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News September 2021

Farewell Suzuki DR650SE, Sept 30

Suzuki DR650SE

Suzuki's quiet achiever, the DR650 dual-sport platform, is to finish in Australia as a new import in October 2021. This is in line with regs mandating ABS as standard and suggests we'll see a replacement at some stage.

The DR has rightly won a wide fan base over the years as an economical platform that responds well to mods that turn it into a very handy adventure tourer.

It ends a long run in the local market, with remarkably few changes, that started in 1996.

See our profile of the series.

Bikesales has a story on the ins and outs of the decision.

Suzuki waterbottle – today's time machine, Sept 29

Suzuki GT750

Back in year 2000, this 1976 Suzuki GT750 triple was of interest to a fairly small group of two-stroke enthusiasts, but too old-hat for most other folk. If the ad is right, it was actually a pretty attractive package, with a reco engine and two sets of pipes, including the stockers. Throw in a handful of spares and it probably would have been a reasonable buy at Au$3000 (US$2200, GB£1600)

Of course these days the owner would be hit by a stampede if it was now advertised at that money. Today it's probably worth somewhere in the region of Au$15,000 (US$11,000, GB£8000).

See our mini profile of the model

More Time Machine

MV Agusta bargains? Sept 28

MV Agusta F4 1000

We're seeing some potential bargains out there at the moment, among MV Agusta F4 1000s. Although there are some hideously expensive variants as well. Look for our feature later in the week.
In the meantime, see our guide to the F4 750 – the model that announced the revival of the brand.

BMW R100RS – touring legend, Sept 27


Classic Two Wheels has unwrapped a string of features from the 1970s and 1980s on BMW's legendary R100RS series, which was famous for its mile-eating abilities. See it here.

We've had a few BMWs in the shed over time – see them here.

Adventureland, Sept 26

KTM adventure

KTM’s first foray into open-class adventure touring was bold...see the story here.

Bimota KB4 nearing release, Sept 25

Bimota KB4

Bimota has been teasing images of its new-gen KB4, running a Kawasaki Ninja 1000 powerplant. See this story from Australian Motorcycle News.

Ducati 916 strip and restoration, Sept 24


Got a spare couple of hours? Then you can watch a full strip and restoration of a Ducati 916 Strada Biposto. It's done by a mob called RRC Restoration which, judging by the accent, is based in Scotland.

The five vids are detailed and could be just the thing if you're contemplating a similar project. Or just want to see someone else doing it, without you having to suffer the inconvenience and expense...whatever floats your boat.

See Episode 1 above and the remain episodes here: Episode 2, Episode 3, Episode 4; Episode 5.

We had a 916 for a while – see the story.

See the Classic Two Wheels period test.

Shed find or disaster? Sept 23

BSA Rocket 3

While we may dream of finding the untouched/undiscovered and long-forgotten hero bike in a shed somewhere, this one is just a sad case. Spotted on a social media BSA site, the lovely Rocket 3, still in its delivery crate, looks beyond hope.

Of course a very deep wallet can solve any problem like this, but would you bother?

Sporty Sprint, Sept 22

Triumph Sprint RS

Does anyone out there remember Triumph's Spint RS, circa year 2000? This was a stripped-back and sporty variant of the first 955 series Sprint, priced at Au$13,990 plus ORC (US$10,000, GB£7400), or near enough to $2k less than its fancier sibling.

Not a whole lot sold, though we remember them being a particularly good ride. The 110 horses claim might not light a sport bike buyer's wick these days, but it was enough to make it a lively all-rounder with a sporty edge.

Triumph Sprint RS

There's a low-miler on Bikesales at the moment, claiming just 13,000km. Located in NSW, it's on the market at Au$7500 (US$5400, GB£4000). Potentially that's pretty good bang for your buck.

See the specs and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs.

Hardware, Sept 22

george taylor hardware stores

We look at the web page for the George Taylor hardware store in sunny Grassmere (near Warrnambool) in Victoria and wonder why more places don't do the same.

If the local Bunnings or Mitre 10 had something along these lines, you might never leave...

Are there any others out there with a motorcycle collection? Drop us a line.

Bond bike, Sept 21

Triumph Bond Bike

We can only imagine what the deal was to bring this to life, but Triumph has been allowed to licence and sell 250 Tiger 900 Rally Pros as 007 bikes.

Evidently one was used for assorted stunt scenes in the delayed, but soon to released, flick No Time to Die.

The price is Au$31,290 on the road and you can find out more here.

