A bit of history and some stories about vintage bikes for sale

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1966 Pannonia T250

How cool is this!!!Screen Shot 2015-04-30 at 7.24.41 AMI have never heard of a Pannonia and history is a bit hard to come by. Here is what I have learned and it’s quite interesting. Pannonia is a Hungarian company that is actually called (or was at one time) Manfred Weiss Steel and Metal Works. It changed names a number of times over the years. Motorbikes came from there under the names Cspepel and Danuvia as well.

Pannonia is actually the geographic region where the bikes were built. more exactly, it’s in Csepel a neighborhood of Budapest which is located on an island on the Danube river. Enough of your geography lesson for the day…there will be a quiz in the morning.Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 8.42.32 AM

They started building bicycles (as many motorcycle builders did) in 1928. In 1931 they built a 100cc motor and attached it to a bicycle frame, again not uncommon in the early days. True motorcycle building didn’t begin until 1947, after World War Two. The bikes were actually quite successful in Eastern Europe at the time. Motorcycle production ended in 1975.

Now, the Duna sidecar was made by the Hungarian Boat and Crane Co. Looks way cool and comfortable. I really dig the nose of the car.

The bike I found on ebay this morning has had a recent restoration and looks absolutely beautiful. It runs and rides great. It’s only a 250cc but you know what, for running around town, a casual Sunday ride…just great.

Click on the pics below for more pictures and info.

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Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 8.35.47 AM1966 Pannonia T250

1967 Harley Davidson Sportster

If you’re not picturing Elvis and Ann Margaret on this bike you’re too young to buy it, go to another website. Unless, if your parents have brought you up properly, you can stay.Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 7.43.49 AM

Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 7.39.16 AMI love Sportsters. I love the free revving, the quick throttle…Sportsters are just plain fun. Thats what they were designed to be in 1957. Think about it, the Sportster has been around for nearly 70 years. It has evolved but at its heart, a Sporty is still a Sportster. My daily ride is a Sportster powered Buell…I love it! Well, the electrics kind of suck but a couple thousand dollars later and…nevermind, I love the motor.

Over the decades Harley Davidson has tried everything to increase their market…Italian singles (I still want a Sprint 350…what a great Cafe Racer platform!), off-road two strokes (I really did love the Baja 100…what a blast to ride!!), the little Hummer two stroke (post world war two) and the partnership with Porsche for the V-Rod. But, the basic design, the feel and the ride since God was a child (no blasphemy here…) is what makes a Harley Davidson a Harley Davidson. They know their market.Screen Shot 2015-04-23 at 7.39.32 AM

I found a super cool Sportster on ebay this morning. It needs some love but not much I hope. It’s a runner, looks great and would be a great ‘Sunday Go to Meetin’ ride. Honestly, this is just a very cool bike…I love LOVE the white seat!!!

Click on the pics below for a bit more info and the pics. Oh, and yeah I know the picture of Ann and Elvis aren’t on a Harley but you really can picture can’t you?

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Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 7.52.51 AM1967 Harley Davidson Sportster

1932 Indian Scout

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.35.12 AMThe Indian Scout. When it first showed up in 1920 it was light, it was fast and for it’s time it handled great. Some called it the most important Indian model after the Chief. Starting in 1931 in the midst of the Great Depression, Indian like all other manufacturers were looking for ways to save money and keep going. What Indian did was set up their three models, the Scout, the Chief and the Four to all fit in the same frame. It was cost effective for sure and while it didn’t harm the Chief or the Four it certainly didn’t help the smaller Scout motor.

The new for 1932 Scout became less rider friendly. With the new chassis the bike didn’t have the same agile feeling of the previous Scout models. The new Scout was a 430 LB, 22 HP, 3 Speed Handshift model. But still, a great motorcycle. What many don’t know is there was also a 600 cc version. Not too many were made and it wasn’t a profitable project.

The Scout model has been resurrected by the new Indian Motorcycle Company and looks to be a great bike, one that should surely live up to it’s heritage.

Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.35.43 AMI found a really nice Scout on ebay. Mechanically sound and ready for restoring or ride it as it is. Me, I’d ride it as it is rust and all!
Click on the pics below for more info and more pictures. It ain’t cheap…but well worth it!

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Screen Shot 2015-04-08 at 8.40.21 AM1932 Indian Scout

1975 Honda Gold Wing with Watsonian Sidecar

Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 6.11.31 PMI really dig Gold Wings with Sidecars. My favorite by far is a ’75 GL1000 with a Vetter Terraplane that I saw at the Griffith Park rally a few years back. Picture a Cafe Racer sidecar rig…it was perfect!

