Tagged: Original

6k Mile 1975 Kawasaki H1

Here’s a largely original and complete, unrestored Kawasaki H1! There’s some patina but nothing too serious to enjoy this bike just like it is and restore it later. The best part is the reserve is already met with a current bid of $6,500. Just about 3 days remain and I’ll be curious to see where it sells.

dc

1975 Kawasaki H1 for sale on eBay

from the seller:

INTRODUCTION:::

You are looking at a 1975 Kawasaki H1-F 500cc triple cylinder. This is an frame and engine matching all original unrestored example with only 6065miles on the speedometer. The motorcycle is in good running condition, cosmetically the bike is not perfect but it is complete and in nice shape for its age. But please feel free to read more about the specifics of this bike and look at the pictures for verifications, and feel free to ask any questions. International bidders are welcome to bid on this motorcycle but have to arrange shipping themselves…

MECHANICAL:::

The bike runs very well and fires up nicely even when cold; transmission sifts nice and smooth through all gears. We recently did a full service tune up on the bike, this included ultra sonically cleaning the carburetors and properly jetting them to stock factory specifications; all fluids were drained, brake fluid, two stroke oil, and transmission oil was all replaced, new drive chain, brake pads, spark plugs, cable adjustments and any other mechanical parts that needed to be replaced were changed so the bike is ready to ride reliably.

BODY:::

All of the body work is all original with the exception of the right side cover, which looks to be repainted. The tank is nice and clean on the inside, however the tank does has a dent on the right side near the back which can be seen in the pictures, but other than that all of the body parts are nice and straight with no major dents. All of the chrome parts do show some age but overall the chrome is in good shape with no major rust anywhere. For its age this bike is in good looking condition and is ready to ride.

Original Axe Murderer: Unrestored 1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for Sale

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV L Side

There’d been plenty of fast bikes prior to the Kawasaki two-stroke triples, of course, but while those were “introduced” in a conventional sense, the H1 and H2 were more accurately “unleashed on an unsuspecting public.” Never before had a bike’s ferocious engine so overwhelmed the limited chassis technology and brakes of the period in such a marketable way.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Side Front

By modern standards, and on paper, the power of the bigger 750 was fairly modest: just 75hp in a 450lb motorycle. But that was on paper. In reality, it wasn’t the quantity that made the power so terrifying, it was the sudden and violent two-stroke delivery. I’m sure you could ride your buddy’s around all day at low rpm and wonder what the fuss was all about. But whack that throttle open and hold it, hold it, and it would try to yank your arms out of their sockets.

Which was also fine, until you tried to stop, or go around a corner.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV Dash.JP

That lightswitch delivery combined with feeble brakes and a flexible frame that laughed in the face of words like “handling” and “stability.” This was a gas-sucking straight-line monster that suited American roads, the perfect Japanese alternative to big-displacement bikes like Kawasaki’s own Z1 that were so popular here during that period.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Engine

Many of the Mach IV’s that show up here on eBay seem to be painted in a very nice blue color that suits the bike very well. But this original, unmolested bike is an appropriately 70s green that is far more subtle and effectively evokes that glorious period of polyester and 8-tracks.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV for Sale

You are bidding on a 1974 Kawasaki H2, 750 Mach IV, often referred to as “THE WIDOW MAKER”. My brother Mike bought this bike new in 1975 and it has never been for sale since that time, he has decided to sell it now.

This is a one owner 1974 Kawasaki H2 Mach IV in excellent condition.  This is an all original, ALWAYS GARAGED collectors piece that runs as designed.  This is a survivor, it has never been painted, it has the original title, seat, original mufflers, owners manual, etc.

The title is a MO title.  In MO you can keep the old title for your collection and apply for your new title in your name.

This bike even with the few dents and paint issues is as nice a bike as you will find that has never been restored and has been owned by only one person.  The bike was purchased new from Junior Mills Kawasaki in JoplinMO the first quarter of 1975.  The original title says 4/10/1975.

There are 11,000 original and accurate miles on this bike.  The chain, sprocket, tires and some rubber parts were replaced approximately 1000 miles and 5 years ago. It is in excellent running condition and runs like it did when new.  I have driven it about 100 miles in the last few days, it’s fun.  If you have never driven one of these it is an experience.

