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News Mar 2023

Zed tour 4, Mar 30

speed kings

Meet the Speed Kings - we made it home with the Kawasaki ZX-12R, after a three-day 1800km (1100 miles) run from Brisbane to Melbourne. And this now completes our set of mid-nineties to early noughties hero sports tourers: ZX-12R, Suzuki Hayabusa and Honda Blackbird.

The Kawasaki has a few little issues that need attention, but turned out to be surprisingly good tool for the tour.

More to come...we'll tackle a comparison story at some stage...

Meanwhile see...

Zed tour 3, Mar 29


Ah, the joys of travel. Having spent a fair part of the day splashing through the rain, we were pretty keen to find a motel room. Entering sunny Yass in NSW, you're greeted with a sign promising 'Wool, Wine and Waterways' which brings up fascinating and sometimes worrying mental images.

Anyway, apparently it's school holidays and the delights of the Yassarian WWW were denied as all the inns were full. So we moved on to Gundagai, where the last motel we encountered – the delightfully-named and bright yellow Bushman's Retreat – still had space. Hooray.

kawasaki zx-12r

Trivia for the day: you may notice the 340km/h (210mph) speedo has a little yellow sticker with the number 7 on it. Why? That was put there by the previous owner as a reminder of how many licence points he had left. Must confess that was a new concept. We guess it gave him pause to think and weigh up his options before cutting loose the monster...

Zed tour 2, Mar 28


We're part way through the 1800km (1100 mile) run from Brisbane to Melbourne with the recently-acquired Kawasaki ZX-12R.

I’ve been spoiled by pukka touring bikes recently, so it took a while for the body to re-adjust to the more cramped accommodation.

So far so good with the bike and we’re getting to know each other along the way.

Am always intrigued by the range of place names you see along the way…see above. They give you a few things to ponder along the way, other than where the next speed trap is!


Am always intrigued by the range of place names you see along the way…see above. They give you a few things to ponder along the way, other than where the next speed trap is!


And of course no tour blog is complete without the ridiculous find for the day. That’s Con the unhappy koala…he’s installed at Port Macquarie’s old courthouse and is allegedly part of a sculpture walking tour.

Zed tour, Mar 27

kawasaki zx-12r

We've made it! Have landed in Brisbane to pick up the mighty 2001 Kawasaki ZX-12R and will head south in the morning for the 1800km (1100 miles) home to Melbourne. Wish us luck...

kawasaki xz-12r

What were we thinking? See the story here.

See our ZX-12R profile here.

Flashback: Discovery, Mar 26

ducati 916

Getting Sprung with a new classic, and other shed disasters...see the story here.

Blade runner, Mar 25

honda fireblade two wheels magazine

Would you believe it's over 30 years since the first Honda FireBlade was launched? The CBR900RR of 1992 was a trend-setter and has good potential as a collector bike.

See the period road test of this and the 1994 model from Classic Two Wheels.

Look for our Future Collectible feature on this bike, complete with video review.

Random engine for the day, Mar 22

              zx-12r engine

Random engine for the day – what's if from?

(Answer: Kawasaki ZX-12R)

See our ZX-12R profile here.

Flashback: Tiddler time, Mar 21

Laverda lusso

Getting a bit jaded? Go buy yourself something small and senseless...see the story here.

Guzzi gold, Mar 20

moto guzzi

Here's one for the Moto Guzzi collector who thought they had everything: a 1993 Daytona 1000 still in its shipping crate.

You have to wonder how people lose and forget these things for 30 years. Losing a pen down the back of the couch...yep. Watching that 10mm socket roll out of sight and go to that mysterious place where all the others are gathered...yep. But this...?!

Anyway, it's located in the USA and is up for auction through Bring a Trailer. It was at Au$28,000 (US$19,000, GB£15,600) with six days to go. Any guesses on where it will end up?

See our Daytona 1000 profile.

