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News Nov 2023

R1 gen 1, Nov 30

              YZF1000 R1 1999

We've been working on a modern classics feature for the good folk at bikesales and were reminded of this gem: First-generation R1. A little flighty, perhaps, but a spectacular thing.

See our profile, here.

Triumph hits the dirt, Nov 30

triumph mx

It's been an epic day for Triumph with the launch of the first of a new series of very serious dirt bikes, the TF 250-X. See the report at bikesales.

Hayabusa resources, Nov 29


Given the big response to yesterday's post about adding another Hayabusa to the home fleet, we thought we'd share this: Suzuki has put up an extraordinary collection of photos, brochures and promo videos across all three generations.

Plus we have our own collection of reviews across the three generations.

You'll find it here.


More trouble, Nov 28


And in answer to yesterday's question...yep, it's a 25th anniversary Hayabusa which we've today added to the fleet via the good folk at Mick Hone Motorcycles.

See our third-gen Hayabusa review.

One more sleep, Nov 27

chain detail shot

Despite what you might think, adding a new (as in fresh out of the maker's box) motorcycle to the shed is a very rare treat at Chateau Guido...and we only have one more sleep until it happens. Any guesses on what it is? (More tomorrow...)

CeeBee value, Nov 27

Honda CB70-four

Sometimes it's not the headline acts, but the run-of-the-mill which best inform classic motorcycle values and this recent USA sale is an interesting example.

It's a 1970 Honda CB750-Four and presumably relatively late among the highly-prized sandcast bikes. By that we mean early production before Honda used diecast moulds for the engine cases. Total K0 production for the 1969-70 model years was a phenomenal 53,400, of which 7414 were sandcast units.

Early engines could be a little delicate, and some owners (particularly in the USA) had their sandcast engines replaced with diecast under warranty. Little did anyone know at that stage that the move would greatly reduce the long-term value of the bike.

That early series has developed its own following and even specialist restoration businesses. Five-plus years ago, you could have a concours-standard sandcast assembled to order in the USA for Au$90,000 (US$60,000, GB£48,000). It seemed like a fortune at the time, but expect to pay a lot more these days.

This example is less than stellar in its presentation – okay at a distance but in need of minor work, with details such as reproduction sidecovers also denting its value. Nevertheless, it's highly collectible.

So how much? It sold at auction with Bring a Trailer for Au$78,000 (US$51,000, GB£40,000). That's about double what an equivalent diecast K0 would have fetched.

As for K1-on series, the local market has cooled off considerably since its Covid heights of 18 months ago, so prices will be more affordable.


Just as a matter of interest, a 1968 prototype K0 used as a show bike in the USA and UK was auctioned in the latter country back in 2018. In semi-restored shape, it went for Au$309,000 (US$202,000, GB£161,000). At the time that was a record for a Japanese motorcycle.

See our CB750-Four backgrounder

Phillis flyer, Nov 26

              race bike

Australian superbike legend Robbie Phillis recently posted this on his Facebook page: "This is Kevin Dougherty’s bike that he’s just finished restoring over here in New Zealand.

"It was my Team Kawasaki Australia superbike in the 1993 Australian titles on which I won seven of the first nine races until the crash that ended my career at Lakeside.  It was a big endo over Roy Leslie’s Ducati on the first lap and I woke up in hospital a couple of days days later on another planet!"

It would be good to see more race bikes from this era brought back to life, wouldn't it?

Kiwi strokers, Nov 26

dinosaurs kiwi

It's 1976 and the Hutt Valley Motorcycle Club in New Zealand is hosting the Gracefield street circuit round of what was then the country's premium five-meeting road race series.

This doco is a little hasty in its announcement of the demise of two-stroke grand prix racing, though it provides a lovely insight into the period.

And yes, that's the Kawasaki Australia crew of Neville Doyle, Gregg Hansford and Murray Sayle in the opening graphic. See it on YouTube.

Perth Run: The epic, Nov 26

road sign nullabor

Our gallop from Perth across the Nullabor Plain to Melbourne is done and dusted and we've now assembled the road diary into something that makes sense...well, almost. In case you missed it, you can find it here.

Singular tourers, Nov 25


Of the many machines we might consider for a road tour from one end of the country to another, Yamaha's mighty SR500 would be a fair way down the list. However that's not the case for these Townsville-based SR500 Club members...see the story at

sr500 map

See the SR500 Club;

And the SR500 in our shed.

EffJay bomber, Nov 24

yamaha fj1100

Yamaha’s FJ1100/1200 heavy bombers have somehow escaped collector interest, but we reckon a good example should be welcome in your shed.

