Page 1

retrobike

RSD INDIAN TRACK CHIEF

THROTTLE DOLLS

BROADFORD BONANZA

HONDA CBX1000

(Both incl. GST)

BELTVEL DUCATI

ISSUE 19 WINTER 2015

VINTAGE JAP BIKES

AUS $11.95* NZ $12.95

CLASSIC NOT PLASTIC


“NO ONE KNOWS YOUR P A S S I O N L I K E S H A N N O N S.”

Shannons insurance is for motoring enthusiasts just like you, with features like: „ Choice of repairer „ Agreed value „ Multi-Vehicle & Multi-Policy discounts „ Special low usage rates „ Riding gear cover „ Cover for modifications „ Flexible coverage for bikes that are laid up, being restored, or at club events „ Home Contents Insurance including $10,000 enthusiast cover for your collectables & tools „ Pay by the month premiums at no extra cost Call Shannons on 13 46 46 for a quote on your special bike, special car, daily drive, or your home, and speak with a genuine enthusiast. Join the Shannons Club today! Get connected and share your passion - shannons.com.au/club

INSURANCE FOR MOTORING ENTHUSIASTS | CALL 13 46 46 FOR A QUOTE | SHANNONS.COM.AU Shannons Pty Limited ABN 91 099 692 636 is an authorised representative of AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807, the product issuer. Some benefits only apply to comprehensive vehicle cover. Shannons has not taken account of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Read the Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. Contact us for a copy.


EDITORIAL PEOPLE LIKE US

G'DAY WITH GEOFF SEDDON

S

OMETIMES it’s about the bikes, other times the people, but mostly it’s about both. It’s been a busy few months at Retrobike, and our heads are still spinning from all the great bikes we’ve seen and the interesting people we’ve met. I kicked off with a run to Canberra for the Vintage Japanese Bike Rally, before heading further south to Victoria for the Broadford Bike Bonanza soon after. Meanwhile Simon Davidson was embedded in the South Australian outback for the salt racing, while Russ Murray returned to Phillip Island to showcase some classic Italian eye candy. Closer to home, I joined the Sydney-based Throttle Dolls for a gentle Sunday morning cruise to West Head and, just as we were going to press, was swept up in the insane inner-city custom bike phenomenon that is Throttle Roll, which we’ll bring you next issue. Each event attracts its own mix of bikes, blokes and increasingly babes, although only the hardiest women made it out to Lake Gairdner for Speed Week. While I didn’t make it this year, I once raced a ’34 Ford out there and later returned to crew on a mate’s Ducati; it’s one of my favourite places on the planet, perfectly captured by Davo’s lens. This year was the 25th anniversary of the first meet, when all the entrants raced hot rods. These days the

cars are well outnumbered by motorbikes, many of them classics and every one as unique as their rider. Broadford was a hoot, and not only because the trip was made in company with some regular touring buddies. The variety of pre-1990 machinery present was breathtaking, especially if you have some interest in historic bike racing. We were camped right on the fence of the road-racing circuit; it was just like being at Bathurst for the Easter races in the

“There’s never been a better time to own and ride an older bike” late 1970s but without the riots. And the opportunity to get in some laps on my Norton was worth the entry fee alone. With 40 years of road-riding under my belt, I’ve also owned my share of Japanese bikes and wish I owned them still. The VJMC National Rally brought back many happy memories of my early motorcycling life. From restos and barn-finds to some cool local customs, seeing 35 years of Japanese bike history from 1965 to 2000 displayed outside the Australian National Museum was a special reminder of how

EDITOR Geoff Seddon DESIGNER Jarrad McCallum VALUED CONTRIBUTORS Paul Bailey, Alan Cathcart, Simon Davidson, John Fretten, Stuart Garrard, Russ Murray, Alastair Ritchie, Tom ‘Poppa’ Shaw, Alec Simpson, James Walker, Thomas Wielecki ADVERTISING MANAGER Fi Collins WANT MORE? Subs, merch & back issues, phone 1300 303 414 or www.universalmagazines.com.au

much and how quickly our world has changed. Common to all these events were record entrant numbers and an overwhelming sense of fellowship borne of mutual interest and experience, none more so evident than amongst the thriving urban custom bike scene. The Dolls’ informal run up the northern beaches’ hinterland attracted maybe 25 women riding their own bikes — many on their Ls and Ps — and three times as many blokes happy to spend some quality time in their company; many of the photos in On Any Sunday were taken that day. But nothing could have prepared me for the Sydney Cafe Racers’ Throttle Roll run down to Stanwell Tops a month later, which attracted around 500 bikes by my reckoning. Unbelievable, it felt like we could have taken over the world. I don’t think there’s ever been a better time to own and ride an older motorcycle, be it stock or modified. The internet has made it so much easier to find both bikes and the parts you need to do them up, and social media is fuelling a whole new generation to take up spanners and make their own slice of history. All the tangible and intangible things that bind us together as a community will always outweigh the differences that sometimes irk us. It would be a boring old world if we all rode the same bike.

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 19 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.

ISSUE #19

retrobike

3


CONTENTS

14

FEATURE BIKES 14

TAGLIONI'S DREAM

TRES HOMBRES Damon Dupriez shows us how to build a shedful of cool bikes without breaking the bank

4

retrobike

ISSUE #19

HONDA CBX1000/CX650TC

Honda broke the 100hp barrier with the sixcylinder CBX1000 and quirky CX650 Turbo. Two more stunning restorations from John Fretten

26

58

WORLD'S COOLEST INDIAN

CLASSIC SALT RACERS

Another stunner from Roland Sands, this time powered by a new-generation Indian V-twin. Anything is possible if you put your mind to it

It take a certain kind of enthusiast to build a bike to run flat out across a salt lake deep in the outback. Aussie engineering at its best

38

66

XV750 CAFE RACER

Plan B Motorcycles turns a stodgy bowl of porridge into a stylish work of functional art

06

52

Barry French wanted a traditional bike that went, stopped and handled like a modern one. He couldn't find one anywhere so made his own

VEE TWO RV1

The little bike that could, Brook Henry's RV1 was the fastest two-valve Ducati that ever lived


78

26 32

REGULARS

EVENTS 20

VINTAGE JAP BIKE RALLY

03 72 74 76 78 82 84 92 94 98

G'DAY BAILEY WALKER POPPA SHAW RIDERS LIKE US TANGLES' WORKSHOP PROJECT BIKES CLUB LISTING ON ANY SUNDAY FEEDBACK

Canberra comes alive for the broadest collection of Japanese bikes ever assembled in Australia

32

BROADFORD BIKE BONANZA

Wow, what an amazing event. Thousands of bikes and riders, and hardly anyone crashed

44

86

PHILLIP ISLAND ITALIANS

We're told there were British and Japanese bikes there too, not that our man Russ noticed

58

ISSUE #19

retrobike

5


Modifieds

THREE HONDAS

Hombres How to How to b build uild tthree hre e ccool o ol customs c u s to m s price off o one ffor or tthe he p rice o ne WORDS DA WORDS D DAMON AMON N DUPRI D DUPRIEZ UPRI PRIEZ EZ EZ PHOTOGRAP PHOTOG RAPHY HY THOMAS THO T H HO OMA MAS S WIELECKI WIELE WIELE WI E CK CKII PHOTOGRAPHY

6

retrobike

ISSUE #19


L

IKE many others who share a newfound passion for cafe racers, trackers and scramblers, I arrived late to the whole modified motorbike thing. I didn’t get my rider’s licence until I was 38, but have made up for lost time by owning 15 bikes in the five years since. These three Hondas were built in my garage over 12 months. I have no formal training, so am typical of the new breed of self-taught owner/builder who make up the grass roots of the modern cafe racer movement. The reason I focused on early 80s DOHC Hondas was simple – they are plentiful and cheap, and parts are interchangeable between variants and with later Hondas, which means you can build bikes like these for just a few thousand dollars. For canny builders who keep the theme ‘period’, historic registration can be had for as little as $50 a year.

ISSUE #19

retrobike

7


Modifieds THREE HONDAS

CB750 CAFE RACER

I

CO-BUILT this one with fellow Sydney Cafe Racers member Alan Le. It’s an ex-police CB750 from 1980, and as such came with dual-piston brake calipers and a wider 2.5-inch rear wheel from the CB900, making them a good choice if you plan on retaining the stock Comstar wheels. The bike was stripped to reveal the core silhouette and we spent a day just staring at its lines trying to imagine how the finished bike would look. With a cutting wheel we removed the small tabs that hung off the rear of the frame that secure the taillight. We then trimmed the stock rear guard so that it ended in a neat bobbed tail that left just enough area to mount a small LED unit. The CB750’s plastic side panels not only

8

retrobike

ISSUE #19

flow into the massive 22-litre fuel tank but conceal the bike’s battery and electronics. The decision to retain the bike’s stock electronics and wiring loom made deconstruction and reassembly a cinch, leaving just the wiring for the taillight, headlight and indicators. An aftermarket bolt-on seat was sourced online but once fitted looked too bulky, so we peeled back the cover and shaved the internal foam down with coarse sandpaper to achieve the desired profile. Attention then turned to the handlebars. Clip-ons wouldn’t allow full steering lock without fouling the tank, so we opted for Clubman-style bars that offered a similar riding position without compromising clearance. With the groundwork done, we tore the

Honda down to its bare frame. While Alan stripped all the metal parts of 35yo paint and surface rust, I removed the engine’s sump and rocker cover to check for sludge and other signs of excessive wear. I checked the clutch pack for wear on the fibre plates and gave the steel hoops a once-over with a wire wheel, then adjusted valve clearances and checked the timing chain. The engine was sealed with fresh gaskets and steam-cleaned prior to being coated in aluminium silver paint. The carburettors were clogged with old fuel and needed a thorough clean, including using an ultrasonic cleaner to clear the jets. Likewise, the front and rear brake calipers and rear master cylinder were dismantled, cleaned and reassembled with fresh pads. After checking


the brake hoses were free from cracks, we covered them in mesh wrap-around covers to smarten them up, along with all other visible cables and wires. Reassembly of a bike into something that’s clean enough to eat off is pretty simple; just make sure everything that goes back on the bike has been serviced, cleaned, polished, painted or replaced with new. If there’s a neater or cleaner way to fit or route something then choose that option. This is an immensely satisfying process – where each small aspect of the bike is concluded and you get to admire your handywork one chunk at a time – and a great way to stay motivated during the build. A set of aftermarket gauges replaced the bulky stock dashboard, while some pipe wrap cleaned up the exhaust headers. A Yoshimura muffler I’d collected in my travels bolted into place after a quick coat of black high-temp paint. Items like

“ANYONE WITH BASIC MECHANICAL APTITUDE AND SIMPLE TOOLS COULD BUILD THIS BIKE IN A FEW MONTHS” the headlight, bar-end mirrors, small indicators and hand controls were sourced online and bolted on without fuss. As the skeleton of the bike came together, Alan and I pondered potential paint schemes. A little amateur Photoshop work revealed that a two-tone colour scheme, with a piano black insert bordered in white, would work. From a colour chart, I chose a striking sky blue and then adjusted it by eye it to arrive at an intense matt blue. Fellow SCR club member Michael Broholm expertly applied the paint to our design,

with the 750 tank decal a neat finishing touch. The colour scheme and starkly contrasting matt and gloss finish draws many comments and is the bike’s defining feature. The aim for this project was not to employ any metal fabrication or welding, yet achieve an authentic cafe racerinspired look and riding feel. We also opted to reuse or repurpose as many stock parts as possible. This is a bike that anyone with basic mechanical aptitude could tackle with simple tools over a few months working nights and weekends. ISSUE #19

retrobike

9


Modifieds

THREE HONDAS

CB750 TRACKER

M

Y CB750 Tracker was inspired by bikes built by Cafe Racer Dreams in Spain. I love their minimal looks and chunky off-road styling, plus the more upright riding position and lower seat height make the bike more manoeuvrable and easier to ride. The challenge with this build was the looming deadline of the 2014 Throttle Roll show just four short weeks ahead where I’d decided it would debut. This was also my first CB750 build and the first bike I’d ever stripped down to a bare frame. To achieve a truly custom look, I committed to hiding the entire wiring loom, battery and electronics from view, leaving a large triangular hole in the centre of the frame. Possessing 10

retrobike

ISSUE #19

no experience in metal fabrication or welding, I took a deep breath and chopped off six inches from the tail of the frame and the associated cross member reinforcement. I then chopped and ground away any evidence of tabs and brackets that no longer served a purpose. An eBay vendor in the UK provided a suitable tail-loop section with insert bungs, and after watching a handful of You Tube videos for courage and guidance, I set about fitting, tacking and welding the loop into place. MIG welding is easy enough for non-structural projects like this, and a grinding disc can easily neaten up metalwork ready for painting. Next job was to fabricate a seat pan, so I tried my hand at fashioning some sheet steel into the desired shape using the

frame as a buck. A few hours of bending, grinding, cutting and swearing resulted in a decent enough pan, into which I mounted some captive bolts to secure it to the frame. The stitching pattern is one I designed myself with a texta and ruler, from which I made a template for Pete at J&A Auto Upholstery at Five Dock to arrive at a slim leather-covered two-up seat that may not be the most comfortable but perfectly suits the bike’s style. As DOHC Hondas don’t have a kickstarter, I had to find a suitable battery that was small enough to conceal yet offered enough cranking amps to consistently start a 750cc engine. I chose some Turnigy LiFe 6.6V battery packs used in radiocontrolled aircraft, with two packs wired in series to achieve 12V or thereabouts.


These are very compact at just 14cm x 4cm x 3cm per pack, yet offer 4500 mAh capacity in each cell. The cells nestle sideby-side between the frame rails under the seat, and in over a year of use have yet to let me down. All they need is a condition charge every few months using a cheap 50W charger/discharger pack. All up cost was under $100. With the fabrication aspects locked down the remaining details became very straightforward and posed few challenges besides finding the space to squeeze the igniters and rectifier/regulator under the

fuel tank. The stock wiring loom needed to be shortened by about 40cm, achieved by carefully cutting and soldering one wire at a time. I also took the time to re-route all the cables and wiring in the neatest possible path, and then covered everything in braided sheath. It is the small details like these that really make a difference. The headlight is from a V-Rod, mounted using café-style headlight brackets and flanked by bullet indicators. The analogue gauge set features white faces with blue illumination, and to match this I sourced

“THIS WAS MY FIRST CB750 BUILD AND THE FIRST BIKE I'D EVER STRIPPED DOWN TO A BARE FRAME”

a blue back-lit Pivot starter button that also filled the otherwise gaping hole in the steering stem. Another trick to cleaning up the visuals was to replace the front and rear brake reservoirs with some lengths of transparent hose. A Mac four-into-one exhaust and pod filters were fitted, and I then fashioned a two-into-one hose for the crankcase and gearbox breathers. The paint scheme was kept simple due to the time restrictions, but I was careful not to overdo any one tone or colour. You can’t go wrong with black on white, but painting the engine black would have been too much – so silver it became. This Tracker is certainly a project anyone with garage space and a decent allotment of tools can attempt, and even if you can’t weld or spray-paint, these are easy enough tasks to outsource while still feeling like the overall bike is of your own creation.

ISSUE #19

retrobike

11


Modifieds

THREE HONDAS

CB900 MOTARD

W

ITH a couple of builds under my belt I began planning a third project that would improve incrementally on what I’d attempted previously. I also wanted a bike that offered more power, more comfort, and better handling and braking. With CB1100s rare and expensive, I turned my attention to the CB900 model. They offer a 20hp gain over the CB750s, yet cost around the same in the classifieds. This bike started as someone else’s abandoned project, and aside from a dog’s breakfast of a wiring loom was complete and in good general order. Better still, a previous owner had fitted 41mm forks, 17-inch wheels and the brakes off a 2001 model Suzuki SV650, allowing fitment of

12

retrobike

ISSUE #19

modern 120 and 160 x 17in tyres. Still, the conversion was only partly done; the offset for the chain to the front sprocket was misaligned while the gearing was shortened noticeably. Yet another SCR member came to the rescue, with Darren Millichamp using his lathe to mill down the face of the sprocket carrier by 5mm while a reverse-flipped CB900 sprocket gave me the remaining 5mm I needed (and corrected gearing) after it too was machined a fraction to fit. The easier route (which I found out about later) would be to fit a 10mm offset front sprocket from a CBX1000 for $30. The Suzuki triple trees featured a much shallower offset to the CB900, and so fouled the fuel tank. To remedy this I purchased a smaller CB750KZ fuel tank

in the USA that is shorter by almost 10cm and narrower to allow more steering lock. With this dummy mounted, I modified the steering stoppers and fabricated a new seat pan to butt up against it, this time out of four layers of fibreglass. The seat was again trimmed by Pete at J&A Auto Upholstery, and is both longer and thicker than the Tracker’s, so I sit further forward for better weight distribution. This also gives the stock foot controls a more rear-set position, making it a win/win modification. With the tank and seat sorted I was able to shift the hidden battery pack further forward to sit within the upper frame rails under my bum, which further shortened the wiring loom that now only runs from the rear to the front of the tank,with


“THE 900 IS A MARKED IMPROVEMENT OVER THE 750S. I HAVE TWO MORE 900S UNDER CONSTRUCTION” everything forward of this hidden inside the handlebars and headlights. The bars are 1-1/8th inch Pro Taper low rise with matching risers, with one Posh switch housing for indicators and horn on the left side being all that’s visible. The high/ low beam toggle is on the back of the dual headlamp bucket, leaving the red illuminated Pivot start button mounted in the steering stem to kick her into life. For a gauge I went with an all-in-one Acewell digital unit this time around as it better suits its more modern theme, although the blue display is sometimes hard to read. As

its signals are derived electronically, this also rids the bike of mechanical speedo and tacho cables. Choosing the colour theme of any build is always challenging, and often you need to take a bit of a fashion risk to avoid emulating others. I’ve always loved the bronze colour used by Japanese wheel company Rays, so I tracked down a paint hue that was close to this and painted the wheels, frame and swing arm this colour with a rattle can. With every other part in satin black, this just left the key highlight colour of matt red for the rocker

cover, brake calipers and the tank inserts. The colour is what came out of the VHT wrinkle spray can, and I then had my paint supplier custom-mix the tank paint to match, which was again applied by Michael Broholm. The finished bike is a marked improvement over the CB750s, and so this is more the direction I think my future projects will head. I have two more CB900s under construction that will both feature front and rear ends grafted from donor CBR600s. I’m also planning to take a completely different tangent by building a rigidframed CB750 Brat-styled bobber, testimony to the versatility of the mighty twin-cam four-cylinder Honda platform. ISSUE #19

retrobike

13


Cafe Racers

1976/1996 DUCATI 900SS

DREAM Belt-drive power blends with bevel-drive style in this classic Ducati special WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY ALEC SIMPSON

