Retrobike7 min read
THE French CONNECTION
IT IS ironic that safety-minded Switzerland, where you get fined for going 2km/h over the speed limit, should have produced one of the greatest sports bikes of the past half-century, the Egli-Vincent V-twin, invented in 1969 by Fritz Egli. It’s even
Retrobike5 min read
First Time Lucky
This stunning Honda cafe racer has all the hallmarks of a world-class professional build, but was owner-built by 34-year-old industrial designer Jake Rypien in a communal workshop in downtown Melbourne. Amazingly, it is Jake’s second-only bike and hi
Retrobike4 min read
Best Of British
WHEN bespoke builder CCM launched its new Spitfire range of motorcycles in 2016, based on an exquisite, hand-welded carbon-steel frame (coated in clear lacquer), a torquey 600cc single-pot mill and sprinkled with glorious custom details, it made head
Retrobike8 min read
Indian Summer
OK, I go to kill the Corvette!” exclaimed 69-year-old Gonzalo ‘El Gallego’ Alonso. The Cuban donned his aviator-style leather helmet and goggles, dusted off his 1937 Indian Daytona Racer, and headed to a date with infamy in a clandestine race on the
Retrobike6 min read
Tribute
AFTER another brush with bankruptcy, MV Agusta has been acquired by Russian investor Timur Sardarov. His rescue mission will allow MV to continue offering a tantalising array of new models combining leading-edge engineering with arresting design for
Retrobike3 min read
The Motorcycle Thief
ADMITTEDLY, security was never tight at Mal’s place, so he takes his share of the blame for what happened, but as he has learned nothing, security is still a bit slack at his place. To open the back gate, all you needed to do was push it. And that’s
Retrobike1 min read
Original Isn’t Always Best
MV AGUSTA made just 402 750 Sports between 1972 and 1975. They were fast for their day and always ultra-desirable, one recently selling in England for $172,000. That said, I have ridden a couple of original early-’70s 750S MVs in the past, but always
Retrobike3 min read
Street Party
RIDE ON is no longer held on a rooftop like the first two were (Best In The West, Retrobike #24) as that building has been demolished. But the show’s reputation as Perth’s premier old-school cool and classic iron bike show is undiminished, with its s
Retrobike5 min read
Silver Shotgun
BRETT Spinucci has been riding motorcycles for 40 years, but his relationship with them goes back even further. “My older brother came home with a BSA 650 when I was about eight and somehow conned my parents into letting him take me for a ride around
Retrobike4 min read
New Kid On The Block
ROYAL Enfield’s eagerly-anticipated 650 twin has been slow in making its way Down Under, but now it’s here. LAMS-approved, it purports to be all things to lots of people, including customisers. It’s not a million miles from Triumph’s classic vertical
Retrobike1 min read
Survivor
THE New Enfield Cycle Company was incorporated in 1897 in Redditch, Worcestershire, as a bicycle manufacturer. It built its first motorcycle in 1901 and first car in 1902. The cars were a flop and soon hived off, but the Royal Enfield motorbikes caug
Retrobike3 min read
Throttle Stomp
THE inaugural Throttle Stomp was a three-day event held over the first weekend in January at the Bairnsdale Motorplex in Victoria. The event comprised 1/8th-mile drags, dirt and bitumen for pre-1970 cars and bikes. The cars varied from hot rods, rat
Retrobike5 min read
CALIFORNIA Dreaming
NO OTHER motorcycle has formed the basis for so many variations down the years as the twin-cylinder Triumph. From helping invent the cafe racer in the Swinging ’60s and winning the Daytona 200, Montjuich 24 Hours and Isle of Man Production TT races,
Retrobike4 min read
Anglo American
REGULAR readers will pick this lithe creation as the work of Max Hazan, of Hazan Motorworks in Los Angeles. We’ve featured three of Max’s bikes in the past. All were entirely one-off builds inspired by each particular engine and where Max’s muse happ
Retrobike4 min read
Bare Essentials
WELL, here’s another one you don’t see everyday, a cafe racer based on Husqvarna’s short-lived Nuda 900R. Eh? The what? The Nuda was Husqvarna’s first road bike in 50 years, developed when the company was briefly owned by BMW. The Supermotard-style s
Retrobike1 min read
Tasty Swedes
HUSQVARNA was a Swedish armaments manufacturer founded near the town of Huskvarna in 1869. It started building bicycles in the late 19th century and motorcycles in 1903. It added its own engine factory in 1920 and enjoyed some racing success in the e
Retrobike2 min read
G'day
YOU don’t see a lot of Crocker V-twin motorcycles anywhere in the world. Just over 100 were hand-built in Los Angeles between 1936 and 1941, and maybe 65 survive. The last Crocker to sell at auction, in Las Vegas in January, went for $US704,000, or j
Retrobike7 min read
Jumbo Jet
FRIEDEL Münch was a former Luftwaffe aircraft mechanic who, in the early 1960s, began designing an inline four-cylinder motorcycle based on a pair of Horex Imperator vertical twins atop a common crankcase. He’d cut his engineering teeth during German
Retrobike3 min read
SLOW Pokes
DESPITE being no longer in production, the number of CT110 Honda postie bikes getting around seems to be multiplying like rabbits, with plenty out in force for the 5th Annual Postie Bike Nationals held in September last year in Maitland in the NSW Hu
Retrobike4 min read
El Duderino
THE BIG LEBOWSKI is a 1998 crime comedy from the Coen brothers starring Jeff Bridges as pot-smoking slacker, 10-pin bowling enthusiast and all-round legend Jeffrey Lebowski, known to all and sundry as The Dude. He also goes by His Dudeness, Duder or
Retrobike4 min read
HORSES for CORSER
TWO-TIME World Superbike champion Troy Corser marked the 20th anniversary of the Goodwood Revival on September 8-9 by thundering to victory in the Barry Sheene Memorial Trophy — the world’s most prestigious historic road race — which this year catere
Retrobike2 min read
G'day
IF THERE are two common threads to my lifelong obsession with motorcycles, they are Nortons and Ducatis. Ever since 1978 when I upgraded to my first Commando, and 1982 when I bought my first 900SS, there’s almost always been one or the other in the s
Retrobike4 min read
Salt Shaker
IT’S fair to say that most clubman race bikes are built to do a job rather than win trophies in a concours, and land speed racers are no different. While there are enough exceptions to prove the rule, many race bikes pass the 50m test but present as
Retrobike4 min read
Going Commando
WE don’t see a lot of custom bikes built around Norton Commandos, especially compared with classic Triumphs. There is a reason for this. At first glance elegantly simple, Commandos are relatively complex beasts, especially in terms of their ‘Isolasti
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