AllMoto's Motorcycle Investor mag


allmoto logo

Motorcycle Investor mag

Subscribe to our free email news

News October 2023

Jumping through hoops, October 31

ducati 916

Getting our imported Ducati 916 on the road was more involved than we expected. At last we're legal!

See the story here.

Shannons drops auctions, October 30


Shannons Insurance has dropped its auctions, in an announcement made today. The news will come as a shock to folk in the classic bike and car scene, given the company had been an innovative player since it got involved in the arena back in 1981.

It has consistently been a market leader in local curated sales.

A statement cites an increasing range of competitive options as a reason to move on. See it here.

Moto Guzzi V7 Sport, October 30

moto guzzi v7

It's 1971 and Moto Guzzi's brochure for the new V7 Sport is leaving no doubt in anyone's mind about what it's to be used for. Love it...

See our V7 Sport profile by young Falloon.

Final Thruxton, October 29

final thruxton

It's not often you’ll hear of a maker making a fuss about retiring a model name, but that’s what has happened with Triumph and its Thruxton nameplate.

Rather than just let it quietly fade into the distance, the company has announced a final edition, which is a 1200 in premium RS spec, with special paint and graphics.

See the full story here.

CBX1000 revival – shed task for the day, October 28

cbx1000 and starter

We finally got around to having a crack at getting our recently-acquired 1981 Honda CBX1000 running, after a lay-off of unknown length.

And what looks suspiciously like some sort of torture device is in fact our new electric roller starter...very handy. See the story here.

Triton Domibird, October 27


You have to get a kick out of the unintended random access of a loose web search. Today, while looking for something entirely different, we tripped over this: A lovely Triton in a configuration we haven't seen before.

Usually these Triton hybrids have a strong cafe racer theme, with bigger and more aggressive powerplants, whether they be twins or triples.

In this case it's billed as a 1957 Norton Dominator chassis with a 650 Thunderbird engine in single-carb trim. It might not be the quickest thing to pedal to the Ace Cafe, but we like its gentle style.

Classic Style in Melbourne has it listed at Au$15,950 (US$10,100, GB£8300).

See our Norton Commando profile.

Ducati VASS wanted, October 27

ducati 916

We're looking for someone to do a VASS certification on this: A 1995 Ducati 916 out of Japan, in standard trim, located in Melbourne.

Are there any recommendations? Please email

Rickman stunner, October 26


One of the more interesting bikes to pop up on the market recently is this, a 1968 Rickman Metisse complete with 650 Triumph T120 engine with four-speed transmission.


The carburettors are 30mm Amal Monoblocs while the pipes are from Dunstall. Oh, and you score a Lockheed disc brake up front – cutting edge stuff for the time. Nice, eh?

It's listed with Bring a Trailer in the USA as a no-reserve auction.

See the period Cycle World test of two 1968 Metisse variants.

High-strung tourer, October 25

Ducati 916

A UK collection of 18 Ducatis and two MV Agusta F4-series has popped up for auction.

What got our attention was this anecdote from Jeff Fosker, scion of the family selling them: "When we were kids my late father Bernard founded Foskers Ferraris in 1968, the oldest independent specialist Ferrari dealer, based at the Brands Hatch Circuit.

"He was a great fan of Vincent motorcycles and among them was a Black Lightning.

"Then in 1995 he bought himself a Ducati 916 SP and had it converted it to a two-seater and he and my mother toured the whole of Europe on that bike. I suppose it was then, in about 1998, that my brother Colin and I started collecting Ducatis."

We can't help wondering if braving the trials of touring two-up on a 916 is the definition of true love...

The auction is with Iconic in the UK and you can find it here. The collection begins at lot 580.

See our 916 profile.

And the one we recently added to our shed.

The shipping news, October 24

bmw k1200lt truck loading

We've just booted the BMW K1200LT land yacht out of the shed and loaded it up for a trip. Nope, it hasn't been sold – perish the thought!

Instead we've paid the good folk at transport company Bikes Only to take it for a nice long drive, to Perth.

The theory is muggins flies over there in about a fortnight and the Bimmer will be delivered to our hotel. Then we ride it back to Melbourne.

perth run allmoto

Our plan is to return via Albany and Esperance, before ducking north for the trip across the Nullabor to Adelaide.

All up, it's about 3800km (2360 miles), a little longer than our recent Darwin-Melbourne run on a cheap and cheerful R1150GS Boxer we bought up north. See the Darwin story here.

As for the Perth run, we'll bring you more once we're underway in a couple of weeks.

Meanwhile you can read a bit more about the land yacht and its recent revival, right here.

We also have a model profile on the K1200LT, which you can find here.

Black Shadow sale, October 23

              black shadow

One of the more interesting lots to have popped up on Bring a Trailer in the last week was this, a 1953 Vincent Series C Black Shadow which the seller had owned since 1969.

It underwent a restoration some time in the 1990s, a job which included fitting a five-speed Quaife gear set.

How much? It sold for Au$175,000 (US$110,000, GB£90,000) – a lot of money but we've seen more spent on sillier things...