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Side Rear

As they say, “it’s only original once” and that’s especially desirable when “original” is as nice as this one appears to be. While heavily patina’d bikes are all the rage these days, I’d personally rather ride around on something that cleans up nicely and shines a bit.

All of Kawasaki’s wild two-stroke triples are currently rocketing upwards in value, so at $6,500.00 with five days left on the auction, this one is obviously nowhere near its final price.

-tad

1974 Kawasaki H2 750 Mach IV R Side

Hang On For Dear Life: 1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo for Sale

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo L Side

Today’s one-owner Kawasaki Z1R-TC is a potentially combustible combination of explosive power, unpredictable handling, and overtaxed mechanical components, a milestone in the Japanese motorcycling industry’s efforts to distinguish itself and find a truly distinctive voice. Turbo bikes were, in general, a bit of a dead end: the added complexity of turbocharging and non-linear response of a boosted engine didn’t outweigh the power gains.

The TC ended up being an exercise in self-control: keep the throttle pinned and the bike was hideously fast, but you’d also be almost guaranteed to be picking engine parts out of your chest. Because the ZR1-TC wasn’t a refined, heavily tested factory bike: it was a lash-up put together from stock machines sitting on showroom floors by a third-party turbo manufacturer. And without modern electronics to moderate boost and ignition, simply slapping a turbo onto an otherwise stock motor is a recipe for disaster.

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo R Side Rear

But that’s what Kawasaki sold the public. Sure, beefed-up internals were available for purchase, even recommended… But how many buyers plunked down that extra dough for what amounted to a fully-built engine? Not many.

So you have an engine that will almost surely grenade itself if you actually, you know: use it. And Kawasaki’s safeguards to make sure you don’t mess with the technically adjustable boost setting? A sticker that says, basically: “Don’t adjust the boost level. No seriously: don’t. You’re thinking about it right now, aren’t you? Stop thinking about adjusting the boost level!”

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo Dash

And an even bigger problem with adding 50% more horsepower to the Z1R was that the bike really couldn’t handle the original 90hp to begin with: the frame was outdated and notoriously bendy. The bike was heavy and clumsy, with handling that varied wildly, depending on tire choice, but at least it had triple disc brakes to try and bring the whole thing to a halt if things started to get out of hand.

When things started to get out of hand…

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo L Side Detail

In the original listing, the seller suggests it’s a “TC1” but this looks like it’s a “TC2:” that stripey paint job and “spider” style header were both second-generation additions. First generation bikes were painted a very cool silver-blue color and has a much simpler exhaust.

From the original eBay listing: 1978 Kawasaki Z1-R TC for Sale

All original only one owner. Has new tires, chain and sprockets the entire exhaust system was just rechromed and added factory ATP water injection system. This bike will sell itself it is amazing shape never get to ride and enjoy as much as I would like anymore cause of health reasons. hate to sell but want someone to enjoy it. I still have every invoice and all paper work for any work done to the bike dated back to when I bought it. it has 14,650 miles motor has never been out of the frame. I’m the only person to drive this bike and still dives like I just bought it a week ago every thing works no issues. Oil has been changed every 500 miles and never been rode rough.

This Kawasaki is in very good shape for 38 years old. The bike shows its age on lower front end tubes but paint looks good to be original paint and speedometer has small crack but not very noticeable

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo Engine

It’s very cool to see that water-injection system that’s been added, which should help keep the engine from blowing itself to bits when used enthusiastically. It’s obviously not perfect, but it’s very nice and, perhaps even more importantly, is all original.

Bidding is active with four days left on the auction and is north of $14,000 with the Reserve Not Met. While recent prices of many 1970s Japanese bikes have seemed a bit outrageous, considering how many were originally produced, this is one classic that is truly rare and very special, if slightly dangerous.

-tad

1978 Kawasaki Z1R Turbo R Side

The Real Deal: 1974 Laverda SFC for Sale

1974 Laverda SFC L Side

Of all the motorcycles being brought back from the dead these days, the only one I really want to see again is Laverda. But I wouldn’t want to see them reincarnated as some boutique retro-clunker with dual shocks, styled to look like an old bike with a sort-of new engine and a price aimed at born-again-bikers with a contrary streak or dewey-eyed nostalgists who “owned one back in the day.”

