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News March 2024

Random shot for the day: Indian Chief Vintage, March 31

Indian chief vintage kings mountain

2009 Indian Chief Vintage (Kings Mountain series) – pic by Ben Galli.

See the story on this bike.

Triumph gallop, March 30

triumph daytona 1200

Today has been all about getting some of the fleet out and exercised, after our recent riding trip to Vietnam.

One of the toys we got out for a run today was this, our 1995 Daytona 1200, which we've owned for 24 years. We must do a story on it, soon.

It's one of three Hinckley T300 series Triumphs in the shed. The others are a Speed Triple and a Daytona Super III.

See Hinckley Heroes, our T300 series backgrounder.

You meet the nicest people on a Harley, March 29

harley vegas

Young Beattie continues on life’s great adventure, meeting a bro in a brothel, and learning about use-by dates on bullets…see it here.

Casey's Ducati and other italians, March 28

stoner ducati

A Ducati Desmosedici GP7 allocated to Casey Stoner during his 2007 MotoGP-winning season has popped up on the auction scene.

It's part of a much larger Shuttleworth sale being run by Iconic in the UK, on April 7.

We're told the machine is a runner, thanks to an enthusiastic vendor, and that the frame still carries a scrutineering sticker from the Spanish round.

However the auction description is a little obtuse on further detail of just how large a role this particular machine (or its parts) might have played in the Australian's season victory. That's not surprising given the extent of component- and bike-swapping in a GP team over a season.

In turn that begs a question over how many season 2007 Stoner machines are out there? Presumably the factory has kept an example and you'd like to think Mr S has managed to, as well.

The auctioneer is suggesting a guide price of Au$680-780,000 (US$440-500,000, GB£350-400,000).

senna 916

For those of you who prefer a budget with a zero lopped off, the same auction has two Senna 916s on offer. This example is claiming just 475 miles (760km) and is estimated at Au$58-68,000 (US$38-44,000, GB£30-35,000).

See the Falloon backgrounder on the 916 Senna.

mv agusta f4 ago

Okay, it's not a Ducati, but we have to admit this lot caught our attention. It's a 2004 MV Agusta F4 1000 Ago and arguably one of the best-looking street bikes produced in the last couple of decades. Number 122 of 300, it claims 1450 miles (2350km) and has an estimate of Au$29-39,000 (US$19-25,000, GB£15-20,000).

In Australia, it was originally priced at Au$52,000 plus on-road costs (US$34,000, GB£27,000).

See the F4 1000 in our shed.

Cool Suzi triple, March 27

suzuki gt750

Suzuki's 1971 entry into the big bike arena was more grand touring than outright performance, and traded on the company's considerable two-stroke expertise.

suzuki gt750j

We got on to this theme thanks to an entry in the upcoming sale at Donington Auctions, which features a GT750J project.


As the auction entry notes: "The large radiator and cooling system contributed to an increase in weight, but provided the GT750 with an enviable record of reliability, and the GT750 eventually rivalled any four-stroke in longevity. The 738cc 120-degree triple was smooth, and with very mild porting, a 6.7:1 compression ratio and three 40mm Mikuni carburettors, the power was a moderate 67 horsepower at 6500rpm.

"The most surprising thing about this two-stroke triple was the flat torque curve, and the GT750 had more low and mid-range power than anyone expected of a two-stroke."

Done right, a restored version would be a pretty good way to get around.

See the auction here;

And the Suzuki here;

See our GT750 brochure gallery;

And the Classic Two Wheels 1972 road test.

Bang for your buck: Yamaha FJ1100/1200, March 26

yamaha fj1100

If you were looking for a big, fast and comfortable classic plate-eligible motorcycle at the moment, something out of the Yamaha FJ1100-1200 series would be hard to beat.

While they sold in respectable numbers, they also got used and most would be worn out by now.