See our profile.

International romance, Nov 24

peter callaghan

Are you up for an international overland ride? Peter Callaghan shares his recent experiences via Bikesales.

Plus a must-see from local crew Brian and Shirley Hardy-Rix.

Galloping Guzzi, Nov 23

              guzzi le mans

For reasons we can't explain there seems to be a lot of Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans of varying vintages on the market at the moment. Bikesales has eight.

One that caught our eye was this, described as a MkI in non-original shape. That makes valuing it a bit of a challenge and the seller has it on the market at  Au$19,500 (US$12,800, GB£10,200), substantially less than what one in factory trim would fetch.

See our quick 850 Le Mans profile here, with a link to the period test at Classic Two Wheels.

Flashback: Honda CB400 Four Super Sport, Nov 22

honda cb400

One of the gems out of the 1970s. See our mini profile.

SR500 special – random shot for the day, Nov 21


The apparently immortal SR500 Club had its well-attended rally last weekend and we were a bit taken with this shot of a nicely-modified example, by Stewart Ross.

Find the club on the web here;

And on Facebook here.

Of course there is one in our shed – see it here.

Perth Run: Lost pics found and dueling telcos, Nov 20

bmw k1200lt

Are we there yet? Well, coat us in swarf and throw us to the engineers, it appears we are! Today we wrap up with some lost pics, lost towns and the great gap in telco coverage. See today's update, here.

Perth Run: Rhinos and local heroes, Nov 19

bmw k1200lt

Weird roadside objects, local hero riders and memories of a Subaru-powered motorcycle...welcome to another day on the road. See our Perth Run update, here.

Perth Run: Birdwood and bikes, Nov 18

Birdwood museum

A quick gallop through the Adelaide hills led us to a treasure trove of machinery. Plus we reveal how we're getting on with the land's all happening in today's Perth Run update.

Norvin nirvana, Nov 17


Some bikes just look right and this is one of them. Norvins (Norton chassis hosting a Vincent engine) have always held enormous appeal and this example, recently auctioned by H&H in the UK, is interesting.

With some 'name' builders involved, it's running a custom-made Featherbed-style frame with Yamaha FJ1200 front forks and Ohlins twin shocks on the rear.

Said to have taken eight years to construct and perfect, it went for Au$71,000 (US$46,000, GB£37,000). That's a lot of money, but we suspect it still represents reasonable buying.

See our Norvin single feature.

Perth Run: A day off, Nov 17

perth run

We've taken the day off while we get new rubber on the land yacht and will update over the weekend.

30 years of RADD, Nov 16

Yamaha GTS1000

It's 30 years since Yamaha's courageous GTS1000 was launched into the market at eye-watering prices and boasting the James Parker-conceived RADD single-side front end.

The radical chassis hosted a mildly-tuned 20-valve FZR1000 engine and was at very least controversial.

See the story on the one we owned, along with the backgrounder on the then cutting-edge model. (Pics by Stuart Grant)

Another is soon sneaking into our shed – a story for a later day...

Perth Run: Hissy fits and headlights, Nov 16

dublin sa

We offer some unwanted marketing advice for auto parts stores and swing by Dublin...see today's Perth Run update.

Perth Run: Killer galahs and blue tongues, Nov 15

galah perth run

We have a new winner for the world's least subtle roadside object, and nearly get into a fight with a blue tongue...see today's Perth run update.

Perth Run: Altered states, Nov 14

sa border

Roos, Vegemite and oyster bars – it's been that kind of day...see the Perth Run update, here.

Classic Blackbird, Nov 13

              mc mechanics honda blackbird

At risk of making some of you feel old, Honda's speed demon CBR1100XX Super Blackbird is officially a classic. Well, that's according to the folk at Classic Motorcycle Mechanics in the UK, who have made it a cover bike.

See our Blackbird profile;

And the one in the shed (our  third).

Perth Run: Riding to the centre of the universe, Nov 13

perth run bmw k1200lt

Thanks to the good folk of Caiguna, we now not only know where the centre of the universe is but have ridden there! See today's Perth Run road diary update.

Perth Run: Sunny Balladonia, Nov 12

bmw k1200lt perth run

Corrugated camels, bits of Skylab and a tribute to the Redex's all been happening today. See our update, here.

Perth Run: Trivia trail to Esperance, Nov 11

bmw k1200lt perth run road train

After a couple of days scooting through some monumental forests, rolling farmland and tracks to hidden bays, we've broken out into the big wide spaces. Today we joined the road trains as we went hunting on the trivia trail. See today's update on the story here.

