Tagged: 1966

Numbers-Matching Twin: 1966 BSA Lightning for Sale

1966 BSA Lightning R Front

Intended as the all-rounder in BSA’s mid-60’s range, the A65 Lightning was sportier than the Thunderbolt and more comfortable than the Spitfire. A natural competitor for Triumph’s Bonneville, owing to similar specification and performance, the Lightning was powered by a 654cc, OHV parallel-twin that put 52hp through a four-speed gearbox and could reach a claimed 112mph.

1966 BSA Lightning Tank

Slightly oversquare dimensions gave the engine a more enthusiastic quality than competing machines from Triumph, but parallel twins are inherently unbalanced and BSA’s engine shook more than most: in an era before balance shafts and other mechanical trickery, severe vibration in the upper rev range would see you breaking headlight filaments with cartoonish regularity.

1966 BSA Lightning Engine Detail

Interestingly, although the distinctive chrome-plating on the tank is very evocative and striking today, BSA’s image at the time was more “reliable and conservative” than rival Triumph.

1966 BSA Lightning Clocks

From the original eBay listing: 1966 BSA Lightning for Sale

Meticulous Ground-Up Restoration by BSA Enthusiast, Thousands in Receipts, New Everything, One Owner 1966-2012, 2500 Original Miles, Matching Numbers

This 66 BSA Lightning is a two owner bike with 2500 original miles. It was ground-up restored over the last three years by a very detail-oriented BSA enthusiast, who bought the bike from the original owner in 2012. The original owner lived in Sleepy Hollow, NY and bought the bike brand new from the dealership on Main Street in sleepy hollow in 1966. He rode it sparingly, lost interest, and stored it in his house until 2012. As a result, the previous owner told me the bike only had 2500 miles on it when he purchased it.

When the previous owner got it, he assessed the bike, started ordering parts, and completely disassembling it down to the frame (pics below.) Since the bike was so original, the idea was to completely rebuild all the mechanicals, while leaving as much of the cosmetics original as possible. The frame did not need to be repainted, so it was left “stove black” with its original paint from the factory. The seat and tank and sidecovers are all original and are in great condition and display a nice even light patina.

The motor was sent out and fully and professionally rebuilt.
The bike was fitted with Mikunis and a Boyer MK4 ignition.
The suspension was completely rebuilt, as well as the wheel bearings, and he added a tapered steering head bearing.
The bike was fitted with new tires, new battery, new fuel taps, it has all new cables, and the tank was sealed.
I have thousands of dollars in receipts for all the work done, as pictured.

The bike was set up to ride, so everything was hit with blue loctite. The stock handlebars were kept, since they are so comfortable to ride with and make the bike easy to wheel around the garage. The bike starts up easily from dead cold on one or two kicks. Remarkably, it doesn’t even leak any oil (and yes, there’s oil in it.)

All the electrics function properly. Because of the new tires and freshly rebuilt suspension, the bike is the best riding Lightning we’ve had. It feels very tight going down the road, loves to corner, and exhibits very little vibration. The new owner put just over 500 indicated miles on the bike since the rebuild and told me he wouldn’t hesitate to ride the bike anywhere. We’ve sold 5 Lightnings in the last year and this one is the most impressive.

With this bike you get excellent preservation-class cosmetics with the security of thousands in receipts that come with the bike that show a total overhaul. The previous owner was very particular about the bike and any conversation I had with him about it seemed to last at least half an hour or more while he went over all the minute technical details of the restoration.

The bike comes with a perfectly preserved original 1966 BSA owner’s manual. It is matching numbers.

1966 BSA Lightning Seat

Take a look at the particularly nice video of the bike riding around its current home in Brooklyn, NY: you can really hear that classic twin snarl.

There are “survivors” with tons of originality and patina. But something like this, a ground-up restoration by experts with minor updates to improve reliability and function is more in line with what I would want in a dream bike. And the bike doesn’t appear to have been “over-restored”: some bits still in excellent condition were even left with their original paint to give the bike a bit of a lived-in feel.

I don’t follow the prices on these, so I wouldn’t hazard a guess as to where that reserve is set. But it’s obvious that, if you’re looking for a really nice Lightning to own and cherish and ride, this is one to watch.