A

SK ANY punter to list the five most beautiful motorcycles of all time and you’ll likely find at least one bevel-drive Ducati sportsbike. They have the three Ps – performance, proportion and poise – and in their day were the finest examples of minimalist high-performance motorcycling on the planet. They were also the inspiration behind Barry’s Beltvel, a Ducati special that combines a 1976 900SS bevel frame (and period bodywork), a 1996 900SS belt-drive engine with reversed rear cylinder head, and modern running gear. It was 1997 when Barry French decided he wanted a new bike, but Ducati weren’t building any he liked. He toyed with the idea of a 916 but

14

retrobike

ISSUE #19


ISSUE #19

retrobike

15


Cafe Racers 1976/1996 DUCATI 900SS his wife wouldn’t tolerate the pillion seat, and after owning two beautiful Ducatis he couldn’t bring himself to buy an ST2. “I wanted a retro style of bike with up-to-date frame geometry, suspension, tyres and brakes,” he says. His original plan was to modify a round-case 750 Sport with 17-inch wheels and fully adjustable suspension, “but I didn’t want to mess around with a round-case. I also wanted a dry clutch, six-speed gearbox, better suspension, bigger tyres and so on.” If you are wondering why he didn’t just get a Sport Classic, Pierre Terblanche hadn’t yet designed the MH900e and the Sport Classic range was still almost a decade away. Had either been around in 1997, this bike wouldn’t exist. Both the frame and engine came from Frank Trento of Eurobrit. Barry recalls how he got Frank to drag out both an air-cooled 904 engine and a liquid-cooled eight-valve 851, before getting him to hold the frame over both so he could choose which way to go. The mounting points for cam-belt engines are completely different to those on a bevel-drive, “so I chopped the frame up and cobbled it together with bits of wire and string and took it to the late Bob Martin,” Barry says. Bob took Barry’s drawings, complete with dimensions and geometry, then welded and modified it to give Barry the frame he was after. The bevel’s steering head and top tubes were retained and new lower rails fabricated, while the rake was changed to that of a then current ’97 900SS. Other mods included replacing the conventional twin-shock swingarm with a cantilever monoshock set-up, initially from a latemodel 750SS. Barry admits the choice of rear suspension was mostly about style; he prefers the look of the SS’s triangulated monoshock to the rising-rate linkage system on the Monster and 851. But it wasn’t his first choice. What he really wanted was a single-

16

retrobike

ISSUE #19


“I WANTED RETRO STYLE WITH UP-TODATE FRAME GEOMETRY, SUSPENSION, TYRES AND BRAKES” sided swingarm but he couldn’t find anyone who’d take it on. “This was a year before the first drawings of the MH900e came out,” he says, “and of course I didn’t know about it when I started doing my thing. But essentially, that is what I wanted to do, a single-sided swingarm like the MH900e but with laced wheels.” The original incarnation used a complete Ducati 900 Monster front end, including headlight, forks, triple clamps and handlebars. This allowed the bike to be finished within six months, and Barry duly rode it to the 1997 Moto GP as planned. As any bike builder knows, making something from a collection of parts is not problematic in itself; it is when the parts are meant to fit something else that things become more challenging. This process can also present a

significant hidden cost, especially if you have to pay someone to do the work and make all the one-off spacers, brackets and shims. The spoked 17-inch wheels came from The Bike Barn and comprise wide alloy Akront rims – 3.5in front, 5.5in rear – laced to Ducati bevel hubs. Some suitably sticky tyres were sourced before Barry returned to the Island, this time to cut some hot laps, which exposed the limitations of the 750SS swingarm. “At turn 11, the swingam would bend and try to shoot me off the track!” Barry says. “Originally I thought it was just my riding style but DOCV member and racer Chris Young rode it and said, ‘How the hell do you ride this? The swingarm flexes so much!’” A polished-alloy Metmachex swingarm was sourced from the UK. It is significantly stronger

than the old steel version and also gives the rear of the bike the visual strength to complement the wide rear wheel and modern front end. The original forks were base-level Marzocchis, a very simple upside-down fork with limited adjustability. This meant Barry wasn’t getting the chance to play with suspension settings as he’d hoped. So while he was working for Honda Australia, he bought some fully-adjustable SP2 forks at a good price. The result is a firm set-up on the road, but brilliant performance on the track, especially now that the Phillip Island circuit has been resurfaced. “When I built it, it handled pretty well,” he says. “In fact it was so good straight off that I left the front suspension alone for a couple of years, but it’s even better now.” The engine has also come in for some significant changes since it was first put into the frame, including a pair of Keihin 39mm FCR carburettors. On the original belt-drive 900SS engine, two Mikunis are joined together and feed the inlet ports from within the V. Because of the bevel frame, Barry had to separate them and make inlet manifolds so they’d clear the top tubes. The relocated Mikunis proved hard to tune ISSUE #19

retrobike

17


Cafe Racers 1976/1996 DUCATI 900SS

and the installation of the Keihins solved that problem. They also offer improved torque on the street, he says. The first incarnation of the bike also ran a modified two-into-one exhaust that didn’t have the cornering clearance Barry needed. “I binned it at Phillip Island, partly because of the clearance, but I had some other failures that day too; it broke a head stud and the gearbox main shaft bearing collapsed. It was an opportunity to replace the Monster handlebars with Tomaselli clip-ons, put high-compression pistons in it and build a new exhaust; an Imola-style two-intotwo. So of course on the next track day, I wrecked a new set of boots and my leathers when they melted against the pipe!” The latest incarnation came about when Barry discovered he could get a rear cylinder head from Germany with a forward-facing exhaust and rear-facing inlet port, similar to the bevel set-up. Produced for TT2/F1 replicas so racers could use visually similar but more modern engines in 18

retrobike

ISSUE #19

classic racing, the head is machined from solid billet and cost a bomb. Aside from creating an exhaust system and inlet manifold to suit, this should have been a bolt-on solution, but was anything but. The process involved sending over the front head, an extra front camshaft for installation into the new rear head, plus all the rocker arms and parts needed to set it up. The first time he sent it over it was returned undelivered, and when it did eventually come back the work was so bad he had to take it to Melbourne Ducati specialist Leigh Farrell to have it all redone. “They couldn’t have set the heads up any worse, so that delayed me quite a bit,” Barry says. “It was poison, but once I’d started I couldn’t stop. It was so expensive I had to forget how much it cost! But it’s sorted now and running well, so all good.” Next job is to reposition the front carby to match, he says. The 24-litre Imola endurance racing tank is


Retro Specs

“I’D DO IT ALL AGAIN, I MET SOME GREAT PEOPLE ALONG THE WAY” also essential to the bike’s look and has been on the bike from the outset, but was more recently complemented by a solo seat from an early SS. His wife Pam has her own Ducati now. Despite some setbacks, Barry has no regrets. “I thought I knew more than Taglioni,” he laughs, “and I spent way too much. But I’d do it all again, I met some great people along the way. I’d start with a complete bike, however, rather than a frame and an engine; buying individual parts – wiring loom, brake components, spacers – is expensive.”

Barry would like to thank Paul and Colin from The Bike Barn, Bob Martin who in his words was fabulous, Leigh Farrell for his work sorting the engine conversion, Frank Trento for the parts and Andrew Price for paint. Barry’s Beltvel is a rare combination of brutality and finesse, and like those classics that inspired it, it too has performance, proportion and poise. It may have taken almost two decades to reach this point but perfection is a demanding master.

ENGINE 1996 Ducati 900SS; air-cooled 90-degree SOHC V-twin; 92 x68 mm for 904cc; two-valves per cylinder, desmodromic rockers; reverse billet rear head; high-comp pistons; 2 x 39mm Keihin FCR on custom manifolds; custom two-into-one exhaust; gear primary to dry clutch and six-speed gearbox; chain final drive CHASSIS 1976 Ducati 900SS (top tubes and head stem); custom lower tubes by Bob Martin BODYWORK Imola 24-litre endurance racing tank; 1975 SS solo seat; Tomaselli clip-ons; Monster headlight; Motogadget instruments; painted by Andrew Price UP FRONT 43mm Honda SP2 USD forks; Monster triple clamps; 3.5 x 17in Akront rim; four-spot Brembo calipers on 320mm rotors; Dunlop Sportsmart 2 tyre DOWN BACK Metmachex triangulated swingam with custom race-spec monoshock; 5.5 x 17in Akront rim; twin-piston Brembo caliper; Dunlop Sportsmart 2 tyre SEX APPEAL Oh yeah, in spades

ISSUE #19

retrobike

19


Lifestyle

VJMC NATIONAL RALLY

of the

Simon Whittaker’s El Diablo 360 Honda was voted Best Modified

20

retrobike

ISSUE #19


These new-fangled Japanese bikes will never catch on WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY GEOFF SEDDON

W

ALKING around the VJMC show’n’shine at the National Museum in Canberra was like walking through the early days of my motorcycling life. Over there, my first proper road bike, an orange Suzuki GT750L just like the one I bought secondhand in 1977 and rode to

Queensland. Not far away, a handsome green ’76 Z900 Kawasaki, identical to one I rode in the early 80s. Behind that, a beautiful blue XS650C Yamaha, a million times nicer than the old smoky dunger I commuted on a few years after that. Memories. I was wishing I’d kept them all when a chrome-tanked Hodaka

Wombat 125 stopped me in my tracks. It was my very first bike! My parents wouldn’t let me ride it on the road but it got me hooked on a lifetime of motorcycling. We forget there was once more than four Japanese motorcycle manufacturers. Engine maker Hodaka hooked up with US

ISSUE #19

retrobike

21


Lifestyle

VJMC NATIONAL RALLY

Seddo’s pick was Simon Whittaker’s ’73 CB350 cafe racer, complete with laced 21in wheels front and rear

Don Bromfield’s 1972 K2 Honda boasts a 1000cc engine, CBR900RR front end, CBR600 rear and a Moto Guzzi fairing

“THE CHROME-TANKED HODAKA WOMBAT 125 STOPPED ME IN MY TRACKS; IT WAS MY FIRST BIKE!” company Pabatco in 1964 to produce the Ace 100, a lightweight dirt bike with lights that many acknowledge as the first dualpurpose road-trail machine. Hodakas were primarily sold in the US but they flogged a few here too after American Frank Wheeler used the 125cc two-stroke Wombat to establish the first around Australia record of 21 days in the early 1970s. Sadly, Yamaha’s DT-1 and the Honda Elsinore came to dominate the market and Hodaka went belly-up in 1978 after building some 150,000 bikes. Another long-forgotten marque was

22

retrobike

ISSUE #19

Bridgestone — who built an innovative (and expensive) line of rotary-valve twostrokes in the 60s — with three bikes on display: a 90cc Deluxe single, a 175cc twin and an unbadged 350 GTR, the flagship of the line. The bikes were an indulgence for the Japanese tyre giant, who the story goes discontinued production at the end of the decade when Honda and others suggested they re-evaluate their priorities. The Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club was established in the same year Hodaka went bust and today has a national membership of 1700, although with a

rolling 15-year cut-off there are now Fireblades in their ranks. Other moderns on show included a Honda CBR1000 and VF1000R, an RC30 and a well-restored GSX-R750 slabbie, with Sam Bateman’s RC30 voted Most Desirable Motorcycle of the event. But it was the 60s and 70s stuff that dominated the entry list at the club’s 2015 National Rally, including swarms of two-strokes. Suzuki Titans and water-bottles were everywhere, as well as Hustlers and Stingers, RD Yamahas from 125 to 400cc and both early and latemodel Kawasaki 500 and 750cc triples. Of


We’ll have one of each, thanks: Yamaha XS750, Suzuki GS1000S, Kawasaki Z1 and Honda CB450

the four-strokes, the usual suspects were well-represented with numerous XS650s, CB750s and Kwaka Nines, but we also spied an impressive gaggle of early Honda twins and a couple of standout GS1000S Suzukis. The oldest bike on display was Paul Rowling’s 1965 CB72. No fewer than three RE-5 Rotaries were in attendance, twice as many CX650 twins and when was the last time you saw an XS750 triple? With a record entry list of 289 bikes from as far away as Mackay in FNQ, the variety was astonishing and worthy of the location. National Museum ‘Boss of Stuff ’ Heidi Pritchard is an enthusiast herself and was one of the main movers in making the show’n’shine happen. She says the VJMC was a pleasure to work with; not a single burnout.

Others to get involved included the local Ulysses Club who helped out with catering and marshalling, and the good fellas from Canberra Cafe Racers who displayed a bunch of bikes and mapped out routes for the Saturday morning cruise around Canberra and a Sunday blast through the hinterland. More than 100 bikes set off for a loop to Cotter Dam via Uriarra Crossing, a legendary ACT scratchers’ road. The pace was brisk amongst the leading pack but most tackled it at a more leisurely pace — as you do on 40 and 50-year-old motorcycles — before the mob regrouped for a farewell lunch on the shores of Lake Burley Griffin. National President John McNair has been a member of the VJMC since 1980. “I love the theme of the club,” he says. “The

ISSUE #19

retrobike

23


Lifestyle

VJMC NATIONAL RALLY

Glen Ross’s SR500 is Australia’s fastest, running as quick as 125mph on Lake Gairdner

preservation of old Japanese motorcycles. We’ve all got similar bikes and the same goals; to restore and ride them, and we help each other out.” The club acts as a meeting point for restorers to share parts and experience, but it also has a strong social element. “The great thing about an annual event like this is you get to catch up with people you haven’t seen since last year. One lady here has membership number 05 and she’s never

24

retrobike

ISSUE #19

“WE’VE ALL GOT SIMILAR BIKES AND THE SAME GOALS” missed a single Rally.” I had a great time wandering down memory lane. As well as the Hodaka, I didn’t realise how fond and vivid are

my memories of that first GT750. I need another bike right now like a hole in the head, but if anyone out there knows of a cheap one, you know where to find me.


Modern Customs

2014 INDIAN TRACK CHIEF

t s e l o o C an i d In

THE 'S D L R O W

c ate d i l p a c o m ke b i ke s i y t lici s e sp o Simp g , says b nd Sand thin der Rola SEDDON IE b uil RDS GEOFFASTAIR RITCH L WO HY A RAP TOG O H P

26

retrobike

ISSUE #19


ISSUE #19

retrobike

27


Modern Customs

2014 INDIAN TRACK CHIEF

T

HE REBORN Indian Chieftain evokes the style and spirit of the revered postwar side-valve Chiefs, which is all well and good if you want to ride from Melbourne to Darwin in comfort and style. But to former US 250 GP champ Roland Sands, the original Indian marque is more fondly remembered for the purpose-built race bikes of an earlier generation, lithe innovative hot rods forever locked in often mortal combat with Harley-Davidson on the timber boardtracks of 1920s America. “The new Indians are well-built bikes and have a lot of soul,” the head of Roland Sands Design in California says. “It would be cool to see people want to customise them. Our inspiration came from a drag bike rendering that Sylvain from Holographic Hammer sent to me. I ended up tweaking it into a boardtracker, adding the single-sided element and all the detailing. But we retained the spirit of Silvain’s tank shape, girder fork and frame.” An anonymous but well-heeled customer was then sourced to fund the build and the boys got to work on what what would be the RSD Track Chief. “Next we engineered the machine’s skeletal

Side-valve? What side-valve? THE NEW Indians are a division of Polaris, the same mob that brought us Victory motorcycles. When I tested an Indian Chief Vintage for Australian Road Rider last year, one wag wondered if the Thunder Stroke engine was a tarted up Victory but the only thing in common is the engineering team that designed them. It’s an overhead-valve V-twin, with heavily stylised cylinder-head finning and block-hugging header pipes to make it look like a side-valve. A few punters tapped the top cylinder-head cover out of curiosity; it sounds metallic but hollow. I wondered if the pushrod tubes were also fake but, no, they are real. Three camshafts — one each for the exhaust valves, and a single cam for both inlet valves — are employed to get the tubes sitting parallel. Behind the bling is a flyby-wire throttle for perfect fuel metering and a modern feel. 28

retrobike

ISSUE #19


“THE TRACK CHIEF WAS BUILT TO RIDE ROUGH, RIGID AND BEAUTIFUL; A THROWBACK TO THE 1920S” geometry resulting in 3.1 inches of trail which we hoped would be the magic number. Having never before built a bike with leaf-spring forks, there was some guessing but a number was agreed upon and we crossed our fingers. “Being a one-off builder has its advantages; primarily we get to do whatever we want. There is no committee outside our small internal group. With that in mind, we set the engine on a frame table and began to create an early eradriven concept utilising modern components.” The 111ci (1811cc) Thunder Stroke engine from a 2014 Chieftain is a monster and was always

going to be the centrepiece of the build. A simple twin-cradle tube chassis was TIG-welded in chrome-moly to house it, albeit with an unusual twist at the rear. “We decided to fashion a single-sided rigid frame as we’d never seen anything in a similar style,” Roland says. It was RSD’s first hardtail in years and he admits the decision was as much about art as function. “This was the source of hours of conversation, a pile of tubes and probably 10 different layouts. We finally decided to keep it tubular and retain classic lines rather than plating the whole thing.” This

also meant the brake disc had to be carried inboard between the wheel and sprocket, same as a Ducati. Front forks are brand new by Paughco but RSD have added on the lower left tube a small but effective Fox DHS mountain bike damper as used in international downhill competition. RSD project manager Cameron Brewer reckons the compression and rebound damping are well-suited to the Paughco spring, but left it up to the boss to test it. “Considering it was a rigid with a leaf fork, I had nightmares about how it was going to handle,” Roland says. “Function-wise, it couldn’t have turned out better. I rode it all over Sturgis and in the twisties and was really happy with it.” With an objective of getting the weight of the finished bike down around 200kg (the standard Indian weighs more than 380kg!), titanium was used for the hand-fabricated fuel tank, headlight nacelle and block-hugging exhausts.

