Retrobike5 min de lecture
Style To Die For
PUSHBIKE racing on banked wooden tracks known as velodromes was massively popular in Europe and North America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Very early motorcycles, little more than pushbikes with crude engines amidships, were employed to
Retrobike8 min de lecture
One Year WONDER
IT IS a cliché to say that there’s nothing new under the sun, but so often in motorcycle development that’s all too true. Consider the single-sided swingarm on the 1950 Moto Guzzi Galletto, conceived 30 years before ELF patented such a feature and so
Retrobike3 min de lecture
First Of The Factory Customs
ONE of only 1200-odd made, this machine could be considered the first of the factory customs, something pretty common these days. It was based on the BSA Rocket III, a bike which was years late coming to market and sold poorly, being priced close to
Retrobike1 min de lecture
Longitudinal Or Transverse?
AJS marketed the bike’s engine as transverse, so we’ve described it thus in this article, although generally engines are described as longitudinal or transverse based on the arrangement of the crankshaft rather than the cylinders. Generally, BMW Boxe
Retrobike4 min de lecture
New Era Comes Of Age
THERE'S a new breed of racer competing these days — those who grew up in the 1980s and love the bikes from the era. They were out in numbers at the 2020 Island Classic, Phillip Island’s iconic Australia Day weekend event. Twenty-twenty saw the 27th r
Retrobike1 min de lecture
Retro Specs
ENGINE Air-cooled four-stroke 50-degree side-valve V-twin; twin chain-driven camshafts, two valves per cylinder; 65 x 75mm for 498cc; 6.5:1 comp; single 15/16-inch Amal carb with remote fuel bowl; 6V Lucas battery/coil ignition; dry sump; shaft prima
Retrobike4 min de lecture
Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Design
DARYL Villanueva is a citizen of the world, born in the Philippines and growing up in Hong Kong, Australia, Malaysia and the United States, where he studied graphic design in Los Angeles. He worked as a designer in the advertising industry in Dubai,
Retrobike1 min de lecture
ON ANY SUNDAY Social Pages
Share your memories and lifestyle with millions of Retrobike readers by sending photos to retro@umco.com.au ■
Retrobike4 min de lecture
Scrambled Italian
DUCATI built its versatile little Scramblers for 14 years until the mid 1970s, although Australian fans of the marque would hardly have known it; very few were ever imported. Built in 125, 250, 350 and 450cc, these early dual-purpose Italian bikes we
Retrobike2 min de lectureFashion & Beauty
Retro STYLE
The Chelsea quilted leather jacket cuts a contemporary silhouette with its stretch ribbed side panels while retaining comfort and manoeuvrability on the bike. The Chelsea’s distinct zipper detailing provides a modern contrast against the classic leat
Retrobike4 min de lecture
A RE-BORN Jitan
BACK in the late 1960s, two-stroke motorcycles were commuters and inexpensive machines aimed at the budget conscious, not enthusiast riders. Then Suzuki released the T500. A 492cc two-stroke twin, the T500 proved larger-capacity two-strokes weren’t j
Retrobike3 min de lecture
Rocket Science
WE’VE all heard people say that figuring out something “isn’t rocket science”. Well, I’ve got news for you! Two-stroke motorcycles — and especially their expansion chamber exhaust pipes — really are rocket science, and I’m going to tell you about the
Retrobike1 min de lecture
Retro Specs
ENGINE Air-cooled twin-cylinder piston-port two-stroke; kick start only; 492cc, Wossner pistons; Mikuni 36mm flatslide carburettors, Kawasaki ignition; multiplate clutch, 5-speed transmission, chain final drive CHASSIS Tubular steel frame; Kawasaki
Retrobike5 min de lecture
ROARING 20s
THREE years ago, Mal ‘Mick’ Garfarth ordered a pair of Sterling Autocycles after seeing news of the new machines in Australian Road Rider. He’d fallen in love with the style and decided buying one for his brother Stu and one for himself was the go, a
Retrobike1 min de lecture
A Bike Named Jill
STU’S bike has the Head and Neck Cancer ribbon on each side of his tank. “My wife, Jillian (Jill), contracted hypo-esophageal cancer a couple of years ago. She was completely cured by the most incredibly talented, professional and dedicated medical p
Retrobike1 min de lecture
Retro Specs
