AllMoto's Motorcycle Investor mag


allmoto logo

Motorcycle Investor mag

Subscribe to our free email news

News Jan 2024

The big run, Jan 31

coober pedy australia - bmw r1150gs

We've recently written a feature for bikesales on the gentle art of getting the most out of a long motorcycle trip. See it here.

Much of the piece was based on our 2023 Darwin run, where we flew up, bought a 21-year-old BMW R1150GS and rode it 3800km (2360 miles) home to Melbourne. See the road diary for that trip.

We've now ended up with two R1150GS in the shed – see the story.

Early bird adventure tourer, Jan 30

              tr5t trophy trail adventurer

In case you thought the concept of adventure touring started in 1980 with BMW's unquestionably hugely significant and influential R80G/S, here's Triumph's crack at a similar idea for the 1973-74 model years.

Coded as the TR5T, it was called the Adventurer or Trophy Trail depending on market.


It combined a BSA scrambler-style frame from its single-cylinder series, married to a Triumph Trophy 500 twin which, by the way, was smoother if less punchy than its bigger brothers. It claimed 30hp (22.4kW) at 7500rpm, punting an admirably low wet weight of 159kg. Top speed was 90mph (140km/h)


See the data and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs.

There was an element of parts-foraging for this model, with Lucas electrics and Yamaha controls: see the profile at the Triumph Owners MCC Uk website.

Play time, Jan 29

suzuki hayabusa 1999

Our 1999 Hayabusa is now on club plates and we finally got around to taking it for a bit of a gallop. With under 17,000km on the odo, it feels like a new one thanks to Allan over at Fearless Motorcycles in SA. More to come...

In the meantime, we have a heap of Suzuki Hayabusa resources on our features page.

Rare Zed pulls huge interest, Jan 29


The recently-completed Mecum auction in Las Vegas produced its fair share of surprises, including this: a 1974 Kawasaki Z2 750RS which had been restored to a high standard and has won several show awards since its completion.

It sold for Au$142,000 (US$93,500, GB£73,600), towards the lower end of the pre-auction estimate.

However the sale has now fallen through, as a number of issues were raised over its authenticity. See the YouTube video.

According to the sale description: "This stunning 1974 Kawasaki Z2 750RS is a rare two-year-only model, and has been totally restored to a concours standard. While Kawasaki topped the Japanese superbike stakes with its 900cc Z1 in 1972, the factory thought it best to cover all bases, offering the Z2 750RS in 1974 as a smaller-capacity version of its 'New York Steak' project, with identical styling, targeting the Japanese market with a 750cc machine with nearly the same performance but in a much more favorable tax bracket.

"Finding a Z2 in the US is very rare, and this machine is likely an original Japanese domestic model, as it includes the original manual and warranty, both in Japanese. The Z2’s 746cc DOHC 4-cylinder motor put out 69hp (51kW) at 9000rpm, giving a 125mph (200km/h) top speed for this 510-pound (230kg) flyer."


As you can see, it easily outperformed the usual four-stroke Kawasaki stars, namely the Z1 and Z900 series.

See the auction here.

Bargain bruisers, Jan 28

bmw r1150gs

BMW's now two-decade-old R1150GS series proves the terms cheap and capable are not mutually exclusive. See the story.

Mecum highs and lows, Jan 28

mecum top 6

Here are some highs and lows as the 2000-bike Mecum auction in Las Vegas enters its final day.

The big money was mostly directed at historic American iron, though there were also a couple of surprises. (Note all the prices are USD – multiply by 1.5 for Australian dollars.)

For a start the 1911 Harley-Davidson 7D, from the first year of V-twin production, failed to sell at $200k. The pre-auction estimate was $400-500k!

Two Brough Superior SS100s failed to sell. A modified solo stalled at $100k while the outfit shown at top left stopped at $225k.

In general early American four-cylinder machines did very well, regardless of whether they were Ace, Pierce, Henderson or Indian.

kawasaki classic

Kawasaki two-stroke classics in road or race form were the star performers, fetching serious money.


After a year or two in the doldrums, we saw Vincent prices firm up. Surprisingly, the fully-faired Black Knight now seems to be in vogue.

cheap bikes at

At the other end of the price scale, you didn't have to be a millionaire to play the game. A couple of grand in your pocket meant you still had some interesting choices.

See the auction here.

