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

cafe racers

1974 John Player Norton Replica

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 8.54.46 AMI have written many times about motorcycles I have lusted after during my 50+ years of motorcycling. Some are worthy of my lust and others are just a Thursday night at the Pub talking with my other motorcycle junkie (in some cases it’s motorcycle junk) friends.  But, this particular Norton is one of my two obsessions, the Harley Davidson XLCR being the other.  I know I need to be sent to an institution.

The JPN has a history…a good one. In racing, one off motorcycles were the norm and the JPN was no exception.  In 1973 John Player cigarettes sponsored the Norton racing effort at the Isle Of Man , Peter Williams  won the Formula One 750 on one, beating the Honda 750! Online there is a great story from Cycle magazine about the history of the John Player Special. If you like Norton’s  it’s a good read.

Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 8.58.25 AMMy history with Norton is somewhat short. The man that started me in motorcycling his middle name was Norton, I have been part of a Bonneville Land Speed Record holding team (powered by Norton) for a decade, one of my closest motorcycle racing friends Scott Fabbro, took a vintage Norton to the IOM a year ago. The podcast interview, and it’s great, is at http://www.themotoworld.com. Screen Shot 2016-06-01 at 9.02.43 AM

The thing about the John Player Replica is that it is just a stone stock 850 Norton under fiberglass bodywork. Really, lift off the body work and there is the standard steel gas tank underneath, it has the standard steel frame. But you know what…who cares. It’s cool!  It’s nothing special but it is very special. There were only about 200 made, mostly for the US market and at that time, that particular styling and ergonomics were not all that popular. It only had 50hp, give or take, and in the horsepower craved (or depraved?) 70’s that was almost pedestrian …but, the Norton on a twisty road could leave most all higher horsepower bikes in it’s rearview mirrors.

I found a real beauty today on ebay. It’s been gone through, some basics and some upgrades. Here’s the deal, the seller is asking $22,000. Is it worth that? No way. Is it worth around $12-15K yep!! Click on the link below for a bunch more info..a bunch!  and more pics. It is a wonderful and rare motorcycle.

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1974+Norton+John+Player+Replica&icep_item=121997486890&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 8.13.34 AM

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Screen Shot 2016-05-27 at 8.13.19 AM1974 Norton John Player Replica</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1974+Norton+John+Player+Replica&item=121997486890&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”0


1970 Moto Guzzi Ambassador

This motorcycle has an odd cool factor. The bike I found on ebay today is an ex cop bike but you wouldn’t know it. This motorcycle is ripe for being a cafe racer or a very nice tourer. Right now, it is dead center. Perfect.

Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.30.34 AMThe Guzzi Ambassador truly is the do anything motorcycle. These bikes are stone reliable, steady as can be on the road and handle with perfect Italian precision. It is not as nimble as a Ducati of the time, but a Ducati of the time couldn’t take you across the continent as comfortably. The Guzzi Ambassador and Eldorado were the true work horses of the motorcycling stable, they would do the work but when you wanted some spirit, they were there for you. My former racing partner Steve Allen of Bevel Heaven a Vintage Ducati parts resource, had an Ambassador that he let me ride a few times and I loved it. This nice loping motor that had some spunk and the bike would go where you pointed it without wobbling, weaving or scaring the crap out of you.Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.34.15 AM

The bike I found today is worth the money the seller is asking. I don’t often feel that way. This motorcycle is beautiful and is ready to fly. It has been gone through top to bottom, front to back. You could either put a windshield and saddle bags on it and head across the country. Or…put a set of clip-on handlebars (better yet a set of Clubmans) a bikini fairing and a cool Cafe seat and have one of the coolest cafe racers around.

