Tagged: replica

Racing Replica: 1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale for Sale

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep R Front

Egret, Falcon, Goshawk, Bunting, Skylark, Condor… Leave it to the Italians to give their machines evocative but somehow whimsical names. And while this Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale may not have been named for the most beautiful of birds, the name is certainly apt.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep L Engine

Condors aren’t pretty, but they’re eminently practical animals, able to eat almost anything and able to stay aloft for hours, searching for their next meal. Moto Guzzi’s road and race singles of the 30s, 40s, and 50s were also very effective motorcycles, famous for their long-legged and very frugal nature. They often won races against much more powerful machinery: even racebikes could achieve 45mpg or more, and the horizontal single with its distinctive external flywheel gave impressive, long-legged torque, stable handling, and a small frontal area.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep Cockpit

The Condor was introduced in 1938 as an over-the-counter racebike and was very successful in competition, often winning races against much more powerful machinery. The “Stradale” was obviously the roadgoing version of the machine, but both road and race versions are very rare, as production was unfortunately cut short by the beginning of World War II.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep R Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Replica for Sale

The Condor was intended for production racing and a much more sophisticated machine than its working class brethren from Moto Guzzi.It had alloy cylinder head and barrel and magnesium (electron) crankcases along with lighter steel frame componentry, bigger brakes and wheels. They were only made for 2 years with only 69 units being produced. They were extremely successful before the outbreak of war halted competitive motorcycling. They were good for approximately 28 hp and a legitimate 100mph. Due to their rarity and the nature of their use, very few original examples exist. Seldom if ever do they become available. Offered here is a faithful recreation and tribute to one of the most remarkable manufacturers and models in history. This machine was built with no expense spared by well known Moto Guzzi authority Franco Dall’aglio in Italy. This is a magnificent machine worthy of any collection or museum. The bike could not be built for as low as its asking price due to the high level of craftsmanship and use of rare and custom reproduction race parts. An original specimen will cost approxamitely four times the figure. This motorcycle is gorgeous.

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep R Detail

Obviously, this is a rare and beautiful motorcycle. But replicas are always tricky: no matter how much craftsmanship has gone into their creation, a big selling point of the real thing isn’t the actual performance or appearance, but the subjective value of a historic item and the intangible links they provide us to a bygone era. No matter how accurate a replica, it somehow isn’t the real thing. And obviously, the seller isn’t expecting real-thing-money. But with just a couple days left on the auction and no takers yet at the $30,000 starting bid, it’s obvious that potential buyers aren’t quite sure what to make of this.

It’s unfortunate, because someone has obviously gone to a lot of effort to create this roadgoing race bike replica.

-tad

1938 Moto Guzzi Condor Stradale Rep L Rear

Perfect Recreation: 1961 Norton Manx Replica for Sale

1961 Norton Manx Replica R Front

For many vintage motorcycle enthusiasts, the Commando is what first springs to mind when you mention Norton. But while that bike was stunning to look at and fast, its design wasn’t really cutting-edge, even when new. For vintage racing fans however, the name Norton probably conjures up images of this bike, the Norton Manx, a bike whose technical specification set the standard for privateer racing in a career that spanned 20 years, an almost impossible-to-imagine longevity in a sport where last year’s bike isn’t a classic, it’s just slow.

1961 Norton Manx Replica R Side Rear

The single-cylinder engine came in two flavors: 500 and 350cc’s. Both used reliable and precise bevel drive and tower shafts to work the dual overhead cams. But while the engine was sophisticated and reasonably powerful, it was just part of the picture and far from the bike’s defining characteristic. Instead, it was the bike’s “featherbed” frame that was the standout feature. The innovative frame was lightweight, stiff, and featured a swingarm rear for excellent roadholding that allowed it to compete against much more powerful machines.

