Teutonic Trackday Terror: 1973 BMW R-Series Endurance Racer for Sale

1973 BMW R-Series Endurance Racer L Front

BMW’s boxer twins have long been associated with old men, heated grips, and hard luggage. But there have been racing Beemers as long as there have been Beemers and the quirky, shaft-drive “air-head” bikes are durable and can be extremely quick when properly prepared. This particular R-Series bike includes a veritable who’s-who of German race and top-shelf performance parts, with Silent Hektik twin-plug points-less electronic ignition [they also do Guzzis!], a Werner Fallert deep oil sump, restoration work by Hinrich Hinck, and uprated Lockheed brakes to replace the reportedly unimpressive stock front stoppers.

1973 BMW R-Series Endurance Racer R Rear

The original listing also mentions Gus Kuhn, whose name is proudly displayed on the side of the bare-metal tank. Gus Kuhn was a British racer, tuner, and dealer during the 1950s and 1960s. Although he died in 1966, Gus Kuhn Motors successfully raced Nortons and BMWs, eventually becoming one of the top BMW dealers in the world. It’s not clear from the listing if this is an actual Gus Kuhn machine or one simply intended as a tribute.

1973 BMW R-Series Endurance Racer Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1973 BMW R-Series Endurance Racer for Sale

Gus Kuhn Endurance, Marzocchi Lockheed GP Kroeber, Silent Hektik ignition, short piston engine overhauled

We have bought this Endurance Racer in Great Britain. Together with our friend Hinrich Hinck we decided to restore this very nice classic racer. We wanted to get as possible a high degree of originality. But we also wanted to build a very good racing machine and together with the experienced Hinrich Hinck we have done it.

The result: engine overhauled by BMW engine specialist Israel with short piston, Fallert oil pan,  Lockheed GP brakes, Marzocchi front fork, 18 inch rim, Kröber rev counter, aluminium fuel tank, Silent Hektik ignition, double spark,

Now it is ready to race for classic events.

1973 BMW R-Series Endurance Racer Engine Detail

Please note that the bike currently resides in Germany but, since it’s in no way road-legal, at least there’s no question as to whether or not it can be registered here in the US. There’s plenty of time left on the listing, with six days still to go, and bidding has not hit the reserve. At just over $3,000 that’s no surprise. Given the components, preparation, and that gorgeous bare-aluminum tank, this should be worth double that figure, assuming the right eclectic buyer can be found.


1973 BMW R-Series Endurance Racer L Side


Little Jewel: 1956 Parilla 175 Turismo Veloce for Sale

1957 Parilla 175 Tourismo R Front

Today’s machine is a very pretty little four-stroke single Parilla 175 Tourismo Veloce. Founded by Giovanni Parrilla With Two R’s in 1946 and built in his Milan workshop that specialized in diesel and injector pump repair, Parilla was a dominant force in small-displacement racing and built well-regarded road bikes until the onslaught of fast, cheap two-stroke motorcycles from Japan hit the market.

1957 Parilla 175 Tourismo L Engine

Many Parillas featured the distinctive “high-cam” engine that used short pushrods to actuate the valves actuated by a chain-driven cam just beneath the head. This kept the valvegear light for performance at higher revs and meant that the head could be removed easily without disturbing the timing. You can easily see the little rubber boots that cover the pushrods on the left-hand side of the engine. 175cc’s was as big as Parillas generally got, although the USA did naturally see a bigger 250cc version.

1957 Parilla 175 Tourismo R Tank

This example has shiny new paint and slightly more patina-d brightwork and metal, although it is overall a very elegant machine. Virtually impossible to find here in the US, this will be a labor of love, as you’ll likely spend a lot of time using GoogleTranslate to order parts from Italy…

1957 Parilla 175 Tourismo Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1956 Parilla 175 Turismo Veloce for Sale

Here for sale a very rare Parilla 175 TV Export high cams

The bike was been restored 5 years ago from the owner’s nephew. 

The bike is in very good conditions, and run very smooth.