Zed fun run, Jan 27


We've been out playing with the mighty Kawasaki ZX-12R today after letting it languish in the shed for far too long. It was an exercise that reminded us just how much fun they are. Maybe we'll do it again tomorrow...

See the story on this example;

And our profile of the model.

Hodaka at Mecum, Jan 26

hodaka mecum

The sheer size of the current Mecum Las Vegas classic motorcycle auction (2000 lots) means you can mention almost any motorcycle and there's a good chance of finding one, possibly several, up for sale.

And so it is with Hodaka, the quirky Japanese-American dirt bike brand that emerged in 1964 and fell over in 1978.

Aside from building around 150,000 nimble and tough little single-cylinder two-strokes over that period, their greatest achievement was in naming them.

Our two favourites are the Combat Wombat and Road Toad. You can guess what they were smoking in the marketing department...

There is still a fair number around and a dedicated business in the USA, owned by Terry and Bev Larson of Missouri, that supplies parts.

They're very much a niche motorcycle these days, so we nearly choked on our whiskey when we saw a prime 1971 model (top left in the pic) sell for Au$18,400 (US$12,100, GB£9500). See the lot here.

And the auction here.

Buell Battletwin reunion, Jan 26

Buell battletwin

It's not often you get to cuddle up to a demo motorcycle you rode 35-ish years ago, but that was the case today with this 1989 Buell RR 1200 Battletwin. The then new distributor, Mike S, was brave enough to give muggins and a few others a taste of what is now a very rare motorcycle.

Current owner Alec S has stitched it back together and has it running – a fantastic project which we'll unwrap and share at some stage once he has one or two little issues sorted.

See the RR 1200 backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs.

See our feature on air-cooled Buells;

And our story on the Buell 1125R series.

2000 bikes under the hammer, Jan 24

              auction motorcycles 2024

New owners sought for 2000 machines: that's the claim by USA auction house Mecum, for its annual January collectible motorcycle auction in Las Vegas.

The event is now underway and runs through to January 27.

Our first pic shows some early results, in US dollars (multiply by 1.5 for Australian).

harley davidson 7d

Meanwhile the highest value lot is likely to be the 1911 Harley-Davidson 7D twin, which the auctioneers says is one of four known survivors from the first year of H-D V-twin production.

The 811cc engine was rated at 7hp and this example is a runner.

Mecum has set the estimate at Au$600-760,000 (US$400-500,000, GB£300-400,000). See it here.

See the full catalogue here.

Supercharged Jawa for auction, Jan 23

Jawa perak

Donington Auctions in Melbourne has a unique supercharged 1950 Jawa Perak coming up on March 4.

Bought off the showroom floor as a road bike, the twin-port 250 two-stroke saw plenty of use before the owners, Reg and June Wingard of South Australia, decided it was going racing.

Like a lot machines of the era, it saw competition both on road race and scrambles tracks.

The couple developed and made their own supercharger for the machine, which was once timed at 167km/h!

See the auction here. The estimate is Au$20-30,000 (US$13-20,000, GB£10-16,000).

A little Jawa background: For many the name conjures up visions of the Czech company’s hordes of mainstream two-strokes, some very quick road racers, plus of course the long-running and formidable speedway four-strokes.

More recently, the brand has undergone a revival out of India.

Bill Ivy JawaV4

Among the marque’s more impressive technical achievements was the 1968-69 350 V4 two-stroke grand prix bike, running a very high 16:1 compression ratio. The machine, called the Model 673, made 60hp at 13,000rpm for a top speed of around 260km/h. The pic shows Bill Ivy in action on it.

Though it showed some promising results, with Ivy giving Giacomo Agostini's MV Agusta a hurry-up at times, it never reached its full potential.

See the AMCN story on the V4.

Old paint wins over new paint, Jan 23

Indian Four model

When it comes to highly collectible vehicles, it seems unrestored still wins over restored. The latest example is a 1930 Model 401 Indian Four in fairly crusty shape, which was sold by Bring a Trailer in the USA this week for Au$310,000 (US$205,000, GB£161,000).

Indian Four
              model 402

Mecum sold a restored 1931 model last year for Au$241,000 (US$159,200, GB£125,000).

Indian Four
              model 402

And to demonstrate there's been significant long-term growth in the market, Bonhams sold a restored 1929 example back in 2014 for Au$116,000 (US$76,600, GB£60,000).

