Although “Mach III” is a pretty ambitious name for a motorcycle that can only just top 115mph, it probably felt much faster to test riders of Kawasaki’s two-stroke three-cylinder rocket, given the questionable brakes and less-than-secure handling. 60hp might not sound like a big deal today, but it came on in a frantic, two-stroke rush that invoked unintended wheelies, all accompanied by a chainsaw-snarl soundtrack.
The Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III was actually pretty par for the course for big-bore Japanese roadbikes of the 1970’s, a formula that generally included a powerful, sophisticated powerplant suspended in a chassis just barely able to contain the engine’s fury, with brakes added almost as an afterthought. Spindly forks and frame flex led to a reputation for wayward and even lethal handling, in a case like this one.
But in a strange way, this was exactly what the US market really called for: in the quarter mile and stop light drag races, power was king, and fuel consumption below 20mpg was no big deal in an era of cheap gas. Buyers wanted cheap speed and the H1 delivered. Brakes? Those are just so you can stop and pick up your winnings after a race, or pull up to the pumps to refuel, right? Handling? Well as long as you can stay in your lane for 1,320 feet at a time, the handling’s just fine, thanks.
At the time, a lack of refinement in the package might have been considered a distinct disadvantage. Instead, the straight-line speed, combined with a low price point to create a cult bike that was a legend even in its own lifetime.
From the original eBay listing: 1975 Kawasaki H1 500 Mach III for Sale
This is my 75 Kawasaki H1. I purchased this motorcycle many years ago. It is not stock but it’s very retro. It has had motor work, 0.50 pistons, rings, bearings and new gaskets. It also has pods, reconditioned and re jetted carburetors to go with the nice set of chrome Denco chambers. New tires and tubes. The front caliper was also rebuilt with new pads. New sprockets and chain. The tank, side covers and cowl were painted back in the late 70’s and are retro to that time period. The decals were added on and clear coated recently. I don’t think you can get a paint job like this now and if you could I bet it would be very expensive. The large metal flake really stands out. Inside the tank is clean. The chrome is in very nice original condition. I replaced the fork ears with NOS ones a few years back. All the electrical works and it starts up in 1 or 2 sometimes 3 kicks. It runs well and has that snappy two stroke sound . Smooth acceleration and quick braking. I have kept it stored in a warm dry area in my house and has been well taken care of. It’s a very noticeable motorcycle and does attract quite a bit of attention when I do take it out. Frame # H1F-39057 Engine # KAE 109069 mid year production model.
As the seller points out, this bike features a gorgeous, period-look metal-flake paint job that may not be to everyone’s taste, but if you’re buying a 70’s Kawasaki, you might as well go all-in. Those Denco expansion chambers are gorgeous as well, and this bike looks to be really well put together. Bidding is very active on this bike, with less than 24 hours to go and bidding just north of $6,000 as I write this, although I expect that to go up significantly before the auction is all over. But if you’re looking for a nice H1, it might be worth keeping an eye on this auction to see if you can snipe yourself a good deal…
The Hurricane X75 looks like a funky, custom chopper-styled bike, but those looks came straight from the factory, by way of styling guru Craig Vetter, who was called in to redesign the bike when the original machine was deemed way too conservative for the target audience in the USA.
The distinctive integrated one-piece tank cover and side-panels came in a vivid, “look at me” orange and then there’s that wild three-into-three exhaust: on the left side of the bike, there’s nothing but a bare swingarm. Then you walk around to the right side of the bike and bam, there it is, like a giant sonic pitchfork.
That burly triple was actually built by BSA: when they went out of business, 1,200 of the engines were put aside for use in the new Triumph although, at Craig’s suggestion, the cylinder head did feature extended cooling fins for a beefier look. Displacing 741cc, the OHV triple put out 58hp and could push the bike over 110mph.
