Needs Some Work – 1971 Speedway Silver Shadow

In America, Small Displacement by Abhi0 Comments

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For many minibike collectors, the Silver Shadow is as good as it gets. Speedway called it the world’s fastest mini-cycle thanks to a 12.5 horsepower Sachs 2-stroke motor and a weight of just 147 pounds. It’s also incredibly rare – I’ve seen estimates that just 22 were built. Somehow, one of them ended up at a salvage yard and the current seller picked it up, not knowing that it was a collectible. It did not have a motor so the seller sourced a rebuilt one and this bike is still going to need a little bit of work before it’s ready to frighten riders again. But that just means you can snap this up for relatively cheap – I’ve featured one in the past that did not meet reserve despite bidding up to $7,500!

Speedway was a small (both in terms of numbers of employee and the type of two-wheelers they made) bike manufacturer formed by a few defectors from Rupp. They boldly started a factory in the same town of Mansfield, Ohio and went on to make some classic minibikes like the Scorpion and the Widowmaker. The 125cc Sachs motor was paired with a 5-speed transmission – a specification chart in the seller’s listing shows that top-speed was calculated to be 77.40 mph, which is much faster than I’d want to go on those 10″ wheels. Silver Shadows were built in 1970 and 1971 – the ’71 models differed in that they got a seat cowl.

This example is potentially street legal as it has a lighting kit that most Silver Shadows were not equipped with. But before you worry about that, you’ll have to make this a runner again. When the owner tried to sell this bike a couple of months ago, he noted that several parts were missing but it looks like over the last few weeks he’s been able to collect many of them through the Old Mini Bikes forum. Now all that’s needed is the “carb tickler, drive chain and clutch lever.” The magneto and points will be included but they have not yet been installed. There’s a few minor repairs and some NOS parts, so this isn’t close to original. But when a bike is this rare, you don’t get many opportunities to be picky.

Find this Silver Shadow for sale in Austin, Texas with an unmet opening bid of $3,000

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