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1959 BMW R69

In Germany, Standard by Mazlow PetosaLeave a Comment

These days, almost anyone can find a specific make and model listed for sale within minutes. What is significantly harder, and often takes weeks or months, is finding the right bike for you. Especially when it comes to classic bikes, the provided documentation can be the difference between a great investment and a never ending hellfire fueled by cash. This …

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Rotary Engine – 1976 Suzuki RE-5

In Japan, Standard by Mathieu Guyot-SionnestLeave a Comment

In 1919, young German engineer Felix Wankel started thinking about an engine that could be an alternative to the classic internal combustion engines. The engine would still work via internal combustion but instead of pistons and rods, Wankel thought about a simple rotor that would activate a shaft. Wankel got his first patent in 1929, and 28 years later (1957) …

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SN #1 – 1998 Bimota Mantra DB3

In Italy, Standard by AbhiLeave a Comment

8-13-2018 Update: Four years later, Rob B notes that this example (VIN: ZES1DB314WR000001) is back up for sale with a new owner (and it’s crossed the country in the process). There’s some additional details – apparently the previous owner removed the “complicated fuel pump system” so the bike is now just gravity fed. Mileage is up to 9,200 and the …

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1982 Honda FT500 Ascot

In Japan, Standard by Mathieu Guyot-SionnestLeave a Comment

No matter the definition, a “thump” evokes something rather violent and loud. From that word came the name “thumper”, a term used to describe a single cylinder bike, typically displacing 350-500cc, a specialty of British manufacturers with bikes like the Norton Manx or the BSA Gold Star. Thumpers were easy to maintain, had a lot of torque and were recognizable …

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1994 Honda CB1000

In Japan, Standard by AbhiLeave a Comment

In the early 90s, Suzuki and Kawasaki both had large-displacement naked standard bikes for riders that wanted decent ergos with reasonable power, and Honda had nothing to compete with. The story is that a few engineers at Honda thought they could compete something they called “Project Big 1”, a smooth rider with retro superbike styling. The project name stuck around …

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Two-Fer – 1979 and 1980 Yamaha XS1100

In Japan, Less than 5k, Standard by Mathieu Guyot-SionnestLeave a Comment

During the end of the ’70s, motorcycle manufacturers fought to create the most motors possible. After the 750cc and 900cc barriers were toppled, the next symbolic step was 1,000cc. Just like they did with the CB750, Honda were the first to beat that record thanks to its 1975 GL1000. In 1977 and 1978, Kawasaki and Suzuki responded to that with …

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1954 Matchless G80S

In England, Standard by Mazlow PetosaLeave a Comment

In this day and age, there are many similarities we take for granted that allow us to hop on any bike from recent history and go cruising down to the coffee shop. Some people try to stand out with modifications or custom bikes, but ultimately anyone with a license can get from A to B. However, there was a time …

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1973 Yamaha XS650

In Japan, Standard by Mathieu Guyot-SionnestLeave a Comment

You’re a motorcycle enthusiast, which is why you know the 70’s were a decisive decade for the motorcycle market. Reliability and performance steadily improved, there were more options, and because of that, prices were lower. We can essentially thank the Japanese brands for all of this. Every brand had their flagship – Yamaha’s would definitely be the XS650. Launched in …

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British Factory Custom – 1983 Triumph TSX 750

In England, Standard by AbhiLeave a Comment

By the dawn of the 1980s, Triumph was struggling to survive. New offerings from Japan left the once mighty Bonneville looking increasingly long in the tooth, and with the British marque’s bank accounts and credit lines rapidly diminishing, the company was on its last leg. A last ditch effort was taken to spruce up the Bonnie, but with limited resources …

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1979 Kawasaki Z650

In Japan, Less than 5k, Standard by Mathieu Guyot-SionnestLeave a Comment

Based on the success of the Z1 that put Kawasaki at the top of the large displacement motorcycle market, the Japanese manufacturer decided to update their offering in the mid-size engine market. But unlike the big bikes – where the Z1 was nearly by itself at 900+ cubic centimeters, the mid-size market was already full of models: the Honda CB400, …

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1983 Yamaha XJ900RK Seca

In Japan, Standard by AbhiLeave a Comment

Post Sale Update: This Seca sold for $3,850 after 44 bids on eBay. Offered in the US for just one year, the XJ900RK Seca is now a rare find. You might be asking, why was the bike only produced for one year? Two reasons: First, in ’84, Yamaha released the FJ1100, which was much better suited for the needs of …