Tag Archives: vintage motorcycles

1970 Ural M-63

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-10-43-56-amSo Comrade, you want to buy a motorcycle, I have just the one for you. Made right here in the mother country, the Ural M-63. A wonderful motorcycle, 650 CC, 15 KW power (20 hp) and a top speed of 104 KPH (65 MPH). It comes with a sidecar if you would like , that way you can take your wife and your mistress on a ride. screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-8-21-52-am

I had great fun again researching Ural. You have Ural, Dnepr, under one roof. Later down the road they were also known as Cossack motorcycles. Originally they were Military only but in the late 50’s IMZ started building bikes for the public. IMZ stands for Irbitskiy Motosikletniy Zavod (say that three times really fast) IMZ is the parent company. They were also sold in the UK under the name Satra from ’73 to ’79.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-8-27-15-amUral has a great history thanks to BMW and the German government. In 1940 the Soviet Union acquired design and production techniques from BMW. The Ural was based on the 1930’s BMW R71. It was originally built in the town of Irbit in an old Brewery. Now we have all heard about the lack of reliability in Urals but think about this…they’re built in a brewery…what did you expect? Let’s see, a barely adequate 6 volt electrical system, the carburetor leaked, floods and spit gas everywhere except into the engine. Sounds just perfect.

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-8-31-33-amThe Urals however were known as a tank of a motorcycle. A 750 lb (with a sidecar) 20hp motorcycle that was very capable of traveling two up all over Eastern Europe. The M63 was made from 1963 to 1980. There is a lot more history but you can find it yourself.

There are those of us that go for interesting and then there are those that go for just plain weird. Today I found weird, but in a cool way. I’m going to leave any description of the bike to the ebay seller.  I really don’t know what to say about it. Click on the blue link below for more pictures and some information. It is weird but in a cool way. You certainly won’t see anything like at your local Sunday morning hangout…or the Church parking lot.

<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+Ural+-63&icep_item=172347404334&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-10-36-48-am

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-10-37-03-amscreen-shot-2016-09-22-at-10-37-15-am1970 Ural M-63</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+Ural+M-63&item=172347404334&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

1972 BMW R60/5

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I once had a friend who was so into BMW that I think he applied for German citizenship!? But he ended up simply restoring them and riding old Beemers all over the Western US. He even convinced me to buy one and in all honesty I loved it. I sold it a few years later after about 50,000 miles and every now and then I wish still had it.screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-12-12-49-pm

The bike I found on ebay today is an R60/5 model, nice bike. Here comes todays history lesson…at one time BMW was considering getting out of the motorcycle business but in 1964 the decision came to stay. They (BMW) hired a man from Porsche to design the next generation motorcycles.  In 1970 the /5 series replaced the /2 with a number of improvements and changes.  The Boxer engine remained with some changes but the rest of the bike was virtually all new. More horsepower, lighter weight and… here are the BIGGIES (insert drum roll here) a 12 volt electrical system and an electric starter!!! They did keep the kick starter for the traditionalist and I think, just in case the new electric starter dscreen-shot-2016-09-21-at-12-08-54-pmecided not participate that day.

Even with all the improvements it wasn’t perfect. Yes it had a higher cruising speed but getting there took more work. For one, just getting the bike rolling took some effort because of a heavy clutch and a tall first gear. The power came on at a little over 4000 rpm where as the /2 model got into it’s power between 2 and 3000 rpm, which considering BMW was still using a 4 speed you were working the gear shift lever a lot. The brakes were described as adequate. Now remember, this showed up when the Japanese had advanced to disc brakes so by comparison, yeah the BMW brakes were just adequate. The bike handled a lot better than it’s predesesor with more cornering clearance due to lifting the cylinders.The R60/5 was , and is, a very capable touring bike, it’s quite comfy even two up and has the power to get the two of you down the road.

screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-12-04-23-pmSo, Back to the one I found on ebay this morning. A very clean R60/5. The seller it has 21K miles but also says the speedo/odo doesn’t work so the mileage could be in question. It has some mechanical work done and the seller says it runs smooth. The R60/5 is in beautiful unrestored condition and the starting price is not unreasonable.

If your’e looking for classic BMW I think bike is well working at. Click on the link below for more info and more pictures. Oh and by the way, the classic ‘Toaster’ tank came out in ’72. It is very cool.

<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=1972+BMW+R60%2F5&icep_item=131940490340&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-11-52-16-am

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screen-shot-2016-09-21-at-11-52-46-am1972 BMW R60/5</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=1972+BMW+R60%2F5&item=131940490340&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

1970 BSA Starfire 250

Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 6.35.30 PMI am a fan of small motorcycles, give me a 125, 250 or 350 and  I am happy as can be. When I find an old one I even get happier. Bikes like this BSA have a soul that modern bikes just can’t match.