1961 Norton Manx Replica Dash

Christened the Featherbed frame by racer Harold Daniel who described the experience of racing the bike like “riding on a featherbed.” That’s obviously a far cry from the “riding on a bedframe” experience of most motorcycles built when motorcycle frame technology was still in its infancy. But amazingly, the Manx was still winning races almost ten years later…

1961 Norton Manx Replica L Side Engine

So the bikes were stone-axe reliable, nimble, and made decent power, making them hugely versatile tools for the wide variety of events held during that period. In fact, the folks at Molnar will still be happy to build you a perfect replica of the original Manx today, if you have the cash…

From the original eBay listing: 1961 Norton Manx Replica for Sale

I have for sale here a “new” Norton Manx Replica.  This bike was built in the image of a 1961 Manx.  The bike is a re-creation, built to modern standards.  I am relisting the motorcycle with lower Buy It Now and lower reserve.  It was previously listed as a 1962 Manx Replica but Andy Molnar pointed out the single-sided brake is proper for 1961 and earlier, not 1962.

The bike’s features are:

  • New, never run, Molnar Precision Limited 500 cc. DOHC motor.  I have a copy of the original build sheet.
  • Believed new Mick Hemmings Quaife 5 spd. transmission.
  • New Molnar Precision Lightweight beltdrive
  • New Featherbed frame produced by Andover Norton
  • Newly strung alloy wheels, built by Buchanan on proper period magnesium hubs, all new bearings/axles
  • New Ken McIntosh oil and fuel tanks
  • New tachometer 
  • New Amal GP carburetor and Matchbox floatbowl
  • New controls including levers, throttle, rearsets and all cables
  • New seat
  • New exhaust pipe and megaphone
  • Number plates are alloy, not plastic, and new
  • All new nuts and bolts, proper Manx rifle-drilled where appropriate.  The number plate and fender bolts are aerodynamic stainless from Racing Norton
  • Rebuilt, period correct Featherbed forks, new internals, new rear suspension units
  • New alloy fenders
  • New fairing and windscreen

This bike has recently been professionally completed and as noted, has not been run, in respect for its “new” condition.  The Molnar motor was factory equipped with a PVL electronic racing ignition hidden in the stock magneto housing, and initial timing was set at the factory.  (NOTE:  If you intend to purchase this motorcycle to race in a class that prohibits electronic ignitions, I do have a newly rebuilt Lucas magneto that is available separately.)

Andy Molnar is well aware of this motor and will be pleased to discuss it with a purchaser.  The initial cost of the motor is roughly half the Buy It Now price.

An individual purchasing this motorcycle to display will be pleased with the beauty of the bike and the quality of construction and the fact that there has never been petrol or oil in the tanks (I believe this makes international shipping easier as well).  A racer acquiring the bike to compete will need to safety-wire as required by sanctioning bodies.

1961 Norton Manx Replica Shifter

Keep in mind that, in this case, “replica” is underselling it a bit. Molnar makes what are basically recreations of the original Manx bikes, similar to “continuation” Cobras. They’re the real deal in every way, except that they weren’t built fifty years ago. In many ways, this is actually more desirable to anyone who wants to use the bike in anger, since they won’t be risking an irreplaceable piece of racing history and will get a very authentic experience racing one of the most perfectly designed and executed motorcycles of all time.

-tad

1961 Norton Manx Replica L Side

Retro-Futuristic: 1974 John Player Norton Replica Replica for Sale

1974 John Player Norton R Side FrontWell, this John Player Norton Replica isn’t American, but at least it’s red, white and blue to celebrate the Fourth of July…

Of course, “John Player” wasn’t a person. This bike was from the era of motor racing when cigarette sponsorship reigned supreme, and John Player was actually the name of a British tobacco giant. Its bones are mostly stock Norton Commando, no bad thing considering the well-known performance potential of that bike. This example features Norton’s 828cc “850” engine and four-speed gearbox, although a short-stroke 750 was available for riders who planned to race their bikes in the US.