ISSUE #19

retrobike

29


Modern Customs

2014 INDIAN TRACK CHIEF

“CONSIDERING IT WAS A RIGID WITH A LEAF FORK, I HAD NIGHTMARES ABOUT HOW IT WAS GOING TO HANDLE”

30

retrobike

ISSUE #19


Wheels are lightweight 21 x 3.5in RSD Del Mar mags front and back, fitted with 120/70-21 Dunlop Elite 3 tyres and Performance Machine disc brakes. Most everything else was ditched, including the stock belt final-drive system which was replaced with a chain and sprocket kit from Gregg’s Customs. “Simplicity is a complicated thing,” Roland says. “Deconstruction of a fully engineered machine down to its absolute simplest form takes determination, perseverance, connections and lots of hours. The wiring loom was a big problem but we had some underground help from Indian to strip it to its essentials. We also used an internal twist throttle to operate a remote fly-by-wire throttle housing behind the headlight shroud.” The engine computer, bespoke 16-cell lithium battery and the rest of the electrics are contained in an unobtrusive aluminium belly pan under the engine. “For this customer, reliability was a top concern so we retained stockish elements so it would start every time,” he says. The engine is untouched internally but a low-profile RSD Blunt air cleaner was added as much for leg clearance as its superior flow. Dress-up gear includes an RSD Clarity clear cam cover on the right and a matching outer primary cover on the left to expose a one-off custom clutch pressure plate. “We told Barnett we were making a clear clutch cover and wanted some high-end billet clutch internals to show off,” Cameron Brewer

says. “They are not production parts for either of us at this stage.” Despite its show-winning appearance, the bike was built to be ridden. Thankfully, narrow large-diameter tyres muffle a multitude of sins, just as they do on notorious flexi-fliers like Vincents and Norton Commandos. “Riding the Track Chief is an era-bending experience,” Roland says. “On paper, it should be a handful, it should steer lazy and twist and buck from front to back. Thanks to a little luck and preparation, the Track Chief eats smooth pavement and corners with a mile-hungry attitude. Throttle response is meaty if a bit lazy but it pulls well past the comfort zone. “In slow to mid-speed corners, it begs you to be aggressive and makes you feel as if there is room to push harder; it has the lean angle of a sports bike. At the limit, however, it can be a bit frightening as you begin to feel some flex in the frame over rolling bumps and so err back on the side of caution. It is a rigid after all, so you pray for a smooth surface. “The Track Chief was built to ride rough, rigid and beautiful. It is a throwback to the 1920s and the hardened souls who would approach such machines with a lust for speed, minimal weight and high horsepower. With half the weight of the stock bike and a few extra ponies thrown in for sheer terror, we’re looking forward to running this beast down the drag strip, balls in hand and bound for glory.”

Retro Specs ENGINE Air-cooled OHV 49-degree V-twin; two valves per cylinder; 101 x 113mm for 1811cc (111ci); 9.5:1 comp; EFI with fly-by-wire throttle; RSD Blunt air cleaner, Clarity clear cam cover, custom titanium headers and Slant mufflers; gear primary to six speed gearbox; chain final drive (belt stock); 138Nm (102lb-ft) at 2600rpm; power not quoted CHASSIS RSD TIG-welded twin-cradle frame with single-sided hard tail in 4130 chrome-moly tubing BODYWORK Hand-fabricated titanium fuel tank with exposed external welds and custom cap by Crafty B; leather tank strap and seat by Bitchin’ Seat Co; titanium headlight nacelle and aluminium belly pan; paint by Hot Dog Pinstriping with gold leaf Indian emblem UP FRONT Paughco Leaf Springer forks; Fox DHS MTB race damper; 21 x 3.5in RSD Del Mar alloy wheel with 120/70-21 Dunlop Elite 3 tyre; Performance Machine four-piston radial caliper on 13in RSD rotor; Brembo master cylinder DOWN BACK Single-sided rigid; 21 x 3.5in RSD Del Mar alloy wheel with 120/70-21 Dunlop Elite 3 tyre; Performance Machine 125X4R caliper on Gregg’s Customs rotor; Sportster master cylinder BEST FOR Smooth roads

ISSUE #19

retrobike

31


Lifestyle

32

retrobike

ISSUE #19

BROADFORD 2015


A living, breathing celebration of Australian motorcycling WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY GEOFF SEDDON

T

HE Museum & Heritage Committee of Motorcycling Australia is not the kind of name you’d normally associate with one of the most fun weekends on the calendar. Now in its seventh year, the Penrite Oils Broadford Bike Bonanza in regional Victoria has established itself as the mustdo Easter event for pre-1990 motorcycles, attracting record numbers of entrants from as far afield as Perth, Adelaide and Brisbane. Formed in 2006, the Committee has been active in locating and preserving motorcycles that are important in our heritage, including the 750SS Ducati that Mike Hailwood rode in the 1978 Castrol 6 Hour race and the XS1100 Yamaha that won it. Some bikes are donated but most are purchased, and so the Committee established the Bike Bonanza in 2009 to not only raise funds to buy them but also as an event to display them in action. Home for the festival is the State Motorcycle Sports Complex in Broadford — about an hour’s ride up the Hume from Melbourne — run by Motorcycling Australia. It incorporates motocross and supercross tracks, a dirt speedway, enduro and trials areas and a tidy little roadracing circuit that became our base for the weekend. Pre-1990 bikes of all persuasions are welcome to enter, which includes track time on the appropriate circuit. Racing is verboten. Instead, entrants can choose classes from novice to expert, pre’63 through to pre-’90, two wheels or three. This not only allows us slow folk to enjoy a rare lap of a race track, it also brings out some special machines from the past. One was John Woodley’s RG500 GP bike, which ISSUE #19

retrobike

33


Lifestyle

BROADFORD 2015

Café Racer editor Chris Harris and his tres cool R80 Beemer

John Woodley cutting a hot lap on his RG500

“IT ATTRACTED RECORD NUMBERS OF ENTRANTS FROM AS FAR AFIELD AS PERTH, ADELAIDE AND BRISBANE” he rode to third in the Australian Unlimited Grand Prix at Bathurst in 1979, regarded by many as one of the most exciting local bike races of all time. As special guest and Retrobike contributor Alan Cathcart pointed out, the RG is far too valuable to race but John was more than happy to put in some hot laps alongside Ron Boulden on a TZ750 and Graeme Crosby on a Kawasaki, the two who finished ahead of him (just) all those years ago. Each year the festival follows a theme, with 2015 celebrating 50 years of 34

retrobike

ISSUE #19

motorcycle racing at Mount Panorama from 1938 to 1988. For readers who came in late, the Bathurst Easter bike meeting was Australia’s premier race event for most of that time, but unfortunately an increasingly wild spectator crowd on the mountain attracted an equally brutal response from the wallopers and the public shied away. The motorcycles returned from 1992 to 1994 as part of a car endurance race weekend but failed to establish a footing against the new tracks at Eastern Creek and Phillip Island.


So it’s not surprising the Broadford pits were full of exotic racebikes this year, but there were equal numbers of cool streetbikes streaming in and out of the dusty camping areas to line up for each of their six 15-minute track sessions, including yours truly on the editorial Commando. With all of 15 miles up since I registered it, I was as tentative as a learner on the unfamiliar track but the fast guys gave me plenty of space as they whizzed past and I had a ball. I’ll be faster next year, I promise. Not so tentative was my mate Pete and his ’78 900SS, who have logged 250,000 road and race kilometres between them. The fella camped next to us had a Norvin; on the other side a couple had come from Adelaide to ride their early Honda twins, joined by a mate on a Bonneville. Across the track, some fellas from Swan Hill

Brook's Back THE builder of the legendary Vee Two RV1 race bike featured on page 66, Brook Henry, has returned to the scene with a bang in the form of Vee Two Ritorno, a completely remanufactured bevel-drive V-twin built from the original drawings of the one-off NCR engine that powered Mike Hailwood’s 900SS to victory at the Isle of Man in 1978, but also incorporating everything that Brook has learned from decades of Ducati tuning. While outwardly identical to a 750 round-case engine (apart from the external oil filter), its innards are anything but with plain bearings, straight-cut primary gears, dry clutch and a capacity of 904cc. Valve angles are steeper to match more modern combustion-chamber shapes and flat-slide carburettors. The race version is good for 120hp out of the crate; a good stock 900SS might make 70hp, to give you an idea. The Ritorno (Italian for comeback) made its public debut on an engine stand in the Broadford pits, firing up a couple of times to an eager crowd of tongue-tied Ducatisti. The complete package will retail for around $38,000, although individual parts bolt straight up to any bevel twin and will be available separately. For more info, check out www.veetwo.com. ISSUE #19

retrobike

35


Lifestyle

BROADFORD 2015

“THE FAST GUYS GAVE ME PLENTY OF SPACE AS THEY WHIZZED PAST”

Pete Dean on his well-travelled 1978 900SS

turned up with a Yamaha/BSA hybrid single dubbed the BSR and a one-off Norton in a Matchless frame. Behind them, a clutch of restored Honda Fours and Z1s, over there a pair of Laverda Jotas, and I lost count of the Vincents scattered about the place; I’ve never seen so many in one place before. Almost everyone had a fire at night to keep the southern chill at bay, and the vibe was invariably welcoming. While our focus was on the road circuit, we did check out some period speedway action on the Saturday evening, the highlight being an all-Vincent sidecar race. As with the main track, the pits were open to all and sundry seeking a closer look. A unique event for sure, laid-back and friendly, eye candy galore and the chance to ride a race track at your own pace. I dips my lid to the Museum and Heritage Committee and also to Penrite Oils for their valued sponsorship. See you next year!

36

retrobike

ISSUE #19


Cafe Racers

1981 YAMAHA XV750

The

19 81 YA M A H A

50 7 XV

Believe it or not, this was once a stodgy XV750 Yamaha cruiser WORDS GEOFF SEDDON PHOTOS MRK PRODUCTIONS

38

retrobike

ISSUE #19


ISSUE #19

retrobike

39


Cafe Racers

1981 YAMAHA XV750

C

HRISTIAN Moretti is a talented bike builder based in LavenoMombello in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. He is particularly fond of getting hold of what he calls “old bikes only good for trash” and turning them into something better, which is why he calls his business Plan B Motorcycles. “This XV750 is the perfect example,” Christian says. “It was designed to compete with Milwaukee’s twins but despite some interesting technical solutions, it turned out too clean, too quiet, almost tasteless and without the character of the American bikes.” Little was known of the donor bike’s history when a prospective client, who Christian calls Mr F, dropped in with his Yamaha. “Sometimes it’s better not to ask,” he says of the boxes of rusty parts, spray-painted engine pieces, knots of electrical wire and a chassis repaired with water pipe that lobbed in his workshop. “If I’ve learned anything these past few years, it’s better to just act as if everything is normal and get on with it. “The XV750 wasn’t the best custom bike in history and this particular one was not in the

“I DECIDED TO GO AGAINST ALL RATIONAL LOGIC AND TURN IT INTO NEO-CLASSIC CAFE RACER” best shape. But the bike’s potential was hidden there somewhere. In the end, I decided to go against all rational logic and turn it into neoclassic cafe racer, agile but strong, stable on the straights but fast through the corners. “My inspiration was a Benelli fuel tank from a US export model called the Mojave, that had hung on the wall of my living room for several

years waiting for the right project. I have to thank Greg Hageman and Classified Moto for being the first to put the Mojave tank on a Virago, but I wanted to push it further. I sat the tank on the frame and then let everything else be defined by its curves.” XV Yamahas have what Christian calls invisible mainframes, using the engine as the core to which everything else is bolted with the top frame tubes hidden under the tank. The idea is as old as the Series B Vincent and has been recently revisited by Ducati, but you don’t often find it in a cruiser. It means you can do whatever you want visually without compromising the

Cruiser Dawn THE Yamaha XV750 was Japan’s first attempt at a proper cruiser when it was released in 1981 and bears zero resemblance to what you’re looking at here. Factory customs had become increasingly popular from the late 1970s, but were lightly modified versions of popular existing models like the XS650. The XV was designed from the ground-up as a small sanitised version of a Harley-Davidson, at least in spirit, with wide high bars, low seat and an even lower centre of gravity from the all-new V-twin engine. Thankfully, the designers came up with their own take on the styling, avoiding slavishly copying Harley as so many do today. It wasn’t long before Harley was copying Yamaha, at least when it came to adopting a triangulated, cantilevered swingarm to mimic a hardtail rear end as they later did on the Softail.

40

retrobike

ISSUE #19

The Yamaha lacked the soul but was infinitely more reliable than the pre-Evolution Harleys, and was fitted with fuss-free shaft drive that was all the rage at the time. At 225kg dry, weight was about average but 51hp was on the low side for power. No-one complained, the XV750 was a gentle soul and proved very popular, single-handedly launching a whole new genre of Japanese cruising bikes. Having a bet each way, Yamaha also released the XV1000 TR1 at around the same time. Sporting a bigger engine, chain-drive and conventional streetbike styling, all the magazine testers raved about the handling and performance of the ‘modern Vincent’ but not so the general public; it disappeared without trace. How ironic that blokes like Christian Moretti are doing it better nearly 35 years later.


ISSUE #19

retrobike

41


Cafe Racers

1981 YAMAHA XV750

bike’s structural integrity, which makes it the perfect base for a radical custom. “The entire chassis was revisited,” Christian says. “The factory geometry was changed and the suspension replaced with more serious stuff. Up front are 43mm upside-down Showa forks taken from a Ducati 916. The triangulated XV750 swingarm was reinforced and fitted with a Showa monoshock from a Yamaha R1.” What little frame there is was modified to lower the height of the fuel tank while retaining the factory airbox, and custom triple clamps were fabricated to achieve the desired rake and trail. Christian then machined the seat subframe sections from billet aluminium, and added a support for the small lithium battery hidden under the tail. A single 320mm disc up front is gripped by a four-piston Brembo caliper on a spoked 18-inch rim fitted with a relatively high-profile 110/80 tyre. Shaft drive has been retained at the dusty end, which brings with it a drum brake and a very limited range of final drive ratios compared with a chain and sprockets. This in turns limits one’s options for rear wheel diameter, and Christian went for a most uncafe-like spoked 15-inch rim with a tall 140/90 hoop. The original bike had 19 and 16in cast wheels.

42

retrobike

ISSUE #19

Christian fashioned the solo seat base and minimalist tail unit in fibreglass to blend in with the Benelli fuel tank but also make a highlight of the milled subframe. Italians have always been good at this stuff and the Orange Project as he’s dubbed it now looks every inch a traditional European cafe racer. The paint is

a Porsche colour from 1973 with airbrushing by Emink. Front mudguard is a cut-down fibreglass Thruxton unit on custom aluminium supports. Proprietary clip-ons were added and rear-sets fabricated to match. To keep the clip-ons uncluttered, the electrics were simplified with most rider


removed and the essential things have been hidden,” Christian says. “This has removed about 50kg compared to the bike straight out of the factory. The riding position is now pretty loaded on the wrists and makes you want to jump between the corners.” The engine has been dressed up externally but is stock apart from custommade stainless-steel headers and trescool Hydroform silencers from HP Corse, who use high fluid pressure technology to manufacture seamless muffler shapes unimaginable with normal manufacturing processes. XVs were quiet and made around 50hp at 7000rpm out of the crate. The Plan B bike is loud and should make better than that; with a dry weight under 180kg and slightly shorter gearing, it would hold its own in most cafe racer packs. The Orange Project isn’t the only XVbased cafe racer on Christian’s books. Another is the Fireball, a cross between a Norvin-style cafe racer and modern streetfighter based on a 1000cc XV1000 TR1. Other projects on the boil include customs based on a 2007 KTM 950, an ’03 999 Ducati and a WLA Harley so it’s not like he’s stuck in a rut. There’s no denying he hit all the right buttons with this build, forsaking bling to rely instead on style and proportion to come up with an elegant and timeless classic worthy of any design studio. That he did it all by eye and hand in a small regional workshop is all the more remarkable, and from a boring old XV750 simply amazing.

Retro Specs ENGINE Air-cooled four-stroke 75-degree V-twin; 83 x 69mm for 748cc; 8.7:1 comp; 2 x 34mm Keihin carburettors; wet multi-plate clutch to five-speed gearbox and shaft final drive; 51hp at 7000rpm (stock) CHASSIS Not much! Modified pressed-steel mainframe incorporating air box; braced triangular swingarm; fabricated billet aluminium subframe and battery holder BODYWORK Benelli Mojave fuel tank; custom fibreglass seat unit and tailpiece; Triumph Thruxton mudguard; painted in Porsche Orange; airbrushing by Emink UP FRONT 43mm USD forks from a Ducati 916; custom-made offset triple clamps; single 320mm floating disc with Brembo four-spot caliper; 18in laced wheel with 110/80 tyre DOWN BACK Showa monoshock from Yamaha R1; 200mm Yamaha drum brake; 15in laced wheel with 140/90 tyre SUMMARY Silk purse from a sow’s ear

“I SAT THE TANK ON THE FRAME AND THEN LET EVERYTHING ELSE BE DEFINED BY ITS CURVES”

control functions transferred to a series of switches on the top triple clamp. A custom billet master cylinder is fitted on the right while the cable-operated clutch has the left side as clean as a whistle. Apart from that, there’s, well ... not much! “Everything not strictly necessary has been

ISSUE #19

retrobike

43


Classic Races

PHILLIP ISLAND

L PHILLIP IS

AND

L E N N TU N VI SIO 015 2 C I S S A L C

British and Japanese bikes dominated the 2015 Island Classic but RUSS MURRAY only had eyes for the Italians WORDS & PHOTOS RUSS MURRAY

T

HIS YEAR saw the 22nd running of the Phillip Island Classic and the 10th anniversary of the International Challenge, an event which now has teams of 10 from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and USA competing on 80s-era superbikes upgraded with modern 17in racing tyres. There is no doubt that this is what draws the crowds; stunning bikes ridden by famous riders who have graced the world’s racetracks in all categories of MotoGP, WSB, BSB and Isle of Man. Imagine a Suzuki Katana with more than 170hp at the rear wheel and lap times in the mid 1:30s. That’s the International Challenge. But it’s not the only attraction at the Island Classic. There are many other classes comprising 125cc bikes from the 1960s

44

retrobike

ISSUE #19


ISSUE #19

retrobike

45


Classic Races

PHILLIP ISLAND

through to highly modified 1300cc production bikes with around 300 riders competing on close to 500 machines. As might be expected, most of the race bikes are British (up to the mid-1970s) and Japanese (post mid-’70s) with a spattering of Italians and other Europeans throughout the classes. But the sheer numbers mean there’s plenty of eye candy for diehards like me whose blood flows red, white and green. One of the great things about the Island Classic is the ability to freely wander through the race paddock, stopping at whatever pit you wish to admire the racing machinery within. What is even better is the riders and owners are quite willing for you to wander into their garage, photograph the bikes and have a chat about their history, modifications or upcoming improvements. Similarly, they are attentive when it comes to your tales about a bike you own or once rode and wish you had never sold. Friday is the best day to wander the pits as the crowds are smaller. This is when I find out that the MotoBox Moto Guzzi Le Mans III #133 parked outside its garage has just dropped a valve and will be out of action for the weekend. It’s not all that surprising as the bike has been bored from 844cc to around 1300cc! The other MotoBox Guzzi in the garage, also a Mk III, has only an 1100cc engine. Wayne Gow, the owner of both, is contemplating reducing #133 to 1100cc as well. Both bikes were built in Spain by MotoBox for endurance racing with #133 being the winning bike in the 2010 Spa Classic four-hour race. Wayne also has a 750cc V7 Moto Guzzi from 1972 which is on loan to Vince Burrell of MotoKiwi, while another standout Guzzi is the Stein Dinseprepped #110 Le Mans of Phil Honeycombe.