Seventies Arai, Sept 21

arai helmets 1979

We recently ran a 1979 AGV helmets ad, announcing the brand's entry into the Australian market. Here's the more conservative and far less colourful Arai ad from the same era, when London Trading was the distributor. The lids look so plain and simple compared to what's running around these days!

Kawasaki GPz survivor - today's tempter, Sept 20

kawasaki gpz750

Remember these? It's the mid-eighties and, while the Kawasaki GPz1100 was the hero of the air-cooled line-up, the 750 was for its day a sweet-handling package that also happened to be pretty robust and quick.

Available in half- and full-faired forms across 1983-88, this model crossed over the introduction of the marque's landmark liquid-cooled GPz900R and its smaller sibling the 750R. However the air-cooled machines still found an audience.

The example above comes with the full fairings and claims to be a survivor in good shape. Based in South Australia, the owner is asking Au$5800 (US$4200, GB£4200) via Facebook.

Shown below with the full fairing in place, the GPz was running a well-proven two-valve air-cooled four-pot powerplant with 36mm carbs, claiming 80hp (60kW), a five-speed transmission and a dry weight of 219kg. Top speed was just shy of 220km/h. In 1986, you would have paid Au $4700 (US$3400, GB£2500) plus ORC for one.

kawasaki gpz750

Ze Panzer, Sept 19


We've just added a new liability to our humble fleet, a BMW R1150GS...more here.

Pantah Power, Sept 19

Ducati Pantah 600

Classic Two Wheels has just published a big Ducati Pantah special, pulling together a few features that cover the 500, 600 and 650, plus the TT600. See it here

Triumph Daytona 1200 – today's time machine, Sept 18

Triumph Daytona 1200

This T300 series Triumph Daytona 1200, advertised as immaculate back in early 2000, was on the market for the somewhat optimistic price of Au$13,000 (US$9500, GB£7000). Five years before it would have set you back over $18,000 (US$14,000, GB£11,000) to get it on the road.

However we doubt very much you would have got more than Au$10,000 (US$7000, GB£5000 ) for it at the time. Weirdly, two decades later, an absolute stunner is still only worth $10-12,000 (US$7-9000, GB£5-6,000).

We have one of these things in the shed and have a feature online about the T300 series. See it here.

See more Time Machine here

Ducati quest, Sept 18

brook henry

The ABC has an interesting archived story on Western Australian Ducati legend Brook Henry and his quest to build some special Hailwood replicas. See it here.

Random ad for the day, Sept 17

AGV ad 1979

It's 1979 and AGV helmets has entered the market via the Matich company in Sydney, which also became the local distributor for Pirelli motorcycle tyres.

Note the ad boasts of a shell with six layers of Owens Corning fibreglass, all of which carries the endorsement of young Gregg Hansford. Prices started at $39.

Do you still have one tucked away somewhere?

Kawasaki ZX-10, September 16

Kawasaki ZX-10 1988

Flashback: First-gen 1988, very eighties and briefly the quickest production bike in the world. See the feature.
Also see our story on one of its more famous predecessors, the GPz900R.

Kawasaki GPz900R

Retro Yamahas, September 16

Yamaha R1 retro 2022

From Info Moto: Yamaha is showing off retro GP livery for its new R series. Looks great, doesn't it?

See our first-gen R1 future collectible feature.

Suzuki 1986, September 15

Suzuki 1986

This graphic is as eighties as it gets...Suzuki GSX-R1100 and RG500.

See our GSX-R buyer guide here and RG feature here.

New Vic club permit regs revealed, September 14

Honda CB750-Four K1

As we revealed recently, Victoria has decided to retain its 25-year cut-off for Club Permit vehicles, rather than go to the proposed 30 years. However last week's announcement was short on detail. We now know more, including that the idea of electronic log books has been dropped...more info here.

Ben Galli pic

Random ad for the day, September 13

Casbolts ad 1972

New Zealand dealer Casbolts, which is still going today, flogging the latest models from Honda and Kawasaki, circa 1972.

Note the prices: NZ$1235 for the quick Kawasaki S2 two-stroke 350 triple, or a more daunting NZ$1669 for the Honda CB500 four-stroke four.

And you could get a pair of gloves for less than five bucks! At the time, the average weekly wage was around NZ$90.

Liquid-cooling for Moto Guzzi, September 12

Moto Guzzi Mandello V100

Moto Guzzi is breaking with a 100-year tradition by liquid-cooling its signature V-twins. The company has released teaser images and footage of the new V100 Mandello sports-tourer series, which includes a single-sided swingarm. See the factory vid, below.