From the original eBay listing: 1973 Triumph Hurricane X75 for Sale
We are thrilled to offer such a unique and rare piece of motorcycle history. If you’ve got a Triumph-sized hole in your collection and want something pretty wild and very cool, this might fit the bill. To the best of our knowledge this amazing Triumph Hurricane X75 is all original and untouched. Please review pictures for overall condition and feel free to ask any questions.
Like most cruisers, the X75 isn’t really the most practical machine, with minimal cornering clearance, at least in right-hand turns, and very limited range from the sub-3 gallon fuel tank. But that was hardly the point: the Hurricane was a glorious posing machine, with ample stoplight performance and killer looks. In fact, one Triumph executive is reported to have said, upon seeing the bike for the first time, “My God, it’s a bloody phallus!”
So basically: mission accomplished.
This isn’t the shiny, well-maintained or restored bike we like to feature, but it does look to be all original. This Hurricane is obviously going to need a full restoration to make it roadworthy, but that gives the new owner the opportunity to do it right.
Although vintage MV Agustas like the 750S command hefty sums when they trade, it’s easy to forget that they also made a range of other bikes, generally of much smaller displacements. These bikes are also extremely rare, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they command commensurately high prices. Several of these Iptotesis have graced our pages and, considering how rare they are, can be had for surprisingly modest amounts.
The Ipotesi, or “Hypothesis” was first shown in 1973 and produced between 1975 and 1977. It was powered by an air-cooled, parallel twin with overhead valves. It was styled by Giugiaro, whose automotive designs were generally better-received than his two-wheeled creations. This particular bike though features a clean, elegant design that is pretty successful.
Unusual among bikes of the era, the Ipotesi featured MV’s electronic ignition instead of points and was available with or without the fairing shown here, so don’t let the minor damage put you off, since you could certainly show or ride the bike without it.
From the original eBay listing: 1977 MV Agusta 350 Ipotesi for Sale
Fast little bike. This bike was imported from Belgium 3 years ago. It fires right up and is happy to rev and shift, stop and steer like only an Italian thoroughbred can. Quite a surprise to ride, seems diminutive but a credit to the race engineering legend of MV Agusta. It has some minor cosmetic issues from shipping on left fairing and muffler. Priced to sell, bid only as much as you are prepared to pay, will send second chance offer if not sold at auction to highest bidder. The title reads as a 1975 model year, if this is a problem for you, do not bid.
The title issue he mentions seems to be pretty common among older bikes, likely the result of examples sitting in showrooms for several years before being titled. The last one we posted came with an asking price of $10,500 so it looks like the seller means it when they say “priced to sell.” The Buy It Now price is $8,950 with bidding currently up to $6,100 with just over 24 hours left on the auction. These are very rare, and although certain parts might be tricky to source, this Ipotesi looks like it will provide lots of entertainment for a relatively small outlay of cash.
The Ducati GT750 was the first street Ducati to use their famous “L-twin” engine, so named because the 90° v-twin was oriented with one piston pointing forward and the other directly upward, forming the shape of the capital letter “L”. Introduced in 1971, the 748cc engine produced a claimed 60hp and could push the unfaired bike to a top speed of 125mph.
Looking back, it is a bit less glamorous than the Sport and Super Sport models that followed, but don’t let that fool you into thinking the GT is boring or bland: those later bikes, while possessed of sexier styling, were also far less comfortable and practical. For most riders, the GT was a do-it-all bike for weekend rides, commuting, backroad scratching, and even light touring, offering character along with reasonable comfort.
Today’s Ducati GT750 strikes a balance between originality and function. The restoration by Austin Vintage Cycle keeps the spirit of the original bike, but manages to improve it in subtle ways that might be lost on casual viewers because they are so well executed and suit the bike so well.