However we came across this tidy-looking 1984 FJ1100 in the hero colour on bikesales, priced at Au$4500 (US$3000, GB£3200). If it lives up to the seller's claims, that's a lot of bang for the buck.

See our Yamaha FJ1100-1200 guide.

Bimota tales, March 24

bimota yb11

We've added a bit of exotica to the shed, in the shape of a 1996 Bimota YB11 Superleggera...see the story so far.

The great paint hunt, March 23

ducati green

How far will someone go to a factory-correct restoration of a classic motorcycle? When it's a Ducati 750SS 'green frame', now worth around Au$400,000 (US$260,000, GB£210,000) and up, the answer is as far as it takes to get it right.

The Motorcycle Broker in the UK says it has engaged automotive restoration paint expert Gundula Tutt to analyse and recreate the factory paint. It claims to yellow over time, just like the original. And yes, you can buy a pot of the stuff, though the term 'liquid gold' somehow springs to mind.

See the story here.

View the period 750GT and 750SS period tests at Classic Two Wheels.

Flashback: Yamaha RD twins, March 21

yamaha rd 350

Yamaha air-cooled RD250 and RD350 two-stroke twins – a lot of long riding lives started out on these things. See our mini brochure gallery.

Rocket 3 scores extra boost, March 20

              rocket 3 2024

Triumph has launched two new Rocket 3 models claiming a power boost to over 180 horses and chassis upgrades to suit. See the story here.

See our video review of the previous generation 2019 Rocket III Roadster.

Bike shops in Vietnam, March 19

vietnam bike shops

While we were in Ha Noi, we took the opportunity to go cruising through one of the local bike precincts. Here's what we found.

Classic collection sale, March 19


The Singleton Classic MCC (NSW) has released some basics on a collection that's come up for sale.

It includes:

1954 BMW R51 with Steib Sidecar – $45,000;

1948 Velocette KSS 350cc – $23,000;

1936 Rudge Special 490cc – $24,000;

1946 Triumph Tiger 100 500cc – $15,000;

1939 Norton International 350cc – $30,000;

1939 Velocette MAC 350cc – $15,500;

1949 Triumph TR5 500cc Square Barrel Trophy – $19,000;

1946 Velocette MOV 250cc – $12,500;

1951 Triumph 6T Thunderbird – $17,500.         

Prices are in Australian dollars. Contact Scott Agnew on tel 0429 827 430.

NOS BMW R1150GSA, March 19


It's rare and we're still trying to work out how desirable it might be. Thanks to reader Peter M, who put us on to this near enough to new-old-stock BMW R1150GSA, or GS Adventure. It's listed as a 2006 model through bikesales, and that means it's one of the very last of the 1150 series, as the 1200 GS was already well-established.

The Au$24,000 (US$15,800, GB£12,400) ask is about what it would have cost new and the bike claims just 80km on the odometer.

While the R1150GS and GSA series have an enthusiastic following, with good reason, the platform scored power-assisted EVO brake systems from some time during 2002 and the alleged upgrade was not a success because of reliability issues. We would check for its presence on any example before making a decision.

See the R1150GS pair in our shed.

KTM buys MV Agusta, March 19

mv agusta

KTM has completed a long courtship that has seen it take over majority ownership of MV Agusta. Former MV CEO Timur Sardarov (pictured) stays on, but in a new role as vice-chair.

See the bikesales story.

See our MV Agusta F4 750 future collectible feature;

And the F4 1000 Nero in the shed.

Super Wings, March 18

hanoi bike shops

Walk down any street in Vietnam and you'll generally encounter a horde of scooters dominating the traffic. They work as personal transport, family transport, commercial vehicles and two-wheeled moving vans.

So you can imagine why we choked on our morning Ha Noi coffee when we recently saw a couple of two-up current-model Honda GoldWings cruise by, escorting a bunch of expensive black cars.

              goldwings vietnam

It turns out the local traffic police scored a modest fleet last year, to use in escort duties for the ASEAN conference. A local news report refers to them as "super motorbikes" and you can see why.