1974 Laverda SFC Dash

I’d love to see a modern sporting machine that embodies the classic Laverda virtues: stability, durability, and speed. And orange. Yeah, as far as I’m concerned “orange” is a virtue.

And machines like this 1974 SFC are why I want to see them resurrected. [Thanks to our reader George for forwarding this along to us!]

The SFC was a racing special developed from the standard SF1, a 650 and later 750cc parallel-twin machine introduced in the late 60’s to compete in the US against bigger American and British bikes. Laverdas had a reputation for being durable and overbuilt and performed well in endurance race events. What componenets they didn’t manufacture in-house, they sourced from the very best names in the business, and the results have a distinctly international flavor: Ceriani suspension from Italy, Bosch ignition components from Germany, and a Nippon-Denso starter from the Land of the Rising Sun.

1974 Laverda SFC L Detail

The SFC was a true homologation special, filled with serious race parts and then tuned to make them sing: they produced between 71-80hp, depending on the year and only 549 were ever produced. They came with road-legal equipment, but the bike was really best suited for the track.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 Laverda SFC for sale

This is a genuine Laverda 750 SFC. It was on the 750 SFC Registry maintained by Marnix Van der Schalk when I bought it seven years ago from a noted private collector. It is one of the 100 or so made for the US market featuring full instrumentation and Jota style bars. It is a street legal race bike.

The previous owner bought it in its restored condition and did not know for sure who restored it, but he thought Lance Weil worked on it. Whoever did it spared no expense or effort in this meticulous and correct restoration. I regret to say that I have ridden this gem less than 10 miles- I consider myself a curator of this bike. I have other Laverdas that I actually ride.
After riding it last I changed the oil, drained the tank and carbs, and fogged the engine with marine fogging oil. I leave it in gear and every week or so I turn the engine over manually with the rear wheel. When I did start and ride it I found that it lit up quickly with an alarming snarl from the two-into-one race pipe ( I will include the street exhaust system). It revs very quickly when goosed, making a sound that sends shivers down the spine. The clutch works properly, as do all of the gears. I am a Laverda fan, having owned nine of them, and I can vouch for the fact that the SFC is something special.
Please study the pictures. You will see the new wiring and electrical parts, the magnesium hubs and gear selector cover, the new rotors, switches. You will also note the damaged paint on the rough fiberglass inner side of the fairing. That was from a leaking master cylinder. There is no battery in it now.
1974 Laverda SFC R Engine

The owner sounds very knowledgeable and is clearly a Laverda enthusiast: for those of you who don’t know, Lance Weil was considered to be the Laverda tuner in the US, and any bike he worked on is generally considered to have been touched by the hand of god. I only wish he’d included a video clip of the bike starting and running so we could all share the sound of that exhaust.  With less than 600 made over their entire six-year run, this is a very rare, collectible machine and the $50,000 asking price reflects that. He’s already had one offer so that price, while shocking at first glance, is clearly reasonable for someone.

Unfortunately for me, I can’t afford a $50k motorcycle and my dreams of owning a new one aren’t likely to be realized anytime soon: the Laverda name was bought by Aprilia, who seem to have no intention of developing the brand. It’s not hard to see why: they already have a selection of modern sportbikes and sport-touring machines in their stable and a line of classy, retro-sport bikes with Moto Guzzi. Laverda would just cut into the sales of one or the other… But it’s a shame, because I’d like to think there’s room in the motorcycling world for just one more Italian bike brand, especially if they could produce machines as stunningly orange as this one…

-tad

1974 Laverda SFC R Side

 

1939 Moto Guzzi Egretta for Sale

1939 Moto Guzzi Egretta L Front

Moto Guzzi is known today for its long-legged and long-lived line of v-twin, shaft-drive machines. But before the introduction of their twin in the v700, Guzzi was famous for its successful line of horizontal singles. The Egretta [“Egret”] was a prewar model only made for two short years, and less than 800 were built before the improved Airone [“Heron”] superseded it. It lacked rear suspension and featured the 247cc single that would power the later Airone in various iterations until 1957!