1974 John Player Norton L SideWith largely stock underpinnings, aside from taller gearing to capitalize on the bike’s improved aerodynamics, it’s that angular, bug-eyed fairing that was the main selling point. Or not, as was the case when new. It’s important to realize that the concept of collectible race-replicas and limited-edition bikes wasn’t really established in the early 1970’s. Old cars and old bikes were mostly just that: obsolete. No one was really buying them with an eye towards appreciating value since, in the early 1970’s, it hadn’t really occurred to anyone that might even be a thing. 1974 John Player Norton CockpitSo a bike with shockingly futuristic styling, with race-replica graphics and a much higher price, produced in limited numbers to seemingly stimulate collectors was an idea before its time, and these didn’t sell particularly well when new. Just 200 were believed to have been built, with 120 shipped to America. 1974 John Player Norton R Side EngineInterestingly, this particular bike is not an original JPL, but is a replica of a replica, built from kits available at the time the bike was new. It looks to be in beautiful shape, and might be a great opportunity to get a very striking machine for much less than you’d pay for the real thing.

From the original eBay listing: 1974 John Player Norton 850 Replica for Sale

The John Player Norton (quickly abbreviated JPN) was introduced in late 1973 and reached the public in April 1974. Many people think it was put together by the race team, but only the production racers were built by the race team, not the John Players. In actuality, the JPN was either built at Andover, in a separate facility, or on the main production line at Norton’s Wolverhampton factory.

Most JPNs went to the United States. It’s believed that of the approximately 200 JPNs made, 120 were sent to the U.S. All factory JPNs (as opposed to home-built copies) were made in 1974, with the shifter on the right and 30mm intake ports. Tapered manifolds connected the ports to 32mm Amal Concentric carburetors. The front brake was a disc, the rear a drum. All factory JPNs had forged aluminum brackets on the back of the fairing. There are some copies floating around, but these have welded brackets.

Unfortunately, the JPN banked on a collector’s market that did not then exist. To most potential buyers, the fairing and twin headlights looked weird instead of fashion forward. Young men looking to lure the fairer sex objected to the lack of a passenger seat, while other buyers objected to the price tag. At $2,995 — $495 over a standard Commando — it was the most expensive production Commando. JPNs sat on dealership floors. To make matters worse, John Player Tobacco quit sponsoring Norton at the end of 1974. And that was the end of the John Player Norton.

This is an excellent example of one of these classic motorcycles- while it is NOT one of the original 200 built- it is an authentic replica of the JPN replicas in that Sprint offered the body pieces as a kit for sale back in that era  – this is one of those kits placed on a VERY LOW MILEAGE 1974 Commando – and while the tank underneath the fairing is a standard tank – we do have an extended matte finish tank (which needs to be fitted) and it will accompany the bike – all in all a great little collectible to take to rallies and show off to your friends!  Even the kit bikes are Rare as hen’s teeth and this one runs like a dream.

1974 John Player Norton DashThere are just about 8 hours left on this auction, and bidding is up to just about $6,000 as of writing. These are certainly odd-looking, a design from an alternate future that never happened, like a space rocket from a Buster Crabbe “Flash Gordon” episode. But the Norton Commando underpinnings mean that parts are available, and a huge support community exists to keep them running and make them faster, so if you fancy something that will turn heads at your next vintage bike meet, this might be a great way to pick up a bit of history on the cheap.

-tad 1974 John Player Norton L Side

Supercharged 1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Stanley Woods Replica

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Rear

Now this is a race-replica! No mere paint, decal, and clip-on conversion here, the seller has put some serious money into a vintage machine, fitting a supercharger to an early horizontal-single Moto Guzzi PE250. Most of the early Guzzi’s I’ve seen for sale have plenty of vintage patina, but this one looks better than factory fresh, with some hot-rod touches I’ve never seen applied to a vintage Guzzi.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Side Front

Although current owners over at Piaggio have cast Moto Guzzi as their line of retro-riffic cruisers and neoclassic sporty machines that appeal to born-again-bikers and riders “of a certain age,” it’s important to remember their rich racing history, and this bike harkens back to that era, when Guzzi’s raced on the world stage and won.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Dash