So today I found a more sedate (classic) rig on ebay. A nice ’75 Wing with a Watsonian Sidecar. Now, it is really pretty cool. It’s got a couple of different covers, to handle different weather conditions ands a very comfy seat. The bike has been given some good love but needs a bit more, not much but a little.Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 6.13.47 PM

If you have never driven a sidecar rig (and the proper term is driving, not riding), what a blast! Your whole view of the motorcycling world changes instantly. Flying the car first time, makes you pull over and check your underwear. The first time you fly the car with some one in the car…well, you’re both checking your undies and your passenger is calling a cab. By the way, ‘flying the car’ means the sidecar is off the ground as you go around a right hand turn. Great fun seeing the look on your passengers face when all of a sudden they feel like they are on a carnival ride!
It’s funny, but when you are driving a Sidecar rig, everybody looks at you differently. You’re not a biker anymore and your cool factor just went up 100%Screen Shot 2015-03-28 at 10.34.17 AM

This is a nice rig, a little pricey but cool factor doesn’t always come cheap. Click on the pics below for more pictures and info

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Screen Shot 2015-03-27 at 7.49.45 AM1975 Honda Gold Wing with Side Car

1934 Matchless Sport 250

Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 8.46.59 AMThere is a lot of history when it comes to Matchless, much like all British makes. Most builders seemed to start out building bicycles then added motors. Some built their own motors, others sourced motors from outside. I have written much about Matchless here before so I’ll be brief this time.
Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 8.51.39 AMMatchless started in 1899 and kept producing bikes through 1966 (some were sold as 1967 models). Matchless was really well known for their single cylinder machines (of which I have a great affinity for) and the last of the singles were sold in ’67. The G50, the G80…classic machines that won the Isle Of Mann TT in 1907 and then again in 1909 and 1910.
Matchless was started by Henry Collier and later his two sons started racing the machines. 1907 Charlie won the Isle of Mann TT Singles race and then brother Harry won the 1909 and 1910 TT’s.
Besides all the history around Matchless and the marriage with AJS is that Matchless supplied the V-Twin motor that powered the Morgan 3-wheeler! Cool.Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 8.41.28 AM

I found on ebay this morning a wonderful example of the beauty of simplicity. The 1934 Matchless Sports 250. It sported a stunning 2.46 HP and had a top speed of somewhere between 50 and 55 MPH!!! My lawnmower has 10HP and could maybe go 5 MPH?! I guess its all in how you gear it and what you want it to do, but I am truly amazed at the speed that 1934 2.46 HP motorcycle can attain. Now here is the interesting thing about this motorcycle when it was new…you paid extra for the horn and the speedo. I guess at that time, you just rode past someone yelled at them, flipped them off and didn’t care how fast you were going. Ah, the beauty of simplicity.

This Matchless is truly beautiful. It looks like it has been gone over very nicely and in my guesstimation is selling at a very fair price. Click on the pics below for more pictures and some more info

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Screen Shot 2015-03-23 at 8.50.29 AM1934 Matchless Sports 250

Vintage Harley Davidson Mother Lode

Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 8.35.49 AMI don’t quite know where to start here…what an amazing collection of bikes and parts. I mean, really, if you are into old Harley Davidson’s either for your own use (now that requires a full psychiatric evaluation) or you own a motorcycle salvage business (which may also require professional counseling…my daughter is a licensed therapist her number is **&^%$U&% she can help she has been around this sickness long enough) or lastly you build custom Harley’s. I mean you get all these parts and complete bikes and the 20′ container they are stored in. It doesn’t get any easier.Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 8.37.25 AM

Honestly, it’s a lot of money to buy this container but from what I have seen on the market lately, so far, it’s a hell of a deal.
Click on the pics below for more pictures and more info. This really is somebody’s idea of heaven!

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Screen Shot 2015-03-19 at 8.22.45 AMVintage Harley Davidson Mother Lode

1948 Hiawatha Super Doodlebug

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 7.46.26 AMIt’s Spring and a young mans fancy turns to…a Doodlebug? What the heck, why not? If it’s got two wheels and a motor it’s gonna be fun!
I’m a big fan of motorbikes that make you smile the minute see them or sit on them. Motorbikes that remind you of when you were a kid, or the one that you rode to and from school or took a girl on her first motorcycle ride.Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 7.50.15 AM