1939 Moto Guzzi Egretta R Rear

Although later models with this engine did have more modern, enclosed valvetrain, this early version features an exposed rockers and hairpin springs that are clearly visible in a number of the photographs, as well as Guzzi’s signature “salami-slicer” external flywheel. The “horizontal” single allowed for a very low center of gravity and excellent airflow to cool the engine. The exposed flywheel allowed the correct mass for rideability and performance, while keeping weight of the engine case castings low.

1939 Moto Guzzi Egretta L Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1939 Moto Guzzi Egretta for Sale

This is a very special & very unique opportunity to own one of the rarest of the rare Moto Guzzi Vintage Classic Originals. Only made for TWO YEARS and only 784 EVER MADE, the pre-war 1939-1940 Egretta is the pièce de résistance  for any Guzzi aficionado. It even has the original license plate!

This gem is about as original as I can describe…and as you know, a bike is ONLY ORIGINAL ONCE. There are some paint nicks all over and some very minor dings on the mudguards, but the tank is straight. The chrome and paint are obviously 85 years old but remarkably intact for being that old. Previous owners have tried to cover up some nicks with paint here and there.

There is nothing like riding a motorbike this old and this Egretta runs well. However, don’t plan on breaking any speed records.

1939 Moto Guzzi L Tank

As the listing mentions, you may not be winning any top-speed contests on this, but the Guzzi’s famous flexibility should make it fun to ride within its modest limits: the singles were famous for their roadholding and locomotive torque, which made them competitive on both road and track. They can chug happily along in top gear at nearly any speed, making gear selection virtually superfluous.

1939 Moto Guzzi Egretta R Engine

If you’re looking for something very rare for your collection in original condition, this might be your ride.

-tad

1939 Moto Guzzi Egretta R Side

1975 BMW R90S for Sale

1975 BMW R90S L Front 2

BMW bikes traditionally combine quality engineering, innovation, and real-world performance. While not as sexy as machines from Italy or Great Britain and not as refined as bikes from Japan, they offer a sort of quirky, mature Germanic style that generally ages well and has always had a cult following.

1975 BMW R90S Dash 2

BMW’s flat-twin R-series bikes have been around for what seems like forever, so they’ve made quite a few examples. The machines evolved slowly, adding disc brakes and improved performance, so if you’re okay with one of the less desirable models, you can pick one up for relatively cheap.  And if you’re not into synching your carbs while idling at a stoplight, or trying to translate Italian websites while looking for random parts, BMW’s offer quirky design, quality construction, and very usable performance.

But while the relative abundance of the various BMW flat twins is keeping prices relatively low, one model is rapidly gaining in value: the R90S.

1975 BMW R90S R Engine 2

Introduced in 1974, the R90S was released in 1974 and was designed as a range-topping model. It featured iconic BMW features, including a bigger version of the highly developed “air-head” flat-twin engine, durable, shaft drive, and a sporty fairing. All of this combined to create a bike for well-heeled, real-world riders. Although it was no slouch on track either: it placed first and second at the very first AMA Superbike races held in the US.

1975 BMW R90S Gauges 2

From the original eBay listing: 1975 BMW R90S for Sale

The bike is a Southern California bike purchased at Johnny’s motorcycle Co. (established in 1956 and a BMW dealer) in Bakersfield, CA. on July 26, 1975 and has had one owner, Bob M. Crooke who bought in new on July 26, 1975. An interesting note: Johnny Kokinos, (owner of the Bakersfield dealership) reputedly built one of the first successful BMW R90S AMA race bikes campaigned on the national circuit.

This R90S was stored the last 10 years or so with little activity after the owner died, but it was still run regularly and kept in a heated, garage by his surviving daughter. The bike has a current CA title and original blue California issued license plate (in nice condition, with all the year stickers stacked up on it). The bike currently is on “non operational” status with the CA DMV.

This bike has (cloisonne’) tank and cowl badges; complete factory tool roll, air pump (with cap), Riders manual, factory three key set and rare original BMW hand towel. The actual total accumulated mileage on this bike is 12,295 (US miles) as of this date.