Prior to the introduction of their iconic v-twin in the 1960’s, Guzzi’s successes were based around variations on their “horizontal single” theme. Singles were ubiquitous during the period, when simplicity equaled reliability and light weight in the motorcycling world. Guzzi laid their engine over on its side to keep the center of gravity as low as possible and stick the cylinder head out into the cooling breeze, although I do wonder about their insistence on exposed valvesprings with the head so vulnerable to debris and road grit… Their distinctive exposed flywheel was a better idea, and allowed them to keep the weight of the engine low, since the cases didn’t need to actually enclose the spinning mass of flywheel itself.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 R Engine2

This configuration worked well on both road and track: the same simplicity that meant reliable, torquey race bikes made for durable, long-legged and easy-to-ride transportation during an era when ordinary people were just getting used to the idea of personal mobility. And later, the configuration meant for reliable transportation for a country reeling from the devastation of war.

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 L Side Front

From the original eBay listing: Supercharged 1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 Stanley Woods Replica

This is a replica of Stanley Woods 1938 Moto Guzzi 250 Supercharged.

We fired it up 4 months ago and it had a problem with being too large for the Supercharger. I gave up at that point and fitted the stock setup without the supercharger. I have all the parts for the Supercharger if you wish to fit it again. 

Much work has gone into the engine for use with the Supercharger. Feel free to call me and I can better detail these for you. ph.360-387-5038.

I have over $30K invested in the bike. Some special features are: alloy fuel and oil tank, front and rear fender alloy, alloy wheels, alloy brake and shift assy, Special light weight suspension springs and alloy bellypan for them and custom leather seat and pillion. Much more…

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 SuperCharger

There is still plenty of time left on the listing, and the Buy It Now is set at $26,000. The seller mentions that there were some teething problems with the blower and it’s currently not fitted to the bike. Never thought I’d actually be typing “blower,” writing for this site… I’m not sure what “a problem with being too large for the supercharger” means exactly or what running problems that issue caused. But it sounds like it was built with supercharging in mind, so if I had the money to buy this bike, I’d definitely be sorting that out!

A vintage 250 single with a supercharger? Sign me up!

-tad

1938 Moto Guzzi PE250 R Front

Trapped in Amber: 1964 Honda CB160 Roadracer CR93 Replica

1964 Honda CB175 Roadracer R Side

This week’s race-replica theme continues with a very pretty little Honda CB Roadracer.

The CR93 “Benly” that inspired this machine is from an era when Honda wasn’t a household name associated with clockwork precision motorcycles of unprecedented complexity and unheard of reliability. These were very rare production 125 racers were produced in small numbers for only two years, putting out 21hp from the gear-driven, four-valve per cylinder parallel twin.

It was simple, but sophisticated, with reliable engineering and adequate power, and it was very competitive on race tracks until the 1970’s.

This very slick replica is based on the CB160 and is probably pretty close to the real thing in terms of performance: it’s lower in specification, with only two valves per cylinder and single overhead cam, but the larger displacement means very similar outright power, and more torque.

From the original listing: 1964 Honda CB Roadracer for Sale

This CB160 Based HondaCR93 Replica is in Great condition, Difficult to distinguish from the Original Factory machines of which only 140 approx. where Produced. Located in my rec. room for the past years. Only top Quality items where purchased to complete this 175cc CR93 Replica. it has never been raced or Track day’d.

Rebuilt Crank
Megacycle Race Cam # 122X4
5 speed transmission installed, 1 down 4 up.
New Pistons, Rods,Bearings & Seals Installed.
New Carbs, Keihin PE24mm Race Cams
Custom Handmade Alum CR93 Tank & Seat  Painted in Original Honda CR Colors.
Electronic Ignition, Dayna Coils
Alum Valanced (Dropped ) Rims with Avon Race Tires.
Stainless Steel Spokes
Torozzi Alum Rearsets
Honda CR93 type Steering Dampner
Ikon (Koni ) rear Shocks
Some spare items, Pistons, Gaskets, Cables etc.

