Inspire, Enhance and Empower Our wounded have done their part for Australia, they have given their best. Thousands have wounds, some you can see and some you can’t. It is now Australia’s turn to look after them, please give generously and make a difference in our wounded warriors lives. SoldierOnAustralia
FESTIVAL OF ITALIAN MOTORCYCLES
MV Agusta 750 isn’t far from it, especially when heard through the four-into-four straight-through exhaust. The bike has original disc brakes as fitted to the factory racebikes of the time.
Even though numbers were down on past Festivals due to the weather, it was an awesome day. It all happens again in November and we’ll see you there.
“GUZZI RIDERS PRIDE THEMSELVES ON RIDING IN ANY CONDITIONS”
ABOVE Owner Laurie and his blinged-up Ducati Street Fighter LEFT TOP This Mach 1 Ducati could park its tyres in the Retro shed any day LEFT BOTTOM Trevor Armstrong with grandson on his early 50s, Guzzi-powered Ercole tipper truck FAR LEFT Is that the new Ducati Scrambler? BELOW The Daytona RS was one of Guzzis earliest forays into the heady world of eight-valve power and as fast as anything on an open mountain road
Rich Boys Toys
HESKETH 24 An English aristocrat’s magnificent obsession is reincarnated with good old American muscle WORDS SIR ALAN CATHCART PHOTOGRAPHY KYOICHI NAKAMURA
Rich Boys Toys
CHAMPIONS HESKETH 24 MOTO
“IT IS THE MOST SOPHISTICATED AMERICAN AFTERMARKET BIG-TWIN ENGINE I’VE RIDDEN”
HE ORIGINAL Hesketh V1000 was a noble dream that never recovered from an ignominious launch and a slow death. Heady with success from Formula 1 racing, Lord Alexander Hesketh attempted to resuscitate the British bike industry with a totally modern grand tourer powered by a DOHC eight-valve V-twin. Sadly, despite being technically advanced and boasting 80hp, the engines were poorly developed and assembled, and leaked oil like Nortons at the UK press launch in 1980. It was otherwise a good (if hefty) thing but buyers were understandably wary and few were sold. Fast forward 30 years. Paul Sleeman is a successful mechanical design engineer with the means and motivation to become a boutique motorcycle manufacturer. He acquired the naming rights from the good lord in 2010 and has now released his ﬁrst bike, the Hesketh 24. It takes its inspiration and graphics not from the V1000, but from the Hesketh Formula 1 car with which James Hunt won the 1975 Dutch GP. Only 24 will be made — at $67,000 each — after which Sleeman intends to develop a two-seater.
MAIN With a massive 1900cc Harley-esque V-twin amidships, the new Hesketh was never going to be a small bike. It is a grand sports tourer more in the style of a big Jaguar saloon than a Ferrari. Its livery celebrates the Hesketh Formula 1 racing team's win in the 1975 Dutch GP with James Hunt in the saddle
Retro Specs ENGINE Air/oil-cooled 56.25-degree four-stroke S&S V-twin; triple camshafts, OHV; 104.8 x 111.1mm for 1917cc; fuel injected, 52.4mm throttle body; duplex chain primary drive to oil-bath clutch and six-speed Baker gearbox; chain ﬁnal drive; 124hp @ 6000rpm; 196Nm @ 3000rpm CHASSIS Chrome-moly double-cradle tubular steel; 55mm fully-adjustable Ohlins upside-down forks, 2 x 300mm Beringer rotors with four-piston radial callipers on 17in BST carbon-ﬁbre wheel; steel swingarm with dual fully adjustable Ohlins piggy-back shocks, 250mm Beringer rotor with four-piston caliper on 17in BST carbon wheel DIMENSIONS 232kg with oil, no fuel; 1550mm wheelbase; fuel capacity 19 litres BEST FOR People who have everything
Like its predecessor, the new bike is powered by an air-cooled V-twin but there the similarity ends. The 1917cc S&S X-Wedge 56.25-degree OHV V-twin is similar to those ﬁtted to the Confederate Wraith. The US-built fuel-injected monster produces 124hp at 6000rpm, with peak torque of 196Nm at 3000rpm. A duplex primary chain drives the aptly named 21-plate Kong Kong clutch and Baker six-speed gearbox. It is all rigidly mounted in a chrome-moly frame based on a design by Racing Innovations in Oklahoma City, which included the underseat exhausts, Öhlins suspension, Beringer radial brakes and 17-inch BST carbon-ﬁbre wheels. Each of the 24 bikes will carry an 18-carat-gold plaque on the tank bearing its build number. The single seat is upholstered in Italian nappa leather, while the graphics are the work of former British Superbike champion Tommy Hill, who is also the company’s test rider. I was the ﬁrst person to ride the prototype Hesketh 24 after young Mr Hill, Paul Sleeman
making good on an earlier promise when I helped him get the project started. Our debut came in front of 180,000 people at the Goodwood Festival of Speed — so, no pressure then! I later borrowed the 24 for a much longer spin around the Warwickshire countryside I live in, whose roads are the crucible for manufacturers of ﬁne-handling British specials. Sleeman and development engineer Iain Miles have succeeded in producing a rorty, rawedged blend of American muscle and British handling, the modern two-wheeled equivalent of the classic Shelby AC Cobra which slotted a Ford V8 into a British AC Ace sports car chassis. The Hesketh is just as imposing but more fun to ride, with awe-inspiring grunt out of turns and surprising competence through them, before you light the fuse and thunder away. The 24 boasts an impressive level of ﬁnish. The paint quality is high and the hand-stitched leather seat a classy touch. The dash is a goodlooking blend of round analogue dials nestling ISSUE #18
Rich Boys Toys
My Sweet Lord THOMAS Alexander Fermor-Hesketh, the third Baron Hesketh KBE, inherited a vast fortune on turning 21 and promptly set about spending it. In 1972, he established his own Formula 2 racing team with ﬂamboyant British hot shot James Hunt, before stepping up to Formula 1 the following year. They were dismissed initially as playboys, until Hunt scored two podiums to ﬁnish eighth in the championship. They returned with their own car — the Hesketh 308 — in 1974, again ﬁnishing eighth, before winning the Dutch F1 GP in ’75. Young Alexander bankrolled the whole thing (which included a wild bacchanalian lifestyle) without any sponsorship before selling the team at the end of the season. Hunt moved to McLaren and won the ’76 championship – the
whole adventure was revisited in the hit movie Rush – and Hesketh, once again ﬂush, turned his attention to reviving the all-but-dead British motorcycle industry. The Hesketh V1000 looked the part with an 80hp DOHC eight-valve V-twin, but it was poorly developed by engine builder Weslake and broke down and leaked oil on its launch in 1980. The press had a ﬁeld day. Tooled up to build 2000 bikes a year, they produced only 139 before going bust in 1983. Another 40 were built as Vampires under another corporate structure before Lord Hesketh chucked it in to enter politics. Mick Broom then took over the tooling to maintain the existing ﬂeet and handbuild another 60 V1000s over the next 25 years. Good luck ﬁnding one.
in a carbon-ﬁbre housing, the instruments comprising a large speedo ﬂanked by three smaller dials showing oil temperature, time and voltage — but strangely no tacho. That could be because with so much torque on tap, revs are irrelevant. I thumb the starter button and relish its ground-shaking presence as it settles into a lazy idle, then grab a big handful of clutch to engage bottom gear. The clutch’s heavy action makes riding the Hesketh in tight traﬃc or city streets hard work on your left hand. After earlier problems at Goodwood, gearbox operation is now slick but still slow, and it pays to use the clutch for upward shifts to avoid jerking the drivetrain. I was looking forward to the S&S X-Wedge motor after sampling it in the Hellcat and other
bikes. It is the most sophisticated American aftermarket big-twin engine I’ve ridden, devoid of rattles and shakes and with a pleasantly potent, muscular roar emanating from the Ducati-like exhausts. It sounds like the V-twin equivalent of the AC Cobra’s V8, with the same lumpy offbeat lilt. Despite the absence of counter-balancers, it’s relatively smooth; the only tingles are through the handlebars at high revs. There’s an acre of torque from idle all the way to the 6000rpm limiter, not that there’s any earthly point in ever revving it that high. Instead, surf the torque curve and you’ll see 100mph before you know it. This makes it a great bike for close-quarters traﬃc combat, using the response at almost any revs to zap past cars or trucks, exploiting any gaps to carve your way through. Very satisfying,
MAIN Sir Alan debuted the Hesketh at Goodwood in front of 180,000 spectators. He later got the chance to fang it along his local twisties, by which time it was better sorted TOP LEFT The new Hesketh 24 with the original red V1000 in the background. Only their mother can tell them apart
“THE STEERING IS HEAVY AT LOW SPEED BUT BECOMES SHARPER THE FASTER I GO” but you do want to keep on the move, because at the lights your knees will feel the heat radiating from the cylinders and headers. The Hesketh is a capable corner carver. It won’t exactly out-handle an Aprilia Tuono V4R, but it’s a competent crossover street rod that will hustle through turns with the best of them, thanks to the good leverage from that wide handlebar. With the footrests located far back, body weight is transferred to your arms and wrists, which is tiring but at least loads up the front wheel for extra grip in turns. While complaining, the side-stand and gear lever are
positioned too close together, restricting access to the stand. The Hesketh’s Dunlop D211 rubber builds conﬁdence, whether carrying turn speed through fast sweepers or putting all that power to the ground. The Öhlins shocks are stiﬄy sprung to compensate for the torque compressing the rear end, yet ride quality is surprisingly good over bumps. Cornering clearance is pretty good, with just the rear tips of the belly-pan fairing grounding occasionally. The Beringer brakes are fantastic, stopping the bike brilliantly from high speed with great bite and control, aided by
the stability of the wheelbase and stiﬄy-sprung well-damped forks. But just stroking the front brake lever to lose a little speed in turns will have it sit up and try to head for the hedges, which is usually a sign of too little trail. Once you’re ready for it, you can counter it fairly easily. While the Hesketh is deﬁnitely a very individual package, I feel in control of it and become more conﬁdent the harder I ride it. The steering feels heavy at low speed but becomes sharper the faster I go and feels well balanced. Lowering the centre of gravity by positioning part of the fuel load down low and using the swingarm as the oil tank helps. The 24 deﬁes its bulk to change direction well, partly thanks to the reduced gyroscopic weight of the front BST carbon wheel. Hesketh has produced something very distinctive and worthwhile in the 24, combining British styling ﬂair and handling with American V-twin performance to deliver an invigorating and unique riding experience. Welcome back.
OPAL V50 GUZZI
The world’s most radical Moto Guzzi is alive and well in Queensland WORDS GEOFF SEDDON | PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN DOWNS
OPAL V50 GUZZI
ATTHEW Turner is not one of those who follow the pack. When it comes to bikes, he does his own thing for his own reasons, but you’ve probably already worked that out from the photos. A longtime dirt bike nut, he switched to the tar with a 1961 Manx Norton of all things, after an eight-year search to ﬁnd a good one. “My father has a Vincent Black Shadow so there’s a bit of rivalry there,” Matthew says by way of explanation. “He has the top end but I have the handling.” The Norton’s obviously not registered but Matthew is lucky enough to live in a quiet part of Queensland that allows him occasional rides. He then turned his attention to a bike with lights, and not long after spied Arno Overweel’s insane V50 ‘cafe concept’ on the ether. Christened the Opal, it was commissioned by Dutch motorcycle accessories ﬁrm Goparts as a promotional show bike and built at Arno’s Rno Cycles workshop in Culemborg, The Netherlands. “I had to have a similar bike so I purchased a V65 and started my own build,” Matthew says. “After numerous emails to Arno and purchasing a rear swingarm oﬀ him, he oﬀered the Opal for sale — it had ﬁnished its time on the show circuit — and I couldn’t refuse. A special thanks goes to Arno for the professional delivery and quality of the bike. It was in even better condition than I thought it would be. “I still have the V65 which is about 80 per cent ﬁnished. I’m about to send it over to Arno — freight is only $1200 — to do the tinwork and ﬁnish it.”