“FRIDAY IS THE BEST DAY TO WANDER THE PITS AS THE CROWDS ARE MUCH SMALLER” As might be expected, there are quite a few Ducatis competing, mostly belt-drive Pantah-engined bikes. Some, like Chris Hayward and Mick Bryan, are aboard modest 500cc Pantahs whilst others such as Rob Young, Bob Garner and Alec

Simpson are racing replica TT2s and TT1s. Ron Young’s legendary 750 green-frame is also being campaigned by his son Rob, although to say this bike is a green-frame may be a bit of a stretch considering the work done to the engine and everything

THIS PAGE: LEFT Is this Australia's first Pantah-powered tracker? Bring it on, we say! TOP Wayne Gow's 1100cc MkIII Le Mans fared better than its 1300cc sibling. Both bikes were built by MotoBox in Spain ABOVE Good enough to win the 2010 Spa Classic Four Hour, Gow's #133 dropped a valve at the Island OPPOSITE PAGE: BOTTOM Early eight-valve Dukes like this schmick white-framed 851 are now eligible for Period 6 historic racing MIDDLE Rob Young on the family green-frame (left) and Guzzi pilot Vince Burrell (right) TOP Grant Medlock cuts some hot laps on his 1979 SS-NCR 46

retrobike

ISSUE #19


else. The motor has been bored out to 1064cc with sand-cast crankcases and NCR bevel gears, while the chrome-moly frame, cartridge forks and a pressure-fed gearbox similar to those on the NCR race bikes aren’t exactly standard either! There is also the very tidy 1979 SS-NCR replica raced by Grant Medlock with the red zone of the tacho replaced by a dollar sign, a mod Seddo recalls first seeing on the Forcycle Engineering GT750 raced by Pete Muir. An oddity is the SD500 parallel-twin of Mike Van de Zand as these bikes are not everyone’s first choice when it comes to Ducati ownership. One of the amusing things about Mick’s bike is the ‘click into gear’ message texta’d onto one side of the fuel cap — you make one mistake and they never forget — and a less-than-subtle ‘go faster’ on the other. The single-cylinder Ducatis of the 60s and early 70s are also in abundance, both

ISSUE #19

retrobike

47


Classic Races

PHILLIP ISLAND

250 and 350cc, narrow- and wide-case, with Darrell Bailey taking out the class win on his 1961 Diana. The earliest Italian race bike is Mick Jones’s 1957 MV Agusta Modello Sport which has Giacomo Agostini’s signature in gold across the tank. Whilst not the fastest of bikes, it has a certain appeal to us MV Agusta freaks. Period 6 bikes, produced from 1983 to 1990, include some exotic machinery more familiar to recent converts to Italian motorcycling. As well as the first eightvalve 851/888 Ducatis and a couple of

1985 F1s — the production version of the TT1/TT2 race bikes — there is a gorgeous craftsman-built Bimota YB8 designed and engineered by Pier Marconi and ridden by Lech Budniak. Whilst the race bikes attracted the crowds, a walk through the car park also unveils another aspect of the weekend, the road bikes. The highlight for me is one of the most exclusive and desirable of all Italian road bikes, the 1974 750SS often referred to as the green-frame or Imola model, which are usually only seen in books or museums. A slightly less

ABOVE Phil Honeycombe's '84 Le Mans prepared by Stein Dinse was a standout FAR LEFT Ex-racer Ric Begg, aka The Wizard, perveyor of fine English, Italian, German and Japanese motorcycles LEFT No shortage of classics amongst the crowd BELOW Darrell Bailey on his 1967 Mk III Ducati single

“AS EXPECTED, THERE ARE QUITE A FEW DUCATIS COMPETING” 48

retrobike

ISSUE #19


Over 40 years experience Racing, Building and working with DUCATI Motorcycles

VEE TWO are the Bevel Experts! C Camshaf ts

V Two are the only Vee independent designers in and a manufacturers of D De Desmo cams in the world. O Over 20 roac and race profiles available.

dry clutches

Works racer replica kits available with straight cut primary gears. Lighter, stronger, more reliable. Lowers engine oil temerature.

sprag clutch upgrade kits Replace the poorly designed stock item with our redesigned kit. Comes complete with lightened flywheel.

gears

from anufactured CNC ma m steel. nu de yb ol o m h--m gh hig inals. ger than orig ng on Strro and race. ad ro r fo e bl la aiila Avai

back, is o w T Vee enry! H k o o r B With

gaskets

We now manufac actu ture re al allll gaskets for bevelel-d driv rive e Ducati engines ness..

cylinder • Bevel drive s head rebuild lve a v • Unleaded ion seat convers emblies • Big end ass rebuilds & crankshaft rebuilds • Full engine

rating c e n i g n e r Ou back service is

From the smallest bevel-drive service part to a full engine, we can help. Andrew Cathcart | Andrew@veetwo.com | 08 9756 0885

Search for ‘Vee Two Australia’ on Facebook


BROADFORD PHILLIP2015 ISLAND Lifestyle Classic Races

conventional Ducati is a tracker mixing a belt-drive engine with old-world bodywork and custom styling, including large heavytreaded tyres. Another Ducati usually only seen on special occasions is the beautifully restored Mach I owned by Bruce Merideth, who also raced other 250 and 350 singles at the event. Further wandering finds an SFC Laverda, a bike which many consider as close to a race bike as a production bike could ever be, with little more than a headlight and stop light attached in the Italian way. This is another desirable model from the 70s when the Italian manufacturers were first getting into 750cc bikes. Of the Moto Guzzis, the best represented is the Le Mans but few could walk past a cool little Lodola Gran Turismo single or fail to marvel at the patience of the owner of a well-travelled Falcone. The Island Classic is an event that should be pencilled in for the long weekend every January, partly as the array of machinery is seldom seen in one place and partly because the informal atmosphere is reminiscent of race meets of past eras, when the riders and their bikes were accessible to the fans. Ciao! 50

retrobike

ISSUE #19

“THE EARLIEST BIKE IS MICK JONES’S 1957 MV AGUSTA MODELLO SPORT” TOP Belt or bevel? You couldn't go wrong with any of these; as good as air-cooled Ducati race bikes ever got ABOVE Bruce Meredith fires up on the rollers ABOVE LEFT Mick Jones's gorgeous 1957 MV Agusta resting regally between races LEFT Ducati 750 F1 rider Sue Frew


p m Ju n p Pum

CHARGER WITH THE SJS 12V SMART START PRESSOR AND OPTIONAL 80 PSI AIR COM

Never be stranded again with SJS portable power in your pocket

Jump start vehicles, charge phones, tablets, cameras etc. Latest Li-Po tech, 3 sizes 400, 500 & 600amp, from $109.00 RRP RP Accessory pump, anderson & cig plug adaptors available separately. tely.

SJS Smart Start Chargers and Accessories are now available from your favourite motorcycle accessories dealer. Contact Kenma Australia for more information about SJS PRODUCTS Ph 02 9484 0777 Email: sales@kenma.com.au visit www.kenma.com.au


Restos

100HP HONDAS

HONDA CBX & CX650TC RETRO

BIKE

Honda first cracked the 100hp barrier with the mighty six-cylinder CBX and quirky CX650 Turbo WORDS GEOFF SEDDON | PHOTOGRAPHY JOHN FRETTEN

52

retrobike

ISSUE #19


ISSUE #19

retrobike

53


Restos

100HP HONDAS

H

ONDA had form when they released the CBX 1000 in 1978. In 1966 and ’67, the factory won consecutive 250 GP championships with Mike Hailwood riding an air-cooled in-line six-cylinder four-stroke. Incredibly, it had DOHC and four-valves per tiny cylinder. Hailwood also won the 1966 350 championship on a four-cylinder Honda, but returned with a 297cc six to retain the 350 crown in 1967. At the top of his game, Soichiro Honda then pulled the pin on GP racing for a decade to concentrate on development of roadbikes, with equally spectacular results. One of the engineers closely involved with the race program was Shoichiro Irimajiri and he was the main guy behind the CBX, whose engine bears a remarkable resemblance to Hailwood’s 250, even if it is four times as big! “When we were racing, we were up against four-cylinder two-strokes built by Yamaha and Suzuki,” Irimajiri said at the world launch of the CBX in California. “Cylinder multiplication was the only way we could be competitive. That’s why we built the five and the two sixes. The CBX-Six is a direct descendent of those race engines. That’s one reason it took only a year and a half to develop.”

54

retrobike

ISSUE #19

“THE CBX IS A DIRECT DESCENDENT OF HONDA’S SIX-CYLINDER RACE ENGINES” The two main issues Irimajiri had to deal with in the road bike were engine width and weight. He solved the first by moving the alternator and CDI ignition from each end of the crankshaft to behind the engine, radical for its time but widely copied since. He also ditched the front down tubes to lean the engine forward by 33 degrees and angled the six carburettors inward, to allow space for the rider’s knees. Weight was more problematic and was addressed at every point. Aluminium was used extensively, including triple clamps and handlebars, foot pegs, wheels and clutch basket. Mudguards and seat unit were plastic. The countershaft sprocket cover, alternator housing and shift-linkage cover were magnesium. Camshafts were hollow. Even so, the CBX came in at a hefty 249kg dry, or 275kg with oil and fuel.

The CBX’s bodywork was penned by Chief Designer Otsuka to fit the design brief of a sophisticated high-performance sports bike. Irimajiri’s 103hp engine liked a drink, necessitating a big 20-litre petrol tank. The rest of the bike is fairly conventional, apart from the kicked-up spoiler tail unit which Otsuka admitted was inspired by the rear deck wings popular on high-end Porsches and no more useful. On release, the CBX was lauded by the press for its smoothness and power but the public was slower on the uptake, overawed by its apparent complexity. In 1979, Honda released the 95hp four-cylinder CB900 Bol d'Or, which quickly became the choice for production racers and scratchers alike. In 1981, the CBX was repositioned as a stately tourer in the form of the ‘Pro Link’ B Model with a full fairing, beefier forks, monoshock


my regular road bike until I finished my VF1000R. It’s a bit flimsy in the front with those forks, but if you ride it sensibly, it’s a great touring bike.” Like all of John’s bikes, the aim is always to return the bike to stock showroom condition, including the original six-intotwo exhausts. “They reckon they designed the exhausts to replicate the sound of a jet fighter. It sounds awesome.”

Retro Specs

and three less horsepower. No longer considered a sports bike, the bike’s dry weight blew out to a whopping 272kg (308kg wet) and a year after that, the CBX was discontinued. Our feature bike is a 1979 model, restored and photographed by John Fretten. He sourced it in the US in 2009. “It was in good condition,” he says. “It still has the original paint. It just needed the carbs sorted and a

good tidy-up, which included repainting the swingarm and new fork seals. The US models were a bit different, so I had to source the right handlebars, foot rests and a km/h speedo. Same for the rear shocks; the US bikes only had spring preload adjustment, whereas we got FVQ shocks which were also adjustable for damping. “I love riding it, it’s really nice, very smooth with an elastic sort of power. It was

ENGINE Inline air-cooled inline four-stroke six; chain-driven DOHC, 24 valves; 64.5 x 53.4mm for 1047cc; six x 28mm Keihin carburettors; electronic ignition; 9.3:1 compression; wet clutch, five-speed gearbox, chain final drive; 103hp @ 9000rpm; 85Nm @ 8000rpm CHASSIS Steel tube frame with engine as stressed member; non-adjustable 35mm forks, 2 x 276mm rotors with single-piston floating calipers, 19in wheel; twin FVQ rear shocks adjustable for preload and damping, 296mm disc with single-piston caliper, 18in wheel DIMENSIONS Wheelbase 1500mm; fuel 20 litres; wet weight 275kg (249 dry) BEST FOR Six addicts

ISSUE #19

retrobike

55


Restos

100HP HONDAS

W

ITH the secondgeneration CBX six repositioned as a heavyweight tourer, Honda turned its attention to forced induction as a showcase for its technical superiority. In typically quirky fashion, Honda chose the least likely option — the pedestrian 50hp CX500 pushrod V-twin — as the base, loading it with an IHI turbocharger and computerised engine management technology to come up with a futuristic 82hp road rocket. As then Honda R&D chief Kazuo Inoue told Cycle World on its launch, “We set out to make a little motor and measure it by the performance standards of a big bike.” Forced induction on motorcycles wasn’t new — it was all the rage in GP racing back in the 1930s before it was banned — but the CX500TC would be the world’s first turbocharged production bike and the first to feature electronic fuel injection. Its top speed of 195km/h was incredible for a 500, and its chassis equally innovative, with Pro Link rear suspension and TRAC anti-dive front end which linked brake pressure to fork damping. Contemporary road tests confirmed the bike’s exhilarating performance but that power delivery was all or nothing, 56

retrobike

ISSUE #19

“MID-RANGE POWER MORE THAN MATCHED CONTEMPORARY 1100CC ASPIRATED ENGINES”


with pronounced turbo lag thrown in for good measure. Honda had dropped the CX’s compression ratio from 10:1 to 7.2:1, making it even slower than a normallyaspirated CX500 off boost, but then overcompensated with nearly 17.5psi when it came on song. It was all good on the wide open road but difficult to ride fast in the twisty bits. Honda addressed these issues the following year with the CX650 Turbo, by all reports a far superior ride to the 500. Not only was capacity increased by more than a third from 497 to 674cc, compression was bumped up to 7.8:1 and higher-lift cams operated larger valves, while maximum turbo boost was dropped a point to 16.4:1 despite a larger vane. Off-boost performance was much improved, the turbo pitched in earlier and lag was reduced as the revs rose, all of which made it an easier bike to ride fast, as did suspension upgraded with linked air-pressure adjustment for the front forks and rebound damping adjustment at the back. Gearing was also raised for a genuine 200km/h. Inoue had achieved his goal, with mid-range power more than a match for contemporary 1100cc aspirated engines, as was its 100hp top end. Sadly, overall dimensions and weight were also similar

at around 260kg fuelled up and ready to run, which largely negated the advantage of using a smaller engine in the first place. As with the CBX (and the Suzuki RE5 we featured in issue 17), enthusiasts were also wary of the Turbo’s perceived complexity. Despite this, Yamaha, Suzuki and Kawasaki responded in very quick time with the Seca 650 Turbo, XN85 (also a 650) and GPz750 Turbo respectively. All were much simpler designs based on inline four-cylinder engines, but only the Kawasaki lasted more than a few years. Most commentators picked the Honda CX650TC as the best of the bunch but it mattered little to the buying public, who avoided all of them like the plague. Honda discontinued production at the end of 1983, with one unconfirmed report putting worldwide CX Turbo sales in the low thousands. We got the 500 Turbo in Australia but never the 650. John Fretten found this one in America in 2010. It is of course a 1983 model. “It was in reasonable condition, but really grubby, covered in road grime,” he says. “But all the bits were there. I had the bodywork and swingarm repainted, and sourced the decals in the States. One problem is they can burn out the stators, which requires pulling the

engine out to fix. So while I had the motor out, I redid all the connections. “It’s a great bike on the open road. It’s a bit doughey down low until it comes on boost, but then it’s really smooth and torquey. The suspension is good for the times and it has better brakes than the CBX. Best thing about it is its midrange, you don’t have to rev it to enjoy its performance.”

Retro Specs ENGINE Four-stroke water-cooled 80-degree OHV V-twin; 82.5 x 63mm for 674cc; four valves per cylinder; IHI 51mm turbocharger; 7.8:1 compression; ECU-controlled EFI and ignition; electric start; wet clutch, five-speed transmission, shaft final drive; 100hp @ 8000rpm; 93Nm @ 6000rpm CHASSIS Steel tube frame with engine as stressed member; 37mm Showa forks with Honda TRAC anti-dive system, adjustable for air pressure; 2 x 280mm rotors with twin-piston calipers on 18in rim; Pro Link rear suspension; Showa monoshock adjustable for air and rebound damping; 300mm rotor with twin-piston caliper on 17in rim DIMENSIONS Wheelbase 1496mm; fuel 20 litres; wet weight 260kg BEST FOR Fast open roads ISSUE #19

retrobike

57


Salt Racing

SPEED WEEK 2015

Bill Brice is a guru of Harley side-valve performance, a former Period 2 national circuit-racing champion and also a vintage class land-speed record holder

58

retrobike

ISSUE #19


Run what you brung and hope you brung enough WORDS GEOFF SEDDON | PHOTOS SIMON DAVIDSON

T

HE hot rodders first travelled to Lake Gairdner, a dry salt lake deep in the South Australian outback, in 1990. Living the Bonneville dream, they established Dry Lakes Racers Australia, an organisation devoted to land speed racing which has conducted annual Speed Weeks on the Lake ever since, weather permitting. Motorcycles started arriving in numbers around 10 years later and then that movie came out. These days motorbikes, increasingly purpose-built, outnumber cars.

