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Retro/Vintage Motorcycle Reviews

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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Retrospective: Velocette MAC 350: 1934-1960

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The reader may be surprised that this motorcycle is not in more immaculate condition, having a shabby saddle, abbreviated aluminum front fender, chromed oil reservoir and a bunch of other blemishes. Truth be told, around here we are not much interested in concours machines, motorcycles to be found on mantelpieces, but are more amenable to what we loosely call “riders.” ...

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2014 Honda CB1100 Deluxe | Long-Term Rides

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At the very first glance, the CB1100 parked outside the Rider office had me by the eyeballs. Appraising its Candy Red paint and clean, classic lines, I knew I had to ride it. EIC Tuttle finally handed me the key a couple of months later, with the bike now sporting Cortech Super 2.0 luggage and a National Cycle Street Shield ...

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Hercules W2000 and Suzuki RE5—Short History of Wankel-Powered Motorcycles

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In March 1972, Cycle Guide suggested it was “inevitable that the Wankel rotary engine will shortly invade the 2-wheel domain…and they just might take it by storm.” That storm never happened, even though rotary engines would seem good candidates for motorcycles. They’re compact, make good power for their weight and have just two moving parts, the rotor and the crankshaft. ...

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Retrospective: Harley-Davidson M65S Sport Leggero: 1967-197

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This is one cool-looking motorcycle, with Harley-Davidson writ large on the gas tank and molded into the crankcases. A bit on the small side, but what the heck—if you were the coolest newspaper boy in town, who cared? The M65S had a price tag of a mere $265, which even the bag boy at the supermarket could come up with. ...

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Retrospective: Indian Chief Police Special: 1940-1945

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Wouldn’t the new Indian Motorcycle people just love it if the San Francisco Police Department ordered up some Indian police bikes? Just like it did a mere 70 years ago. Back in 1945, this would have been the pride of the SFPD. World War II was coming to an end and American factories were already gearing up to satisfy civilian ...

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World Records Achieved at Bonhams' Las Vegas Motorcycle Auction

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Classic motorcycles from Britain filled the ranks of the top grossing machines at Bonhams’ world-famous motorcycle auction in Las Vegas on January 8, 2015. The Vincent brand in particular saw two world records achieved. The first was a 1950 Vincent Series C “White” Shadow—one of just 15 produced—which was the most valuable Shadow ever sold at auction when it brought ...

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