1964 Honda CB175 Roadracer L Side Naked

I’d prefer a few more photos of this bike, since it looks to be a high-quality replica. And he mentions both the CB160 and CB175 in his description although, given the year, I’d assume it’s based around the 160. He lists frame and engine numbers, so some quick research should clear things up if you’re considering throwing your hat into the ring on this one.

I’m not sure what the point of this build was originally: it’s an authentic-looking replica that appears to have been intended for display only, but that uses many high-performance parts and appears to be set up for serious track work. Which is a shame, since people actively race CB160 and CB175 Hondas, and I’ve been thinking about getting into this myself: it’s still cheap and unintimidating, with parts and tuning advice widely available.

The seller even mentions AHRMA, WERA, VRRA, and Group W in the listing, suggesting it’s eligible for those race-sanctioning bodies.

The reserve hasn’t been met yet at $3,200 which is no real surprise, considering how much work it looks like went into this build. I hope someone picks this up and gets it out on the road.

-tad

 

1964 Honda CB175 Roadracer R Side Naked

Faux Racer: 1973 Honda CB350F RC166 Replica for Sale

1966 Honda CB350 RC166 Replica L Side Front

Well this presents an odd opportunity: the chance to talk about two very different bikes in the same article. This 1973 Honda CB350F has been fully rebuilt to resemble the RC166 Grand Prix bike of the mid-1960’s. I used to see a guy at the Trader Joe’s in Los Angeles all the time who rode a bike like this one, all clad in black leathers and a replica “puddin’ bowl” helmet, the vintage-racer equivalent of the ubiquitous Harley “skid lid:” just as stupid, but way cooler.

1966 Honda CB350 RC166 Replica L Side Rear

This bike is intended as a replica of Honda’s RC166, an engineering masterpiece, and I’m not sure it succeeds on that front, although it does manage to be a very nice vintage motorcycle with a strong racing style.

1966 Honda CB350 RC166 Replica R Side

Introduced in 1972 as one of the seemingly endless, smaller iterations of the CB750 four-cylinder, the CB350F was, at the time, a very unusual bike in that most machines this small were twins or singles. The engine was actually undersquare, with a bigger bore than stroke and put 34hp thorough a 5-speed gearbox. Although there were plenty of other bikes in the class that were lighter and less expensive, including Honda’s own CB350 twin, the jewel-like engineering appealed to a different type of buyer, and the bike’s increased complexity was offset by Honda’s impressively reliable engineering.

1966 Honda CB350 RC166 Replica Engine Detail

From the original eBay listing: 1973 Honda CB350F RC166 Replica for Sale

This ’73 CB350F is fresh out of a full engine-out cosmetic and mechanical restoration from the frame up. The best I can describe is that everything is new except Frame, Engine, Wheel Hubs and the Triple Trees. Here is an example of what’s new on the bike.  Avon tires, aluminum rims, stainless spokes, caliper and pads, shock seals and fluid, steel fender, headlights, brake and tail light, license plate bracket, 4 into 1 headers, cone engineering muffler, tachometer cable, clutch cable, throttle cables, clutch lever, throttle assembly, grips, anti vibration bar ends, tapered roller bearing steering neck kit, clip-ons, master cylinder, Airtech-Fairing, seat, seat pan, fuel tank, windshield, chain, rear shocks, rear brake pads, electronic ignition, Antigravity 4cell battery, Antigravity battery charger, regulator/rectifier, velocity stacks, bronze swing arm bushings, point to point wiring. Clean title 14,538 miles. Less than 100 miles since restoration. Has electric start, headlights, tail light and brake light utilizing front brake. No speedo but in 5th gear 3,000 rpm’s = 30mph. 5,000 rpm’s = 50mph and so on. No turn signals and mirrors. The carburetors were professionally restored and I will provide extra main jets sizes. Engine does not leak oil, had new gasket kit installed along with all new fluids. The numbers on the fairing are vinyl and easily removable if you choose.