Even Matthew admits the Opal doesn't make much of a tourer and is used mostly for short-haul fun close to home
“IT’S A RIDDEN BIKE, NOT A TRAILER BIKE. I RIDE IT ALL THE TIME AND IT HANDLES BEAUTIFULLY” The Opal is a 1982 Moto Guzzi V50 III, or at least was. The powder-coated frame has been modiﬁed substantially to rake the front end, and the tail section and swingarm are totally new. Wheelbase is way longer than stock but it steers and handles well, says Matt. “It’s a ridden bike, not a trailer bike. I ride it all the time. It’s quite long so it’s a good lean forward to the clip-ons but it handles beautifully considering its dimensions.” You don’t have to take Matthew’s word for it either; check out https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=yZUB_10sRLk for some great footage of the bike in action in Holland. And the sound? “The straight-through exhaust makes a beautiful noise,” he says. “It sounds like a Top Fuel dragster. It’s amazingly loud for a 500.” Matthew’s Opal is about as far removed as you can get from a regular Guzzi cafe racer.
Most enthusiasts go for the bigger engines and follow traditional 60s cafe racing style. By moving the wheels apart in perfect proportion, what is actually a little engine looks huge and dominates the bike. The lack of clutter is complemented by the small tank and tiny seat, and the bike is all but unrecognisable as a V50. The bodywork is obviously one-oﬀ, handformed from ﬂat steel sheet using traditional metalworking tools — no ﬁbreglass here! — and painted by Dutch specialist Ben Oud’s Kustom Paints. But apart from that and the rear Rno-designed swingarm (with mono shock by Dutch suspension specialist, HK), much of the rest of it is surprisingly stock or lightly modiﬁed Guzzi fare, including the 18-inch wheels, brakes and front forks, which have been shortened and also run HK springs. Accessories make or break bikes like
Goin’ Dutch ARNO Overweel is a legend of European motorcycle customising in a broad range of styles, none of which bear much resemblance to the Opal. XS650s, Harley Sportsters, twin-cam four-cylinder Hondas and lots of bigger Guzzis — all are grist to the grinders, welders and English wheels at Rno Cycles in The Netherlands and no two builds are alike. His latest project is a rigid bobber — powered by an Eaton-supercharged Suzuki LS650 single — which made a big impact on the 2014 European show season. As with the V50, Arno rejoices in taking something dismissed by others as bland and boring, then transforming it into a trend-setting custom. “Using experience and innovation, I aim to create a practical and creative balance between form and function, that is as unique as the riders themselves,” he says. “Naturally, besides the character and design of the bike, reliability and safety are also very important to me.” Check out more at www.rnocycles.nl. ISSUE #18
OPAL V50 GUZZI
There's nothing like stripping a bike to its bootstraps to unleash its custom DNA. Check out page 75 of our last issue to remind yourself what a stock V50 looks like
“THE STRAIGHT-THROUGH EXHAUST SOUNDS LIKE A TOP FUEL DRAGSTER. IT’S AMAZINGLY LOUD FOR A 500” this and include Rizoma foot rests, levers and switchgear, as well as a long list of Rno Cycles custom bits. Matthew’s not up on all the internal mods, but the bike has been dynoed at 75rwhp (see https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=BPYtMIsts_w) which is a lot for a little pushrod V-twin, especially one that weighs nothing. Carburettors are 28mm Dell’Ortos and the exhaust a mandrel-
bent work of art in aluminium behind the heat-wrap. The electric starter has been ditched and the gearbox housing replaced with a Nato-style unit that accommodates a kick start. It’s a radical bike for sure but has the stance and build quality to pull it oﬀ, taking out its classes at last year’s Laverda Concours in Brisbane and the Ray Owen Bike Show on Mount Tamborine.
ENGINE 1982 Moto Guzzi V50; air-cooled four-stroke OHV V-twin; two-valves per cylinder; 74x57mm for 490cc (stock); 10.8:1 compression (stock); 2 x 28mm Dell’Ortos; custom straight-through two-into-one exhaust; ﬁvespeed gearbox with kick start conversion; shaft ﬁnal drive; 45hp @ 7500rpm (stock); this one dynoed at 75hp CHASSIS Rno Cycles, The Netherlands; V50 chassis, heavily modiﬁed with tube-steel and CNC-cut 4mm plate; custom rear section by Rno, with HK Suspension spring and damper; modiﬁed V50 forks, HK spings; stock 18inch wheels and Brembo brakes, apart from Nissin master cylinder BODYWORK Well, where do you start? Tank, seat, guards, headlight shroud — all hand-fabricated in steel by Rno Cycles; Rizoma and Rno custom accessories; paint by Ben Oud’s Kustom Paints SPECIAL THANKS My neighbours for the understanding on the straight-through exhaust BEST FOR Standing out in a crowd
JACK TAYLOR, 89
Genial Jack Taylor has been riding motorcycles for 70 years WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY GEOFF SEDDON
Legends JACK TAYLOR, 89 Of all his bikes, Jack has owned the black '65 Velo the longest, almost 50 years! The silver '72 is virtually brand new
CAME out of the army in 1946,” Jack Taylor recalls, “and the only thing I could aﬀord to get around on was a pushbike. There were very few cars. Then I bought a 1925 Harley with a side-box for 25 pounds. I used it for riding to work, taking out my girlfriend, everything.” Jack married his girlfriend June in January 1951, by which time he’d upgraded to a Triumph. “I bought a 1949 Speed Twin brand new for 245 pounds,” he says. “Well, you paid ’em off! It had a rigid frame and was the first model with the headlight nacelle. I had it until the early
60s and it never broke down. “There were no helmets back then, we didn’t even wear goggles. Most of the roads were dirt. June rode on the back on this little foam pillion seat. She never complained. We were riding the Triumph down towards Fullers Bridge one time, it was a bit wet, and I lost the handlebars in a slapper and we both fell off. It put a little ding in the tank and I wished it could have been a broken leg!” The Triumph was sold to fund a family Holden, and Jack went halves for a while in a Yamaha YDS2, a sporty two-stroke
Suzuki Titans and Cobras pull big bucks but were cheap as chips when Jack restored these two in the late 1980s
250 twin. He then bought a Velocette Venom before lashing out on the first of his keepers, a 1965 Velocette Thruxton, sometime in the late 60s. Now 89 years old and in rude health, Jack’s memory isn’t always as sharp as his sense of humour but he remembers the experience vividly. “This fella was selling some of his bikes — he wanted to buy a Vincent — and under a sheet was this black Thruxton. He wanted $3000 so I took it for a long test ride before I bought it — it was a lot of money! He also had a 1925 BSA 350 — the year I was born — so I took that home too,
Orange 1967 Titan was Jack's ﬁrst attempt at restoring a motorbike. The blue Cobra (far left) was the second
Not your average octogenarian's bucket of bolts. This gorgeous F1 750 Ducati is Jack's most recent purchase
Retro Shed 1952 Vincent Rapide 1965 Velocette Thruxton
Jack and the Vincent at Kangaroo Point on the Hawkesbury River north of Sydney. All his bikes are registered and enjoy regular road miles
1967 Suzuki Cobra 1967 Suzuki Titan 1972 Velocette Thruxton 1983 Kawasaki GPz750 1985 Ducati F1 750 2006 Triumph Thruxton (black) 2006 Triumph Thruxton (blue)
but he later bought it back.” By now, Jack’s butchery was going gangbusters and he devised a scheme to go one step better a few years later. “All the jobs in the shop that I’d pay other people to do, I’d do myself, and whatever I would have paid to someone else, I put in the tin. I worked bloody hard! I wanted a Vincent Black Shadow; I’d saved the money but couldn’t find one anywhere. Then I saw this Touring Rapide out at Windsor, with the big black guards. I loved it, I still love it! I paid $8500. You know what they say, you never need a spanner when you go out on a Vincent!” A Z500 Kawasaki joined the fleet in the early 80s, but it wasn’t until Jack sold his butcher shop and retired in 1988 that he got serious. “I needed something to do so I bought a 1967 Suzuki Titan for $450 and restored that,” he says. “When I say restored, I pulled it apart, got all the bits fixed and put it back together. A mate also raced a Cobra (souped-up Titan) that I liked and I bought that for $450 too, but spent a fortune doing it up.” That’s the blue one, also from 1967. “A lot of people didn’t want us in the (classic) clubs. Ooh, Japanese! Stink pots! They’d allow British, European but not Japanese. I ask visitors to give me half an hour’s notice so I can go down and wipe the oil off (my British bikes). Now all the clubs are getting into Japanese bikes. “I got the bug and bought the Kawasaki GPz750 in the 90s. It was a 1983 bike with only 38,000km on it.” This became Jack’s main everyday ride until 2006, when ISSUE #18
Legends JACK TAYLOR, 89 he decided to thin the herd. He sold the Venom, Z500 and another Titan he’d picked up along the way. Worried that he and June might do something sensible like give the proceeds to the grandchildren, he walked into his local bike shop at the ripe old age of 81 and bought not one, but two new Triumphs. “There was this beautiful black Thruxton (demo) sitting there,” he says. “I thought, gosh, you’re nice! I took it for a ride; oh my God! When I went back to pick it up, they said, ‘See that blue one? That’s yours too, same price.’ Two bikes for the price of one? No, but I bought two new bikes for just a bit more than I’d got for the old ones. I told June the second one was an investment. By putting half the mileage on each, we’d get good money for both, versus getting no money for one with twice as many miles. She fell for it!” Three Thruxtons by two different mothers would be enough for most people,
but Jack couldn’t resist the chance to make it four soon after with a second Velocette. “The factory closed in 1971 but the owner, Bertie Goodman, had enough sets to assemble another 10 bikes,” he says. “You’d get an engine, a gearbox, a tank, a frame, all the bits, but you had to assemble it. The first owner couldn’t get the gearbox working; no-one could. Next bloke bought it and he couldn’t fix it either, it just wouldn’t go into first. A third bloke got it — it was still brand new, 12 miles on the clock — and I bought it from him. My good friend Ian said, ‘I’m sure I can fix it, Jack, and if I can’t fix it, I’ll buy it off you.’ It was a pretty good deal.” Ian is a retired engineer and longtime owner of a ’68 Velocette Thruxton. “Six nights Ian came down, still no luck, then one day he brought in a dentist’s mirror,” Jack says. “First gear is really big and they have these split bushes hidden behind. They’d been assembled (in the factory)
back to front.” Problem solved and one brand spanking new, 1972 Velocette finally hit the road! Getting a Velocette going with its short stubby kickstart lever is a learned art. “When they’re hot, they can take a lot of starting,” Jack says. “While everyone else
“THERE WERE NO HELMETS BACK THEN, WE DIDN’T EVEN WEAR GOGGLES. MOST OF THE ROADS WERE DIRT” TOP Jack and June in the early 1950s ABOVE Kawasaki GPz750 was Jack's main ride for many years
Jack loves his black Triumph Thruxton so much he bought a blue one to keep it company
Jack is handy with a spanner and maintains all his bikes in a well-equipped home workshop
Legends JACK TAYLOR You'll often ﬁnd jack holding court at Cowan's Pie In The Sky. He knows the legendary Old Paciﬁc Highway as well as anyone
Jack is most proud of his Vincent Rapide, which he has owned for around 40 years
Not hard to see the appeal of a classic British motorcycle!
“YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY, YOU NEVER NEED A SPANNER WHEN YOU GO OUT ON A VINCENT” is getting a beer, I sneak away and pull the spark plug out — they can get a bit of carbon — give it a couple of kicks, then fit a new one while no-one’s watching. When it’s time to go, it starts 10 times out of 10 with one or two kicks.” Jack’s most recent purchase is a 1985 Ducati 750 F1. “The Ducati is my latest love affair, the one I like riding the most because I’ve only had it a couple of years,” he says. “It’s a beautiful bike. After leaning over a butchers’ chopping block for 40 years, my body fits clip-ons.” That’s right, the Ducati is registered and ridden regularly, as are all the bikes here. He recently passed his age-related riding test on one of the Triumphs and is good for at least two more years. He rides all of the bikes in turn, as often as not with his fellow HAVOC (Historic All Vehicles Owners Club) members. I followed him on his Vincent up the Old Pacific Highway — for a bloke pushing 90 years old, he’s smooth and quick. There’s no doubt Jack’s bikes are worth a few bob. “I’ll die before June does and I tell her this one’s a trip to England, this one’s a trip to Japan, take your friends! I just want to own and ride them. The last bike I sold was the Venom and I’m not selling any more.”
