Tagged: British

More Patina Than You Can Handle: 1973 Triumph Hurricane X75

1973 Triumph X75 R SideI’ve gotten into the habit of occasionally posting these Triumph X75 Hurricanes, although they’re actually proto-choppers more than they are actual sportbikes. But I think they’re pretty cool, and since they’re powered by the Triumph/BSA three-cylinder engine, I think most of our readers probably like them too. 1973 Triumph X75 R Side Tank DetailStyled by icon Craig Vetter, the X75 Hurricane was intended for the US market, and the bosses at BSA felt that the original look planned for the bike was far too vanilla for the riders on this side of the pond. He might have gone a bit overboard with the Hurricane, but the result sure is distinctive and features Vetter’s signature one-piece tank-and-bodywork, along with that fan of tailpipes along the right side of the bodywork.

Just 1200 were made, using engines set aside when BSA went under and the bike was rebranded as a Triumph. 1973 Triumph X75 R Side EngineThe 741cc overhead-valve three-cylinder engine was fairly traditional in terms of design and construction, but put out a healthy 58hp and could push the bike well over 100mph and would have been perfect for blasting away from stoplights in a storm of noise. It should also turn left pretty well, but fast right turns could prove to be a bit of a problem… 1973 Triumph X75 R Side Exhaust DetailFrom the original eBay listing: 1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane 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 please feel free to ask any questions.

Well I have a question: “Does it run?” While it’s nice to have a bit of the model’s history, I think most buyers would appreciate a bit more information about this specific example, especially considering the $32,000 Buy It Now price. I’m pretty sure anyone even remotely interested in dropping that kind of money on a bike probably already knows a bit about the bike’s general background. 1973 Triumph X75 R FrontThis particular example is positively dripping with patina. For many folks, originality is absolutely key, and this one’s got more originality than you might be able to deal with. To be honest, it looks like it’s in need of a complete, ground-up restoration. Mechanically, at least: many collectors want to keep that original paint intact as much as possible. Me? I’m all for resto-mods and restorations: many vintage vehicles were never intended to be collectors items or last though the ages, and were built to a price, with ugly wiring, parts-bin switches, and low-quality paint on frame and bodywork.

Is this Hurricane really worth $32,000? We’ll just have to wait ’till the end of this auction and see if someone ponies up the cash for this iconic motorcycle.

-tad 1973 Triumph X75 R Side Front

Baby Blue Triple: 1974 Rickman CR BSA A75

1974 Rickman BSA R Front

We don’t normally like to post up unfinished bikes here on CSBFS, but this 1974 Rickman CR BSA A75 is rare enough that it’s worth a second look, and complete enough that I expect many of our readers wouldn’t be put off by the work needed to turn this into a stunning, and very rare British sport bike. Rickman’s of all stripes are relatively rare, and this baby blue machine looks like it will be stunning once finished. In the 1960’s and 1970’s, even major manufacturers were still experimenting with what characteristics made motorcycles handle well, and many production bikes left something to be desired in terms of roadholding, especially when riders started to really push them on track.

1974 Rickman BSA L Rear

Enter Rickman, a typical British “based out of a shed” outfit that stressed the effectiveness of their bikes over pedigree. They sold incomplete frame, suspension, and bodywork kits that could be completed by individuals at home or by shops that supplied engines, transmissions, wheels, and electrics. Early on, they often used British twins, but many bikes that show up on eBay are powered by Japanese four cylinders like the CB750.

1974 Rickman BSA R Rear

This one “keeps it in the family” and is powered by a BSA A75 three cylinder, a package very similar to the one found in the Triumph Trident we featured recently. Designed to allow BSA and Triumph to compete with the CB750, the 740cc overhead-valve triple used pushrods and a four-speed box at first, although a five speed was later added and should be the transmission in this bike. While the architecture of the new triple was primitive, compared to the CB750 against which it was competing, the engine was no slouch, producing a claimed 58hp that made the bike good for a 120mph top speed and was much smoother than the twin on which it was based, while offering plenty of character.

1974 Rickman BSA Dash

According to the seller, this might be the only BSA triple-powered Rickman in existence, although the kit-nature of Rickmans makes this very hard to verify. Suffice to say, it’s pretty unusual. While the bodywork might look fine as-is with a bit of patina, that nickel-plated frame needs some elbow grease to return to its former glory.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Rickman CR BSA A75 for Sale

Very rare Rickman BSA Triple CR road racer, built in limited numbers.  This bike was brought back from the UK by an Air Force Captain in 1976, but was actually built in 1974.  Believed to be a set of service cases ordered and built for the chassis.  I really wanted to restore the bike but do not think I will ever find the time so it’s time to pass it along to someone who can.