Those of us that grew up in the 50’s and 60’s remember minibikes all too well. Taco, Mustang, Bonanza, there were a bunch back then. Kits to build your own were advertised in Popular Mechanics and Boys Life magazines. If you wanted one, you take the money you made on your paper route and buy the one the kid down the street had (and let you ride a couple of times…without your mom knowing) but has outgrown, or your dad would build you one from scratch with an old lawnmower motor. However you got one, you rode it all over the neighborhood. Through Mrs.Wilsons flower garden, did doughnuts in Mr.Jones perfectly manicured front yard and practiced your wheelie skills. And, you only got brought home by the police once.Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 7.52.33 AM
I found this neat little Doodlebug on ebay this morning and started thinking about finding Ozzie and Harriet or Leave it to Beaver episodes on Netflix. Instead, I did some research. Doodlebugs were manufactured between 1946 and 1948 by Beam Manufacturing in Webster City, Iowa. The idea was to create a cheap form of transportation following World War 2 and to compete with the Cushman model sold at Sears and Roebuck (under the Allstate name).
Beam sold the Doodlebug under the brand name Hiawatha through Gambles Department stores for a whopping $69.95! For your $70 you got a 1 1/2 horsepower giggle. They were also through Western Auto stores under the brand name Western Flyer.
It’s estimated that are probably only about 1000 Doodlebugs left in the world and yet they have a very popular following. The Doodlebug Club of America has an annual reunion that seems to grow bigger each year.Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 7.51.44 AM
The Doodlebug I found today has had a complete restoration and looks great. At first I thought the asking price was crazy, but through my searching I found that it was right in line with all the others on the market. So…if a 1 1/2 horsepower high giggle factor bit of two wheel history and fun blows your skirt up then click on the pics below for more pictures and more info. And then have fun letting your grandkid ride through your neighbors flower garden!

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Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 7.58.58 AM1948 Hiawatha Super Doodlebug

1965 Hodaka ACE 90

Screen Shot 2015-03-11 at 6.19.51 PM“LUUUUCCCCYYYY…it’s time to go!!!” “But Ricky, the RV isn’t ready and we don’t have any way to get around once we get to the KOA”
“Lucy, we have everything we need in the RV…what else do you want?”
“I may want to go shopping? I don’t want to have to carry bags of ice and firewood…I want to have fun!”

It’s that time of year again. We’re all getting ready for spring and summer vacations. Those of us that have Medicare and RV’s are planning one thing and our kids are planning something entirely different that usually ends up on the internet and they have to explain it to us when our fellow church members tell us about it. Question…what are our fellow church members doing looking at those sort of internet video’s anyway??? Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 12.30.22 PM

Ok, back to Lucy wanting a motorcycle, what you need to get around the KOA, get some ice for margaritas, a little stack of firewood or a quick jaunt into town for a new polka dot skirt is not a big touring bike, you need/want is a fun little bike that will fit on the front bumper of your truck with a camper or the back bumper of your motorhome,(hell, even inside your motorhome!) You need a bike that is easy to start, easy to ride and more importantly is as cool as you.

Ladies and gentlemen, I bring you the Hodaka Ace 90.
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I can’t think of one rider that when you mention Hodaka motorcycles they don’t start smiling. It may be because of the name, it may be that someone they knew had one, or maybe they themselves had one. People that have been around motorcycles since before ECU’s, TractionControl, Wheelie Control,ABS and every other electronic doodad to make riding a motorcycle more fun (?) know the joy of just riding a motorcycle.

Hodaka is often credited with creating the ‘Trail Bike’ craze here in America. And you know what, probably so. Yeah, there were small bikes that were fun to ride before the ACE 90, but there was just something about that little bike that just clicked with everyone.

Was it the chrome tank? The easy start motor ? The Red frame? Who cares. It was a great motorbike and the company went on to create a whole bunch of fun bikes to ride. My old racing buddy and friend Ted rode a Thunderhog to and from work everyday. And chances are still does…mainly because it’s more fun than his Triumph Trident!

I found a really neat little ACE 90 on ebay this morning that would really be great on the front or back bumper of your motorhome this year. Get around town, do some sightseeing… Actually it would be more fun under your butt everyday. Better yet, go do one of those ‘Family Enduro’s’ on it. I have a story about that sort of incident on my website blog somewhere.

The ACE 90 here is in really great shape, its ready to ride right now. It has been gone through, has some improvements and really, if you’re looking for a fun little motorcycle to ride around town, do some casual off-road riding, you really can’t do any better than this. There is a HUGE online community devoted to Hodakas. These are truly the most fun motorcycles ever built. I don’t know why…but they are!!!

Click on the pics below for more pictures and info. This is a very cool little bike

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Screen Shot 2015-03-10 at 7.57.52 AM1965 Hodaka ACE 90

1971 Speedway ‘Widow Maker’

Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 7.41.12 AMA mini-bike called the “Widow Maker”…yep, 80cc can certainly do that…make sure your life insurance policy is paid up. OK, all sarcasm aside, an 80cc mini-bike is a hoot to ride but…can it truly live up to it’s name?
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For those of you that have watched the movie “On Any Sunday”…probably so many times your wife and kids are sick of it (and if you haven’t you should) you have seen the Widow Maker Hillclimb in Utah. 80cc probably wouldn’t make it that far up, especially one with a single speed transmission…100 feet? Ok, again, no more sarcasm.
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I actually started my dirt bike career on an 80cc Yamaha. Truthfully, the first 30 minutes on the homemade track in Malibu that little bike scared the crap out of me but then….the rest is history. It was more of a motorcycle than a mini bike bit mini bikes are sooooo much fun. Pocket Bikes, mini Road Racers (my good friend and old road racing buddy Erik) rode a pocket bike for a year or two on the Willow Springs Go Kart track and he had way too much fun. Small bikes are supposed to be fun!!! And this Speedway looks the part.

