Tagged: rare

1962 Matchless G50

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The British motorcycle industry has had its trying times, and because of this, there were occasions of competitors becoming partners. This was the case for AJS and Matchless, two companies with their own racing history, joining forces to stave off extinction. It didn’t work, but this 1962 Matchless G50 is what is left behind for us to enjoy.


From the seller

1962 Matchless G50 500cc Factory Racer

500cc Single cylinder factory racer with magnesium cases. This motorcycle sports an older restoration and it has been on static display in a private collection. Full service will be required prior to returning competion use. Very rare and desirable post war British racer.

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Matchless had purchased AJS, and other manufactures just before the outbreak of war. When the umbrella name of AMC was coined in 1938, this was the company which produced war ready singles for the British and Commonwealth countries. When the war ended, AMC took AJS and Matchless racing again, and the 7R with the AJS badge was the first to make an impact. Unlike the racing Nortons of the time, the AJS used a chain to drive its OHC instead of the shaft and bevel that the Manx used. It may not have been as technically advanced, but it was also less expensive to produce, and easier to maintain. This made it a favorite of club racers, and lead to the “Boy Racer” moniker.

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In 1958, AMC used the knowledge they had learned with the 350cc AJS engine and produced a 500cc engine and gave it the Flying “M” of Matchless. It became the G50, a hint to the 50hp that it developed. With its 496cc and single over head cam, the Matchless was able to reach in excess of 130mph. The extensive use of Magnesium in construction of the engine gave it a significant weight advantage over other racers and this helped to create a more nimble bike. It may not have reached the top step of the podium at the Grand Prix level, but it did fill out the start list.

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Though AMC stopped production of the G50 in 1963, an opportunistic Colin Seeley purchased all the dies and tooling from AMC for the G50. Seeley continued to produces some very competitive motorcycles, and Seeley G50’s are as sought after as the original factory efforts.  If you pick up this 1962 Matchless G50, and you end up needing spares, don’t worry, because what Mr Seeley started in the late 1960’s continues today under the name TGA Ltd. This will allow you to race your G50 for many years to come. BB

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1939 Velocette KTT Mark VII


When your dad owns a motorcycle company, you as the children have a very important role in the business. You are to go racing. This is what Percy and Eugene Goodman did for their father, the owner of Velocette. They built an over head cam racing bike, put Alec Bennett, an established racer, on it and went to the Isle of Man. They won in 1926 and the motorcycle they built was the bevel drive, OHC, KTT. K for camshaft, TT for Tourist Trophy, which they won. This 1939 Velocette KTT Mark 8 was the first iteration with a rear swing arm, but also the last version, production would end in 1949.

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From the seller

1939 Velocette KTT Mk VIII

Factory built racer with 350cc single cylinder overhead cam engine. Engine # KTT/1074, Frame #  SF/257 Purchased from original owner/racer approximately fifteen years ago out of South Africa. Sporting later year Velocette hydraulic front suspension and full width front brake. Later year rear shocks mounted with original rear “air shocks”  present and included in the sale. Very rare and desirable pre war British racer.  An excellent investment!

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Early in the production of the KTT, Velocette developed the positive stop foot shifter. The Velocette KTT success at Grand Prix racing was helped along by riders like Stanley Wood who gave valuable input into design and performance.  It was Stanley’s suggestion to move the engine forward and lower in the frame to improve handling. Over the 8 Mark versions, other improvements included an aluminum cylinder head, enlarged over time for better cooling and therefore more power. In 1937, Velocette designer Harold Willis borrowed air suspension developed for airplane landing gear, and grafted them onto a KTT to create one of the first rear swing arm suspension.

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Velocette made motorcycles from 1904 until 1971, but their most successful Grand Prix racer was the KTT produced from 1929-1949. This 1939 Mark 8 KTT is one of those pre-war British racing singles which has had a few alterations over the years. The original ‘oleo pneumatic’ shocks have been replaced, but are included with the bike. Also seen on this KTT is a large for its time front brake, but still with only a single brake shoe.  If you want to play L.R.Higgins and become a Private Owner of this KTT, take it to the track, preferably one on an island, and put yourself and this KTT to the test. BB

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1952 Norton Manx 40M


The “Norton Winning Way” was a catch phrase that was used by Norton to sell on Monday after they won on Sunday. One of the most successful Nortons ever was its OHC Manx racer. It was offered in both the Senior 500cc 30M, and the Junior 350cc like this 1952 Norton Manx. The Manx name was a tribute to the Isle of Man and the annual race around it which has tested machine and man since 1907. The first Senior race was won by a motorcycle with Norton painted on the tank, albeit one with another manufactures V-twin cradled in the frame.