The bike is mostly complete as shown, But there will be some minor parts missing. What you see is what i have for the bike. I have started to disassemble the bike and have tried polishing the Nickel frame in a few spots and it comes up with a great shine, but wonderful patina, very easily.  I have the swing arm professionally polished to see how good a pro could get it and as you can see, it looks great!  The fiberglass is in good condition, especially for it’s age. but there are a couple of spots that need minor repair.  I did buy a NOS seat in the correct color that is included.  I believe the mileage is genuine as the tires on the bike were date code 1974 and had very little wear.  Borrani rims are straight and in very nice condition.  I have a few sundry new parts for it including a rear master cylinder rebuild kit which had to be bought from the UK.

Very rare and cool project for someone.  The Rickman book shows this bike delivered to Rivetts of London Ltd. in Leytonstone.  I used to visit this shop on a regular basis in this period so really feel a connection.  All the research I have done has not shown another Rickman CR built with a BSA A75 engine so it may just be that this is a 1 of 1 bike.

Sold as is for restoration.  Has a clean Missouri title.  I have many more pictures that can be sent on request. 

1974 Rickman BSA L Side

According to later updates on the listing, the seller has gotten some flack, claiming that the bike is not original. The whole point of these Rickman bikes was their mix-and-match nature built around customer preferences: based around a new frame that offered improved stiffness and high-spec suspension for tighter handling, the rest of the bike was very “kit-bike” mix-and-match, back before “kit” became a dirty word associated with Fiero-based Lamborghinis and oddly-proportioned “Cobras.” Rickman themselves even poked fun at this with their Metisse, which is French for “mongrel.”

There’s just one day left on the auction and bidding is up a bit north of $6,000, although the Reserve Has Not Yet Been Met. With luck, this bike will find a good home and will soon be returned to its former glory.

-tad

1974 Rickman BSA R Front

It’s Only Original Once: 1973 Triumph Hurricane X75 for Sale

1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane L Side Rear

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.

1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane Dash

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.

1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane L Side Engine

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.

1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane Fork

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.

1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane Rear Suspension

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.

1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane L Side Carbs

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.

-tad

1973 Triumph X75 Hurricane L Side

Rare Mongrel: 1953 Rickman Metisse Triumph/BSA Mark III

1953 Rickman Metisse R Side

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.

1953 Rickman Metisse R Side Engine

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.

1953 Rickman Metisse Dash

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.

1953 Rickman Metisse L Side Detail

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!

1953 Rickman Metisse Rear Wheel

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.

-tad

1953 Rickman Metisse R Side Tank

Last of the Breed: 1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator R Front

While plenty of Rickman motorcycles have graced this site, this one’s a first for me: a CRE 1000 Predator. Rickman made their name building lightweight, nickel-plated frames to wrap around existing powertrain packages. Their bikes often featured internal oil-passages to eliminate the need for external oil tanks and coolers, saving weight. They exemplify the do-it-yourself spirit of 70’s motorcycling: there’s technically no such thing as a “stock” Rickman, since they were built up individually to customer specs or built by the customers from a kit, generally using donor bikes from Honda, Kawasaki, or Triumph.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Fairing

Japanese frame and suspension technology on their streetbikes had largely caught up by the 80’s, pushing companies like Rickman to the side, Rickman continued to make their Predator, a sport-touring machine, up until about 1984 that used a 1000cc Kawasaki engine. Rickman-framed Hondas, Kawasakis, and Triumphs show up for sale fairly regularly, and often at very reasonable prices, considering their performance advantages over the standard Hondas and Kawasakis from which they borrow their running gear.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Pegs

From the original eBay listing: 1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator

Model year 1980

Super rare model, 2 owners from new The first owner ran the Rickman owners club for many years

Bike has extensive history file, frame was supplied to Maitland Racing who built the bike and supplied a tuned engine. Engine Z1000J motor fitted with a Wiseco 1105 big bore kit, electronic ignition, Goodrich oil cooler, full build sheet & dyno chart included. Dyno’d at 118bhp.

Converted to mono shock and 17″ wheels.

Starts and runs with no smoke or rattles, only known fault is the speedo requires attention currently fitted with a Sigma digital speedo.

Correctly registered (English documents) as Rickman.

Ride and collect! Bulletproof investment.

