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News August 2023

Flashback: Dinosaur soup, August 31


On Suzuki GSX1100s and why we all need to own one or two or even three over a lifetime – see the Travels with Guido story.

Honda GL1200 – today's oddball, August 30


It may be hard to accept any Honda GL series as an oddball, but this GL1200 Standard from the mid-eighties seemed to enjoy a short time in the market, when it's fully-dressed brethren such as the Interstate and Aspencade were ruling the touring roost.

However there seems to be a group of Wing nuts out there who are not only aware of the model but hold it in high regard.

If you've ridden a naked Gold Wing – most likely the original 1000 or second-gen 1100 – you may understand that, while it will never be mistaken for a sport bike, a naked Wing has a lot of virtues.

Honda GL1200

That's something we can confirm after owning a first-model GL1000 for a while (pictured below).

The GL1200 has fans for a number of reasons, mostly to do with the powerplant. A comprehensive upgrade saw it lift claimed power from 81hp at 7000rpm to 94. In addition, the gearing was raised significantly for a far more relaxed highway gait. Plus the valve lash adjustment was changed to hydraulic, which made the engine as near as you get to maintenance-free.

Honda also introduced linked braking with this generation, connecting one of the front discs to the rear, operated off the footpedal, while the front lever operated as normal. Meanwhile the frame had been upgraded to a stronger unit. Dry weight was around 275kg.

Bring a Trailer sold the 1984 example you see here last February for Au$5800 (US$3700, GB£2900), which seems like a lot of bike for the money. We can't help thinking it would make a really good club run machine, particularly given how reliable they are.

Adventure Rider online makes a compelling case for owning one, likening it to a forerunner of the Valkyrie – see the story here.

It mentions one currently for sale in the USA via Cycle Trader at Au$6200 (US$4000, GB£3200).


See the 1975 GL1000 that was in our shed (above).

See our 1975 Gold Wing GL1000 model profile.

See the Classic Two Wheels period road test of the GL1000.

See our 1500 Valkyrie profile.

Daytona dreaming, August 29

Moto Guzzi Daytona

Something we'd dearly love to add to our shed, one day, is a Moto Guzzi Daytona 1000.

Iconic Bike Auctions in the USA sold a well-presented example showing just 923 miles (1485km) on the odo in May 2023 for Au$24,800 (US$16,000, GB£12,700).

daytona brochure

Stylish and flawed, they are great fun to ride. See our profile.

Ultimate quarter-litre screamer, August 28

Honda NSR250R

Today's random brochure: 1990 Honda NSR250R MC21. For many fans of two-strokes, this is an ultimate 'get' for the collection.

Under the paint is a V-twin liquid-cooled V-twin with a fairly sophisticated ECU and six-speed transmission. It claimed 45 horses (33kW) for a 151kg wet weight and was a whole lot of fun on a track, claiming as it did some substantial race DNA.

A Japan-only model, they have become popular as grey imports in several other markets.

Shannons sold one at auction last year for Au$18,500 (US$11,800, GB£9400).

Easily the best source for info on these is

Great galloping Munch, August 27

One of those bikes that, sadly, few of us will get to ride, the Friedel Munch Mammoth. Jay Leno has one in his shed (of course...) and shares the joy.

Friedel Munch

Motorcycle Daily has a good backgrounder on Munch (above, pic by Otto Hoffman) which includes the story on how American racer and motorcycle workshop manual publisher Floyd Clymer helped him to finance a factory.

Slab of goodness, August 26


We have a lot of time for early 'slab-side' Suzuki GSX-R1100s as they're still a fun toy and have potential as a classic.

These J models are the pick of the bunch as a ride, with some nice upgrades such as the three-spoke Enkei wheels.

This one is on offer on offer from Brad's Vintage Cycle Sales in Queensland at Au$16,850 (US$10,800, GB£8600).

We recently bought a Ducati from the same mob and found it a good crew to deal with.

See our GSX-R1100 buyer guide.

Senna time, August 26

              agusta senna

It seems the Ayrton Senna name still has pull in the motorcycle collector world, nearly 30 years after the passing of the F1 Maestro. Here are two recent examples.