Click on the link below for a lot more info and a few more pictures

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1970+Moto+Guzzi+Ambassador&icep_item=121993899146&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.09.48 AM

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Screen Shot 2016-05-25 at 7.10.29 AM1970 Moto Guzzi Ambassador</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1970+Moto+Guzzi+Ambassador&item=121993899146&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;


1978 Honda CB750F

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 8.14.33 AMWhen I first started doing serious traveling on a motorcycle it was with my friend Bud Bay. We worked together at a Ski Shop here in Southern California.  Yes , it really does snow in Southern California. He worked part time because he was actually a tool designer by trade but also an avid skier and he liked getting the discounts on ski stuff and free lift passes to local resorts. If his wife would have let him he would have been a full time ‘Ski Bum’. Besides sharing the love of skiing we also shared motorcycling.

At the time I was riding a Kawasaki H2 750 and he a 1977 Honda CB750F. Bud helped me modify my H2 to get it to handle (?) and I helped him…well I don’t know how I helped him..oh yeah I got AAA maps.

Our first long trip was up to Seattle Washington to visit a dirt bike riding  friend of ours who had just opened up a Husqvarna dealership. We rode pretty much all back roads, camped in places that weren’t campgrounds and found great out of the way restaurants, Betty’s Breakfast Nook in Quincy California!. We got rained on, we froze our asses off and had an interesting (?) run in with a couple of guys in a bar in Oregon…they didn’t like people from California. We also traded bikes a couple times and that was my first experience on a Honda 750 Super Sport.Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 8.17.35 AM

First impression…what a boat! I was used to motorcycles that handled at a thought (my Brit Bike life…well remember this was a long time ago) and responded to the throttle faster than you could (my H2). But the second time we changed bikes was for a full day and  I got to be friends with the 750F. Bud had upgraded the suspension, did some carb work and it was actually a pretty fun bike to ride. Coming off a peaky high-strung two stroke to a gentleman’s Sport Tourer was  like going from dating Lady Gaga to dating Barbara Streisand. But, a couple of years later I found myself on a Honda 750.

This was the era of the ‘UJM’, Universal Japanese Motorcycle. If it wasn’t for the logo on the gas tank you couldn’t tell the difference between the Suzuki GS, the Kawasaki KZ or the Honda CB. Only Yamaha was fighting the trend with their Triples (but even they  finally succumbed).

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 8.18.51 AMThe CB750F in SOHC form was built from 75-78. From ’75 to ’77 it was was pretty much just a tarted up good old CB750, but in  1978 came the changes. Chassis and suspension changes, horsepower went from 49 to 58, everything got better. My feeling is that Honda was prepping the bike for the new motor coming in 1979.

I found a really nice ’78 model on ebay that is pretty simple to get it completely road ready. New tires and a full going through. But, with only a little over 17K miles this should be easy stuff…you hope. The CB750F is a great motorcycle and will take you miles and miles. Tweak the suspension and it becomes even more fun.Throw your saddlebags on and around the country you go with no worries.

Click on the link below for more info and pictures

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1978+Honda+CB750F&icep_item=222123558735&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 12.20.54 PM

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 12.21.26 PM1978 Honda CB750F</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1978+Honda+CB750F&item=222123558735&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;


1969 Suzuki T250 Hustler

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 7.43.45 AMThe little bike that could.When the original Suzuki X6 Hustler came out (aka the T20) it humbled bikes twice it’s size. Light (for it’s time) quick and affordable. What more could you ask for? Well, not much other than handling. The original X6 was typically Japanesse…it tended to wander around corners, get wiggly going over road bumpiness and the brakes were…adequate. Styling wise, a basic ’60’s bike. Chrome sided tank and all.Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 7.42.48 AM

Then came the T250 Hustler. Was it better? Yes. Was it more fun? Yes. Did it still need work? What bike of that era didn’t? 32 HP out of a little 250…super fun. A top speed of 90+ mph it easily outran a Honda 350!