(Our thanks to Mark Galli for alerting us to this one.)

Retro Ducati auction, Mar 18

ducati MH900e

A locally-owned Ducati MH900e has popped up for auction at Collecting Cars and we suspect this could turn out to be an interesting test for the current strength of the Australian market.

* Ed's note, March 21: it sold for Au$50,500 (US$33,700, GB£27,500), with bids climbing from Au$37,000 in the last hour.

Mid last year we noted: Ducati's MH900e Hailwood tribute is famous for a couple of things – most notably being the first model the company (or any motorcycle maker) sold exclusively via the internet, as far back as Jan 1, 2000.

More recently, however, it's become more notorious as an investment vehicle. A remarkable number of the 2000 sold have never been used, or so it seems. Every now and then one of these unused gems pops up on the market, with a recent example via Bring a Trailer in the USA.

That sold at the end of May 2022 for Au$64,000 (US$45,000, GB£36,700).

Mecum offloaded a similar machine January 2022 for Au$63,000 (US$44,000, GB£35,900).

We have however seen them go higher, with an example sold in Australia by Collecting Cars in May 2022 for Au$76,400 (US$53,400, GB£43,600).


However a recent sale in the USA suggests people are looking for perfection in these machines. Iconic recently saw an example with 21 miles, with some very light corrosion in a couple of places, sell for Au$38,500 (US$25,900, GB£21,100).

See our quick MH900e profile;
Falloon's insight into the MH900e concept;

And a profile of the SportClassic range that followed.

EnZed gems, Mar 17


From Ian Falloon:
If you're in Invercargill at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand, Classic Motorcycle Mecca is a must-see. A fantastic collection of exotic motorcycles and a wonderful display of New Zealand motorcycle history. See his Facebook feed here.

NZ museum

Spannercast, Mar 17


From Info Moto: In the latest podcast, Spanner and Snag discuss the old bloke's criminal past, our superhero unloads on US gun laws, our knackered roads are put under the microscope, and we make a date to delve inside the murky depths of Spanner's hidden domain. Find it here.

Suzuki GSX-R1000 – the contender, Mar 13

suzuki gsx-r1000 k5

It's 2005 and Suzuki has launched it's much-revised GSX-R1000 K5. Not only does it impress at launch, but it walks away the winner in a five-way sports bike comparo. See the stories at Classic Two Wheels.

suzuki gsx-r1000 k1

Also see our future collectible backgrounder for the K1 and K2 series.

Forgotten gem for the day: Suzuki GSX1100G, Mar 12

suzuki gsx1100g

Remember these? Launched circa 1991 the Suzuki GSX1100G combined Suzuki's four-valve 1100 inline four with a five-speed transmission and – the big feature – a shaft drive.

In Australia, the 100hp all-rounder would have set you back Au$10,400 plus ORC (US$6800, GB£5700). They lasted a few years in the market and sold in modest numbers. These days, they're a rare sight.

See the Motorcycle Specs stats and profile.

See our feature on its predecessors, the two-valve GS-G series.

Ducati as art, Mar 11

Ducati 750SS

One of the more unusual offerings so far this year was this, a 1974 Ducati 750 SS, not so much because of what it was but because it was included in an art collection sale, conducted by Christies.

The collection belonged to Adam Lindemann, an American art collector and dealer. This was among 36 lots, dominated by contemporary works, and scored a top bid of Au$287,000 (US$189,000, GB£157,000) but did not sell.

See the bike here

And the auction here

See our story on the Imola race that started the 750 SS legend

And a story on the race bikes

Plus contemporary 750 GT and 750 SS road tests from Classic Two Wheels

Bike bit for the day, Mar 10

honda cb750 k1
              shop manual

Oddball bike bit for the day: thanks to young Ian, an AllMoto reader, we managed to get our hands on these – 1971 Honda workshop manual and supplement for the mighty CB750-Four K1 (below).

              cb750 k1

The books came with a bit of a story:

"Dad was a wharfie and one day he saw a red Honda four (a first model) come off a ship in a cargo net, which piqued his interest. 