1966 BSA Lightning L Side

The Perfect Cafe Racer: 1966 Norton Atlas for Sale

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe R Side Front

At first glance, the tank shape suggests that this is a classic Norton Commando, but the upright engine reveals the truth: this is a very well put-together Norton Atlas café racer. When building the perfect café bike, many builders prefer the more sleekly-canted engine from the later Commando that supposedly improved center of gravity, but likely just looked cool and created additional space for carburetors. Redesigning the engine for the Commando was easy for the same reason it’s very easy to mix-and-match parts from these bikes: the pre-unit gearbox.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe L Side

While an obviously outdated design, even when new, Norton made it work well, and their parallel-twins were the bikes to beat on both road and track: the “Featherbed” frame gave famously sharp handling and the engines could tuned to be very powerful, yet the package remained relatively lightweight.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Dash

The seller’s description mentions significant engine work that stresses balancing and lightening, a great idea, since the 750 twin did have some issues with vibration. The original Dominator was powered by a 500cc version of the engine, but successive increases in displacement exacerbated the vibration inherent in a parallel-twin design. The 650cc Atlas was the last of the line before the famous “Isolastic” system was designed for the Commando, intended to keep that bike from literally shaking itself to pieces.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe L Side Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1966 Norton Atlas 750cc Café Racer

I am the second owner. I have owned and ridden this classic for 7 years, I ride it mostly on weekend rides ( about 1200 miles since purchased) and it always brings a smile to my face. It has always been stored indoors, only seen dry weather and has never to my knowledge been dropped.

No expense was spared in creating a beautiful café racer typical of the late 60’s/early 70’s; the detailing is superb. This bike uses real original café parts, not reproductions.

Slimline featherbed frame; alloy Real “Lyta” short circuit tank; polished alloy oil tank; frame, swing arm, primary cover, etc. powder coated; alloy parts are all polished; Commando forks; hard chromed stanchions; triple clamps machined from aircraft Dural (aluminum); Akront stainless, flanged wheels; stainless spokes; lightened hubs; rare, magnesium racing Lockheed front brake and master cyl. with drilled front disk; all fasteners are stainless steel; stainless fenders.

Engine dynamically balanced and head flowed; lightened and polished valve gear; genuine Dunstall camshaft; 850 oil pump with modified flow to head and spin-on filter modification; Superblend bearings; magneto ignition; new Amal 930 Concentric carbs (installed by Brian Slark); g’box also with Superblend bearings and all new gears and bushes; chain-driven Barnett clutch. Many more features.

As with all pre-Commando, primary chain Nortons, weeps some oil out of the primary case, but is otherwise oil tight. Starts first kick (usually), handles and stops as you would expect from a featherbed frame/disk brake classic. Acceleration from 4,500 rpm is exhilarating. This is a bike you can ride and enjoy!!!

The engine work should go a long way towards making this bike smooth on the road. I’d imagine this still isn’t great for touring, but I doubt anyone looking at these plans to use it for that, or would care much if they did.

1966 Norton Atlas Cafe Oil Tank

That oil tank is an especially beautiful piece, the color choice is classic and simple, and the single mirror is a very nice, authentic café-racer touch although, for US roads, I think I’d move it to the left-hand bar…

My fantasy garage definitely includes a 60’s British parallel-twin, and this is exactly the type of bike I’d want. Bidding is active and up to $9,000 with less than one day to go on the auction, so jump in quickly!


1966 Norton Atlas Cafe R Side

1966 Ducati Sport 125 for Sale

1966 Ducati 125 R Front

Today’s small-displacement motorcycles are really either “learners” or “commuters”, with few aspirational qualities to encourage pride-of-ownership. There really isn’t much cool about a Honda 250 Rebel other than the fact that it is, in fact, a motorcycle. Ducati doesn’t even really make an entry-level bike anymore: a 695 Monster may be an “entry-level Ducati,” but it sure isn’t an entry-level motorcycle…

1966 Ducati 125 L Dash

Although most smaller-engined Ducatis of the 1960’s were intended more as transportation than as racing tools and were clearly built to a price, they were still imbued with some of the passion and engineering of their more race-oriented siblings. This example is clearly nicer than when it left the factory, but Ducatis of all stripes were designed to appeal to the heart as well as the pocketbook.

1966 Ducati 125 Engine Detail 2

This is the sort of thing I really love: a vintage bike rebuilt to look period, but with upgrades and improvements implemented during the rebuild, instead of slavish devotion to “from the factory” originality. Everything here is for go as much as show, and the seller does a great job of describing what went into this build.

From the original eBay listing: 1966 Ducati 125 for Sale

The bike was complete when I got it, but the engine internals were unknown. Everything was taken down to the last nut and bolt, cleaned, inspected, then polished, plated, painted or otherwise finished as required.