There’s a ton of information about the restoration over at the original eBay listing: 1974 Ducati 750GT for Sale
We purchased this bike from Arizona and it was a bit of a mess when we received it. It was missing a few parts as the previous owner had started to take it apart for some unknown reason. The decision was made to take it completely apart and restore as much of the original hardware, fasteners, and parts that were original to the bike. We also made the decision to perform and add a few very minor upgrades. These were the things that we would have done back in the 70’s just to give the bike a cleaner look and a bit better performance.
Our goal with this build was to build to show / museum quality, but also to the level that we expect to have in a bike that we would ride. This bike can be ridden with confidence if one chooses to do more than just show it. It has undergone a complete nut and bolt restoration with every part and piece of the bike disassembled, cleaned, painted, massaged and sorted. There is not a single part on this bike that has not been touched in some way.
As much original equipment as possible has been retained in this restoration. All of the original levers such as kick start; shifter, brake etc. were cleaned and re-chromed by a reputable chrome shop; original center axle Marzocchi forks with rear mounted Scarab type caliper mounting flags. The headlight bucket and ring were also re-chromed. The motor still had its original seal on the crankcase, but we decided to split the cases anyway as it has sat for so long and we wanted to make sure that there were no sins lurking inside. The good news is that the crank and rod assembly were in very nice condition and did not need attention. This did however give us the chance to check and replace bearings, assure all transmission gears, splines, shafts and bearings were ok. We removed the sludge from the crankshaft sludge trap.
We decided to go back with the original bright orange/ black color scheme on this restoration. All of the original aluminum parts have been cleaned, and or polished. No expense or time has been spared in this restoration. Ignition and wiring has been upgraded to modern standards. The following is a list of what has been done to this Ducati.
The motor starts first kick and settles into a very nice, smooth idle. This bike runs and shifts better than the day it was delivered from the factory.
Restorations of old vehicles can be tricky: sometimes, “original” doesn’t necessarily mean “good”, and the temptation to improve factory flaws or performance can be hard to resist. But where do you draw the line? A modern ignition system is virtually undetectable in most cases, and improves performance significantly. But what about cosmetics? What amounts to tasteful, and what amounts to heresy? To me, this bike walks that line perfectly, and Ducati fans seem to agree, with bidding north of $24,000 at the time of writing.
Sorry for the lack of posts everyone: I’m travelling right now, and it’s been making regular updates difficult. Bear with me and we should be back on track soon!
Today’s bike is a pretty cool vintage racing Triumph Daytona that appears to be extremely well-prepared and is specifically built with endurance and long-distance racing in mind. If you’re not familiar with Percy Tait, you likely won’t be surprised to find that he raced Triumphs, and was also a Triumph development rider and racked up huge miles on various prototypes. Wikipedia tells me he is alive and well and is currently a champion… breeder of rare sheep.
Does it get any more English than that?
There is plenty of additional information at the original eBay listing: 1969 Triumph Percy Tait Replica
T100 Daytona as used 1969 Belgian Grand Prix in Spa where it took second place behind an MV Agusta ridden by Giacomo Agostini.
With the rare Ken Sprayson Frame only made for the 1969 GP Triumph machine.
Ridden on the Manx Grand Prix 2003 and 2004 by York Runte.
Tuning by Winkelmann and OIF-Racing teamready too race, tested 2014 in Pannoniaring Hungary, was ridden two times the Isle of Man Manx grand prix with good results 2003 and 2004. All working, tested, and proved: no “need some work” or funny constructions that fall apart in the first lap…
65.5mm stroke as T100, belt conversion, stainless exhaust tested and optimized with test bench
specially made 5 speed gearbox
47.5 horsepower on the rear wheel at 7500 revs, good torque, smooth running no hole at some revs….
Vibrations absolutely okay, much better than all other racers I was riding before
Yes, you could tune for some more power at higher revs and with losing some torque in the midrange, the former owners decided this is a good compromise of smooth running, less repair than with the last 5 extra horsepower you could get out of this engine. There is an extra pair of new forged pistons and cylinder with the bike that could be changed to bit more compression or just used as spare part and copy the momental piston shape.