Italian papers ready for export

1957 Parilla 175 Tourismo R Engine

Bidding is up to $7,900 at the time of writing and please note that the bike is in Italy. If you plan to run this bike on the road or in Moto Giro events, be sure to check with your local laws before your itchy mouse-finger clicks on that bright, blue “Place bid” button…


1957 Parilla 175 Tourismo L Front


Unrestored Beeza: 1969 BSA 650 Lightning for Sale

1969 BSA Lightning R Side

Designed as BSA’s versatile all-rounder, the A65 Lightning had twin-carbs compared to the Thunderbolt’s single-carb set up for improved performance at high rpm. It was considered the more conservative choice when compared to the competing Triumph Bonneville, although the flashy chrome tank panels look pretty striking today. Even though BSA and Triumph were technically owned by the same parent company by this point, clear attempts were made to create distinct brand identities for the Lightning and Bonneville, with a more “reliable” image for BSA, though such things are relative…

1969 BSA Lightning L Front Lamp

With similar displacements, power and performance were closely matched: the undersquare Triumph motor was a bit more torquey than the slightly oversquare BSA and both were OHV engines with the BSA featuring more modern “unit” construction behind those distinctive egg-shaped cases. Period riders often slotted the Triumph’s more easily-tuned engine into the lightweight, rigid BSA frame to create the TriBSA, a bike in the spirit of the more well-known Triton.

1969 BSA Lightning L Side Tank

The BSA’s 654cc twin put 52hp through a four-speed gearbox and was good for 108mph. Unfortunately, although the oversquare BSA was revvier, it was still a big parallel twin and using the higher revs broke bulb filaments with irritating regularity when chasing that power.

From the original eBay listing: 1969 BSA 650 Lightning for Sale

I am offering for sale this original and unrestored 1969 BSA 650 Lightning.  I received the bike in non running condition, with a 12 inch over extended front end, after market head light and brackets and one shorty muffler. The engine turned over with weak compression , but smoothly. The odometer indicated just over 2000 miles, and it`s last state inspection sticker was from 1974. The tires were original Dunlop `Made in England ` K70`s and the wheels were badly rusted on the bottom side from having been buried in earth. the bike had been in a barn, but apparently with a wet muddy floor. I proceeded to disassemble most of the bike , with the intent of leaving it as original as I could. I replaced the wheels with other ones from my stock, and cleaned and greased the wheel bearings. There is an almost new Asian K70 replica tire on the rear, and an original K70 on the front with good tread but has some sidewall checking. I sourced an original 1969 BSA front end with all correct components from my inventory, disassembled and cleaned it thoroughly and reassembled with new seals and all good component parts. I cleaned and polished all of the chrome parts to the best of my ability, and rubbed out the original vintage custom paint, which had apparently been done when the bike was still fairly new. I removed the top end, and found the rings to be stuck in the ring lands, and some rust in a couple of valve seats causing the low compression. The bottom end was clean and tight and still wet with oil from 1974 so decided not to disassemble it. I removed and thoroughly cleaned the pistons, and replaced them with new Hastings rings, honed the cylinders, replaced all gaskets, and removed, reseated and replaced the valves. Everything looked good. crankshaft end play is minimal and timing side bush shows minimal wear.(.002 clearance measured with a feeler gauge.) I also removed, cleaned thoroughly and replaced the oil pump, entire transmission, and primary drive and clutch assembly. I installed a very nice set of vintage Bates cocktail shaker megs with no baffles. They have a very pleasing exhaust note, but not annoyingly loud.

The end result is a bike which starts right up on one or two kicks, runs strong and smoothly, has good clutch action and shifts cleanly through all of the gears, does not smoke, and leakage is very minimal. (chain oiler drips as it should). It is clean and looks presentable, but surely no show bike or trailer queen. It has it`s fair share of ‘patina’ which is the cool way of saying worn chrome and paint, but is well sorted mechanically and electrically. I have no way of knowing if the odometer mileage is correct, although the bike appeared to have low miles. 

1969 BSA Lightning R Side Engine

There’s plenty of pitting and mild corrosion as described, but all that could be repaired if the new owner desired and the bike would work well as a rolling-restoration, since the issues are all cosmetic: as can be seen from the video, the bike starts and runs well, with a nice British twin snarl. There are no bids yet with plenty of time left on the auction, so I’ve no idea if this bike is realistically priced, but this looks like a very nice, rideable example of a late 60’s British icon.


1969 BSA Lightning R Side Front


Unrestored Race-Replica: 1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley for Sale

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley R Side Front

Originally designed for the European market, where handling and agility often trumped straight-line speed, the Suzuki GS1000S offered the best of both worlds, although the US received only a handful of these well-balanced machines: just 500 were imported in 1979 and 700 in 1980.