The tank & seat cowl have original installed (cloisonné) enameled, BMW adhesive type badges. The fairing has the two controversial holes on the underside (typical of the 1974 and many 1975 models that were fitted with early tooled components).

The motorcycle has survived with all the original components and paint in excellent condition. There is no active corrosion on the bike. This bike never had any modifications or changes to the electrical system. It was never wrecked or tipped over to the best of my knowledge.  After the following service work listed below, was completed, this bike now looks like a three or four old R90S that has been ridden, well looked after with owner pride and serviced as recommended by BMW.

1975 BMW R90S Underseat 2

This particular example has low miles for a bike this capable of covering distance and looks to be in excellent shape. From the description, everything is working correctly and the bike is in original condition: note his mention of the pinstriper’s initials on the underside of the tank. The listing describes fastidious care and the seller appears to be very knowledgeable, which is always confidence-inspiring when you’re spending your money on a bike sight-unseen.

-tad

1975 BMW R90S R Rear 2

Original 1973 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale

1973 Kawasaki Z1 L Side

Honda may have stolen Kawasaki’s thunder when they launched the groundbreaking CB750, signalling the beginning of the end for the European manufacturers’ dominance of the large-displacement motorcycle market.  Kawasaki was already working on their own 750 four when the CB was released, and had to go back to the drawing board, come up with something to set themselves apart, or forever be stigmatized as the “me too” of the Japanese manufacturers.

And as we all know, bigger is better…

1973 Kawasaki Z1 L Engine

Released in 1973 with a full 903cc’s of displacement the Kawasaki Z1 was far and away the most powerful Japanese four cylinder available, producing 82hp and pushing the bike to a top speed of 130.  In addition, the bike even handled relatively well although, like many Japanese machines of the time, it was happiest ripping along in a straight line.

1973 Kawasaki Z1 R Engine

But while it was an excellent machine that did the business with no fuss and sold well, that solidity was also it’s downfall: the Z1 was eminently usable, and owners used them mercilessly on track, street, and strip.  Cheap and fast, people converted them, hot-rodded them, and left them to languish in barns and sheds and backyards when newer, flashier machines came along.  So now, as prices rise, it’s become pretty hard to find nice, original machines.  Like this one.

From the original listing: Original 1973 Kawasaki Z1 for Sale

This bike is being reoffered due to buyer not paying. No out of country bidders please. You are bidding on a 1973 Z1-900 with clear Indiana title. The frame has some acid etching for overactive voltage regulator, mainly on swing arm. I have replaced the voltage regulator with a U.O.S. one. I rode the bike one last time about 10 miles, seems to have fixed the problem, but haven’t taken it on any long haul since. Pipes are very clean, missing two baffles, I had a 4-1 header on it. Put pipes back on to sell. Paint is original, look at pictures, has some imperfections. Bike had large crash bar but was replaced with chrome engine guards. There are two marks on frame where old bars were, see pictures. Chrome on motor parts is pitted in spots but chrome on pipes, fenders, rims, etc. is very nice. Missing seat latch pin on pan, lock works fine. Now the good parts; bike has been pampered by me and the previous owner. Has tank sealed and new petcock, fuel ling, filter. Carbs are smooth bore and have just been cleaned. Fresh tune up. All lights and turn signals work and cluster lights also. I have a 16” rim on back and upgraded shocks, rides nice. I left the motor paint alone to show the original condition of this bike. It starts easily and shifts and stops as nice as it looks. Comes with orinal 1973 owners manual, hard to find. Playboy sticker can be removed with heat gun. E-mail me is you have any question. You can buy Z-1’s redone, but what did they start with. This is your chance to buy a 1973 that is very nice and original. This bike will sell with no reserve, fair starting price.

1973 Kawasaki Z1 R Hub

This is a very solid example and, as the seller suggests: it’s only original once.  The Z1 is becoming more popular for restorations and resomods, with a huge following in it’s native Japan, with companies like Bull Dock and Sanctuary turning out gorgeous machines.  But collectors prize originality, and this bike has it.