This engine version is for long distance races like the Isle of Man.
It’s pretty cool that the original bike’s claim to fame was actually losing to the peerless Agostini! There’s no shame in that! The bike is currently located in Munich, Germany and is listed with a $16,500 Buy It Now price, which would normally be a bit steep for a Triumph, but actually seems pretty fair for such a well-prepared vintage race bike.
For collectors and modern motorcyclists, the phrase “Italian motorcycle” conjures up images of sleek, exotic, motorcycles with shrieking engines and fragile beauty. But in the aftermath of World War II, there was a real need for cheap, reliable commuter motorcycles and Moto Guzzi, like many other manufacturers of the period, were there to provide practical transportation with the inevitable dash of Italian flair.
Moto Guzzis of the period were often named after birds, and the Airone or “Heron” makes for a great vintage ride today, with reliability and a broad spread of power from the 250cc four-stroke single that was surprisingly smooth, owing to the significant mass of the striking externally-mounted flywheel. Introduced in 1939 and produced until 1957, it’s also an incredibly long-lived model.
Famous for their reliability, many Guzzis were also used in police and military applications, and this particular bike appears to be one such machine.
From the original eBay listing: 1955 Moto Guzzi Airone for Sale
Very rare and well sorted 1955 Moto Guzzi Airone military model. This is a wonderful 250cc 4-stroke single-cylinder classic Italian motorcycle. It starts easily, idles well and runs strong.
This particular machine is totally stock, original and correct (including the military items – leg guards, luggage rack and more – which I have taken off but will go with the motorcycle to a new owner) other than the Mikuni carb and pod air filter, new battery, and replacement tires.
A few years ago, after a long search for an Airone, I purchased this machine out of long term storage. I spent time and money going through it mechanically – while leaving as much of the original cosmetics as possible – to get it to run well. I replaced the broken Dellorto carb with a new properly jetted Mikuni and sorted out the electrics and charging system.
It is possible this is only Moto Guzzi military Airone in America – making it an unusual machine for collector or rider.
I replaced the badly damaged muffler with a correct one that looks right on this bike, installed a new clutch throwout bearing, a new battery and rewired the magneto kill switch to a small button on the handlebars. I added an in-line oil shut off valve to eliminate the notorious sumping issue.
I unbolted the unnecessary military parts from the motorcycle to lesser the weight so I could compete with it in the Moto Giro USA, where it was a strong competitor.
This classic Italian sport/touring machine features Clubman handlebars and Tomasselli-style levers (front brake and clutch) matched tool boxes and a handy center stand. Good usable tires with little wear, good battery, good charging system, light work, horn works, suspension works.
Although these were relatively popular in Europe, very few made their way to the US, likely owing to the American proclivity for big-displacement vehicles suitable for crossing wide-open spaces. Ex-military machines can be a bit of a gamble, often having led hard lives. But Guzzi’s rugged construction is a definite asset here, and I really like the matte green paint and practical look of this bike.
The famous, sophisticated-sounding Metisse actually translates to “mongrel” in French, a testament to British humor, as well as ingenuity. This bike is different than our usual offerings: built for offroad use, it is powered by a Triumph engine with a BSA gearbox.
In the 60’s and 70’s, motorcycle design was still as much art as science: many innovative new designs came and went, and the physics that went into making a bike really handle were still not well understood, and many production motorcycles handled pretty poorly straight from the factory. Much of the problem was the primitive suspension available at the time, but a lack of frame stiffness and correct geometry played a huge role as well.
Many small shops catering to serious riders created their own frames designed to work with existing engines to create sporting hybrids for road, track, and dirt use. Among these, Rickman was one of the most successful, offering first off-road and then road-going packages based around British twins and singles, and later Japanese four cylinder bikes. Their frames were constructed from distinctive lightweight, nickel-plated tubes and many featured internal oil-passages that replaced oil tanks and coolers.