ENGINE Air-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke with two valves; electric start; Keima carburettor; maximum speed 99/115km/h; multiplate clutch, 5-speed transmission, chain final drive; 12.75/14hp @ 6000rpm CHASSIS Hand-made steel frame; alloy girder
Retrobike6 min de lecture
The Little Laverda That Coukd
IN 1984, Alan Cathcart outclassed the whole field at the Daytona Speedway Battle of The Twins on the Ogier Laverda, causing somewhat of a stir. Race officials demanded the engine be stripped and measured to make sure the Laverda was only at the speci
Retrobike1 min de lectureTech
Retro Specs
ENGINE Air-cooled 4-stroke 180-degree parallel twin; chain-driven DOHC; four valves per cylinder; 74 x 61 for 525cc; 11.5:1; wet sump; 2 x 38mm VM Mikuni carburettors, Ignatech ignition, gear-driven primary drive to wet multi-plate clutch, six-speed
Retrobike8 min de lecture
The Land Of No Bridges
A LAST-minute decision to join the Motorcycle Expeditions ‘Eagle Hunters’ tour saw me in a flurry of paperwork and emailing like a machine to prepare for an adventure across Mongolia. I had to organise flights before I could even apply for a visa. Th
Retrobike2 min de lecture
G'day
SEDDO is away ill, although he did most of the work on this issue before he handed it over to me. He’s a bit crook and needs some time off, but he will be back. Geoff ’s a legend in Australian motoring publishing, having worked on, started and grown
Retrobike4 min de lecture
Master Of Endurance
SWISS style house Gannet Design and legendary Italian manufacturer Moto Guzzi go together like cheese and pasta, with this their fourth collaboration to be featured in Retrobike over the past five years. The first was possibly the most ambitious, a d
Retrobike1 min de lecture
Retro Bike
EDITOR Geoff Seddon ACTING EDITOR Nigel Paterson ART DIRECTOR Martha Rubazewicz CONTRIBUTORS Mark Bracks, Loose Bruce, Alan Cathcart, John Downs, Kel Edge, Jonathan Gladstone, Mark Griffiths, Mihail Jershov, Brad LeBrocque, Jamie McIlwraith, Russ Mur
Retrobike1 min de lecture
Moto Guzzi Le Mans
BACK in the second half of the 1970s, as ever more powerful Japanese motorcycles danced on the grave of the British bike industry, three exclusive uber-desirable sports models ensured the Italians did not suffer the same fate. The Ducati 900 Super Sp
Retrobike3 min de lecture
The Motomax Project Re
RIC STEELE of MotoMAX in Perth is passionate about what he describes as ‘pure motorcycling’ — bikes which aren’t trying to be something they’re not. It’s a philosophy which led him to racing 250cc GP bikes. “Although a dying class, I loved the fact i
Retrobike1 min de lecture
Retro Specs
ENGINE Air-cooled four-stroke 90-degree V-twin; OHV, two per cylinder; 83 x 78mm for 844cc; 9.8:1 comp; 2 x 36mm Dell'Orto pumper carburettors; custom exhaust; dry double-disc clutch to five-speed transmission and shaft final drive CHASSIS Duplex cr
Retrobike1 min de lecture
Twin Peaks
THE Norton culture was all about single-cylinder motorcycles but the market was demanding twins when the factory hired Bert Hopwood from Triumph as Chief Designer in 1947. Hopwood had been closely involved with Triumph’s earlier Speed Twin, even if T
Retrobike2 min de lecture
Bracksy Gets Lucky
THE opportunity to ride one of Red’s lovely ladies came about at the OzBEARS round at Hidden Valley outside of Darwin (NT). When offers such as this are presented, I grasp them like a pillion on a grab-rail. On start-up a lovely raw vibration rattles
Retrobike2 min de lecture
Who’s Roland Sands?
ROLAND Sands, 44, is the son of Perry Sands, who founded US manufacturer of high-end custom wheels and brakes, Performance Machine (PM) in 1970. Roland grew up in the PM factory, starting work there at age 14 sweeping floors, before learning the skil
Retrobike4 min de lecture
Catalogue Customs
WITH all the talk about the new-model Harley Softails with their revolutionary chassis engineering, bargains abound among the early girls, ideal if you’re looking for a platform for a city-based custom as a gift for your dad. Roland Sands paid $5000
Retrobike4 min de lecture
Blown Away
CUSTOM bikes by definition are hand-made realisations of a builder’s creative vision, even if most fit within well-established genres. In theory, no two should ever be alike, although many are. And then there’s Luke Crampton’s supercharged XT500 Yama
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