1966 Honda CB350 RC166 Replica R Side Tank

Compared to the real thing, the tank is suitably long and lean but the whole thing isn’t quite proportioned correctly and doesn’t have the tiny, rounded bum-stop tailpiece of the original. It also, of course, lacks Honda’s absolute shrieking masterpiece of a motor, a straight 6-cylinder, four-valve 250cc machine that belted out 65hp through a 7-speed gearbox. With internals that looked more like the parts of a scale model than the real thing, it’s almost impossible to imagine the skill involved in the creation of this thing in an era before computers and modern manufacturing techniques.

1966 Honda CB350 RC166 Replica Dash

And it worked: in the 1966 250cc world championship, the RC166 won ten of ten races.

1966 Honda CB350 RC166 Replica Rear Wheel

Although at first glance this replica isn’t streetable, there’s space for a number plate, a tail light, and the bike does feature a pair of little projector-beam headlamps tucked up between the forks under the nose of the fairing.

1966 Honda CB350 RC166 Replica R Rear

The starting bid is $7,400 with no takers yet but plenty of time left on the auction. This is really big money for a CB350, but pretty small money for such a one-of-a-kind custom with a ton of style. This is a very sweet little bike that is more “inspired by” the RC166 than it is an actual “replica of,” but that’s okay: a more authentic replica would probably be much more expensive, and still wouldn’t feature that awe-inspiring engine.

-tad

1966 Honda CB350 RC166 Replica L Side

The tale of two John Player Nortons

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Norton and their Winning Ways were making a comeback in the 1970’s, and with the backing of John Player Tobacco Company, they were back on the track. The Norton Atlas had grown into the Norton Commando, and with the addition of a rubber isolation system, the vibration was tamed, and with a total of 850cc, the Norton became a Super Bike, again. These two John Player Norton’s may be “paint editions” and not have the twin headlight fairing to emulate the JPN endurance racers, but you are getting possibly the pinnacle and swan song Norton.

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From the first seller

For sale is my 1975 Mk.3 Norton Commando John Player paint edition. The bike has had a full engine rebuild with forged JE pistons, Black Diamond valves, Superblend bearings, re-sleeved Amals, Boyer ignition, new camshaft, upgraded starter wiring, and new British made peashooter mufflers.The iso’s were also rebuilt….Bike has new British made stainless steel rims with new spokes in stock size and has new Dunlop Roadholder K81’s with maybe 1000 miles total since I mounted them….The bike was repainted very nicely in it’s stock JPS paint scheme. The seat cover is in nice shape but the foam should at some point be replaced or better yet, upgrade to a Corbin seat.

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Both of these bikes offer electric starters. These were first offered in 1975, also introduced in 1975 was something that wasn’t new, but something required by the Design Company that is the United States regulation committee. They said that all motorcycle have to have the brake on the right, and shifters on the left. This Design Company that was the United States ruined a lot of good designs, both motorcycle and automobiles.

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From the second seller

1975 Norton Commando John Player Edition. Numbers Matching, Excellent original condition,  down to the black cap silencers and very well maintained. Includes detailed service records since new. I purchased this from the original owner who bought the bike new from the Norton Dealer in MN. The mileage and paint is original with service records to back it up. Starts and runs excellent, doesn’t smoke and the carb is tuned to idle at that perfect Norton low rumble. The electric starter has been rebuilt and upgraded to the 4-brush starter, it works great (it will also start first kick, if you prefer to kick start it). The original air box, tool kit and service manual will be included in the final sale. I put about 400 trouble free miles on it last year.