First is a 2002 MV Agusta F4 750 Senna, which sold through Collecting Cars for Au$40,250 (US$25,800, GB£20,500). It had zero miles on the odo and that result is within a whisker of its new price.

ducati 916 senna

Another is the 1996 Ducati 916 Senna we recently covered, which sold via Shannons for $41,000 (US$26,400, GB£20,700).

That compares to a new price of Au$32,000 (US$20,500, GB£16,300).

See our MV Agusta F4 750 profile;

And our Ducati 916 Senna profile.

Hayabusa poster, August 25

hayabusa poster

Suzuki has made a Hayabusa poster – showing all the variants across 25 years – available for public download. Follow this link.

See the Hayabusa in our shed;

Our Gen 1 profile;

Gen 2 video review;

Gen 3 review with video.

Krauser sale, August 25

              mkm 1000

The Krauser MKM 1000 we covered August 20 (below) has sold via Iconic for
Au$33,500 (US$21,500, GB£17,000)

Mixed fortunes for Brits at auction, August 24

While Ducatis generally scored well at the recent Shannons auction (see yesterday's story) British bikes had somewhat mixed fortunes – which fits a world-wide trend.

triumph hurricane

For example, a 1972 X-75 Triumph Vetter Hurricane in exceptional unrestored condition, and with very good provenance, went for Au$40,500 (US$26,200, GB£20,600). That's solid money in anyone's language, but we have in the past seen equivalent machines go for 50 per cent more in a peak market.

See our Vetter Hurricane profile.

triumph tiger

There were some opportunities for the bargain hunter, such as a 1950 Tiger 100. A non-matching numbers example, it was an older restoration that was going to require some recommissioning. However at Au$7000 (US$4500, GB£3600) it looked like a very good project for someone who knew their way around a toolbox.

vincent rapide

While some interesting lots such as a 1937 Brough Superior SS80 struggled, there was good news for the seller of a Vincent Rapide. Running a 1948 engine in a 1951 frame and requiring recommissioning, it went for an impressive Au$71,000 (US$46,000, GB£36,100).

See the full results here.

Ducatifest at Shannons, August 22

ducati 750 sport

Ducatis were definitely flavour of the week for the Shannons auction that concluded in Melbourne last night. This 1974 750 Sport, one of two Sports on offer, hit Au$77,000 (US$50,000, GB£39,000) – a remarkable result, even allowing for it being a nice example.

ducati f1

A 1985 750 F1 also scored a solid result, at Au$38,000 (US$24,500, GB£19,200.

ducati senna

And to prove it wasn't just about air-cooled Ducatis, this 1996 916 Senna sold for $41,000 (US$26,400, GB£20,700).

See the full results here.

See our 750 Sport profile.

Affordable Zed, August 22


We're seeing signs that a levelling-out across Western collector markets is putting some classics back within reasonable financial reach. The pattern seems to be that very high-end machines are still getting top dollar, but middle of the range lots are seeing prices soften.

Yesterday's report on the Mecum Monterey auction was one indication and here is another.


This 1976 Kawasaki Z900 (aka KZ900 A4) recently sold via Bring a Trailer for Au$9000 (US$5800, GB£4500). It was a tidy rather than pristine example, with reproduction exhausts, and represented very good buying.

See the Motorcycle Specs Z900 A4 backgrounder.

Big Gamma result, August 21

Suzuki RG500

The recent Mecum Monterey auction saw this 1986 Suzuki RG500 sell for Au$65,290 (US$41,800, GB£32,800) – a phenomenal result given it is a low-mile restored machine at 7900 miles (12,700km) rather than the usual collector target of something straight out of the maker's box.

But before you RG owners out there crack open the vintage champagne and put your own on the market, be warned this may be a one-off result as the machine was reported to have been built by Rick Lance, who was an RG legend in that part of the world. His workshop continues to trade after his passing in 2019.

In fact the general mood of the auction was far more subdued than this result might indicate. Something like half the the lots offered were passed in, suggesting there was a big gap between buyer and seller price expectations.

indian board tracker

Vintage American motorcycles scored well. For example a 1915 8-valve Indian board track racer went for Au$490,000 (US$313,500, GB£246,000)

Henderson four

Just to prove that wasn't a one-off, a 1918 Henderson Model H Four went for Au$473,000 (US$302,500, GB£238,000).