Bike is currently located in Italy, Roveredo in Piano, but i can get them delivered all around the World at cost, no problem.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Rear Suspension

Although the frame is the big story with any Rickman and the key to their success, it’s hard to overlook the striking bodywork that includes a distinctive duck-tail unit and monoshock rear suspension, while 17″ wheels should make for a great selection of grippy high-performance modern rubber.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Cockpit

If you’ll notice, the speedo is currently stuck, hence the fitting of the little digital unit. But that shouldn’t really present much of a problem to solve, considering the fact that the unit itself is a stock Kawasaki part. Or just go with an aftermarket gauge: considering the quirky 80’s style of the bodywork, I’m sure no one would mind the fitment of a modern, digital dash.

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator Tail

All-in-all, a very distinctive vintage sportbike you can enjoy on a daily basis, and it doesn’t get much better than that!

-tad

1980 Rickman CRE 1000 Predator L Side

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.

-tad

1966 BSA Lightning L Side

Vintage Rider: 1964 Triton for Sale

1964 Triton L Side Rear

It’s interesting that a bastardized hybrid like the Triton could become such an iconic classic motorcycle. It’s an anecdotal observation, but it seems that engine swaps are more acceptable among the motorcycling fraternity than they are in the automotive world. Certainly, there are subcultures of swappers and hot-rodders putting all sorts of engine into cars, regardless of make or model. But they’re looked at a bit askance by more “cultured” enthusiasts… Not so much in the motorcycling world, it seems like. Maybe it’s that motorcycles are easier to work on, more modular. Or maybe it’s that the engines and parts are generally less durable, meaning owners are more likely to have replaced some or all of the original components through attrition…

1964 Triton R Side

The Triton used Triumph’s famous parallel-twin engine and Norton’s justifiably famous “featherbed” frame, combining what was considered to be each bike’s strongest feature and turning them into a high-performance motorcycle: virtually the only custom parts needed to build one were custom engine and transmission mounting plates. Although some established shops built, and continue to build these, many were built in sheds by your average Joe Enthusiast.

1964 Triton L Side Front

Power wasn’t an issue for Norton’s parallel-twin engine, in fact it actually had a bit of an advantage over the Triumph in stock form. But the long-stroke Norton engine was pushing what was considered at the time to be the limits of acceptable piston speed, and the more “square” Triumph engine was more durable by far, and could be easily tuned. The pre-unit construction of both bikes even made it easy to keep the Norton four-speed box that was considered the better choice of the two, although some used the Triumph transmission.

1964 Triton R Side Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1964 Triton for Sale

Good running motorcycle. Its been very reliable and has never given me issues or failed to get me to my destinations. It’s not perfect cosmetically, it’s not a show bike so if that’s what you want then this bike is not for you. Fiberglass tank is solid but paint has some scratches. Fiberglass oil tank is nice, and fiberglass seat is solid but leather cover has some scuffs here and there. The frame is a 1964 Norton Atlas, and powder coated, both front and back fenders are too for that Manx look. Both 19″ Rims and spokes are brand new, laced to a front TLS and rear brake. Avon tires are new too. Forks are rebuilt, new bushings and seals. Swing arm has copper bushings. The ’65 T100R Daytona unit engine has about 3000 miles since rebuilt, converted to single carb. The right side header has a weld due to hairline crack few years ago, it’s been solid since. I consider this bike my daily rider, it’s been garaged these last couple of years. Reason for selling..??.. Now a dad!

This Triton runs very well. The TLS brake does have the backing plate bracket that helps stop this bike well! 

1964 Triton Front Brake

If this were mine, I’d want to source a couple of appropriate Smiths gauges, and I understand that the “twin carburetor” configuration is the hot set-up, but I expect the single carb improves rideability. I’m also not clear on when the bike was originally built: was the recent work a refresh of a vintage Triton build, or was it a more recent conversion? Either way, the seller freely admits this is no show bike, and personally that’s how I like them. These will always need more attention than a modern machine, but it speaks volumes that the seller considers this a “daily rider.”

-tad

1964 Triton R Side Front

Steve McQueen Tribute: 1964 Triumph TR6C Trophy for Sale

1964 Triumph Trophy R Side

I don’t often write up Triumphs like this TR6C Trophy because, although they’re the very embodiment of vintage motorcycles, they’re also pretty easy to find: Triumph made a boatload of them, and fans have been collecting and restoring them for years. So when I go looking for cool bikes, there’s almost always something weirder or rarer to write about.

But this particular bike caught my eye, painted up in vivid Gulf Racing colors as a nod to famous Triumph owner and racer Steve McQueen. And who doesn’t love that striking color combo?

1964 Triumph Trophy L Side Rear

Built between 1956 and 1973, the TR6 was designed for the North American market and their hunger for larger displacement motorcycles. It was powered by a 649cc version of Triumph’s long-lived parallel twin with iron barrels and, for the first time, a lightweight aluminum cylinder head. Earlier bikes used pre-unit construction, with the engine and four-speed transmission as separate castings, but 1964 saw Triumph’s use of unit construction that stiffened the package and simplified manufacturing.