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1975 KAWASAKI Z1B
NG O L
King The Honda Four lit the fuse but the Kwaka Nine hit the spot WORDS GEOFF SEDDON | PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN FRETTEN
1975 KAWASAKI Z1B
AWASAKI was well advanced with plans to release the world’s first mass-production inline four-cylinder motorcycle when Honda trumped them with the CB750 in 1968. Kawasaki had also developed a 750, albeit with DOHC. Instead of being forever known as the company that came a close second, the factory kept its powder dry to come up with something a whole lot better in late 1972 — the sensational Z1 900. The first Kawasaki-badged motorcycle — a 125cc single known as the B8 — was released only 10 years earlier in 1962, although the factory had been manufacturing small two-stroke engines for Meihatsu since 1954. It acquired its four-stroke technology with the 1960 purchase of one of Japan’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers, Meguro, whose range included a tidy copy of the pre-unit BSA A7. Later rebadged as the Kawasaki W1, the model lives on at least in spirit in today’s retro-styled W800, but how they got from there to the Z1 in such a short time is astonishing. The Honda Four changed the world but Kawasaki dramatically upped the ante with the 82hp Z1. It chose the letter Z
“IT WAS THE FASTEST PRODUCTION BIKE EVER, DISPLACING THE VINCENT BLACK SHADOW” because they reckoned it was the last word in motorcycles, and the numeral 1 because it was the best. In lots of ways they were right, but there was much more to it than a 210km/h top speed out of the box, although that helped. It was plenty quick, 20 per cent more powerful than the Honda and on release the fastest production bike ever, displacing the Vincent Black Shadow which had held the title for nearly 25 years. It was unbeatable in the Castrol 6 Hour, winning four races on the trot from its debut in 1973 through to 1976 in the hands of Ken Blake (twice), Len Atlee, Gregg Hansford, Murray Sayle, Roger Heyes and Jim Budd. Z1s also filled many minor placings during that time, including a trifecta in 1974. It was a remarkable achievement for a bike that was built not
as a specialist racebike, but a general all-rounder, a role in which it excelled. Part of its success was its astonishing reliability. So confident were Kawasaki that on at least one occasion they invited the 6 Hour race scrutineers to the warehouse to pre-select the race bikes while still in their crates. The engines were then sealed and raced as they had left the factory. So not only was it the fastest bike in the world, it was also one of the most reliable. It didn’t break down, didn’t leak oil, started with the press of a button and had a powerful hydraulic disc brake that never needed adjusting. No wonder they sold a few; like the Honda, it was a very easy bike to ride and own compared with what had come before. The engine was torquey and as smooth as silk, and the ride
comfortable and stable, which made the Z1 a popular touring bike. It steered nicely on its 19-inch front tyre and handled well by contemporary standards, so the scratchers bought them too. They were relatively heavy at 250kg full of fuel (230kg dry) and chewed chains and tyres, but the pros far outweighed the cons.
It also helped that it was one of the best-looking motorcycles ever made. No-one had ever seen anything like it in 1972. Compared with the boxy trad-styled Honda, the Kawasakiâ€™s sleek teardrop tank, swoopy sidecovers and elegant tail unit flowed in a seamless whole, complementing those long majestic
header pipes and magnificent blackfinished DOHC engine. The four mufflers looked horn and sounded unique; you always knew a Kwaka Nine was coming long before you saw it. The Z1 was updated to Z1A in the 1974-model year, the main difference being the alloy finish of the engine and new paint colours. Ditto the Z1B in 1975, which also introduced the O-ring drive chain, allowing Kawasaki to ditch the chain oiler. There were some other minor cosmetic changes but overall there is very little difference between the three. In 1976, the model was rebadged the Z900 with slightly smaller carburettors (down 2mm to 26mm) to improve low-down torque, then bored out to 1015cc for the Z1000 in 1977, at which point the four-into-four pipes were dropped for quieter fourinto-twos. But the style remained largely changed until it was reinvented as the angular Z1R in 1978. Our featured model is a Z1B from 1975, restored by John Fretten and finished in Candy Super Blue/Gold. He sourced it from Arizona five years ago just before prices went nuts. ISSUE #18
1975 KAWASAKI Z1B
Retro Specs ENGINE Inline air-cooled four-stroke four cylinder; chain-driven DOHC, two valves per cylinder; 66x66mm for 903cc; 8.5:1; wet sump; 4x28mm Mikuni carburettors; electric & kick starting; gear primary drive to wet, multiplate clutch and ﬁve-speed transmission; chain ﬁnal drive; 82hp (60kW) at 8500rpm; 73.5Nm at 7000rpm CHASSIS Twin tubular-steel cradle; 36mm nonadjustable forks, 19in laced rim, single 296mm disc with twin-piston caliper; twin rear shocks adjustable for preload, 18in laced rim, 200mm drum brake DIMENSIONS Wheelbase 1499mm; fuel 18 litres; 230kg dry BEST FOR Pretty much everything
“It was a bit rough but not too bad,” John says. “It had had a sidecar at one time, with lugs still welded to the frame, which was a bit out of whack. I cleaned up the lugs then sent the frame to Laurie Alderton to straighten. The motor had a cracked sleeve and was a bit worn. “It’s so easy to work on compared to other bikes of the time. You can get the head and barrels off in the frame, even pulling the whole motor out is no big deal. Parts are easy to get, there are so many places out there that specialise. Finding one is probably the hardest thing. “I couldn’t get a Z1 at the time, but lots of people said the Z1B was the best of them. Mine actually had the (famous Z1) Jaffa paintwork when I bought it but I returned it to original. It also had the Z1 sidecover badges which I kept because they look better. Unless you really know these bikes, very few people can pick it; only one person has so far. Apart from that and the tyres, it’s exactly as it came out of the factory.” John does all his restoration work at home, apart from chrome and painting tank and body panels, the latter entrusted to John Allman of Mototech in Sydney. He’s got a few bikes, including a pair of classic 100hp Hondas which we’ll bring you next issue. 50
“THE Z1 WON FOUR CASTROL 6 HOUR RACES ON THE TROT”
Chops & Bobbers
Everything new is old, everything old is new WORDS GEOFF SEDDON PHOTOGRAPHY RICHARD STOW MODEL TIJANA TAMBORIC
Chops & Bobbers
Sheesh, where do you start? This one will have traditionalists and conservatives quivering in their boots, although racers will at least appreciate the stripped-down no-nonsense engine
HERE’S a saying among hot rodders that anyone can restore a classic car but it takes balls to cut one up. Same goes for Ducatis. By all means modify them for improved performance, but seriously, a rigid-framed vintage-style board tracker powered by a late-model 900SS? What were they smoking? One wag described the Typhoon as an answer to a question that was never asked, but if you want to get noticed it’s always better to lead the pack than follow. The world has never seen anything like this bike because no-one ever contemplated it, ’til now. Old Empire Motorcycles (OEM) is a partnership between custom bike builder Alec Sharp and artist/leatherworker Rafe Pugh, founded three years ago in Norfolk, England. It is a bespoke manufacturer of modern street customs in all the usual styles, but took a more holistic approach to the Typhoon. It may have ended up looking like a 1920s racebike but that’s not how it started. “Every year we are able to build one or two bikes ourselves without compromise, which we call our Imperial builds,” Rafe says. “We do not build them from a predetermined layout but let the design develop organically as the build progresses. “With all of our other builds, we have drawn inspiration from speciﬁc styles and looks, but with the Typhoon we have built what we felt we wanted or needed to build based on the speciﬁc donor, in this case a 1995 Ducati 900SS. It is what we feel is the perfect showcase of the very best aesthetics from the original motorcycle, mixed with carefully engineered and handmade components to produce a bike that goes back to the very fundamentals of two-wheeled travel.” Second-generation 900s are popular with customisers for all the right reasons; they are tough, simple, cheap as chips and sound great. Ditch the fairing to expose the welded tube frame and air-cooled V-twin engine, then remodel the tank and seat. Strip it to its bare bones to make it
Cheap & Cheerful THE BEVEL-DRIVE Ducati 900SS engine has been described as one of the most complex twins ever built, and its belt-driven successor one of the simplest, but they both go about as fast as the other. The former these days is the preserve of long-time enthusiasts and wealthy collectors. The latter is available on Gumtree for the price of a secondhand Barina. The air-cooled 92x68mm 904cc V-twin makes 73rwhp @ 7000rpm, good for 210km/h thanks to a dry weight of 186kg. Two-valve SOHC heads have desmodromic valve actuation — an extra lobe on the cam operates a rocker that mechanically closes each valve, as opposed to a spring — but it’s simpler than it sounds and rarely requires adjustment. The bike is physically small, the minimalist chassis is taught, the suspension crude but effective and the brakes powerful. It steers a treat and they go forever if you keep the oil and cam belts up to them. All in all, an easy bike to live with, and not just by Ducati standards. You couldn’t give them away a couple of years ago and crashed ones were even cheaper, making them ideal bases for budget street ﬁghters, cafe racers and other customs that look the part but still go, stop and handle like a factory Ducati. Or not, as in this case.
Chops & Bobbers
“IT’S INSANELY FAST AND LOUD, AND HANDLES SURPRISINGLY WELL” even sexier, then add some sparse, ﬁnely tooled jewellery. Businesses like the well-regarded Shed X in Sydney make a living out of it. OEM has taken the same approach but to a radical extreme, especially with the rigid tubeframe rear end. The Ducatisti will be wondering what that’s all about, but not so the urban bobber community who love their hardtails. It’s all about horses for courses. Same goes for the girder forks up front. “One thing to note, and I know it will come up with your readers, is that this bike has been ridden extensively,” Alec says. “Although it’s 56
not exactly a European tourer, everything comes to hand beautifully and everything holds you snugly in place. It’s still insanely fast, loud and handles surprisingly well.” The bike was built over 18 months with no ﬁxed deadline, progressing only when Alec felt the muse. “I have found that for me, this is the best way to go about designing and building something that is a little special. The process of being able to take my time and piece it together bit by bit was by far the most enjoyable aspect of the build. “I guess you could say we ended up with
some kind of modern board tracker, but ultimately I just wanted to build whatever best suited the lines of the original motorcycle. As with everything, there are little bits I would have done diﬀerently with hindsight but overall the result is something that I’m really pleased with.” The Typhoon was constructed in what Rafe Pugh calls the House of Assembly, “where we pay homage to the gods of speed and fuel. It’s the place where we meet, greet, drill, weld, cut, grind, turn, mill, hammer, roll and notch to our hearts’ content. We don’t stick to styling rules but focus on creating the very best we can with what we are given.” Where possible, all specialist work and parts were sourced from within the UK. Their next Imperial build, the Comet, will go one step further, powered by a British-built modern-day Bonneville twin.
The list of modiﬁed parts is long and contained in a separate panel. We especially like the 21in wheels front and rear, the girder forks and that gorgeous four-leading-shoe drum brake. The engine is also a highlight, stripped of its clutch and cam belt covers and ﬁtted with bellmouth-equipped Amal GP carburettors struttin’ in the breeze on custom manifolds. And what about those exhausts! Down back, the one-oﬀ hardtail continues the triangulated theme of the exposed 900SS chassis; it’s unimaginable that the factory would have ever contemplated such a thing, but if they had, this is what it would have looked like. I know a few Ducati people who will hate this bike, but as the owner of a ’92 900SS for the past 20 years, I totally get it. The ﬁrst rule of customising is that there are no rules; life’s too short to be stuck in a box.