A friend had bought an X6 (I thought he was drunk at the time…our college years) and challenged me to a race. I Currently had an RD250 in the garage so I accepted. Over beers we decided that we would have two races (when sober). One a Drag race (no, I didn’t wear a dress) and one a Canyon road. In the drag race, the Yamaha was no match for the Suzuki, I think I was coughing up blue smoke for days! Then came the Canyon ride.Now it was his turn to smell nothing but Castrol  two stroke oil.Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.57.34 AM

Small bore two strokes require involvement. You don’t just sit on them and ride around you have to work at it. The T250 Hustler was really fun to ride as long you knew what you were doing. Pay attention to what gear you’re in…your left foot gets a real work out on the Hustler. This a very peaky motor with great rewards when you work with it. What are the downsides to this motorcycle…handling. But, it doesn’t take much to really get this little bike to handle. New fork springs, better shocks and better swing arm bushings…then, you will leave that Yamaha in a blue smoke cloud on any road.Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 11.53.34 AM

I found a really nice T250 on ebay this morning that anybody that likes small fast bikes would love. Rebuilt through out , this little bike is ready for some serious fun. If you live in area like I do with a lot of tight canyons this is truly  a “High Giggle Factor” ride.

Click on the link below for more pictures and info. Have fun!!

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1969+Suzuki+T250&icep_item=182133177647&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 7.47.07 AM

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Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 7.46.44 AM1969 Suzuki T250</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1969+Suzuki+T250&item=182133177647&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;


1971 Triumph Trophy 650

Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 11.21.15 AMThe Triumph Trophy is all in all a great motorcycle. It has a great history beginning back in the 1950’s. Over the years (it was built up until 1973) it got many improvements from frame strengthening, bigger better brakes, engine improvements and became a movie star. Everyone of us that love motorcycles and those that are stuck living with us, have watched Steve McQueen try to outrun the Germans  and jump a barbed wire fence in the movie The Great Escape. All done on a Triumph Trophy.Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 11.24.54 AM

When I started racing in the desert there were a lot of guys riding big British singles and twins. The BSA Gold Star and the Triumph Trophy being the most popular. The Trophy became well known as the ‘Desert Sled’.Screen Shot 2016-05-13 at 11.29.00 AM My step dad (who infected me with the motorcycle sickness) rode one for a couple of years and then passed it to me..looking back, I really think he didn’t like me. He first put me on a Bultaco and then a Desert Sled. Every time he thinks about those years he’s got to be laughing his ass off.

1971 brought the biggest and not necessarily the most popular changes. First we start with the ‘Oil In Frame’ . Previous models had a separate oil tank. The oil in frame design did lose some weight but also oil capacity and so the engine tended to run a bit hotter and oil usage became greater…wait a minute, my Triumphs had so much oil leaking that I never had to do an oil change…I was always putting new oil in. OK, I’m kidding here (kind of…)

The ’71 model got a better frame and it did handle quite a bit better, the one problem…the new front brake. The conical brake was really good but it did require pretty regular attention to keep it up to snuff. But here is the big part, the electrics. There is an old joke, why do the English drink warm beer? Because Lucas makes the refrigerators. Hah!  The electrics were a problem but the following year upgrades became available and they got better, you didn’t have to ride home in the dark. Sadly the Trophy  was discontinued the following year. The Trophy is a really good motorcycle.

I found a really nice one at a reasonable price on ebay today. This bike has only 2482 miles, not much but for some reason the top end has been rebuilt. A few upgrades made but other than that it’s a nice stock bike. Well worth a good look.

Click on the link below for more pictures and info.

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1971+Triumph+Trophy&icep_item=262431126188&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.25.09 AM

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Screen Shot 2016-05-12 at 7.25.27 AM1971 Triumph Trophy</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1971+Triumph+Trophy&item=262431126188&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”>1971 Triumph


1977 Yamaha XS750

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 7.54.17 AMThis is one of the great motorcycles. But….

It had to compete with the mighty Z1 from Kawasaki, the CB750 from Honda and the GT750 from Suzuki.  A pretty big hill to climb.