By way of contrast, Harley-Davidson Panheads generally looked like good buying with prices around Au$30-35,000 (US$20-25,000, GB£15-18,000) – cheap compared to your average Knucklehead at three times the price.

Blackbird – today's bang for your buck, August 21


In case you hadn't noticed, there is a fair bit of high-performance machinery available out there at the moment for not a whole lot of money.

Honda's CBR1100XX Super Blackbird is as good an example as any – once the marque's straight-line performance king with a 290km/h top speed.

These were well designed and built, with an exceptionally smooth and reliable drive train. Here's an example on the market at the moment: A red 1998 model with 75,000km (not a lot for these), with some touring extras such as screen and heated grips, on Facebook marketplace for Au$5000 (US$3200, GB£2500) and located in Vic.

A potential bonus is early 'Birds like this are now eligible for club plates in some states.

honda blackbird

We've owned three Blackbirds over the years – see the one that's currently in the shed.

Krauser MKM 1000 – today's oddball, August 20

Kraiuser MKM

Back in the mid-1980s Krauser founder Mike 'Gigi' Krauser was keen to realise his ambitions to do a whole lot more than make what was then class-leading motorcycle luggage. The former German sidecar racing champion branched out in a couple of directions and this was one of the results: The Krauser MKM 1000.

Based on the R100 BMW boxer platform of the day, it ran a unique frame and bodywork and was hugely expensive.

If you wanted the whole package you ordered his four-valve heads, which aren't on the machine shown here.

This 1986 example is up for auction with Iconic in the USA and bidding has already met reserve at just Au$3300 (US$2100, GB£1700).

krauser domani

Meanwhile let's not forget arguably his greatest success, the Krauser Domani outfit of 1990, initially running a K100 BMW powerplant before moving on to later 16-valve variants.

Something over 100 have been made, with Japan turning out to be a huge market, taking around one quarter of production. New Zealand is also thought to have ordered around 10 per cent. Keep in mind both countries are right-hand-drive, when the Domani is left-hand and can't be switched over.

Mike sadly died in 1991 but his family and then LCR Switzerland carried on production.

Lost gems: Yamaha TDR250, August 19

yamaha tdr250

Do you remember these, Yamaha's TDR250 dual-purpose two-stroke?

We recall riding one when they were new (circa 1988) and thoroughly enjoying its light manners and punchy performance.

This example is up for auction via Iconic in the USA.

See the Motorcycle Specs backgrounder.

Honda CB500T – today's random brochure, August 18

Honda CB500T

Does anyone remember these? Not the quickest thing out there, but the CB500T had enough poke to amble along at a decent rate.

However reviews complaining of vibration and transmission backlash helped to kill them off. The model ran 1975-76, by which time the market had well and truly overtaken the late 1960s spec. We seem to recall sales were sluggish and suspect the survival rate is low. Are there any still running out there?

A nice example sold through Mecum in the USA in 2022, for Au$8600 (US$5500, GB£4300).

See the Motorcycle Specs data and backgrounder.

Flashback: Super stroker – Aprilia RS250, August 18

aprilia rs250

Aprilia's RS250 series was a high point in two-stroke motorcycle development...see the feature.

And find some for sale via Bikesales.

Suzuki tempter, August 17


Someone please buy this thing before we get a sudden rush of blood to the wallet and do something rash, like add it to our already over-stuffed shed.

Suzuki's GSX1100E is a favourite of ours and this 1981 machine is one of the better-looking examples we've seen in a long time. A USA import, it claims 33,000 miles (53,000km) and is on the market via Facebook at Au$14,000 (US$9000, GB£4500).

We've owned two in the past – see the story on one of them here.

Triumph MX – behind the scenes, August 17

triumph MX crew

Triumph Motorcycles has released a video series going behind the scenes of the development of its new motocross and enduro bikes, hosted in large part by multi-time AMA MX champion Ricky Carmichael.

So far the chassis and engine are covered.

triumph mx

It provides a rare insight into the process and the people behind a greenfield development project and is well worth watching. See it here.