Retro Specs • Modiﬁed 900SS frame with hardtail • Girder forks • Custom speedo and tacho • Brass headlight with handmade shroud • 21in front wheel with four-leading-shoe drum • 21in rear wheel with single-leading-shoe drum • Custom handlebars & stainless inverted levers • Custom bevel-gear throttle & cables • Twin Amal GP3 carburettors on custom manifolds • Custom stainless-steel exhaust
• • • • • • • • • •
Handmade rear-sets Custom seat Handmade leather grips Leather battery satchel Leather electrical side pouches Twin fuel tanks with knee pads Custom fuel lines/taps/ﬁlters Braided wiring loom Custom ignition with pull-type starter Avon tyres ISSUE #18
Good V ibrations
A day of fellowship and oil-stained fingers WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY POPPA SHAW
F MOTORBIKES create bonds across social groups, then Nortons create an especially strong bond across a disparate range of characters whose one common quality â€” apart from owning a Norton â€” is frequently oil-stained fingers. It may be possible to own a Norton and farm out the work to those more
skilled or qualified, but there is often little choice when one is in the middle of nowhere and something goes awry. Nortons hark back to an era when technology was imprecise and a degree of self-reliance was advisable. So any Norton Owners Club run is bound to have a bit of roadside fettling involved.
MAIN A pidgeon pair of Vincent Comet 500cc singles mark their spot TOP LEFT Early 750 SF Laverda spied on the way MIDDLE LEFT Don't see too many Ariels these days BOTTOM LEFT Norton 750 Atlas shares some quality time with a later Commando model
Having said that, most owners are particular about their bikes and keep them in fine condition. Apart from reliability and pride in the machines — they are the handsomest of beasts, after all — Nortons have also become something of an investment. The days of picking up a decent one for a couple of thousand dollars has long faded into the mists of history. The NOC Flowerdale Ride is an annual event that is also open to other British bike clubs and individuals. There remains an element of prejudice against those new-fangled Japanese bikes and Harleys are seen as slow, gay or both. But there is often a good smattering of other marques to vary the landscape, and many that come back year after year. The Vincent Owners Club in particular continues to return in good numbers, if only in a forlorn attempt to stamp its superior status upon the gathering. But by then most attendees have drifted off into the general ambience that is the Flowerdale Hotel and tend to regard said Vincents as any other motorcycle. The NOC was built primarily around Commandos, although Dominators and the odd Atlas have always been a fixture. Increasingly however, the singles for which Norton was once so famous are also appearing in numbers. No-one has arrived on a Manx to date, but we hope that is only a matter of time and staying ahead of the police on the local winding roads. And there were police aplenty on the 60
“ANY NORTON RUN IS BOUND TO HAVE A BIT OF ROADSIDE FETTLING INVOLVED” TOP Tickling the carb in the pub car park ABOVE Mild custom Bonneville from the 59 Club LEFT A brace of Nortons heads for the hills
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TOP LEFT Poppa Shaw's eye-poppin' high-piped Commando is too cool to hang with lesser models BOTTOM LEFT Second-generation Moto Guzzi Falcone BOTTOM RIGHT There may have only been one Ducati there but it was beauty in the shape of a round-case 750 Sport
last Flowerdale Ride. Luckily for us, a swag of young fellas riding sportsbikes in brightly-coloured leathers had attracted their interest and they appeared to be deep in discussion about the pros and cons of speed limits and the exceeding thereof. We rolled past on a lightly trailing throttle so as the megaphones sounded mellifluous but not rorty, then, once around the corner, hooked it back to third (Nortons only having four gears) and split. The average age of NOC members is creeping northwards, as the bikes increase 62
“THERE IS A GOOD SMATTERING OF OTHER MARQUES TO VARY THE LANDSCAPE”
in value relative to their rarity and timeless appeal. Only those who have had them from the outset or are sufficiently cashed up can get into the game these days. No doubt there are younger enthusiasts as well. But when faced with the option of a relatively expensive, high-maintenance if timeless piece of motorcycling history or the instant appeal of 150hp and stonecold reliability, most err towards the latter. In an age when we want everything, we want it super good and we want it now,
the old stuff appeals to an alternative paradigm, where engagement and elegance is preferred and the moment is not just fleeting. The Flowerdale run is a celebration of all that. And it’s also just a chance for a bunch of likeminded motorbike owners to get out for a good ride on great machines on glorious roads and — cops and reliability demons notwithstanding — lose themselves in the sheer pleasure of riding the motorcycle known as ‘Unapproachable’.
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Rex Wolfendenâ€™s Harris-framed Honda CB1100R is the bike to beat in Aussie historic racing WORDS JEFF WARE | PHOTOGRAPHY RUSSELL COLVIN
HE past five years has seen the classic racing scene in Australia become more competitive than ever. Shawn Giles, Malcolm Campbell, Robbie Phillis, Steve Martin, Cameron Donald, Brendan Roberts and Beau Beaton are just some of the legends involved. Their lap times on 30-plus-yearold machines are only a few seconds off current domestic superbike times. It’s mind blowing. There’s one name, however, that keeps appearing at the top of the time sheets and that’s Michael Dibb. Dibbsy is not some semi-retired International; he’s an enthusiastic TRX850-obsessed club racer who happens to gel so perfectly with Rex Wolfenden’s T-Rex Harris Honda that no bastard in the country can catch him when he’s on. The bike in question is based around a Harris F1 chassis modiﬁed to accept the Honda engine and built to Rex’s own speciﬁcations in terms of steering geometry, swingarm pivot and swingarm length. The bodywork — including the seat unit, front
“POWER DELIVERY IS SILKY SMOOTH, LIKE A WELL-TUNED STREET BIKE” guard, fairing and fuel tank — is also from Harris but the rest of the bike is made here in Australia and the quality is stunning. The triple-clamps are C&C Motorcycle Engineering billet items, made to squeeze the 41mm conventional forks running T-Rex internals. The handlebar levers are also by C&C — brother Clyde Wolfenden’s business — as are the foot pegs and rear brake and gear levers, the latter set up in race-shift, one-up four-down pattern. To-die-for Suzuki XR69 replica rotors are also from Clyde, gripped by period AP Racing mono-block twin-piston calipers and Bendix brake pads. Fluid from the Nissin master-cylinders is pressurised in Venhill brake lines. Rolling unsprung mass is minimal with ultra-lightweight Dymag wheels and
Pirelli SC2 racing slicks. The rear rotor is also a one-off and the rear caliper a twopiston Brembo unit that is independent of the swingarm and retained with an adjustable alloy rose-jointed torque arm. Both front and rear axles are oversized and made from titanium, as is the swingarm pivot. Rear shocks are Ohlins. The main fairing bracket is an alloy handmade unit with a centrally mounted Scitsu analogue tachometer and a singlepoint fairing mainstay. All these bits are very neat, lightweight and practical, as you’d expect of a racebike, but what’s surprising is that each part is also aesthetically pleasing. It’s one classy motorcycle, not just a fast one. The pedigree extends to the engine, which is a genuine Honda CB1100R, one
of just 4000 made over its four-year model life. To use such an engine in a racebike is total commitment — they are worth a fortune! Not that that stopped Rex from modifying it. The C&C and T-Rex engine covers are pure art. The highly polished ignition cover, front countershaft housing, right-hand crank
cover and dry clutch/slave cylinder housing would have to make this the prettiest Honda engine on the track. Braided stainless and anodised alloy oil lines to an external oil cooler add race menace, as do the Keihin CR carburettors and titanium exhaust headers. The cylinder-head is ported and flowed, with modified combustion chambers and
oversized valves. The camshafts were ground to RSC spec by Clyde. Modified Honda pistons swing off Carrillo conrods that are bolted to a lightened and polished 1100R crankshaft. The cylinders are bored 3mm and standard crankcases house a stock, strengthened five-speed gearbox. The RSC-replica dry clutch uses a Ducati clutch pack and hydraulic actuation. All in all, the T-Rex Harris Honda is one of the most immaculately presented racing motorcycles I’ve ever seen, so when it came time for a ride, no pressure! The bike was on warmers and ready to go when I showed up at Broadford in Victoria for a track test, eager to get the knee down. As I familiarise myself with the riding position, I’m surprised at the width of the bike, much wider than the Katanas it races against. The seating position however is more modern in feel, as are the wide clipons. Plenty of seat-to-peg room too for my 185cm. The screen is huge, great for those long straights at Phillip Island. I’ve done a million laps around Broadford and won quite a few races here. First impressions are of a big bike that is easy to ride and very raceable. Any line is
A rule change to allow historic racers to run 17-inch wheels has the old stuff lapping almost as quickly as a modern Superbike
a good line, which is a real surprise; I was expecting old school — pick a line and hold it — but it could have been a new Fireblade for all I knew! Power delivery is silky smooth, like a well-tuned street bike. Soft on the throttle and yet extremely responsive, the engine makes broad and tractable power through the entire rev range but not explosive like others I’ve ridden. I make a mental note that it’d be a good thing in the rain. The steering is linear, no crazy oversteer into turns, just nice progression but the bike can be put anywhere on the track. There is no eﬀort needed to get the bike to full lean, it’s a seamless transition with no second centre. Once there, the bike stays planted and tracks beautifully. Even when the throttle is cracked the bike remains solid and drives oﬀ the turn on line with accuracy.
One strong point is change of direction, which I noticed to be particularly good through turns 7, 8 and 9. Brilliant; no doubt the wide ’bars and low weight stand out here. The only point I found lacking on the bike was in the braking department. The front brakes lacked initial bite and feel — plus outright stopping power that had my heart well and truly in my mouth a few times when I thought I was going off the track! From my own experience, a switch to Bendix Carbon Matrix compound pads would improve the bike over the sintered pads fitted. It was a pleasure to get to know Rex and Clive and test the bike that Michael Dibb races so well. The Wolfenden brothers have been synonymous with air-cooled Honda racebikes since Ken Wootton was a lad and it shows. Experience counts.
“THE PEDIGREE EXTENDS TO THE CB110R ENGINE, ONE OF JUST 4000 MADE”
Retro Specs ENGINE Honda CB1100R; 73mm x 69mm bore and stroke; Carrillo conrods, modiﬁed Honda pistons, lightened and balanced CB1100R crankshaft; ported and ﬂowed cylinder head with oversized valves and reshaped combustion chambers; RSC-grind camshafts; 11:1 comp; Keihin 35mm CR carburettors; T-Rex titanium four-into-twointo-one exhaust system; modiﬁed sump; Electrex World ignition system; RSC replica dry clutch with Ducati clutch pack CHASSIS & BODYWORK Harris F1 frame; T-Rex spec steel swingarm; C&C tripleclamps, handlebars, rear-sets and controls; Ohlins steering damper and rear shocks; 41mm forks with T-Rex Racing internals: AP Racing calipers on C&C XR69 replica rotors; Dymag magnesium 17in wheels; Scitsu instruments; Harris bodywork, seat and aluminium fuel tank; Pirelli tyres PERFORMANCE 140rwhp on 98 octane; 165kg dry SPECIAL THANKS Kenma Australia, C&C Motorcycle Engineering, T-Rex Racing BEST FOR Winning
WARNING: Buying motorbikes on eBay is addictive and good for your health WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY GEOFF SEDDON
DUAL exhausts and a low stance drew Wayne’s eyes to this slabbie from North Dakota. “I bought it from a lovely young bloke whose wife just had a baby and she wanted him off it.” It cost $US1500, around $3000 landed.
1985 SUZUKI GSX-R1100
AYNE is a car buddy who imported his first Corvette in 1982, long before personal computers and the internet. He’s brought in many cars since and kept lots of them, which is taxing on his shed space. A lifelong motorcyclist, a desire to own an early V-Max switched his attention eight years ago to importing bikes, all of which he’s bought on-line. Wayne admits his first internet car purchase 15 years ago was a punt, but he already knew the US well, understood its
“THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE BIKE LANDING HERE WITHOUT CANBERRA’S BLESSING ARE ALL BAD” culture and had a network of shippers and friends. Wayne shares with the writer an affliction for Ironhead Sportsters and imported the first one, a chopped
1976 HARLEY SPORTSTER
1964 HARLEY SPORTSTER
WITH less than 10,000km up, this umolested AMF-era gem was unearthed six years ago in Chicago for $US2200. "The guy never rode it, it just sat there." Standard apart from an aftermarket carburettor, it runs like new. 72
1958 model, in 2008. It is a long-term restoration project, as is a ’64 model and some British stuff. In most other cases, he buys bikes with low km in good running condition, often out of middle
"I BOUGHT it because it was a '64. The owner was selling it to move out here from Detroit with his new Aussie wife." Wayne paid $US1500 in '08. "Sportsters are my vintage," he says, recalling cult TV series Then Came Bronson.