Yamaha already had the very popular RD series of small two stroke twins, then came the “let’s beat the Brits at their own game” with XS650, but still needed something different. Let’s go after BMW. The TX series of 500’s and 750’s twins didn’t do all that well so again, the Tuning Fork followed Triumph and developed a Triple. It worked.

The XS 750 isn’t the most svelte in it’s class even compared to the Bavarian R75 but it works. The Yamaha Triple is a wonderful motor, it may not have  the horsepower of  other bikes in it’s class but what it does have is drivability. It isn’t peaky, It’s got just the right amount of torque to allow you to enjoy the ride solo or two up.

Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 8.51.26 AMThe XS 750 is a perfect platform for a classic Sport tourer. Reliable motor, shaft drive and good ergonomics make a great bike.  But then…with some suspension mods the XS becomes a Euro Sport. Is at all positive? No.The XS750 requires attention, you have to keep up with the service. Drive shaft and transmission fluids, the motor does tend to use oil (not as much as my Buell) but keep on top of those things and you have a great bike.

In the late ’70’s every motorcycle manufacturer was trying to out-do each other. In the bigger picture, the Japanese won, in the enthusiast world, Europe won. What Yamaha did was build a bridge and did a good job.

I found a really nice XS750 on ebay today that is a true ‘fly and ride’ bike. The bike is in Canada, you’re going have to do a bit a of paperwork but it will be worth it.  Think about it this way, you get a cool bike at a very good price and you get to ride it home…hit the whole Continental US and a bunch of Canada. How much fun can you have for a bike that will cost you less  than a grand??!

Click on the link below for more pictures and info. Happy riding

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1977+Yamaha+XS750+Triple&icep_item=182121615441&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 7.32.41 AM

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Screen Shot 2016-05-10 at 7.33.36 AM1977 Yamaha XS750 Triple</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1977+Yamaha+XS750+Triple&item=182121615441&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;


1982 Honda CX500 Turbo

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It all started in 1978 when Kawasaki America bolted a Turbocharger onto a Z1. This thing was a brute! When the Turbo  kicked in, you got kicked off if you weren’t holding…tight!

In the early ’80’s we were all power hungry and the manufacturers were more than happy do accommodate us. Turbocharging seemed to get most bang for the buck so all the Big Four jumped on the Bandwagon. Suzuki with the XN85, Yamaha with the Seca Turbo, Kawasaki with their GPZ Turbo ( bit more tame  than the original), and Honda with the CX500 Turbo. None of them lasted very long but while they  were here they were sure fun.Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 7.27.07 AM

The basic Honda CX500 was as basic in so many ways and pretty ugly in others. At it’s best it was a good Commuter bike, a really good commuter bike. When Honda went the Turbo route the CX got some pretty futuristic bodywork some suspension upgrades including anti-dive front forks and became what was known at the time “The Gentlemans Turbo”. It put out a modest 82 HP, modest my ass…for a 500 it was awesome! It was the first bike to employ computer controlled fuel injection but, MPG wasn’t all that great but who cared , you were having fun. There is a wise old saying, “Horsepower costs money, How fast can you afford to go?”.

One of the big things (problems?) of turbocharging at that time was the ‘Turbo-lag’. You twist the throttle  and you wait and then WHAM the turbo kicked in…off you go. The Honda was far and away the smoothest of the bunch but it was still there. The CX Turbo  was really more of a Sport Tourer than a true Sportbike.  Unique styling, decent handling and good speed for a 500. Later Honda bumped it up to 650cc  and even with the increase in engine size it still wasn’t a big seller. But, it’s a hell of a bike.

Screen Shot 2016-04-29 at 7.21.50 AMI found a really nice one on ebay today. It’s been custom painted, rather tastefully, has a custom exhaust , which retains the stock look and not too many miles on the clock. This bike has been stored for a long time and is going to need the full going through to get it roadworthy again. It’s not running at this time, and who knows why, the seller doesn’t say . If it’s just a matter of a new battery and a system cleaning you could be looking at a great deal of fun. And speaking of a great deal, the selling price is really reasonable. Click on the link below for more info and pictures. This good be a really fun bike.