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley L Side Engine

A race-replica from the 1970s Superbike era, the GS featured Suzuki’s famously rugged, 997cc air-cooled inline four in a relatively lightweight, very stiff frame. Lighter than the GS750 that spawned it, this engine went on to serve for many years in Suzuki’s line up, and while it wasn’t the most powerful of the Japanese fours, the complete package offered up an impressive balance of handling, braking, and power that allowed bikes ridden by Wes Cooley and tuned by Pops Yoshimura to win the hotly contested AMA Superbike Championship in 1979 and 1980.

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley Dash

The bike seen here was never officially associated with Wes Cooley, but the link was undeniable and the name “Wes Cooley Replica” stuck.

From the original eBay listing: 1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley for Sale

Up for sale is my Super Rare Unrestored WES COOLEY GS1000S, the bike is unrestored and has 22k original miles but looks almost brand new and runs like brand new and if you didn’t look at the odometer you would think it is a 1000 mile bike, there are no scratches, dents or chips in the paint and the chrome pipes look new. If your looking at this motorcycle you probably know all about it as bikes of this caliber and rarity do not come up often so don’t miss your chance, bike is all original and unrestored. Pictures speak for themselves

1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley R Side Engine

Bidding is very active on this bike and is currently north of $7,000 with plenty of time left on the auction. These were pretty rare to begin with, and their practical nature means many have racked up pretty high mileage or been ridden hard and put away wet. This example is about as clean as you’ll ever find, and is claimed to be completely original, striking the perfect balance between a usable machine that’s been ridden and a museum-perfect collectible.


1979 Suzuki GS1000S Wes Cooley L Side


Grand Prix Single: 1962 Matchless G50 for Sale

1962 Matchless G50 R Side Front

Possibly less well known than the incredibly long-lived Norton Manx, the Matchless G50 was a beautifully simple Grand Prix race bike that used lightness and simplicity to great advantage, as seen in the photos of this bike that clearly show the magnesium engine cases.

1962 Matchless G50 L Side

The 496cc chain-driven SOHC air-cooled single was connected to a four-speed gearbox and could push the 320lb bike to a top speed of 135mph. Supposedly named for the 50bhp it made at the rear wheel, the Matchless G50 was a direct competitor of the Norton Manx and, although it made less power, it was 30lbs lighter, making it that bike’s equal on tighter tracks… Unfortunately, the G50’s career was much shorter, with just 180 built in total between 1958 and 1963.

1962 Matchless G50 Dash

If you want one and you’re not particularly bothered by originality, near-perfect replicas are still being built by folks like Colin Seely, although with modern tolerances and production methods and often with higher-spec internals. They’re pricey for sure, but you won’t have to worry about finding someone willing to sell you a real G50, or be concerned about crashing a piece of history.

1962 Matchless G50 R Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1962 Matchless G50 Factory Racer for Sale

500cc Single Cylinder, with magnesium cases, Amal GP carburetor, correct front and rear brakes, older restoration on a very correct and unmolested factory racer. This motorcycle has been on static display in a private collection for many years. A full inspection and a new set of tires will be required prior to returning to competion use. The 1962 was the last year model for the Matchless G50 and is the most collectable and desirable of all years. Selling on a bill of sale.

1962 Matchless G50 Engine Detail2

The bike’s $62,750.00 Buy It Now price might seem pretty shocking, but Bonhams sold one in 2013 that went for just a shade under $60k so I’d expect this is right on the money for a genuine GP racer from the golden age of the British biking industry. It’s certainly an amazing machine, and would make a stunning vintage racer or display piece.


1962 Matchless G50 R Side


Raw Elegance: 1977 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale

1977 MV Agusta 750S America L Side Front

It really doesn’t matter if Honda’s new RC213V will be beaten by a bone-stock ZX-10 in every quantifiable measure of performance. It also really doesn’t matter how much it will cost: you probably couldn’t afford one and they’re all spoken for, anyway. And that’s the point: much like today’s MV Agusta 750S America, the RCV has a direct link to Honda’s MotoGP hardware and represents a blue-chip investment, and a one-of-a-kind experience for the most well-heeled enthusiasts, regardless of performance.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America R Side

Certainly, the 750S wasn’t the lightest or the most powerful bike available at the time. Saddled with a heavy, power-sapping shaft-drive system that helped the America weigh in at a Rubenesque 560lbs wet and dragged around by a mere 75hp, performance was certainly brisk, but nothing particularly impressive. But people plumping for this bike likely weren’t concerned about the ultimate performance: they wanted looks, sound, and feel, and they got that in spades. Comparing it to other bikes of the period, you can see that it has presence, and if you’ve been weaned on modern four-cylinder motorcycles, nothing can prepare you for the rough metallic shriek these machines make.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America Gauges