From the original CraigsList posting: 1953 Rickman Metisse Triumph/BSA Mark III for sale
We have a unique, STREET LEGAL Rickman Metisse Triumph Mark III for sale! This is an oil-in-frame bike, powered by a 500cc Triumph twin. The engine also features an AMAL 386 Monoblock carb, Megacycle Cams, and a Lucas competition magneto that was recently rebuilt. For better shifting, the engine has also been mated with a rebuilt BSA SCR 4-speed gearbox, and the BSA primary case was machined to fit perfectly with the Triumph Crankcase. Bruce Holland Motorcycles in Boise, ID has rebuilt the motor & there is paperwork showing the details of the rebuild. This Rickman has original magnesium hubs in the front and rear, and are laced by Buchanan’s in Azusa to rare Dunlop spring steel rims. DOT approved Pirelli dual sport tires are currently installed on the wheels. A Sammy Miller kickstart lever unit is on the bike, which allows the lever to fold in closer to the frame, along with all new cables, grips, twist grip, levers & handlebars. The Rickman frame is nickel-plated & new, plus comes with a Certificate of Authenticity that states it was built specifically for the engine – allowing it to be titled as a 1953 model, instead of a special construction!
The listed asking price is $17,000 for this rare bit of kit. True production numbers are a bit difficult to discern, as Rickman generally sold their bikes in kit form to be finished by the owners or local shops. But this looks to be in excellent shape and is definitely unusual. That the sellers are a specialist classic motorcyle shop in Orange, California to me only increases confidence.
The Le Mans, Moto Guzzi’s famous 1970’s superbike, was an evolution of their earlier V7 Sport, with restyled bodywork and a bigger engine. Introduced in 1976 to keep pace with competition heating up between Europe and Japan, the Le Mans featured the same Lino Tonti designed frame, but saw the engine punched out to 850cc’s. Chrome-lined cylinders, high-compression pistons and other standard hot-rod tricks gave 71hp at the rear wheel and a top speed of 130. While not the fastest bike of the period, it was rock-solid and stable, and could keep that speed up all day long.
Built around an unlikely powertrain that included shaft drive and a longitudinally mounted v-twin, Guzzi’s sportbikes still performed well and are famous for their durability: the two-valve, pushrod engines are easy to work on if you’re so inclined, but are oil-tight and very robust.
From the original eBay listing: 1977 Moto Guzzi 850 Le Mans for Sale
6800 miles! All original except electronic ignition and Corbin seat, have original seat, still in pretty good shape. See pic. Paint is mostly good with small nicks and chips from 30plus years of life. Small scrape on front ferring. See pic. I bought another ferring that was supposed to be “excellent”. Isn’t even fair. Will go with bike if you want it. I put on new throttle cables and foot rubbers a couple of years ago. Changed oil over winter. Runs and rides like it should. Might need a battery, its about 3 yrs old and sounds a little week. Your welcome to come see before you bid.
As you can see, there’s a small amount of surface rust on the front rotors, a few dings here and there, and that comfortable, if not original Corbin seat. Note that the seller does have the original seat. Interestingly, these seats are made of a closed-cell foam that did not hold up well to hard use, and few have survived from new. The bike also includes that ugly, but unfortunately original, US headlight ring that projects beyond the surface of the bikini fairing. It’d be my first order of business to fit a replica Euro-styled piece if this were mine.
Bidding is very active and the reserve has been met. It seems like, just a few years ago, these were selling regularly for $6,000 or so. This one is headed north of $10,000 with several days to go. Aside from a few minor cosmetic flaws, this looks to be a solid example of an iconic and very practical Italian sportbike.
When you’re looking to go racing, it’s easy to lust after exotic, high-performance machinery. But most of us need to think in terms of real-world practicality and consider things like “tires” and “maintenance” and that’s where bikes like this Honda MT125R fit in. Simple and cheap, it wasn’t the fastest thing out there when new, but was designed for competition and was easy to keep running.