“It was bobbed but came with all the parts to make it stock. I’ve only had it a few weeks. It came from Florida for $US3200 ($5K landed). It was cheap but kinda ridiculous compared with a GSX-R1100 for half the money.”
1965 BSA A65
“Nortons were the exception in the 60s, everyone rode Triumphs, but I wasn’t paying 10 grand (US) for a good one.” Wayne found this 750 Atlas in Florida for $US3200. “You know, I passed up millions of old British stuff in the past for under a grand.”
1968 NORTON ATLAS
Top 10 Tips 1. Buyer beware: do your research ﬁrst 2. Don’t overspend: be disciplined and patient 3. Stick to sellers with excellent eBay ratings 4. Ignore bikes with dodgy or no title 5. Go for bikes in good nick with low mileage 6. Ring the owner after your ﬁrst bid 7. Consider costs and logistics of transport within the USA 8. Lodge import application immediately 9. Play a straight bat; no cheating 10. Don’t ship before import is approved
and northern America where the riding seasons are short. In 2008, the US was enduring the GFC and everything was cheap, oﬀ-setting the lousy value of the Aussie dollar. Now the dollar is better but so is the US economy and bargains are harder to ﬁnd. In recent months, the dollar has dropped again. Wayne follows his own muse and avoids all the usual collectable suspects, although some — like the early GSX-R1100s — are becoming so. All are pre-January, 1989; anything newer needs an Australian compliance plate.
Wayne is retired and when he’s not playing with his toys, he’s plugged into the computer. He knows what things are worth and is disciplined and patient. A low price is necessary but not sufficient to proceed. The photos and text give him a good idea of the bike to make his first bid. It must also have a clear title which dates to the original registration and the numbers must exactly match, otherwise the bike won’t clear US customs. Wayne then emails the seller, explains he is from Australia and requests the ISSUE #18
WAYNE bought this S&S-powered Shovelhead three years ago from Boston for $US4800 and landed it here for around $7000. "It's a beautiful bike," he says, "all I had to do was put blinkers on it."
1978 HARLEY WIDE GLIDE
THIS Glide was purchased from San Francisco in 2013 for $US5000 ($7K landed). “I wanted one with electric start and normal foot pegs. The seller was a big bloke and the bike was too small for him. It started ﬁrst stab.”
1980 HARLEY SUPER GLIDE
“CUSTOMS OFFICERS RAIDED HIS CONTAINER AS IT WAS OPENED, LOOKING FOR DRUGS!” seller’s phone number. He can now flesh out the bike and its owner, confirm its title and back story, and the reason for sale. Wayne requests a copy of the title, a photo and a bill of sale to be forwarded 74
immediately if his bid is successful. Time to bring it home. Wayne deals directly by phone with his US shippers to maintain personal contact. It costs as little as $US800 to ship a bike from the east
coast to the west. But first Wayne applies to the Federal government for import approval. He includes copies of the sale and title documents, a photo and a pdf of the eBay ad; approval has taken as long as five weeks and as little as eight days, but he always waits for approval before shipping to Australia. The consequences of the bike landing here without Canberra’s blessing are all bad. As Wayne often brings in other things, the cost of transport from LA varies but is under $1000, often less. Thirty days later it
1978 HONDA CB750K
1958 HARLEY SPORTSTER
Retro Rollcall 1958 Harley Sportster 1964 Harley Sportster 1965 BSA A65 1968 Norton Atlas
SOMETIMES the price is too good, as with this low-mileage but not running, twin-cam Honda four from North Carolina. “It was owned by a Vietnam vet whose mother was an Aussie war bride. He bought it new, fell off with 6500 miles up and never rode it again. For $US620, I took a punt.”
1976 Harley Sportster 1978 Honda CB750K 1978 Harley Wide Glide 1980 Harley Super Glide 1985 Suzuki GSX-R1100 1985 Yamaha V-Max 1986 Suzuki GSX-R1100
arrives at the port of his choosing, at which point GST is paid. Wayne has only had one incident, when customs oﬃcers raided his car container as it was opened, looking for drugs! They didn’t ﬁnd any but left damage in their wake. With perfect paperwork, registration is straightforward, although often the bikes need some minor work like blinkers. Wayne has avoided nasty surprises so far. Every bike was what it purported to be, although we have friends who have been skinned alive on cars, usually because of rust. In all cases, they were one-oﬀ purchases by inexperienced people who won’t go there again. If your risk threshold is low, it’s best to deal with one of the many businesses that specialise in importing bikes. They have great contacts, economies of scale, skilled workshops and know their brands well. If you do have a crack, don’t rely on what you’ve read here. Do your research and then do some more. Good luck!
1985 YAMAHA V-MAX
1986 SUZUKI GSX-R1100
"I WAS going to buy a new V-Max locally but it didn't have the fuel range I wanted, so I bought an old one." Wayne found it in Lebanon, Tennessee, with 10,000miles for $US2500; landed cost was $4500 in 2007.
THIS unrestored early girl was sourced in San Diego three years ago for $US2500. Faded paint belies an odometer under 10,000 miles. “They’re now getting hard to ﬁnd. Good ones are going for ﬁve or six grand (US).” ISSUE #18
RESTOS SAFETY FIRST
Bailey WITH PAUL BAILEY
AN EYE FOR DETAIL
VER past issues we have looked at restorations of motorcycles, with some emphasis on the importance of how to do it right but also on how to be safe at the same time. This safety aspect is one of the most important points to consider in the restoration process. What is safe? Many people believe that riding a motorcycle is one of the most dangerous things you can do. So how do we interpret safety in the context of motorcycling and how do we implement safety into our restoration project? Just because we may be restoring a motorcycle that only has a top speed of 80km/h doesn’t mean that the safety factors are any less important than on a bike that is capable of 200km/h. We are restoring a motorcycle after all, you know the thing with an engine and just two wheels sitting out there in the workshop. The thing that, should you hold it up straight and let it go, will fall on its side. The thing that will bite you very hard if you try to turn, lean, accelerate or brake too hard. The inherent nature of a two-wheeled machine is dangerous. But that is the fascination for us, the challenge of riding something that without our input will simply fall over every time we don’t have a hold of it. The satisfaction we get from riding is many things to many people, but at the core of it is meeting the challenge presented by the motorcycle and having control of that mechanical beast.
I have always said I don’t like to ride anything with a brain. Yep, it’s gotten me in trouble a few times, but the statement is true to me. I want to control what I am riding, I want my brain to be the one making the decisions as to where I go and what speed I do. It’s my input that makes a motorcycle go where I want it to. It doesn’t matter what I am riding or how new or old the bike is. Or how well it has been restored or how much of it is the original unmolested machine. If it has not been put together with safety in mind, it is a machine
“Safety factors are just as important on a bike that does 80km/h as 200km/h” that will eventually bite you, no matter how good your skills as a rider. It will cause you grief from something as simple as not turning, stopping or accelerating properly, to being an absolute out-of-control death machine. Safety is something I see every day. It is a big part of my life as the manager of Sydney Motorsport Park Ride Days, and more generally as a rider, racer and restorer of motorcycles. Riders turn up at ride days with one common intention — to ride their motorcycles around the track as fast as they
can. But their bikes can be accidents waiting to happen. We scrutineer all bikes at the start of the day and we stop unsafe bikes from getting on the track. The scrutineering process is vital to the safety of the riders. All aspects of the bike are checked and if anything is found to be wrong the bike won’t be passed. Now compare that to the road and our bike we are taking out today. Are the tyres in good condition? Are there any oil leaks from the forks or shocks? Are the brakes bled, and pads or shoes in good condition? Is the swing arm and steering head bearing adjusted correctly? Do you have the correct tyre pressure? Do all the lights work? Is the suspension set correctly for the type of road you will be riding? I was at Roberston Pie Shop last Saturday and the number of motorcycles I saw there that would not pass our scrutineering was frightening; badly worn tyres, forks leaking oil, engine oil leaks and broken panels. And there were learners riding some of these bikes! So these are just average everyday motorcycles I’m seeing, not that three-year restoration you have just ﬁnished. But it is just as important for that restored bike to be perfect, even if you only intend to do 100 kilometres a year on it. It must still be safe, and the only way to be safe is to be thorough with your build, know what tolerances you need in the wheel bearings, how tight the steering stem should be and everything else. These and many other things on that motorcycle have to be correct to ensure your bike is safe for you to ride.
retrobike CLASSIC NOT PLASTIC
Retro & Classic Bike Enthusiast has undergone some major mods and is now simply Retrobike. We are really happy with the new format and think you will be too. Your opinion is important to us and we want to continue delivering everything you need for your retro and classic bike ﬁx. This ﬁve-minute survey will help us understand you, the reader, and what you like and don’t like. At the end of the survey, there is the opportunity to win one of 100 Classic Bike bookazines, valued at $19.95 each. Simply answer the competition question in 25 words or less and the best responses will be deemed winners!
FIGHTING WORDS COURIER DAZE
WA L K E R WITH JIMMI WALKER
STREETS OF LONDON
HE 80s were, for me at least, a time of ﬂexible employment. Suﬃce to say I had a lot of diﬀerent jobs. I even worked in a ﬁsh and chip shop for a few months until it blew up! That’s a story for another time when many beers will be consumed in the telling. In the end, I came up with a unique solution to my problem: do something I like doing for a living instead of something I hated! Okay, so it wasn’t so unique in retrospect but it was still worth a shot. I just had to decide what. There were a few things I liked doing but one of them was illegal, not that there was much call for cannabis quality control assistants back then. Another was immoral, and I couldn’t see rich beautiful women paying me to entertain them for 10 minutes being very lucrative either. Some blokes would do it for nothing. Playing in a band wasn’t going to keep me fed, which left me with my last great passion, riding motorbikes. That’s it, I’ll do despatch riding for a job! After a false start riding someone else’s little Honda lasted just one day, I decided to go freelance and an ageing RD350 B was duly acquired. Riding a 10-year-old two-stroke around London for 10 hours a day took its toll on me and the bike, which was eating fuel, spark plugs, points and oil at an alarming rate. I was pulling about 50 quid a day — not bad dough for the time — after my ﬁrst few weeks but the bike was chewing it up as fast as I made it. And I soon realised that, while howling
around on a motorcycle is fun for an hour at a time, after 10 hours I just wanted to shoot it and catch the bus home. Then the inevitable rain would come; this was England after all. The rain added a new dimension to my misery. Sliding around on greasy roads on plastic Jap Dunlops guaranteed to go around the world twice was great fun … not! Eventually I hit something hard enough to take my ﬁrst ﬂying lesson. I can’t blame the
“The crash was caused by a young lady reading a book outside St Paul’s Cathedral” weather, the crash was caused by a young lady reading a book outside St Paul’s Cathedral: she was sitting down with her knees up and sans knickers! Perfect view! Suddenly there was this god-awful bang and I’m upside-down on the platform of a Routemaster doubledecker bus! And, yes, I did catch the bus home that day, just not that one. Fast forward a couple of years and the archetypal London courier bike came along in the form of the Honda CX500. I was by now working for a well-established ﬁrm and
getting good coin. The stories are many and varied — bring more beer! — but I’ll avail you of one incident in particular that comes to mind. It was a balmy summer’s day in the late 80s and I was up near Paddington Station. As I’m going round the huge Hammersmith roundabout, I cut in front of a white Golf Cabrio. Nothing unusual about that, except the car was full of blinged-up Jamaican gentlemen whose collective manhood I’d brought into question with my superior control of Japan’s ﬁnest sportsbike. Or maybe it was my one-ﬁnger salute as I ﬂew past. Whatever, it turns out they were very pissed oﬀ, as was about to become apparent. I knew nothing of the chase until I checked my mirrors and saw a VW Golf with two wheels on the pavement chasing me down the inside of the traﬃc on the Fulham Palace Road. These guys looked like dyed-in-thewool psychopaths and were throwing just about everything that wasn’t bolted down in the car at little old me. I eventually eluded them by going down a narrow walkway between two blocks of ﬂats. I hid the bike and sat outside a cafe watching them patrol the housing estate for a good half an hour. Moral of this story? Discretion is the better part of valour. If they’re bigger than you or you’re outnumbered, use your loaf and get out of there! EDITOR'S NOTE: We had no pics of London courier bikes on ﬁle so came up with some potential courier bikes of our own, courtesy of Club Laverda Qld. Many thanks!