I had a BSA 350 single and I absolutely loved it. It started easy (especially compared to my step dads Gold Star) handled so easily  (it’s like the bike knew where you wanted to go before you did). These classic British singles are true gems in the motorcycling world.

I found a really nice Starfire 250 on ebay today that if you have room in your garage and want a very cool and classic British single, here’s your chance.

Click on the pictures below for more info and 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+BSA+Starfire+250&icep_item=381753776360&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 6.25.48 PM

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Screen Shot 2016-08-30 at 6.26.39 PM1970 BSA Starfire 250</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+BSA+Starfire+250&item=381753776360&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

1983 Yamaha Venture

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 7.06.54 AMWhile working for a dealership back in the ’80’s we took in a Yamaha Venture trade in. The owner had thought he wanted a touring bike but realized he was more of a sport bike kind of guy and off he went went with a new GPZ900, and we had the SS Venture. A boat with saddle bags and a trunk.

The dealership owners knowing that I was headed off to Laguna Seca  the following week for the Grand Prix offered me the Venture to ride. Now, I had only been been riding relatively lightweight, high horsepower (for the time) and somewhat decent handling (again for the time) motorcycles so getting on a big touring bike was a bit intimidating. I spent a week riding it to and from work and a casual weekend ride before loading it up with  my then wife and our luggage to head north. And, No we didn’t have a sidecar but I love the thought

Screen Shot 2016-08-11 at 7.15.17 AMSo there I was on the Queen Mary of motorcycles ( I hadn’t ridden a Gold Wing yet) . Tank full of gas, back seat full of wife and all the luggage full of stuff, I was scared to death. But, here’s the deal, this motorcycle could handle everything I threw at it. Two up the bike was as stable in a straight line as can be, through corners it was very predictable (albeit slow handling) and then there is that motor. The big Yamaha V4 delivered as much power as you wanted, when and where you wanted and with no muss or fuss. It was truly wonderful. Once I got used to riding a big touring bike I started thinking maybe this is for me?…Thank goodness my better sense took hold. Back to my GPZ. But still, that Yamaha gave me a whole new perspective and at this point in my life it’s becoming a bit more clear.

I found a really nice Venture on ebay today only 26K miles. Fully loaded and dirt cheap. From what I can see this is a buy,fly and ride it home bike…even with your ex wife on the back!?

Click on the pics below for a bit more info. This is a very cool tourer. A little suspension work, modern tires and this is a travel the country with no worries.

<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=1983+Yamaha+Venture&icep_item=331932548800&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 8.02.38 AMScreen Shot 2016-08-08 at 8.02.26 AM1983 Yamaha Venture</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=1983+Yamaha+Venture&item=331932548800&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

1978 Bultaco Astro

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I have a soft spot in my heart for Bultaco. And at the same time I curse my step dad for introducing me to Bultaco. I started my racing life on a Bultaco and have many mixed memories of that bike.

I started on a 1967 Matador, I would race it on Sunday and ride it to school on Monday (maybe…it all depended on whether it made it home from the race in rideable condition?!).Screen Shot 2016-06-03 at 8.36.28 AM I went from the Matador to a Pursang then an El Bandido. I loved the Matador (I was young, what did I know?), really enjoyed the Pursang and then there was the El Bandido. I truly thought that motorcycle wanted to kill me. On a gravel fire road in a full power slide..oh baby!, anywhere else…Oh Jesus save me! But still, I love Bultaco.

On the way home from a short desert race we stopped at 395 Cycle Park in Adelanto California. Just a wide spot in the road. It was a small but great Flat Track venue and there was a race going on. Go figure. Walking around the pits, still wearing my desert racing gear I spotted a guy with his leg propped up on a chair and in a splint. Sitting next to him was a Bultaco Astro. Bultaco’s entry into the Flat Track World. We got to talking and because he couldn’t ride asked me if I would like to ride his bike. Let me think about this for a minute…hell yeah. I used his name and number and with a full face helmet nobody knew it wasn’t him.  I had way too much fun. It was a TT race, rights and lefts and a jump..I had so much fun.

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I  was amazed at the difference between my Pursang and the Astro. The Astro knows where to go before you do, a slight touch on the bars and the Astro responds. Throttle response was perfect and at the end of my second race I was a believer…the Astro gave you confidence that you could beat a Harley XR750. Well, if the Harley was a reduced to 500cc.

I found a really nice Astro ebay today and if you’re into Vintage Flat Track..you gotta have this bike…if you’re willing to pay way too much. This is a really nice bike and the opening bid is pretty much right on but the buy it now price price???  NOT.

For more info and pictures click on the line below.<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+Bultaco+Astro&icep_item=162088607631&ipn=psmain&icep_vectorid=229466&kwid=902099&mtid=824&kw=lg”&gt;Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 8.13.12 AM

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 8.13.27 AM1978 Bultaco Astro</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+Bultaco+Astro&item=162088607631&mpt=%5BCACHEBUSTER%5D”&gt;

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;