Phil Irving archives at auction, August 16

irving vincent

A collection of correspondence, drawings and other documents once owned by Phil Irving MBE is up for auction via Doningtons in Melbourne.

brabham irving

Irving is best known for his work on the legendary Vincent HRD line of motorcycles, and the creation of the RB620 V8 Repco Brabham engine that took Sir Jack Brabham to an F1 title in 1966. (That's Brabham and Irving pictured, above.)

His name has been associated with an incredible list of car and motorcycle brands across the years.


Among the gems is a 1949 drawing and letter from JA Prestwich detailing a V-twin OHV race engine offered to "Hunts Cycle & Motor Depot", aka Reg Hunt.


See the catalogue here.

Phil Irving Wikipedia profile.

Gold Star restomod, August 15

BSA gold star

On the face of it, a 60-something-year-old big Brit single doesn't necessarily sound like the easiest company for your next ride, even if it is a classic event. However this restomod 1959 BSA DBD34 Gold Star goes a long way towards changing that.

BSA gold star

The subject of a fresh resto, it carries a list of goodies including a Pearson electric start conversion (the big winner from our point of view), 12 volt electrics, Alton alternator, standard T2 gearbox, Dow front fork damper kit, twin leading shoe front brake (original available), and 4 gallon tank (3 gallon available).

We'll admit to being a little tempted. How much? Au$35,000 (US$22,600, GB£17,800) via Union Jack Motorcycles.

BSA gold star

See the Motorcycle Specs backgrounder on this model.

Of course the BSA marque and Gold Star name have been revived recently via Mahindra of India – see our quick overview.

Triple stroker, August 14

kawasaki s3

It's a long time since we rode one, but we seem to recall the Kawasaki S3 400 was arguably the sweetest of the triple-cylinder two-strokes out of the mid-seventies brand line-up.

This very low-use 1974 example, claiming 3200 miles (5150km), is up for sale via Ebay in the UK, priced at Au$15,600 (US$10,150, GB£8000).

See our S3 profile.

Today's random revivalist: Jawa, August 13

jawa 1958

There was a time when Czech marque Jawa could boast massive production numbers and did so with some spectacularly good-looking ads, like the one above featuring a 250 twin-port model 353.

jawa ny

And the USA importers clearly saw an opportunity.

jawa india

In a story that will sound familiar to long-term followers of the international industry, India began making Jawas under licence in the 1960s. Now the company is Indian-owned and has been revived with a fresh line-up.

Suzuki throwback, August 12


It's not often you see one of these pop up on the market – a 2003 Suzuki GS1200SS. This is a model that, sadly, never made it to Australia as a factory import.

The combination of throwback styling to early 'slabbie' GSX-Rs and a 100-horse variant of a Bandit 1200 engine would make it a pretty engaging ride.

This example had a few miles on board (56,000km/35,000 miles) and was up for sale via Iconic. It scored a top bid of Au$7100 (US$4600, GB£3600), which wasn't enough to score the keys.

Stats via Motorcycle Specs.

Ducatifest at Shannons, August 11


Next week's Shannons classic vehicle auction in Australia has a dozen Ducatis on offer, some of which are shown here. The majority came from a single Brisbane collection.

If you are after best bang for your buck, we'd argue the 2000 748R would be the pick, carrying an estimate of Au$10-15,000. You get 916 looks and arguably a sweeter ride for a whole lot less money. See the Motorcycle Specs backgrounder.


See the full auction here.

We have a host of Ducati features – see them here.

Aprilia Tuono Factory Racing – today's tempter, August 10

Aprilia tuono

And now for something very different – one of Aprilia's first-gen Tuono factory hotrods has popped up on the market. They're a rare sight over here and the seller says some 400 were made.

Located in Melbourne, it lists 42,150km (26,200 miles) on the odo and is on the market via Facebook at Au$21,490 (US$14,000, GB£11,000).

See our future collectible profile on the Tuono V-twin series.

Honda single style – today's random brochure, August 9

honda xbr500

We reckon there's a fair bit of eighties glam going on in this ad for Honda's mighty XBR500, which was the platform for the more stylish GB500 variants (below).

Honda GB500TT

We had an XBR in the shed for while and had some fun with it – see the story here.

