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What's happening

News Dec 2022

Bargain Duc, Dec 31

ducati 1098

While bargains may be thin on the ground in the Australian motorcycle market, the auction scene in the UK and USA seem to pop them out on a regular basis.

Take this 2007 Ducati 1098S, with a mere 1800km (1100 miles) claimed. It sold through Iconic in the USA for a mere Au$11,600 (US$7920, GB£6600). That's a steal.

See the Bennetts 1098 review.

Dill rage, Dec 27

Mister Smith

The legendary Mr Smith on the festive season and drivers...from Classic Two Wheels.

A Christmas wish, Dec 24

Suzuki Hayabusa

The cat's in charge and Hannibal has been cut loose – welcome to Christmas.

Here's our traditional festive season column...have a great break, folks.

Ducati 750 F1, Dec 24

Ducati 750 F1

Ian Falloon unwraps one of Ducati's best looking racer replicas.

Suzuki screamer, Dec 24


Oddball for the day...we're pretty certain very few 1988 Suzuki GSX-R250s made it into this country as they weren't a mainstream import.

The specs we have for it suggest the inline four makes 45 horses at a howling 14,000rpm, weighs 138kg dry and cam manage 180km/h.

This one is for sale in WA, at $13,800.

Random shed shot for the day, Dec 21

              heritage 2022 cat

We have a 2022 Harley-Davidson Heritage Classic in the shed at the moment. Long story, and the cat is optional.

Interesting bike and fun to play with. The H-D page is here.

More to come...

South America adventure, Dec 21

Peter Callaghan
              South America

Australian bike journo Peter Callaghan is currently cruising the length of South America on a 2020 Yamaha WR250R, which he bought specifically for the trip.

It's an interesting (and we suspect perfect) choice of machine. He talks through the selection process, set-up and shake-down here.

Peter Callaghan
              South America

You can also follow his adventures, which are entertaining, at his online blog. The latest episurd talks about rolling up to a small town in Argentina to watch the World Cup soccer final with the locals in a service station lounge, as you do. See it here.

Live it like ya stole it, Dec 21

Beattie book

Founder of Heavy Duty magazine and former Australian Motor Cycle News Editor Chris Beattie has published a book on his remarkable and long-admired ability to skate on the proverbial thin ice without actually falling through.

While in person he comes across as mostly harmless, he's nevertheless shown an awe-inspiring magnetism for trouble over the years. Fortunately, he also has a real talent as a writer and we can recommend his first book, which seems to involve more than its fair share of high-speed chases and police.

Anyway, if you're looking for a lot of fun without spending a fortune, it's available by mail order for $26.95. See it here.

The shipping news, Dec 21

              Triumph Isle of man

Dave from Get Routed, the Aussie-based motorcycle tour and shipping company, has announced new dates for the upcoming year or two, including Europe and New Zealand. Check it out here.

See our Isle of Man feature here.

Cretin-free ad, Dec 20

BMW ad

According to Classic Two Wheels: Most motorcycle advertising is juvenile rubbish written by marketing cretins who wouldn't know a good bike from a hole in the ground. There have been a few exceptions, such as this, from BMW.

Flashback: Suzuki RG500, Dec 19

Suzukl RG500

Suzuki's eighties stroker hero – see the profile.

Dream Trails, Dec 16

Dream trails

Feature for the day: A trio of USA riders built up three 'rat' mid-1960s Honda Dreams and took them for a 4600km (2900 mile) gallop across the Trans America Trail. Well worth a read, here.

Aussie factory black MV on market, Dec 14

MV Agusta 750 S

A motorcycle pitched as a one-of-one factory black 1972 MV Agusta 750 S with a colourful Australian history has popped up on the market via Moto Borgotaro in New York...see the story here.

Early Harley Sportster tales, Dec 13

              Sportster 1972

Classic Two Wheels has put together a terrific batch of early Sportster road tests, starting in 1972. Well worth a look, here.

Yamaha XJ900, Dec 11

Yamaha XJ900

Remember these? For a time across much of the 1980s, this was the go-to all-rounder for a lot of people. Yamaha's XJ900 was respectably quick, handled reasonably well for the time and enjoyed the benefits of shaft final drive.

Specs were respectable at 98 horses (72kW) for a package weighing 244kg wet. See the Motorcycle Specs backgrounder.