Honda NS250F/R, Nov 11

honda ns250

Today's random brochure: Honda's 1985-86 two-stroke twins, the NS250F (naked variant) and R. Both are pretty thin on the ground these days, particularly the F.

See the R backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs.

Perth Run: Discovering Denmark, Nov 10

denmark WA

Having missed much of the Caves Road on yesterday's ride, today we decided to make amends and do a little backtracking.

Augusta to Albany (today's target) direct is just over 350km (220 miles), so that left plenty of time to go hunting backroads. See the story, here.

Perth Run: Perth to Augusta, Nov 9

bmw k1200lt perth run

In all the times and years we've traveled in Western Australia, the south-west corner has proved elusive. Not this trip! See the update here...

Forgotten gems – Bridgestone 350 GTO, Nov 8

bridgestone 350

It's 1970 and the troubled Bridgestone motorcycle brand is close to shutting down the bike production and concentrating its efforts on tyres.

Among the last hurrah of models is this, the 350 GTO. It's a quick cosmetic scrambler version of the 1967 GTR and ironically one of the company's more stylish efforts.

The twin-cylinder two-stroke series was technically advanced for the time, claiming a healthy 37 horses (28kW), matched to a six-speed transmission using a dry multi-plate clutch.


Price for this and the GTR (above) in America was about US$850, or approximately the same as a Triumph Bonneville 650.

See the contemporary Cycle World magazine GTO review;

And the 1967 GTR review.

Freo run, Nov 7


What do you do when it's fabulous riding weather and you're at a loose end in Perth? Flit down to Fremantle for a seafood lunch, of course...more here on our Perth Run page.

Perth Run – land yacht arrives, Nov 7


Well, that's a promising start. A couple of weeks after the land yacht was picked up in Melbourne by transporters Bikes Only, it has been delivered to my hotel. It's in great shape.

We're in Perth for a couple more nights and then we're heading south.

More here...

The odd couple, Nov 6

Honda Valkyrie - Indian Chief Vintage

We've decided today is exercise-your-cruiser day, hence the oddball pairing in the mustering yard at Chateau Despair.

At left is our 2001 Honda GL1500CF, aka Valkyrie interstate;

And at right the 2009 Kings Mountain Indian Chief Vintage – a pre-Polaris model.

There's probably some sort of critical mass at work there...

Suzuki 'super bikes', Nov 5

suzuki bikes 1980

It's 1978 and Suzuki is well and truly in the swing of developing its big four-stroke motorcycle range, with the Wes Cooley-inspired GS1000S as the hero model. See our quick GS profile.

Flashback: KTM RC8 & RC8R, Nov 3

KTM rc8

Do you remember these? KTM's wild RC8 twins were the company's flagship road-going sports weapons and could never be mistaken for anything else. See our future collectible feature, here.

Water Bottle vid, November 2

The folk at the Barber Vintage Motorsports Museum in the USA have published a mini documentary on Suzuki's GT750 triple-cylinder liquid cooled two-stroke...aka locally as the water bottle, the water buffalo in the USA and the kettle in the UK.

suzuki gt750

As the vid points out, Suzuki's 1972-77 design was a courageous one and very good at what it did.

See our mini gallery of GT750 brochures.

Freshen-up for the CBX, November 2

honda cbx1000 gassit motorcycles

Getting our 1981 Honda CBX1000 running after a long lay-off in the previous owner's shed was one thing, but getting running well is a whole other next of vipers. And that's why we happily made it someone else's problem.

The smiling folk you see here are Simon and Brett over at Gassit Motorcycles in sunny Melbourne – my local workshop. They're happy because they've managed to get the bank of six carburetors back in place after a clean-out and rebuild. A big job.

They're now allegedly on the downhill run, with a carb-synch, freshen-up of the brakes, new chain and sprockets, new tyres, plus fitting the new exhaust system on the job card. Watch this space...

See the latest installment on this bike.

Zed 11, November 1

kawasaki gpz1100

How long is it since you saw a Kawasaki GPz1100 in such original shape? As the seller on Bikesales points out, the exhaust system, fuel-injection and long rear guard were all given the flick by a lot of owners.

Aside from which the 1100 was overshadowed by the GPz750E Turbo (which was no quicker) and soon by the GPz900R (which most certainly was).

We like the swooping looks of this model and reckon it would be a nice addition to a shed that also held a Suzuki GSX1100 of similar vintage.

This example could arguably use a cosmetic freshen-up but is all there. It's priced at Au$9500(US$6000, GB£5000).

See the Motorcycle Specs backgrounder here;

Our Kawasaki GPz750E Turbo profile here;

And our Kawasaki GPz900R A1 here.


See our news archive


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