-tad

1973 Kawasaki Z1 R Side

Reader’s Ride: Very Original 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Black L Side

Look, you can mock old Guzzi’s all you want for their “truck-like” qualities.  Deride their descended-from-a-tractor heritage.  Laugh as they lurch to the side when you blip the throttle.  But “truck-like” is apt in more ways than one: trucks are built to do stuff, and go places.  Not sit in a garage being tinkered with like some exotic sports car.  I know a guy who’s a pretty accomplished motorcycle mechanic.  He got that way because he owns old Triumphs and got tired of constantly paying mechanics to work on them.

Old Moto Guzzi’s are built to go places.  And the V7 was built to go places quickly: you really can’t argue with the sheer, mile-munching charisma of a nice Moto Guzzi.

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Black Dash

The V7 Sport was Guzzi’s first v-twin sportbike, an attempt to move away from the touring character of the earlier “loop-framed” V700’s.  The new frame, designed by Lino Tonti, allowed the low, lean stance that characterizes their sporting motorcycles and was so effective it was used, in one form or another, for the next forty years.

This, early drum-braked example looks to be extremely original and needs very little to be done.  The original eBay listing has a pretty comprehensive overview of the bike’s condition: 1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport for Sale

Overall, the bike is in very good condition and runs and rides well.  The engine has a little over 140psi compression in both cylinders tested cold, doesn’t smoke or burn oil as best I can tell, and doesn’t leak anywhere.  The transmission shifts nicely (for a Guzzi!) and is a five speed, with the old right hand shift, one up, four down shift pattern.  Original levers, switches, controls, etc. all appear to be in good condition and operate as they should.  The only two exceptions are the neutral light which works, but goes on and off in just about any gear depending on the day of the month and where the moon is in the sky (pretty sure it needs a new neutral indicator switch although it may just be that it’s Italian!) and the starter button on the handlebars.  The starter button doesn’t work, but the key switch starter position works fine.  I’m not sure what the issue is there, and honestly haven’t tried to troubleshoot it.  All the other electrics work fine including, lights, horn, turn signals, brake lights, etc.

Wheels are all original and correct Borrani rims and stainless spokes (that’s what they came with new) in excellent condition with a new set of Dunlop D404’s on them.  I checked the brake shoes when I replaced the tires and all looked good. 

I have done little to the bike since I’ve owned it other than put a new set of tires on it, change all the oil (engine, transmission and rear end), checked and set the timing and valve clearances, washed and waxed it and ridden it.  It starts almost instantly, and is a blast to ride.  If you’ve always wanted a V7 Sport, this is a very nice relatively low mileage example that runs well.  

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Black R Engine

Nice old collectible Guzzis always present a bit of a conundrum: do you cherish them for their handsome looks, quality engineering, and important place in motorcycling history?  Or do you strap a pack and bedroll to the seat and head out to the middle of nowhere on a road trip?

The choice is yours.

-tad

1973 Moto Guzzi V7 Sport Black R Rear

Reader’s Ride: Very Original 1950 Vincent Black Shadow for Sale

1950 Vincent Black Shadow R Side

The very name “Vincent Black Shadow” is mythic,  evocative.  Even if you’ve never actually seen a Vincent, you’ll probably picture one pretty accurately just from hearing the name.  Vincent twins are handsome beasts, in either Black Shadow or Rapide guise.  Big, but athletic.  Sporty, but relaxed about it, they have a timeless quality about them that’s especially shocking when you consider that this particular machine was built in 1950!  Looking at other machines of the era, with rigid frames, pre-unit construction, and tank-shifted, three-speed boxes, you’d be forgiven for thinking this bike was from the late 1960’s.

1950 Vincent Black Shadow Dash

Series B and C bikes didn’t even have a traditional frame, with the steering head bolted directly to the front cylinder and the rear suspension mounted to the gearbox, something not done on a production motorcycle until Ducati’s Panigale.  I’m not counting the Britten V1000 as a “production motorcycle…”

1950 Vincent Black Shadow R Engine

From the original eBay listing: 1950 Vincent Black Shadow for Sale

This motorcycle is a very nice 1950 Vincent Black Shadow.  I’ve owned it for about 11 years, and believe it to be very original including the paint.  I’ve ridden it a little over 3,000 miles during that time including at number of VOC and other vintage meets in the Western US and Canada. While it has been very carefully mechanically maintained, I have done everything I can to keep it cosmetically as original as possible…