At this time, I decided to build up the engine to 160cc. I brand new NOS piston and cylinder were fitted, along with a 160 head. The new head got new valves, guides, seats and retainers, and the ports were massaged, all courtesy of Mike Libby, C.R. Axtell’s partner.

The engine was completely disassembled, and every bearing and bushing was replaced. The crankshaft was rebuilt, and everything was expertly assembled and correctly timed and shimmed by Ducati ace Frank Scurria, who worked at, and raced for the ZDS Motors (West Coast counterpart to Berliner) with the legendary A.J. Lewis in the ’60s. The entire clutch was replaced with new, the transmission inspected and properly shimmed.

Externally, there are no clues that this is not a 125cc, that is, until you notice the little bike is nipping at the heels of your 175 Elite. Even the casting numbers on the head are the same.

Now, for those who are aghast at all these deviations from original, remember, it was built to be ridden with confidence and vigor, day and night. Modern traffic has no tolerance for shiny little traffic obstacles.

1966 Ducati 125 R Tank 2

It’s a shame that small-displacement sportbikes are thing of the past. Perhaps KTM’s 390 will make it to these shores and give us a machine whose quality is not measured in cubic inches… Bidding on this Ducati is active and up to over $13,000 with the reserve not yet met. There’s very little time left on the auction, so move quickly and bid aggressively on this beautiful little machine.


1966 Ducati 125 R Side


1966 Ducati Monza 250 for Sale

1966 Ducati Monza 250 R Front

Of of the most interesting things about classic, as opposed to modern sporting motorcycles is the wide selection of configurations and displacements. In this age and in this country, where anything less than a 1000 cc’s is a “learner-bike”, it’s fascinating to see highly developed, very sporting machines with displacements as small as this. Quality engineering and jewel-like construction don’t always go hand-in-hand with more frugal, smaller-engined bikes today, but were common on bantam-weight machines in the 50’s and 60’s. Just take a look at the towershafts and on this 1966 Ducati 250 Monza!

1966 Ducati Monza 250 R Engine

Ducati’s 250 single found its way into a variety of different bikes, including standard Dianas, the off-road Scrambler, and the sportier Monzas. Producing 20hp and able to push the bike to a top speed north of 80mph, the bike was no performance slouch and the 250 was one of the fastest machines in its class at the time.

1966 Ducati Monza 250 L Tank

Unfortunately for this beautiful machine, the post is pretty spare in terms of detail, although the photographs are pretty nice. From the original eBay listing: 1966 Ducati Monza 250 for Sale

I have restored this bike about 5 years ago.  It was a low mileage bike with only 4,632 original miles as seen on the speedo.  I did put aluminum ridge rims with new stainless spokes and tires.  I had someone rebuild the motor and carb.  All the cables are new.  I put a  new tachometer on it and recovered the seat.  I replated all the chrome and all the cad hardware  I polished all the aluminum and had a friend paint the bike.  It looks beautiful in the sun.  Everything works on this bike.  The only thing I never got around to is getting a title so you need to get one.

1966 Ducati Monza 250 Headlight

While the seller may not be great at describing his bike, it seems he knows what he’s about and this Ducati looks to be in very nice, although not completely original shape.

1966 Ducati Monza 250 Dash

Obviously, “restored” will never be as valuable as “original”, but when these get found as abandoned wrecks, there’s often little choice. I’m not sure how this one looked before he got started, but that period-correct paint scheme is gorgeous! The pipes don’t look stock and I’d be looking to replace them with something more original, or something simpler if I couldn’t find or afford the original, cigar-shaped items. But that gorgeous Veglia tach makes those pipes forgivable: I’d actually buy a classic Ducati, Laverda, Guzzi, or Benelli, just so I could have an excuse to fit one.


1966 Ducati Monza 250 L Rear

1966 Moto Guzzi 125 Sport for Sale

1966 Moto Guzzi 125 Sport R Tank

The Little Guzzi trend continues with this nice, restored 1966 Moto Guzzi 125 Sport, also known as the “Stornello.” Don’t let the bright red paint and Italian style fool you: this was designed as practical, reliable transportation for the masses. The dash of style just helped move product out the door and differentiate Guzzi’s bike from competing bikes.

1966 Moto Guzzi 125 Sport L Rear

Its 123cc pushrod single made a modest 7bhp, but that number doesn’t tell the whole story. The little Stornello had a supremely flexible powerband and Guzzi’s characteristic spread of usable torque, perfect for the commuting and general riding duties for which the bike was intended.