ISSUE #19

retrobike

59


Salt Racing

SPEED WEEK 2015

Salt racing is an unusual form of motorsport. In Australia, it takes place just once a year at the end of a rough dirt track in the middle of nowhere; just getting there takes real commitment. Apart from a canteen and some portaloos, there are no facilities. You take everything in, you take everything out. Sometimes the weather intervenes and you have to wait another year; there are no alternate rain dates. But the reward is you do get to spend a week in one of the most spectacular and isolated places on earth, and ride your bike as fast as it will go. The Lake is 160km long by 48km wide, with racing happening at the southern end where the salt crust is thickest. Camping is on one of the hills overlooking the Lake, while the pits are set up on the salt midway along the main track. There is also a second shorter 4km track, timed by GPS, to cope with ever-growing numbers of entrants. Preparing a salt racer has its unique challenges. It’s not like there are any other places you can test or practice, and building an engine that will stay hard on the gas for mile after mile is as different 60

retrobike

ISSUE #19

“PREPARING A SALT RACER HAS ITS CHALLENGES. IT'S NOT LIKE YOU CAN TEST OR PRACTICE ANYWHERE ELSE”


as it gets to building a circuit racer or drag bike. Nigel Harvey, part of the crew supporting Ross Osbourne on his recordsetting Triumph Thruxton, summed it up: “To set a record, the bike’s engine will be revving flat out, at top speed, for 60 seconds. It’s a mammoth task for any

bike,” let alone one putting out nearly four times the power of a stock engine. To make his point, he suggests you start your bike and hold the throttle flat open as you count slowly to 60, and see what happens. Getting the gearing right is also crucial, with many first-timers choosing ratios too

tall. And how will it handle, especially as you make your way toward the hallowed 200mph zone? The faster you go, the more complex the physics, and then there’s the wind. As Burt Munro discovered, there’s only one way to find out. “As with most racing, it’s a massive ISSUE #19

retrobike

61


SPEED VEE WEEK TWO RV1 2015 Classic Salt Racing Racers

62

retrobike

ISSUE #19


“IMAGINE HEARING AN OPEN-PIPED, HIGHLY-TUNED BIG TWIN HOLD ITS THROTTLE WIDE OPEN FOR EVER”

learning curve,” Harvey says. “The salt and dust get into everything – engines included. Then there’s the traction issues on the salt and the tall gearing that’s required to get a bike up to speed. It’s a black art that’s impossible to test until you’re out there. There’s the wind, the death wobbles and the ballast that’s required to keep the bikes stable. And all this in the middle of a desert that’s baking you during the day and freezing you at night.” The event is not restricted to older machinery — Grant Schlien ran 221mph

(355km/h) on his 2008 ’Busa, one of 55 new national motorcycle records set this year — but we mostly had eyes for the early girls, as you’d expect. There’s something pretty special about hearing an open-piped, highly-tuned big twin hold its throttle wide open seemingly forever, never backing off even after rider and bike have disappeared into the haze. Salt racers are a friendly eccentric bunch. The pits are open to spectators, as is an area close to the start line and the campgrounds. There are almost as many FIM classes as entrants, so the range of

machinery ranges from posties to belly tanks, and the variety of modifications is even broader. The only rule is that your machine is safe, and the only objective is going as fast as you possibly can. It’s as pure as it gets. “We’ll be back next year, no doubt about it,” says Harvey. “After all the work we’d done, seeing the bike on the salt at 7am for the sunrise on the big day was a bit of a surreal experience. Easily the coolest thing I’ve ever been involved in.” Want to join in on the fun? Find out how at www.dlra.org.au.

ISSUE #19

retrobike

63


SPEED VEE WEEK TWO RV1 2015 Classic Salt Racing Racers

ROSS OSBOURNE, TRIUMPH THRUXTON TRIUMPHS and salt racing go back to 1956 when John Allen set a new world motorcycle land speed record at Bonneville of 214mph (345km/h) on a 650cc Tiger T110 streamliner; the factory responded by naming their new sports bike the Bonneville in 1959. Ross Osbourne from Supacustom in Melbourne built this 2008 Thruxton special in conjunction with local Triumph distributor Paul Chiodo, also enlisting the input of Triumph Technical Manager Cliff Stovall and engine builder Andrew Hallam. The motor was bored and stroked to 1000cc and ported to within an inch of its life. 64mm throttle bodies contributed to a measured 110rwhp compared with the stock bike’s 39! The bike ran as fast as 157mph (252km/h) on the GPS before going off song but good enough for a new Aussie class record of just over 149mph through the traps, a remarkable achievement for a rookie team.

STEPHEN FINN, SUZUKI GT750 TEAM Waterbottle from Port Pirie in South Oz has been flying the two-stroke flag since 2009 with what was once a 1976 Suzuki GT750. For 2015, owner/rider Stephen Finn ditched the streamlining to chase the unfaired 750-class record of 149mph. He ran 157mph (252km/h) jammed in fourth gear but with a tailwind, so the record still stands. The streamliner class record is 187mph and he’ll chase that next, confident his home-built 120rwhp reed-valve smoothboreequipped hybrid has what it takes. GT750s made 38hp at the rear wheel when they were new.

64

retrobike

ISSUE #19

JOHN FLINTOFF, DUCATI 900SS JOHN Flintoff’s 1995 900SS runs a big-bore 944cc engine fed by 41mm Keihin flat-slides, ST2 camshafts and a programmable ignition. The fairing is from an 851 and exhaust by Dennis Foran in Gosford, with Arthur Davis and Jungle Jim Knight from Desmo HQ in Byron Bay also assisting in the build. John hails from the Gold Coast and ran 129mph on his first qualifying ‘rookie’ pass and will be back waving the two-valve banner in 2016.


PETER BIRHIS, INDIAN ALTOONA AUSTRALIA’S fastest Indian may well be this 1926 Indian Altoona replica raced by Bundalong’s Peter Birhis. Indian only made a handful of the eight-valve Altoona race bikes back in the heady days of the Indian-Harley wars, a situation remedied by Aussie Indian enthusiast Lindsay Urquhart who built this 1300cc weapon (and two or three others) from scratch. Running on methanol with a replica chassis and Norton gearbox, first-time salt racer Peter achieved his 125 and 150mph licensing passes and will return next year to chase his class record of just under 159mph. That’s 255km/h for those who came in late, from an engine designed 90 years ago.

ADRIAN BRAUN, BMW R100 MICK HITE, BUELL 1200 THIS gorgeous BMW is the product of Melbourne’s Skrunkwerks and was raced by Adrian Braun. It is a 1987 R100 with strengthened frame, GSX-R600 forks and triple clamps and an R1100RT swingarm with Hyperpro shock. Initially planning to run a 110hp race motor, Adrian ran out of time and fitted the 75hp engine out of his cafe racer, with which he ran a best of 128mph (206km/h), just 13mph short of the unfaired aspirated 1000cc pushrod record. The bike is geared to pull 150mph at 9000rpm with the race motor, which will be really something when he returns next year.

MICK Hite first raced at Lake Gairdner in 2000, running 118mph on his souped-up Sportster in full street trim. For 2015, he put together this Buell-powered special in just 10 days, including making the low-slung frame which is the secret to its best run of 159mph (255km/h). Amazingly, the 1200cc engine is stock as a rock apart from ditching the air box and adding straight-through pipes! The 159mph run was wind-assisted, but Mick later nabbed the record at 153 and change. His class allows up to 1350cc, so he’ll be back next year with a big-bore hottie aiming at the world record of 169mph.

ISSUE #19

retrobike

65


Classic Racers

66

retrobike

ISSUE #19

VEE TWO RV1


BATTLE Twin Good enough for 265km/h at Daytona, the Vee Two RV-1 was the fastest two-valve Ducati that ever lived WORDS ALAN CATHCART PHOTOS KYOICHI NAKAMURA

T

HE Panigale and the 1198 are brilliant pieces of engineering, but nobody ever finished off developing the original two-valve desmo engine,” says Brook Henry of Vee Two. “There was always more to come from the two-valve desmo concept than what the factory achieved before they switched to the desmoquattro in 1987.” Brook would know. Starting in 1983 with a bevel-drive 900SS insurance write-off, he steadily developed Taglioni’s original V-twin to international acclaim. The Vee Two RV-1 with Owen Coles aboard humbled fuel-injected eightvalve racers on three continents, not only in BEARS and ProTwins events in Australasia, but also in Europe and, most memorably, by finishing fourth at Daytona in the 1991

ISSUE #19

retrobike

67


Classic Racers

VEE TWO RV1

Battle of the Twins race won by Doug Polen on the factory Ducati 888 Superbike. Apart from Polen, only the Britten and another 888 Corsa finished ahead of the air-cooled carburetted two-valve RV-1, which recorded a top speed during the race of 265km/h! The chance to ride the bike at Zolder during the team’s European campaign later that same year was too good to miss. Brook Henry has a diploma in garden shed engineering, typified by the biplane he built with some mates at age 14, which he actually flew before the law cottoned on! After completing a toolmaker apprenticeship, he moved to Perth from NZ in 1974, and opened Webrook Engineering six years later, which then morphed into Vee Two. “I love Ducatis,” Brook says, “and the Big Twin is a real engineer’s bike. To get performance out of it that was competitive by later standards, you had to be really ingenious and prepared to do lots of work, not simply bolt on parts from an NCR race kit. I like that kind of challenge.” The most obvious change was to convert the motor to belt-drive, for the same reason that Taglioni did with the Pantah – the elimination of power-sapping internal friction 68

retrobike

ISSUE #19

“ONLY DOUG POLEN, THE BRITTEN AND ANOTHER 888 FINISHED AHEAD OF OWEN COLES ON THE RV-1” caused by the several pairs of heavy bevel gears driving the single overhead cams. Brook overcame this by ditching the stock Ducati ignition and fitting a self-generating Kröber CDI hung on the right end, set at 32° of fixed advance, which also eliminated the need for a battery, generator and coils. Inboard of the Kröber, he fitted two 19mm Fenna toothed cambelts running directly off the crank at engine speed to drive large pulleys at the end of each camshaft. The RV-1’s cylinder heads were even more radical. Brook hacksawed off the camboxes and welded up all the holes, leaving himself a lump of metal with fins that he could shape into a more efficient combustion chamber. Henry then recreated the cambox as a taller unit, to allow him to narrow the included valve angle from a lazy 72° to 44°. Valves are

tuftrided monsters – 47.5mm inlet, 42mm exhaust – machined from stainless-steel billet. The cams however, took two goes. “I went as far as making up a master set of camshafts to my own design before I realised they were the wrong way round!” Brook says. “Because there was no jackshaft driven off the crank to run the belts, as there is on a Pantah, the cam rotation had to be reversed. It took me a week to work that out!” Two 40mm Lectron flat-slide carbs were fitted, the front one converted to downdraught via a semi-remote floatbowl. Compression ratio varied from 11:1 up to 14:1 depending on the fuel permitted and the circuit. For my Zolder test, it was 12.3:1 running on avgas. Brook’s own pistons were machined from forged aluminium billets, and reworked 900SS conrods have hardened


Second Opinion SIR ALAN isn’t the only journalist to have tested the Vee Two RV-1 in its prime. Brook Henry was keen for me (as then editor of Streetbike) to have a go but we could never organise times and tracks. So he and Owen Coles showed up at my house one weekday with the RV-1 and 20 litres of race fuel in the back of a ute. The bike was in full race trim down to its slicks and megaphone exhaust, and I seized the moment. I don’t live a million miles from the Old Pacific Highway so figured I’d chance a quick lap, along with a blast along Peats Ridge Road to sample the top end. It was an unforgettable experience, a tiny light bike with an atom bomb for a motor and just as loud. Luckily for all, the wallopers weren’t out that day, and I’m not sure I’d try the same stunt today. — GEOFF SEDDON

sleeves and up-graded roller-bearing big ends. The stock crankshaft was lightened by 2.5kg, around 50 per cent of its original weight. The vertically-split crankcases were Mille on the left and 750GT on the right, which being sandcast could be more easily strengthened and heat-treated. Straight-cut

primary gears drove a dry clutch and closeratio five-speed gearbox. Having ridden the earlier Webrook Ducati, I was prepared for a bit more zip, maybe a lot more zap, but not a huge performance improvement. I was wrong. Few twins of the era, not even the Britten, had such awesome

midrange performance as the RV-1, or the acres of muscular low-down torque. Push-starting it required a knack because of the minimal flywheel effect; you had to catch it on the clutch like a two-stroke. Once fired up, it pulled from way below the mark at which the Kröber tacho started counting ISSUE #19

retrobike

69


Classic Racers

70

retrobike

VEE TWO RV1

ISSUE #19


at 3000rpm. Yet the throttle response was electric and acceleration lightning-fast; even a contemporary eight-valve Superbike didn’t pick up revs as quickly as the RV-1. Torque fell off only slightly over 6000rpm and the engine revved cleanly to 8000rpm but less so to 8500 where the Vee Two dyno had seen 108hp at the rear wheel, almost 60 per cent more than a stock 900SS. It felt like more, possibly due to the bike’s measured weight of just 132kg (with oil, no fuel). Brook Henry commissioned Ken Mclntosh to build a smaller, shorter chassis to Brook’s design, which formed the basis of the RV-1 and later the SV-1 Alchemy street bikes. Made from TS23 steel tube rather than chromemoly, the spaceframe delivered modern steering geometry, improved engine access

and a dramatically shorter wheelbase of 1380mm. This was achieved by mounting the White Power shock offside on the left – an idea later copied by Bimota and Ducati – with a rising-rate linkage designed by McIntosh on the Auckland University computer; all very avant garde for the late 1980s. It incorporated a ride height adjuster which Owen Coles had set very tall, to give a much steeper effective head angle and less trail than the 27°/100mm static figures. “It’s a real curiosity of the chassis that you can keep jacking the back end up to make it turn faster, without affecting stability,” Owen told me. Well, maybe so, but I can’t say I found either the riding position or the way he had the bike set up very easy to come to

“TO BE HONEST, IT WASN’T ALL THAT EASY TO RIDE HARD, BUT IT CERTAINLY WAS FAST”

Retro Specs ENGINE Air-cooled 90° SOHC V-twin; reshaped combustion chambers and valve angles; 88 x74.4mm for 905cc; 2 x 40ml Lectron flat-slides; Krober CDI; straight-cut primary, dry clutch, close-ratio fivespeed; chain final drive; 108rwhp @ 8500rpm CHASSIS Tubular-steel open-cradle, spaceframe, with engine as stressed member; 1380mm wheelbase BODYWORK One-piece tank-seat unit, alloy fuel tank underneath UP FRONT 40ml White Power USD forks; 2 x fourpiston Brembo calipers on 280mm rotors; 3.5 x 17in Marvic wheel; Michelin slick DOWN BACK Rectangular section swingarm with offset rising-rate linkage; White Power monoshock; twin-piston Brembo caliper on 185mm Yamaha rotor; 5.5 x 17in Marvic Wheel; Michelin slick BEST FOR Laps of the Old Road

terms with at the Belgian circuit. The riding position was very cramped and closecoupled which, together with the jacked-up rear end, probably explained the constant oversteer – it took long, fast turns in its stride, but if you hit a bump while cranked over, it was easy to over-correct, almost as if the front wheel were trying to tuck under. In slower turns, the RV-I steered very fast, but not as precisely as I’d have liked – again, it seemed to want to tuck the wheel in. It was all a bit nervous and skittish, and I can’t say the handling inspired me with confidence any more than the brakes did. These were a real disappointment, lacking bite and needing heaps of lever pressure to produce results, which at a track like Zolder was tiring. Closer inspection revealed the 280mm front discs were from a batch of lightweight aluminium rotors Brembo made years earlier, but which never really worked. There was quite a lot of engine braking, but you had to be careful about using too much for fear of chattering the rear wheel; no slipper clutches back then! Moreover, the WP upside-down forks were set up very stiff, with hardly any dive, which added to the dead feel; not the way I’d set it up, but to each his own. Having ridden an Alchemy street bike, I know the McIntosh frame could have been made to handle more reassuringly than the RV-1 in the form I sampled it. To be honest, it wasn’t all that easy to ride hard, making Owen Coles’ string of successes all the more creditable. But it certainly was fast. I’ve raced bevel-drive Ducatis for 40 years and I’ve never ridden one with the free-spinning urge of the RV-1, nor its combination of top-end power and punchy torque that’s so elusive. Bravo! ISSUE #19

retrobike

71


RESTOS HARD TALES

PHOTOS: CLUB LAVERDA

Bailey WITH PAUL BAILEY

RIDE TO LIVE

W

E’VE been talking a lot about different types of restorations and how to attempt the project and get a result from your hard-earned hours in the shed and at swap meets finding all the parts you need. One day it will be finished. What happens next? The objective of all that work is to end up with a motorcycle that you can ride and enjoy, but also one that is safe and reliable so as to handle any conditions set before it. Now it may be that you make every effort to create a motorcycle – irrespective of age or style or stock components – as rideable and safe as it can be, but the conditions it will operate under warrant special consideration. We aren’t living in the 1920s anymore. We aren’t riding on dirt roads with only the occasional other car about. Dirt roads by their nature were the speed governors for motorcycles and cars of the era; the roads were terrible and so riders and drivers drove their vehicles according to the conditions. In other words, they rode slowly most of the time, busy enough avoiding divots, ruts, rocks and the like whilst they travelled down the road to adventure. Imagine riding your 1930s motorcycle today along a dirt road or fire trail; that is what the roads were like when your bike was new. The designs and performance of the bikes were built around those road conditions. Manufacturers weren’t building bikes that could be leaned at 64 degrees, or making engines that could

72

retrobike

ISSUE #19

do 320km/h. They were manufacturing machines that plodded along all day at 45mph. Now transfer that newly restored 1930s machine onto our current roads; bitumen not dirt, multi-lane, not single. Your bike may still have period-looking tyres, but are they actually the best for our bitumen roads or are they more suited to the old dirt roads of the 30s? Would modern tyres be better or worse? The danger is we can end up riding a bike that was never designed to have the grip level on bitumen that we are now expecting it to have. The frame was

“Modern speed limits put old bikes under far more stress than they were ever designed to take” never designed for this grip either; it was designed to flex and absorb the bump and grind of a rough dirt road. That frame now on bitumen is being sorely stressed by not only the road surface but by the tyres and suspension you may have fitted to the bike. The worst example of this can be seen in the early Harley designs. They were ideal for then but are totally out of their depth today. Imagine a frame with no rear suspension and front suspension that has

only 2½ inches of travel, not telescopic but springer-style with a rocker arm at the axle that constantly changes the bike’s trail. Then put on better tyres than what the bike can handle, and what you end up with is a motorcycle that is being twisted and turned inside-out with every corner, lane change and bump you negotiate on a bitumen road. Follow one of these bikes at modern speeds and watch an uncontrollable object being ridden way faster than it was meant to be. You will see the rear wheel being flung 30cm into the air when it hits a pothole or bump, and the back wheel skipping sideways across the road when the rider negotiates a bend, with the front forks bottoming out frequently as well. Now I’m not describing this to scare you or to stop you from riding your beautifully restored or barn-fresh resto. I’m trying to highlight that with these bikes, riding them today requires far more diligence and attention to detail than was ever thought necessary when they were new. Even just our speed limits put these bikes under far more stress than they like or were ever designed to take. If you don’t understand these things and don’t give the bike the respect it deserves or appreciate today’s vastly different road conditions, you will very quickly find yourself being caught out in a very big way. I have recently had two very good mates have this happen to them. One survived, the other didn’t.