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From the seller

1952 Norton Manx Engine/Frame #G10M2-46939

This is a rare opportunity to own a legend. The Norton Manx, both 350cc and 500cc were the dominant racing motorcycles of their era, in fact, these motorcycles still dominate the Vintage Motorcycle Racing Circuit today.

This Norton Manx model 40M is authentic in every way

This Manx has a very interesting history.  It was last ridden prior to my purchase in the 1993 Isle of Man Lap of Honor by 1948 TT winner of the 350cc junior class Ron Hazelhurst.

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The Manx name was first added to the Norton Internationals that had been specially prepared to race at the Isle of Man before WWII, but following the war the racing Nortons were called Manx.  From 1947 until the end of production in 1962, the OHC singles were the motorcycles that dominated the start lists, and the podiums of world class racing. If you wanted to go racing, you ordered a Norton Manx, and because of this, apparently lots of people ordered a Manx.

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Sometimes it’s who has owned it

With the assistance of Renowned Manx Guru Maurice Candy at the No Nonsense Raceway in 2004, the motorcycle was prepped, started and ridden around the pits. Mr. Hazelhurst had informed the previous owner from whom I purchased the Manx that this Manx had been sold new to the Prince of Singapore. Unfortunately the Royal Family had a dim view of the Prince participating in motorsports. Due to the disapproval of his family, the Prince purchased the motorcycle under the name of the English mechanic he had hired, Palmer Kyle. There is documentation supporting the fact that Palmer Kyle had ordered the motorcycle from Norton and there is no name inserted for the intended rider.

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The engine of the Norton Manx was the heart, but over the years, it was the Featherbed frame that was able to keep the heart winning. The McCandless brothers of England had developed a frame which out-classed all other frames. When it was combined with the Norton Manx from 1950 onward, the frame is what was able to carrier the 30 year old engine design onto the podium.

This 1952 Manx Norton was produced 2 years before Norton pulled out of Grand Prix racing, but over a decade before the Norton Manx was offered to the Public. The success of the Manx is still felt today even though Norton, the original one that is, no longer makes Norton Manx race bikes, there is a healthy after market for Manx engines, frames, brakes ect. You will not be hard pressed to find replacements if you were to bend or break something if you go racing, like the Prince did so many years ago. BB

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1986 Bimota DB1R for Sale

1986 Bimota DB1R R Rear

Originally founded to manufacture heating systems, Bimota turned its obviously wasted talent and enthusiasm to motorcycles in the 1970’s. During the 60’s and 70’s, major manufacturers were relatively hit-or-miss when it came to handling. This led to a number of small shops that specialized in frames to house powerplants from European and especially Japanese companies, who sometimes seemed content to stuff their powerful and reliable engines into bikes with the rigidity of a Schwinn bicycle.

Companies with names like Egli, Spondon, and Harris made everything from complete bikes, to frames, to kits you could buy and build your own specials. Bimota took the best ideas available and combined them to create their stunning SB2 in 1977, a bike so far ahead of its time it took the major manufacturers another twenty years to incorporate some of its more unusual features.

1986 Bimota DB1R Front and Rear

While Ducatis are only rarely criticized for their handling, some of Bimota’s most famous collaborations include the feisty twins from Bologna: we’re up to DB11 as of now, not including the innovative Tesi bikes, and this trend is likely to continue.

On that note, Bimota names can generally be decoded as follows: the first letter indicates the name of the manufacturer, the “B” is for “Bimota” and the number represents the bikes place in the history of Bimota’s working relationship with the manufacturer. So the “DB1” is really the “first Ducati-Bimota collaboration.”

1986 Bimota DB1R Right Front Wheel

DB1’s are pretty uncommon beasts although they were produced in relatively large numbers for a Bimota. But this particular example is very, very rare.

From the original eBay listing: 1986 Bimota DB1R for Sale

Bimota DB1R, 1 of 4 built, factory raced at Daytona by Malcolm Tunstall, new fluids, runs perfect, 

1986 Bimota DB1R Dash

A few years ago, I wrote up another one of these, meaning that two of the four in existence have featured on this site! It’s worth a quick look for the pictures of the bike with bodywork removed: the complex trellis frame looks like a Ducati by way of a Maserati Birdcage. And while the regular DB1 makes do with the regular Ducati clocks, the R has just one instrument: a honking big Veglia racing tach.

I really should just buy one of those already and mount it in a shadowbox or something…

Bidding is up over $26,000 which is no surprise, given the condition and rarity of this wonderful machine.


