Retrobike4 min read
Cracklin’ ROSIE
YAMAHA’S tiny RD200 is an unlikely choice for an elite show bike, and Alan Wells from Bunbury south of Perth would be the first to agree. But build it he did, and the story behind it is as heart-warming as the finished result is spectacular, good eno
Retrobike2 min read
G'day With Geoff Seddon
IT’S been like 1989 all over again for this retired motorcycle road tester, with not one but two new bikes sharing space in the shed with my old dungers. Thirty years ago it was the norm. Not that I miss it. I was never the fastest rider on the block
Retrobike3 min read
Gender BENDER
BLACKTRACK Motors is a bespoke custom motorcycle manufacturer in Luxembourg in western Europe, designing radical one-off cafe racers then manufacturing them in small runs of no more than four per model for a wealthy and discerning clientele. Founder
Retrobike6 min read
Odd Man Out
THIS is another bike I’ve been hanging on trying out for some time now, Kawasaki’s most recent on-again, off-again incarnation of its 1965 W1 vertical twin, itself a development of the earlier BSA A7. The much revamped 2019 W800 Cafe is nothing like
Retrobike1 min read
Japanese Beesa
IN 1960, engineering giant Kawasaki acquired a minority interest in Meguro, one of Japan’s oldest motorcycle manufacturers. Amongst other models, Meguro had a licence to produce the BSA A7, a popular British 500cc OHV pre-unit vertical twin, but was
Retrobike3 min read
Cool Britannia
IT was a big weekend in London at Tobacco Dock, with the 10th Bike Shed Custom & Shed Build Show competing for spectacle with a round of the British Superbike Championship and any number of summer music festivals. Yet more than 17,000 bodies came and
Retrobike4 min read
Monstrosity
AUSSIE Marc Roissetter is a motorsports consultant in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates where he campaigns a ZX6R Kawasaki race bike and is accumulating a small but diverse collection of custom bikes. Amazingly, this is his first Ducati. “I was looki
Retrobike2 min read
Rare Breed
NORTON Commandos are not exactly thick on the ground but some models are rarer than others. Lenny Norton’s 750 SS (for Street Scramber, not Super Sport) is amongst the rarest. Just 400 were built in 1971, all of them exported to the US. An unknown nu
Retrobike1 min read
Monster Mash
THE Ducati Monster was released in 1993, designed in-house by Miguel Angel Galluzzi under the direction of technical director Massimo Bordi. It was relatively cheap to design, develop and manufacture, a parts-bin special created by mounting an air-co
Retrobike1 min read
The Unapproachable Norton
JAMES Lansdowne Norton established his company in 1898 as a cycle parts manufacturer and produced the first Norton motorcycles with French and Swiss engines in 1902. The first Norton-engined model was a side-valve single in 1908. The factory had grea
Retrobike1 min read
Retro Specs
ENGINE Air-cooled 90-degree four-stroke V-twin; SOHC, two valves per cylinder, desmodromic operation; 98 x 71mm for 1078cc; 11.3:1 comp; custom exhaust with SC Projects muffler; Power Commander 5 engine management; gear primary drive to oil-cooled (w
Retrobike5 min readTech
Dirtbag
I FIRST spied Steve Doherty’s ‘Dirtbag’ a year ago, three weeks into the build. His goal was the 2018 Deus Ex Machina Bike Build-Off, but when word got out it had been postponed, he immediately stopped work on it to concentrate on something else (he
Retrobike4 min read
Time Warp
BMW Motorrad has been on a mission lately with lots of bikes released on lots of different platforms. The R nineT in particular has spawned plenty of new models from cafe racers to scramblers, but the BMW design team pulled out all stops with the ama
Retrobike3 min read
Bob the BOBBER
WE often hear enthusiasts saying they’ve been riding bikes “forever”. Stephan Lofting from Sydney’s northern beaches is a candidate for sure with a 55-year-long fascination with motorcycles. “I played on and around my dad’s bikes from the age of six,
Retrobike6 min read
Game Changer
EVERY so often a manufacturer conceives a new model that’s mostly unlike anything anyone did previously — and in doing so invents a new kind of motorcycle. Think BMW with its dual-purpose GS models, Ducati with the Monster, or Yamaha with the origina
Retrobike6 min read
Two For The Price Of One
PERSONALLY, the all-new pair of Royal Enfield 650 twins has been the most anticipated release of the year, and not because it’s the first Enfield twin to be made in half a century. My reasons were closer to home. I fell hook, line and sinker for the
Retrobike7 min read
If Looks Could Thrill
DURING the Classic era of Grand Prix road racing in the 1950s and 60s, Czechoslovakia was the only Eastern Bloc country to mount a sustained challenge in the more prestigious larger capacity classes to first Western European, then, later on, Japanese
Retrobike3 min read
Win On Sunday, Sell On Monday
IT is a measure of how serious Polaris is to re-establish Indian as a genuine contender to Harley-Davidson’s position as the quintessential American motorcycle that they developed, from scratch, a race bike just for American Flat Track racing, the qu
Retrobike1 min read
The Wrecking Crew
AS the old Indian factory in Springfield, Massachusetts, was going through its death throes in the early 1950s, Indian factory riders won three consecutive National Championships, then decided at a single event, the Springfield Mile. Known as the Ind
Retrobike2 min readFashion & Beauty
Retro STYLE
Merlin Ladies Madison Cotton/ Kevlar Riding Jacket makes a bold, custom rider statement. This ladies chequered over shirt style jacket is designed to look and feel just like a heavy-duty cotton over shirt with an extreme abrasion resistant DuPont™ Ke
Retrobike4 min read
SEEK & DESTROY
HONDA was seeking a retro/ custom vibe with its new naked CB1000R on its general release in 2018, and encouraged the Swiss distributor to hold a custom CB1000R competition to be held in conjunction with the 2019 Swiss Moto Show in Zurich. This here i
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