The 402 was based on the Ace four (Indian bought the company in 1927) and ran a 77ci (1261cc) inline four powerplant rated in 1930 at 30hp. Variants of the Indian Four were built from 1928 through to 1942.

Yamaha R7 – today's eye-candy, Jan 22

Yamaha R7

Yamaha's R7 of 1999, aka the OW-02, was a stunning-looking 750 superbike homologation special, with just 500 made. It was launched as part of the maker's giant sportsbike generational update in the lead up to the new century, which included the R1 and R6.

They rarely pop up on the market and one of the last ones we spotted was an example sold by Iconic in the USA for Au$81,200 (US$53,500, GB£42,100) in 2021.

See the brief Yamaha data sheet;

And the Cycle World 2022 retro piece;

Plus our gen one R1 profile;

And our R6 profile.

That seventies vibe, Jan 21


Just at the moment, I'm a little sore. And no I didn't fall off anything. However muggins has spent much of the last couple of days crawling over, around and under assorted transports of delight, attending to their needs.

That time has been spent on three out of the six seventies motorcycles currently in the shed: The 1971 Honda CB750-Four K1, 1975 Norton 850 Commando MkIII and 1975 Honda GL1000 Gold Wing....see the full story.

Big bike money for Honda CB400-Four, Jan 20


A 1975 Honda CB400-Four recently picked up big bike money via a USA Bring a Trailer auction in the USA. Though it wasn't in concours condition, it fetched a pretty solid Au$21,150 (US$13,300, GB£10,500).

That means the pricing was getting into CB750-Four territory.

This wasn't a typical collector special in perfect condition with zero miles. It admitted to a couple of minor dents and 16,000 miles (26,000km).


Restoring one would cost about the same as a K2 and later 750, though it's a much lighter package and would, like big brother, make a very use-able classic. It's easy to see the appeal in a well-preserved if not perfect survivor.

What it has over the 750 is that wonderful sinuous set of four-into-one headers.

See the auction listing.

See our CB400-Four mini profile.

Riding through history, Jan 19

allan tannenbaum

Something a little different tonight: An 11-minute documentary on American photojournalist Allan Tannenbaum talking of his work and his enduring relationship with motorcycles. In between playing with Nortons, he's documented some very high profile people and world-changing events. Well worth watching.

See the Norton in our shed.


Flashback: Rolling Zedline, Jan 18

kawasaki Z1-R

Kawasaki's dramatic lines for the Z1-R breathed new life into an ageing design and produced a surprising number of variants. See the feature here.

Little bike, big ambitions – Yamaha Rotary Jet 80, Jan 17

              rotary jet 80

Yamaha's 1965 ads for the humble and wonderfully-named Rotary Jet 80 offered plenty of variety and creativity. See the top three here.

Ariel dreaming, Jan 16

Ariel square four

Ariel's second-generation Square Four was remarkable beast for its day with its 995cc powerplant and unusual engine configuration. This circa 1946 model was well down the development path of a line launched in 1931 as a 500 and which ceased production in 1959.

Ariel square four

We got the chance to sample a later MkII, the final iteration, some years ago and it was impressive. See the story here.

Today's random brochure: Benelli minbikes, Jan 15


Behold the joy and variety promised by the 1968 Benelli minibike brochure. You would have one of each, wouldn't you?

See the 1968 Cycle World review of the Buzzer.

Flashback: Not the cafe racer, Jan 15

honda cbr1000

"Have you looked at the market lately? It’s full of carpet-baggers, rogues and delusional optimists. The world seems to think the mere act of adding the term ‘café racer project’ to some clapped-out shitbox will instantly double or more likely quadruple its value."

What led to that outburst? A delusional plot, hatched some years back, to build a cafe racer. See the story here.

Triple finale, Jan 14

Triumph T160

It's 1975 and Triumph's T160 Trident is launched as the last throw of the dice for the pushrod triple, now with the canted-forward cylinders used on the BSA Rocket 3, left-hand shifter, electric start and disc brakes at both ends.

Though outgunned by the likes of Kawasaki's Z900 series and Honda's newly-launched GL1000 Gold Wing, it was nevertheless a tidy handling package and fun to ride.

See the Falloon model profile;

And the T160 in our shed.

Shooting your motorcycle for an ad, Jan 13

honda gl1000

Maybe it's time to trade in the old dear for something shinier. Whatever the reason, shooting your bike for an online ad is worth putting a little effort into. See our quick and easy guide.