1986 Bimota DB1R Left Front

Vintage Racer:1960 Moto Parilla 250 for Sale

1960 Moto Parilla 250 L Front

From one of our readers comes this very nice racebike, a 1960 Parilla 250 that’s also posted up on Orange County’s Craigslist. There isn’t much information in the listing, but there are some good photos that should give a good idea of what you’re in for.

I’m not a Parilla expert, but this looks like this one’s powered by their “high-cam” 250 that made approximately 26hp and was built for the US. Most countries settled for 175 or 200cc models, but here in the land of “bigger-is-better”, we got an extra large 250cc helping, which came with a side of fries and a large soda.

1960 Moto Parilla 250 R Front

Although it looks like an overhead-cam engine at a glance, it’s not: the chain-driven cam operates the valves via short pushrods you can see on the left side of the engine, where they’re protected by corrugated rubber boots. This configuration allowed the little pushrod motor to rev pretty high and made maintenance easier, since the head could be removed without disturbing the ignition timing.

1960 Moto Parilla 250 L High

Giovanni Parrilla [yes, there is a second “r” in his name] reportedly started the company on a bet, sitting around with his pals complaining about the current state of the Italian racing machinery, “Oh, so you think you could do better?” And he did. After studying the Norton Manx, he built his own single in 1946 and was very successful in racing until Japanese two-strokes dominated the class in the 1960’s, although the company sold bikes in the US as late as 1967.

1960 Moto Parilla 250 L Side

These are pretty rare in the US, and are very collectible. This one appears to be in excellent shape and it looks like a runner, but a bit of history would be helpful. Parts can be scarce for these, but the community surrounding Parilla is close-knit and should be able to help.


1960 Moto Parilla 250 R Rear


1963 Honda CB72 Road Racer


I know there are people out there that study, and search, and have re-created lost motorcycles, but this 1963 Honda CB72 Road Racer might be a small study in motorcycle Archaeology. The last sentence in the seller description make it sound like a mystery, but it would be fun spending a weekend or two out at the track solving the puzzle.

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From the seller

Was raced into the 70’s in Ontario Canada…..sold to a previous Honda dealer in Saskatchewan who did some restoration work but the seat had been misplaced when it went out for re upholstery’s. I purchased the bike in 1985 and eventually bought a replica seat and had it painted to match. Other than displayed at a couple of bike shows over the years, it has sat on a display shelf at my dealership for 27 years. Unfortunately the race log book with tuning settings and maintenance was lost before I acquired it and I’m unsure of any other details. Believe the bike is based on the CYB Honda race kit.

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There are TV programs were people go out and dig through peoples homes and property to find hidden treasures. How many Honda Dealerships have been gone through to see what can be found? Are there racers hidden in the rafters? Are there CYB parts in boxes that haven’t seen the light of day? Especially in the Great White North of Canada were the racing season could be 2 weeks long?

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There was a time when Honda offered over the counter road racers. This was a combination of user demand, with a hint of marketing. Honda was new to the scene in the early ‘60’s, and what better way to get people to come see the showroom then racing and winning on the weekend. This then generated the privateer coming to the parts department and filling out the forms to get their own racer for next season. Bikes like this 1963 Honda CB72 Road Racer can be found in garages of people, and the back rooms of dealership. Go find them. BB

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1950 Vincent Red Comet


Vincent made the single cylinder Comet from 1935 until 1955. Not as big and dominant in the world of Motorcycling as its 1000cc brother, the 500cc Comet single is nothing to kick to the side. Like the bigger twin there were options on performance. The road going Comet, the Sport Comet, the TT and the Comet Special. The ultimate, and rarest was one of 31 “breathed on” from the factory, Grey Flash. This 1950 Vincent Red Comet is on the track now, but started life as a bike for the road.

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From the seller

1950 Vincent Comet racer. This bike is named “The Red Rocket”. This bike was purchased from a road race museum two years ago. It has been entrusted to us at TT Cycles to handle the sale. The bike is bump start, but we have fitted a kick lever to it just to get her started. The photo of the bike in our shop shows it with the fairing removed. The fairing and rear stand are included. The bike has quite a history. It has been run at Isle of Man and Bonneville. It has been to the Vincent Owners Group Meet over in the UK. The bike was built by Al Mark and the following is an excerpt from an interview with Al about this bike.