RAIDER

MOTORSPORT

SPECIALISING IN RARE, UNIQUE & COLLECTIBLE MOTORCYCLES

Australian distributor for Vyrus Motorcycles, Target Design MV Agusta

ARD COMPLIANCE FOR VYRUS, WALZ, CONFEDERATE, DUCATI, BIMOTA Concourse Restoration & Vapour Blasting Services

CUSTOM BIKE DESIGN, ENGINEERING & CONSTRUCTION

Import/Export Service – Regular Containers USA – Japan – UK

OFFICES IN UK, GERMANY, USA, AGENTS IN ITALY, JAPAN, USA

RAIDER

MOTORSPORT

02 6651 2405 I 0423 559 659 mybike@raidermotorsport.com.au www.RaiderMotorsport.com.au

facebook.com/RaiderMotorsport

Online 24hrs a day

www.caferacershop.com.au Performance Motorcycle Parts and Accessories

Classic Motorcycle Shocks Quality shocks for your Classic at an affordable price

5 / 30-32 Shore Street West, Cleveland, Qld 4160


FIGHTING WORDS RISKY BUSINESS

WA L K E R WITH JIMMI WALKER

SCHOOL OF HARD KNOCKS

I

T SEEMS to me we have a situation prevalent today that steers the younger generation towards safety, and nothing wrong with that, I hear you say. Well, in nature, isn’t exposure to risk the very thing that teaches us to avoid it or how to deal with it? So I’m not sure about wrapping our kids in cotton wool to always minimise their exposure to risk, and all the regulation that comes with it. Anytime there is a serious incident on the roads, the first thing to be rolled out is the need for extra legislation, as if there wasn’t already enough. We need laws to protect us from ourselves and here in Australia one of those ways is to have a licence for everything – even coffee making! But just because you possess a licence for something doesn’t necessarily mean you are any good at it. It just means you were good enough to pass a test on the subject at the time you took it. Further to this, the quality of the testing depends on the desired results of the company or ministry who designed the test. After all, it takes years to learn to use a lathe properly, but determining whether someone can control two tonnes of accident-seeking missile like a car takes like 10 minutes. So what’s the answer? Well, based on the thousands of miles I have covered in various countries around the globe, it would appear that training for real world situations and not training to pass a test would be the logical way to go. It’s a process that is taught in a few countries’ driving schools and systems

74

retrobike

ISSUE #19

– Finland is a good example – with a large degree of success. I got my motorcycle training at the ‘here’s the keys, don’t hit anything’ driving school. Bear in mind that when I started riding in the UK, there were no speed cameras and cops had to catch you to nick you; even my 30hp 250 could outrun their patrol cars with ease. It must have been very frustrating for them. Ah, but they’d have gotten your rego from your numberplate, wouldn’t they? Not if you

“Exposure to risk is the very thing that teaches us to avoid it” had a carefully positioned L-plate! I had a healthy respect for the cops but I was young and determined not to lose my right to ride my bike as fast as I wanted. As for avoiding accidents, I was just as susceptible to the old theory about ambition out-ranking ability as anyone else, but I learnt from every mistake and am still in one piece. These days the average middleweight sports bike has as much power as GP bikes had in the old days, with infinitely better brakes and handling than the road bikes I was riding, but first you have to know how to use it. And there’s the rub. Most people have no idea how to use the particular advantages of the bike they are riding or any real idea of its limitations. So doesn’t limiting new riders to

underpowered bikes kind of handicap them? I don’t know for sure but I suspect it does. A degree of mechanical education wouldn’t go amiss either, and I seriously think proper track training and real world situational training would be far better than the current system that purely focuses on simply preparing for a short test. Granted not everyone wants to ride like a GP star but everything you learn on a track helps you judge road conditions and keeps a cap on your right hand whenever necessary to preserve your life – or at least keep all your appendages where nature intended them. Maybe then we wouldn’t need speed limits. Remember they were set eons ago when the vast majority of vehicles were much less capable of handling them safely. Your average car today can stop in half the distance cars did when speed limits were set 40 years ago, but people still crash into each other. There’s nothing wrong with the machinery, it’s the organic part that needs an update. I guess many of us involved in the rebuilding of old bikes know this better than most and ride them accordingly. I know that the engine in my old ’77 Z1000 would do 130mph on a good day but its chassis and brakes sure wouldn’t; whereas my present-day Triumph Speed Triple’s chassis is easily capable of handling its engine’s performance. Experiencing and understanding stuff like this has kept me alive all these years. And while I had to learn my lessons the hard way, surely we can come up with easier and less painful ways of acquiring this same life-saving knowledge.


Widely regarded as one of Australia’s finest motoring museums 45+ MOTORCYCLES ON DISPLAY Open every day (except Christmas day)

124 Evans Rd. Salisbury Qld. 4107

Road and Race Motorcycle Engineering

Like us on Facebook

86 Cimitiere st Launceston Tasmania. Ph. 03 6334 8888 www.namt.com.au

IKON SHOCKS & S FORK SPRINGS

Classic Italian Motorcycle Specialists Manufacturer of Obsolete Parts Repairs - Rebuilds - Restorations DUCATI genuine & replica parts SINGLES 2 strokes & 4 strokes TWINS bevel & belt up to 1990. Replica fibreglass body panels to 1986. Stainless steel exhausts & body fittings. BENELLI Limited supply of new & SH parts 250 -750cc. GILERA 125 to 300 twin parts GUZZI STORNELLO 125 - 160 twin parts Parts send COD post, Visa & Mastercard

Phil Hitchcock, 2 Bon Mace Close, Berkeley Vale, NSW 2261 Australia Phone/Fax +612 43 884 211 Email: sales@roadandrace.com.au

www.roadandrace.com.au

• Wide Widdee range ran ange nge of of tw twin wiinn sh sho shocks, hhoock cks, ks m monoo sh sshocks hoc ockks and for oc fork orkk sp or springs pri ring nggs to suit suit bikes bik ikes es from fro rom m ye yest yesteryear sstter ter erye year ye ar ttoo to tod today. day. day da y. damping improved • Progressive Prog Pr ogre ress ssiv ivee ra rate te sspringing prin pr ingi ging ng aand nd aadjustable djus dj usta tabl blee da damp mpin ingg fo forr im impr prov oved ed performance. • Variety of options for many models for varying loads, heights g and styles. • Custom made shocks a speciality.

www.ikonsuspension.com 81 Boronia Street North AAlbury lbury NSW 2640 Phone 02 6040 9955 | Fax 02 6040 9911 | sales@ikonsuspension.com


TRAVEL GREECE MONKEY

RUSS MURRAY

poppa

Shaw WITH TOM SHAW

DONKEY VOTE

A

RRIVING in Greece, I was painfully aware of not having ridden a motorbike for a couple of weeks. That I met some mates who were about to ride through Europe only enhanced that sense of angst and chagrin. And then my Greek mate Loukas got in touch and said, let’s catch up. Opa! All of a sudden, my world brightened! Loukas is a bikie or, to be more specific, a member of the Athens ‘café racer’ set. We met and Loukas said he had two bikes and we should go for a ride on Saturday. The planets suddenly seemed in alignment. Loukas has a Suzuki Bandit in Dunstall bodywork, rear-sets and clip-ons. For reasons best known to him, he also has a home-built Enfield 500. The chassis of Loukas’ Enfield is from the 1960s, but with a new motor. It has old-school motocross handlebars and hipster-like racing number plates instead of side-covers. Full of smugness, I told my other mates who had not yet collected their bikes from the docks, that I was going riding on Saturday. The plan was to ride down the winding coast road to the 2000-yearold Temple of Poseidon, overlooking the Aegean Sea. Perfect! I was excited like a kid just before Christmas. Thursday night came and Loukas sent a text saying he had ‘lady problems’. Yeah, well, he has a lady, so that stood to reason. It’s like saying one has an old British bike and has oil leaks. I wished him luck. Friday evening and lady problems have

76

retrobike

ISSUE #19

taken a turn for the worse. Oh well, I thought, nothing nicer than a Sunday ride. Saturday night comes and another text. Divorce is pending. I guessed that meant no Sunday ride. Despondent, I did the only reasonable thing and got drunk. A sunny Sunday drifted by in a haze of hangover and lost opportunities. “Unreliable Greeks”, I told my buddies. That’s unfair, of course. I love Greeks. Their sense of vitality is infectious. But sometimes, just sometimes, things don’t go exactly according to plan. Take the Greek

“The bike I ended up with was not a bike at all – it was a scooter” economy, for instance. You might as well, as there’s not much left of it. So Monday morning comes and I’m determined not to be defeated. Athens rents motorbikes, but they are horribly expensive. So I opt for a 125, lying to myself that it’s all about corner speed anyway. Traditionally, Greeks used to get about on donkeys. They are slow, but generally reliable. The Greeks appear to have replaced donkeys with scooters. The bike I ended up with was not a motorcycle at all – it was a scooter. I had the modern version of a donkey. I understand that, like donkeys, scooters are cheap to buy and run, versatile, reliable and inoffensive, none of which are

the qualities I look for in my transport. But I figured, how bad can it be? Getting over sitting with my legs together like a girl, the next shock was the scooter did not have gears. That was a disappointment. I rode out dodging and weaving through the murderous Greek traffic. Having worked on the assumption that every other road user wanted to kill me, I was finally out of town and, remarkably, still alive. The coast road revealed itself and, by pinning the throttle, I maintained a moderate speed. Scooters are not meant for corners and, like a donkey, the rotten thing bucked and weaved. As for brakes, no doubt donkeys stopped better. But, like donkeys, there was so little speed involved it didn’t really matter. Finally I was there, the marble columns of the Temple of Poseidon on a bluff before me, the Aegean as its backdrop. I parked the donkey, err, scooter, and wandered about, admiring all the old stuff. Back on the scooter, I realised it was low on fuel. It seems that scooter fuel efficiency comes, at least in part, from a light whip-hand. Perilously close to empty, the donkey and I stuttered into a servo and topped up. We made it back into Athens, the scooter braying in protest. The scooter had gotten me down the coast road and back. And it was at a pace perhaps more sprightly than that of a donkey, so I was satisfied. It was just a scooter and I never wish to ride one again. But, then, I have also never ridden a donkey. Perhaps the scooter was better.


HEL BRAKE PADS - NOW AVAILABLE! RACE AND STREET PADS NOW AVAILABLE! HEL Performance have just released their new line of HEL Performance Brake Pads, which feature two options – the Street Pro pads, which are SPD Sport HH+ compound pads recommended for late model sportsbikes, for road and track day performance. The Track Pro pads are designed specifically for the track to meet & exceed the extreme demands of national and international circuit racing with high friction race compound sintered metal pads!

ONE STOP SHOP! HEL-T-PRO

120.95

$

PER SET

HEL-S-PRO $

90.95

What’s stopping pping you?

PER SET

G For all Motorcycles and Car Applications G Don’t put up with a spongy brake lever! Firm it up and reduce your stopping distance! G ALL OUR KITS and CUSTOM LINES are manufactured with a high grade Stainless Steel Braided Hose, Stainless Steel Banjo’s and Stainless Steel Bolts with Copper Washers. G For all Road Riders, Track Riders, Cruiser Riders and Dirt Riders.

Contact us now!

HEL brake pads and brake lines...

G Add this simple upgrade to your braking system and feel the difference in your stopping power. G All our lines are manufactured in Australia and comply with the Australian Standard ADR 42/04 SAA, SAE, BS, JIS, DIN, ISO, ECE, and FMVSS 106 Approvals and are labelled accordingly. G Covered with a Lifetime Warranty. G From $69.95 per line delivered.

www.helperformance.com.au

nry. der Ben He Superbike Ri As used by

Performance Brake Lines

PO Box 1078 Nathan St, Brighton QLD 4017, 120A Hoskins St, Sandgate, QLD 4017 | p. 07 3869 3016 | f. 07 3869 0704 | e. helperformance@bigpond.com

Phil’s bike!


RIDERS LIKE US GIRLS ON BIKES

THE THROTTLE DOLLS SISTERS ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES WITH THEIR VERY OWN MOTORCYCLE CLUB — WORDS & PHOTOS GEOFF SEDDON

78

retrobike

ISSUE #19


S

YDNEY-based Nina Hoglund was the first to get her motorcycle licence just two years ago. She was having such rude fun, her friends Maria Adzersen and Erica Valenti promptly followed suit, and together they formed a three-girl bike club called The Throttle Dolls. Who came up with the name? Erica: “Maria came up with it. Everything we’d do, we’d do together, like the Three Amigos, so we thought it would be fun to have a group, and create a name and a logo (designed by Shane Wahl and Nina’s cousin Nicole Gray). We had about 50 different names. We looked to the US; there were some really cool groups happening there that we aspired to, but we didn’t expect it to become what it is.”

How did you get started? Nina: “My mum had an XV535 Yamaha back in Sweden, and my dad and my brother have always been crazy about anything with a motor. I spent my childhood hanging in the garage with them.” Erica: “I wanted to ride for a long time but never had the impetus to do it. Then this one, Nina, would come back beaming after every single ride, having all these

adventures. It was the ultimate promo; I thought, oh my god, I have to get involved.” Until recently, you were a three-girl crew, but now that’s all changing. Erica: “We’ve now opened it up. Anyone can be a Throttle Doll if they have the same attitude; have fun, smile, be nice to people.”

“Anyone can be a Doll if they have the same attitude; have fun, smile, be nice to people” Is it only for young women? Nina: “Maria’s mum Birgitta — she’s our Mama Doll — rides with us and she has a bunch of friends who ride or pillion with her. So we want to be open to everybody.” Where’s Maria right now? Erica: “In Ireland. She fell in love with an amazing man called Sam. Because she’s new to the country and so passionate about motorcycles, she’s just launched The Throttle Dolls in Ireland. It’s the perfect

way for her to meet people. She’ll be doing rides and meet-ups, and that will be our European base. “This moto world is so bloody amazing. I visited Maria in London and we cheekily asked on our Facebook page if anyone could lend us some bikes. We didn’t expect any reaction but Sahra Lewis at Warr’s Harley-Davidson contacted us and said, ‘I’ve got bikes, come down!’ Sahra is exactly like us; full of life, really warm, loves motorcycles. So she’s now heading up our London chapter.” What’s happening today? Erica: “The Throttle Dolls Girl Gang Meet-Up. We have our Throttle Dolls Rides which are open to all motorcycles and genders; they are longer runs and more about the ride, but today is more about the community. So the ride is a bit easier with more time to talk. “I’ve only had my licence a couple of years and there are so many questions you want to ask when you start out. What’s it like to get your Ls and your Ps? What bike should I get? Today is an opportunity to ask questions without feeling embarrassed.” Nina: “You learn every day, so we can give each other tips, help each other out, and just talk about bikes and riding. ISSUE #19

retrobike

79


"It’s nice to see the other girls joining us; we can do things like this as well, it’s not just for the guys.” I think there’s more women riding bikes today than ever. Erica: “Since we’ve been riding, it seems like there’s someone new every day. Nina and I are always looking out for other girls. There’s definitely power in numbers, you see your friends get motorcycles and you want to get one too.” Nina: “Yeah, I want to to get in on that!” What bikes do you ride? Erica: “I have a Honda GB400TT, a 1987 model. My car is also from that era. I love it, I think the 400 is great for me after riding a 250. It had been partly modified but I’ve made it my own. I cut and painted a fairing I found on eBay, changed the headlight and fitted Firestone tyres. It has no front guard at the moment, but I’m looking for one to bob as it’s not working for me in the Sydney rain! The tank was hand-painted by graffiti artist Vandalism from Melbourne. I wanted a superhero theme so I got Catwoman!” Nina: “I have an XV535 Yamaha, same as my mum’s. It was my first bike and I’ve changed the handlebars, mirrors and blinkers. It’s been a great bike so far. Today I am riding a Moto Guzzi V7 Stone that they lent me for the weekend. It’s the opposite to what I’m used to but is beautiful and great fun. The 750 is a big change, amazing!” 80

retrobike

ISSUE #19

What do you like most about motorcycling? Nina: “A big part for me is the hobby, to hang out with people and share the passion and love for something. I enjoy the freedom, it makes me happy. People like the Sydney Cafe Racers and going on their rides, they’re so lovely and help us with everything. There are a lot of positive people out there.”

“We can do things like this as well, it's not just for the guys” Erica: “I love the feeling you get when you ride, the feeling of freedom and feeling of release, how you lose yourself in the moment. It’s a really peaceful time but also very exciting. It has given me extra spring in my step as I take life by the handlebars! I also think of all the friends I’ve made; they’re all girls like us who I would never have had the chance to meet. It’s the perfect ice-breaker.” What’s the secret behind your rapid growth? Erica: “We are by no means the first female group, and I’d like to acknowledge Dykes on Bikes, Sisters on Steel and Girls Ride Out as the trailblazers. In the 60s

and 70s, even 10 years ago, it wasn’t as easy for women to ride. But we are the first big female group on Instagram, which is a good way to communicate with young people.” Probably the first to wear lipstick too. Erica: “It’s the whole community thing. Best thing about the internet is you’re talking to people all over the world. No matter how weird your interests, you can find others who are also into it. Not that motorcycling is weird! “Nina said something that’s always stuck with me. It’s not just about wanting to get on a motorcycle. It’s about getting out and doing anything you want to do with your life.” What are your plans for the future? Nina: “We are planning some longer rides when Maria gets back. We think what Mark Hawwa is doing (with the Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride) is absolutely amazing, so we are thinking about a two-day, overnight charity ride to raise money for White Ribbon, an organisation devoted to preventing domestic violence against women. But we might wait until it is a bit warmer.”

 Check out the Throttle Dolls on Instagram or Facebook, or email them directly at throttledolls@gmail.com.


HAILED BY PURISTS. The most fun you’ll ever have on a motorcycle.