The company has also commissioned a new factory that incorporates a museum, at its existing site at Mandello del Lario.


The big trip: Isle of Man, September 12

Isle of Man Triumph Daytona

Remember a time when the borders were open and travel just involved scratching up wads of money? It seems like an age ago now, but back in 2005 we did the big Isle of Man and UK trip, by motorcycle. Join us for a ride down memory lane.

And see Info Moto's IoM guide here.

Benelli 750 Sei – today's time machine, September 11

benelli ad

It's 1998 and this six-pot Benelli is on the market for less than the price of a Kawasaki ZZR250! More here...

Vic drops 30-year club permit proposal, September 10

Honda Blackbird

A proposal to raise the cut-off age for club permits from 25 to 30 years in Victoria has fallen over. The announcement came via a public notice. There is still considerable detail to be released, but you can read what we know so far via Unique Cars magazine.

Some like it hot – Spannerman, September 9

nude rider spannerman

Spannerman reckons hot weather can make a person do strange things...this and other problems are tackled by Info Moto's resident agony aunt .

Z1-R outperforms CB750 at auction, September 8

Kawasaki Z1-R II Honda CB750

A Kawasaki Z1R II was the surprise star at a recent Shannons auction, while an early Honda CB750-Four struggled. More here, including a CB gallery...

Kawasaki 80s style, September 7

Kawasaki Z1-R II

Kawasaki Australia's 1980 ad for the mighty Z1-R II heralds a new decade. Back then it was retailed for $3295 plus ORC

Specs and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs.

Honda sixes in favour, September 6

Honda CBX1000

It seems Honda CBX sixes are very much in favour at the moment, with prices on the rise. The first naked edition has long been in demand, however it now seems the faired second model, aka the Pro-Link version, is now also on plenty of shopping lists.

An example of each was auctioned last month by Bring a Trailer in the USA – both in good shape, with reasonably low miles and coming out of long-term ownership.

The 1979 bike shown above went for Au$28,260 (US$21,000, GB£15,200);

And the 1981 Pro-Link model below went for only marginally less at Au$27,250 (US$20,250, GB£14,600).

BaT does an end-of-month round-up of all the motorcycles it sold – see it here.

1979 specs; 1981 Pro-Link specs.

Honda CBX1000

Yamaha R1 double-header, September 5

Yamaha R1 1998

Yamaha's first model R1 is one of the key markers in the development of the modern sports bike. We reckon the list runs something like this: Suzuki GSX-R750 1985, Honda CBR900RR Fireblade 1992, Ducati 916 1994 and Yamaha R1 1998.

These bikes are now on the radar for collectors.

Classic Two Wheels has just published its 1998 road test of the machine, which you can see here, and you will find our Future Collectible buyer guide here.

Classic Harleys, September 4

Classic Harleys

Heavy Duty mag is offering a free download of its Classic Harleys bookazine, published some years ago. It goes from very early machinery through to Panhead.

A generous offer and you can find it here. It includes signing up for their newsletter, which is worthwhile if you have even the slightest interest in Harleys.

Moto Guzzi V7 Sport - today's time machine, September 3

Moto Guzzi V7 Sport

This ad in Two Wheels magazine (Australia) from 1974 lists the exotic Moto Guzzi V7 Sport at $2695, or a few hundred dollars more than a new Kawasaki Z1 would have cost you. More here

Sprint stars, September 2

Triumph Sprint ST 1050

We know a lot of people with collectible bikes also like to have a day-to-day mount that can take a bit of punishment and still come up smiling, and preferably doesn't cost a bomb to buy. One of our top nominations is Triumph's 1050 Sprint ST, which for a while was easily the pick in the sports-tourer sector.

Triumph Sprint ST 1050

They're now getting on a bit and tend to have a fair few miles on them, though you will still find the odd exception. Typical is the bike above, a 2006 model with 96,000km on the clock and priced at Au$5000 (US$3700, GB£2700). Asking Au$8000 (US$5900, GB£4300) is the 2007 model with ABS, panniers and claiming 40,000km, below.

Triumph Sprint ST 1050

This generation Sprint arguably took over from Honda's VFR800 as top dog in the market sector. See our feature on it here.

Suzuki GT250, September 1

Suzuki GT250

Random brochure for the day – the mighty Suzuki GT250 K two-stroke twin from 1973.

Specs and backgrounder at Motorcycle Specs


Want more news & views? See our archive.


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