"So he took charge of it and waited for the owner to show up, which he did, shortly after.

"Turns out he was a Japanese guy and the first mate on the ship. He’d bought the bike in Japan and it went everywhere with him so that he could ride around the waterfront dock areas until the ship left. I’m guessing that if he was picked up for riding a strangely number plated bike he would soon be long gone and didn’t worry about it. Simpler days...

"Dad was riding an orange Suzuki Hustler at the time and they had a few short rides around Sydney together, checking out the sights.

"Anyway, they bonded, as only bikers seem to be able to do and Dad asked him if he could pick one up for him in Japan, to which the guy agreed.

"So, Dad handed over $900 and waited.

"Some months later, the ship returned and off came the red Honda again, followed by two crates. 

"Inside the first one was Dad’s brand new gold K1 Honda. Inside the second smaller crate was a replacement exhaust system and eight tyres – four front and four rear! And the manuals, all for $900!"

See our CB750-Four profile

And the Classic Two Wheels 1970 road test

Random bike shot for the day, Mar 9


First-model Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird, by Ben Galli.

See our profile here.

Completing the set, Mar 9

kawasaki zx-12r

Adding number three to the lunatic end of the shed...see the story here.

Daytona Day, Mar 8


A bit of fun with the InfoMoto crew...see the story.

Old Pug, Mar 7

Peugeot 1908

The National Automobile Museum of Tasmania has recently added a 1908 Peugeot to its display. It was sold new in the state and remains a runner. See it here.

Givi fuel cell, Mar 6

Givi fuel canister

Today's random accessory: This 2.5lt fuel canister from Givi.

In several decades of riding, we've only once managed to run out of fuel. There have however been several near misses, including the day the Suzuki GS1000G sidecar engine flamed out in the forecourt of the petrol station.

There have been occasions when I've felt more comfortable carrying spare fuel, such as the trip from Alice Springs on the Kawasaki GPz900R. While the bike had good range, I carried extra as the weather was unpredictable and had been causing sporadic road closures – so having to double back was a real possibility.

Since then I've bought a Honda Valkyrie Interstate which has a legendary thirst for fuel, to the point where it's 26lt tank might be a bit marginal if I stuff up the fuel-planning.

Come to think of it, the Triumph T160 with its 13lt US tank is seriously challenged when it comes to range.

The problem is most canisters, even those holding just five-or-so litres are too big to pack comfortably and often won't fit in panniers.

Just as we started looking for alternatives, the Andy Strapz e-newsletter landed advertising these Givi fuel cells, made of a sturdy plastic. I bought two. Cost is $33 and you'll find them here.

Indian refresh, Mar 5

Indian Chief Vintage 2009

Was out playing with this monster today – 2009 Indian Chief Vintage out of Kings Mountain. Fresh rubber (by Shinko) makes all the difference and we'll soon bring you a long-term ownership update with one or two little surprises.

See our previous story on this bike.

Speed trip, Mar 4

              speed triple

It's a perfect day for taking the Triumph Speed Triple for a gallop...see the story on this bike here.

Flashback: Ageing gracefully, Mar 4

Indian Chief Vintage

Is there such a thing as ageing gracefully, or is 'patina' just another word for 'rooted'? See the story here.

Power hounds, Mar 2

suzuki hayabusas

Generation 3 and 1 Hayabusas...story coming soon.

Meanwhile you can see our Gen 1 profile here;

The 1999 Gen 1 road test at Classic Two Wheels;

The Gen 1 in our shed, aka Hannibal;

And our Gen 2 video review;

Plus the Gen 3 factory development story.

Bargains and blowouts at Shannons auction, Mar 1

kawasaki z1

There were some sharp buys and some blowout results at the latest event...see the story here.


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