Desert Storm

Classic 500

Classic Chrome

Battle Green

2015 Continental GT - Café Racer

royalenfield.com.au


TANGLES' WORKSHOP TOOL TIME

SETTING UP SHOP Thinking of an older bike? You’ll be needing some new tools then WORDS & PHOTOS Stuart 'Tangles' Garrard

S

OME say you need three spanners to build a Honda and a truckload to fix a Norton – and there is some truth to that – but the basics of setting up a home workshop are much the same. It’s likely you’ll already have simple tools like hammers, hacksaws, drills and pliers, although you might need to add some circlip pliers. Multi-grips and shifting spanners are useful but should be used sparingly. You’ll need a full set of screwdrivers, and not the ones you use as chisels and to stir the paint! Some tools you can buy cheaply but don’t skimp on socket sets and ring/open-end spanners. These you will use all the time, and they need some quality to cope with wear and tear and still retain their precision. I’ve belted my Repco ratchet drive with a hammer many times over the years and it’s still as good as new. Get both metric and AF in sizes up to 19mm or equivalent to cover everyday stuff, and larger sizes as needed. Ditto Whitworth if you’re building British. Quality Allen keys are

82

retrobike

ISSUE #19

also essential, both metric and AF; the socket ones are grouse. In terms of infrastructure, a good-sized work bench with a sturdy vice is a good start, as are band-aids. We’ve all worked on the ground, putting our feet on things to hold them steady; this is not only unproductive but

“China has made trade tools affordable to the handyman” uncomfortable and potentially dangerous. Having inherited the clumsy gene from my father, a small workshop first aid kit is also compulsory, and standing next to mine is a fire extinguisher. Hopefully the only emergency I’ll ever need it for is chilling a coldie in superquick time on a hot day! An air compressor is a useful bit of gear; you’ll use it for lots of obvious stuff like

painting and keeping your tyres at their optimum pressure. It also powers my dremel, a nifty little tool with many interchangeable attachments and a thousand uses like cutting, grinding, sanding and buffing. It’s great for enlarging holes for odd-sized bolts, and when working on heads, the small wire-wheel attachments are fantastic for buffing and for cleaning out ports and the tough remains of old gaskets. My big use is to put on the cloth buffing wheel for polishing engine casings and all things alloy; it’s easy and quick, and does a brilliant job. I also have an old stick welder for the odd repair or to fabricate brackets and custom tools. Small MIG welders are dirt cheap; China has made trade tools affordable to the handyman and the quality is fine for the low use they get. So while you’re shopping, get a bench grinder with additional wire-brush and polishing wheels to keep your new vice company. If your bike has a centre-stand, that’s a pretty good position to work on it. If not, a rear wheel lifter or paddock stand is essential. Both are great if you’re young and love working on your knees all day. I’ve been working on bikes for decades and still haven’t treated myself to a hydraulic lift jack, but a few hundred bucks for a Chinese one would be money well spent. Some special tools will be required, more so for Brit bikes. Don’t be shy though, often you can make your own. To remove Honda clutch


Setting float levels with a vernier rule

Tangles loves his dremel: equally adept at cleaning up ports as polishing alloy

Collect grab kits of washers, o-rings, grommets and electrical connections

Don’t scrimp on stuff you use all the time, like spanners, sockets and Allen Keys

A concrete floor is a good place to start

Compressors power lots of beaut stuff; almost compulsory

Carburettor vacuum kit

A bench vice is also something you’ll use often

If your bike doesn’t have a centrestand, an inexpensive paddock stand is a must

baskets, I made the special tool required from a spare socket cut to shape with an angle grinder. Not only did I save some money, I had the satisfaction of making it myself. I did however recently lash out on a set of carburettor vacuum gauges. If you can’t borrow a set, they aren’t that expensive but are essential for synchronising your carbies after a tune-up or carb rebuild. And if you think a vernier rule is too esoteric, I used mine recently to quickly and accurately set my float levels. Other common tools you may not have thought about are a torque wrench and impact driver. Most bolts holding bikes together are steel screwed into alloy casings; it’s very easy to over-tighten and rip the thread out of the casing, at which point you have big problems. All bike manuals list torque values for virtually every nut and bolt, and your new torque wrench will have you assembling your bike like a pro. You’ll be wanting an impact driver too. Old bikes have Phillips head bolts everywhere and it’s easy to burr them beyond repair trying to get them out. Instead, simply select the correct

size tip, give it a sharp tap with a hammer and it will crack undone. Both tools come with instructions and are simple to use. As time goes along it’s worthwhile buying grab kits of items you use a lot, like electrical grommets and connectors, cable ties and o-rings; there’s nothing worse than needing a simple o-ring to finish a job and finding the shops are shut. It’s also time to start gathering together the ‘bucket of bolts’ by not throwing anything out, ever. This odd collection of bits and pieces will get you out of trouble many times. Similarly, never throw away old bike parts, no matter how damaged; it or at least part of it will come in handy one day, sure as eggs. You’ll also need a supply of lubricants, fluids, penetrating oil and all the rest. The product I use all the time is brake cleaner; I buy it by the six-pack. It cleans and degreases anything without leaving any residue behind, fantastic stuff. It’s good for brakes too, talking of which I bleed mine with a jar and tube, but if your better half no longer likes to get her hands dirty, you can buy a one-man brakebleeder kit which makes the job even easier.

Battery chargers don’t cost much. I have a large battery constantly on trickle charge for jump-starting everything else. I also have a couple of bike trickle chargers, one mainspowered and the other solar-powered. These are fantastic for club-plate and other littleused bikes, especially in winter. Often you’ll need to precisely measure fluids, as when changing fork oil. A syringe with a tube attached does the trick. If there isn’t a nurse in the family, they’re cheap as chips at chemists. I’m also a big fan of the two-dollar can of degreaser for cleaning o-ring chains. You don’t want a strong degreaser that would only destroy it; these cheap cans are quite diluted and do the job well. Where stronger degreasers are called for, dedicated parts washers are available, but I just use an old laundry tub. Finally, waste oil disposal from homeservicing bikes and cars is a real problem; one litre of oil pollutes one million litres of water. Bottle up your sump oil and take it to your local council collection point. They are numerous in the cities; in country shires, the local tip will gladly receive it.

ISSUE #19

retrobike

83


PROJECT BIKES SEDDO'S NORTON

The Bible; don’t leave home without it!

Doing lots of this with the 10-litre tank

Go figure: the main fuse is on the negative terminal and the red wires are earthed

RETRO SPECS

Special tools include this one to tighten (or as here, loosen) the exhaust lockrings

Torquing the lower engine cradle mount

Front brake adjuster ensures both leading shoes impact equally on the drum

SO FAR, SO GOOD

MAKE: Norton MODEL: 750 Commando YEAR: 1970 SPECIAL THANKS: - Stuart Garrard - Wayne Malone - Coopers Pale Ale

Seddo’s Commando is up and running — WORDS & PHOTOS GEOFF SEDDON

W

HILE I’d been toying with buying a Commando for some time, scoring the gig on Retrobike was the catalyst in buying one. An unfinished project was even better; it was cheap and would get me back on the tools. My bike had a rebuilt engine but had otherwise been assembled finger-tight by the previous owner to show all the bits were there, so after getting the motor running sweetly my focus turned to making sure everything was done up tight and adjusted properly. The only money I’ve spent has been on tools, top engine mounts, rubber kit and a new Boyer Bransden ignition box after the original bundied off. It and my new torque wrench were the major outlays. I’ve also been diving into old toolboxes, digging up odd-sized spanners and even a cold chisel to prise open the kick-start lever. My most valuable tool is the Workshop Manual for Norton Commando, published by the factory in 1973. I scored mine on eBay for

84

retrobike

ISSUE #19

$45. It is a masterwork of technical writing and drawing — breaking down the most complex tasks into the simplest steps — and lists torque settings for almost every nut and bolt. Finding sockets to fit the myriad of sizes was more the challenge, with metric equivalents often the closest. Access could also be tricky and it was at this point that I discovered missing nuts and washers, worn top engine mounts and a couple of stripped threads which slowed things down. Whereas almost every other motorcycle has its engine bolted to its frame, the Commando is infinitely more complicated, with the engine, transmission and swingarm contained in a separate cradle that is then fixed to the chassis on adjustable rubber mounts. It allows for a smooth ride but is complicated and timeconsuming to set up. With the engine now less likely to fall out of the frame, I methodically worked my way from the front axle to the back. This included fine-tuning the twin-leading-shoe front drum brake, partially dismantling and reassembling

the front forks, lubricating and adjusting all cables and control levers, and tightening every blessed nut, bolt and screw I could find. Next up was getting the lights working properly. The bike came with a new loom but it must have come off a Norton Interpol as it has 10 times the wiring we need for a headlight, taillight, brake light and horn. Like a lot of old British stuff, the Commando is positive earth, which can be tricky. Negative wires are still black, positive are still red but they’re the ones you earth. My buddy Wayne gave me a hand in all this, and also in diagnosing and replacing the faulty ignition box. Thus equipped, the bike was inspected for historic rego and I finally went for a longer ride, only to find the battery wasn’t getting a charge. Once again, the manual explains the diagnostic steps in simple terms, so no big deal. Until it stopped, the Commando was going like a bought one. It was exactly as I remembered my past Nortons and everything I was hoping this one would be. Lots to do, but so far, so good.


• SERVICE, REPAIRS & SPARES Genuine & Aftermarket Spares, C.O.D. Australia wide & O/S -

AUSTRALIA’S LARGEST PARTS STOCKIST FOR APRILIA FACTORY WARRANTY ON APRILIA AND MOTOGUZZI

Dave Ward 02 4735 4003 - 4/16 Pullman Pl, Emu Plains NSW 2750 www.motoitalia.com.au - info@motoitalia.com.au

• RACE PREPARATION • PRE-PURCHASE INSPECTIONS • FACTORY TRAINED & QUALIFIED • PICK-UP & DELIVERY AVAILABLE

THE NATIONAL MOTOR RACING MUSEUM CONTAINS AN ORIGINAL DISPLAY OF BIKES AND CARS The National Motor Racing Museum contains an original display of bikes and cars that have made their mark not only on Mount Panorama, but Australian Motorsport since 1914.

l and d Speedway S d i rally, Motorcycle racing history are told through our many trophies, race suits, leathers, race footage and photographs. For full information visit www.nmrm.com.au or call 02 6332 1872

The stories of Touring car, Formula,

THE NATIONAL MOTOR RACING MUSEUM Open 9.00am till 4.30pm every day | Phone: 02 6332 1872 Fax: 02 6332 3349 Located beside the track at: 400 Panorama Avenue, Mount Panorama, BATHURST NSW 2795

TWEED COAST WET BLAST

www.nmrm.com.au

Australia’s best “Bike Lifters”

ENGINE & COMPONENT RESTORATIONS BILL MCCULLOCH MCULLOCH

0418 244 755

5811512aa

MASTER BLASTER!

UNIT 11/12 GREENWAY DRIVE TWEED HEADS SOUTH TCWETBLAST@HOTMAIL.COM

C H R I S

The Air Lifter $1299

" Perfect for home or workshop " Air operated " Easily lifts over 500kg " Includes: - Front bench extension - Front wheel clamp - Service Jack

SP KED EST 1976

RE-SPOKING, STRAIGHTENING AND RESTORATIONS RIMS, BEARINGS, ANODIZING, BEAD BLASTING & PAINTING SUPPLY & FIT MOST MAJOR MAKES OF TYRES 23/17 Lorraine St, Peakhurst, Sydney NSW 2210

PH: (02) 9153 9700 MOB: 0412 915 397 www.spokedwheels.com.au

" Perfect for home or workshop " Foot operated hydraulic pump " Easily lifts 500kg " Front wheel clamp " Removable rear wheel panel

See our website for our full range of lifters and other accessories including the Service Jack (below) and Front Wheel Chock (below right). Prices include GST. Freight extra.

S Q U I R E S

WHEEL REPAIRS

The Bike Lifter $799

The Cruiser Lifter $299 " As used by Harley dealers " Ideal for servicing & cleaning " Foot operated hydraulic pump " Heavy duty - lifts up to 500kg " Lifts bike to 420mm high

$149

www.waranaimports.com Ph: 1300 76 55 39 E: info@waranaimports.com

$149

Warana

Imports


PROJECT BIKES STUART'S HONDA

RETRO SPECS

B E FO R

E MAKE: Honda MODEL: CB750 K7 YEAR: 1978 SPECIAL THANKS: * Southern Highlands Smash Repairs * Pud’s Four Parts * JB for riding shotgun

AF T E R

This is the ‘after’ shot. Tank decals over fresh paint confirm the K7’s identity, and attention to detail highlights a quality restoration

A professional paint job, attention to fine detail and a brake upgrade has the old K7 as good as gold AVING first focused on the roadworthiness of his CB750 K7, which we covered last issue, Stuart Garrard has turned his attention to making the old dunger look, stop and handle like a brand new 1978 Honda Four. He’d already invested in a new original four-

into-four exhaust which made everything else look old, so time to bring the rest up to scratch. The main job was respraying the tank and side-covers, which Stuart entrusted to Southern Highlands Smash Repairs south of Sydney while he addressed everything else at home. “It had a reasonably good paint job but

looked plain,” Stuart says, “so I wanted to add the original tank stripe decals which I sourced in the US. I’m glad I didn’t try to apply the decals myself, it’s not a job for a novice. There’s a lot to it, but along with the new pipes, it has transformed its looks.” The bodywork was painted in two-pack black which initially leaves a satin finish, a bit off-putting the first time you see it; the gloss bit comes later. The tank badges were then fitted to help position the decals, after which they were removed again prior to the application of clearcoats to bring up a mile-deep glossy shine.

Tank and sidecover badges were repainted by hand in acrylic

Black two-pack paint looks matt off the gun. Tank badges were then dummy fitted to position the decals

One tricky bit is lining up the joints of the stripes. Not a job for novices or anyone in a hurry

WORDS GEOFF SEDDON PHOTOS STUART GARRARD

H

86

retrobike

ISSUE #19


Stuart had painstakingly restored the tank and side-cover badges in his workshop with a fine brush, magnifying glass and acrylic paint which it turns out would have dissolved in the two-pack clear. Forewarned, he instead protected his handiwork with a compatible enamel clear-coat out of a rattle-can. The new paint was then allowed to cure for six weeks — the optimum period if you can wait that long — during which time Stuart addressed the smaller detail stuff, as well as the brakes and front suspension. The bike had had a minor left-side bingle which had marked the chrome speedo and headlight rims, and also the alternator cover. Stock replacement parts were fitted, the latter containing its own surprise. “The alternator is bolted to the inside of the cover (as opposed to the crankcase) so it was more than the fiveminute job I’d expected,” Stuart says. Up front, Stuart had fitted new handlebars and so put a lot of work into refurbishing the switchgear, including hand-painting the red lettering on the blocks and cleaning up all the

electrical connections. Additional fine touches include rubber ends on the control levers and sourcing original stickers for oil level, tyre pressure, battery, chain and helmet holder. Similarly the horn was non-standard and the fuse box missing a cover, both replaced with original parts, and Stuart is especially proud of his genuine Honda Four tool kit, which he’s already used on the road. While the emphasis is on originality, Stuart makes exceptions for performance and safety, which explains the braided lines feeding the front brakes. He reported last issue that the brakes were the Honda’s biggest limitation when running with modern bikes. “I had a leaking master cylinder,” he says, “so I put a kit through that and used the opportunity to upgrade the lines.” He didn’t stop there either, refurbishing the caliper and fitting new pads. Brake squeal was an issue, which he addressed at the same time. “Someone said to cut a horizontal groove into each brake pad with a hacksaw, so I tried that. I’m not sure it made any difference. I then took the glaze off the rotor

with some fine 80-grade emery paper, which helped. But the thing that stopped it was CRC Disc Brake Quiet, a goo you apply to the back of the brake pads to stop them vibrating, which is the main source of brake squeal. It’s as old as the hills and used a lot in motorsport.” Even better was the improvement in performance. “I reckon with all I’ve done, I’ve increased front brake proficiency by about 40 per cent,” Stuart says. “Maybe not compared to when it was new, but compared to what it was.” While at the sharp end, Stuart changed the fork oil to see if he could also improve front suspension performance, having already fitted tapered-roller steering-head bearings and new Ikon shocks at the rear. “It was a bit doughy in the corners,” he says. “Changing the fork oil is a simple job; main thing to remember is to do one side at a time. I collected 120cc of what looked like ATF out of each leg; at least they were equal amounts, even if the manual specifies 155cc. Andrew from Pud’s in Victoria recommended 160cc of 10wt oil. It’s much better now, quite stiff but with plenty of travel.”

Stuart added braided brake lines as part of a comprehensive brake overhaul

Forks need their oil changed too. Stuart went for 160ml of 10wt in each leg

Squeaky brakes? Fear not, a solution is at hand!

The alternator cover was crash-damaged, prompting Stuart to replace it

Alternator stator is attached to the inside of the cover

With new alternator cover fitted, Stuart polished the rest to match

Badges were removed prior to application of twopack clear on the tank (which brings up the shine), then coated in acrylic clear before being refitted

ISSUE #19

retrobike

87


Tangles conducting a sparkplug check on his north coast road test

Stuart then set off with his mate JB on an extended test ride, taking in many of NSW’s finest roads, including the Gwydir and Oxley Highways, Waterfall Way and Thunderbolt’s. “The Honda met all my expectations,” he says. “It was comfortable and handled well, and created a lot of interest every time we fuelled up. I used 95 or 98, and it averaged 5.0l/100km. “It didn’t appear to blow any smoke but did consume a litre and a half of engine oil, which is a lot when you’ve only got three and a half!

After completing stage 1 of the build, Stuart embarked on a four-day 2500km shakedown run with his mate JB

I also checked the spark plugs and they were all over the place; some lean, some rich. So I’m going to pull the carburettors apart and re-jet them, and also have the top-end rebuilt which means taking the engine out of the frame.”

Stuart intends making the most of it by adding a forged-piston big-bore kit for a few more herbs while he’s at it, and maybe adding an extra front disc to slow it all down again. Tune in next issue to see how he goes.