Meet the Tamburini twins, August 8


Call it obsessive, but a long-held ambition to have the Tamburini twins in the shed has been realised.

At left is an Varese-build 1994 Ducati 916 Strada and at right is a 2006 MV Agusta F4 1000 Nero.

The latter was an obscure Australia-only model of which 21 were made. Its difference to a standard F4 was cosmetic, including the satin black paint. See the contemporary New Atlas story.

Why? Well, to us they represent the work of designer Massimo Tamburini at the height of his powers.

We're in the throes of getting them registered (club plates in the case of the Ducati) and we'll bring you more once the proverbial dust has settled.

Our previous 916

Ducati 916 profile

MV Agusta F4 750 profile

MV Agusta F4 Tamburini edition profile

Honda CB400 pipefest – today's random brochure, August 7

honda cb400

Honda's CB400 Four Super Sport had one of the greatest sets of exhaust pipes that ever graced motorcycling...any other nominations?

See our mini profile.

Highs and lows for Brit auction, August 6

ducati 916 fogarty

A recent classics auction by Silverstone in the UK had some interesting highs and lows. One of the hero results was for this 1998 Ducati 916 Carl Fogarty replica 996, number 1 of 202. Showing just three miles on the odo, it sold for Au$119,000 (US$78,400, GB£61,500).


Hinting at an overall softening of the UK market was (among many other lots) this 1973 Kawasaki Z1. A nicely restored example with a set of owner books, it passed in at auction and is now for sale at Au$30,600 (US$20,200, GB£15,850). That's still substantial money, but well below the highs we were seeing a year ago.

vincent black shadow

We've also seen UK Vincent prices easing off over the last year, to the point where an import looks like a viable alternative. This 1951 Series C Black Shadow was in good working though not pristine condition and came with its original registration. It went for Au$57,700 (US$38,000, GB£29,800).

Buell – exotica on a budget, August 5

buell xb12ss

If you're in the hunt for something very different to the run of the mill, but don't have squillions to spend, we reckon Buell is worth a look.

The engineering was always on the creative side and generally they're a pretty engaging thing to ride.

Here's an example: A 2008 XB12Ss Lightning Long with 18,000km (11,000 miles) on the market via Facebook at Au$12,000 (US$11,800, GB£9300).

See our feature on Buell's air-cooled series.

What now for MV? August 5

mv agusta
              superveloce ago

Australian Motor Cycle News (AMCN) has an in-depth look at where MV Agusta is heading, now that KTM and by extension CF Moto have a financial interest via Pierer Mobility. See the story here.

Meanwhile we have a host of MV stories at our feature index – see them here.

Darwin run – the final chapter, August 4

silo nullawil - bmw r1150gs

A final strop to get home and some conclusions about the good and debatable decisions for what turned out to be an epic and fantastic trip...see it here.

Big vistas and a quirky collection, August 3

bmw r1150gs

It's been a day for wide-open vistas and a quirky motorcycle collection...see our Darwin Run update here.

peterborough motorcycle museum

How much for the Desmosedici? August 3


Ducati's 1500-strong fleet of Desmosedici sold quickly and with little trouble back in 2007-2008 and most have since been tucked away with minimal or no use. This one has done more work than most, at a little over 6000km (3800 miles) and sold with Iconic in the USA for Au$90,000 (US$58,850, GB£46,300).

It's interesting reading the service history of this bike, which included a few recalls and a transmission rebuild under warranty, caused by a stray selector spring.

Initially priced at Au$111,000 (US$72,500, GB£57,000), we've since seen mint examples sell at auction for roughly new price and sometimes a little more. However sellers seem to be asking considerably more.

See our profile of the Desmosedici.

Downhill run, August 2


Today was the downhill run for the outback section of the trip. It's funny how you settle into a situation, along with its discomforts. Maybe it's Stockholm Syndrome in action...see the full story here.

Lambretta relaunch, August 1


Lambretta has relaunched in Australia with a fuel-injected 169cc model running ABS, called the V-200 and priced at Au$5790 (US$3900, GB£3000) plus on-road costs. More at

Coober crazy, August 1

coober alice

Third time see this is my third attempt in the last five years to make it to Coober Pedy, on a recently-purchased motorcycle – in time to make the motel booking. See the story here.


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