1964 Triumph Trophy R Side Tank Detail

The “C” model designation in “TR6C” stood for “competition” and referred to the desert racing at which it excelled. In fact, that tiny headlamp was designed to be easily removed at the track, and then replaced for the ride home. Of course, most people who bought these didn’t race them, but that’s always the case with race-inspired style.

1964 Triumph Trophy L Side Tank

From the original eBay listing: 1964 Triumph TR6C Trophy for Sale

Amazing condition throughout. Professionally restored. Nothing on the market this nice!

New custom “Gulf” paint job, complete professional rebuild with powder coated black rims and many extras. (The blue & orange in the pics look darker than what they actually are).  Google Gulf Racing to see actual colors

 These are the team Gulf colors that Steve McQueen used during his sponsored races in 1964 and other years.

All work was done at a reputable Triumph shop with no expense spared.  Chrome swing arms, black powder coated rims, Mikuni carburetors, new chrome parts, new tires, new clutch plates & cables, etc. etc.

This bike performs and runs strong!  

638 Miles on the speedometer, but this was from when it was restored.

This is a masterpiece! Over $12,000 and a lot of time invested.

1964 Triumph Trophy R Side Rear

Although Triumphs usually require more wrenching than your average Japanese or German or even Italian machine, they’re easy to get parts for, simple to work on, and there’s a ton of information available to help keep them running. In addition, Triumphs are the types of machines that are instantly recognizable by bikers and non-bikers alike and inspire smiles wherever you go.

With a $7,200 Buy It Now price, this one isn’t the cheapest you’ll find and is obviously not all-original, but looks to be well done and very striking in blue and orange. I’m curious to see how Triumph fans react to this bike: is the non-original paint combo going to impact offers on this bike? Is it a bit too loud for your average Triumph fan?

-tad

1964 Triumph Trophy L Side

Brains and Brawn: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

1978 Rickman Kawasaki L Side Front

Vintage bikes often appeal to riders of “a certain age” who grew up with these bikes and have a nostalgic soft-spot for them: vintage bikers naturally relate to vintage bikes. Some are just riders who love to tinker, while others just love the quirky looks and accessible performance of the machines from a simpler times and want the feel of a vintage motorcycle without all the “leaking oil on the floor” and “having to adjust the carburetors while idling at a stoplight” malarkey that sometimes goes along with vintage Triumphs and Nortons, making something like this Kawasaki-powered Rickman the perfect solution.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side Fairing

Don and Derek Rickman created a line of dirt-racing motorcycles in the 1950’s and 1960’s, packaging bespoke frames and suspension packages around engines and transmissions from other manufacturers. Their line eventually expanded to include roadcourse and street machines, and they’re most famous these days for their line of big-displacement four cylinder bikes built around engines from Honda and Kawasaki.

In the 60’s and 70’s, suspension tuning was something of a “black art”, and while Japanese motorcycles were famous for their refined engineering, their handling was generally not on par with the European brands. So companies like Rickman used took that existing engineering and improved it by creating a chassis that could handle the power effectively.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Front

Bikes were generally sold in kit form: Rickman supplied a new, lightweight nickel-plated frame and aerodynamic bodywork, the buyer supplied engine, electricals, and other assorted bits to put the whole thing together. The results speak for themselves and combine the best of old-world British craftsmanship and racing expertise with powerful, reliable engines from Japan.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Dash

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Rickman Kawasaki for Sale

You maybe  looking at one of the rarest bikes on the planet.  This bike is titled as a Rickman and not as a Kawasaki. The  bike is titled as a 1978. The  I.D. plate fixed to the steering neck indicates September, 1977 chassis and is the correct id plate for this bike.  

Almost all of the  Rickman CR900’s, of which few were built, were finished in green This bike has the orgiinal gel coat in red. The bike is original in color and I know of no other with this color. This is an original machine in pristine condition and rides like a rocket ship with the responsive and light frames built by Rickman powered by the Kawaski 900 cc motor. This bike performs as good as any modern bike today. 

The  900 cc motor number is Z1E 238xx.

This Rickman chassis was purchased in England by the original owner while vacationing there. 

The milage on this bike is less than 9,000. Most of these miles were accumulated prior to the motor being installed into the Rickman.  Thus this Rickman frame has seen very limited use.  The original rear sprocket shows virtually no wear. The saddle looks near new. The instruments are from the original Kawasaki and show the mileage covered by both the kaw and the Rickman chassis. If you are looking for an original colectable motorcycle that is sure to increase in value look no further. Rickman motorcycles, are extremely rare and  have proven in the past to be highly desirable and with their limited production should continue to increase in value. I have the clear title in hand and can assist with shipping.

