They say that café racers are the ancestors of modern supersport bikes and we all know that these lasts have a reputation of attracting babes like magnets. But this vintage photo of the absolutely beautiful Laverda SF 750 motorcycle reveals that things have been this way ever since the very beginnings. And, by the way, the girls were as daring then as they are now.
Motorcycles will be part of the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the first time this year. The event on August 16 will showcase British bikes, including the Legendary Vincent HRD V-Twins nicknamed “Gunga Din” and the John Edgar “Rollie Free” bike.
Press release after the jump.
A few years ago, riding through Ontario meant visiting Niagara Falls and get a good history lesson at the Classic Iron Motorcycle Museum. The motorcycles exposed there dated back to early 1990’s and the incursion in the past that they offered surely didn’t heart anyone. But, for no apparent reason, the Classic Iron Motorcycle Museum has now closed together with their website. This means restricting passionate people from getting a glimpse of some rare pieces of machineries such as the:
1916 Harley Davidson
1923 Indian Scout
1929 Sunbeam 500 cc Racer
1932 Harley Davidson RL
1937 BSA Empire Star
1940 Harley Davidson UL
1942 WLC Canadian Military
1951 Ariel Square Four
1952 Matchless GL3
1953 Triumph TR6 Trophy
1956 Panhead with Sidecar
1966 BMW R27
Among the museum’s attractions, probably the greatest were Easyrider’s “Captain America” & “Billy Bike” Replicas. They also had a 1980 Custom built Chrome & Gold Shovelhead so you can’t say that they were lacking visitors.
So the logical question here is why did they close it? Furthermore, why did they close it just when I plan to fly there?
Here’s an address and phone in case you are a very powerful man and happen to like motorcycles.
Classic Iron Motorcycle Museum
5743 Victoria Avenue
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada L2G 3L6
P.S. These days you have to reopen a museum and only then visit it.
It seems that nowadays, old and originally kept motorcycles are as appreciated as highly developed ones that have just gone out the production line and I can understand why.
For example, this 1908 Indian Torpedo Tank board track racer was displayed at the Legend of the Motorcycle show in Half Moon Bay, CA, in May, ’08 and it won several awards, including Best of Show. That is truly worthy of appreciation for a century old motorcycle kept in original condition or, better said, a true, unrestored “barn find”.
America’s youngsters in between 18 and 25 are offered the opportunity to win a 1942 Harley-Davidson WLA motorcycle through a youth program of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America. But don’t think it’s that easy as they will first have to subscribe to an Essay Contest and then the lucky winner should rebuilt its prize from scratch with parts sent in from all over the country.
Matt Olson, youth director of the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, is the man behind this idea so in the video below he describes the Essay Contest and presents the parts that will eventually end up describing a Harley.
For more details you can also go to http://www.antiquemotorcycle.org/about/pr_youthessaycontest.html.
Yes, it is possible. Just because it has two wheels doesn’t make it a motorcycle or a scooter. Back in the days that the cars and motorcycle were still in infancy, cars were being produced that had only two wheels.
They didn’t look like motorcycles, they looked like cars. The two wheel cars did have four wheels, but two were used to stabilize the car at low speeds or when it was stopped. Once it reached gyroscopic speed, the two side wheels were retracted.
Notable in this design was the French Monotrace. It was built during the 1925 to 1928.
The engine was a single cylinder 510cc engine.
It looks like it came straight out of a Donald Duck cartoon.
Click here to read more about this amazing motorcycle car.
Another one built in 1912 was the enormous Scripps-Booth Bi-Autogo, with a V8 engine and weighing 3500 pounds! Even the Honda Goldwing does not weigh that much!
Several other two wheel cars exist, but not many were made in large numbers. All date back to the days that there were as many manufacturers as there were bicycle manufacturers. Eventually, things got more clear, and the demarcation line between cars and motorcycles got defined.
Fisherman stories are always hard to believe and if you’re now expecting to hear about “the one that got away” I must disappoint you. This one didn’t get away. In fact, the nets seemed pretty heavy when it was lifted on board, only to discover a rusted motorcycle instead of a record catch.
The amazing experience was lived by a group of four fishermen off Mandapam Coast in the early hours of the morning. Apparently, they set out to sea yesterday morning on a mechanized boat, but never in their lives expected to find a bike caught in their nets.
Not knowing what to do with the damn thing, the group head back to the coast in order to hand the capture over to the Custom officials. This is how the story reached the ears of the local press who also received a plausible scenario for the bike being there.
Because the number plates were too rusted to identify it, officials suspect that the motorcycle had fallen into the sea at the beginning of the summer while being smuggled to Sri Lanka. There, the Tamil rebels are the more likely recipients so the find raises a few question marks on how well state security agencies do their job.
Who knows, maybe in the future, motorcycles which are known to be exported to areas where they can follow the same trajectory in life, will be fitted with secret floating devices which will help at being recovered faster. Yeah, like somebody would want to help the rebels…but it would be interesting to hear somebody comes up with such an idea. Or am I the only one afraid of the water, but with a strong passion for motorcycles?
Set up by John Burgin as a retiring activity, the hidden motorcycle museum is one of the best privately owned collections of motorcycles in the country.
It is located in Spanaway, Washington (so it’s not hidden any more?) and it includes a full set of Harley-Davidson Knuckleheads.
John passed away two years ago, but it leaves behind what could easily be the work of a lifetime gathered only during its retirement.
Gas leaking was a common problem with early Norton and Triumph motorcycles, but who would have expected at something like this in the year 2008? As long as the bike is old, the problems are old but it is a real shame that at an apparently organized show you can’t get your hands on an extinguisher fast enough to minimize damage to the bike. And the guy that was riding…did he actually thought that by hitting the thing with his foot would actually help him solve the problem?
This picture represents the very essence of motorcycle beginnings as it illustrates the first motorcycle that featured an engine functioning on gas.
Built by Daimler in 1885, the machine is as rudimentary you could ever imagine, but well ahead of its time thanks to its motor. Rolling on two massive wagon wheels and being supported by other two lateral ones, this wooden horse must have been a rough ride from just above 0 mph.
This film catches the very essence of boardtrack racing with motorcycles from the 1920’s. These were the days when safety became a thing of worry only after serious deaths, something that has indeed happened in the time as the wooden tracks would suffer serious wearing due to exposure to the elements.
It is very nice to view such a quality film from those days and think at how the tape withstood the test of time. You will see that at one time it was lost and found.
The motorcycles are early Indians racing sometimes even beyond their limits, but that’s where racing starts, doesn’t it? Funny thing how they used to start the bikes!