In this environment it's like seeing a great white shark cruising around in your fish tank...

See our Ha Noi Run feature.

BSA hits the beach, March 18

BSA 1967

BSA reaches out to the USA youth market in this May 1967 promo.

Featured from top are the Lightning, Thunderbolt and Spitfire MkIII.

See the 1967 Cycle World review of the Spitfire MkIII.

Specs and factory info on the 2021 Gold Star.

Ad of the year, March 17

bmw r1150r

Would you like a lesson in how to write a cheerful ad for the machine you're about to flog online? Look no further than this gem from bikesales, extolling the virtues of a 2004 BMW R1150R.

"This 2004 BMW R1150R isn't just a bike; it's a lifestyle. A blend of class, performance, and history, with a dash of mystery. If you're looking for more than just a ride, if you're seeking a story, a journey, a saga – congratulations, you've found it.


"Why you need this bike:

1. Stand Out: In a sea of mundane motorbikes, the BMW R1150R is a shining beacon of individuality. It's the two-wheeled equivalent of wearing a monocle. Unique, distinguished, and slightly eccentric.

2. Reliability: With its full-service history, this bike promises reliability that's as steadfast as a German stereotype. It's the kind of ride that'll stick by you through thick and thin, like a well-trained Bavarian Shepherd.

3. Adventure Awaits: Whether it's a trip to the local café or a cross-country tour, this bike turns every journey into an adventure. It doesn't just transport you; it transforms you.


"Act now, and not only will you acquire this magnificent steed, but you'll also receive an exclusive, one-of-a-kind experience: the envy of your peers and the adoration of strangers. Plus, the unbridled joy of twisting the throttle on a piece of motorcycling history."

How much for this slice of alleged Nirvana? A mere Au$5500 (US$3600, GB£2800). We were tempted to buy it just for the entertainment value...

See our BMW R1150GS feature.

R1150R data via Motorcycle Specs.

Factory Icons: Suzuki GS1000E, March 16


Suzuki's double-overhead cam GS series marked a major turning point for the marque, establishing its reputation for building big, fast and capable four-strokes.

This 1978 GS1000E is on the market with bikesales at Au$18,500 (US$12,150, GB£9550)

See our Suzuki GS series feature.

Flashback: Hoarder or collector? March 16


At what point does a collector become a hoarder? See the story.

Ha Noi Run feature, March 15

ha noi

It was big – eight days running through snake ways, mountain passes and obscure little village paths.

Welcome to the Ha Noi Run – we've compiled the stories, the pictures and video right here.

Ducatis at Donington, March 14

              750 sport

Donington Auctions has come up with a couple of good Ducatis for its upcoming sale, which starts on April 1.

Top of the list is a 1975 750 Sport;

              860 gt

Plus a 1975 860 GT

See the Ian Falloon stories on the 750 Sport;

And the 860 GT.

See the auction catalogue.

Ha Noi Run day 8 – the sprint home, March 13

ha noi run

It's been eight big days, finished off with a gallop through the hills, then tackling the fun and games that is Ha Noi traffic. Join us for a taste of the action, and a few thoughts on our CRF150/250/300 mounts.

Eighties throwback: Moto Guzzi V65TT, March 13

              guzzi V65TT

When was the last time you saw one of these getting around? Moto Guzzi's V65TT predated the current adventure tourer craze by a couple of decades and had the misfortune to be released just as the western motorcycle markets were nose-diving.

This well-presented 1986 example was recently auctioned through Bring a Trailer, fetching Au$9200 (US$6100, GB£4800).

See the data and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs.

See our Moto Guzzi big twins feature by Ian Falloon.

Ha Noi run day 7 – back roads and amphibious motorcycles,  March 13

              noi run

What a wild old day – epic mountain views, scooting through cinnamon plantations on village byroads and then we launch an amphibious attack on an unsuspecting home stay from Ba Be Lake. See today's update.

