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News archive Jan 2021

New-gen Hayabusa confirmed, Jan 31

suzuki haybusa 2022

Info Moto reports a new-gen Suzuki Hayabusa is confirmed, with an online launch scheduled for Feb 5. See the story here.

Bike talk, Jan 30

norton fireside chat

What is it you lot are on about? See the story here.

Sad day for Staintune, Jan 30


From the Staintune Facebook page: "With great sadness I have to announce the closure of Staintune. No one has made a bid at the auction (Ed – see our Jan 25 post) so the company will now be dismantled. All machines and equipment will be auctioned through Pickles auction house. The last Staintune mufflers have been made and will be boxed and stored away. I would like to extend a huge thank you to all our customers in the past. Such an emotional time." Staintune website

Hinckley's best? Jan 29

speed triple

The style of the first Triumph Speed Triple was never really surpassed. See the model profile here.

And the Classic Two Wheels 1994 road test here.

25 years of Blackbird, Jan 27

Honda Blackbird

Honda's CBR1100XX Super Blackbird this year marks a quarter century on the market.

You may be looking at the first example anywhere (ours) to make it on to historic plates! Who knew we'd all live that long?

With a top speed of 290km/h it was just about the quickest thing going when it launched in 1996 and remains one of the high points in the history of Honda's big sports-tourers, thanks to its uncanny smoothness and refinement. And no, it wasn't perfect – see the story links.

See our Blackbird profile here;

The story on our bike here;

And the video here.

Honda Blackbird

Just as an aside, if you live in Victoria (Australia) and have a 1996 model you were planning to put on a club permit, it would be wise to do so ASAP. We're told VicRoads plans to soon change the cut-off date from 25 to 30 years, in line with the rest of the country. There may not be a lot of notice on this.

The change-over to club plates involves joining an appropriate club, getting a road-worthy certificate, and having the club sign-off on it. See the VicRoads website.

Japanese classics at auction, Jan 26

Honda CBX1000

Graysonline recently had a motley if interesting group of Japanese classics at auction. See them here.

Growing disgrace, Jan 26

gorwing old disgracefully

An Australian motorcycle doco has quietly launched, on the theme of growing old disgracefully. See the Silodrome story here.

Staintune on the market, Jan 25

staintune logo

Legendary and long-time aftermarket motorcycle exhaust maker Staintune is on the market. The business shut down in 2020 and is now up for sale by tender via Pickles Auctions. January 29 is the deadline.

Based in NSW, the company was established over 30 years ago by Sandy Campbell and developed a reputation for high-quality stainless steel exhaust systems for road and trail bikes.

Classic Motorcycle prices soar, Jan 24

Honda CB750-Four K1

How come prices for classics are rising, even in the face of Covid? See the story here.

Pic by Ben Galli

See our 50 years of Honda CB750-Four feature

And the Honda CB750-Four K1 ownership experience

Or the Classic Two Wheels CB750-Four test from 1970

Unreliable Character, Jan 23


Is persistence in the face of adversity (or the bleeding obvious) a sign of character or stupidity? See the story here.

See our Suzuki GSX-R1100 profile here

See the Classic Two Wheels 1987 GSX-R1100 vs FZR1000 test

Profile: Aprilia RSV Mille & RSV 1000 R, Jan 22

Aprilia RSV Mille

Aprilia’s RSV series, and its first litre-class pukka sports bikes, seemed to come out of nowhere. See the story here.

See our Features page for more Aprilia stories

Profile: Honda CL450, Jan 21

Honda cl450 scrambler

Mid-sized twin is probably good buying and may even be undervalued. See the story here.

Speed Quattro, Jan 20

triumph speed quattro

The 1200 cafe racer the Triumph factory never made. Potentially the simplest of projects and perhaps the most fun. See the story here.

230+ classics lost in Austrian museum fire, Jan 19

cross point

Some 230 classic motorcycles, plus a handful of very desirable cars, have been lost in a fire in the Top Mountain Motorcycle Museum at Crosspoint in Austria.

Reports: Visor Down; Ride Apart.

Museum website

motorcycle museum fire

Paint for Cousin Eddie, Jan 18

Kawasaki xrx1200r

Our Lawson look-alike gets a freshen up...see the story here.

Dinosaur soup, Jan 17

suzuki gsx1100e

Is there another GSX1100 destined for the shed? See the story here

Honda CB750-Four F1, Jan 16

Honda CB750 F1

Honda's single cam 750-Four was starting to show its age by the mid-seventies, having been overtaken by the likes fo Kawasaki's Z900 and comprehensively out-gunned in the 'wow' stakes by the factory's own Gold Wing. However the old inline four still had a trick or two up its sleeve. See the period road test of the 1976 F1 update model from Classic Two Wheels.

See the story on our 1971 K1 750 here

And the feature on 50 years of CB750-Fours here

Tuono Traumas, Jan 15

Aprilia tuono v-twin

Aprilia – Italian for ‘bastard of a bike’. Or not. A V-twin basket case is transformed into a track day demon (or so we hope)...see the story here.

Dakar-derived demon, Jan 14

KTM 950 Super Enduro

Some motorcycles should come with a cape – KTM's 950 Super Enduro as a future collectible...see the story here.

The great escape, Jan 13

Honda cb750 four

Examining the great CB mystery...see the story here.

See the story on our CB750-Four

50 years of CB750-Four

Classic Two Wheels 1970 road test

The stroker prophet, Jan 13

Brian Woodward

From Classic Two Wheels: "Some call him a Prophet. Others say he is the ideal man to carry on Donald Trump's glorious legacy as the next Republican President of the United States. We just know him as Two Wheels magazine's brilliant satirist, Bernard St Francis Whitworth Socket, Esq (aka the late, great Brian Woodward). In this week's read from 1981, Fuel's Gold, Socket offers us a single, simple solution to global pandemics, trade wars and unemployment. It's the two-stroke motorcycle. You know it makes sense..."