THE NATIONAL MOTOR RACING MUSEUM CELEBRATES OVER 100 YEARS OF RACING IN BATHURST. No visit to Mount Panorama is complete without a stop at The National Motor Racing Museum, right beside the track at Murray’s corner. Inside you’ll ﬁnd a constantlychanging array of machines that have made their mark not only on Mount Panorama, but in Australian Motorsport in General. In the
’ll see many off the th dominant d i t galleries you’ll vehicles that ran in Australian touring cars, open wheelers, rally, Motorcycles and speedway. The stories of the many drivers and races are told through original trophies, race suits, leathers, race footage and photographs.
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OBSESSIONS THE SR500 CLUB
Shaw WITH TOM SHAW
SHOULD not like the SR500 Club. It started out as a motorcycle club for poor people of questionable character who at that time could only aﬀord an old Yamaha SR500 motorbike. There is that process, after ﬁrst blush, of sliding down the popularity ladder before being supplanted and drifting into obscurity, contempt and ridicule. The bikes didn’t fare much better than the club, which saw their prices reﬂect their reduced desirability. By the late 1980s, there were few motorcycles that people did not want less than the SR500. This is not to say that the SR500 was a bad motorbike; it wasn’t. It’s just that Yamaha’s attempt to cash in on the yearning for old British thumpers did not quite hit that mark, or the market. That was ironic, given that so many magazines in the 1970s had bemoaned that there was not a simple, trustworthy 500 single out there to fulﬁll such a wide variety of roles as did the British singles of previous decades. Yamaha responded proudly with the SR500, to the collective yawn of the motorcycling world. That was all a bit unfair, as the SR500 was a decent motorbike — not bad looking, reasonable handling and with modest but usable power. But it was a 500cc kick-starter in an era of electric starts. Get it right and the SR500 was a man’s bike to start. Get it wrong and it was a bastard! So by 1998 the SR500 was an unloved motorcycle. The story goes that Newbie was ﬂat broke and bought one cheap, and then decided to ﬁx the other problem in his life by ﬁnding some friends. He wrote to Smith, who was a noted single lover, and asked him to assist in establishing the club, to which Smith famously replied: "I have no wish to become a clerical assistant for a motorcycle
gang." But he did promote the club in his column in Two Wheels. Membership grew. Then a small company now famous for printing t-shirts known as Deus Ex Machina got into SRs and the rest is history. The people who got SR500s because they were cheap and cheerful — but primarily because they were cheap — could now not aﬀord to buy the motorcycles they owned. So here we were, the assembled throng of one of the most unlikely motorcycle gangs. The club members may all be God’s children, but they are also barely presentable. We formed an untidy gathering outside the Bethanga Courthouse Hotel, ready for the blast down the River Road (which surprisingly runs along the river), over the Granya Gap and down to Tallangatta.
“The gang formed an untidy gathering outside the Bethanga Courthouse Hotel” On account of some riders on club rides having previously run out of talent, Newbie’s pre-ride instructions were: “Remember, this is not a race, and I want you all to come back safely. THIS IS NOT A RACE, OKAY?” As the group returned to their bikes, one yelled over his shoulder: “Last one there’s a rotten egg!” I took the trusty Norton. It is trusty in the sense that it can be trusted to break something. Before we left the pub, Jetski pointed out that a part had vibrated loose. I scooted back to camp to take it oﬀ before losing it, while everyone else buggered oﬀ.
I revelled in the solitary blast along the winding, empty road in the warming morning air. The Norton got there requiring just a minor rebuild, and only partially disassembled itself on the return run. Gruﬀ had lent his ancient BMW R60 to his son Adam, a ﬁne-looking, reputable, sober and upstanding lad who is happily nothing like his father. I noted to Gruﬀ later: “Amazing! Did you know your R60 could go to 10,000 revs?” He muttered darkly about least-favoured sons. The afternoon show ’n’ shine was the usual chaotic and colourful aﬀair. Manny kept calling to my black dog, Reilly, “Here, kittykitty-kitty; here kitty-kitty-kitty-kitty.” The mutt looked confused. Reilly also had trouble working it out. The Big Fella and Ms M showed up on Yamaha singles. Upon arriving, Ms M promptly lost her keys, including one to the locked petrol ﬁller cap installed by the Big Fella just the day before. Happily for Ms M, the Big Fella found a set of Yamaha keys which managed to work on her bike so, up and running again, they headed oﬀ with the keys the Big Fella had found. Needless to say, the keys belonged to someone else who was thus left in exactly the predicament the Big Fella and Ms M had started in. A plaintive howl of SR despair could be heard drifting across the Hume Weir. The annual general meeting the following morning was notable for a lack of the usual political assassinations. And what we learned from this is that, when the warring factions of the SR500 Club agree on anything, it is invariably wrong. I shouldn’t therefore like the SR500 Club. But given my susceptible mental condition, I do.
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RIDERS LIKE US ROB’S STREET ROD
Rob's Street Rod has enjoyed many interstate road trips, including numerous runs to Phillip Island
RIDING SHOTGUN Rob Iglewski found his inspiration in a new Harley-Davidson and an abandoned Dodge Phoenix WORDS & PHOTOS GEOFF SEDDON
ANY Harley riders love their bling but not Rob Iglewski, who has turned his 2006 Street Rod into a living breathing paddock sculpture. Why a Street Rod, mate? “I was inspired by the January 2005 issue of Australian Motorcycle News announcing the new Harley-Davidson Street Rod — I still have the issue. "I liked the way they’d built and tested it, and the bilateral frame idea where the frame wraps around the motor. It was so much like my Laverda.” Your Laverda? “Yes, I have a Laverda in a P&R Products frame. P&R were a Sydney-based company that built frames in the 1970s and early 80s; they did a lot of TZs. "I’ve had it since 1983, when I bought it from Jim Eades in Sydney. It had a (1000cc) 3CL engine, Ducati wheels, full fairing, spotlights — the whole 24-Hour look. “It was off the road for a rebuild when
that issue of AMCN came out, so I decided to buy myself a new Street Rod to get around on while I did up the Laverda. But I ended up spending all my time on the Harley. The Laverda’s still in bits in the shed.” You took a radical approach to the Street Rod! “It all started when I put the klaxon horn on the side and the local Harley dealer gave me a bit of ﬂack.” You’ll show him, eh? “And the candy apple paint was always getting ﬁngerprints on it and I was worried about it getting scratched. So I took all the bodywork oﬀ and shelved it.” When was this? “I changed its appearance pretty early in 2007 when it had around 3000km on it. I found an abandoned 1962 Dodge Phoenix that was shot up in a paddock. I was going to use the panels on a car project I was working on but thought it would end up too much cop bait, so I used it on the bike. “I’m a vehicle body builder. I got all the flats and curves I needed off the shot-up side of the Dodge and replicated all the parts I’d taken off. It took me three or four months to do, working at night after hours.
“It’s just a dummy fuel tank with an air box underneath. The real fuel tank is under the seat; I like to call it a postie bike in disguise. “Originally I was going to sandblast all the panels, paint the bullet holes in silver and the rest in black. But everyone said, don’t do that, leave it like it is. So I’ve kept the original paint as much as possible, even the cracks around the bullet holes.”
“I took my bike down to the local Harley dealer for a recall and he just laughed” What else have you done to it? “I made the header pipes, which are tunedlength two-into-ones which branch out into two Harley muﬄers which have been ‘Conti-ised’ on the inside. It also has a Power Commander III and Screamin’ Eagle air ﬁlter. "The front forks were modiﬁed by Terry Hays of Shock Treatment to suit my weight and riding style. It’s a totally diﬀerent bike in the
front; I’ve just got to save up to replace the back shocks now. “The Arlen Ness headlight gives it a different look. The chrome was pitted and peeling, but I wanted that Scotchbrite/ aluminium effect anyway, which I also did on the wheels. And the mirrors, blinkers and foot pegs are different.” And what does your Harley dealer think of it now? “I got a letter from Harley-Davidson advising of a recall for the exhausts, something about burning your legs on the pipes. I took the letter and my bike to the local dealer and he just laughed.” How does it go? The Street Rod was Harley's attempt to make a V-Rod honk and handle. “It cracks, although you can feel the weight when you throw it into a corner; going from one side to the other, that’s when you know. It’s been so reliable. It’s just great to turn the key, press the button and away it goes. It’s got 44,000km on it now. “I like the reaction it gets on the road, lots of people turning their heads, eyes popping out.” So you get a few comments. “Heaps. People love it … or they don’t. It is diﬀerent. Lots of people go out of their way to comment on it and take photos.”
BUDGET BLASTERS JOHN’S XL250
PHOTO: VICKY SAUNDERS
DIRTY DEEDS… …done dirt cheap. How to go road racing without robbing a bank WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN DOWNS
F THERE is one lesson I’ve learned from this project, it’s never buy a bike sight unseen from the internet. When I collected it, it started and ran as stated in the advert, but that’s about the best I could say about it. The clattery motor indicated that the camshaft was toast, not uncommon on an early Honda XL250, but the rest of the engine was in the same condition; I’m trying to think of a decent part inside it, but I can’t. The crankshaft was wrecked, as were both main bearings. The cylinder was scored and already bored out to 285cc, which was a problem when the plan was to race it in the 250cc class. At some point the chain had broken and taken a chunk out of the crankcases, and to top it all, the piston was from
an XL350, which has a diﬀerent stroke so it had only 7:1 compression. I thought it was a bit easy to kick over! I’ve been racing classic bikes for more years than I’ll admit, ﬁrst in England and now in Australia. One of the tracks we go to has a capacity limit where I can’t race my 1000cc BMW, so I wanted a small-capacity bike from 1972 or earlier. The ’72 XL250 was quite advanced for its day with a four-valve head and magnesium side cases. It was a bit heavy for a trail bike, but the motor was good so long as you kept it topped up with oil — something the previous owner should have considered. So for a road-racing bike, it’s actually not a bad starting point. The strip-down revealed the extent of the damage and I started searching the internet for parts. Website cmsnl.com has a good selection of parts for many early Japanese bikes and I got their last pair of main bearings. Xlint Performance in Tennessee were brilliant; what they don’t know about XLs isn’t worth knowing. They supplied the Megacycle camshaft which runs in needle roller bearings so the damaged head can be salvaged by line boring. They also supplied the big-bore high-compression piston and various gaskets and so on. The 34mm Dell’Orto carb that sometimes resides on my Norton Commando has been temporarily relocated to the Honda, and provides good throttle response and a surprisingly strong top end. No amount of Google hunting, however, found any trace of new valves so the pitted old ones have been refaced and will have to suﬃce
“IF YOU WANT TO GO CLASSIC ROAD RACING, A HONDA XL250 IS THE LAST BIKE TO CONSIDER” until new ones can be found or made to order. The exhaust is a hotchpotch of bits and pieces that is a testament to the ancient art of bodging. The header is composed of a few mandrel bends supplied by the local car exhaust shop, but the rest of it is a megaphone that used to be a Bultaco expansion chamber that was cut in half and riveted to a muﬄer that a friend found in a skip. It actually looks quite good! You just have to be careful where you put your leg unless you like your inner thigh well done. The whole front end is much lower than the trail bike from which it originated. There’s an 18-inch rim laced to the front hub — 21 inches is standard — and the forks were shortened with internal mods. That drags the trail back to around 110mm to give it a nice neutral steering geometry. Braking is achieved with a
drum from an early Yamaha, maybe an R5. It was sold to me by a wrecker who said it was from a CB350 Honda, but the brake plate has a Yamaha symbol cast into it, so I’ve no idea what it’s from. Either way it’s not really good enough. I have to adjust the free play after the warming-up lap otherwise the lever comes back to the ’bar after any heavy braking. I’m currently looking for a suitable disc-braked front end that’s eligible under the rules, possibly from a SOHC Honda. They’re period and for a lightweight like this, they should be perfectly adequate. The bodywork is mainly original except for the seat which, like the exhaust, is oﬀ a Bultaco. I wanted a ﬂat-track style of bike, partly because on these tight tracks it’s important to take the rider’s weight oﬀ the ’bars so clip-ons are a bit counter-productive. They don’t have any
aerodynamic advantage on a slow circuit and it’s more important to have good control of the steering, which these big wide ’bars give you. With a few races in the bag, I’ve been able to resolve some teething problems, like the points cam falling oﬀ during the ﬁrst race; I was wondering why it was popping and banging during qualifying! Other than that, it’s been competitive and fun. It handles surprisingly well for a trail bike — the main issue to sort out is the braking — but now I’m getting the hang of riding it, the footrests drag on the ground. I’ll have to move them somehow. If you wanted to go classic road racing, a Honda XL250 is possibly the last bike you’d consider. But this one has shown you don’t have to go down the boring route of a Honda twin or Yamaha two-stroke to enjoy racing and occasionally win, and that’s half the fun.