Now for a little trivia. This model had a glory year in the Castrol 6 Hour production race, namely 1983, when three examples were fielded. The lead bike was qualified in fourth place by Richard Scott. He and former motocross ace Stephen Gall finished in fifth place. That was the year when the race was won by Malcolm Campbell and Rod Cox on a Honda VF750F.

Back to the bike shown here: It's a 1987 model which the seller in Herberton Queensland says has undergone an extensive restoration, 1500km ago. It's on the market via Facebook at $6200. Tel 0438 110 213.

Old Wings see values rise, Dec 10

Homnda GL1000K1

A few recent sales suggest that the market for early Gold Wings is showing signs of firming up.

We're surely but slowly seeing interest grow, perhaps overdue given their enormous influence in the touring market for nearly 50 years. An early one today makes a good strong and useable classic.

An H&H auction in the UK earlier this year saw the Honda GL1000 K2 above find a new home. 
It was listed as fully restored and looked like a good buy at Au$10,200 (US$6900, GB£5600).


Another is this, a 1981 GL1100 with a few accessories and a low 31,000km (19,500 miles) on the odo. It sold through Hemmings in the USA for Au$11,700 (US$8000, GB£6500). That's not a fortune, however it represents a significant rise over where they were. A couple of years ago, you would have struggled to get more than a few thousand.


That backs up our own experience, selling a first-model GL1000 K1 not so long ago. It was in largely original condition with substantial miles, running aftermarket mufflers, and sold for Au$12,500 (US$8500, GB£7000).

See our first model Gold Wing profile

Classic Two Wheels 1975 Gold Wing road test

Presley's Motorcycles, Dec 9

Elvis Presley harley

Life-long motorcycle fan Elvis Presley was for a time Harley-Davidson's biggest PR asset, however he did of course play with other toys. Australian Motor Cycle News has a look at his bike bio...see it here.

AMCN yearbook

Oh and look out for the mag's yearbook, which has just hit the shelves.

Honda VFR750 survivor, Dec 8

              VFR750 Rc36

If the ad is right, this Honda VFR750, one of the last of the series, is a survivor in unusually good shape.

At an advertised Au$6850 (US$4600, GB£2700) it looks like solid value and to our way of thinking is worth a punt, if it checks out okay. This was an extraordinary sports-touring series for the marque and this final model may one day be a minor collectible.

See our VFR750 profile for a backgrounder.

Speed is Good, Dec 8

speed is good

Speed is safety...from the inimitable Bernard St Francis Whitworth Socket (and Classic Two Wheels)...see it here.

Royal Enfield 1964, Dec 8

              Enfield 1964

They don't make brochures like these any more...this is the 1964 Royal Enfield range, from when the company was still based in the UK. See the full brochure here.

Ducati 999R, Dec 6


While the styling was controversial at the time, the 999 series had a lot to recommend it. Ian Falloon takes a look at the pinnacle of the series.

BMW flat-tracker, Dec 6

BMW K1 flat tracker

From our 'now we've seen everything' department comes this, a BMW K100-based flat-tracker, which was recently auctioned off in the UK.

We've come across plenty of K-based cafe racers over recent years, but this style is a little less common and we kind of like it. It sold via Car & Classic for Au$6000 (US$4000, GB£3300).

Flashback: Yamaha's RZ500 GP replica, Dec 4

Yamaha RZ500

Yamaha's RZ/RD500 V4 two-stroke series is one of those models that's had a wild old ride across the decades. It caused huge excitement when first launched back in 1984, then seemed to disappear without trace, and more recently has seen a massive revival as a much-desired classic...see the story here.

Japanese Harley relic, Dec 2

Rikuo 750

It's not every day you come across a Harley-Davidson-based Rikuo V-twin on the local market. The story for this model emerges in the 1930s, when the Japanese maker was licensed by H-D to produce flathead V-twins.

The history is somewhat convoluted and seems to have a few gaps, but can be seen in part here via Wikipedia.

Rikuo military

As is often the case in these situations, the adoption of the V-twins was driven in part by the needs of the military. This article from a 1978 Cycle World magazine is also worth a look, as it in part credits the Harley-Rikuo relationship for starting the Japanese motorcycle industry..

Meanwhile the 1959 750cc flathead up top is up for sale through Brad's Vintage Cycles at Au$19,500 (US$13,300, GB£10,900)

MV Agusta's speed king, Dec 1

MV Agusta F4 312

Falloon on what went into creating MV Agusta's mighty F4 R 312...see it here.


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