Malanca 125 – random ad for the day, October 20

malanca sport

Malanca's 125 E2C Sport of 1976 has to be one of the sweetest-looking twins we've seen in a long time. Claiming a healthy 18hp, it should have been a lively performer. See the backgrounder at

Egli Honda coming up, October 20

Egli Honda

This 1973 Honda CB750-powered Egli is, for us at least, the highlight of an upcoming auction through Gooding & Co in the USA.

It's part of a complete collection that's being offered from December and includes more iconic models such as Ducati 750 SS green frame, Honda RC30 and first-gen Moto Guzzi V7. See the collection here.

See the brief Fritz Egi profile at Historic Vehicles.

Egli Racing's current website.

Mighty middleweight triple, October 19

kawasaki s2

Kawasaki's mighty S2 350 two-stroke triple of 1971-72 may not have been a runaway sales success, but it packed quite a punch for its day.

With 45hp (33.5kW) claimed, it weighed just 151kg and developed a reputation for sparkling performance, though it drank like a sailor. One contemporary road test scored near enough to 9km/lt.

See the data at Motorcycle Specs.

See our Kawasaki S3 400 mini profile.

BMW R90S reality, October 18


Our recent stories on super-high-end BMW R90S restorations and the crazy prices they have attracted in the USA are at risk of setting off an unrealistic wave of optimism among local sellers – so here is a reality check.

The same model, in decent working unrestored shape, without the wildly expensive resto that attracts cashed-up car collectors, recently sold on Bring a Trailer for Au$13,700 (US$8700, GB£7200).

See our story on Pridmore's R90S racer.

Hero V4, October 17


Back in 1984, Honda's VF1000R represented a celebration of Honda's emerging competition success with V-fours and was the flagship of the corporate performance catalogue.

The promise of a V-four litre sports bike with gear-driven cams and 130 horses (95kW) in a 236kg package was the stuff of fantasy for most of us – or at best an aspiration. 

Locally, it came within a whisker of winning the legendary Castrol Six Hour production race with GP world-champ-in-waiting Wayne Gardner sharing the ride with the talented John Pace. However, in an at the time hugely controversial decision, the race as stopped a couple of minutes early and was won by the hard-charging Richard Scott and Michael Dowson on a Yamaha RZ500.

As with a lot of bikes from the period, the engine's performance (which included an impressive mid-range) was not quite matched by the spindly frame, though it was running some premium chassis gear for the day.

It briefly claimed the much-disputed title of the world's fastest production motorcycle (around 240km/h or 149mph) and was knocked off by Kawasaki GPz900R.

This example (listed as a 1987 model) is up for sale in Sydney via Bikesales, priced at Au$19,998 (US$12,700, GB£10,500). The apparently super-clean and stock condition is what got our attention.

See the data at Motorcycle Specs

And our feature on Honda's world-beating VR750F

Happy Honda, October 16

honda fours

It's 1974 and happiness is to be found with a Honda four, apparently. Featured we have the CB750-Four K4 and CB550-Four.

CB750-Four profile

See the K1 in our shed

CB550 K-series profile at Motorcycle Specs

Why so much for the Bimmer? October 16

bmw r90s

On the back of yesterday’s story about two US$60,000-plus examples of the BMW R90S, we came across this piece from Hagerty that offers some insight.

See our brief model overview.

BMW R90S as premium collectibles, October 15

bmw r90s

BMW's iconic R90S has joined the ranks of premium collectibles, according to a couple of recent examples that popped up on the market in the USA. However to get there, the bike needs to be restored to concours level and preferably by a 'name' workshop.

The first 1975 example shown here is on the market with Moto Borgotaro at Au$103,000 (US$65,000, GB£53,000). See the listing here.

bmw r90s

Last March a concours-winning 1976 example (above) sold in the USA via Bring a Trailer for Au$95,000 (US$60,000, GB£50,000). See more here.

See our R90S profile.

Trivial pursuit solution: Morbidelli October 13

mystery v8

Okay, thrill-seekers...yesterday's trivia was this: What's the bike?

Yep, it's the V8 Morbidelli that never quite made it into full production. One of the better stories on its colourful history can be found here at Bike-urious.

Elegant Benelli, October 12


We were a bit taken with this brochure sourced via the Benelli Club Nederland, featuring the Benelli 250 Sport Special of 1968-73.

The Italians were for a while big on horizontal (or near enough) four-stroke singles, with the likes of Moto Guzzi, Aermacchi (also sold as Harley-Davidson) and Benelli (also sold as Motobi) being players.

Specs? We're talking a rampaging 12.5hp (9.3kW) with  five-speed transmission, 108kg dry weight and up to 140km/h top speed.

More at Motorcycle Specs.

Elvis Triumph mystery, October 11

elvis triumph

Triumph Motorcycles is on the hunt for a fleet of bikes bought nearly 60 years ago by music legend Elvis Presley for his mates in the 'Memphis Mafia'. See the story here.

Today's shed dive, October 10

ducati and honda

Task for the day: Swap the aftermarket footpegs on the Ducati 916 for a stock set, then take a couple of the toys for some exercise. Guess which one is more comfortable...

ducati 916

While the ride position of the 916 is a special kind of torture, it is brilliant to work on. There are just six Dzus fasteners to undo to remove the side of the fairing.