1966 Moto Guzzi 125 Sport Front

From the original eBay listing: 1966 Moto Guzzi 125 Sport for sale

I am selling my rare and collectable Moto Guzzo 125 Sport, I have too many bikes. The bike is completely restored. The engine was bored to .040 with new piston, rings, pin, new valves and guides. The carb is original, gearbox is smooth and has a new kickstart spring  and seals. Original exhaust system in beautiful condition. Frame was media blasted and powdercoated in black. Tank, fenders, and all sheet metal are original and re-sprayed with PPG in original color. New Michelin tires and tubes, new battery. Seat was rebuilt on original seat pan. The ignition/light switch in not functional and the lights run off the battery-no recharge. This is a beautiful and nice riding bike and a true collector machine. No starting price but there is a reserve. I would prefer that the buyer pick up but I could crate if you arrange shipping. I have a clear Texas title. Bid high-this is a sweet Guzzi. Buy yourself a Xmas gift.

1966 Moto Guzzi 125 Sport Dash

These little Guzzis aren’t particularly exotic in Europe, but here in the land of 800 pound motorcycles, they didn’t sell too many, and they’re correspondingly rare as a result. The 125’s are very robustly built and reliable, as they were intended as sporty commuters, not highly-strung racers, but parts to keep them running can prove difficult if you plan to ride, rather than show your bike. This looks to be a fun one, and bidding is still south of $2,000 with two days left in the auction.


1966 Moto Guzzi 125 Sport Tank Close

1966 Ducati 250 Bevel Single Scrambler Your Brain

Ok, I’m trying to hold my composure here. I just bought one of these a couple months back. Mine is as rough as they get and is going to take me a least a year to get on the road. The bike I’m writing about today just needs a quick going through according to the seller. Look, I get why you would want to keep a bike in your living room but for 12 years without riding it? I guess it would be cool to sit on it and watch the Isle of Man TT. After that though I’d have to exit the house and go for a spirited ride through the closest curves I could find. With the Scrambler when you get to the end of the pavement and the road turns to gravel just keep going. It’s one of the coolest dual purpose bikes ever made in my opinion. So much more class in styling than any Japanese dual purpose bike. I’m not saying Japanese bikes don’t have their place or they’re bad or anything, I’m just saying Ducati had a good thing going when they made these. I wish you could still go to Ducati and get something like this new. I’d buy it and ride to work taking alleys and cutting through parks. Well, that wold be illegal so I wouldn’t really do that. 😉

1966 Ducati 250 Scrambler for sale on eBay

I’d ask the seler a few questions before bidding. Here’s his description.

>1966 Ducati 250 Scrambler Bevel Single. This bike is titled as a 1967, it’s a 66 or a 65.  Back in the day, this bike could have sat in a dealers inventory as a leftover with an open Certificate of Origin and titled when sold in 67. Instead of causing confusion with the Registry of Motor Vehicles to correct or change title,  I just left it as a 67.  7554 miles, approx 1500 on rebuilt motor.  Restored 15 years ago, not used or ridden in 12 years.  Mostly sat in my living room and shown at a few bike shows.  Very little time and effort to have this bike running again was put away properly.  Painted Ducati Red.  Has 27mm Delorto w/ K&N filter. 18″ front and rear wheels w/ new dual sport tires and tubes. Sargent seat cover. Skid plate, side stand and center stand. Verlecchi bars w/ magura hand controls. Correct foot pegs, exhaust w/ optional muffler, chain guard and sheet metal.  Title, service and parts books. I added pictures of this bike with a high mounted exhaust pipe (very loud). I will include with the bike.  Questions?  Please ask.  Shipping is the buyers responsibilty

The first thing I would ask is what his idea of “put away properly” is. That can mean different things to different people. When he says “Very little time and effort to get this thing going” is another thing I’d ask about. Very little time to me is turning the key and kick the the start lever. I’m guessing his idea of very little time is a weekend of adjustments and fluid changing, but that’s just a guess.

Since I just got one of these I’m going to be following the auction to see where the price ends up.