1978 Rickman Kawasaki Controls

Although I’d take issue with the seller’s statements that this is “one of the rarest bikes on the planet” and “this bike performs as good as any modern bike today” it is an unusual machine in superlative condition and will definitely handle better than the Z1 from which it borrows its powerplant. I’m not really sure exactly how many Rickman Kawasakis were actually produced: in many cases, these were sold as kits, not complete bikes, and a whole menu of upgrades were available, making history a bit hard to verify. These are very cool and desirable bikes, but I think the seller may be aiming a bit high with this one: there is plenty of time left on the listing with a Buy it Now price of $25,000.

-tad

1978 Rickman Kawasaki R Side

Brooklands Bomber: 1954 BSA Gold Star for Sale

1954 BSA Gold Star R Front

Built between 1938 and 1963, the BSA Gold Star is the classic British single and one of the most desirable classic sportbikes of all time. Displacing approximately 500cc, the alloy OHV-powered single weighed 380 lbs dry and featured a 4-speed gearbox. The “Gold Star” name commemorates a BSA that lapped the famous Brooklands racing circuit at over 100mph and was awarded the gold star pin to commemorate the achievement, although that original machine was a racing special running on alcohol with a 13:1 compression-ratio that might have made daily use a bit of a chore…

1954 BSA Gold Star L Rear

The first road bike to wear the Gold Star name displaced 496cc and was built up until the outbreak of World War II. Postwar, BSA introduced a 348cc version of the Gold Star, and this lightweight, basically hand-built hot rod was successful in a number of different competition classes, including both on-road and offroad racing. A 500cc version was reintroduced in 1950 and built alongside the 350 until 1956, when the 350 was discontinued.

1954 BSA Gold Star Clocks

This Gold Star features the optional “CB” engine with a slightly different appearance but, more importantly, reinforced internals for increased performance. This exact bike dyno’d at 38.2 bhp when new: Gold Stars were tested at the factory before being delivered to verify performance of each machine.

The seller includes quite a bit of history, along with maintenance and restoration history. From the original eBay listing: 1954 BSA Gold Star for Sale

History: Included documentation as provided by the Gold Star Owners Club, Great Britain Registrar shows that this bike dispatched to Hap Alzina, USA in Clubman trim on 4 December 1954 with engine number CB34GS308 and frame number CB32 1694.  A copy of the original factory Engine Brake Test is also supplied and shows this bike was tested in clubman configuration and produced a maximum B.H.P. of 38.2 at 6500 rpm fitted with a GP carb on Oct 21, 1954.

Also included in the auction is the original Lucas Mag/Dyno with new points installed.  There is nothing wrong with this mag/dyno.  I ran the bike with the Lucas installed for approximately 300 miles before installing the BTH.  I installed the BTH because I wanted the ability to set timing and forget about it and the advance curve.  I ran a BTH in my Velocette and loved it.  Note that the tag (see pics) on the BTH indicates Lucas.  BTH Components goes out of their way to retain authenticity in appearance.  The BTH is solid state and makes starting a breeze and allows the bike to idle nicely with the monobloc installed.  The TT carb is a racing carb and does not have an idle adj/stop screw, however, when up to running temp the bike does idle nicely with the TT.  There is also an original BSA tool kit included.  I did not take pics of the tool kit but can do upon request.

I installed the Nova Racing gear cluster because I was unhappy with the ratios of the original scrambler box in the rolling hills here in Northern California.  It doesn’t get any sweeter than a Nova 5 spd.  The clutch plates are near new with very little use.  I have put less than 1500 miles on the bike since installing the TT carb, Nova 5 spd, and BTH mag. 

This is essentially a new CB34 Gold Star with original engine and frame numbers as shipped from the factory in 1954.  The bike has been well cared for and is in pristine condition.  The title is clear and in my name.  It is registered in the state of California and expires in Feb this year.  I will most likely non-op the bike if it does not sell before Feb 16 as I am unable to ride it due to health issues. 

1954 BSA Gold Star L Front

Bidding is up to $15,000 with several days left on the auction. Gold Stars have held their value very well, and this one looks to be in nearly perfect condition with very desirable upgrades. They’re always in demand: if you’re a fan of classic British iron, you probably lust after a Gold Star… They embody everything people love about classic bikes: they’re fun, characterful, and involving. Parts are available to keep them running and they sound the part, with enough performance to make a weekend ride rewarding.

-tad

1954 BSA Gold Star R Side