Ha Noi run – day 6 – mountain overload, March 12

              noi run

Mountain road overload – or that's what it seemed like when the sun came out and we spent most of the day playing in the hills. See our road diary update.

Velo offer, March 11

vel0cette mac ad

It's the 1950s and you can have a competition-proven Velocette MAC 350 for US$600, with a free pocket toolkit! Add $75 for the speed kit. Distributor Branch Motorcycle Sales was also dabbling in Moto Guzzi at the time and was looking for dealers.

See the data and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs.

Hanoi Run – day 5, March 11

              noi run

Markets, snake ways and mountain passes...join us for a quick taste of today's riding across north Vietnam.

Hanoi Run – day 4, March 10

ha noi

Sa Pa to Bac Ha: we climbed down out of the mountains, then all the way up another set...or that's what it felt like. Along the way we got to experience some great roads, spectacular country and much more. Join us for today's road diary update.

Flashback: Norton Commando, March 9

norton commando

How the legendary Brit twin became a cult classic – see the story here.

Deep-fried centipedes and backroads – Ha Noi Run day 3, March 9

ha noi

Deep-fried centipedes, village side-roads and waterwheels – today seemed to have it all. Oh and then we ended the day creeping along inside a cloud, feeling our way into mountainous Sa Pa. See our road diary update.

Honda CB750A – random brochure for the day, March 8

honda cb750a

Honda CB750A, aka the automatic. An idea with some appeal but it and a couple of other early CB auto models struggled in the market.

Specs and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs.

See the CB750K1 in our shed.

Ha Noi run into the mountains, March 8

ha noi run

Today we copped the lot: rice fields, mountains, riding in cloud – you name it. A spectacular day...see our road diary.

Ha Noi run, March 7

ha noi run

After an absence of several years, we're back on the road, heading into the fabulous countryside north of Ha Noi, Vietnam...join us for the road diary.

Throwback for the day: Suzuki Hustler, March 6

suzuki hustler

A feisty two-stroke and pivotal model for Suzuki, the X6 Hustler helped to establish the brand as a serious player. See the Cycle World story.

Seventies Yamaha, March 5

yamaha tx500

We've tripped over an exceptional set of scans for Yamaha's 1973 TX range brochure. Worth a look, here.

Moto Guzzi Daytona, March 4

Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000

Here's something you don't see on the market every day: a 1993 Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000 claiming a fairly low 9850km (6120 miles). It's with Brad's Vintage Cycle Sales at Au$19,850 (US$13,000, GB£10,200).

See our Daytona feature.

RADD take 2, March 3


When it came to looking for a Yamaha to add to the fleet, somehow the GTS1000 became an obvious choice...see the story.

yamaha gts1000

And yes, the solution to yesterday's parts trivia challenge was they are end-caps for the GTS1000 front swingarm.

Hi from Ha Noi, March 3

bruce noble

Caught up with Bruce Noble (at right), a long-time reader and correspondent across various motorcycle mags over the decades and now AllMoto. Had a great lunch together and it was funny to meet for the first time ever, a very long way from Melbourne.

He’s now a long-term resident of Ha Noi.

bruc noble

You’ve got to love the Club Laverda Queensland sticker on the front of his scooter. He reckons it’s the only way he can find it in a packed parking spot.

Flashback: Teutonic twin, March 2


BMW's R1100S boxer sport bike seems to have been largely forgotten by the market, though we reckon it's worth a second look. See our feature.

Parts trivia challenge, March 2

parts trivia

Here's our parts trivia challenge for the day: what motorcycle are these 3-D-printed parts for, and where do they go? Here's a hint – we've owned one.

We'll publish the solution tomorrow at

Meanwhile, this is where you'll find the bikes that have been through our shed.


See our news archive


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