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Retro/Vintage Motorcycle Reviews

Retrospective: Honda CL360 Scrambler: 1974 – 1975

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Back in 1972, Honda determined that its immensely successful CB/CL350 OHC twin should continue to move forward…albeit slowly. But just how much change can be made by increasing the number on the side covers by 10, from 350 to 360? Quite a lot, as it turned out. The 360 was no minor upgrade from the 350. It had a new ...

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Triumph Revamps Bonneville Lineup for 2016

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Triumph has announced an all-new Bonneville lineup for 2016, with five models: the new Street Twin, the Bonneville T120 and Bonneville T120 Black, and the Thruxton and Thruxton R. All models feature new, more powerful engines, new chassis and suspension, and enhanced “classic” styling. The four-year, ground-up redevelopment project required an unprecedented amount of design, engineering and manufacturing, Triumph says. ...

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Retrospective—Bobber: 1945 to Present (1947 Indian Chief)

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Look up “bobber” in a conventional dictionary, and the definition talks about a float on a fishing line. Try Wikipedia: “A bobber is a custom motorcycle that usually has the front fender removed, the rear fender ‘bobbed’ (made smaller), and all superfluous parts removed to reduce weight.” Conventional wisdom states that motorcycle bobbers originated after World War II, when returning ...

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Royal Enfield Launches in North America

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Royal Enfield has announced its first wholly-owned subsidiary outside India, in North America. This announcement is in line with Royal Enfield’s focused international thrust of leading and expanding the global mid-sized motorcycle segment (250-750cc), with North America representing a priority market for the company. Royal Enfield is the oldest motorcycle brand in continuous production, with roots dating back to 1901 ...

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Retrospective: Suzuki RG500 Gamma: 1985-1986

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Sportbikes are one thing, street-legal repli-racers patterned on GP bikes are quite another. Both are intended for public roads, and while both are extremely fast, the repli-racer will have handling better suited to a racetrack than a mountain road. This RG500 was a repli-racer mildly popular in Europe and Canada, although never officially imported to the United States. That is ...

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Retrospective: Lambretta 150 Li Series I, II, III: 1958-1967

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The Italian scooter wars were in full ruckus in the late ’50s, as Lambretta and Vespa fought ferociously for market share. A number of other companies were building scooters, but those two were very much the leading contenders. “New” being the keyword to success, the Lambretta Company, with founder Ferdinando Innocenti very much at the handlebars, came out with the ...

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Retrospective: Honda CL175 Scrambler: 1968-1973

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There certainly were lots of variations of Honda’s 175 twin over its six years on the market, from Super Sport to Motosport, with the Scrambler sitting right in the middle. All part of Honda’s marketing wisdom—offering roughly the same bike in a variety of styles, appealing to any number of potential buyers. In the mid-1960s Americans were falling in lust ...

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Retrospective: Amazonas 1600: 1977-1989

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This motorcycle was a result of economic solutions rather than engineering designs, which may explain its questionable status as one of the worst motorcycles ever built. In the early 1970s, Brazil was getting its economic act together after 25 years of mismanagement and heavy borrowing to keep the country afloat. Industry was now beginning to compete with agriculture as the ...

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Retrospective: Rumi Turismo 125: 1950-1956

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After World War II ended, dozens of Italian companies began producing small motorcycles and motor scooters to provide the local folk with some sort of personal transportation. A few of the names live on, like Vespa, Moto Guzzi and Ducati, but most have been relegated to dusty files on the back shelves of those interested in motorcycle history, names like ...

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Rider Comparo: 2015 Ducati Scrambler vs. Triumph Scrambler

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Photography by Kevin Wing Most of the time, an awful lot of brainwork goes into researching the purchase of a new motorcycle. Facts, figures, statistics, capacity, performance, road manners and so much more all weigh in when answering that one key question: “What’ll she do?” However, pure function can sometimes take a back seat to preferred form when we choose a ...

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