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News May 2021

Hesketh in Donington auction, May 31

hesketh vampire

A rare Hesketh V1000, the first customer bike from the firm and later converted to a Vampire, has popped up in an Australian auction. More here

Suzuki katana 1100

Also, bidding has begun on the one-owner wire-wheel Katana we featured earlier in the month.

Mighty bikes – Suzuki GSX1100EF series, May 29

Suzuki GSX1100EFF

Big, bold, fast and now hard to find– see the story here.

Ageing Gracefully, May 29

Indian motorcycle

Is there such a thing? Or is ‘patina’ another word for ‘rooted’? See the story here

Max Hazan interview, May 28

Max Hazan

You may not be familiar with Max Hazan's name, but chances are you've seen some of his work in recent years. Return of the Cafe Racers has published an interview that's worth a read. See it here.

max hazan

Easy Rider chopper up for auction, May 27

easy rider bikes

Billed as the world's most valuable motorcycle, a Panhead Harley-Davidson-based chopper supposedly rebuilt from the burned wreck ridden by Peter Fonda in the iconic movie Easy Rider is up for auction. However fierce controversy has surrounded this and another version of the bike. Nevertheless, this one lays claim to being the real thing – see the story at New Atlas.

See the auction lot here.

(Pic: Columbia)

Terrific Twin, May 23

Yamaha TRX850

Yamaha TRX850 deserved more showroom success, and remains a good ride today. See the story.

Honda RC30 parts revival, May 21

Honda RC30

Honda has revived some 150 parts for the legendary RC30 series, which has proved to be a massive undertaking. Much of the information and equipment used to produce the originals has disappeared over time. More here.

Seeing double – Yamaha twins, May 20

Yamaha rd125

An unusual find popped up at Bring a Trailer recently: two 1974 Yamaha RD125B twins with zero miles. Interest in the pair was remarkably strong and they sold for Au$20,700 (US$16,000, GB£11,300). See the listing here.

The bikes were originally shipped to Don Vesco's California dealership. See this Vesco profile at AMCN.

See specs and profile info on the RD125 at Motorcycle Specs.

Retro test – Triumph Speed Triple, May 18

Triumph Speed Triple 1994

From the Classic Two Wheels archives: the 1994 road test of one of the best-looking Triumphs of all time, the T300 series Speed Triple.

Plus, see our T300 series backgrounder.

Happy ad for the day, May 17

Honda CB550 CB400

It's the mid seventies and happiness is a mid-sized Honda, apparently.

Honda CB550F profile; CB400F profile.

Yamaha FZR1000, May 17

Yamaha FZR1000

UPDATE: this seems to have sold within a day!

One of our project bikes, a 1987 Yamaha FZR1000 in Castrol 6-Hour livery, is on the market. See it here.

Heavy Hitter, May 15

kawasaki ZX-10

Kawasaki's ZX-10 clawed briefly clawed back the marque's top speed crown and epitomised high-eighties glam. See the story here.

Revived Norton interview, May 14

Norton interview

Forbes has published an interview with Norton Head of Design Simon Skinner, tracking the revived and refinanced firm's big ambitions. Worth a read.

Livewire auction doesn't ignite, May 14

Harley-Davidson Livewire

There was an interesting little market test going on a week ago at Iconic, which had a Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle up for auction in the USA. It had 160 miles (260km) on the odo and pulled up at Au$17,600 (US$13,600, GB£9700) .

In Australia they retail for Au$50,000 and in America US$30,000.

You could one day see these as being a collectible – H-D's first serious electric bike should carry some cachet – though we're talking a long way down the track. Early Honda Insight and Toyota Prius have become collectible in the car world–- or at least in the Japanese classic market.

Just after the auction concluded, Harley coincidentally announced that Livewire would from now become a stand-alone brand. Ironically this should boost the value of the bike shown, as the only model to prominently carry the H-D nameplate.

Suzuki 6-Hour Special, May 13

Suzuki Katana

Rare one-owner wire-wheel Kat hits the market. See the full story here.