Originally displacing a shade under 750 at 743cc’s, the America featured, as you would expect, a bigger, bored-out 788cc engine for moar powar… It also moved the gearshift to the left to suit a less European clientele. But the engine was otherwise unchanged: the sand-cast four was sophisticated and smooth, with a cam-driven geartrain and an overall width less than a Honda CB400.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America R Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1977 MV Agusta 750S America for Sale

Frame# 221017
Engine# 221017
2,770 miles
NYS Title

Original, un-restored and in beautiful condition. Not only one of the lowest mileage Americas in existence, but probably the best one in original condition. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better one on this planet. The bike is absolutely stunning. and drives as beautifully as it looks. When the bike is idling it purrs like a cat, and when you hit the throttle it roars like a lion. It’s one of my favorite bikes of all time to ride. The 4-cylinders are so smooth and capable with or without passenger.

This bike will not disappoint.

Stored in climate-controlled space. The bike is located in downtown Manhattan. I don’t have any videos of the bike running but it sounds amazing.

1977 MV Agusta 750S America L Side Rear

While I appreciate Instagram as much as the next guy and this bike does look cool in the pics, I’d appreciate a less… saturated set of images. But the bike does look to be in very nice shape, excepting what appears to be some oil or fuel on the outside of the engine. Or is that just some Instagram-y filter effect?

1977 MV Agusta 750S America Engine

Obviously, this is a serious amount of money for a motorcycle: bidding is currently north of $55,000 and there’s still plenty of time left on the auction. That money could buy you a whole collection of cool motorcycles, and that’s exactly what I’d do with that lump of cash. But for those who want the most sophisticated machine the 1970’s had to offer from one of the most exotic brands of all time, there’s really not much to compare.


1977 MV Agusta 750S America L Side


Tonti-Framed Masterpiece: 1974 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side

The current café racer and “brat-style” bike craze works hard to create a low, street-racer silhouette, often at the expense of suspension travel. But Moto Guzzi’s V7 Sport had low-and-lean included, with no additional charge. With the cylinders of the big, longitudinally-mounted v-twin jutting out to the sides, the frame and tank could sit in the valley of the vee, instead of having to take the long route over the top, for a low center-of-gravity and sleek good looks as standard.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side Detail

Earlier “loop-framed” Guzzis like the V700 handled well enough and were great touring machines, but they weren’t light enough or low enough to really cut it on track. So Lino Tonti created a brand new frame to wrap around the slightly smaller, sportified twin that had 52hp measured at the back wheel. Detachable frame rails allowed the engine to be easily serviced, and that same design was used in one form or another well into the modern era.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Clocks

Surprisingly, shaft-drive was retained and has become something of a signature for Guzzi. While shaft-drive is great for touring bikes and require less maintenance than a chain and set of sprockets, it’s generally not used on sportier bikes as it can add significant weight, and the torque-reaction can cause unfavorable handling characteristics. But while the rotational mass of the engine and driveshaft can be felt when rolling on or off the throttle in corners, the effects are generally very mild and riders quickly adapt.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side Rear

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

This is a 1974 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport. It has dual front disk brakes from the factory, superior stopping power, so this is probably one of the last before they changed to the Lemans sport model. I have owned it for over 12 years. during which time I upgraded the electrical system to a much more dependable one. I changed the ignition system to an electronic one with the matching Dynatek coils. It has a solid state voltage regulator. The front brakes lines has been replaced with stainless steel brake lines. The front fork cartridges have been replaced with the much more consistent FAC cartridges and progressive springs. The old cartridge type steering damper has been replaced with a newer, more solid version. The mirrors are Napoleon Baren TT. Other than that the motorcycle is pretty much stock. It has 41,000 miles on the clock which in Guzzi time frame, it is still a baby. I have done a major fluid change and valve adjust recently. This bike has been cared for and serviced on time all of its life, I am its third owner and I can say that it has never slept outside, always garaged and cared for. This is one of the 152 V7 sports brought to the US in 1974. The bike runs great and handles even better. I love this bike but I am parting with some bikes now and this one has to go.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport R Side Rear

Interestingly, this is one of two nice V7 Sports for sale at the moment, and although the other features the very classic drum-braked front, this example has better photographs. It’s also the less expensive of the two, although with a Buy It Now price of $17,840.00 it’s not cheap. It is, however, in very nice original condition and those dual front discs should probably work better in real-world riding than the more stylish drum. Mileage isn’t particularly low but this, as the seller mentions, is no concern for a Guzzi.

