We have a couple of bikes going up on the auction site this week that we needed some more photos of, so I put the keyboard away for a morning and got some quality time on a motorcycle this Sunday morning. Here’s how it went!
Specifically, we needed photos of an Aprilia RSV1000R Bol d’Or and a Ducati 1199 Superleggera. So I took the former, my partner Adam at Iconic took the latter and our head mechanic (Steve the Professor) took a Honda RC30. Nathan was with us on a Kawasaki Z900 that we’re testing as part of an upcoming comparison with the BMW F900R and Yamaha MT-09. These three bikes made for a good start to the day! The Aprilia is adorned in a polarizing livery – just 200 of these were built and the purple/white/red paint job is a replica of the Aprilia racebike in the 2006 Bol d’Or 24 hour race.
This Lamborghini Countach is owned by Matt Farah of The Smoking Tire – here’s a bunch of beautiful photos of it. Amusingly, the doors have been retrofitted so that they can be opened up with a remote.
Thanks to the magic of the internet, I can share that it was built by Derek Jenkins, the former Chief Designer for Volkswagen in America. Here’s some more information and better photos.
Have you seen Marc’s bikes before? Here’s a video I filmed of him discussing his Crocetti Speciale 1971 Triumph Daytona at the 2017 Quail Motorcycle Gathering:
I still can’t find an angle I like on the new Streetfighter V4. Nathan just shot stills of it for a review on Ultimate Motorcycling that’ll be coming out this week – he says it looks better in person, but I don’t agree. He also says it’s surprisingly comfortable, which I hope to verify someday soon.
Our group had a couple of Honda RC30s with us. The one with the black windshield is highly-modified and has Freddie Spencer’s signature on the front fender. It’s also currently for sale.
We rode up to the Rock Store and I finally got to try the Aprilia out in some twisties. It’s a little heavy compared to some of the Japanese literbikes of the time, but the trade off is that there’s more room for a 6’2″ rider like myself. I quickly grew fond of the ~140 horsepower V-Twin motor – I love v-twin superbikes. Sure they give up some top end to the in-line 4s, but I don’t care if I’m not on a track, and frankly I prefer the extra torque coming out of corners. I love the Bol d’Or livery and I I enjoyed my brief time with the RSV1000R. My only complaint was the rear brake, which is seriously lacking in feel and power, though I haven’t ridden any other RSVs so I don’t know if that’s a problem with the model in general or this specific bike.
Other highlights of the visit to the Rock Store included catching up with Thad Wolff, as well as this minty CB.
This was Norton’s first rotary-powered motorcycle made available to the public, and they sold just 100 examples. Norton claimed that the 588cc air-cooled Wankel engine produced 79 horsepower, good for a top speed of 130 mph.
Both of these machines are owned by a gentleman named Steve (I’m 98% sure I remembered his name correctly, apologies to him if I didn’t) who saw me admiring the Classic. He mentioned that he also has a Hercules W2000, a Norton Commander, and a Norton F1 – in fact, he has every rotary-powered production motorcycle except one: the exceedingly-rare (just 48 made over two runs of 38 and then 10) Van Veen OCR 1000. I’ve only been able to feature one for sale over the years.
I’m a sucker for the Tuono Racing – a 1-of-200 limited edition built in 2003, before Aprilia started applying the “Factory” moniker on their up-spec machines. According to this Motorcyclist review, just 50 of the 200 were imported to the US.