Call It The Sabre – 1977 Silk 700S Mk2

In England, Sport by AbhiLeave a Comment

Post Sale Update: After being relisted, this Silk sold for the BIN of $12,000.

When I visited the Sammy Miller Motorcycle museum this summer, one of the more interesting individuals I learned about was George Silk – a passionate fan of The Scott Motorcycle Company who thought that it would be a great idea to take the Scott motor (decades old at the time) and stuff it into a modern frame. If I’m being blunt, there’s a reason why you’ve probably never heard of this bike (it was insanely expensive). But, when it comes to two-stroke British motorcycles, this is probably as good as it gets.

Silk produced just 21 examples of his Scott-powered creation between 1971 and 1975 before he decided to utilize his own motor. He took “inspiration” from the Scott two-stroke parallel twin motor but modernized it so that it made 45 horsepower – over double the original figure. It was 50% more expensive than a Norton Commando, and the priciest production bike at the time. For more on this fascinating motorcycle, check out this comprehensive story on Odd Bike. As noted in that article, 45 horsepower wasn’t “earth shattering by modern standard, [but] you must keep in mind that an 850 Commando of the period made a claimed 53hp and weighed over 100lbs more than the Silk.

In 1977, the Mark 2 version was introduced, and it was given the model name of “Sabre”. The compression ratio was slightly increased so the motor now made 48 horsepower, but the price of the bike had nearly double to £2,500 by the time production was over in 1979. Across both Mark 1 and Mark 2 models, just 138 Silks were built – and barely any of them made it to the US like this one did.

This example (VIN: 63) has been with the current (and third) owner since 2004. Impressively, he took it from 450 miles to 8,873. This is said to come with an “extensive maintenance record and excellent provenance documenting it’s [sic] history – including a signed original letter from George Robert Silk dated October 11,1994 on Silk Machines letterhead confirming that the machine was built at Silk Works in June 1977”. While the bike is said to run and all the electrics work, the motor has an issue and the seller says the symptoms indicate either a failure of the ignition system or a main seal leak in the bottom end. The sale includes “numerous replacement parts in the way of pistons, gaskets etc.”, but this will either go to someone who wants to put it in a collection and admire the aesthetics or someone who can restore it and enjoy it as George Silk intended – on the road.

Find this Silk Sabre for sale in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania with a BIN of $12,000 or best offer