All-in-all, a worthy addition to anyone’s real or fantasy garage.


1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport L Side


Big Beautiful Single: 1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport for Sale

1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone R Side

It’s been a while since we’ve posted up one of the elegantly simple Guzzi singles, so when I came across this classic Falcone, I thought it was high time we went old school. Or, well even older school… This 1957 Falcone is a pretty late version of their classic horizontal single that offered a winning combination of practicality, handling, and good looks. Gone are the earlier bikes’ exposed hairpin valves, which is a shame for the appearance, but likely a great idea for riders who plan to use their bikes: with that head so close to the ground and to the front wheel, you’ve got to figure grit and grime are a real pain for regular users. And make no mistake: these were definitely meant to be ridden.

1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Engine

With a very low center of gravity, small frontal area, and a huge external flywheel that allowed the bike to lope along at tractor-like rpms, the Falcone was nimble, durable, flexible, and handled well. With a seemingly inadequate 23hp produced by the 500cc engine, it’s the bike’s locomotive torque that allowed the bike to lope on up to an 85mph top speed, a very respectable speed for a single-cylinder motorcycle!

1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Headlight

This example is in excellent condition cosmetically and is obviously a runner, my very favorite kind of bike.

From the original eBay listing: 1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport for Sale

Show or ride, low miles .

This bike starts easy, runs great, drives straight , stops well, looks great. Has won shows! Belonged to two very discerning  collectors G. Webster and B. Melvin. They don’t come much better than this! The price is  a bargain for the quality of the Machine. $22,000. 

The bike has been thru an extensive restoration previous to my ownership. Since I bought it I have driven it some and sorted it well. Its a beautiful show bike that you can ride to the show. I have a Large collection of bikes and have been buying them and selling them for over 50 Years. For the last 20 Years I have had an interest in owning a Moto Guzzi Falcone Sport and I have looked at a lot of them, before I found one in this condition. If there are nicer ones, they may not be for sale, because I have seen few nicer than this one. Is it perfect, probably not. Truth is I have never seen or owned that perfect dream bike. There is always something. But I think most of you will find it near that mark. There is nothing significant that I have seen wrong with it.

Oh just remembered, one of the tool box covers has a latch that sometimes doesn’t lock well. Needs an adjustment.

1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone Engine2

Oh noes! The tool box cover latch isn’t working all that well! Well forget it, then… With a $22,000 Buy it Now price, the seller is obviously asking premium money for this bike, but you’re unlikely to find an example that both looks this good and runs as well as this one is supposed to run. It’s not clear if this one’s been restored or not but, given the condition, I’ll assume it has at least been repainted.

It’s a shame that Guzzi’s current owners over at the Piaggio Group have decided that the big Italian twins will forever fill the retro niche, since Aprilia is clearly intended to be their flagship sporting brand. But that’s a shame, because Moto Guzzi has such a history making sports motorcycles, and that legacy will remain unfulfilled for the foreseeable future.


1957 Moto Guzzi Falcone L Side



Succeeding with Excess: 1976 Benelli 750 Sei for Sale

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side

“If some is good, then more is better.” That pretty much sums up the philosophy in effect here. Benelli’s six-cylinder Sei wasn’t really faster than an equivalent four. It didn’t handle any better. And it certainly wasn’t any more frugal. But it was more. Six freaking cylinders more, at a time when the motorcycling world was just getting used to the idea of easily available four-cylinder machines, Benelli went and built this thing. In fact, the driving philosophy behind its creation seems to be, “Because we could.” Which is a great reason to build things, as far as I’m concerned.

Especially motorcycles.

1976 Benelli Sei 750 Engine

Introduced in 1972, the 750 Sei featured an inline-six engine that was enlarged to 900cc in 1978. While 71hp was nothing to sneeze at, the real advantage of the configuration was smooth power and a wide powerband. Certainly, the wide engine limited cornering clearance, and the bike wasn’t really suited to back road scratching. It was a sophisticated sport-touring machine, the classic “gentleman’s express.” Unfortunately, styling was a bit subdued, performance was a bit underwhelming even when bored out to 900cc, and the bike was naturally expensive to run. But six-cylinder motorcycles sound amazing and, ridden within their limits, are very enjoyable motorcycles.

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side Tank

This particular example is in very original condition, apart from the 6-into-1 exhaust. Certainly the look of the original system is more classic, although this set up will save plenty of weight and perhaps improve the limited cornering clearance issues.