Join me in this venture


In Case you missed out on the custom Ducati

Unfortunately this one ended soon after we spotted it. Congratulations to buyer and seller! -dc

Recently Tad posted an amazing custom Ducati 450. I was writing this when my research led me back to Classicsportbikesforsale.com only to find Tad and I were looking at very similar bikes. Well similar in that they are both Ducati singles. The one I found is a really nice 250 with a very well done restore/cafe. The thing that really catches my eye with this bike is that it looks to be stock but it’s not. I think it takes real talent to combine the right parts and paint to accomplish this. Anybody can through on clubman’s and flat black their bike, so when I see a bike like this I take note. The seller claims to restore Ducati motorcycles as a hobby. I think based on this bike he must know what he’s doing. It’s so tastefully converted to a cafe racer you would think that’s how it left the factory. I’ll let him explain it you…

Up for auction is a restored 1966 Ducati 250 single (narrow case) vintage motorcycle in cafe racer trim.  I restore vintage Ducati motorcycles as a hobby and I’m happy to restore them to their former glory, while making them more reliable and rideable.  When taking this motorcycle out of winter hibernation, it usually takes me two to three kicks at most to get her going.  During the normal season, one kick or two kicks will get her going without problems.  It’s a fantastic strong, reliable start and an excellent ride.  Upon receipt of this motorcycle, you can ride it right away.

Here are a few more details about the motorcycle:

– Completely rebuilt, with less than 700 miles on the rebuild
– High compression piston
– Hot cam setup
– Electronic ignition (no external modifications; retained original vintage look)
– Twin-plug ignition!
– Direct drain oil lines
– Dell’orto PHBH 30 carburetor with trumpet
– 5 speed transmission

– Completely converted to 12-volt system (from 6-volt)
– Upgraded alternator to 12V, 150W (excellent at starting and not to mention excellent lighting; also, no external modifications, retained original vintage look)
– 55W/60W globe so you can actually ride in the dark, not just lighting up your front fender
– All wires replaced, of course

– No visible damage to frame upon inspection during the restoration
– Frame was completely sandblasted and checked for signs of corrosion
– Powdercoat finish

– Professionally rebuilt wheel on Excel rims
– New DID chain
– Pirelli City Demon tires
– Scorpio wireless key alarm (for some peace of mind when you stop in at your local watering hold for a quick drink)
– Veglia big face tachometer in the classic Mach 1 style
– Mach 1 style clip-ons
– Tommaselli Daytona grips and throttle
– Mach 1 suede leather seat
– Rearsets

This motorcycle is currently registered in the State of Connecticut. The State of Connecticut does not issue titles for vehicles of this age, so you will be given a bill of sale only upon successful purchase of this motorcycle.

In 1966 these light weight 250’s produced around 20 hp. That isn’t a lot by today’s standards but when you’re cruising at 80 mph on this bike I’m pretty sure it will feel just like the 180 mph you can do on a modern bike. 🙂

For those of you that need a small cc bike to putt around town, go to local bike night or just to meet some local buds at you favorite watering hole, this has your name written all over it. Perfectly modified to be a reliable and gorgeous ride. The keyless security system, 6 to 12v conversion and everything else this guy did makes this the perfect city bike. Blow you buddies minds by showing up on this tonight.



1966 CB77 Super Hawk

“You meet the Nicest people on a Honda” was how Honda got their foot in the door, the Super Hawk may have been the first scream heard once they got through the door. Looking at it you might not see the future of Honda, with bikes like the RC30 to come, but the CB77 was a capable little machine, and one with potential.

First offer in 1961 the 305cc Super Hawk was the bigger brother to the 247cc Dream Sport. The Hawks 28.5 hp would push the little bike and rider to 90mph at the 9000rpm limit. A ride review in the 1961 MotorCycle was able to get 96mph and they did the math for a theoretical 103mph. The sellers offered multiple sprockets, so this bike has the possibility to reach these theoretical speeds.

From the seller

            All the electrical works (including the neutral light).
Both push-button and kick-start (not welded).
All new cables (along with all the original cables).
New fuel lines.
3 rear sprockets (original 32, NOS 32, and new 34 teeth rear sprocket that is currently on the bike).
2 sets of tank badges (original “Honda 300” set and new “Honda” set – currently on the bike).
2 sets of handlebars (original upright bars and and replica euro-bars – as pictured).
2 sets of mirrors (stock mirrors and bar end mirrors – currently on the bike, but pictured).
2 sets of air filters (original vintage air filters and UNI pod air filters-currently on the bike).
1 set of new hand grips (on the bike).
1 Honda CB 250 – 300cc repair manual.
Tires (Avons – less than a year old – plus the original tires from 1966).
chain (less than a year old – plus the original chain from 1966).
battery (less than a year old).

If you want to get racing parts for your 2011 Honda, there are many aftermarket vendors that you can go to. In the 1960’s you could go to your dealer, open up the parts book to the “CBY” section and start shopping. Tanks, cams, bars, exhaust. One stop shopping to turn you road bike into a road racer. I imagine today these factory race parts would be hard, if not impossible to come by.

If you find yourself contemplating , read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Repair” the author Robert Persig wrote and rode on his own CB77.