Bimota YB6, May 11

Bimota YB6

Bullet-proof first-gen FZR1000 mechanicals with the exotic name – that has a bit of appeal. On the market at Au$18,500 (US$14,500, GB£10,250).

Specs and model profile at Motorcycle Specs

NOS Suzuki RF900R, May 10

suzuki rf900r

This one definitely got our attention as a really interesting new-old-stock motorcycle – a 1998 Suzuki RF900R for auction on Ebay with just 2km on the odo.

This is unlikely to become a huge collectible, and it's still several years off being eligible for club registration. Perhaps you just buy it, use it sparingly and enjoy?

We have a lot of time for RF900Rs. They were a great performer and often overlooked in the showroom, when they were a genuinely quick and capable thing. Bidding is at $7100 and it will be interesting to see where it ends up.

If could be a hell of way to relive the 1990s!

We've got a big profile feature on these things – see it here.

Flashback: On the Tools, May 9

Suzuki Katana

Our Sunday read from the archives: A bit of sun, a good claret and an oil change – what more could you want? Talent… read it here

Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, May 8

Moto Guzzi Sport V7

It's 1974 and an enthusiastic Brian Cowan has managed to get his scone-grabbers on the latest from the Moto Guzzi stable. See the the test from Classic Two Wheels.

Livewire test, May 8

Harley-Davidson Livewire

There's an interesting little market test on Iconic at the moment, which has a Harley-Davidson Livewire electric motorcycle up for auction in the USA. It has 160 miles (260km) on the odo and currently bidding is low at Au$12,200 (US$9600, GB£6900) with three days to go.

In Australia they retail for Au$50,000 and in America US$30,000.

You could one day see these as being a collectible – H-D's first serious electric bike should carry some cachet – though we're talking a long way down the track.

Knucklehead boom, May 7

Harley knuckle greenie

From New Atlas, following up on last week's big bike auction in Las Vegas: "Change is evident in the motorcycle collector market. Only three Harley-Davidson Knuckleheads had ever sold for more than US$100,000 before this week. At Mecum's Las Vegas auction, 11 Knuckleheads sold for more than US$100,000, moving the Knucklehead into an elite pricing bracket." See the full story here.

In fact, the top result was extraordinary: Au$283,000 (US$220,000, GB£158,000) for what was described as "the famous Greenie", a well-known 1940 EL (above). It's regarded as among the best guides of what factory finish was for these things, 80 years ago.

Hailwood's Honda and the great frame-up, May 7

Hail;wood honda rc181

A fascinating story written by local journo Hamish Cooper and shot by another Australian, Phil Aynsley. It's the tale of how a world-beating frame was built for Mike Hailwood's RC181 Honda, but it all came to nothing. See the story at Motorcycle Classics.

Star bikes for auction, May 6

steve mcqueen cz250

An intriguing group of three bikes with star connections has come up for auction. It includes machines ridden by Paul Newman, Henry Winkler and Peter Fonda. More info here.

Eye-candy for today – Benelli six, May 5

Benelli club nederland

We couldn't resist sharing this pic from the Bennelli Club Nederland on Facebook. You can find the web page here.

The bike looks great, doesn't it? See our model profile here.

It's easy...or not, May 4

bmw r65 and VW Kombi

Old bikes and easy tasks – they have absolutely nothing in common. See the story here

Pics by Ben Galli

Hot Hondas at Las Vegas, May 3

Honda cb750-four ad

Historic Hondas are hot property on the auction scene, as proven by results from the recent Mecum auction in Las Vegas. See the highlights here.

Brit highlights at Mecum Las Vegas, May 1

Triumph Vetter X75

Mecum's recent Las Vegas auction showed solid numbers for prime Brit beef. See the highlights, here.

Big number for Kawasaki Zed, May 1

Kawasaki Z900

A second attempt at a recent Grays online auction in Australia saw a big number paid for a 1973 Kawasaki Z900 in very good restored condition. The first auction saw the machine pass in at Au$26,000 (US$20,000, GB£14,500), which was a respectable number, but not enough to reach reserve.

However 'take two' saw it soar to a staggering Au$37,500 (US$29,000, GB£21,000).


Want more news & views? See our archive.


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