PROJECT BIKES STUART’S HONDA
RETRO SPECS MAKE: Honda MODEL: CB750 K7 YEAR: 1978 SPECIAL THANKS: Pud’s Four Parts Bowral Motorcycles Southern Highlands Motorcycle Centre Soichiro Honda
BACK IN BLACK After six years riding the modern stuff, Stuart Garrard turns back the clock to 1978 with the restoration of a Honda CB750 K7 WORDS GEOFF SEDDON PHOTOGRAPHY STUART GARRARD
LIFELONG tinkerer of cars, speedboats and anything mechanical, Stuart Garrard got into motorcycle restorations almost by accident when a couple of Honda CX500s fell into his lap some years back. He enjoyed the process so much he then restored a 1978 Triumph Bonneville,
which he describes as a great bike but one that he had difficulty kick-starting due to some earlier war wounds. He spent the proceeds on a brand new Yamaha FZ6 and for a while there didn’t look back. Stuart and I are brothers-in-law, and it was my rash purchase of an unfinished Norton Commando project (last issue) that
got him interested in another older bike. He was pretty open on make and model as long as it was affordable and had electric start. Having parted with the Yamaha, it would have to serve as his only bike and be capable of the occasional lengthy tour. “I had a look at what was on the market,” Stuart says, “and a lot of it was too much money. There was no exact model I wanted so we came up with a short list of affordable classics. I thought if I didn’t jump in soon I’d miss out. “This Honda came up just down the road and the money was right. It was running, on club plates. I got it for the right price and trailered it home. As always, it’s immaculate when you buy it, but get it home and you see what it needs.” Not that Stuart was particularly fussed. “Half my
This is a 'before' shot, although Stuart had already removed a home-made rack, ﬁtted a new front tyre and given it a good scrub by this time. Come back next month for the 'after' shot
A previous owner had cobbled together a set of CB550 exhausts to ﬁt the 750, as evidenced by the additional stepped section shown here
Not that the mufflers were much good anyway. Replacing them with a complete new original set cost a few bob but transformed the bike
Stuart is no stranger to points ignitions, whether they be single units or twin-points systems as here. Condensers were also renewed
Here we're blowing compressed air under the old grips to help get them off. Works getting new ones back on too. Obviously lubricants are a big no-no
Outer gearbox cover was removed to inspect the shift mechanism and improve access to the drive sprocket
Removing the lower exhaust pipes improved access to the rear wheel for the brake overhaul
reason for buying it was to restore it, as well as ride it. “The pipes were the main thing. They were all rusted out, then I discovered they were actually CB550 pipes that had been cut and shut to fit. Pud’s Four Parts in Victoria had a new genuine set on the shelf. They’re a true four-into-four exhaust and hard to find, so it was quite expensive but it didn’t matter; it transformed the bike. The brackets had been modified to fit the 550 pipes so I replaced them too.” Stuart’s objective is to restore the bike to “standard but not mint” condition, allowing for modifications to make it safer or run better. “It’s not a show pony, it’s there to be used,” he says. Cases in point are the rear shocks, which were rusted and leaking fluid. “I was going to go genuine,
PROJECT BIKES STUART’S HONDA
Rear-brake shoe replacement is pretty straightforward but often neglected. With a manual at hand, it is within the capabilities of most home tinkerers
Brakes are not the strongest suit on classic bikes so making the best of what you have is imperative
The new chain demanded new sprockets to ﬁt. A big job on almost any pre-unit engine, it’s a piece of cake on a unit construction bike like the Honda
but I was talked into going one better. The Ikon shocks look the same but are adjustable for damping. It would take an expert to pick the difference and they ride beautifully.” The bike came with a home-built Ventura-style rack, which Stuart ditched in favour of a secondhand originalequipment chrome grab rail, and the rear blinkers were returned to their stock mountings. The handlebar was also replaced by a more comfortable set. The rest of the bike, including wheels and forks, was largely good to go and has polished up a treat for now. Restorations are about more than looks, and Stuart has been fastidious in ensuring his Honda starts, stops, goes and handles like new, aided by two manuals (factory
and Haynes) and a buoyant on-line community. “I redid the rear drum brake with new shoes, and tidied up and painted the front disc brake and fitted new pads. I learnt how to adjust the single-piston caliper online — the manuals don’t talk about it. Even so, the brakes are very ordinary compared to modern bikes and you have to ride to their limitations. I can see why blokes beef them up for safety reasons.” The bike came standard with a big ugly 630 drive chain. “All the advice was to forget originality and go to a 530. The 630 is a dog of a chain and saps power.” Sprockets were changed to fit the new chain in a ratio close to stock. The steering stem ball bearings were replaced with a roller bearing kit supplied
by Pud’s, but installed by a local bike shop. Getting the old ones out and new ones in can be tricky without the right tools so Stuart was happy to pay the money. The engine was in good condition. “It had 64,000km on it. I was told it had been disassembled and inspected and that seems to be the case.” A compression test came up okay, the valves reset nicely and the cam chain was adjusted. “It’s an easy job,” Stuart says. “It still rattles at idle but they all do that.” The air filter was replaced, plugs were swapped for slightly cooler 8s and oil changed for heavier Penrite HPR30 on the advice of those in the know. The engine wore the scars of past indiscretions so the points cover on the right and the alternator cover on the left were replaced
Nothing like a new chain to make an old bike feel young. The power-sapping 630 chain was deemed overkill and replaced with a 530 O-ring
Compression testing of all cylinders showed between 135 and 150psi, pretty good for an engine with 64,000km up
All bodywork was stripped for the major service: note the four separate exhaust pipes on the ground at rear
with new original parts. Both sets of points and condensers were replaced and the timing set perfectly by a local racing mate. The carbies were also hooked up to a set of vacuum gauges for spot-on balance and tune. It starts first stab and goes like a bought one. Stuart adjusted all the hand and foot levers to operate effectively, then turned his attention to refurbishing the switch gear. “The starter button had been butchered and I thought I was up for a new switch block, but I got a new button and spring from Pud’s for six bucks.” A damaged headlight rim was replaced and new side-mounted reflectors sourced and fitted. Full rego wasn’t an issue and Stuart has already logged many miles around
Valve clearance is set by screws and locknuts: no pesky shims on this baby. Valves and seats were in good nick due to a constant diet of valve lubricant
Replacing springs is a cinch, especially if the bike is in a state of undress. Ikon units offer three-position damping and variable-rate springs but look stock
“STUART'S OBJECTIVE IS TO RESTORE THE BIKE TO STANDARD BUT NOT MINT CONDITION. IT'S THERE TO BE USED” the southern highlands and south coast of NSW, usually in company. “I ride with blokes on modern bikes but I get all the looks,” he says. “It’s a big bike — 245kg wet — but it soaks up the bumps and tours beautifully. It steers and handles well and is very comfortable. It’s not made for short legs — you have to straddle the foot pegs to reach the ground — and with the weight
you have to be careful where you park it; you don’t want to get boxed in. Putting it on the centre stand can also be a bit tricky for a bloke my age.” Stuart has recently removed the tank and sidecovers for a professional respray complete with original graphics, while he addresses more detail stuff at home. We’ll let you know how he goes next issue.
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CLUB LIST CONTACTS
Join a Club IF YOU THINK YOUR CLUB NEEDS TO BE HERE, EMAIL RETRO@UNIVERSALMAGAZINES.COM.AU WITH YOUR DETAILS AND WE WILL INCLUDE YOUR CLUB IN OUR CONTACTS
ADLER OWNERS CLUB Restoration advice and information. adlermotorcycles.com. (07) 4638 3670
AJS & MATCHLESS OWNERS CLUB INC Spares scheme, machine dating, technical advice. downunderjampot.com. (03) 9786 4063 ANNANDALE LEICHHARDT CLUB Promoting road racing sidecars and solos, modern and post classic. (02) 9804 0551 ANTIQUE MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF AUSTRALIA INC Caters for all motorcycles made prior to Dec 31st, 1930. (03) 5428 1297 AUSTRALIAN ARIEL REGISTER INC Members' quarterly magazine. australian-ariel-register.com. (02) 6242 0495 AUSTRALIAN HISTORIC MOTORCLUB Motorcycles over 30 years old that can be registered on the NSW Historic Vehicle Registration System. (02) 4757 2664 AUSTRALIAN NOSTALGIA RACERS Fun and fast drag racing for pushrod-engined motorcycles. (02) 4982 3322
BAROSSA VALLEY CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB INC Share your interest in preserving and riding classic motorcycles. bvmcc.org PO Box 490, Nuriootpa, SA 5355.