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1982+Honda+CX500+Turbo&icep_item=191856027239&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 7.53.22 AM

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Screen Shot 2016-05-02 at 7.54.37 AM1982 Honda CX500 Turbo</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1982+Honda+CX500+Turbo&item=191856027239&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;


1973 Harley Davidson Golf Cart

Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 5.22.35 PMMy business partner in Arizona bleeds black and orange, he wouldn’t be caught dead on any motorcycle that didn’t come from “The Motor Company”.  Well, that’s not entirely true but pretty damn close. In all the years I’ve known Les if he’s not in an Aloha shirt  (at his pool party) he’s is wearing a Harley T-Shirt…no kidding. Les now lives and runs the Arizona arm of our company…in a gated community where everybody drives golf carts to get around. Today I found exactly what he needs…a Harley Davidson Golf Cart.

I’ve written before about how Harley has done just about everything under the sun in the motorcycle business. From buying up Italian motorcycle companies, to trying Cafe Racers, racing little 100cc two stokes in Baja, getting engines from Porsche, you name it. But Golf Carts? Well, when two wheels aren’t enough for you anymore it’s time for the coolest golf cart you can get. A Harley.Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 5.37.00 PM

There is feeling of irony here. The Golf cart is a single cylinder 245cc gas engine three wheeler. It was designed by ‘Willie G’ when he first joined the family business. It later became a four wheeler, but the three wheeler has a cool factor  that the later version can’t match. Now here is  where I get a chuckle, there truly is only one Harley Davidson I would like to own, the XLCR…designed by Willie G. From Golf carts to cafe racers Willie G is probably the most ‘Outlaw’ of Outlaws at Harley.

I found a pretty nice 1973 Harley Cart on ebay today, it runs good, looks good and comes with a spare motor, wheels and some extra parts…not bad for a pretty resonable price. Think about it, when you can’t ride your Road King anymore you can still ride a Harley around your Senior Citizen community and be the envy of all your golf buddies. Not to mention the ladies!

Click on the link below for more info and pictures.

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1973+Harley+Davidson+Golf+Cart&icep_item=231924177502&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 6.09.54 PM

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Screen Shot 2016-04-26 at 6.10.25 PM1973 Harley Davidson Golf Cart</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1973+Harley+Davidson+Golf+Cart&item=231924177502&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;


1975 Honda Gold Wing

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.45.19 PMI was living in Las Cruces New Mexico when I first saw the original Gold Wing. A friend owned the local Honda dealership and the Honda sales rep was there to show off the newest latest greatest from Honda. Being that I worked for a newspaper at the time it was my duty to report the occasion. Well, to be honest I was really excited to just see the new bike and I wasn’t disappointed.

At the time I was riding the ‘Evil, Wicked, Mean and Nasty‘ Kawasaki H2. Light, fast and handled about as good as a $5.00 stroller from Kmart…but thats another story for another time. The Honda sales rep pulled the cover off the bike and there was this really big bike, I mean Big. He was telling us that this was the next ‘Superbike’! ? The sales rep went through all the hoopla of power, rideability and so on and so on…then he showed us just how smooth the motor was. Taking a quarter out of his pocket he balanced it on the cylinder while the motor was running and the quarter didn’t move. I’m sure there was some sort of glue on there but who cares..it was a good show.

I did get a chance to ride the bike that day and all I could think was this thing is a BOAT!…But it was super smooth, comfortable and actually handled pretty darn good.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.52.15 PMWhen the motorcycling world got ahold of this bike motorcycle touring changed forever. The Wing was no longer a competitor to the Mighty Z1 from Kawasaki it was going straight after the Harley Electra Glide. The Gold Wing became a Gold Mine for the touring aftermarket and Craig Vetter being the leader. The Windjammer fairing changed the Gold Wing and touring.