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Now it was difficult to get a sense of the difference between the full fairing JPN replica racers and the John Player paint edition, but I was able to find the below numbers for performance. The key may be in that the JPN full fairing seems to have been offered for 1974-75, and the electric start from 1975-78. The Tobacco Company left the Norton racing effort rather quickly and it would make sense that they would not want to advertise a sponsor that was no longer sponsoring Norton. Something else that these two auctions might give is a sense of how much buyers value original pain. At the time of this writing the first Norton John player with its re-paint has 9 bids up to $5700. The second Norton John Player with its original paint has 30 bidders up to $10,000. BB

John Player Norton Commando
Years produced:
 1974
Total production: 200 (est.)
Claimed power: 50hp @ 5,900rpm
Top speed: 115mph (est.)
Engine type: 828cc air-cooled OHV parallel twin
Weight (dry): 435lb (198kg)
Price then: $2,995
MPG: 40-50

 

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1974 Kawasaki H1R replica

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The same year that Honda introduced the CB750, Kawasaki gave the world something as special, but with a little more blue stroke. Offered from 1969 until 1975 the Kawasaki H1 gave the rider lots of power, but lacked the frame design to keep the power to the ground in the safest way; it was described as “the triple with a ripple.” In 1970, Kawasaki took the H1R racing and with rider Ginger Molloy aboard, they were able to gather enough points to come second to Giacomo “Ago” Agostini and his MV Augusta. This 1974 Kawasaki H1 is dressed up to look like the H1R.

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From the seller

From the serial numbers on the motor, it looks to be a 1975 H1 motor. The motor is brand new. I pulled off a cylinder and looked at the piston to check. It does not have the stock carbs and although I am not sure what size they are, they do look brand new. If I were to guess, I would say it has 32 or 34 Mikuni carbs. The cylinders are also ported. The right side head has a broken fin. Look at the pictures to see. I pulled the right head off of this to show the brand new piston. This motor is clean enough to eat off of. There is not a speck of grease, oil, or dirt on it anywhere. The aluminum is perfect. There is no oxidation or weathering on the aluminum cases. They look close to new. This bike does not have the dry clutch kit.

 

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The way the seller describes the bike, it seems like they had recently purchased it. They give the best, vaguest description of a bike that I have read in a while. They state that it appears no oil has seen the inside of the oil tank. The seller has not started it up, or appears to know if it would start up. Read the complete description to understand what you might be getting.

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More from the seller

This bike has custom chambers. It is safety wired as well. It has DID aluminum rims, 17 front and rear. The front is 2.5 by 17 and the rear is 3 by 17. The bike has Marzocchi rear shocks. If I were to keep it, I would probably put a better set of pipes on it as these pipes look like they are reworks factory pipe products. All bolts look new, no oxidation on any of the bolts or aluminum. There are a couple of small little scratches on the gas tank just from being moved around. The bodywork and paint are close to mint. No scrapes or scratches. This is done up in the right color of Kawi green.

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I was able to find some power numbers on a racing H1R from 1972, the last year that it was campaigned. 75hp at 9000rpm, with its 5 speed gear box it was good in excess of 160mph depending on gearing. The major visual and performance difference between the replica for sale and the as-raced H1R is the front break. Because 2-strokes offer no engine braking, the biggest and best brake was needed to insure that the rider was able to slow for the first corner of the course. The original H1R used huge Four Leading Shoe drum brakes because at the time, were more advanced then disk brakes. The replica offered has the advantage of dual disk.

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Internal performance differences can only be guessed at, but numbers I was able to find for an original 1974 H1 were 59hp at 8000rpm with fuel/air duties being handled by 28mm Mikuni’s. With my eye calipers, it looks like this replica may have added a few mm to the bank of carbs, the seller guesses 32 or 34. To handle the exhaust, the money shot shows that something more then stock was used. So if you are to pick up this 1974 Kawasaki H1R replica, you might have to spend some time sorting, but the end result should be very rewarding. BB

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1963 Honda CB72 Road Racer

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

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From the seller

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

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

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

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1950 Vincent Red Comet

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

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From the seller

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

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

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

 

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

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