From the original eBay listing: 1976 Benelli Sei 750 for Sale

Bike is complete. It has been stored inside for many years and the front forks, having no mechanical problem, are somewhat pitted and rusty. The chrome rear fender, headlight rim and front fender have some surface ‘stuff’ on them but they are not rusted. The rim itself isn’t perfect. Tires are new, battery isn’t.

This bike was purchased disassembled in 1985 from a dealer. All of the parts were new. After reassembly, the bike was ridden sporadically for 5 years and then stored indoors. It is currently in Birmingham Alabama, stored in a car enthusiast’s toy room. The bike is stock except for the Marving 6-into-1 exhaust system. The tires look new but they have been on the bike for over 20 years. The battery was changed about 5 years ago and charged occasionally. The electrics all work.

1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side Rear

With a $7,000 Buy It Now price, I think the seller is aiming a bit high, considering the bike’s condition. Obviously, while the paint on the tank and bodywork are very original and shiny, much of the bits that rust have surface corrosion and pitting. This is a great starting point, but anyone looking at this bike should be planning for an extensive and probably expensive restoration to get this bike in working order. Is it worth it? Certainly not from a financial standpoint. But these are obviously rarer and more exotic than a CBX and have the same draw: a physically massive, silky-smooth six cylinder engine.


1976 Benelli Sei 750 R Side Panel


It’s In the Name: 1951 Vincent Rapide for Sale

1951 Vincent Rapide R Front

While the sinister-sounding Vincent Black Shadow gets all the headlines, the more basic Rapide has almost all of its more evocative sibling’s impressive technology and speed. In the same way the racing Brittens are almost mind-bendingly advanced considering the era in which they were built, these bikes include features that wouldn’t be seen regularly on mainstream bikes for another ten or twenty or even thirty years in some cases.

1951 Vincent Rapide Bars

The first Rapide was introduced in 1936 and used a 47.5° v-twin with unit construction to fit into the frame which was later changed to an even 50° when Vincent went to a frameless design. That’s right: the second-generation Rapide basically lacked a frame. Similar to Ducati’s radical Panigale, the steering head bolts to the front cylinder and the rear suspension mounts to the gearbox.

1951 Vincent Rapide L Side

And the suspension was just as radical. First of all, it actually had suspension at the rear, and used a set of girder forks up front. And like a modern motorcycle, the gearshift was foot-operated with a hand clutch.

1951 Vincent Rapide Engine

It was one of the very fastest, most exotic bikes of the time, and with 45 torquey horses pushing 450lbs, these have plenty of poke to keep up with modern traffic, and you could always tune yours up to a Black Shadow-spec 55hp.

Vincents that come up for sale these days seem to be either pristine collectibles or barn-find basket-cases. This particular bike falls right in the middle of those two extremes.

From the original eBay listing: 1951 Vincent Rapide Series C for Sale

Recently pulled out of long term storage 

This is a very rare example of a Touring specification Rapide. It has been stored for the better part of the last 30 years inside. The engine turns over and has compression. No attempt has been made to start the bike. It is a matching numbers bike -see photos of the UFM (upper frame member), RFM (rear frame member) and engine being 1900 numbers apart. The right engine case has been replaced at some time during its history. It is missing the speedo and rear stand, and the fenders are incorrect, but it is otherwise complete. The correct Miller generator is included with the bracket-see photo. 

This motorcycle was originally supplied to Indian Sales Corp. of San Francisco in May, 1951 according to factory records. It is a touring specification with raised handlebars, steel fenders, 19″ front and 18″ rear wheel. Tires are a Firestone front and Dunlop rear with lots of tread, however, they are older and must be replaced prior to any road use. 

This bike could be used as-is cosmetically, however it would benefit from a restoration. The paint is original on the frame. The red tank and fender paint is shiny but has flaws. The headlight lens is cracked. Sharp eyes may notice the left rear brake drum is from a Black Shadow-no big deal, but I thought I’d point it out. If you have any questions, please ask prior to bidding. 

There is a very reasonable reserve on this auction. This motorcycle is not advertised elsewhere, and this auction is the exclusive opportunity to purchase it. This is a an extremely rare bike and RAPIDLY appreciating.  An opportunity like this does not come along very often, so NOW is the time to buy-thanks and good luck!

1951 Vincent Rapide R Side

This is obviously in serious need of work to return it to concours-ready condition, although it doesn’t sound like much would be needed to make it a rough and ready runner. Considering the way values are headed, a full restoration is certainly an appropriate path, and the bike looks pretty cool, in its current worn and well-used state.


1951 Vincent Rapide R Rear

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