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Classic Motorcycle Mechanics

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics April 2019

Dedicated to the later classics and Japanese machines, Classic Motorcycle Mechanics has it all. Now 116 pages of road tests, rebuild guides, 'Street Specials' reviews and much much more... Staff Bikes - Classic Motorcycle Mechanics is the only magazine that "Buys its own bikes, rebuilds 'em and rides 'em".

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United Kingdom
Mortons Media Group, Ltd
$4.54(Incl. tax)
$49.93(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

3 min.
splash it all over (not brut!)

You’ll notice this month we have come out in all the colours of the rainbow. Why? Well, why not! Actually, it was January’s issue with the Urban Tiger FireBlade on the cover. It got me thinking about the best paint jobs for our modern classics, and then it occurred to me that some of the best have been those that have (literally) fallen off the racetrack. I mean, who doesn’t like a good Yamaha ‘Speedblock’? Think Barry Sheene and Heron Suzuki. (Can someone smell Brut?) Then move forward in the ages and you’ve got the likes of the Skoal, Pepsi and Lucky Strike Suzukis, Marlboro Yamahas, Loctite Yams, Cadbury’s Boost-backed YZFs, Rothmans Hondas, Repsol Hondas, and let’s not forget that old stalwart the ‘Kawasaki green’. Even if we head back to the 1970s…

2 min.
bespoke insurance from the classic specialists

When you buy a classic motorcycle – whether it’s a minty fresh white 1980 Yamaha RD250LC or a seen-better-days Honda FireBlade in the timeless red, white and blue livery – choosing the right insurer is vital. The last thing you need when you’re anxiously stripping down your new pride and joy to see what horrendous bodges have been perpetrated against it by previous owners is to discover that your new insurer has tacked on a few little extra fees for‘administration’and ‘document handling’. It’s important to have confidence and trust in your insurer – that they are going to understand the giddy highs and (occasional) bolt-shearing, paintwork-ruining lows of owning a beautiful classic machine from an era when manufacturers and owners did things rather differently. They also need to understand that although you might…

1 min.
fag packet heroes!

The irony was never lost on me that some of the fittest sportsmen on the planet in the 1980s and 1990s were backed by cigarette companies. Wrestling a 131 kilo, 160bhp two-stroke demanded the peak of physical fitness, and yet the logos often emblazoned on the sides of these missiles were not like the energy drink companies we see today. Nope, some of the fastest (and scariest) motorcycles of the 1980s and 1990s looked like cigarette packets. So, we give thanks to the likes of HB (remember the HB-backed Hondas?), John Player Special (JPS Nortons), Gauloises (Yamahas), Rothmans (Honda) and, of course, Lucky Strike and Marlboro for backing our favourite sport. Wayne Rainey made his 500cc debut on the Lucky Strike Yamaha in 1988, winning in his debut year and running Rothmans Honda’s…

4 min.
race paint reps

For some it adds value, kudos and kerb appeal, yet for others it’s all a bit too loud, a bit too lairy and a big turn off. I’m not talking about the editor here. No, this is the reality of having a motorcycle repainted in a sponsor’s livery. Often beneath that freshly applied paint can lurk a bike that’s been poorly restored or repaired after an off. Before you part with your wonga when buying a repainted motorcycle, satisfy yourself that the bike wasn’t done so because of any sinister reasons. Beneath that posh paint often lurks freshly fillered fuel tanks and battered panels that have been stitched back together by plastic (welding) surgeons. So, don’t look at the sunny side of the fairings, take a peek behind the panels and find out.…

1 min.
what to look out for

WHO DID IT? Dream Machine are well up there in the top of the list of firms that repaint motorcycles. Over the years there’s been no end of contenders, with firms like Mirage, Kinetic Art, Esoteric and KAS Racepaint being no strangers to topping off a fancy special with eye-catching paint back in the day. Good paint also costs big money, and you get what you pay for. WHAT’S UNDER THE PAINT? It would be a waste to put an expensive paint job on to cheapo fibreglass fairing panels. Even worse, imagine respraying a tank which isn’t fuel tight due to rot. Always look beyond the posh paint. IS IT KOSHER? Many bikes are resprayed because they’ve been involved in an accident. Until the insurance industry upped its game and started making it easier to…

3 min.
the latest riding kit, top tools, tyres, retro clothing and more!

ALLSPEED EXPANSION CHAMBERS Now these are a super-cool blast from the past: Allspeed expansion chambers are back and being manufactured in the UK. Well, Essex… A range of bikes are catered for, including Yamaha’s RD250 and 350LC (chrome £695, bare metal £475), Yamaha YPVS (same price), RD250/400 (E and F models, same price), RD125LC (£395/£285), RD80LC (same price), FS1-E (ditto), Suzuki GT750 Kettle (£1195/£865), and Suzuki GT250/ X7 prices £695 chrome/£475 bare – original downpipes required! www.gibsonexhausts.co.uk HJC I70 HELMET This is the new sport-touring lid from HJC. It has a sleek design, but is a compact and uses a smaller shell than most helmets in this size. The vents work, but thanks to the wind-tunnel design, it’s not too loud. The visor system is anti-fog and quick-release, and you also have an…