See the Our Bikes page for more

Tech school sweetheart, October 9

honda cbx1000

Two miles and 324 valve adjustments – such is the fate of a tech school bike. The recent USA auction of a 1981 Honda CBX1000 Prolink (the second iteration with fairing and bags) surprised us on two fronts: 1. It's not often you see an admitted former tech school bike up for auction; And, 2. By getting strong bidding (US$15k) without reaching reserve.

So what's a tech school bike? There is a quiet tradition out there of donating pre-production and unwanted stock to tech schools, for apprentices to train on. It's a noble thing.

Their eventual fate is mixed, though we know of a few that have ended up back on the open market most often decades down the track. What's one worth?


Well, a good Mk1 naked 1979 CBX1000, like the one above from Bring a Trailer, will fetch lots more. As a general rule of thumb we're talking Au$47,000 in the USA (US$30,000, GB£25,000) for a peach, while a very tidy fully-faired Mk2 is usually more like Au$20,000 (US$13,000, GB£10,700).

Both models struggled for volume in the key USA market (or anywhere else), while the second iteration bombed over there.

honda cbx1000

Comedian and collector Jay Leno tells the story of buying one new for half price back in 1981, his first new vehicle purchase, and hanging on to it all these years – via his You Tube channel.

Honda America offloaded excess stock of the Mk2 on to technical schools, and any customer willing to stump up even 50 per cent of the swing tag number.

Back to the Bring a Trailer auction that started this: We were surprised at how high the top bid was. Au$23,600 (US$15,000, GB£12,300) is a very good offer and we suspect the vendor should have taken it.

honda cbx1000

Meanwhile, we've bought an example of our own to play with – more to come...

See the epic Classic Two Wheels CBX Mk1 test.

Quirky Peterborough, October 8

Peterborough Motorcycle museum

Next time you're in South Australia, it's worth making the trek to Peterborough to see Ian Spooner's quirky motorcycle museum. In the meantime, here's a quick pictorial from the place.

Brit mega-auction, October 6

yamaha r7

This 1999 Yamaha YZF-R7 OW-02 is one of the highlights of the huge upcoming
Bonhams auction, the Autumn Stafford sale, running October 14-15.

With just two miles on the odometer, it's carrying an estimate of $Au67-86,000 (US$43-55,000, GB£35-45,000). See the lot here.

Japanese superbike homologation and limited-production race-inspired specials like this have been steadily climbing over the years, with Honda's RC30 having been the icebreaker for this market.

While multi-day motorcycle auctions featuring hundreds of lots have long been par for the course at least a few times a year in the USA, they're a relatively recent development in the UK.

Of the 488 lots, some 300 are motorcycles with a significant percentage coming from deceased estates or collections. The largest of the latter includes around 80 bikes.

See the full catalogue here.

Yamaha R7 OW-02 specs

Honda RC30 specs

Trusting the Tiger, October 5

              tiger 2002

Recently rescued from our archives: A Travels with Guido column on why you should trust the wheels underneath you.

More Travels stories here.

Our shed: Kawasaki ZX-10 first-gen, October 4

Kawasaki's first-generation ZX-10 is often overlooked or under-estimated and we reckon it's potentially a great ride. Join us for a quick spin on the example that was in our shed.

See our future collectible feature.

50 years of Jupitalia, October 3

jupiters travels

This Friday, October 6, marks 50 years since Ted Simon departed London on the journey that became Jupiter's Travels and a lifetime dedicated to motorcycle travel and publishing the often philosophical aspects of his experiences. Raise a glass...

See Ted's website.

Twin spinner, October 2


We reckon there is a huge amount of appeal in small-bore motorcycles where the maker has clearly gone to a lot of effort to make them look sporty and give them much of the tech you'd expect in a bigger bike.

The 1971 Yamaha HS1-B we recently spotted in Euroa is a great example. Though just 90cc, it's a twin-cylinder two-stroke with twin carburettors, five-speed transmission, plus full instrumentation including speedo and tacho. Hot stuff.

yamaha hs1b

Made 1968 to 1971, the HS1 (below) and HS1-B (above) series weighed just 89kg (195lb) and claimed 7.7kW (10hp) for a top speed of around 85km/h (53mph). See the Yamaha HS1 page.

yamaha hs1

Eighties glam – Suzuki GS1000G, October 1


Don't you miss the colour schemes from the late 1970s through to early eighties? We do.

This 1981 Suzuki GS1000G spotted in Euroa today typifies what you might have expected to see on muscle cars several years earlier and a trend that at times filtered through to motorcycles.

As for the model, it stands out as a big, bulletproof and comfortable (albeit heavy) ride that would make an outstanding classic to tour on. See the specs sheet at Motorcycle Specs.


Produced by AllMoto abn 61 400 694 722
Privacy: we do not collect cookies or any other data.

allmoto logo

Try our books...

Travels with Guido







Email newsletter


News archive


Our Bikes stories

Travels with Guido columns


About AllMoto

Email me