Years and years later I bought my father a used Gold Wing. I picked it up took it home and went about getting it ready to hand it over to him. After the work was done I took it for a good ride. Before I rode it I still considered  it a boat, but it was what my dad wanted.

With a good tune up, some minor suspension work and new tires I was really impressed with the Wing. It’s smoother than a baby’s butt, will get you from here to Nova Scotia with about a worry and will handle a tight twisty road  without breaking a sweat. I loved it.

Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.52.50 PMI found a super cleanScreen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.51.10 PM first generation Gold Wing on ebay this morning. This bike is in ‘fly and buy and ride it home’ condition. Only 17,887 miles on the clock (it’s barely broken in!) all maintenance done. Jeez…it’s perfect. The first generation  Wings are a perfect platform for customizing. Cafe Racer, sidecar rig, full touring mode or…just leave it as it is. It’s a great motorcycle. I just wish I knew how to balance a quarter on the engine while its running.

Click on the link below for more info and pictures

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1975+Honda+Gold+Wing&icep_item=301930012498&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.07.56 AM

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Screen Shot 2016-04-22 at 8.08.40 AM1975 Honda Gold Wing</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1975+Honda+Gold+Wing&item=301930012498&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;


1979 Triumph T140E Bonneville

When most motorcycle people think of Classic British Motorcycles the first bike to come to mind is the Bonneville. Well, except for my friend Ken…who thinks Norton was far better looking and more fun to ride (he also holds two Bonneville Salt Flat Speed records on a Norton…no wonder he’s a bit biased).
Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 8.00.49 PMBy the standards of the time it was light, great handling, plenty of power and beautiful to look at. It was, and still is to this day, a wonderful motorbike. The Bonneville of the era was the perfect platform for anything you wanted it to do. The Bonnie would travel (leaving a small trail of oil along its way so you could find your way home), you could race it, turn it into a cafe racer, or if you were sick enough…a chopper..Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.18.32 AMEven though I think that those that chopped Bonneville’s  (some ??are pretty good looking) should be sentenced to motorcycle prison for life with no parole…but thats just me.

The Bonneville is the bike that did everything good but nothing great until you got your hands dirty…then it became close to heaven on two wheels. In 1976 Triumph got its hands dirty. The motor was upgraded with better pistons, rods,bigger oil pumps (so you can leave more on your garage floor) , electronic ignition (now you don’t have to rely on the Lucas (the Prince of Darkness) and you got a better front suspension. oh, and an electric start. For those of us that have ridden older Triumphs there was also a shift change …from the right side to the left, which had become the norm universally.Screen Shot 2016-04-20 at 7.48.50 AM

In my heart I do believe that the Triumph Bonneville is one of the few perfect motorcycles ever made, including the new generation Bonnies. When you stab the kickstarter on an older model or hit the button on a new generation version it has a soul that says “lets go and lets go fast”. It may not have the rumble and grumble of an American V-Twin but the Triumphs soul of speed is there in your right hand.

I found a great one on ebay this morning that honestly needs virtually nothing. It’s beautiful. Well I would change one thing…I really don’t like those ‘Buckhorn’ handlebars. Other than that..a wonderful piece of British motorcycling.

Click on the link below for more pictures and a more detailed description.

<a target=”_self” href=”http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?icep_ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1979+Triumph+T140e+Bonneville&icep_item=191850760027&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.37.36 AM

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Screen Shot 2016-04-19 at 7.37.54 AM1979 Triumph T140e Bonneville</a><img style=”text-decoration:none;border:0;padding:0;margin:0;” src=”http://rover.ebay.com/roverimp/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?ff3=2&pub=5574881880&toolid=10001&campid=5336495545&customid=1979+Triumph+T140e+Bonneville&item=191850760027&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;