BEARS AUSTRALIA (02) 6553 6223. ozbearsracing.com BENDIGO HISTORIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB INC Regular club runs, rallies and motorcycle swap meets. (03) 5441 4473 BEST FEET FORWARD GROUP Any feet forward machines including scooters. Contact Ken Butler (03) 5678 2245 BMW AIRHEADS For BMW air-cooled twin owners. Contact Radz 0439 770 170 BRITISH MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF AUSTRALIA Anyone with an interest in British motorcycles, new or old. 0414 830 880
BSAMCC OF NSW INC 0407 708 925, Fax 4958 4563 BSA OWNERS CLUB OF SOUTH AUSTRALIA INC Contact the Secretary, PO Box 380, Plympton SA 5038. BUELL RIDERS CLUB AUSTRALIA INC Dedicated to all Buell riders. 0409 142 707 or 0431 141 610
CAIRNS MOTORCYCLE RESTORERS CLUB INC PO Box 6560, Cairns QLD 4870. (07) 4055 8802
CB1100R OWNERS CLUB A club for all owners of this classic mega bike. 0418 387 583 or (02) 4351 2303
CENTRAL COAST CLASSIC MCC (02) 4390 0554 or (02) 4363 1058 CENTRAL COAST VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB Welcomes those interested in the use and restoration of motorcycles 30 years and older. (02) 4396 7187 CLASSIC & ENTHUSIASTS MCC Historic plates for bikes over 30 years old. cemcc.org.au. (02) 9801 1971 CLASSIC & ENTHUSIASTS MCC — ALBURY/WODONGA (02) 6026 2281 CLASSIC & ENTHUSIASTS MCC — ILLAWARRA (02) 4228 5338 CLASSIC ITALIAN MOTORCYCLE ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA Italian motorcycles from makes no longer in production or 30 years old. cimaa.asn.au. 0404 873 034 CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF VICTORIA INC 25 years and older bikes. classicbike.com.au. (03) 9593 2710 CLASSIC OWNERS MOTORCYCLE CLUB INC SA Membership enquiries: PO Box 642, Plympton SA 5038 CLASSIC SCRAMBLE CLUB INC Catering for 60s to pre-1975 scramble machines. 0422 299 003 or 0417 515 220 COALFIELDS CLASSIC AND ENTHUSIAST MCC Contact Gary: (02) 4938 7352
BRITISH SINGLES MOTORCYCLE CLUB INC QLD 0403 212 545 or (07) 3263 6640
COFFS HARBOUR AND DISTRICT MOTORCYCLE RESTORERS PO Box 4248, Coffs Harbour Jetty 2450. (02) 6653 4532
BSA OWNERS ASSOCIATION INC PO Box 2400, Oakleigh 3166 or bsa.asn.au
DRY LAKES RACERS AUSTRALIA Contact Cled Davies: (03) 5443 3432 or 0419 581 854
DUCATI OWNERS CLUB OF NSW 0409 421 594 DUCATI OWNERS CLUB NORTH COAST docnc.org.au. (02) 6658 3182
EARLY AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE CLUB 1966 and older. PO Box 18, Tuart Hill WA 6939. (08) 9295 4360
GRIFFITH CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB Contact Brian (Hoppy) Hampel 0409 624 716
HASTINGS VALLEY MOTORCYCLE CLUB PO Box 5444, Port Macquarie NSW 2444
CBX-6 OWNERS CLUB OF AUSTRALIA INC (02) 4284 1438. cbx6.com.au
BRITISH MOTORCYCLE CLUB TASMANIA INC Promoting restoration, preservation and riding of British bikes — all ages. britishmotorcycleclubtas.com
BRITISH TWO-STROKE CLUB OF AUSTRALIA INC (03) 5967 3518 or (03) 9435 7824
CLUB LAVERDA QUEENSLAND Laverda ownership isn’t mandatory. (07) 3205 7151
HIGHLANDS CLASSIC AND ENTHUSIASTS MCC PO Box 693, Moss Vale 2577. highlandsclassicmcc.com.au HISTORICAL MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF QLD INC historicmotorcycle.org.au HISTORIC MOTORCYCLE RACING REGISTER OF SA (08) 8384 5284 HISTORIC MOTORCYCLE RACING ASSOCIATION OF VIC hmrav.org. (03) 5968 9395 HONDA CB750 (FOUR) Caters for all SOHC models from 1968-1978. hondacb750.com.au. (03) 5182 5704
INDIAN HARLEY CLUB (BUNBURY) INC ihcvintagemotorcycles.asn.au. (08) 9792 4996
INDIAN MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF AUSTRALIA INC PO Box 1015, Ashwood 3147. 0418 690 065 INVERELL MOTORCYCLE RESTORERS CLUB INC PO Box 324, Inverell NSW 2360. (02) 6722 2729 IRON INDIAN RIDERS ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA For all Indians 1901-2014. Four major rallies a year. Call Phil (03) 9499 6428 (during business hours). ironindian.com.au
KATANA OWNERS CLUB OF VICTORIA (03) 9803 0494
KAWASAKI Z OWNERS CLUB NSW Open to Z900-Z1000 and all other Z series bikes. (02) 4626 4933 or (02) 9517 2663
KAWASAKI Z OWNERS CLUB VICTORIA zowners.com.au. 0418 175 143
MACQUARIE TOWNS MOTORCYCLE RESTORATION & PRESERVATION CLUB
ROAD RACE ASSOCIATION OF TOWNSVILLE 0422 248 607 or 0409 499 526
ROYAL ENFIELD CLUB OF AUSTRALIA recoainc.com
MOTO GUZZI CLUB OF QLD PO Box 1159, Fortitude Valley Queensland 4006
MOTO GUZZI CLUB OF VICTORIA motoguzziclubvic.asn.au. (03) 9528 6989
SCOTT OWNERS CLUB INC Australian section of the UK parent club. scottownersclub.org
TWEED HEADS MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIASTS CLUB INC thmcec.com. 0400 871 699
VELOCETTE OWNERS CLUB (02) 9651 1793
VETERAN AND HISTORIC MCC LTD PO Box 366, Kellyville NSW 2155. (02) 9621 5604 or (02) 8883 0390
MOTORCYCLING NEW SOUTH WALES (02) 9635 9177. motorcycling.com.au
SHOALHAVEN CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB Family orientated club for classic and modern machines. (02) 4443 8501 or (02) 4421 8810
VETERAN SPEEDWAY RIDERS' ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA vsra.homestead.com. (02) 9587 7367
MOTORCYCLE RACING CLUB OF NSW For all road racing riders and officials, classics and moderns. (02) 9603 4892
SOUTH GRAFTON EX-SERVICES MCC (02) 6649 3382
VINCENT HRD OWNERS CLUB VICTORIA SECTION INC PO Box 79, Monbulk Victoria 3793. (03) 9752 0803
STEVENS REGISTER thestevensproject.co.uk. (02) 9600 9894
NATURELAND CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB naturelandclassicmotorcycleclub.org.au. 0416 200 023
NEWCASTLE CLASSIC MCC INC PO Box 134, Boolaroo NSW 2284
THE 59 CLUB AUSTRALIA INC the59club.org.au National: 0416 838 565 QLD: 0410 574 127 WA: 0415 622 585 VIC: 0418 207 794
NORTHERN DISTRICTS DUCATI OWNERS CLUB (02) 4973 3378 NORTHERN CLASSIC VINTAGE AND VETERAN MCC ncvv.org.au. 0419 480 336 NORTHERN RIVERS CLASSIC MCC (02) 6689 5366 or (02) 6629 1051 NORTON MOTORCYCLES CLUB SA INC nortonownersclubsa.org.au. (08) 8380 5240 NORTON OWNERS CLUB OF VICTORIA INC victoria.nortonownersclub.org. (03) 9569 7762
THE HISTORIC COMPETITION MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF WA PO Box 568, South Perth WA 6951. historicracing.asn.au
THE VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF VICTORIA INC For motorcycles manufactured prior to Dec 31st 1942. 0417 558 214 TOWNSVILLE RESTORED MCC INC PO Box 1016, Aitkenvale QLD 4814. (07) 4779 7495 or (07) 4773 4332
QUEENSLAND EARLY MOTORCYCLE SPORTS CLUB qemsc.com.au. (07) 5498 8675
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB TASMANIA PO Box 110, Lindisfarne Tasmania 7015. (03) 6272 1976 or (03) 6248 1538 VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF WA INC vmccwa.com. (08) 9298 8953
THE VETERAN AND VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF SA vvmccsa.org.au. 0409 514 213
POST CLASSIC RACING ASSOCIATION postclassicracing.com.au
VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF AUSTRALIA (NSW) INC. For machines up to 1947. vmccnsw.org.au. (02) 9624 1262
THE CENTRAL COAST CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB INC (02) 4396 4647 OR (02) 4385 8512
THE NEWCASTLE VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB INC All machines 30 years of age or older.
PANARAMA MCC VETERAN AND VINTAGE GROUP 0404 089 015
PORT MACQUARIE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES CLUB INC (02) 6582 6878 or 0419 485 493
TAREE & DISTRICTS CLASSIC & VINTAGE MCC (02) 6556 5288
VINTAGE JAPANESE MOTORCYCLE CLUB For enthusiasts of older Japanese bikes. (02) 4873 1852 vjmc.org.au
YAMAHA SR 500 CLUB INC (03) 9331 3178. sr500club.org or read this month's Poppa Shaw column!
YAMAHA XJR RIDERS' CLUB The Aussie XJR Riders' Club. http:/groups.yahoo.com/group/aussiexjrridersclub/ YAMAHA XS-650 CLUB OF AUSTRALIA 0409 384 790 website: xs650.org.au YORK PENINSULA VINTAGE, VETERAN AND CLASSIC MC INC (08) 8852 1834 (08) 8837 3226
Sydney Authorised Dealer of
GT CONTINENTAL 95-97 Princes Highway St Peters NSW 2044
V7 RACER I
T: (02) 9557 7234 F: (02) 9557 7302 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Also: Lewis Leathers, Stagg Leather, Halcyon Goggles, Ace café merch, Rossi Boots, White Silk Scarves etc and MORE! ISSUE #18
FUN IN THE SUN
ages P l a i c So
PHOTO: RUSS MURRAY
Social Pages FUN IN THE SUN RUSS MURRAY
MEETING OF THE MINDS
UCATISTI still struggling with the Typhoon Ducati may have more interest in this blending of belt-drive power and bevel-drive style that’s coming up next issue. We’re big fans of both ﬁrst- and second-generation 900 Super Sports here at Retrobike, and Barry French's magniﬁcent home-built hybrid hits all our buttons. For fans of the big four, we’ll have a major feature on the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club National Rally in Canberra and take a close look at John Fretten’s immaculate CBX1000 six and CX650 Turbo. Jeﬀ Ware also gets to be Eddie Lawson for a day, bringing us the knee-down on a mint ELR Kawasaki. We’ll be capturing all the action and atmosphere of Victoria’s Broadford Bike Bonanza, this year celebrating 50 years of motorcycle racing at Bathurst in a rare display of interstate goodwill. We also take
you to the Leadfoot Festival to check out our crazy Kiwi mates racing their ﬁnest classic bikes up a fearsome hill-climb. There’ll be lots of other beaut stuﬀ, not least the latest custom masterpiece from Roland Sands Design. Take one new Indian Chieftain, remove the engine and gearbox, then throw everything else in the bin while
you ﬁgure out what you might do with it. The result is not only visually breathtaking, it’s street ridden and ridden hard, and we have the photos to prove it! The winter-issue Retrobike goes on sale in July. As always, we’re interested in your feedback at email@example.com. au or on our Facebook page. Ciao for now!
CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE RESTORATIONS ALWAYS THE BEST DISPLAY OF CLASSIC BRITISH BIKES IN AUSTRALIA A SELECTION OF OUR CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES
1956 AJS MODEL 30 600
1983 MOTO GUZZI V50 500
This is a beautiful restored example that came from a deceased estate in the USA. VIN # 56/30 01777 $10,950
1973 TRIUMPH TRIDENT 750 FIVE SPEED.
This is a very nice riding machine, currently registered in Victoria and ready to ride away. Reg # AV754 $6,500
1952 BSA B33 500
This bike has done only 8000 miles from new and is in lovely original condition. Very hard to find like this. VIN # T150V.EJ42260 $10,950
1968 BSA A65 650 TWIN SPECIAL.
This is a good value bike ideal for club riding and very good value. VIN # BB31S14643 $8,250
1969 BSA A65 FIREBIRD 650
This is a sweet running BSA that has been done up to look like a Spitfire. A perfect bike to improve and add your own touches to. VIN # A65TB801 $3,950
SUZUKI GT550 1974
This is a beautiful original example of this rare machine. Only about 200 Firebirds were produced this year. matching numbers and low mileage. What a stylish motorcycle. VIN # PC15067.A65F $12,950
1966 HONDA CL77 305 STREET SCRAMBLER
This is a nice tidy sweet running example of this very popular motorcycle. This is the first 550 we have had for a long time. VIN # GT55071415 $6,950
ROYAL ENFIELD 350 BULLET 1947
These are getting hard to find. This is a nice tidy example, don’t miss this. VIN # CL77-1016563 $6,950
BSA C11G 250 1954
This is an older restoration in really nice condition. Owned by a friend of mine in Los Angeles who has just got married and needed money so had to sell one of his babies. This bike is superb. VIN # 1023 $9,950
This is a good looking motorcycle and perfect for classic club riding. These are a very reliable motorcycle and easy to maintain. VIN # BC11S4.12977 $5,950
1938 PANTHER RED WING 600 WITH DUSTING SIDECAR This bike was sold new in Shepparton Victoria and has its original dealer plate still fitted. A rare and desireable outfit. VIN # 10140 $22,500
1961 JAMES 150 CADET This is a great little bike, an ideal cost effective classic or perfect for a first bike. VIN # DA15A1142 $3,500
BRIDGESTONE 200 TWIN 1967 A rare opportunity to get hold of one of these great little classics for easy restoration. Bridgstones are rare as they were forced to close down the motorcycle plant through conflicting interests over their tyre sales to other motorcycle companies. VIN # 16J18090 $5,950
HONDA CB350 FOUR 1974 This is a model that we don’t see very often. This bike is for an easy tidy up and is great value for money. VIN # CB350F-2011032 $3,950
NORTON 850 MK3 COMMANDO 1975 This is a beautiful original motorcycle with matching numbers and low mileage. Finished in the John Player racing colours. Ready to ride and enjoy. VIN # 325797 $17,950
WE HAVE BANK FINANCE AVAILABLE ON ALL OUR BIKES
CLASSIC STYLE AUSTRALIA 34 PENINSULA BLVD, SEAFORD, VIC 3198
PH (03) 9773 5500 FAX (03) 9773 5533 www.classicstyle.com.au Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Mar 27, 2015
It’s the little mag that’s ROCKIN’ the retro world. Edited by Geoff Seddon, Retro Bike has petrol in its veins. This sample edition of Editi...