New chrome headlight and speedo rims brighten up the pointy end …

… as does the new (original) horn

This is another reason to buy a workshop manual, all of which contain detailed electrical wiring diagrams

Attention to small detail, including rubbers, brackets and cables, gives the bike its as-new appearance

A spare bank of carbs to practice on and filch parts was too hard to pass up at just $100

Switchgear looks new but ain’t

A reproduction tool kit was sourced on the ether and has already been road-tested

Flash Lube protects valves and seats originally made for leaded fuel

88

retrobike

ISSUE #19


MOTORCYC LE

rk!” o f e h t t a h “W

FORK RECHROMIN G, SERVICING & RESTORATIO N.

www.radhardchroming.com.au min ng g.com.au au

9 Dollis Street, Rocklea QLD 4106

07 3277 0412

RHC is a one-stop-shop for motorcycle fork restoration. RHC can overhaul, service forks. Replacement springs. Rechrome rusted, worn, stone-chipped fork stanchions. Arrange for powdercoating, polishing or decorative chroming of lower fork sliders and triple clamps. Like us on Facebook!

e: contactus@radhardchroming.com.au

decals . decals . decals

To advertise in

MotoGraphix

retrobike retro bike Email Fiona on

fcollins@universalmagazines.com.au

Phone: (02) 9748 3164

22a Adderley Street Lidcombe 2141

40,000 Plus decals available Specialising in DECALS FOR ALL CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES email: decals@motographix.com.au

SYDNEY MOTORCYCLE WRECKERS & WORKSHOP

“European & J “E JaSaȸesɏ SpeciɪliVt ”

Ph: 02 9477 1443 www.thebikeshop.com.au

THE HE WORLD FAM FAMOUS BORRANI MOTORCYCLE RIMS ARE ONCE AGAIN IN PRODUCTION IN ITALY AND NOW AVAILABLE THROUGH BORRANI AUSTRALIA!

1/85 Hunter Lane, Hornsby NSW 2007 (behind AMF)

Authorised Parts Dealer

Many si ze currentl s y in stock a nd factory orders availab le

Email: jay@thebikeshop.com.au Fax: 02 9476 3004

www.borrani.com.au

or call 0400 635 064


C R S I B BE U S 7 issues of

PRETTY, SHINY BEASTS for Father’s Day New Bike Test

New Bike Test

VICTORY MAGNUM XXXXXXXX XXXXX XXX XXXX XXXX XXX XXXXXXXX XXXX XXXXX XXXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXX XXXXXXXX

Cruiser & Trike

Cruiser & Trike

12

13

A Day In The Saddle

A Day In The Saddle

A DAY IN THE SADDLE A 500KM DAY IN THE SADDLE IS A REASONABLE RIDE IN AUSTRALIA … IT’S AN EPIC RIDE IN NEW ZEALAND!

Cruiser & Trike

Cruiser & Trike

48

49

ABOUT CRUISER & TRIKE: Cruiser & Trike is Australia’s only magazine devoted to the fastestgrowing sector of the motorcycle marketplace. Grab the mini subscription issue of Cruiser & Trike for real, first-hand info on all the new rides, including the all-new Indian Scout and H-D Street 500, plus much, much more.


retrobike CLASSIC NOT PLASTIC

STEP 1: I WANT TO SUBSCRIBE FOUR-ISSUE subscription to Retrobike magazine + BONUS six-month subscription to Australian Cruiser & Trike

COCKED & LOADED

FOR ONLY $34.95 EIGHT-ISSUE subscription to Retrobike magazine

FOR ONLY $59.95 STEP 2: MY DETAILS Mr/Mrs/Miss/Ms First name: Surname:

GILERA QUATTRO

XS650 BOBBER

CUSTOM BONNEVILLES

POSTIE BIKE NATIONALS

(Both incl. GST)

DUCATI CONCOURS

ISSUE 17 SUMMER 2015

BLOWN COMMANDO

AUS $11.95* NZ $12.95

Address:

Suburb:

Postcode:

Daytime telephone: ( ) Email:

STEP 3: PAYMENT Cheque/money order for AU$

FOUR ISSUES OF RETROBIKE MAGAZINE DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR — RRP $47.80 + BONUS SIX-MONTH SUBSCRIPTION TO AUSTRALIAN CRUISER & TRIKE — RRP $29.85

ONLY $34.95

(Please make cheques payable to Universal Magazines Pty Ltd)

Please charge my:

American Express

Card number:

Diners

MasterCard

Visa

Expiry date: (must be included)

Cardholder’s name: Cardholder’s signature:

TO RECEIVE THIS OFFER, PLEASE QUOTE THE CODE: C/RCBE19 HURRY! OFFER ENDS OCTOBER 1, 2015

OFFER ONLY AVAILABLE WHILE STOCKS LAST FAX NOW (02) 9805 0714 CALL NOW 1300 303 414 (cost of a local call) OVERSEAS ENQUIRIES +61 2 9887 0399 ONLINE NOW www.universalshop.com.au SEND COUPON NOW Subscriptions Department, Reply Paid 75687, North Ryde NSW 1670 EMAIL NOW mailorder@universalmagazines.com.au T&Cs: Pay only $2.00 for two issues and then pay only $15.00 every two months after that on an Easy Payment Plan (EPP). You don’t have to think about it, we will automatically do it for you. EPP conditions are you must be committed for a period of 3 payments (minimum of $45.00) then you may opt out if you wish otherwise it will continue.Subscriptions will commence with the first available issue. Existing subscriptions will simply be extended. Free gifts arrive separately to the magazine subscription and are sent as soon as possible. Free gift offers do not apply to subscribers currently on the Easy Payment Plan or those upgrading with the Early Bird offer. Offer open to Australian residents only. By subscribing you acknowledge that you understand that ‘tip-ons’ and gifts or bonus issues that may be available with non-subscriber copies of this magazine may not be provided to subscribers and is at the discretion of Universal Magazines Pty Ltd. The Promoter shall not be liable for any loss or damage that is suffered or sustained (including but not limited to, indirect or consequential loss) or for personal injury which is suffered or sustained as a result of taking part in this or any other gift offer. By subscribing, you consent to receive any direct marketing material including emails which inform the recipient of the Promoter’s other publications, products, services or events and to receive promotional material from third parties. Please tick the box if you do NOT wish us to use this information for the purposes stated above .


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

A

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

B

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 BRITISH MOTORCYCLE CLUB TASMANIA INC Promoting restoration, preservation and riding britishmotorcycleclubtas.com BRITISH SINGLES MOTORCYCLE CLUB INC QLD 0403 212 545 or (07) 3263 6640 BRITISH TWO-STROKE CLUB OF AUSTRALIA INC (03) 5967 3518 or (03) 9435 7824 BSA OWNERS ASSOCIATION INC PO Box 2400, Oakleigh 3166 or bsa.asn.au 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.

92

retrobike

ISSUE #19

BUELL RIDERS CLUB AUSTRALIA INC Dedicated to all Buell riders. 0409 142 707 or 0431 141 610

DUCATI OWNERS BATHURST 0456 940 822 DUCATI OWNERS CLUB OF NSW 0409 421 594

C

CAIRNS MOTORCYCLE RESTORERS CLUB INC PO Box 6560, Cairns Qld 4870. (07) 4055 8802

CANBERRA CAFE RACERS canberracaferacers@yahoo.com.au

DUCATI OWNERS CLUB NORTH COAST docnc.org.au. (02) 6658 3182

E

CB1100R OWNERS CLUB A club for all owners of this classic mega bike. 0418 387 583 or (02) 4351 2303 CBX-6 OWNERS CLUB OF AUSTRALIA INC (02) 4284 1438. cbx6.com.au

EARLY AMERICAN MOTORCYCLE CLUB 1966 and older. PO Box 18, Tuart Hill WA 6939. (08) 9295 4360

G

GRIFFITH CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB Contact Brian (Hoppy) Hampel 0409 624 716

H

HASTINGS VALLEY MOTORCYCLE CLUB PO Box 5444, Port Macquarie NSW 2444

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 COFFS HARBOUR AND DISTRICT MOTORCYCLE RESTORERS PO Box 4248, Coffs Harbour Jetty 2450. (02) 6653 4532 CLUB LAVERDA QUEENSLAND Laverda ownership isn’t mandatory. (07) 3205 7151

D

DRY LAKES RACERS AUSTRALIA Contact Cled Davies: (03) 5443 3432 or 0419 581 854

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

I

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

K

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

M

R

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 Qld 4006

S

MOTO GUZZI CLUB OF VICTORIA motoguzziclubvic.asn.au. (03) 9528 6989

SCOTT OWNERS CLUB INC Australian section of the UK parent club. scottownersclub.org

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

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

N

STEVENS REGISTER thestevensproject.co.uk. (02) 9600 9894

NATURELAND CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB naturelandclassicmotorcycleclub.org.au. 0416 200 023

T

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

THE CENTRAL COAST CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE CLUB INC (02) 4396 4647 OR (02) 4385 8512

NORTON MOTORCYCLES CLUB SA INC nortonownersclubsa.org.au. (08) 8380 5240

THE HISTORIC COMPETITION MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF WA PO Box 568, South Perth WA 6951. historicracing.asn.au

NORTON OWNERS CLUB OF VICTORIA INC victoria.nortonownersclub.org. (03) 9569 7762 NOSTALGIA DRAG RACERS Email bte@live.com.au or phone 0427 942 973

P

THE NEWCASTLE VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB INC All machines 30 years of age or older.

PANARAMA MCC VETERAN AND VINTAGE GROUP 0404 089 015

THE VETERAN AND VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF SA vvmccsa.org.au. 0409 514 213

PORT MACQUARIE CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES CLUB INC (02) 6582 6878 or 0419 485 493

THE VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF VICTORIA INC For motorcycles manufactured prior to Dec 31st 1942. 0417 558 214

POST CLASSIC RACING ASSOCIATION postclassicracing.com.au

Q

TAREE & DISTRICTS CLASSIC & VINTAGE MCC (02) 6556 5288

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

TWEED HEADS MOTORCYCLE ENTHUSIASTS CLUB INC thmcec.com. 0400 871 699

V

VELOCETTE OWNERS CLUB (02) 9651 1793

VETERAN AND HISTORIC MCC LTD PO Box 366, Kellyville NSW 2155. (02) 9621 5604 or (02) 8883 0390 VETERAN SPEEDWAY RIDERS' ASSOCIATION OF AUSTRALIA vsra.homestead.com. (02) 9587 7367 VINCENT HRD OWNERS CLUB VICTORIA SECTION INC PO Box 79, Monbulk Vic 3793. (03) 9752 0803 VINTAGE JAPANESE MOTORCYCLE CLUB For enthusiasts of older Japanese bikes. (02) 4873 1852 vjmc.org.au VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF AUSTRALIA (NSW) INC. For machines up to 1947. vmccnsw.org.au. (02) 9624 1262 VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB TASMANIA PO Box 110, Lindisfarne Tas 7015. (03) 6272 1976 or (03) 6248 1538 VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE CLUB OF WA INC vmccwa.com. (08) 9298 8953

Y

YAMAHA SR 500 CLUB INC (03) 9331 3178. sr500club.org or read last 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 Devoted to Japan's finest vertical twin 0409 384 790 website: xs650.org.au YORK PENINSULA VINTAGE, VETERAN AND CLASSIC MC INC Serving regional South Australia (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: info@motociclo.com.au

I

www.motociclo.com.au

Also: Lewis Leathers, Stagg Leather, Halcyon Goggles, Ace café merch, Rossi Boots, White Silk Scarves etc and MORE! ISSUE #19

retrobike

93


Social Pages

LIFE'S TOO SHORT

Pages l a i c o S

PHOTO: RUSS MURRAY

94

retrobike

ISSUE #19


ISSUE #19

retrobike

95


Social Pages LIFE'S TOO SHORT

ACTION PICS: RUSS MURRAY

96

retrobike

ISSUE #19


ISSUE #19

retrobike

97


FEEDBACK LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

 LEGENDS

 PLASTIC CLASSICS #2

JOHN Fretten was my first boss in the motorcycle industry 20 years ago, and his bikes are something else. It is about time somebody persuaded him to show them to a wider audience. And Jack Taylor (and his bully Wal) were customers of mine for many years and it was so good to see him still going strong at almost 90. I think I nearly cried. As for the poster, you could have left the other side blank because that Guzzi is just way too much for that other over-rated Italian marque, even with a girl! Peter Lucas

I JUST finished looking through the summer edition, the first with the new editor and format. As much as I can appreciate people with different tastes and experience I reckon it will be the last issue I buy. What I enjoyed about previous issues was the emphasis on a wide spread of bikes, including more modern ‘plastic’ classics. Magazines that show English, Italian and American bikes are a dime a dozen. Retro was unique, but now has fallen to the taste of one man who doesn’t realise the demographic of his audience. Shaun Carter

 HAPPY THIS magazine keeps on getting better and better. Well done to all involved, keep up the great work. Kevin Kluske

 NOT HAPPY GOT issue 17 in the post 12/1/15. Cancelled my subscription on 13/1/15. Nathan Webster

 SNORTIN’ NORTON I LOVE the Commando in issue 17; the build quality and engineering is top class. I too have a Commando purchased a few years ago and rebuilt; they are a special machine. I first saw one as a teenager in the 70s, a Roadster in British Racing Green. I watched from a distance as the owner struggled to get it started and it was love at first sight! 40 years later I finally have one of my own to spend my money and time on. John Pudney

 LIKES IT I HAVE just finished reading my first copy of Retrobike. Congratulations! This is the best bike magazine I have seen in 20 years. Well done! Brian Hazell

98

retrobike

ISSUE #19

YOU WIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME

 LIKES IT NOT I HAVE read the first two issues of Retro with the new editor. Sorry Geoff, if this is the direction the mag is headed, I’m glad I didn’t renew my subscription. Removing a fairing and replacing a single headlight with two smaller units does not make a bike retro or classic. There are plenty of magazines out there dedicated to streetfighters and bobbers. Keep this magazine for those of us who enjoy restoring the classics. Marty Baylis

 TEA & SCONES LOVED reading the latest Retrobike mag. I would to like to cordially invite you to come on over to Surfside Motorcycle Garage for some music, motorcycles, coffee and more. Trevor Love

 ARTIOLOGY DIGGING the graphic artwork, man. Very nice. Scott Michael

 SHORT & SWEET LOVE the new format and content, a real class act. I was never into customs before but like the ones you've run so far. Alan Dorset

 SHORT & SWEETER JUST grabbed a copy of the new Retrobike, it looks great. Nice photography, good print quality and interesting, readable features. Good work. John Bown

 MOTORCYCLE MUSE  PLASTIC CLASSICS #1 I’VE just read the revamped Retrobike. Love the look and feel, very classy. I’ve been a reader since the first issue. However, I have one niggling concern; that over-used throwaway tagline ‘Classic Not Plastic’ under the masthead. It might be innocent enough, but that term has always held negative connotations for the Japanese brands. I know there are plenty of Jap bikes in the mag so clearly that’s not the intention, but I’m worried you’ll now limit them to certain eras and ignore others, namely bikes of the 80s and 90s, many of which are now classics with prices to match. Good luck with the mag. I will watch with interest. Richard Morrison

I CAME in late with issue 18, but good to see another Streetbike/Performance Cycles style of magazine under your stewardship, Geoff. We missed you while you were shoehorning V8s into Morris Minors. I grew up with your musings on all things motorcycle, and am thinking the world is a better place for your return. Hope this publication outlives previous titles by a good long stretch. Kudos to you guys for identifying a need for this magazine and good luck. Brian Meskanen

Your feedback is encouraged. Write to retro@ universalmagazines.com.au or to our page (Retro Bike Magazine) on Facebook.


CLASSIC MOTORCYCLE RESTORATIONS ALWAYS THE BEST DISPLAY OF CLASSIC BRITISH BIKES IN AUSTRALIA A SELECTION OF OUR CLASSIC MOTORCYCLES

1969 TRIUMPH T100R 500 DAYTONA

1965 TRIUMPH TR6SR 650 SPORT TROPHY

Here we have a very pretty matching number example of this very popular motorcycle. The Daytona has twin carbs and being a lighter motorcycle performs almost as well as a 650. VIN # T100R.XC07264 $11,950

1980 BMW R65LS

This is the first example of this rare model we have ever had to offer for sale. The bike has matching numbers and has done only 4000 miles and is just beautiful. Reg # TR6SR.DU22206 $14,950

1969 HONDA CA78 305 DREAM

This is a beautiful restored example that is ready to ride away. This is a local bike and has been used on historic registration in Victoria. This is a real head turner. VIN # 6351014 $8,950

1973 KAWASAKI H1 500 TRIPLE

This is a superb original example that came from a collection in the USA and has done 270 miles. A very rare opportunity to find a machine in this condition. VIN # CA78-1032542 $9,950

HONDA GL1100 GOLD WING. NOVEMBER 1980 (1981 MODEL)

This bike kicks over and is an easy winter restoration project. These are getting hard to find and are worth big money restored. VIN # H1F-15387 $5,950

1978 YAMAHA XS650 SPECIAL STREET CAFE RACER This is an excellent looking bike in immaculate condition. VIN # 2F0109369 $9,950

1982 KAWASAKI GPZ750

This bike is in beautiful condition and has done only 14,000 miles from new. A superb riding machine. VIN # 1HFSC0202BA111245 $7,950

HARLEY DAVIDSON 1000 SPORTSTER BOAT TAIL When did you last see one of these for sale. A rare and collectible limited edition motorcycle in excellent original condition with original panniers and other accessories. VIN # 3A14485H $19,950

1969 TRIUMPH TR6C 650 TROPHY

This is an immaculate low mileage example. Very hard to find in this condition. This model is very sought after. VIN # JKAKZDR18CA001911 $12,950

This is an absolutely beautiful matching number motorcycle that runs and rides superbly and is very well priced. The TR6C models are hard to find. VIN # DC17183.TR6C $12,950

1982 YAMAHA XJ650 TURBO This is an original low mileage example. This bike runs really well and are a very fast motorcycle. VIN # JYA16G008DA100869 $6,750

1975 HONDA CB400 FOUR Just arrived from the USA, this bike runs and rides very well. One of the most popular Honda models ever built. VIN # CB400F-2002598 $6,950

1979 HONDA CBX1000 This is an original example of Honda’s six cylinder super bike. Runs and rides superbly. VIN # CB1-2006558 $16,950

KAWASAKI A7 350 AVENGER TWIN This is a low mileage immaculate example of this very rare motorcycle. This is the first one we have ever had available. VIN # A702078 $11,950

1970 TRIUMPH T120R 650 BONNEVILLE This is a very nice matching number example. The 1970 Bonneville was the very last of the dry frame models and rated as one of the best. VIN # BD42125.T120R $14,950

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: classicstyle7@gmail.com


Issue#19 Winter 2015  

Check out the latest edition of Retrobike.

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you