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“Meanwhile, Al was wheeling around Willow Springs on quite different machines, including another famous single, a Manx Norton. The “Red Rocket” 498cc single cylinder Vincent Comet seen here, sadly enough passed into Al’s possession as a gift from a dying friend. In stock non-race Comet form, the bike had had been sitting outside at prey to the elements for 27 years, and Al was determined to revive it, spending two years and then some, brining the little Vincent back to speed. He added his own personal interpretation, including the red paint job and bolted on the Manx Norton replica Peel Dolphin Mark II fiberglass fairing which gave a 6 mph advantage of the standard stiletto fairing of the era. He also mounted a tachometer, rewired the entire bike, and modified the distributor using a small jeweler’s lathe. “With that tinker toy lathe, it took me nine hours just to modify the 27-tooth countershaft sprocket.”

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With only 26,000 original miles, the original standard cylinder bores were found to be quite serviceable. Well-known Vincent expert Marty Dickerson supplied a brand new standard 11:1 piston while legendary restorer Mike Parti implanted an Alpha big end and lined the flywheels. The heads were ported to match the Amal GP carburetor that Al found at a swap meet where he also located the Norton 4-speed transmission now found on the Red Rocket in place of the standard Burman box.


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As for the name of the bike, Al says he took creative license in assigning it the moniker of “Red Rocket” as the Vincent is technically a Comet streetbike that’s been massaged into a Gray Flash replica, with a Manx fairing and a red paint job. “I painted it red because I wanted people to see me on the track and get out of my way or at least give me a wide berth.”


The Vincent Comet is half the engine of the bigger Rapide, but not half the motorcycle. To own a Comet may not have as much cache as being an owner of a Vincent twin, but this 1950 Vincent Comet race bike is still special. As the seller states, you can continue to campaign it on the track, or with a few additions, and a few subtractions (11:1 CR would be hard to kick start) you could ride this to the local bike night, and do it really fast. BB

1960 Ducati Elite 200

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Why is it that I am drawn to bikes from sellers of few words? This 1960 Ducati Elite 200 SS is one of the early Ducati singles, the beginning of what would become the Ducati we know today. But in 1960, these singles were just starting to come out of Italy, just starting to be caught up in the bigger is better axiom that sold bikes in North America.


From the seller

I traded a 750 GT for this Elite many years ago. First place concourse winner at many shows in the midwest.

see pics. Email me if you have any questions or need more pics


I think that the fact that this seller saw the value of this Ducati single measured up against an big L-twin tells a lot about the Elite. It’s more then just the Jelly Bean tank. Dr Fabio Tagloni had a hand in its design, and though there are only 203cc under the Bevel drive cylinder head, it generated 18hp at 7500rpm and gave a top speed of 80mph.

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This 1960 Ducati Elite 200 might be a small, small single cylinder, but it is a Ducati. Offered from 1959 until 1965 the Elite can be seen as one of the bikes that lead Ducati to where it is today, both on the track and on the road. You might not think of this 200cc bike as a rider, but you might surprise yourself. Buy it and ride it, don’t stick it up on a shelf. BB

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Pair of Motorsport BMW

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It is interesting to see how two sellers with the same motorcycle describe what they have on offer. Here is a case were two sellers of two 1978 BMW Motorsport Edition R100RS describe their bikes.


From the seller of this 1978 R100RS

1978 BMW R100rs in original condition w/7128 miles. This is a Motorsport Edition in “police white” w/”rennsport red” fairing & blue/blue/red pinstriping. This is a Texas titled motorcycle and has been kept in a climate controlled environment for most of it’s life. It has a new Yuasa battery & fresh rubber. This bike also has matching white panniers & a “dual” seat to go with the solo saddle. I have all manuals that were issued w/the bike and the original BMW tool kit. The solo seat pan has a small crack in the fibreglass as shown in photo and the right battery cover has a small stain at the upper right corner. A tiny chip in the rear of the solo seat cowling can also be seen in the video. This bike would make a nice example for a collector as it has very low miles and runs

…For those who know or care this is 1 of 200 CFO bikes produced by BMW in 1978.  40mm carburetors & 40mm exhaust.

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From the second seller of this 1978 R100RS

Being offered here is my 1978 R100RS Motorsport, the bike I thought I would never sell. I bought this bike from a gentleman that had prepared the bike mechanically for a cross country trip that never happened. I have since done a frame off restoration on this beauty over the passed three years. Here is a list of work done.

Professional repaint using the correct Glasurit paint colors for this model. The original hand pinstripes were left intact,taped over for paint, then a clear coat was applied.

Frame was sandblasted and powder coated black. New oem rear grabrail.

All the nuts and bolts on the frame are stainless steel.

New complete exhaust system.

The seat is a new stock reproduction.

The speedometer and odometer have been rebuilt and set to the original mileage.

The clock and volt meter both function as do all lights and turn signals,even the turn signal warning buzzer works.