Built for just two years, from 1977 to 1978, the Honda MT125R was a two-stroke, production racer. Parts for this little 169 pound Frankenstein-ian Monster were largely derived from other production motorcycles in Honda’s stable, with just the frame and bodywork being unique to the MT125. The engine, notably, was from the proven and durable CR125 off-road model, making parts especially easy to come by.
That little 123cc two-stroke, air-cooled single put 26bhp through a 6-speed gearbox. Interestingly, Honda did produce a liquid cooling kit that could be fitted to the bike, including a new cylinder and head, water pump, and accessories.
While 26hp is real power in such a featherweight bike, it’s all up at the top of the tach, and the bike required a brutal launch technique with screaming revs and lots of slip. First-generation bikes had a cable-operated front brake, although this one sensibly features a later hydraulic unit, here fitted with a braided line.
From the original eBay listing: 1977 Honda MT125R for Sale
Nice Honda MT125R classic racer. AHRMA Formula 125 eligible. All there, good compression. I have “dry” installed a Jerry Lodge hydraulic front brake conversion (uses a early 2000 Yamaha DT125r or TTr125 caliper and master). The fairing is a bit cracked here and there but I installed it for illustration and it would protect the bike if it is shipped. You can get new from Airtech etc..
This looks more like a bike for someone interesting in vintage racing, not simply collecting, as the bike does feature some practical upgrades and is not in absolutely perfect condition. Bidding is almost ridiculously low at just $1,225, a screaming deal for all the track-day fun you’d have with this little nipper.
Characterful little bikes like this don’t really exist anymore: today, 125’s and 250’s are starter bikes and commuters, designed to offer maximum value and a dash of style and color. But under the skin, they’re designed and built as cheaply as possible, and often look pretty nasty if you look too closely.
Make no mistake, the Stornello or “Starling” in Italian, was designed to be built cheaply, but, like many small Italian bikes of the 50’s and 60’s, although designed as practical, affordable transportation, still managed to infuse some style, class, and quality.
Equipped with lower bars, a racing seat [here replaced with a solo saddle], cut-down fenders, lightweight wheels, and increased fuel capacity, the Sport version of the little Stornello produced a bit more power than stock, a thundering 8hp from the 123cc motor. That may not sound like much, but the long-stroke, undersquare engine made good torque in the best Guzzi tradition.
From the original eBay listing: 1967 Moto Guzzi Stornello 125 Sport for Sale
All original accept horn and rear view mirror. Finish and all body parts with original patina clear coated. All mechanical components completely gone through. Engine: complete rebuild including Valve guides, valves, piston, rings, sleeve honed, new wrist pin, new kick start return spring, complete gasket set, cases buffed and detailed. Motor starts on first kick every time, all electronics work. Aftermarket turn signals added for safety. Tires are ok and original. Single saddle is correct and original from Italy but original American long seat is included. Not many of these in the US and this one turns heads. Current Indiana Title, plated
Condition: All original as found in barn, completely disassembled cleaned and assembled with original barn rust spots, all fender and case rust was treated and clear coated to preserve the look. Tank perfect, no rust, no clear coat. Italian seat and parcel rack has been added but original large seat is included. New wiring harness, lights and turn signals added for safety, original 6 volt system. Engine complete top to bottom rebuild, piston, rings, wrist pin, value guides, valves, kick start return spring and carb. Cases and cylinder buffed and detailed. Exhaust original all the way back. I am the second owner, found this bike in a barn in Ohio where it had been sitting for the past 20 years
With a “Buy It Now” price of $3,000 for such a sweet little piece of history, although those turn signals would have to go: a nice set of small, black LED signals would do the same job, draw less current, and be far more subtle than the bits currently fitted. A very cool bike for a pretty low price.