See the story here

Scott stroker, Jan 12

Scott racer

Mid-sized liquid-cooled, twin-cylinder two-stroke racer – we're talking 1980s and later, right? Well, not really. In this case it's a 1929 Scott Isle of Man competitor, which sold last year for Au$85,000 (US$65,500, GB£48,300).

Though it struggled for long-term market traction, the basic design was patented in 1908 and staggered on for decades, forming the basis of the exceptional Silk 700S twin (below – Ian Falloon pic) of the 1970s.

Have a look at the story behind the racer – which was an extraordinary find.

Keep an eye out for our upcoming feature on the Scott and Silk genesis.

silk 700s

Terblanche tear-away, Jan 12

Pierre Terblanche

One of Pierre Terblanche's controversial designs for Ducati was this, the 900SS of the late 1990s. (Another was the 999.) Classic Two Wheels has just reproduced the original 1998 road test and made this observation: "Only Ducati understood the joy of a compact, simple, large­ capacity sporting twin. Character, individuality, stirring if humble performance, compact dimensions – a lovely recipe which attracted the buyers it deserved." See the story here.

See the story on the 916 in our shed.

Ducati 900ss

What's an old race bike worth? Jan 11

Ducati stoner 2008

Okay, this is at the upper end of the scale, but what's an old race bike worth? A Ducati campaigned by two-time world MotoGP champion Casey Stoner in 2008 is being offered for sale by a dealer in Germany. It claims to have won the British, Dutch, German and Valencia grands prix in that year. How much? To you, a mere €449,000 (Au$709,000, US$547,000, GB£405,000). See it here.

See our Ducati Desmosedici customer bike feature.

Ariel dreaming, Jan 10

Ariel Square Four

Discovering a fifties super cruiser...see the story here.

Yamaha XS650, Jan 9

Yamaha XS2

We seem to recall Yamaha XS650s experiencing a big resurgence in popularity among collectors around a decade ago and then they appeared to taper off. However there are signs they're once again attracting interest.

Valuing one can be tricky. The early models – XS1, XS1b and XS2 – are clearly the most valuable and, in those cases, condition is everything.

The XS shown here has popped up at Just Bikes, based in NSW and priced at $14,500 (US$11,300, GB£8300). It's listed as a1972 XS2.

There is good support for these things in Australia, in the shape of Geoff's XS, which sells parts and whole motorcycles, while tackling some restoration work.

If you're looking for a backgrounder on the series, Cycle World has an excellent one, here.

Accidental hero, Jan 9

Two Wheels BMW R80G/S

A recent Facebook discussion via the Classic Two Wheels site suggests that BMW's 1980 R80G/S – widely credited with starting the whole adventure touring market segment – was as much an accident as inspiration. At the time, BMW was considering closing the motorcycle division.

Here's the remarkable insight from a senior company staffer at the time: "I worked as a national sales manager for BMW Austria when the G/S was presented. At that time the board of BMW considered closing the motorcycle division due to constant red figures.

"The GS was not a result of market analyses, it happened by accident. Some enthusiastic engineers in the development department experimented with this concept. And because the K100 series were still three years ahead they needed something as a new model.

"Funnily enough it took some time until it became a success in sales. In the beginning for many people it had too little horsepower and nobody could imagine how quick you could drive it.

"The first 2 cylinder enduro was by the way not the GS, but the Moto Morini Camel, about a year earlier" – Hans Jorda

Classic Two Wheels has just published the 1981 road test, here.

See the story on our R100GS Paris-Dakar here, and the video here via YouTube.

Rare Bimota fetches big money, Jan 8

Bimota Tesi

This 1992 0-mile Bimota Tesi 1D 904SR was sold at online auction recently, for Au$98,000 (US$76,000, GB£56,000). Listed with Bring a trailer, it was one of just 20 of this model ever made. More pics and info here.

Get some green, Jan 7


Kawasaki's ZRX1200R remains high on our list of desirable naked bikes, long after it left the showroom. See our video.

Plus, see our feature on the ZRX1100-1200R series, here.

Titanic memories, Jan 7

Suzuki T500

Our January 5 profile on Suzuki Titans has unearthed an extraordinary story from a former owner. See it here.

Honda CB1300 revival, Jan 6

Honda CB1300

Honda has released 2021 versions of its retro CB1300 series, according to Info Moto. However it's unlikely we'll see them in Australia. More here.

Titan values, Jan 5

Suzuki t500

We reckon the Suzuki T500 Titan two-stroke twin series (aka Cobra in its first year) has been a little under-appreciated in the classic market, given its importance in the the marque's history. A recent sale suggests that may be changing. More here.

The Shed Principle, Jan 4

motorcycle shed

How a lousy plan turned into gridlock...see the story here.

Glam Clan, Jan 3

classic two wheels

We're back in 1993, when fluro pinks, reds, greens and blues were all the rage and Honda's recently-released Fireblade was the sports king. See the Classic Two Wheels comparison of the Honda, Kawasaki ZXR750, Suzuki GSX-R750 and Yamaha it here.

FJ Flyer, Jan 2

Yamaha FJ1100

Yamaha's FJ1100 and 1200 series ranks highly among the legendary eighties performance bikes...see the story here.

Ducati 996 SPS - what's one worth?, Jan 1

Ducati 996 sps

This low-mile example was offered recently through Iconic – more here.


Want more news? See our archive.


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