…As you can see from the pics, the bike has a few period upgrades including OEM vented racing front brake plates, a period Koni front shock absorber (rebuilt), a Dave Hills “Tread Down” center stand and a very nice original Craven rack and panniers (see the pic of the panniers off the bike).  The front fork springs have also been replaced with a set of Vincent Works springs when I rebuilt the front fork a few years ago. It also comes with the factory tool kit (Jenbro spanners, etc. – see pics) and a Britton air pump (in need of rebuild).  The bike still retains its original paint and decals on the gas tank, Dunlop wheel rims, and frame/subframe.

1950 Vincent Black Shadow Headligh Bucket

Bidding is up over $70,000 and the reserve has not been met.

The external bits appear worn, and some even have surface rust.  But the seller has kept the important bits in tip-top shape and the patina is intentional.  It is, as they say, “only new once…” and this machine looks to be about as unmolested as you’d ever want.  I’ve certainly seen some beautiful Vincents, but this might be the most original.  And while perfectly restored machines may be prettier, all original machines, with some blemishes and faded paint, have an undeniable appeal to collectors.

-tad

1950 Vincent Black Shadow L Side

1975 Benelli 650S for Sale

1975 Benelli 650S L Full

Today, we’ve got a relatively rare little parallel-twin machine from Benelli, a company more widely known for their four and six-cylinder machines.  Benelli was started in 1911 by Teresa Benelli as a way to keep her six sons employed and out of trouble. Originally, their shop repaired bicycles and motorcycles but by 1921, they’d released a machine powered by their own, in-house engine.

1975 Benelli 650S Dash

The Tornado 650 was introduced in 1969 and was intended to compete with the bigger offerings from Norton and Triumph in the US and Great Britain.  It was reliable and competitively quick, with a claimed top speed of 117mph.  This particular machine would have been among the very last, as the 650 was supersceded by Benelli’s four and six cylinder models in the mid 1970’s.

1975 Benelli 650S R Front

From the original eBay listing, in spectacular, very shouty all caps: 1975 Benelli Tornado 650S

UP FOR AUCTION IS A VERY RARE 1975 BENELLI TORNADO 650S, IT IS IN AS ORIGINAL CONDIION AS THEY COME, DOWN TO THE BENELLI GRIPS, THE ONLY NON ORIGINAL PARTS THAT I CANS SEE IS THE EXTRA LIGHT SWITCH AND THE PNEW PETCOCKS,  IT IS A ONE OWNER BIKE WITH 13,500 KILOMETERS ABOUT 9,000 MILES, VERY LOW, THE BENELLI RUNS GREAT, SHIFTS THRU ALL THE GEARS THE WAY IT IS SUPPOSED TOO, THESE BIKES ARE GOING UP IN VALUE EVERYDAY SO MAKE SURE YOU GET YOURS BEFORE THERE TOO EXPENSIVE, THE 650S MODEL COMES WITH ALL OF THE BELLS AND WHISTLES, BORRANI RIMS 2LS FRONT BRAKE, ETC,  THE BENELLI NEEDS NEW TURN SIGNAL LENSES, THE TURN SIGNALS WORK, I HAVE THE BULB AND PLUG THAT IS MISSING IN THE PICTURES, IT WOULD BE VERY HARD TO FIND ANOTHER TORNADO 650S IN THIS GOOD OF ORIGINAL CONDITION SO DON’T LET THIS ONE SLIP AWAY

While superficially similar to the British bikes it was intended to compete against, the Benelli Tornado 650 offered a slightly more refined feel and engineering sophistication.  On the down side, if you’re buying one today, a Norton or Triumph has a veritable phone book of custom, aftermarket, and NOS parts available, in addition to a strong network of builders and experts to help you keep your ride running or customize it to taste.   Benellis are rare ducks, and it might be a bit harder to find support and parts for them.

1975 Benelli 650S R Engine

There may not be really anything to set this Benelli apart from its British contemporaries in terms of outright performance, but there is something to be said for owning something just a bit unusual, and while this Benelli may not shout out its individuality, its still a classy machine.

-tad

1975 Benelli 650S L Detail