Speedway was manufactured during the early 70’s in Ohio, they were trying to give Rupp mini-bikes some competition. Rupp was the King Kong of the Mini World…I had a Taco mini-bike for a while, I thought ‘they’ were the Mini Kings?

I found this neat little Speedway Widow Maker on ebay this morning. It’s a very cool little mini dirt bike. It’s gonna need some TLC but, if you have a young kid at home, got a big back yard or a neighbor that does, and you’ve got the time get this little sled running and looking good…the fun factor is way up there. The sad part is you’re going to have to wait till your kid goes to school or bed to ride it!

Clock on the pics below for a bit more info (not much) and a bunch more pictures. Got a Five year old kids birthday coming up? A favorite nephew or your own…this is a great way to start!

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Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 7.23.49 AM1971 Speedway Widow Maker

1960 Marusho Lilac

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 9.09.29 AMHave you ridden a Marusho? Have you ever seen a Marusho at your local Sunday ride breakfast stop? Have you even heard of Marusho? Well, I have heard of Marusho, I have never seen one and I haven’t ridden one. But damn, they look really cool or is unique the right word?

Very typical of Japanese motorcycles of the time (the 1950’s and 60’s) they were copies of either European or British bikes. Small to mid-size bikes and truthfully, marginal quality control. Make it, make it cheap and sell ’em. I imagine that many of you remember the term ‘Jap Crap’. Made in Japan was almost the kiss of death…especially if you ever had to extract a really cheesy screw out of a Honda CB350 clutch cover!! But I digress into personal history with early Japanese bikes….Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 9.02.34 AM

Marusho has a pretty interesting history…interesting enough to make me want to find one. Maybe.

Masashi Ito worked for for Soichiro Honda (Honda motorcycles) from 1930 to 1935 in his auto repair shop. After World War Two, Ito san started his own auto repair shop but was really more interested in motorcycles. In 1950 he built his first motorcycle. A 150cc single patterend after the German Zundapp of the time…it had a shaft drive which was a bit different, I would guess from his automotive experience.

Marusho built motorcycles from 1950 to 1967. During that period they built 31 different models and all but two were shaft drive. Every model I have seen is a derivation of a Euro model, which is typical of the era and the evolution of the Japanese motorcycle industry.During that time period Marusho built somewhere around 50,000 motorcycles.

They wanted to compete with Honda, but it was not in the cards. Honda went on to not only build motorcycles but cars , that actually were powered by motorcycle engines. We got the first one here in the states as a 600cc (the N600) in 1970 but they were also available in Japan as 350cc cars?! Crazy.Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 7.35.09 AM

And here is a good ‘Bike Night’ bar trivia question for you to get somebody to buy you another beer…first one, did they ever hear of a Marusho? If they did, why were they (the motorcycles) actually named ‘Lilac’? It was Ito san’s wifes favorite flower.

The really nice Marusho Lilac 250 V-Twin I found on ebay this morning is really nice. This is a bike that was inspired by the German Victoria Bergmeister. It is a horizontal V-Twin (kind of Guzzi-ish) and in beautiful condition. As much as I like to envision bikes as really fun cafe racers…this isn’t one of them. I would want to ride this one just as it is.

Hold the phone!!! Get back Jack! Look at this bike…do you see a future Honda? I do. Does the CX500 come to mind? HMMM…somebody is bound to email me with the fact that it came from Moto Guzzi or Victoria Bergmeister, yeah, yeah I know that but…Remember Ito worked for Soichiro Honda and built the V-Twin long before Honda came out with the CX model.

Nonetheless…this is a very cool bike that seems to be selling for a very reasonable price and would be a “buy it and ride it”. When you stop at your favorite motorcycle hangout on a Sunday morning other riders are either going to walk by because they have no clue as to what they are seeing or you are going to have guys taking pictures and wondering who owns it because that want to know about it.

Click on the pictures below for more info and more pictures. This is a very interesting motorcycle.

Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.23.51 AMOk, I lied, I or my friend Erik, would turn this into an awesome Cafe Racer. Keep the tank, the logo and let people wonder.

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Screen Shot 2015-03-05 at 8.12.00 AM1960 Marusho Lilac

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