See our Honda GL1000 Gold Wing profile.

Tracy Designs – today's seventies throwback, Jan 12

Tracy bodyworks

It's the mid-seventies and you could order all sorts of wild gear from the good folk of Tracy Designs Incorporated, of California USA. Kawasaki Z900s, Honda CB750-Fours, Nortons, Triumphs and Harleys were all included.

Step down memory lane and see the 1974 catalogue here.

Buddy's new Daytona, Jan 11

              daytona 660

Triumph has relaunched its sporty Daytona nameplate, now attached to a 660 triple in full-power and LAMs (learner-approved) form.

buddy triumph daytona

There's a fair old history behind that evocative name – and you can unwrap much of it here.

Time machine – 1976 Kawasaki Z900, Jan 10


It's 1998 and you could have bought a pretty original 1976 Kawasaki Z900 for just Au$5500 (US$3700, GB£2900). See the story here.

Nullarbor tips, Jan 9


We've written a feature on one of those bucket list trips, riding the Nullarbor Plain, for the good folk at bikesales. There is a bunch of tips on how to get the most out of it – see it here.

And you can see the road diary here.

Honda legend, Jan 8


Honda's C50 step-thru is famous for a host of reasons, such as getting much of the world mobile and being the biggest selling motorised vehicle of all time.

In the West, it became famous for the USA "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" campaign. The slogan was the work of a UCLA marketing student and was promptly licensed by Grey Advertising.

There's a good backgrounder on it at Motorcycle Classics.

Also, for a more personal angle, Spannerman over at Info Moto has owned one for 50 years – see the story here.

Suzuki GSX-R750F – random ad for the day, Jan 7


It's late 1984 and heading into the 1985 model year – Suzuki is launching what proved to be a ground-shaking sports bike, the first GSX-R750, boasting a dry weight of just 176 kilos for 100 horsepower. They were staggering numbers for the day.

Suzuki has a great little archive of pics and stats up to the 2011 model, which you can find here.

Also see our GSX-R750F profile.

Munch Mammut at Mecum, Jan 6


Mecum's giant annual Las Vegas auction is coming up on January 24-27 and this Munch Mammut is one of the highlighted lots.

The hand-built NSU-powered monsters hold legend status for many collectors and this 1973 TTS 1200 is estimated at Au$120-150,000 (US$80-100,000, GB£62-79,000).

Having a Velorex sidecar fitted is unusual and we suspect most buyers would soon see it separated.

See the data and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs.

See the auction here;

And the Munch listing here.

Triple thrills: Yamaha XS750, Jan 5

yamaha xs750

Yamaha's striking 1977 brochure for the XS750 triple promises something that's potentially potent and sophisticated. According to a review from Motorcycle Classics in the USA, it more or less delivered on the promise.

See it here, along with a quick comparison with the equivalent Laverda and Triumph triples.

Donington auction coming up, Jan 5


Donington Auctions in Australia has a vintage and classic motorcycle auction coming up on March 4 and is currently taking consignments. More here.

Pre-Suzuki Colleda for auction, Jan 3

colleda 250TT

Built by SJK, the company that six years later became Suzuki, this 1958 Colleda 250TT is thought to be one of just eight survivors and is coming up for auction via Iconic in the UK.

The only example outside Japan, the 247cc two-stroke parallel twin is up for sale on April 7 with an estimate of Au$22-26,000 (US$15-18,000, GB£12-14,000).

See it at the Iconic Auctioneers site.

More Suzuki features here.

Rotary royalty, Jan 2

van veen

If there's such a thing as royalty in the world of rotary-powered motorcycles, we reckon the Van Veen OCR1000 is it.

Hugely ambitious, massively expensive and with good 'DNA' for the drivetrain (Citroen and Porsche, among others), it even underwent an attempted reincarnation!

See the story via Odd Bike.

Buying interstate, Jan 1


Buying a motorcycle interstate opens up a whole world of possibilities, albeit with a few risks. See the story we wrote for the good folk at bikesales.


See our news archive


Produced by AllMoto abn 61 400 694 722
Privacy: we do not collect cookies or any other data.

allmoto logo

Try our books...

Travels with Guido book







Email newsletter


News archive


Our Bikes stories

Travels with Guido columns


About AllMoto

Email me