A new sealed battery installed last year.

Stainless steel front brake lines, calipers and master cylinder rebuilt.

Rear master inspected and cleaned  as well.

Lightened flywheel and new clutch.

Carbs rebuilt, including new floats.

I have new BMW handgrips on the bars.

Also included with the bike is the original tool kit, air pump, and cable lock.

I have a set of K75S handlebars and new BMW handgrips to go with the bike if the buyer wants them.

New Metzler Lasertec front tire this season, ear Lasertec has around 1500 miles on it.

Now for the disclosure. he previous owner had the carb tops chromed and started a dual plug conversion but never finished. he paint has worn off the edge of the voltmeter and the windscreen has some deeps scratches in one corner. There are a couple of small chips in the side covers. You can see this in the pictures.

The bike runs and rides beautifully. The mileage stated may change as I still ride the bike.

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The R100RS was the top of the line for BMW, and the Motorsport RS is a special edition of a special bike. The R100RS was new to 1977, and when they first rolled into the hands of riders, they came with 40mm Bings and 40mm Exhaust taps. Soon afterwards the exhaust was reduced to 38mm and given more restrictive mufflers. These bikes were stamped “CFO” and this was to certify that they would pass California, Florida and Oregon emissions requirements. So I am wondering about the first sellers apparent conflicting statements about the bike. R100CS, CFO and 40mm/40mm.

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I am sure that there are people who have been able to unravel the nature of these special editions. The R100RS Motorsport Edition was limited to 200 bikes and only offered in 1978. The seller of the second bike gives the vin number, and I found a vin decoder which shows it was manufactures as a R100RS on 1977/10 which would end up on the dealership floors for 1978. The seller of the “R100CS” Motorsport does not include a Vin number. The Motorsport Edition appears to have been a “Badge” edition with only special paint to distinguishes it from the others RS’s. But again, there is a lot of information that I could not find, so do your homework when getting special editions of special bikes. It is nice that you have two to choose from, but hurry there has been active bidding, and one is ending soon. BB

1965 Yetman framed Honda CB305


Some of the greatest achievements that man have made came out of the garage. That guy with a beer in one hand and a wrench in the other is able to create something that changes the world, or some small part of it. This may be a huge reach, but this 1965 Honda CB305 with a Yetman racing frame is a bike that shows that a guy like David Yetman could create something to replace his broken bike.


From David Yetman

In 1965, while working for Autodynamics, Inc., a builder of Formula Vee racing cars in Marblehead, Massachusetts, I had the misfortune of wrecking my new CB77 Honda Super Hawk by broadsiding a large sedan. Being unable to afford a new frame, I designed and built one using my race car chassis experience.  Autodynamics’ owner saw the eight-pound result as a commercial possibility and bought the rights from me.  When we had a falling-out some months later, I repurchased the rights and set up The Yetman Corporation with the financial backing of a friend.


I have heard the term “Spaceframe” before and always just assumed it was a general term.

From David Yetman :” pure “spaceframe”, meaning that all of its structural members were triangulated, either in compression or tension. The design derived its strength from its form, not its material. ”


When you are able to strengthen something with design, you can see were the weight starts to drop. Some more great reading from the man himself can be found here.

Now this bike up for auction was put together by a different guy, but the spirit is the same. He had an engine, a frame, and some other parts and started to put them all together. Now its you chance to take over from this seller with his Yetman frame.


From the seller

This is a rare original nickel Yetman roadrace framed Honda 350 that I had started to convert to road use. It is highly modified and a work of art and goes like stink. Had it running last year around my neighborhood and just rips. It has the following:

Yetman frame with number 3015 stamped in it. Frame is beautiful work of art with great nickeling all over but has a wear spot near steering from cable rub and 3 small dings in top under seat location as shown in close-ups.

Engine is a CB72 lower end with serial number CB72E-40164. It has been highly modified with 305 barrels bored out to 350cc with a race cam, larger carburetors, and high compression pistons. This was info I was told when I purchased it and it goes like it is bigger than any 350 I have ever ridden. Plus the high degree of work done to the case covers and special clutch set-up indicate a lot of work was put into it.

Running constant loss ignition with no kick start so currently bump start. Was not too hard to do. Original Yetman gas tank with older cream coat. I put race fuel in so not a problem but if using newer fuels I would coat it again with something else. No leaks or cracks in tank.

Has some CYB parts including smooth fork crown, racing exhaust megaphones and I believe the rear sets.


This 1965 Yetman framed Honda CB305 is a project. You are going to need some work and money to get this bike on the road. I think what you have at the end of the journey is going to be something very unique. BB