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Classic Motorcycle Mechanics

Classic Motorcycle Mechanics July 2018

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
$4.53(Incl. tax)
$49.81(Incl. tax)
12 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
can’t beat a big kwak!

As a kid, my walls were always adorned with posters of the latest large capacity Kawasakis and – it’s fair to say – that manufacturer in particular was the one that really got me into biking as a whole. It was all helped by my uncle being a mechanic at our local dealership, Dave Fox Kawasaki in Kent. It meant my uncle not only had his own cool Kawasakis (my first pillion was on a Z1000J aged 10) but he had access to all the new promotional material which would end up on my wall alongside RAF fighter jets and (ahem, in later years) the odd picture of Linda Lusardi and Samantha Fox: my apologies, feminists everywhere. So I figured I’d hanker after a big Kawasaki by the time I’d earned my…

1 min.
hero’s return

It must surely be rated as the greatest and most emotional ever Isle of Man TT win: Mike ‘The Bike’ Hailwood returning to the 37.73 mile course and claiming an unexpected victory. It’s beyond the scope of this small homage to the man and the event itself to describe everything that went on, but after 11 years out of mainstream motorcycle racing this “pot-bellied” (according to friend Murray Walker) 38-year-old came back to the TT and won the Formula 1 race on the Sports Motorcycles Ducati 900SS. It was and still is the stuff of legend. Mike and nine-year-old daughter Michelle were tragically killed in a road accident in 1981, but survived by son David and widow Pauline. They will be at this year’s Classic TT to be reunited with Mike’s F1-winning Sports…

3 min.
birth of zed power

The Z1 900 is a true design classic and a motorcycling icon – it has been since the day it hit the streets in the US in about July 1972. They really hit the US showrooms from about September 1972 onwards and are all referred to as 1973 models, although they were produced in 1972. The Z1 removed Honda’s crown and left them chasing shadows with the CB750 until they bought out the CBX1000 in 1978. The CB750 pulled a claimed 125mph while the Z was electronically timed at 132mph, apparently. So the king was dead in 1972, long live the king and the Z was king when it came to top speed. For ease of understanding these beautiful Zeds, we will refer to 1972 built motorcycles as 72s and all models…

3 min.
power to the people!

The GPz900R was the first Japanese production motorcycle that broke the 150mph barrier. This benchmark speed figure wasn’t the end of willy-waving by the Japanese, it was very much the beginning of the modern power struggle to produce a bike that could utter that immortal line ‘the fastest production bike in the world’ within its sales blurb. By the end of the 1980s Kawasaki had kicked the ball further into the grass with the all-new ZZ-R1100, with claims of 170mph being tossed about. Entering the 1990s and the previous gentleman’s agreement to sell bikes in the UK that only pumped out 125bhp was in tatters. The power capping was mostly achieved by nothing more technical than the equivalent of sticking a sock in its mouth (carb tops/ web intack restrictors) besides…

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

SHOEI EX-ZERO HELMET Everyone is cashing in on the whole ‘bobber/scrambler’ scene and if those bikes float your boat then this is the lid to ride one in. It says here that the Ex-Zero “reflects the style of the custom bike scene and heritage Motocross helmets in one piece – with its sleek design elements, compact chassis and aggressive look. Like all Shoei models the Ex-Zero brings both sophistication and safety in one helmet concept”. We say it looks plenty funky, comes in six cool colours and is in sizes XS-XXL with three shell sizes and a removable/washable lining. www.shoeiassured.co.uk OILY RAG CLOTHING Oily Rag clothing is the brainchild of David Sutton, a custom bike builder who branched out into clothing in 2010. Yes, these are worn by hipsters but they do some rather nice…

3 min.
riding kit worn, tools twirled & tyres turned

ALPINESTARS BLACK LABEL JACKET After more than a decade of faithful service, it’s time to hang up this A-stars Black Label jacket for the last time. I’ve probably done nigh-on 30,000 miles in this jacket over that time and yes I’ve crashed in it. You don’t have anything other than a soft back protector so I always wear a Knox back protector with it. It’s ‘loose’/ large enough to go on over the top of my leathers too. In the crash I was doing all of 10-20mph and while the back protector got a little chewed up as the back of the jacket rolled up a little I had zero scuffs, grazes or bruises on my top half. We won’t mention the fact that I was wearing normal jeans and put a…